Even as savvy as the THT Brain Trust like to think it is, every once in a great while tiny bits of doubt creep into our collective consciousness. A short while ago we opined about the ‘completion’ of the readily accessible ‘companion’ galleries those actors from the classic series. Even a moments thought should have revealed the short-sightedness of this assertion and so the hunt began anew for some of those more companions of the classic era that could get a gallery of their own.
Say hello to your next net rabbit hole.
Jackie Lane was a Hartnell companion who came in at the very end of The Massacre and left halfway through The War Machines (the only companion who left mid-story without being killed during the story in question). For these and probably other reasons she wasn’t exactly the best remembered of companions, but a preliminary web search turned up the featured photo for this post as Jackie Lane, and that’s what set us thinking. The Dodo Chaplet we knew from the series looked, superficially we grant you, just enough like our search results that we were fooled, or at least given pause. After all, from what we could gather, the period for the photo was right, and perhaps this was Jackie Lane in a glamour shot from a different point in her career, either before or after her stint in Doctor Who. It was at least a possibility that our scattered, grab-bag attention span over the course of a few weeks couldn’t readily dismiss.
Then when we had a moment where we determined to resolve this as other images rose to our attention which confirmed the first though the doubt remained. Then we decided to go that little-known website IMDB and the truth revealed itself.
The Jackie Lane we were thinking about, as an actress, had her last career credit in Doctor Who. If IMDB is to be believed, she was originally offered the part of Susan in 1963 but decided against it because she didn’t want to be tied down to a one-year contract. Eventually in 1966, having only worked sporadically in between she accepted an offer to be Dodo. This time though the contract was only for four months and when it expired, halfway through a story, it wasn’t renewed. Upon leaving the business she worked as a secretary for the Australian embassy in Paris but eventually re-entered showbiz and became an agent who numbered amongst her clients Tom Baker and Janet Fielding (who would later become an agent herself).
The gal we were fooled by is Jocelyn Lane but who often was credited as Jackie Lane. Austrian by birth was did come early work in the UK before finding more success in the US, mostly as an ingenue in the 60’s sense of the word, even appearing in an Elvis movie. Her last credit was in 1970.
So you can see why the confusion lingered. But even resolving that was the easy part. Finding images of our Jackie Lane though, well that’s the lard part. And that odyssey … continues … slowly.