Contracted to appear in the three concluding stories of Doctor Who’s 14th season and the entirety of the following 15th run, Jameson then opted to leave the show to take up the role of Portia in The Merchant of Venice at Bristol Old Vic. “That was such a tempting carrot… so that was my decision to leave then,” she explained.
Tom Baker’s Doctor Who swansong in 1981’s LogopolisBBC
Flash-forward to 1980 and with long-standing lead Tom Baker bowing out after seven years, new producer John Nathan-Turner was keen to have Jameson return to Doctor Who and provide a familiar face alongside the new Doctor (played by Peter Davison).
She recalled: “I got a phone call from John Nathan-Turner – and I knew he was now a producer at the BBC – to say could he take me out to lunch and discuss “a series” – that’s all he’d say. I thought, ‘Oh, I’m going to get my own series!’.
“It turned out that John wanted me to do the last one or two stories of Tom and the whole of the next season, and he told me the [next] Doctor hadn’t been cast yet.”
Unwilling to commit to the entirety of Doctor Who’s 19th season, Jameson declined the offer. “I said I would do the leaving and the arrival, but I didn’t want to do a whole other season… what an idiot!”
“That wasn’t good enough, so that didn’t happen,” she concluded. “But I was asked.”