Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Jackie Lane career biography

Jackie Lane (Dodo Chaplet) Born Jul 10 1941 (some sources say 1947, which is unlikely)

Doctor Who credits
Played: Dodo Chaplet in The Massacre of St Bartholomew's EveThe ArkThe Celestial ToymakerThe GunfightersThe SavagesThe War Machines (1966)


Jackie's non-Doctor Who appearances were credited to Jackie Lenya rather than Lane. Like her predecessor Carole Ann Ford (Susan Foreman), Jackie made an appearance on the pop panel show Juke Box Jury, where panellists listened to and then gave their opinion on the new releases of the week. Joining Jackie on her panel were Julia Lockwood and Sam Costa on the November 4th, 1961 edition. At the time Sam was a regular Juke Box Jury panellist, and was also known as a DJ on Thank Your Lucky Stars, while Julia Lockwood had been an actress since the age of six. It's not clear why Jackie was "known" enough to be on Juke Box Jury at this stage, however.

Jackie's first acting credit was playing a lady in waiting in the first part of The Caucasian Chalk Circle, an adaptation of Bertolt Brecht's play broadcast in November 1962. Jackie had a different minor role in the first three episodes - in episode 2 she was a wedding guest and in episode 3 she was a peasant (quite a fall from grace!). It also starred Avril Elgar, Donald Eccles (The Time Monster, 1972), Patrick Godfrey (The Savages, 1966, and The Mind of Evil, 1971), James Grout, Derek Newark (An Unearthly Child, 1963, and Inferno, 1970), Michael Robbins (The Visitation, 1982) and John Ringham (The Aztecs, 1964; The Smugglers, 1966, and Colony in Space, 1971). Parts 2 and 3 of this four-part serial are missing, but parts 1 and 4 survive in the BBC archives.

Jackie's next role was as secretary Rosemary Gray in the soap Compact, set in the world of magazine publishing. Jackie's debut came in the episode Auld Acquaintance (broadcast May 23rd, 1963) and she appeared in a total of nine episodes, ending on July 11th. Predictably, all of Jackie's episodes are now missing (in fact, of the 373 episodes made, only four survive!). Director on Jackie's first show was Paddy Russell, who went on to direct her first Doctor Who story, The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve, in 1966. In Jackie's second episode (Family Crisis), Alison (played by Betty Cooper) breaks the news to Rosemary (Jackie's character) that her father Geoffrey (played by Edward Evans from Image of the Fendahl, 1977) is still alive. Perusing the Radio Times synopses for these episodes suggests that Rosemary is advice columnist Alison's stepdaughter, as Rosemary's father is also Alison's husband. Keep up...

After leaving Compact, Jackie was reportedly offered the role of Susan Foreman in Doctor Who, but she turned it down, not wanting to get tied to the one long-running series. Instead, she got a one-off role in Granada soap Coronation Street episode 322, shown on January 13th, 1964. She played Cheryl in an episode also featuring Eileen Derbyshire, Arthur Lowe, Doris Speed, Jack Howarth, William Roache, Anne Reid (The Curse of Fenric, 1989, and Smith and Jones, 2007), Pat Phoenix, Violet Carson, Peter Adamson, Shirley Stelfox and Jon Rollason (The Web of Fear, 1968). Jackie's role of Cheryl was a fan of window cleaner Walter Potts (aka Brett Falcon), who was "discovered" by talent scout Dennis Tanner and played by real-life pop wannabe Christopher Sandford. When Dennis Tanner returned to the soap in 2011, he mentioned that Brett Falcon was now very popular in Yugoslavia. I wonder if Cheryl is still a fan?

On March 20th, 1964 Jackie appeared in her first of two episodes of The Villains, an anthology series with the theme of, well... villainy! In Amateurs, written by H V Kershaw and directed by Stuart Latham, Jackie played Rita, and was joined on the cast by Alan Rothwell, Philip Stone and Neil Seiler (The Sea Devils, 1972, and Death to the Daleks, 1974).

On May 30th, 1964 Jackie appeared in an episode of ABC's The Protectors called The Deadly Chameleon. How and why is a timid bank clerk connected to a baffling fraud case? If they are to save an innocent man's life, the Protectors must find the answer. But their dilemma is that the chief suspect has disappeared. Written by Brian Clemens (under a pseudonym), the episode featured Andrew Faulds, Ann Morrish and Michael Atkinson, with Peter Barkworth (The Ice Warriors, 1967) and Basil Dignam, and Jackie playing a bank clerk.

On February 5th, 1965, Jackie appeared in her second episode of anthology series The Villains, and this would also prove to be her last acting part before joining Doctor Who. Sonny was written by Robert Kemp and directed by Graeme McDonald, but the most interesting aspect of this episode is that the title character was played by another future Doctor Who companion, Frazer Hines! Jackie played Anne, plus there was also Dennis Chinnery (The Chase, 1965; Genesis of the Daleks, 1975; and The Twin Dilemma, 1984), David Graham (Dalek voice artist) and Jeremy Young (An Unearthly Child, 1963).

Jackie as Dodo in Doctor Who (1966)
In early December 1965, Jackie was cast as Dorothea "Dodo" Chaplet, the new companion to join William Hartnell and Peter Purves in the TARDIS for Doctor Who. She was contracted on December 29th for an initial run of 13 episodes, starting with the final episode of The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve. Jackie filmed her introductory scene on January 7th, 1966 (a shot of her running across Wimbledon Common and into the TARDIS), and joined the regular cast in studio on February 11th. She remained with the programme for a total of five stories, through to the end of the third broadcast season. On April 26th, the departure of both Steven and Dodo was announced to the press, and two days later, Jackie's contract was extended for one last run of eight episodes. She recorded her final scenes as Dodo on June 17th, 1966 for The War Machines episode 2, which was broadcast on July 2nd. Three days after Jackie had left the series, producer Innes Lloyd wrote to her to apologise for the abrupt nature of her departure.

Dodo is sent to the country to recover from being hypnotised by WOTAN, and is never seen again. Neither was Jackie Lane seen on television again as she quit acting to move into other areas (see below). However, she did make a very brief reappearance 47 years later, on November 23rd, 2013, in a video segment in the Doctor Who Live After Party. This is the only time she has recorded anything Doctor Who-related since June 1966.

Jackie Lane in 2013 for Doctor Who Live
Jackie gave up acting and became a secretary in the Australian embassy in Paris, and after that the head of an acting agency's voiceover department, representing Tom Baker, Janet Fielding and Nicholas Courtney. Jackie has become something of a Doctor Who enigma since her departure, preferring not to revisit her time on the show, but for those of you wondering what she looks like in latter days, here's a delightful video of her on a trip to Paris in 2010 with her friend Julian Davies.

Pictured at a signing for the CD soundtrack of The Ark in 2006
are Jackie Lane with co-stars Terence Bayler and Ian Frost

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