June 21st, 2012


RIP, Caroline John

BBC news is reporting that Caroline John passed away last week.

Caroline John played Liz Shaw on Doctor Who. Whenever I look back, I'm always surprised at how important Liz was to me as a character: she appeared in just four stories, one of which I never got to see when I was a kid because the then-available video was in such poor shape that my local PBS station wouldn't broadcast it.

But when I was a little girl of 10 or 11, Liz Shaw was absolutely everything I wanted to be. She was a scientist; she was unashamedly intelligent; she had a wicked sense of humor; she got to save the world on a regular basis; and she wore fabulous boots. I can't remember any other character on television like her at the time.

It's hard to know how important such role models are, but it is surely not a coincidence that today I have a degree in chemistry, am known for being reasonably funny, and own a couple of pairs of fabulous boots. I've never saved the world, but I can probably fix your computer. Thanks, Caroline John, for helping little girls dream big.