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Cult Spy Icon: Leela - 'Doctor Who'

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Cult Spy Icon: Leela - 'Doctor Who'
Sleazy thoughts were reverberating through the minds of many male Doctor Who fans across British living rooms in the late 1970s, as the leather clad companion Leela strutted around the galaxy alongside The Doctor. There was far more to her than mere eye candy material though.

Leela was very much a character in the Eliza Doolitle mode. A primitive warrior from the Sevateem tribe, The Doctor picked her up on his travels and tried to instill a bit of culture in her. Alongside her revealing garb (well, female warriors aren't going to wear a frock are they?), her fragmented, uneasy dialect was instantly noticeable. Deprived of a formal education, the savage relied on her poisonous Janus thorns and blade to do the talking, much to The Doctor's disapproval. However, her fighting skills did come in handy when it came to repelling the Sontaran threat. Nothing puts the message across quite like a knife through the probic vent.

The Doctor very much adopted a teacher-pupil stance with her, trying to introduce her to technology and culture. It was consistently enjoyable to see her eyes being opened to new sensations and concepts, with her very childlike naivety and innocence. However, her lack of any fashion knowledge meant that viewers were subjected to the monstrous Victorian garments she wore in Victorian London in 'The Talons of Weng Chiang'. Still, being attacked by a giant rat in the sewers was suitable punishment.

Leela was also the first companion to hook up with a certain metallic mutt called K-9 - long before Sarah Jane Smith laid her hands on a later model of the canine computer. Eventually, Leela found love on The Doctor's home planet Gallifrey. The heroic Time Lord missed her deeply, but gave her K-9 as a parting present. Rumours that she fell through The Rift and ended up in Albert Square as Beppe Di Marco's mother have yet to be confirmed.

> Click here for our interview with Louise Jameson, who played Leela

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