Tegan Jovanka

Portrayed by: Janet Fielding
Travelled with: Fourth Doctor, Fifth Doctor
Series: Classic

Tegan Jovanka was a companion of the Fourth and Fifth Doctor after accidentally wandering into the TARDIS. Tegan was born in Australia in the city of Brisbane but moved to London to pursue a career as an air stewardess, though she was able to speak one of the many indigenous Australian languages fluently. In London on the 28th February, 1981, Tegan’s aunt’s car broke down on a motorway in the London Borough of Barnet. By the side of the road, she spotted what appeared to be an ordinary police box, and went to use it to call for help. However, when she stepped inside, she found the massive interior of the Fourth Doctor’s TARDIS instead in Logopolis (Classic Series). The Doctor was trying to fix his chameleon circuit and departed for the planet Logopolis with companion Adric with Tegan still on board without knowing. When the Doctor discovered their accidental passenger, he intended to return Tegan but it became a secondary concern when he discovered the Master was manipulating Logopolis to try and create instability in the universe. Tegan ended up assisting the Doctor when she discovered that the Master had killed her aunt. However, when she and the Doctor became stranded on a crumbling Logopolis, Tegan became one of the few companions to travel in the Master’s TARDIS, with her, the Doctor and the Master travelling to Earth’s Pharos Project which could halt the rampant entropy the Master had ended up unleashing upon the universe. Here, Tegan witnessed the Doctor’s near-fatal fall from the Pharos Project’s radio telescope and his regeneration into his Fifth incarnation that followed.

Tegan Jovanka with the Fifth Doctor and Vislor Turlough

Following this, Tegan did not leave the doctor even though she was in her correct time and place. Possibly seeing that she could be facing a criminal prosecution for trespass, Tegan decided to join the TARDIS crew alongside Nyssa, Adric and the Fifth Doctor. Tegan and Nyssa became critical to the stability of the Fifth Doctor following his difficult regeneration. Tegan became a temporary pilot of the TARDIS, preventing it from being destroyed when it attempted to travel past the Event One horizon, though her success was tempered by the fact that the Master had manipulated the outcomes in Castrovalva (Classic Series). When adventuring on the planet Deva loka, Tegan was taken over by the Mara in Kinda (Classic Series) and later displayed a talen for dancing the Charleston as well as a basic appreciation for cricket. During her adventures with the Doctor, Tegan encountered the Cybermen in Earthshock (Classic Series) and witnessed Adric’s death. Tegan became angry with the Doctor when he refused to use the TARDIS to save Adric before his death and save him. After a mis-understanding, Tegan was left behind at Heathrow Airport in her home time in Time-Flight (Classic Series), where she ended up working. However, she lost her job with the airline and returned to the TARDIS crew to search for her lost cousin, Colin Frazer, in Amsterdam in the Arc of Infinity (Classic Series). In Snakedance (Classic Series), on the planet Manussa, the Mara took possession of Tegan again, though the Doctor defeated it and claimed to have beaten it permanently. Back on Earth, Tegan showed a natural talent for character assessment when she met the retired Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, whom she immediately warmed to, and Vislor Turlough, whom she distrusted. In Terminus (Classic Series), Nyssa chose to remain on the planet Terminus which emotionally affected Tegan. She also had a brief romantic encounter with the Eternal, Marriner, a being who didn’t love her, instead wanting to live vicariously through her emotions. During the same adventure in Enlightenment (Classic Series), Tegan witnessed Turlough turn from evil and reject the Black Guardian. Tegen left the TARDIS crew for good when the carnage surrounding the early phase of the Dalek civil war proved too much to bear in Resurrection of the Daleks (Classic Series). She bid a somewhat accusatory but emotional farewell to the Doctor and Turlough while in 1984’s London and ran off before the Doctor was able to respond. However, later she seemed to change her mind and returned to where she thought the TARDIS would be only to find that the Doctor had already left.

Tegan Jovanka

Tegan was direct, suborn and loud, once describing herself as “just a mouth on legs”. She often bickered with her fellow companions though her morality and intrinsic honesty proved useful, with the Doctor noting that these qualities made her a good coordinator, and she was more likely to detect a threat to the Time Lords safety than the other companions. Of Tegan’s fellow travellers, she was closest to Nyssa, whose nature was the precise opposite of hers and was genuinely saddened when Nyssa chose to leave the TARDIS crew and was morally indignant when the Doctor refused to go back in time to save Adric. Though she mourned Adric, she did argue with him when he was alive. On Deva Loca, Tegan and Adric argued after Adric suggested that Tegan was too weak minded to be able to defy the Mara and therefore the ensuring chaos was her fault. Though Tegan appeared to despise violence, she would resort to using it under certain circumstances, one of those being when the Master threatened the Doctor in The King’s Demons (Classic Series) and Tegan threw a knife at him immediately. Tegan was quite insecure despite the strong front she adopted whilst travelling, which manifested itself most strongly in her inability to make her mind up firmly as to whether she wanted to stay on the TARDIS or go home, reversing her decisions even when she seemed most resolute to leave. On the two occasions that Tegan did leave the TARDIS, it was down to the Doctor dematerialising before she returned than her willingness to leave. The Doctor was able to see through Tegan’s false bravado, encouraging her to find her inner strength with the words, “Brave heart, Tegan.”