Played by: Katy Manning
Tenure 2 January 1971–23 June 1973
First appearance Terror of the Autons (regular)
Last appearance The Green Death (guest)
Last appearance The Death of the Doctor (guest)
Number of series 2
Appearances 16 stories
click on images to enlarge
source TARDIS Wikia
Josephine “Jo” Jones (née Grant) was a civilian employee of UNIT, whom the Brigadier assigned to the Third Doctor after the departure of Liz Shaw. Initially a laboratory assistant to the Doctor, she became a travelling companion to the Doctor during one-off missions for the Time Lords, and after his exile on Earth was entirely lifted.
Although she mostly knew the Doctor in his third life, she also had significant adventures with the Second and Eleventh Doctors, and briefly saw the First Doctor on the TARDIS scanner. (The Three Doctors, Death of the Doctor)
She left UNIT, and therefore the Doctor, to marry Professor Clifford Jones, who At The time had received United Nations funding for a variety of progressive scientific studies. The path of their later lives was unclear. Some accounts stated that They got divorced. (Genocide) Others held that They travelled the world together for years, leaving behind a legacy of environmental progressivism and protests as well as an abundant number of children and grandchildren. (Death of the Doctor)
Jo Grant was born in 1951. (Carpenter/Butterfly/Baronet)
During her childhood, Jo used to holiday At The seaside with her parents, her uncle and her grandfather. Her grandfather, who smoked a pipe, always used to spoil her. He often bought her ice cream behind her parents’ backs, observing, “What’s the harm? Life’s too short.” He died in 1958 when his granddaughter was seven years old. (The Mists of Time)
As a child, Jo had “an army of gonks and trolls” but even then she found dolls creepy. (The Doll of Death)
She took an A-Level in general science, though she apparently did not pass. Nevertheless, she was accepted into employment at UNIT largely because of the influence of her uncle Jack Canning, who had a connection to the United Nations. (Terror of the Autons)
LIFE WITH THE DOCTOR
Jo Grant met the Doctor when the Master was using the Nestene Consciousness to conquer Earth. Though the Doctor initially rejected Jo as scientifically incompetent, the Brigadier was correct in his assertion that whAt The Doctor needed was “someone to pass you your test tubes and tell you how brilliant you are”. Even though Jo was hynotised by the Master into bringing a bomb into UNIT HQ in an attempt to blow up the Doctor, she proved her worth to him and they quickly became almost inseparable. (Terror of the Autons)
When the Master lured Axos to Earth, she was one of the first people to see their true form. It held her prisoner with Bill Filer and the Doctor. They escaped whilst the Master tried to turn Axonite against them. (The Claws Of Axos)
After watching a programme about an archaeological dig in Devil’s End, the Doctor and Jo visited the village. They found the Master there, trying to use a supernatural entity buried in the nearby Saxon mound. UNIT finally captured the Master. (The Daemons)
The Doctor and Jo investigated “ghosts” at Auderly House. They were attacked by guerrillas from an alternate future ravaged by World War III and a Dalek occupation. While trying to break one of their time travel devices, Jo was taken to an alternate 22nd century. In her talks with the Controller, she unwittingly drew the guerrillas and the Doctor back to her era. The guerrillas helped the Doctor and Jo return to the 20th century and prevent World War III, which was originally started by the guerrilla Shura’s misguided assassination of Sir Reginald Styles. At the Second World Peace Conference at Auderly House, Jo helped evacuate the delegates, undoing the damage. (Day of the Daleks)
One particular evening, Jo was dressed up, ready for a night on the town with Mike Yates. Her outfit proved to be lucky when the Doctor and she landed on the planet Peladon. Jo was introduced as an Earth princess Josephine, Princess of Tardis and she was dressed appropriately. Only those of royal blood were allowed in the conference chamber. King Peladon was smitten and proposed marriage. In the time the Doctor and she were on Peladon, Jo grew to like the king, but decided to return to her own planet.
(The Curse of Peladon)
The Doctor and Jo decided to visit the Master in prison. Whilst there they discovered the Master had contacted a race of underwater reptiles, close cousins to the reptiles the Doctor saw with Liz Shaw. (The Sea Devils)
Jo helped the Solonians in their persecution. She alerted the crew of the Hyperion to the Marshal of Solos’ misdoings. (The Mutants)
Jo learnt well with the Doctor. When he was unwilling to execute the time ram, she completed the action. She realised why the Doctor was reluctant, but saw the risk of not completing it. (The Time Monster)
When UNIT HQ was besieged by a force that even the Time Lords thought shouldn’t exist, Jo travelled to a black hole to meet a Time Lord legend with her Doctor and the Second Doctor and was advised by First Doctor. At the conclusion of this adventure, the Time Lords rescinded the Doctor’s exile on Earth and restored his knowledge of operating the TARDIS and time travel. (The Three Doctors)
The Doctor tried to take her to Metebelis III but overshot and ended up materialising inside the compression field of a miniscope on Inter Minor.(Carnival of Monsters)
By the time of her next meeting with the Master, Jo had learnt to resist his hynotisim. She was continually accused of being a spy for Earth or Draconia. (Frontier in Space)
After this meeting the Master, the Doctor fell unconscious. He still managed to send a telepathic message to the Time Lords, who piloted the TARDIS to follow the Dalek ship to Spiridon. After being infected by an indigenous plant, Jo helped the Thals defeat The the Dalek army being assembled on Spiridon. (Planet of the Daleks)
The Third Doctor had gone to visit Metebelis III without her. Jo went to the Welsh village of Llanfairfach to meet with the activist and mycologist Professor Clifford Jones, whom she much admired from afar. Cliff lived at Wholeweal, an alternative community where he pursued his studies of mushrooms. Jo’s show of independence had made the Doctor behave in a rather childish and hurt manner.
In the short time that UNIT were in Llanfairfach, Jo and Cliff fell in love. He reminded her of a younger version of the Doctor. Jo agreed to marry him and left UNIT. The Doctor was devastated by Jo’s departure, drinking his champagne in one gulp. He left on his own after giving Jo a blue crystal from Metebelis III. Before Jo and Cliff left for the Amazon, she asked her uncle to get UN status for Wholeweal. (The Green Death)
A few months later, the couple, who were already on their trip up the Amazon River, returned the crystal by mail because the expedition felt it brought them bad luck. (Planet of the Spiders) Jo later tried to call the Doctor at UNIT to keep in touch, but was told that he had left, presumably after his regeneration into his fourth incarnation. Jo waited to see the Doctor again, but he never came. Jo lived with the Nambikwara tribe in Mato Grosso, Brazil for six months in 1983. The Doctor was aware of incidents where she lived in huts, climbed trees, tore down barricades, flew kites on Mount Kilimanjaro and sailed down the Yangtze River in a tea chest. (Death of the Doctor)
There are conflicting accounts of the Joneses’ life after their last contact with the Doctor. One states they had a son named Matthew and became estranged by the 1990s. (Genocide).
Another presented them as still happily married as of the late 2000s. (The Doll of Death) A later account showed Jo and Cliff still married, with seven children, twelve grandchildren and expecting a thirteenth. The Joneses led a life of environmental and political activism, including an incident in which Jo handcuffed herself to Robert Mugabe. (Death of the Doctor)
REUNITED WITH THE DOCTOR
Jo was told of the Doctor’s death. She brought her grandson Santiago with her to the funeral at UNIT Base 5. There, she met and bonded with Sarah Jane Smith who had been her immediate successor as companion of the Doctor. She seemed sad on learning the Doctor had returned to Sarah, but never her after she had left – being unaware of the Tenth Doctor’s secret visit shortly before his regeneration into his eleventh incarnation. Both doubted that the Doctor was truly dead.
They found that The Doctor had not died, but had been stranded on a deserted planet by the Shansheeth. Although knowing from her past experiences that The Doctor could change his appearance, she was initially taken aback to see how young he now appeared. She learned the Doctor had indeed kept track of her life, even though her constant “on the move” lifestyle had made it difficult for the TARDIS to pinpoint her. He revealed that he visited her and most of his former companions near the end of his tenth incarnation‘s life. Reunited with the Doctor at last, Jo and Sarah Jane stopped the Shansheeth from stealing his TARDIS. Santiago and she set off to Norway by hovercraft. (Death of the Doctor)
At Christmas 2010, Jo encountered an alien narrator called Huxley from Verbatim Six, who believed that her past adventures had been as the companion of Iris Wildthyme, another renegade Time Lord. To work out the truth, Jo and Iris travelled back to the 1970s. After finding the truth from the Third Doctor, Jo and Iris set off to have adventures of their own. (Find and Replace)
Jo died in a house fire in 2028 aged 77. (Carpenter/Butterfly/Baronet)
Jo’s first meeting with the Doctor didn’t bode well. She mistook an important experiment for an accidental fire and ruined it by dousing it with a fire extinguisher. However, her failures fuelled her enthusiasm. She was determined to prove people wrong about her. When she recovered from the Master‘s hypnosis, she disobeyed orders and followed the Doctor to Luigi Rossini’s circus. There she proved her competence by rescuing the Doctor. (Terror of the Autons)
Jo claimed to be a qualified agent, but she may have exaggerated this in the way she exaggerated her A-Levels. She said she took an A-Level in science, but later admitted, “I didn’t say I passed.” That said, there can be no doubt of Jo’s abilities. She could ride a motorbike, use karate, pick locks, abseil and even pilot a helicopter – all of which came in very useful as the Doctor’s assistant. These abilities combined with her enthusiasm made Jo an asset for UNIT.
Jo did not initially believe the Doctor when he said he was a time traveller. For much of her time with him, she thought his tinkering with bits of TARDIS was pointless. She may have been with the Doctor for as much as a year before she even stepped foot into the TARDIS. She was tentative during her first trip away from Earth. She repeatedly begged to be taken home before she realised that The Doctor could not do so. After the Doctor coaxed her, she did step out of the TARDIS and into her first adventure on another world.
(Colony in Space)
Captain Mike Yates once referred to Jo as “Jemima Bond, Licence to Spill.” (The Doll of Death)
Whilst Jo was certainly a member of the team, her individualism made her stand out in UNIT and her desire to follow her own instincts and speak her mind made the Doctor and her close. Near the end of her time with UNIT, Jo told the Brigadier that she was going to Llanfairfach even if it meant resigning. (The Green Death)
Although she had been aware of the Doctor’s ability to regenerate, she was sceptical when she met his eleventh incarnation At The fake funeral the Shansheeth held for him. She accepted his new form after confirming he knew everything that “her” Doctor had told her and knew about her. (Death of the Doctor)
Jo accepted a gun when it was offered to her, even after the Doctor declined it. (The Eight Doctors)
Working with UNIT again
Kate Stewart came to one of her protests to recruit her for a UNIT mission. Jo was protesting the use of animal testing in pharmaceutical trial. She didn’t realise that Kate was the Brigadier’s daughter. Kate wanted her to inspect a tidal energy factory, ‘Project Charybdis’. Anthony Burmaster locked them in their quarters whilst he went to locate a Sea Devil Colony. She used her lock picking skills to allow herself and Osgood to escape before the Project exploded. Osgood later helped her to get to the Sea Devil base as she wanted to complete the Doctor’s work to broker a peace between them. When Krellix told her of his work and that Jastrok wanted the weapons he had created, some Sea Creatures, she persuaded Krelix to get back into hibernation before the base was destroyed. Krelix saved her from drowning. (Tidal Wave)
Kate passed local control of UNIT in the UK to Mike, Benton and Jo due to their experience with Silurians and Sea Devils before, whilst she couldn’t get back to base. She thought that The dinosaurs were beautiful and was annoyed that The Silurians had altered their nature. She wanted to make sure that There was a peaceful negotiations not just war, and stormed off to help Osgood. She learnt how to make scientific equipment from the Doctor and learnt of the new technology from Santiago Jones. She decided to take situations into her hands, and went to the Houses of Parliament to negotiate with Jastrok as she thought the Doctor would want her to do. Jastrok took her hostage and gave her to Kalana to ensure UNITs cooperation. She was later released by Benton. Following the defeat she travelled back with Sam Bishop and Osgood to the Sea Devil base to put the Seas Creatures back in hibernation. (United)
BEHIND THE SCENES
- Jo was the last companion not to have travelled with the Fourth Doctor until the introduction of Turlough in 1983
- Jo and the First Doctor are the only characters to have travelled in the TARDIS with their own grandchildren (Santiago Jones and Susan Foreman respectively), and are two of only four characters (along with Wilfred Mott and Brian Williams) whose selves and grandchildren each flew in the TARDIS. Jo is one of only five characters (along with the First Doctor, Jackie Tyler, Brian Williams, Rory Williams, and Amy Pond) to have flown in the TARDIS with their own descendants. (An Unearthly Child ,Death of the Doctor, The Runaway Bride., The End Of Time, Flesh and Stone., Dinosaurs on a Spaceship, Journey’s End, The Impossible Astronaut.)
- Peter Capaldi was with Katy Manning on TARDIS Set – picture here
Back to Assistants page