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Doctor Who Companion Profile: Katarina

Adrienne Hill as Doctor Who Companion Katarina

Katarina

Portrayed by: Adrienne Hill

Doctor(s): First Doctor

Tenure: 2 stories, The Myth Makers (Nov, 1965) and The Dalek’s Master Plan (Nov, 1965)

Background: Katarina is a servant girl from Troy who is tasked with spying on Vicki when the Doctor and his Companions wind up there during the Trojan War. She befriends Vicki and ends up caring for the injured Steven, helping the Doctor carry him into the TARDIS, which convinces her the Doctor is Zeus. At the end of her first story, Katarina joins the Doctor and Steven aboard the TARDIS, though it will not be for long.

Family/Friends: We learn almost nothing about Katarina, due to her death only a few episodes into her time on the show.

Personality: Katarina is sweet and caring, a somewhat simple girl, unlike many of the allies or quasi-Companions from the past the Doctor would meet over the rest of the show’s run (such as Madame de Pompadour). She is devoutly religious, a Companion trait yet to be repeated in the nearly 50 years since her few appearances, and though the Doctor does his best to tell her he is not a god, she does not believe him. Katarina is brave, sacrificing herself to protect the Doctor and Steven, and her death has a tremendous impact on both Steven and the Doctor.

Special Skills: Unfortunately, Katarina doesn’t get the opportunity to display many skills, other than her bravery and unwavering devotion to the Doctor

Best Story: Katarina is barely in The Dalek’s Master Plan, so The Myth Makers? She doesn’t have a long enough tenure for this to really apply.

Worst Story: See above.

Highlights of tenure: Katarina’s self-sacrifice in The Dalek’s Master Plan is a punch to the gut, as effective now as it must have been when it first aired. This was the first time a Companion was killed (something that’s only been repeated once, with Adric) and while Katarina is only in two stories and is often forgotten among Companions, she more than earns the title.

Lowlights of tenure: Her constant marveling at technology, while accurate to her background, does get old quickly, despite her brief run

Memorable quotes:

Katarina: “I knew it was to come… That I was to die.”
The Doctor: “My dear child, you’re not dead. That’s nonsense.”
Katarina: “This is not Troy. This is not even the world. This is the journey through the beyond.”  The Myth Makers

Other notes: Katarina was conceived as an interesting contrast to departing Companion from the future Vicki, but producers quickly saw her limitations, given the character’s lack of understanding of even basic technological concepts (for example, she didn’t know what a key was). When they decided to write her out, they wanted to do so in as dramatic a way as possible, leading to her decision to shoot herself and her attacker (who was threatening the entire group) out the airlock, into space.


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