Russell T Davies almost brought back a classic era companion in Doctor Who’s The Stolen Earth

The former showrunner said he thought about including a companion from the early series, such as Tegen or Polly

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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.

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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.”

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.

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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.

Doctor Who returns to BBC One for Revolution of the Daleks in late 2020/early 2021. Check out what else is on with our TV guide