Doctor Who episode The Stolen Earth is widely known for uniting several of the Doctor’s companions – including Captain Jack, Rose Tyler and Sarah Jane Smith – and according to former showrunner Russell T Davies, a couple of other well-known faces were also considered for appearances.
Tweeting during yesterday’s watchalong of the fan-favourite episode, Davies claimed he had thought about bringing back a companion from the classic era of the show to lead the Subwave Network, for example Polly or Tegan Jovanka.
The classic era ran from 1963 to 1989.
He wrote, “I even toyed with an old Doctor Who companion appearing out of the blue. Polly running it from India! Or Tegan! Imagine.”
2/4 HARRIET …I even toyed with an old Doctor Who companion appearing out of the blue. Polly running it from India! Or Tegan! Imagine. And at one point, when Catherine had shot The Runaway Bride, but BEFORE she agreed to come back for Series 4…#SubwaveNetwork
— Russell T Davies (@russelldavies63) April 19, 2020
In the end it was Harriet Jones (Penelope Wilton) who led the network, making her first appearance on the show since the inaugural series of the revival, in which she had appeared alongside Christopher Eccleston’s ninth Doctor.
Many fans reacted to Davies’ revelation on Twitter, with one viewer claiming, “I don’t think I could have handled Tegan coming back and being exterminated in the same story…”
Tegan, played by Janet Fielding, appeared as a companion of the fourth and fifth Doctors during the early ’80s, while Polly (Anneke Wills) appeared in the ’60s, alongside the first and second Doctors.
The Stolen Earth and its follow-up Journey’s End were the latest in a long line of fan favourite Doctor Who episodes to be given the watchalong treatment – with others including the 50th anniversary special, The Day of the Doctor, and series five episode Vincent and the Doctor.