Doctor Who's encounter with Worthen android maker

A trip back in time to reveal Doctor Who’s days as a pupil at a religious college in Shropshire has uncovered another dramatic link for the county with the long-running television serial.

Lois Baxter playing Janice Quinn, a young prisoner in the prison drama Within These Walls in 1974.
Lois Baxter playing Janice Quinn, a young prisoner in the prison drama Within These Walls in 1974.

We told in a recent feature how Tom Baker, the actor who played the Doctor from 1974 to 1981, attended as a youngster St Joseph’s College at Pell Wall Hall, near Market Drayton, run by the French Catholic order, the De La Mennais Brothers, otherwise known as the Brothers of Christian Instruction. It seems he later went to St Edward’s College at Cheswardine Hall, which opened in 1950 and was run by the same Order.

And that feature prompted John Edwards of Shrewsbury to drop us a line.

“I thought you would like to know that his Doctor Who assistant was Lois Baxter, a doctor’s daughter from Worthen,” he told us.

“Dr Baxter’s wife Christine Baxter ran Worthen players amateur dramatic society for many years, around 1960, where Lois became involved with acting. Lois now lives down south but she was a Shropshire girl for many years.”

As Madame Lamia in Doctor Who.

Mr Edwards, who is 86, knew of the Baxters as he was in the next village.

“My firm Westbury Garage started at Westbury, and they would always come in. Westbury was the next village. I played football for Welshpool and Worthen.

“He used to have one of those VW camper vans.”

According to fan sites Lois played Madame Lamia in the Doctor Who story The Androids of Tara, broadcast as a four-part serial in 1978 and with a Prisoner of Zenda-style plot. Her character’s role was constructing androids.

The episodes included a classic Doctor Who quote: “Do you mind not standing on my chest? My hat’s on fire.”

At Ludlow Festival in 1983, when the Shakespearean production was Antony and Cleopatra. From left, Carol Walker (play director's wife), Councillor Dilys Poole (mayor of Ludlow) and members of the cast, Lois Baxter, Kit Jackson and Paul Shelley.

Lois, who got zapped in episode three, was not actually Doctor Who’s time-travelling companion, who back then was Romana played by Mary Tamm.

Lois also featured in many familiar television shows, including Coronation Street, with her acting heyday seeming to be in the 1970s.

Born in Bridgwater, Somerset, in 1947, the family later moved to Millfields, Worthen, her father John being a GP in the village for many years.

Lois attended Shrewsbury High School from 1951 to 1959 when she left for boarding school at Moreton Hall, near Weston Rhyn.

Visiting Shrewsbury Flower Show in 1973.

She was in Corrie as Baldwin’s Casuals machinist Marie Stanton, making intermittent appearances between November 1976 and January 1977.

By 1976 she was married and living in London.

She was Lady Caroline in the period drama When the Boat Comes In, and other appearance include The Black Stuff, Spyder’s Web, Within These Walls, Hadleigh, Z-Cars, Dickens of London, Owen MD, All Creatures Great and Small, Bergerac, Dempsey & Makepeace, Holby City and The Bill.

And Lois has returned to Shropshire from time to time, and was among the cast of Antony and Cleopatra at Ludlow Festival in 1983.

Most Read

Most Read

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Top Stories

More from the Shropshire Star

UK & International News