Companion reign : 1977 – 78
“You touch me again! …….and I’ll FILLET YOU!” Leela – The Sunmakers.
Savage warrior princess undergoes Pygmalion transformation
Leela (Louise Jamieson) was a warrior maiden of the Tribe – ‘The Sevateem’, whom the Doctor took as a companion in The Face Of Evil – 1977, as she had been banished, under threat of death for helping him.
Leela was something of a savage and the Fourth Doctor spent much of their time attempting to civilize her, in a Sci-Fi version of Pygmailion. Leela was quick to pull a knife when threatened – or permanently paralyze an opponent with a deadly piercing Janus thorn, (a toxic plant from her homeworld). This was not something the Doctor was happy with – being a pacifist, himself.
However, Leela’s savagery proved useful and she became something of a personal bodyguard to the Doctor, especially when the Timelord was under attack.
Leela was, (in terms of Who companion progression) another step up in (extremely) strong feminism from previous companion – Sarah-Jane Smith but she didn’t have it all her own way. As she was forced to wear a rather skimpy costume, which left little to the imagination. It did however, prove popular with dads – from a viewing figure perspective.
In her time with the Doctor, Leela was to become less rough around the edges, the Doctor even persuaded Leela to wear ‘civilised’ different period costume, such as in The Talons Of Wing Cheng – 1977. When the Doctor took Leela to the theatre in Victorian London.
Her eyes even changed colour from Brown to Blue in Horror Of Fang Rock – 1977,which was attributed to Leela witnessing the explosion of the Rutan ship (behind the scenes, actress Louise was struggling with wearing contacts, week in-week out).
Leela travelled with the Doctor until the Doctor returned to Gallifrey in Invasion Of Time – 1978 where she met and fell in love with Andred, a Gallifreyan guard.
She decided to stay behind on Gallifrey with him and K9 Mk-I.