Today, the Doctor Who fandom is coming together to mourn the loss of a beloved star. It was made public today that Jackie Lane, the actress who played one of the Doctor's first companions, has passed away. She was 79 years old.
The news comes from the official Doctor Who Twitter page as it shared a note with fans. "We’re sad to hear that Jackie Lane has passed away, she played the First Doctor’s companion Dodo Chaplet," the account wrote.
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
For those unfamiliar with Lane, the English actress is best-known for her work on Doctor Who. She joins the series for its third season in 1966 along with William Hartnell. She would go on to enjoy a career in entertainment after leaving Doctor Who though Lane did do some rare returns to the franchise. For instance, she filmed a greeting for Doctor Who's 50th anniversary.
As for Dodo, the Doctor's first companion remains a favorite with fans to this day. The character joined Doctor Who in its third season as one of Harnell's first companions. Dodo is also one of the least-seen companions in the franchise given the show's missing tapes. Doctor Who is missing a fair few episodes as the BBC Archive did not preserve episodes before some masters were destroyed. Of Dodo's 19 episodes, only 11 of hers can be found archived to this day.
You can imagine how fans are reacting to the news as the First Doctor has a special place in the fandom's heart. While 'New' Doctor Who is the franchise's bread and butter right now, 'Classic' Doctor Who is the foundation of its entire mythos. This is why fans are pushing forward with memorials for Lane, and many admit they'll be revisiting her run on the series in her honor.
Our thoughts are with Lane's loved ones at this time. May she rest peace.