Interview with Janet Fielding (Tegan from Doctor Who)

There have been great Queenslanders and famous Queenslanders, real ones and imaginary, but only one has been to the end of the universe and back.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TotMWCvE37A

Brisbane-born actor Janet Fielding played Tegan Jovanka on Doctor Who from 1981-1984, accompanying Peter Davison's Doctor in the TARDIS as they battled monsters including Daleks, Cybermen, and spooky snake spirits. After her time on the show, Janet went on to a career as a theatrical agent and an advocate for women in film and television. Today, based in the UK, she is director of a community venture, Project Motorhouse.

The State Library's 2016 Creative in Residence, Matt Finch, spotted that both Janet and Tegan represented a unique corner of Queensland's history: proud Brisbanites who have appeared on TV screens around the world and been celebrated by fans for decades.

"It was a shock to realise Doctor Who's only Aussie companion was from the Sunshine State, and that our corner of Australia linked in to a global sci-fi phenomenon," said Matt. "Our job at the library is to inspire Queensland's creativity and serve as custodians of its memory; we wanted to be sure that generations to come had a full account of Janet's story."

Matt contacted ABC 612 presenter Spencer Howson, a lifelong Doctor Who fan, to conduct an interview for our digital archives.

Spencer and Janet spoke for 90 minutes about Janet's early life and move to London, her Doctor Who character and experiences in early 1980s TV production, and her subsequent work behind the scenes in the media. There's also a few cheeky surprises like her unexpected connection to Graham Kennedy's infamous "crow-call".

Listen to the full interview via our One Search catalogue.

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