Ramsgate resident and actress Janet Fielding will return to the screen in a special episode of Dr Who – reprising her role of Doctor companion Tegan Jovanka.
The episode, marking the BBC Centenary, is the finale of the 13th Dr Who, Jodie Whittaker.
The reappearance of Tegan and also Ace (Sophie Aldred) was revealed in a trailer for the special episode which will air on BBC later this year on a date to be announced.
Janet first played Tegan in the series in 1981, finding the Tardis while she was on her way to start a job as an air stewardess.
Her character remained on the show until 1984, appearing in 64 episodes opposite f the fourth Doctor -Tom Baker – and the fifth – Peter Davison.
The special episode will also feature enemies the Master, Daleks and Cybermen,
Janet has previously reprised her role for Big Finish’s series of Doctor Who audio plays, as well as in other sketches and DVD/Blu-ray bonus features but this is the first return to the TV series in almost four decades.
Janet said: “Dr Who is like a family and everyone knows that it’s well nigh impossible to leave your family. I have been doing the Big Finish Dr Who audio series with my Tardis team from the classic era for years and a lot of fun it is too. But I absolutely love the modern telly series. When they asked me to come back, I was so deeply flattered, I didn’t even think about it; I said ‘yes’ immediately.
“Then I freaked. Acting in the Big Finish audio plays is one thing but I hadn’t done any acting on camera since the late 1980s. Doing it in vision is like driving a car, it involves a lot of multi-tasking and requires its own distinctive focus and co-ordination. As to learning lines, we used to get plenty of rehearsal in ‘them thar days’. There’s no rehearsal these days and there’s a lot more action. I was going to turn 68 during filming; would I be up to it physically? How would I fit it in and around Project MotorHouse, which is the charity I run in Ramsgate?
“Luckily worrying has always been my favourite hobby. And what with Covid meaning that I might not even make it onto the set at all and my thinking what a crushing disappointment that would be, I was in my element.
“It turned out to be the most joyous experience. Sophie Aldred and I had a blast – literally. We were treated like royalty. Jodie Whittaker, Mandip Gill, John Bishop and Jemma Redgrave were so kind and lovely. Chris Chibnall’s script was really exciting. “Everyone on the production were so good, so professional and the director Jamie Stone is clearly going to be a big star, and my colleague Jo Mapp picked up my slack at Project MotorHouse. When can I do it all again?!”
Janet lives in Ramsgate and is at the head of Project MotorHouse working with Thanet youngsters.
The Project had been due to take over the West Cliff Hall, working since 2009 to acquire and renovate the site to create cinemas; theatres; bars; restaurants, offices and youth facilities.
However, issues over the structural deterioration of the site and then Thanet council’s decision to auction it ended those plans. The site, which was sold in 2018 for £225,000, remains unused.
Project MotorHouse, however, continues, taking a programme of youth involvement in arts, photography and more, out to schools and the community.