Character Profile – Dorothea “Dodo” Chaplet

Wither Dodo? The poor dear. She wanders in at the end of one story, speaking with an accent we never hear again, is constantly overshadowed by other characters, and has only a few of her stories intact. To add insult to injury, she’s sent off in the middle of one story with no real goodbye.

Jackie Lane, upon reading the rest of the screenplay for “The War Machines”

Played ably enough by Jackie Lane, who has since retired from acting, Dodo was a spunky young girl who was something of the next logical step after Susan and Vicki. She was more modern, and fairly easy to relate to.

But she never quite “popped” with the audiences. She had tremendous potential, but was never all that well-written. Perhaps if the show had had, at that point, a female writer, or even a female producer as it did during the days of Susan and Vicki, things might have gone differently, but no.

To make matters worse, we have, as mentioned before, very few of her stories. “The Ark”, “The Gunfighters” and “The War Machines”, and that’s it. Now a later companion, Victoria, is in a similar situation, but at least she’s a somewhat better written, and more interesting, character.

Don’t get me wrong here. Dodo wasn’t a bad character, and Lane did the best with what she had, but she could have been so much more. Which is why it’s somewhat depressing that of all the companion actors from the old series, only Lane has refused to come back and work with Big Finish. It’s  a shame, because I’d really like to see what they could do with her.

Of course, just about anything would be better than what the series actually did with her at the very end, where they just wrote her out without even a goodbye, and then later killed her off in a spinoff novel. Such a character deserves better than to have things just stop mid-story and


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