Caroline Frances John (19 September 1940 - 5 June 2012) was an English actress who played companion Liz Shaw in Doctor Who during its seventh season. She revived the character for the BBV P.R.O.B.E. video series, as well as the Big Finish Companion Chronicles line of audios.
On Doctor Who Edit
As the essential role of the companion in Doctor Who is to ask a lot of questions which the viewers might be asking themselves, incoming producer Barry Letts, who had "inherited" her from his predecessor Derrick Sherwin, considered her character unsuitable and did not renew her contract — thus Liz ended up leaving without a proper departure scene. As Caroline was pregnant at the time, she might have had to resign had Letts exercised his option on her.
Caroline reprised the role of Liz in the anniversary episode The Five Doctors, where her character's unearthly scream of "Stop him!" is still fondly remembered by Doctor Who fans. Liz later popped up in the special episode Dimensions in Time, part of the BBC's annual Children in Need appeal. Shaw later returned as the star of the BBV spin-off video series, P.R.O.B.E.. Beginning in the late 2000s, Caroline resurrected Liz for a series of five entries in the first seven seasons of Big Finish's Companion Chronicles.
A popular story told by Caroline John recounted how, in preparing for her role on Doctor Who, she purchased a dictionary of scientific terminology, then found that all the technical terms the writers had her character use were made up.[source needed]
Other work Edit
In addition to her role as Liz Shaw, Caroline John appeared as Laura Lyons in a 1982 televised version of The Hound of the Baskervilles, starring Tom Baker as Sherlock Holmes. She also appeared in episodes of Z-Cars, Casualty, The House of Elliot, and EastEnders.
Personal life Edit
Caroline was married to Geoffrey Beevers, who is best known for playing the Master in The Keeper of Traken. The couple performed in two Doctor Who productions together: once during her televised run on Doctor Who — when he played UNIT Private Johnson in The Ambassadors of Death — and again in the Big Finish Productions audio, Dust Breeding. The couple also appeared in the P.R.O.B.E. episodes The Devil of Winterborne and Unnatural Selection.
Although Caroline died on 5 June 2012, her death was not actually announced publicly until the BBC issued a statement on Twitter on 21 June. According to her agent, she died of cancer.
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