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Tegan Jovanka is a fictional character played by Janet Fielding in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. An Australian airline stewardess and a native of Brisbane who was a companion of the Fourth and Fifth Doctors, she was a regular in the programme from 1981 to 1984.
Tegan was the longest-serving companion in terms of continuous years on the series (3 years, 1 month), closely followed by Sarah Jane Smith (whom Tegan briefly meets in the serial The Five Doctors). Jamie McCrimmon was in more episodes and serials than Tegan, while Rose Tyler and Amy Pond were in more serials, but not as many episodes. Sarah Jane was the longest-serving companion non-continuously and Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart had the longest non-continuous run when the official BBC spin-off programmes are included. In terms of actual contact time spent with the Doctor, the longest running companion is Handles, the severed Cyberman head who spent over 300 years at the Doctor's side during the Siege of Trenzalore.
According to producer John Nathan-Turner, when he was thinking of a name for the character, it was either going to be Tegan, after his partner's niece in Australia, or Jovanka, after Jovanka Broz, the widow of Yugoslavian President Josip Broz Tito, so he wrote both down on a piece of paper. Script editor Christopher H. Bidmead mistakenly believed that Jovanka was the character's last name rather than an alternative, and so christened her Tegan Jovanka.
Notes for Tegan