Doctor Who Blog

The Companion Departures - #14 Tegan Jovanka

Here’s an interesting thing - Resurrection of the Daleks was intended originally for the end of Season 20 and didn’t feature a departure for Tegan. The script was re-written slighly for the following season to write out Kamelion’s scenes (having joined in The King’s Demons, he would have featured in the next story) as by Season 21 they realized that the robot didn’t work well from a technological basis. And the script was also re-written for Season 21 to write out Tegan. Thus, one could make the argument quite successfully that her departure scene is “tacked on”.

Technically it is tacked on - but it doesn’t feel that way, particularly if you are watching the story without the behind-the-scenes knowledge. When Tegan says she has stopped having fun because there’s been so much killing, it is not as though the audience shouldn’t believe her. Resurrection of the Daleks has the highest number of on-screen deaths for any Doctor Who story (and by that I am referring to a body-count - ie. living beings who are seen to die on the screen, rather than the reported deaths from planets, galaxies or continents that occurred in stories like Logopolis or The Parting of the Ways).  Tegan is the only member of the TARDIS trio who doesn’t advocate murdering someone in this story. Seeing the Doctor get pushed over the edge (by the Daleks plan to invade Gallifrey) resulting in his attempt to try to kill Davros in cold blood (something that she probably assumes he succeeded in doing since she wasn’t there to see the Doctor fail to do it and only sees him afterwards completely un-harmed) likely affected her as much as the horrible death of the man she called for help (who was minding his own business with a metal detector and didn’t even hear her, but still gets brutally shot in the back) - not something which is her fault but at the same time you could see why she would feel awful about it almost wishing that she hadn’t tried to escape after all.

In the end it is an effective, unique departure which works well, even if arguably it is one of the more depressing and bleak reasons a companion chooses to leave. But the Doctor says he must mend his ways as a result of Tegan’s departure and the next time we see him in a very bleak situation surrounded by people firing guns left right and centre (two stories later in The Caves of Androzani), he doesn’t join in at all - he rises above it and just has one thing on his mind, which is to save Peri. He essentially sacrifices his 5th incarnation (and for all he knew, his own life) to save someone who he didn’t know that well yet, but was in his care. In that sense, Tegan’s departure is not just an effective departure on its own, but it also sets things up well for the 5th Doctor’s own departure. Not bad for a script that originally wasn’t aiming for this at all when it was first written.

1 Comment...

This is a great website with lots of information. I think I will refer this website to all my friends because of the excellency! thanks for sharing ...Luv ya

Posted by christine  on  06/08  at  06:34 AM

Post a comment

Commenting is not available in this weblog entry.

Recent Stories

Issue 172

After the anniversary : Enlightenment reviews the anniversary celebrations! Plus…

  • Michael Wisher and Philip Hinchcliffe interviewed
  • The recovered Troughton episodes
  • News and reviews

Download this issue

Issue 171

Their Secrets Revealed : The final reviews for Season 2013! Plus, in this last print issue of Enlightenment before the all-digital era begins…

  • Re-evaluating recovered episodes—you know, hypothetically…
  • The Gazetteer of Doom
  • News and reviews

Myth Makers Presents: Golden Years

Gold represents something long-lasting, something untarnished and unaffected by the passage of time. Myth Makers Presents: Golden Years celebrates the timeless elements of Doctor Who that have appealed to the show’s followers for half a century. Celebrating 50 years of Doctor Who with DWIN’s fiction anthology, Myth Makers!

An important message for DWIN members

Enlightenment will be switching to a digital only publication and membership fees will be ending. Find out more about this important change

New Doctor to be Announced LIVE on SPACE this Sunday!

Who will be the next Doctor? Find out LIVE on SPACE this Sunday at 2pm Eastern, 11am Pacific.

Is something broken?

©Doctor Who Information Network (DWIN) 2009