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Tegan Jovanka: Misc


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Up to date as of January 31, 2010

From TARDIS Index File, the free Doctor Who reference.

Tegan Jovanka
Also known as:
Race: Human
Home Planet: Earth
Home Era: 1981
Appearances: Full List of Appearances
Actor: Janet Fielding
"I think she's finding the idea of leaving more painful than she thought . . . "

Tegan Jovanka was an Australian air stewardess trainee who wandered into the Fourth Doctor's TARDIS when she mistook it for a genuine police box. She quickly became embroiled in the events surrounding his regeneration, and soon found herself a somewhat unwilling passenger of the Fifth Doctor. She was one of the few companions to have parted company with the Doctor, only to return for a significant number of adventures.

She was joined in her travels by Adric, Nyssa, Turlough, Kamelion, and, briefly, the Brigadier. She also once played the Game of Rassilon on Gallifrey, during which she met the First, Second, and Third Doctors, along with Susan and Sarah Jane.

Her relatively long tenure of service onboard the TARDIS belied an ambivalence about wishing to travel with the Doctor. Until her final glimpse of the TARDIS, she vacillated between wanting to stay and wanting to go. She returned to work as an air stewardess in 1985.



Early life

Tegan was born in the city of Brisbane, Australia, on 22nd September 1960 (BFA:The Gathering). She moved to London to pursue a career as an air stewardess (DW: Logopolis).

Travels with the Doctor

On 28th February 1981, Tegan's aunt's car broke down on a motorway in the London Borough of Barnet. Seeing what she thought was an ordinary police box, she attempted to call for help. Instead, she discovered the huge interior of the Doctor's TARDIS. Astounded by the console room like many others before her, she ventured off into its depths. The Fourth Doctor and Adric, not knowing she was on board, dematerialized for Logopolis, in an effort to get the Logopolitans to perform the complex mathematics necessary to restore functionality to the chameleon circuit of the TARDIS. Soon, the TARDIS crew discovered that they had an accidental passenger. However, returning her to her rightful time and place became a secondary concern, once the Doctor became aware that the Master was attempting to create instability in the universe by manipulating Logopolis. Tegan became further embroiled in the Doctor's cause once she discovered that the Master had in fact killed her aunt. Nevertheless, when she became stranded on a crumbling Logopolis with the Doctor, she became one of the few companions to travel in the Master's TARDIS. The trio journeyed to Earth's Pharos Project, which could stop the rampant entropy the Master had unleashed upon the universe. Once there, she witnessed the Doctor's near-fatal fall from the Project's radio telescope, and his subsequent regeneration. (DW: Logopolis).

After this, she did not abandon the Doctor, even though she was ostensibly in her proper time and place. Perhaps seeing that she would be facing some sort of criminal prosecution for trespass, she decided instead to throw her lot in with Nyssa, Adric and the newly-regenerated Doctor. She and Nyssa became critical to the effort to stabilize the Doctor's difficult regenerative process. Amongst other accomplishments, she became a temporary pilot for the TARDIS, and prevented it from being destroyed when it tried to travel past the Event One horizon. However, her success was tempered by the fact that the Master had manipulated the outcomes. (DW: Castrovalva) On the planet Deva Loka, Tegan was taken over by the Mara. (DW: Kinda) She later displayed at least a basic appreciation for cricket and a talent for dancing the Charleston. (DW: Black Orchid). She also encountered the Cybermen, and became angry with the Doctor's refusal to use the TARDIS to go back in time and rescue Adric from death. (DW: Earthshock)

Tegan was left behind at Heathrow Airport in her home time due to a misunderstanding (DW:Time-Flight). Later, after losing her job with the airline, she returned to the Doctor's side to search for her lost cousin, Colin Frazer, in Amsterdam. (DW: Arc of Infinity)

On Manussa, the Mara once more possessed her, and the Doctor claimed to have defeated it permanently. (DW: Snakedance) Back on Earth, Tegan met two different versions of the retired Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart who was teaching at a public school whose student population included the mysterious Turlough. She displayed a natural talent for character assessment when she immediately warmed to the former, while distrusting the later. (DW: Mawdryn Undead). Nyssa's decision to stay on Terminus to care for the Lazars affected her emotionally (DW: Terminus). She had a brief romance with the Eternal, Marriner, a being who didn't love her so much as want to live vicariously through her emotions. During the same adventure, she saw Turlough turn away from evil and reject the Black Guardian (DW: Enlightenment).

Eventually, the carnage surrounding the early phase of the Dalek civil war proved too much for her to bear. She bid an emotional, and somewhat accusatory, farewell to the Doctor and Turlough in 1984 London and ran off before the Doctor could respond. Even so, she seemed to reverse her decision. She ran back to where she thought the TARDIS would be, only to find that the Doctor had already departed. (DW: Resurrection of the Daleks).

Life after the Doctor

After leaving the TARDIS for the second time, Tegan apparently abandoned her more youthful dream of becoming an air stewardess. Instead, she returned to Brisbane and took over her father's company. In 2006, Tegan was briefly re-united with the Fifth Doctor, who discovered that she had been diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour. (BFA: The Gathering)

When the Fifth Doctor appeared in the Tenth Doctor's TARDIS, the Tenth Doctor wondered whether he was still travelling with Tegan, though the Fifth Doctor never said. (DW: Time Crash)


Tegan was stubborn, loud, and direct. She described herself as "just a mouth on legs" (DW: Earthshock). While she often bickered with her fellow travelers, her intrinsic honesty and morality proved useful. The Doctor once noted that these qualities made her a good coordinator. (DW: Castrovalva). She was also more likely to detect a threat to the Doctor's safety than her fellow companions. (DW: Castrovalva, Mawdryn Undead) Of her fellow travelers, she was likely closest to Nyssa, whose nature was in many ways the precise opposite of her own. Though morally indignant at the Doctor's apparent unwillingness to save Adric's life (DW: Earthshock), she was genuinely saddened when Nyssa left. (DW: Terminus)

Despite the strong front she adopted, she was actually quite insecure. This manifested itself most strongly in her inability to firmly decide whether she wanted to stay onboard the TARDIS. Even when she seemed most resolute in her determination to go, she quickly reversed herself. On both occasions when she left the TARDIS, it was the Doctor's act of dematerializing the TARDIS — and not her own unwavering desire to go — which firmly separated the two. (DW: Time-Flight, Resurrection of the Daleks) Seeing through Tegan's false bravado, the Doctor encouraged her to find her inner strength with the words, "Brave heart, Tegan." (DW: Earthshock, Warriors of the Deep, The Caves of Androzani, and others)

Other information

  • Tegan was able to speak one of the many indigenous Australian languages fluently and make sketches. (DW: Four to Doomsday)

Key life events

to be added

Behind the Scenes

Companions of the Fourth Doctor
Sarah Jane Smith  • Harry Sullivan  • Leela  • K-9 Mark I  • K-9 Mark II  • Romana (first incarnation)  • Romana (second incarnation)  • Adric  • Tegan Jovanka  • Nyssa
Other media
Sharon Davies  • Mike Yates
Companions of the Fifth Doctor
Adric  • Tegan Jovanka  • Nyssa  • Turlough  • Kamelion  • Peri Brown
Other media
Thomas Brewster  • Sir Justin  • Shayde  • Maxwell Edison  • Gus Goodman  • Erimem  • Antranak  • Amy
Companions of the Sixth Doctor
Peri Brown  • Melanie Bush
Other media
Frobisher  • Jason  • Crystal  • Zog  • Grant Markham  • Evelyn Smythe  • Will Hoffman  • Emily Chaudhry  • Charley Pollard  • Jamie McCrimmon  • Zoe Heriot


This article uses material from the "Tegan Jovanka" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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