Obit of the Day: “Dr. Elizabeth Shaw”
In 1970, as Doctor Who was transitioning from the outer reaches of space to the more grounded realities of Earth, it was decided to give the Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee) a new type of companion. Dr. Elizabeth “Liz” Shaw, played by Caroline John, was intelligent, calm, and yet adventurous. She made her first appearance in Spearhead From Space and her last in Inferno.
At the end of the 1970 season, Caroline John - and therefore Dr. Shaw - left the show as she was expecting her first child. John would re-appear as Liz Shaw in several 1990 straight-to-video episodes as well as the 1983 special The Five Doctors.
Following her time with Doctor Who, Caroline Shaw would appear on the London stage, most famously in an all-female production of Waiting for Godot alongside Lynn and Vanessa Redgrave. On BBC, she would pop-up on Agatha Christie’s Poirot and Harry Enfield’s Television Programme. She would also appear in the film Love Actually. You can find her full filmography here.
Caroline John died at the age of 71.
(Image of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart played by Nicholas Courtney, The Doctor played by Jon Pertwee, and Dr. Liz Shaw played by Caroline John is courtesy of io9.com)
Note: Two other companions of the Third Doctor, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart and Sarah Jane Smith have passed away since February 2011. Click on the links to read OOTD’s posts.