Portrayed by: Louise Jameson
Travelled with: Fourth Doctor
Series: Classic

Leela was a companion of the Fourth Doctor who eventually lived on the planet Gallifrey after her travels with him. Leela was born to Sole of the savage Sevateem tribe of regressed humans. As such, Leela was a warrior, whose weapons of choice were Janis thorns that caused paralysis then death and a knife. Leela profaned Xoanon, the Sevateem’s god. Her father died undertaking the test of the Horda, a ritual, on Leela’s behalf when he failed. When Leela first met the Doctor, it was his second trip to the planet, which meant she recognised him as the tribe’s mythic leader, the Evil One. When the Doctor had first been on the planet, he had repaired the Mordee expedition’s computer, Xoanon, but forgot to remove his personality from its systems, causing it to conflict with itself when it split into two personalities and conducted a long-term eugenics experiment. The Doctor then restored Xoanon’s sanity and Leela requested to join him as his companion, to which he initially refused. Leela however, did not take no for an answer and rushed into the TARDIS and accidentally triggered the TARDIS’ dematerialisation in The Face of Evil (Classic Series). Though Leela was a primitive, she was highly intelligent, grasping advanced concepts easily and translated them into terms that she could cope with. Leela kept her savage ways while travelling with the Doctor, arming herself with Janis thorns and her knife while wearing animal skins. With her weapons, she did not hesitate to use them in her defence or on people who threatened her, something the Doctor strongly disapproved of.

Leela, a savage companion of the Fourth Doctor

While travelling with the Doctor, Leela encountered and fought Taren Capel in The Robots of Death (Classic Series) and Magnus Greel in Victorian London. She was also shown how her ancestors lived in The Talons of Weng-Chiang (Classic Series), as well as collecting K9 from Professor Marius and killing a number of the Titan Base relief crew, though they were infected, in The Invisible Enemy (Classic Series). When the Fourth Doctor appeared to have gone power-mad when he returned to Gallifrey and successfully gained the position of Lord President of the High Council of Time Lords, Leela still trusted him, even though she was banished from the Capitol where she joined the Outsiders, a band of outcast Gallifreyans led by Nesbin. As a part of this group, Leela helps defeat an invading Sontaran force, which was the reason behind the Doctors actions in the first place. However, in the time it took for this to occur, Leela had fallen in love with a Chancellory Guard, Andred, and chose to stay on Gallifrey with him. K9 also chose to remain behind with Leela, while the Doctor continued his travels with K9 Mark II when Leela left the TARDIS crew.

In Horror of Fang Rock (Classic Series), a Rutan ship exploded above Fang Rock, causing pigmentation dispersal, changing Leela’s eye colour permanently from brown to blue. She also appeared to have some degree of ambidexterity, writing with her left hand though throwing knives and other actions with her right. Leela’s violent personality ranks her as one of the Doctor’s most violent companions, who was seen to be killing others on a regular basis, as opposed to Romana’s first incarnation (who killed a guard) and Captain Jack Harkness (who has been seen to kill others in Torchwood). Although Ace used explosives, her body count was never as high as Leela’s.