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Leela (Earth-12)
Leela-1-
Other names: Prisoner 270-G / Leelandredloomsagwinaechegesima
Actor: Louise Jameson

Leela was a warrior of the savage Sevateem, a tribe of regressed humans. She joined the Fourth Doctor on his travels and with him fought for good causes. She knew little of technology and was continually amazed by her surroundings and the tasks she faced. Leela never lost her primitive edge and remained quick to take up arms throughout her time with the Doctor.

She left the Doctor after she chose to live on Gallifrey with Andred, a member of the Chancellery Guard with whom she had fallen in love. K9 decided to remain with her.

History

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Death

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"Old One. I'm so... cold."

- Last Words of Leela

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Undated events

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Alternate Timelines

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Psychological profile

Personality

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Habits and Quirks

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Skills

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Appearance

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When a Rutan ship exploded above Fang Rock, pigmentation dispersal caused Leela's eye colour to change permanently from brown to blue. (DW: Horror of Fang Rock)

Relationships

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Behind the scenes

  • Leela wrote with her left hand and threw knives and performed other actions with her right, suggesting some degree of ambidexterity. (DW: The Invisible Enemy)
  • Leela was first conceived by producer Philip Hinchcliffe and script editor Robert Holmes. They wanted someone in the mould of Eliza Doolittle from George Bernard Shaw's play Pygmalion: a bright but unsophisticated primitive who would learn from the Doctor. Writer Chris Boucher had submitted a story proposal entitled "The Mentor Conspiracy". It featured a character named Leela which fit Hinchcliffe and Holmes's ideas. Although The Mentor Conspiracy was not produced, Boucher reused the character of Leela for The Day God Went Mad (later renamed The Face of Evil), seeing her as a mixture of Emma Peel from The Avengers and Leila Khaled. Boucher was asked to write two endings to the story, in one, Leela left with the Doctor and in the other she stayed behind. The decision to have Leela become a companion was made soon after.
  • Initially, Leela was to have only appeared in three stories. It was decided later she would stay for the remainder of Season 15. One consequence of this decision was a plot contrivance added to Horror of Fang Rock to allow the character's eye colour to change, so actress Louise Jameson would not have to wear uncomfortable coloured contact lenses.
  • Leela ranks as one of the most violent companions, regularly threatening or using deadly force against other humanoids. Although other companions sometimes killed, others have killed in spin-off productions and Ace racked up body counts in the New Adventures novels, Leela remains the only TV companion to be shown killing on a frequent basis.
  • Along with Irving Braxiatel, she is one of only two characters to play a major role in two audio spin-off series: Gallifrey and Jago and Litefoot.

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