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Polly Sara Kingdom Dodo

The Gunfighters
Dodo as in The Gunfighters

Facts

Played by: Jackie Lane
Tenure 5 February 1965-16 July 1966
First appearance
The Masacre (regular)
Last appearance
The War Machines (regular)
Number of series
1
Appearances 6 stories

Gallery

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The MassacreThe ArkThe War MachinesThe War MachinesThe GunfightersThe GunfightersThe Celestial ToymakerThe SavagesThe War Machines

Biography

Thanks to TARDIS WIkia

EARLY LIFE

Dodo was born in 1949. (Salvation) Her grandfather was French. Having just visited France in the era of the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, on hearing Dodo’s surname and her French ancestry, Steven speculated that Dodo was a descendent of the apparently doomed Anne Chaplet. This would mean that Anne had survived the massacre of the Huguenots on 24 August 1572. (The Massacre of St Bartholomew’s Eve)

Dodo went to live with her great-aunt Margaret before joining the First Doctor on his travels. Their relationship was likely strained. Dodo said that she would not be missed. (Bell of Doom) She expressed delight that she was not going back home any time soon. (The Steel Sky)

She was not a good student and likely never made it to sixth form, much less university. (Salvation) She neither spoke nor understood French, largely because she skipped her French lessons in school to learn how to kiss behind the school gymnasium. (The Man in the Velvet Mask)

Beyond these statements, accounts of her youth widely differed on details. According to one account, she grew up in one of the poorest parts of London. When her parents died, she moved in with an aunt (possibly not her Great-Aunt Margaret) who was wealthier than her parents and was a social climber. This afforded Dodo exposure to a wide variety of social experiences in her young life. She had difficulty believing that the squalid existence into which she had been born and the world to which her aunt aspired were part of the same reality. To cope, she continually reinvented herself according to her immediate situation, claiming to have “acted all [her] life”. Thus, her accent was situational. (The Man in the Velvet Mask)

An alternative account of her youth claimed that Dodo’s parents did not both die when she was young. Rather, her mother died in an accident. Her father suffered a mental breakdown and had to be hospitalised, but was still alive at the time of Dodo’s first encounter with the Doctor. Neither were they poor. This account of her life maintained that her parents were wealthy enough to take her to the Florida Everglades. This trip gave her a deep appreciation of the variety of life on Earth and a wish to see more of the world. Nevertheless, after the death of her mother from unknown causes, Dodo went to live with her great-aunt, Margaret. Amongst other things, she forced Dodo into elocution lessons. Dodo developed a “natural” and a “posh” accent. Life with her formal great-aunt also caused her to see herself in two ways: “Dorothea”, the proper young lady Margaret wanted her to be, and “Dodo”, the plain kid at school she probably really was. (Salvation)

NICKNAME

How she got the nickname “Dodo” was no clearer than anything else in her youth – other than it clearly being a diminutive of her given name “Dorothea”. According to one view, it was given to her by her classmates. At some time after she went to live with her great-aunt, she switched schools mid-term. Her new classmates ridiculed her north-of-London accent, thinking her ill-educated. They nicknamed her after the dodo, an extinct, stupid bird. Instead of rejecting the name, she tried to change people’s perception of the name by becoming “cool”. (Salvation) As an adult, she intimated to James Stevens that she didn’t know where it came from — though her memory was notably unreliable. (Who Killed Kennedy)

MEETING THE DOCTOR

Like later companion Tegan and her Aunt Vanessa, Dodo was one of only a few people to ever attempt to use the TARDIS as an actual police box. As a young adult in the1960s, Dodo saw a small boy knocked down by a car. Seeking help, she saw a police box on Wimbledon Common and entered it. Instead of a policeman, she found the Doctor. (The Massacre of St Bartholomew’s Eve)

Another account speculated that Dodo’s great-aunt also made her spend time helping an elderly neighbour do his shopping and other menial tasks. One night, an alien ship crashed nearby. Its pilot killed the neighbour and assumed his physical form. When Dodo learned what had happened to him, the alien kept her prisoner. When she escaped, she rushed across Wimbledon Common, heading for what she thought was a police box — but was, in fact, the TARDIS. According to this view, then, Dodo met the Doctor because she was fleeing from an alien. (Salvation)

INITIAL TRIP

Just as he had done with Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright, the Doctor dematerialised the TARDIS without giving his new passenger a choice in the matter. This time, however, the cause was different; two approaching policemen would have forced their way into the TARDIS had the Doctor not taken off. Steven protested, but wasn’t able to counter the Doctor’s logic. (Bell of Doom)

Dodo’s first trip in the TARDIS was in space, not time. They went to New York City in 1965, where they met and defeated the compatriots of Joseph, the alien who had briefly kidnapped her back in London. (Salvation)

OTHER TRAVELS

After New York, the TARDIS crew found themselves on the Ark. At first, Dodo thought they were at Whipsnade Zoo. She told the others that she had been there as a child, and displayed some knowledge of nature. Unfortunately, she had a cold, the virus of which was inadvertently passed on to the humans and Monoids in the Ark. As they had no resistance to it, it became a plague. Dodo, a caring person, was distraught that she had caused this terrible event. (The Ark)

Dodo’s caring nature was probably what made her dislike cheating and other unfair behaviour. Whilst this annoyance could be seen many times, it was most visible when the travellers met the Celestial Toymaker. It was his games, attitude and Cyril’s cheating which frustrated Dodo. (The Celestial Toymaker)

Whilst travelling with the Doctor, Dodo had one of her life-long wishes granted. She was keenly interested in the Wild West and said she had always wanted to meet Wyatt Earp. When the travellers arrived in the American West, the Doctor introduced Dodo as “Miss Dodo Dupont, wizard of the ivory keys”. During their time in this era the Doctor noted that Dodo was “fast becoming a prey to every cliché-ridden convention in the American West.” (The Gunfighters)

Despite this and the sad events on the Ark, Dodo’s interest and excitement were still evident as the travellers continued on their journey. She was not frightened to investigate on her own, and on the next planet she wandered off while the Doctor and Steven were busy with the Elders and the Savages. (In fact, Steven was heard to comment on this occasion: “If it wasn’t allowed, Dodo would be first in line!”) She had a look around the Elders’ City and discovered the laboratory of Senta, which was used for the life-force transference that kept the Elders alive. (The Savages) After Steven‘s departure, she travelled alone with the Doctor for an indefinite time. During this period, she recognised that the Doctor was becoming increasingly frail. At one point, he explicitly said she would have to leave the ship as Steven had done; he had to face the next phase of his life alone. During this melancholy period, when Dodo often had to nurse the Doctor, they arrived in a kind of alternate timeline in France, and defeated a man intent on unleashing a virus that could have taken over the world

While on this “alternate Earth” Dodo believed she contracted the virus by losing her virginity to a known carrier — although it was not definitively known if she had the condition diagnosed. When asked, she said that she wanted to keep the virus as a reminder of the world that had been lost when the timeline righted itself. (The Man in the Velvet Mask)

While accompanying the Doctor to a planet that was in the grip of a crystalline parasite, Dodo wondered, not for the first time, if she was cut out for adventure. (There are Fairies at the Bottom of the Garden)

At some point thereafter, the Doctor and she arrived in 1966 London and discovered the sentient computer WOTAN and its War Machines. WOTAN conditioned her to betray the Doctor. The Doctor broke her conditioning and sent Dodo to the country to recuperate. Dodo never returned. She sent a message with Polly, saying she had decided to stay in London. (The War Machines)

LIFE AFTER THE DOCTOR

Accounts of Dodo’s life after leaving the TARDIS differed.

By one account, Dodo suffered severe and recurrent psychiatric problems as a result of having been controlled by WOTAN. Shuttled from hospital to hospital, she was eventually sent to the Glasshouse, where she was interrogated brutally by its director, the Master, about the Doctor. Turned out into the street, the homeless Dodo eventually met and fell in love with journalist James Stevens, at that time investigating UNIT. While Stevens was being interviewed on a live television broadcast, Dodo was murdered by Francis Cleary, a former UNIT soldier, Glasshouse patient and another of the Master’s hypnotically controlled pawns. Only after her death did Stevens learn that she had been carrying his child.

The actress was played by Sophie Holt in the 50th Anniversary drama An Adventure In Space And Time, a documentary on how the show was first created, and aired on 23 November 2013

borrowed Images thanks to Patheos , Mooswatches, sofa of rassion, siskoid

Related Links

War Machines DVD
Lost in Time DVD

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