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Caroline John RIP.
June 21, 2012 5:47 AM   Subscribe

Caroline John who played Liz Shaw, the Third Doctor's companion in the Earth-bound 1970 season of Doctor Who has died. Hers was the first of the Doctor's companions who could be seen as anything like an equal and inspired many of us to follow her into the science profession.
posted by feelinglistless (41 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
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posted by Blue Jello Elf at 6:02 AM on June 21, 2012


Hers was the first of the Doctor's companions who could be seen as anything like an equal and inspired many of us to follow her into the science profession.

Enough so that the protagonist in Prometheus is a scientist named Elizabeth Shaw.

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posted by furtive at 6:12 AM on June 21, 2012 [13 favorites]


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posted by redheadedstepchild at 6:14 AM on June 21, 2012


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posted by xingcat at 6:20 AM on June 21, 2012


We'll always have Spearhead and Inferno.
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I hoped they might sneak her in the new show.
I do not like this trend.
posted by Mezentian at 6:23 AM on June 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by humph at 6:31 AM on June 21, 2012


Very sad.

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posted by pemberkins at 6:32 AM on June 21, 2012


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posted by SentientAI at 6:34 AM on June 21, 2012


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posted by theartandsound at 6:34 AM on June 21, 2012


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posted by drezdn at 6:36 AM on June 21, 2012


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posted by Artw at 6:37 AM on June 21, 2012


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posted by Renoroc at 6:40 AM on June 21, 2012


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posted by localroger at 6:45 AM on June 21, 2012


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posted by tilde at 6:46 AM on June 21, 2012


Oh no. I've always thought she was one of the companions that deserved to be revisited—a sharp-tongued, informed skeptic who bucked the usual trend of companions constantly asking "why, Doctor?" as an excuse for exposition. There was always a bit of "WTF?" in her dialogue, which was refreshing.
posted by sonascope at 6:49 AM on June 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


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posted by ubiquity at 6:50 AM on June 21, 2012


From Christopher Bahn's reviews of classic Dr. Who over at the AV Club:

"And Caroline John would leave the show as well, which is both understandable and a missed opportunity. My impression is that the producers didn't really know what to do with a strong, smart female character. More than most companions, Liz was nearly the Doctor's equal. Her cynicism and skepticism was a good quality for a scientist, but also a sometimes offputting character tic. She was replaced by a far sunnier but far less bright assistant in Katy Manning's Jo Grant—whose qualifications to help the Doctor, as described by the Brigadier in "Terror of the Autons," are "someone to pass you your test tubes and tell you how brilliant you are." Don't get me wrong, I like Jo's character quite a bit, but that's a pretty big step backwards. Pertwee's final year would introduce Elisabeth Sladen as Sarah Jane Smith, who split the difference between Jo's charm and Liz's brains, and I don't think it's coincidental that Sarah Jane is widely considered to be the quintessential Doctor Who companion. But it's too bad Liz Shaw didn't get more than one season."
posted by Rangeboy at 6:55 AM on June 21, 2012 [6 favorites]


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posted by MCMikeNamara at 6:58 AM on June 21, 2012


How sad!

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posted by MelanieL at 7:09 AM on June 21, 2012


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posted by MissySedai at 7:24 AM on June 21, 2012


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posted by Smart Dalek at 7:24 AM on June 21, 2012


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posted by brilliantmistake at 7:26 AM on June 21, 2012


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posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 7:33 AM on June 21, 2012


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posted by mrgroweler at 7:34 AM on June 21, 2012



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posted by Mad_Carew at 7:37 AM on June 21, 2012


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posted by stoneweaver at 7:49 AM on June 21, 2012


I came in here to say something like what that AV Club quote from Rangeboy said. Liz Shaw was a great character before her time. I was hoping we'd see her in the 50th anniversary but now that won't happen.

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posted by immlass at 8:09 AM on June 21, 2012


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posted by vibrotronica at 8:13 AM on June 21, 2012


Liz Shaw was one of the greatest companions to the Doctor. Her time with the Doctor was far too short. Rest in peace Caroline and Liz.
posted by MrBobaFett at 8:17 AM on June 21, 2012


Agree with others. Very short time on the show. I remember being distinctly surprised that she was suddenly not there.
posted by juiceCake at 8:27 AM on June 21, 2012


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posted by radwolf76 at 8:50 AM on June 21, 2012


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I hope she realized over time just how inspiring she was in that role -- a strong female character on a popular show who was willing to question and challenge the Doctor and not take things at face value.
posted by zarq at 9:48 AM on June 21, 2012


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posted by Schadenfreude at 10:28 AM on June 21, 2012


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posted by Start with Dessert at 10:35 AM on June 21, 2012


Hers was the first of the Doctor's companions who could be seen as anything like an equal

Technically true. Barbara Wright was clearly superior to the Doctor.

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posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 10:39 AM on June 21, 2012 [6 favorites]


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posted by Gelatin at 12:29 PM on June 21, 2012


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posted by twidget at 1:50 PM on June 21, 2012


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posted by ZeusHumms at 3:05 PM on June 21, 2012


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posted by kuppajava at 5:38 PM on June 21, 2012


Okay, the Brigadier, Sarah Jane, and Liz Shaw all within a year and a half is just awful. Truly unfair. All I can think of is that the afterlife decided to have a Doctor Who convention, and wanted to fill out the best Third Doctor panel ever.

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posted by ilana at 7:14 PM on June 21, 2012


io9 has an article on how she helped save Doctor Who.
posted by Mezentian at 12:05 AM on June 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


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