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Why Did Producers Kill Off Kamelion from Doctor Who?

Doctor Who is a British science-fiction series that was initially released in 1963. It is one of the longest-running shows in television history with 26 seasons running for over two decades. The original version of the series ran from 1963 to 1989. By 2005 they revived the series and is still running with Jodie Whittaker as the newest Doctor. If you were a fan of the series, you would remember iconic characters like Kamelion. But did you know why he was taken off the show?

Kamelion is an android who was played by an actual robot. Its inventor died in a boating incident, and unfortunately, he is the only one who knows how to control the robot, so producers decided to kill off its character.

Who is Kamelion?

Kamelion is a shape-changing android voiced by Gerald Flood in its default form. It was the companion of the Fifth Doctor. The character appears in the television series between 1983 and 1984. 

Kamelion is a tool of the renegade Time Lord known as the Master, who forces Kamelion to pose as King John when first encountered by the Doctor in England, Earth, 1215 A.D. The King’s Demon was trapped on the planet Xeriphas after the Master’s previous encounter with the Doctor. 

When the Master returns, he has Kamelion with him, calling it a souvenir he had picked up from there. It is highly weak-willed since Kamelion is a sentient to a degree and therefore open to manipulation by any strong personalities around it. 

The Doctor frees Kamelion from the Master’s grip, and it joins the Doctor in the TARDIS. Eventually, Kamelion falls under the Master’s influence again in the serial Planet of Fire. He begs the Doctor to destroy it, and the Doctor uses the Master’s tissue compression eliminator on him, shrinking him and beating him. 

The last that is seen of Kamelion is the doll-sized robot shell lying on the floor, with wires hanging out of its shoulder. Here it presumably spends all the intervening time between its two total appearances, out of sight and mind. Notably, no reference is even made to the character on-screen otherwise.

The Kamelion robot’s last appearance in one of his companions’ images comes to the Fifth Doctor during his regeneration scene in The Caves of Androzani. (Source: Den of Geek)

The so-called Curse of Kamelion

In reference to the book Doctor Who: The Completely Useless Encyclopedia which was published in 1996, Chris Howarth and Steve Lyons wrote that an examination of Kamelion’s history reveals the possible existence of a curse of Poltergeist proportions. 

Both Terence Dudley and Peter Grimwade, who scripted the robot companion’s appearances, have died. So too have Kamelion’s human alter egos, Gerald Flood and Dallas Adams, who played his Howard Foster form for most of Planet of Fire. To say nothing of Kamelion’s software designer, Mike Power, killed shortly after the decision was taken to include the robot in the series. 

Eric Pringle should thank his lucky stars that a Kamelion sequence was edited out of ‘The Awakening’ and Missing Adventure.

Craig Hinton, Writer

 (Source: OutpostGallery

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