Jackie Lane (born Jacqueline Joyce Lane in Manchester on 10 July 1941, died 23 June 2021) played the First Doctor's companion Dodo Chaplet from the conclusion of The Massacre to the second episode of The War Machines.
Jackie was born to her parents, John and Ena.
Acting was something she had always had a passion for. This passion developed from her early exposure to the theatrical world as a child, as a result of her father's job as a stage costumer. She started in amateur theatrics at her school, before getting work in repertory theatre.
She spent the start of the 1960s taking small parts at the Library Theatre Manchester, before moving to London in 1962. One of these parts was in John Wiles' Never Had It So Good, which ran from 14 February to 11 March 1961. During this time, she had also appeared on Juke Box Jury.
In most of her years as a professional TV actress, she went under the stage name Jackie Lenya but amended it in 1966 to Jackie Lane after the name had become available for her to use without confusion. As a result, most of her TV work is under the Lenya name instead of Lane. (There had been another actress already being credited under the name Jackie Lane over in the US in 1962.)
Lane was actually considered as a candidate for the role of Susan Foreman in 1963 as a result of her recurring role on Compact that year, but withdrew herself from consideration when she discovered a year-long contract was involved. According to The Handbook: The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to the Production of Doctor Who, although she attended an interview, she was never actually outright offered the part. This was clarified by Lane herself - with the addition of claiming that she had initially been told before the interview that it was only for a six-part TV commitment and felt a year-long contract would not suit her.
She then went on to make appearances in Coronation Street, The Protectors and The Villains. After these, she was approached to audition for the part of Dodo (Lane suspected this was due to her previous work with Wiles in 1961). Ultimately, she was contracted for the role on 29 December 1965.
Lane claimed that Innes Lloyd did not consult with her regarding her departure from the show and merely let her contract expire. Her final day of filming was the recording of episode two of The War Machines on 17 June 1966.
After her work on Doctor Who, Lane left the acting industry and became a diplomatic secretary in Paris for some time.
She then returned to the UK to start up an antiques shop and later went on to become a theatrical agent. Amongst those that she represented was Tom Baker, who would play the Fourth Doctor in 1974, and Janet Fielding, who would play companion Tegan Jovanka in 1981 & herself later become a theatrical agent.
In 1991, Lane attended a convention for the first time - Manopticon 1 - in large part because it was raising funds for Christie's Hospital. When recollecting it in 1992, she referred to it as "the one and only one" (though she did also describe it as a "wonderful" experience) and said that she doubted she would do another one "unless there was a very good reason". As of 2021, no record has yet been found of her having attended any other conventions during her lifetime - though she did on occasion do private autograph signing opportunities via Fantom Films.
Lane did not appear on any of the Doctor Who DVDs to discuss her time on the show. According to Richard Bignell, this was due to her wishing not to repeatedly go over old career work that she'd already discussed in detail.
On 23 November 2013, Lane made a rare television appearance, passing along anniversary greetings during Doctor Who Live: The Afterparty. During the 2020 COVID-19 outbreak, she made a brief appearance in Fantom Films' Time-Space Visualiser online convention, sending her greetings to Doctor Who fans.
Lane passed away on 23 June 2021 at the age of 79 (DWM 567 mistakenly gave the incorrect date as 7 June), just under three weeks short of her 80th birthday. Her death was announced shortly afterwards, and no cause of death has been disclosed.
Until her passing, Lane was the last surviving companion actor of the classic series who never recorded a role for Big Finish Productions (although during her lifetime, Dodo had been represented in several Companion Chronicles and Short Trips audio adventures via narration done by others, notably by her co-star Peter Purves).
- Doctor Who Live: The Afterparty - appearance
- Internet Movie Database at the
- Doctor Who Guide
- MM VHS 24
- Never Had It So Good stage programme, Library Theatre production [copy as held at the Central Library Manchester in their Special Collection, Dewey Class ref. TH792.094273; online catalogue record at https://manchester.spydus.co.uk/cgi-bin/spydus.exe/ENQ/RARE/BIBENQ?BRN=1982103]
- BBC Genome
- Doctor Who The Handbook: The First Doctor
- Time Space Visualiser 1