Tegan Jovanka was an Australian air stewardess trainee who wandered into the Fourth Doctor’s TARDIS when she mistook it for a genuine police box. She quickly became embroiled in the events surrounding the Doctor’s regeneration and found herself a somewhat unwilling passenger of the Fifth Doctor, as he failed to successfully return her to her proper time and place. Tegan was one of the few companions to have parted company with the Doctor and then return for a significant number of adventures.
She was joined in her travels at various times by Adric, Nyssa, Turlough, Kamelion and, briefly, the Brigadier. She played the Game of Rassilon in the Death Zone on Gallifrey, where she also met the First, Second and Third Doctors, along with Susan Foreman and Sarah Jane Smith.
Tegan’s relatively long tenure of service onboard the TARDIS belied an ambivalence about travel with the Doctor. Even through her final glimpse of the TARDIS, she vacillated between wanting to stay and wanting to go.
Tegan was stubborn, loud and direct, once describing herself as “just a mouth on legs.” (TV: Earthshock) While she often bickered with her fellow travelers, her intrinsic honesty and morality proved useful. The Doctor once noted that these qualities made her a good coordinator. (TV: Castrovalva) She was also more likely to detect a threat to the Doctor’s safety than her fellow companions. (TV: Castrovalva, Mawdryn Undead)
Of her fellow travelers, she was likely closest to Nyssa, whose controlled nature was in many ways the precise opposite of her own. (TV: Castrovalva) She was indignant at the Doctor’s apparent unwillingness to save Adric’s life (TV: Earthshock) and genuinely saddened when Nyssa left. (TV: Terminus)
On Deva Loka, Tegan argued with Adric after he suggested she was too weak-minded to defy the Mara and that the ensuing chaos was her fault. (TV: Kinda) However, she also showed concern for Adric’s well-being when he was captured and tortured by the Master, (TV: Castrovalva) and grieved for him after his death. (TV: Time-Flight)
Although she despised violence, (TV: Resurrection of the Daleks) she would resort to it under extreme circumstances. When the Master threatened the Doctor in March 1215, Tegan immediately threw a knife at him. (TV: The King’s Demons) She also killed a Cyberman in 2526. (TV: Earthshock)
The Doctor often encouraged her to find her inner strength with the words, “Brave heart, Tegan”, which he saw her saying as he regenerated. (TV: The Caves of Androzani) Although she told him that she found it annoying and asked him never to say it again, he did so on numerous subsequent occasions. (AUDIO:Psychodrome) Tegen herself muttered those word to herself after leaving the TARDIS and watching it de-materialize. (TV: Resurrection of the Daleks)