Fans of the sci-fi TV series Doctor Who mourned the loss of one of the very first companions to the Time Lord, Jackie Lane, who has died at age 79. Lane appeared alongside William Hartnell's first Doctor in the role of Dodo Chaplet. The news was tweeted on the official Doctor Who Twitter page, which wrote, "We're sad to hear that Jackie Lane has passed away, she played the First Doctor's companion Dodo Chaplet."
For those who have not been made familiar with the early years of Doctor Who, Jackie Lane joined in the third season in 1966, and despite being a favorite of fans, her character only appeared in 19 episodes and was thought by many to have a departure from the show that she did not deserve. Despite an early exit from the show, she did return a number of times to the franchise in other ways, such as recording a special message for the 50th anniversary of the show.
Joining Doctor Who as one of Hartnell's first companions, Dodo's small number of appearances has been reduced even further due to her time on the show being from the period that many master tapes were lost or written over by the BBC, who make the show. At the time, many classic series and shows were deleted due to a need for tapes to be reused, and no one in the 1960s really thought there would be any need to archive many of the series they made so had no issues with getting rid of episodes that many fans would now love to get their hands on. Of Lane's episodes, only 11 are now available in the archives, with the other 8 having been wiped and copies never found.
As the news of the actress' passing spread, it was not surprising that many fans responded with sympathy and expressed their sorrow at the loss. The classic original episodes of the series are where the rules of the series were laid down, and it has been the foundation of the longest running sci-fi series in the history of television. Many fans had their own way of paying tribute to the actress, which included re-watching the episodes that are available featuring her.
Tributes have poured in from fans of Doctor Who, with one writing: "Very very upset to see the sad news about Doctor Who companion Jackie Lane. I can't lie, I've always liked Dodo, and she was in a cracking run of stories. May she RIP." Another one added their feelings with, "Incredibly sad to hear news of the passing of Jackie Lane. Many a Doctor Who fan would consider her adventures in space and time as one of the many comfort eras of the programme, and several of her stories as some of the very best it had to offer."
Lane had a number of TV and radio appearances before starring in her most famous role, but after leaving the show she decided to step away from acting to start working as a theater agent, representing a number of famous faces including a future Doctor Who actor, Tom Baker. Another sad loss, and thoughts are with her family during the time.