As last year’s Christmas Special revealed, Broadchurch star Jodie Whittaker has taken on the role of the Thirteenth Doctor – and we couldn’t be more excited for her adventures starting later this year.
But some fans slightly baulked at a female Time Lord, or Time Lady if you will. No idea why – the show has featured a number over its 54 years. And some have even changed sex, too.
Here’s our comprehensive guide to the Time Ladies of Doctor Who…
Right from the show’s very beginning, there was a Time Lady present: the Doctor’s granddaughter.
Although Whovians pre-2005 weren’t keen on the idea that their special, manly-man male Time Lord had actual sexual intercourse with females – with some fans believing her use of ‘grandfather’ was purely out of respect – Susan was the Doctor’s granddaughter. The precocious youngster accompanied William Hartnell’s incarnation of the time-traveller for just over a year until she was left behind on 22nd-century Earth at the denouement of ‘The Dalek Invasion of Earth’ (1964).
She would return for the 20th Anniversary Special ‘The Five Doctors’ in 1983, and a photograph of her had pride of place, along with River Song, on The Doctor’s desk in the most recent series whilst he was lecturing at St. Luke’s University.
After Susan a female Gallifreyan wasn’t seen until 1978’s ‘The Invasion of Time’, featuring Tom Baker as the Doctor with Louise Jameson’s brilliant Leela and K-9 in tow. During an invasion by the Vardans and then Sontarans, technician Rodan proved to be useful with her knowledge of Quasitronics.
And just the following year we would meet perhaps the most impressive Time Lady there’s ever been, Romanadvoratrelundar.
Though she was happy to be called Fred, and why not, the Doctor (Baker again) choose to use Romana. She was foisted on the Time Lord by the White Guardian in a bid to track down the various pieces of The Key To Time.
Initially played by Mary Tamm, the actress decided to leave the show and, fittingly for a Gallifreyan, she regenerated at the start of the following season – into actress Lalla Ward (who had, somewhat confusingly, made her Doctor Who debut in the previous story as a different character).
Romana remained with the Fourth Doctor almost up until his final story, becoming one of the show’s most memorable and loved companions.
Fact fans will note that Ward, who recently returned to the world of Who for the new version of ‘Shada’, went on to marry her co-star Baker. Their marriage did not last as long as their on-screen partnership.
4 & 5. Thalia and Flavia
‘Arc of Infinity’ (1983) saw a return for Doctor Who legend Omega – but it also introduced us to a new Time Lady. Thalia, played by Elspet Gray, was Lord Chancellor in the High Council of Time Lords and was due to return later that year in the aforementioned ‘The Five Doctors’.