Doctor Who star slates her ‘iconic’ character’s ‘cliché ending’

Doctor Who star slates her ‘iconic’ character’s ‘cliché ending’

The star went on to appear in ITV soap Emmerdale (Picture: ITV)

One of the stars of Doctor Who has expressed just how much she disliked the way her character was written out of the BBC series.

In 1977, Louise Jameson made her debut in the sci-fi programme as Leela, a companion of the Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker).

Her final on-screen appearance (before a cameo in a short film in 2024) came a year later, when she decided to say on the Time Lord’s home planet of Gallifrey and marry Andred (Christopher Tranchell).

Many fans were left underwhelmed with Leela’s fate, and the actress has agreed that her character’s ending didn’t unfold the way that she would have liked.

While speaking at a BFI Southbank screening of the Doctor Who 1977 episode Horror of Fang Rock, Doctor Who writer Pete McTighe said that Leela’s goodbye ‘never quite seemed right’ to him when he watched her 1978 exit as a child.

‘For such an iconic character and such an amazing actress – one of the best actresses we’ve ever had in the show – to be married off to a posh Gallifreyan guard she’s had six words with never quite seemed right to me, as a kid. So I felt like this was an opportunity to right that wrong,’ he said, according to Radio Times.

Leela was a fan-favourite companion (Picture: Freddie Reed/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)

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Louise, 72, chimed in to add: ‘It was a crap ending, wasn’t it?

‘I think she should have died saving the Doctor’s life – something really heroic. Or you travel forward and she’s got a football team of children… something dramatic, anyway.

‘I mean, it’s so cliché, isn’t it, that she’s fallen in love, that’s how we get rid of her.’

In January 2024, Louise made her long-awaited return to the world of Doctor Who in a short film released on YouTube called Leela vs the Time War.

After watching the short film, one fan commented on the video sharing platform: ‘And after all these years, she’s still the Leela we all know and love. Kudos to Louise Jameson for flawlessly stepping back into character.’

Another added: ‘Swear I almost cried watching this, I was there for her original adventures with the doctor and to see Leela still raging with the heart of a warrior, that’s awesome beyond all hope.’

Someone else remarked: ‘”I am Leela. Warrior of the Sevateem…and of Gallifrey!!” Instantly choked up, Louise is gorgeous and brilliant, she’s never left the role!’

From 1998 to 2000, Louise starred in EastEnders as Rosa di Marco, before joining Emmerdale in 2022 as Mary Goskirk.

She’s also appeared in Midsomer Murders, Silent Witness, Doctors and The Bill.

Doctor Who is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

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