Katarina (Doctor Who)

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Doctor Who character
C6 - Katarina.jpg
Katarina
Affiliated First Doctor
Species Human
Home planet Earth
Home era 1st century BC
First appearance The Myth Makers
Last appearance The Daleks' Master Plan
Portrayed by Adrienne Hill

Katarina is a fictional character played by Adrienne Hill in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who appearing in the programme from November to December 1965. Only a single episode to feature her still exists in the BBC archives.

An inhabitant of ancient Troy, she was a brief companion of the First Doctor. The character was devised to act as a companion. However this was re-evaluated by the writers and Katarina was killed off during the following serial having appeared in just five episodes. As such, she was the first companion in the series to die. The writers, including producer John Wiles decided to write out Katarina as soon as possible, as they realized the writing challenges that came with the character. The writing challenges included the fact that the character was so very unused to modern concepts. For example, Katarina did not even know what a key was. However, they decided to write her out in the most dramatic way possible.

Her role as companion within The Daleks' Master Plan was given to the character of Sara Kingdom, who was also killed off in the same story.[1]

Character history[edit]

Katarina is introduced in the serial The Myth Makers, which takes place in during the siege of Troy around 1200 BC. She is a handmaiden of the prophetess Cassandra, who was also the princess of Troy. Before meeting the Doctor she was little more than a slave. During the Myth Makers, she was sent by Cassandra to spy on the First Doctor and his friends, particularly Vicki Pallister, known to her as Cressida. Katarina befriends Vicki, who sent her to help the Doctor get Steven back into the TARDIS after a spear thrust had badly injured him. Katarina tended to his wounds and helps the TARDIS crew survive the events of the Troy siege. She joins Steven and the Doctor on their travels while Vicki decides to stay behind in Troy with the warrior Troilus.

A sweet, simple young woman who cannot really cope with the concept that the universe has suddenly opened up to her, Katarina believes that she is dead, and that the Doctor is a god transporting her to the next life. She refers to the TARDIS as a "temple" and also the "Palace of Perfection", and literally worships the Doctor, referring to him as "Lord" (much to his annoyance) and having absolute faith in him. She believes that the Doctor was the god Zeus and that he had come to take her on a journey in his temple to the real Palace of Perfection. Despite the Doctor's protests, she remains set in this belief.

Even though this was the first time the Doctor met Katarina, it wasn't the first time Katarina met the Doctor.[2] Katarina first met the Seventh Doctor when she was a little girl. As the Doctors looked different, she was unaware that they were the same person. She spoke to him of her ambition to serve as a handmaid to a priestess because her poor family could not afford to feed her any longer. The Doctor gave her family a gold coin, which would feed them for a year. However, on learning Katarina's name, the Doctor realized that she would die young as he has already witnessed it in his personal timeline.

During The Daleks' Master Plan, Katarina is taken hostage by the escaped prisoner Kirksen, who demands that the Doctor take him to Kembel, a planet taken over by the Daleks. To prevent the Doctor giving in to Kirksen's demands, she chooses to trigger the controls to the airlock she is being held in, propelling both herself and her captor into the vacuum of space.

Despite her brief tenure on the series, Katarina is significant for being the first of the Doctor's companions to die on-screen. After the Doctor had defeated the Daleks, Steven said that he had seen too much death lately; the sacrifice of Katarina weighed on his mind, among others.

Much later, on the ruined world of Adeki, the Seventh Doctor found one of several Gwanzulums, beings who used their shapeshifting powers to pass themselves off as some of the Doctor's past companions, including Katarina.[3] Before he realized the ruse, the false Katarina tried to have him take her off the planet. Later, Ace comes across the ghost of Katarina in the form of an eternally frozen girl of ice, in the Doctor's guilty mind. In Katarina's afterlife, she finds herself without a coin and unable to cross the River Styx. However, due to the intervention of the Doctor (or her idea of him), she found her way not only to Asphodel where all souls who had done neither good nor evil would go, but to the Elysian Fields, the abode of the blessed.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Howe, Stammers[page needed]
  2. ^ Doctor Who Magazine 178 - Brief Encounter: An Unfulfilled Dream by Karen Dunn
  3. ^ Doctor Who Magazine 141-142;"Planet of the Dead" (Comic);Writer: John Freeman, Artist: Lee Sullivan

References[edit]

External links[edit]