Liz Shaw


Benton Allistair Gordon Leghbridge Stewart
The Silurians
Liz Shaw as in The Silurians



Liz Shaw



Place of Origin:




Affiliated With:

British Rocket Group


3 January 1970-20 June 1970

First Seen In:

Spearhead from Space (regular)

Last Appearance:

Inferno (regular)

Latest Appearance:

Dimensions in Time (guest)


4 stories

Main Actor:

Caroline John


click on images to enlarge


source TARDIS Wikia

Caroline John sadly died on 5 June 2012

Liz was the daughter of Reuben Shaw (1919-1995) and Dame Emily Shaw. (Ghosts of Winterborne, The Last Post)

She was born in 1943 in Stoke-on-Trent. (The Devil Goblins from Neptune)

By the 1970s, her sister Lucy was an architect with at least two children. (The Last Post)


She was an accomplished scientist and an expert onmeteorites. She had degrees in several disciplines, including physics and medicine. (Spearhead from Space) She could speak French, or at least to a reasonable degree of proficiency. (The Ambassadors of Death)



Liz was drafted from the University of Cambridge by Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart as a scientific advisor to UNIT. Lethbridge-Stewart did not know that The Doctor had arrived on Earth and would ably serve as UNIT’s scientific advisor. Sceptical at first of UNIT’s remit to defend the Earth against alien invasions, she changed her mind when she encountered the newly-regenerated Doctor. With him, she became involved in defeating the Nestene Consciousness and its animated plastic servants, the Autons. (Spearhead from Space)


Liz worked with The Doctor and UNIT through encounters with the Silurians, (Doctor Who and the Silurians) Cybermen, (The Blue Tooth) the rogue General Carrington (The Ambassadors of Death) and the Inferno Project.

On a fascist version of the Earth, The Doctor met a parallel version of Liz who had joined the military, Section Leader Elizabeth Shaw. This version of Liz probably died, along with most of the rest of the other Earth in volcanic explosions. (Inferno)

Liz’s extensive training paled in comparison to The Doctor’s own knowledge of the universe and scientific principles far beyond that of Earth’s. Eventually, she resigned from UNIT and returned to Cambridge.

She reportedly told the Brigadier that all The Doctor needed was “someone to pass him his test tubes and tell him how brilliant he was.” This feeling probably contributed to her decision to return to her own research. (Terror of the Autons)

One account suggests that she did not return to Cambridge, but instead went to work for CERN, a then-new secret organisation. (Country of the Blind)


Liz occasionally returned to help UNIT and the Doctor (The Devil Goblins from Neptune) and even invited The Doctor to a lecture. (Change of Mind) On one occasion, however, when The Doctor had gone away to Peladon, and the Brigadier needed her assistance, she had gone away on a lecture tour. (The Face of the Enemy)

One year after leaving UNIT, Liz called the Third Doctor for help with a time experiment. They travelled to the year 2014 and encountered the organisation known as the Sentinels of the New Dawn. They returned to Liz’s correct time and the two separated again. (The Sentinels of the New Dawn)

A few years after leaving UNIT, Liz gave a short interview to the investigative journalist James Stevens. Stevens found her a “difficult” subject. She warned him against prying too deeply into UNIT affairs. (Who Killed Kennedy)

In 1974 she summoned The Doctor, who was now travelling with Sarah Jane Smith, when the Brigadier had been acting strangely violent. The Doctor found that the Brigadier had been possessed by a Remoraxian, which wanted to flood the Earth to allow for their colonisation. Liz helped The Doctor to defeat The threat. However, she, Sarah, and the Brigadier were subsequently kidnapped by a mysterious cloaked figure. (Prisoners of Time)


Generally, Liz was the Third Doctor’s laboratory assistant rather than his travelling companion. She joined him at a time when The Doctor was just beginning his exile on Earth. She expressed disbelief that the TARDIS was capable of flight when she first met The Doctor and remained in service for some time thereafter. (Spearhead from Space, Inferno) To the extent that she travelled with him, it was in Bessie or by other, more conventional means.

However, she later travelled in the TARDIS with The Doctor and her successor, Jo Grant, after The Doctor regained his knowledge of time travel. (The Wages of Sin) At an unknown time later and for an indefinite period of time, she travelled with the Fourth Doctor, who had deliberately sought her out to apologise for not saying goodbye to her properly. (Down to Earth)


Decades after her initial employment by UNIT, Shaw worked with the Preternatural Research Bureau, or P.R.O.B.E., a paranormal investigation organisation not unlike UNIT or the Torchwood Institute. (The Zero Imperative) She was again working for UNIT by the early 21st century. (Death of the Doctor, Eternity Weeps)


It was unclear when Shaw died. One account held that in 2003 Liz was part of a UNIT team which investigated an artefact left by the alien Cthalctose on the Moon. As a result, she contracted Agent Yellow and died. (Eternity Weeps) According to UNIT personnel in 2010, Liz was unable to attend the Eleventh Doctor’s fake funeral, as she was at the UNIT Moonbase and could not return until the following Sunday. (Death of the Doctor)

At some point during her life, Liz gave birth to a daughter, Elizabeth Holub, and long after her mother’s death, Elizabeth worked alongside the Seventh Doctor to prevent an attack on the city of Prague in 2050. (Fable Fusion)

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