Doctor Who has teased that classic companions Ace (Sophie Aldred) and Tegan (Janet Fielding) will be returning to the show for the final episode of the Thirteenth Doctor’s era.


But not all fans will have had the chance to meet these two returning characters before. Here are six episodes that viewers new to Tegan and Ace should watch before tuning in to the BBC centenary special later this year…


Logopolis (1981)

Tegan (Janet Fielding) in Doctor Who: Logopolis
Tegan (Janet Fielding) in Doctor Who: Logopolis BBC

If you’re new to a companion, it makes sense to start with their first appearance in the show. Logopolis is therefore the perfect place to start with Tegan. The Doctor (Tom Baker) first meets the chirpy (if a little disorganised) air stewardess Tegan Jovanka when she walks into the TARDIS expecting it to be a real Police Box. Following some paradoxical problems which lead to Tegan exploring the TARDIS alone for quite a while, the Doctor finally comes face-to-face with Tegan in the second part of this serial.

Logopolis also features the return of the Doctor’s arch-nemesis the Master (Anthony Ainley) and is particuarly notable as it ends with the Fourth Doctor’s regeneration into Peter Davison’s Fifth Doctor. This story therefore marks the end of Tom Baker’s seven years at the helm of the TARDIS, and the beginning of a brand new era for the show.

Kinda (1982)

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Landing a few serials after Logopolis, Kinda sees the now firmly established companion Tegan shaken-up when she is possessed by an ancient snake-like being, the Mara. While on a visit with the Doctor to the apparently idyllic jungles of Deva Loka, poor Tegan is targeted by the evil creature. Latching onto her dreams, the Mara uses Tegan’s mind to try and get its own way, striking at the rest of this serial’s cast of characters.

While the Mara’s targeting of Tegan leads to her being absent for quite a bit of this story’s second half, her role here is still important – plus, the various strange dream sequences which she features in as a result of her possession give Tegan some interesting moments to develop as a character away from the Doctor and the rest of the TARDIS team. Another episode well-worth watching for its Tegan-centricity is this serial’s sequel Snakedance (1983), which sees Tegan at the heart of the Mara’s evil scheming once more.

Resurrection of the Daleks (1984)

Tegan (Janet Fielding) in Doctor Who: Resurrection of the Daleks
Tegan (Janet Fielding) in Doctor Who: Resurrection of the Daleks BBC

In the same way that it's useful to get introduced to to a character through their first episode in the show, it's also best to understand the context of their return by watching their final (to date) appearance.

Resurrection of the Daleks begins with the Doctor and his companions being thrown about in the TARDIS by a dodgy time corridor. Eventually spat out in 1984 London, the time corridor is revealed to lead to some devastating Dalek and Davros-related discoveries.

This surprisingly violent story ends with Tegan surprising the Doctor by telling him she no longer wants to travel with him, suggesting life in the TARDIS has "stopped being fun".

Tegan’s sudden departure on her own terms is reminiscent of more recent Doctor Who companion Martha Jones’ departure. However, Tegan’s departure appears a little less assured, as we see her turn back just as the TARDIS is leaving. The ending of this episode therefore leaves plenty to be explored on her return to the Doctor’s side later this year...


Dragonfire (1987)

Ace (Sophie Aldred) in Doctor Who: Dragonfire
Ace (Sophie Aldred) in Doctor Who: Dragonfire BBC

Much in the same vein as Logopolis, Dragonfire makes this list not only because it’s an enjoyable Ace-focused serial but also because it's the episode in which the Doctor and fans first had the chance to meet the character.

Sophie Aldred proves herself to be immediate companion material as soon as she appears on-screen as Ace, a headstrong Earth-born but space-based waitress who's dissatisfied with her job and clearly longing for more adventure. Put simply, Ace is ace!

While there’s more dragon’s breath than dragon’s fire in this serial – which is set on the permanently frozen dark side of a planet far away from Earth – some beautiful set design, impressive VFX and a threatening ice vampire-like villain make this one a fun watch.

(For more on Ace's backstory, we'd also recommend watching 1989's The Curse of Fenric, which delves more into her family history and the circumstances of her arrival on Iceworld.)

Remembrance of the Daleks (1988)

Ace (Sophie Aldred) in Doctor Who: Remembrance of the Daleks
Ace (Sophie Aldred) in Doctor Who: Remembrance of the Daleks BBC

Arguably one of the best Dalek-centric stories Doctor Who has ever told, this is also one of the strongest outings of the Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) and Ace. Way before Resolution (2019) or Revolution of the Daleks (2021), '80s Doctor Who saw a trilogy of Dalek titles all beginning with ‘R’, the last of which (following Resurrection and 1985’s Revelation of the Daleks) was 1988’s Remembrance. And remember it people did, with this serial regularly voted as a fan favourite.

Set on Earth in 1963, Remembrance features a fantastic variety of Dalek threats, a great supporting cast of characters, and some lovely references to the show’s past. This includes how it centres much of its action around Coal Hill School, a recurring setting where the Doctor’s granddaughter Susan was taught by companions Ian and Barbara and which would eventually become the workplace of the Doctor’s much-later companion Clara Oswald and her boyfriend Danny Pink.

Remembrance of the Daleks also features a very important sequence involving Ace, a Dalek, and a baseball bat, which appear to be required viewing before this year’s BBC centenary special episode if the preview trailer is anything to go by...

Survival (1989)

Ace (Sophie Aldred) in Doctor Who: Survival
Ace (Sophie Aldred) in Doctor Who: Survival BBC

While never intended to be Ace’s final episode in the same way Resurrection of the Daleks was intended to be Tegan’s, Survival is delightfully Ace-focused despite not having been written to say goodbye to her character.

The story begins with Ace and the Doctor travelling back to Ace’s home on Earth – Perivale, to be precise – as she has been missing her friends. However, on arriving they discover her friends are literally missing. Featuring the final appearance of Anthony Ainley’s Master and a journey to a planet of Cheetah People, Survival is a rollercoaster ride which features some superb character moments for both Ace and the Doctor.

Sadly, despite the fact this serial is now highly regarded by most fans, it was unable to ensure the survival of the show itself. Survival was the last Doctor Who serial to air before its cancellation, and ended up being the final appearance of Ace. (It was also the final appearance of the Seventh Doctor up until 1996’s Doctor Who TV movie.)

Ace’s absence in the movie creates a mystery around what led to her leaving the Doctor’s side. Her appearance in the upcoming centenary special is made even more exciting by the fact it may finally reveal the truth behind this mystery which has gone unexplained (on-screen at least) for nearly 30 years...

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For more, check out our dedicated Sci-Fi page or our full TV Guide.


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