Jo Grant

Portrayed by: Caroline John
Travelled with: Third Doctor
Series: Classic

Elizabeth “Liz” Shaw was a companion of the Third Doctor after meeting him during her work as a civilian member of UNIT conducting field work. Liz was an accomplished scientist, specialising in meteorites and holding degrees in many subjects, including medicine and physics. Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart drafted Liz onto UNIT as their scientific advisor, initially unaware that the Third Doctor was on Earth and would be better suited to the role, which Liz accepted. Though she was sceptical at first of UNIT’s role in defending Earth against alien invasion, she learned to accept that extra-terrestrial life existed after meeting the Doctor and assisting him in defeating the Nestene Consciousness and the Autons in Spearhead from Space (Classic Series). During her adventures alongside the Doctor and UNIT, Liz encountered the Silurians in Doctor Who and the Silurians (Classic Series), the rogue General Carrington in The Ambassadors of Death (Classic Series) as well as the Inferno Project, a secret project undertaken by the British Government, in Inferno (Classic Series). During Inferno, a parallel Liz was encountered by the Doctor, who had joined the Military and become Section Leader Elizabeth Shaw on a fascist version of Earth. This Elizabeth, along with most of that version of Earth, were likely killed in various volcanic eruptions.

Liz Shaw with the Third Doctor

Although Liz had extensive training and knowledge in the field she worked in, it paled in comparison to the Doctor’s own knowledge of the universe and the scientific principles that were far beyond that of the Earth’s knowledge. This, along with the feeling that all the Doctor needed was “someone to pass him his test tubes and tell him how brilliant he was” (as Liz told the Brigadier), most likely led to her resignation from UNIT and returning to her own research in Cambridge. Because Liz worked alongside the Third Doctor at the beginning of his exile on Earth by the Time Lords, Liz became the first companion to not travel in the TARDIS, due to the Doctor’s knowledge of time travel being removed by the Time Lords as part of his exile. Later, during the Seventh Doctor’s travels with his companion, Ace, he gave Ace a UNIT ID card that had belonged to Liz, which he had kept in his hat. In 2010, a fellow UNIT worker explained that Liz was unable to attend the Eleventh Doctor’s fake funeral in the Sarah Jane Adventures story, Death of the Doctor, because she was on the UNIT Moonbase and would be unable to return until the following week, indicating that Liz re-joined UNIT, possibly after the Doctor stopped working for them.