R.I.P. Caroline John, Doctor Who Companion

Jon Pertwee and Caroline John

The BBC have confirmed that Caroline John, the actress who made her name playing Liz Shaw opposite Jon Pertwee’s Third Doctor in 1970, died on June 5. She was 72.

Caroline had a long and varied career, including a stint in the Royal Shakespeare Company, and the National Theatre, before taking on the role of Doctor Liz Shaw, a scientific rival for the pompous and boffiny Third Doctor, in the first color series of Doctor Who.

She took the companion role in such definitive Who stories as Spearhead from Space, The Silurians, The Ambassadors of Death & Inferno. After leaving the show, she also briefly appeared in the 20th Anniversary special The Five Doctors and the Children in Need special Dimensions in Time, as well as several of the more recent audio adventures.

Her most recent film role was in the Richard Curtis film Love, Actually, in which she played the gran of little drummer boy Sam:

Here’s her debut appearance on Doctor Who, bickering with both the Brigadier AND the Doctor, just to get a little respect:

Anglophenia ran an appreciation of Liz Shaw as part of A Companion To The Doctor’s Companions earlier this year.

Fraser McAlpine

Fraser has been writing and broadcasting about music and popular culture for over 13 years, first at the Top of the Pops website, and most recently for the NME. He also wrote BBC Radio 1's Chart Blog and reviews albums for BBC Music.

He is Anglophenia's current resident Brit, blogging about British slang and running around the Mall taking snaps of the crowd at the Royal Wedding, as well as reigniting a childhood passion for classic Doctor Who and cramming as much music in as he can manage.

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