Legendary Doctor Who star Louise Jameson has reflected on her character Leela's "questionable" costume, acknowledging that it was "of an era".


The actress starred alongside Tom Baker from 1977 to 1978 and is still playing the character today as she takes on various audio dramas for Big Finish.

Speaking exclusively to RadioTimes.com about how she looks back on her time on the show, Jameson explained: "When I look back, of course I was thrilled to get the part. It was a real step on the television ladder for me.

Louise Jameson and Tom Baker in Doctor Who
Louise Jameson and Tom Baker in Doctor Who. BBC

"But when I look back, I was an hour and a half in makeup while they darkened my skin, they gave me red contact lenses to make my eyes brown, it was a costume that, for all my feminism, was rather questionable.

"But we are talking the '70s here. I had a knife, which would probably never be allowed now. When you look back, you think it was of an era and I was incredibly lucky to have been given that job at that time. I was, of course, thrilled."

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Jameson is now writing her own Doctor Who story, A Ghost of Alchemy, and is delighted to write for Leela, adding: "Leela sort of flows out of me, as you would expect — I've been with her since 1976. Inevitably, I have her voice very well... she's fun to write, isn't she? I didn't expect to have quite so much fun with her.

"I love the fact, and I'm very envious of her for this, that she has no censorship between her brain and her mouth and she just says it how it is — pathologically honest! I'd like a bit more of that for me."

Plus, she's absolutely delighted to reunite with Baker, even though the pair of them didn't always get on.

"It's no secret we weren't bosom buddies back in the '70s but we've become such good friends since the '90s," she said.

"He's been working with and for Big Finish as I have and we've laughed our way through many a recording.

"He's a one-off, isn't he? He's eccentric and weird and wonderful and witty and intelligent and all those things the Doctor should be. My goodness, he's eccentric! And unpredictable, and I've learnt to really love that about him."

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A Ghost of Alchemy, written by Jameson and starring the actress alongside Baker, follows the Doctor and Leela as they meet Marie Curie (voiced by Holly Jackson Walters).

The Worlds of Doctor Who – The Eighth of March: Strange Chemistry, featuring A Ghost of Alchemy, is now available to pre-order for £19.99 (collector’s edition CD box set + download) or £16.99 (download only).

Doctor Who is available to stream on BBC iPlayer with episodes of the classic series also available on BritBox – you can sign up for a 7-day free trial here.

Check out more of our Sci-Fi coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to see what's on tonight.


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