Fans of Doctor Who have paid tribute to Jackie Lane, after the actor most famous for playing the First Doctor’s companion Dodo Chaplet passed away aged 79.
The sad news was confirmed by Fantom Films on Twitter last night, with a post reading “It is with deep regret that we announce that actress and friend Jackie Lane has sadly passed away. We pass on our sympathies to her family and friends. Jackie was best known to Doctor Who fans as companion Dodo Chaplet. RIP 1941 – 2021″
Shortly afterwards, the official Doctor Who Twitter account posted “We’re sad to hear that Jackie Lane has passed away, she played the First Doctor’s companion Dodo Chaplet.”
We’re sad to hear that Jackie Lane has passed away, she played the First Doctor’s companion Dodo Chaplet ❤️ pic.twitter.com/2PzirZvwP5— Doctor Who (@bbcdoctorwho) June 23, 2021
And Whovians were quick to pay tribute to the star, with one fan writing, “Too short a time on the series and a terrible exit she never deserved. But forever so wonderful. Goodbye Jackie.”
Another Twitter user added, “Saddened to hear this, she was among my favourite 1st Doctor companions and helped spearhead the series into ‘the swinging sixties’. I will miss her,” while a third said, “Very sad. Doesn’t get the recognition she deserves. Great companion. RIP Jackie.”
Writer and former Doctor Who Magazine editor Gary Russell wrote, “I only met Jackie Lane once – at her one convention in Manchester in 1991. She was so friendly and charming and funny, even though she was bewildered, but flattered, by all the attention. How terribly sad to know she’s left us.”
I only met Jackie Lane once - at her one convention in Manchester in 1991. She was so friendly and charming and funny, even though she was bewildered, but flattered, by all the attention. How terribly sad to know she's left us. pic.twitter.com/UDpPNYcRt0— Gary Russell (@twilightstreets) June 23, 2021
Another fan wrote, “Despite appearing on-screen for just 19 weeks in 1966 as a hastily developed & consistently underserved character who exited the series as strangely & suddenly as she arrived, it’s really heartwarming to see all the love for dear Jackie Lane on #DoctorWho Twitter tonight. RIP.”
Meanwhile, Lane’s great-niece Sarah Kearney wrote, “It has blown my mind this evening to see how many tributes have come pouring in for my Great Aunt after this news broke today. I’m not sure I’ve ever grasped just how much she meant to Dr Who fans and I’m sure she would be amazed!”
It has blown my mind this evening to see how many tributes have come pouring in for my Great Aunt after this news broke today.— Sarah Kearney (@jeffercakes88) June 23, 2021
I’m not sure I’ve ever grasped just how much she meant to Dr Who fans and I’m sure she would be amazed! #jackielane ❤️ https://t.co/0JQIfpsCWH pic.twitter.com/3ktyhln5kI
Lane first appeared on the series as a companion for William Hartnell’s in February 1966, going on to appear in six serials in series three, before bowing out during The War Machines when her contract was not renewed.
In total, she appeared in 19 episodes of the iconic sci-fi series, while her character went on to appears in several Doctor Who novels and was even referenced as recently as last year in the Russell T Davies webcast Farewell, Sarah Jane.
Following her time on the show, Lane became a theatrical agent and represented Tom Baker – who, of course, went on to become the Fourth Doctor – as well as Tegan Jovanka actor Janet Fielding.