Lalla Ward


Lalla Ward as  Cesca possible (Lalla Ward) (125 kbytes) - Click to enlarge

Lalla Ward as Cesca possible (Lalla Ward)

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Lalla Ward
Born Lady Sarah Ward (daughter of Lord and Lady Bangor - Edward and Marjorie Ward) Lalla Ward first came to general public attention in the BBC drama series 'The Duchess of Duke Street'. She then moved to Doctor Who, playing the assistant to Tom Baker's Doctor, replacing Mary Tamm as the timelord (timelady?) Romana. Ward was one of the most popular assistants in the series, rivalling the much respected and desired Elisabeth Sladen. Being from the doctor's home planet of Gallifrey she was able to speak to the doctor on equal terms, sometimes eclipsing him. Empowered and resourceful she was better in all ways than the dreadful, loud and useless Tegan - for which the series is unfairly sometimes better remembered. The best stories Ward appeared in include 'City of Death' (with Julian Glover), Shada (penned by Douglas Adams though never completed because of industrial action at the BBC, yet still available on video with linking narration by Tom Baker) and 'State Of Decay'. She also appeared as Princess Astra in 'The Armageddon Factor' alongside Mary Tamm in her last story as the original Romana.

When asked who was her favourite Dr Who monster she famously replied "Tom Baker" - they were married for a short time. Initially, on the series she was one of the few people to really get on well with Baker and brought to her role an intelligence, seriousness and resolve that helped the stories for a while. Post Ward the production team reverted to less bright assistants such as Peri Brown and Tegan - presumaby as they more easily allowed the assistant to be used as a device to explain the story to the audience.

After Doctor Who, Ward gave more time to her career as an illustrator. These projects include books by her husband, the eminent biologist Dr Richard Dawkins, such as 'Climbing Mount Improbable' . They were introduced by their friend Douglas Adams. In recent years she has reprised her role of Romana in the 'Big Finish' series of audio Doctor Who advantures and has been a popular and interesting guest at conventions.

Ward's movie credits include Helga in Hammer's 'Vampire Circus' (1971).


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