- Susan Foreman
An Unearthly Child
The Dalek Invasion of Earth(regular) The Five Doctors(guest)
Carole Ann Ford Roberta Tovey(film Susan) Jane Asher(audio play)
Susan is the granddaughter and a companion of the
Time Lordknown as the Doctor. Her last name of Foreman is an alias taken from the junkyard, owned by an "I. M. Foreman", at 76 Totter's Lane where she and the Doctor lived during their time in Londonin 1963. The original outline for the series did not intend the pair to be related, but writer Anthony Coburncreated the family tie as he was disturbed by the possible sexual connotations of an old man travelling alone with a teenage girl.
The Doctor explains in "
An Unearthly Child" (the very first episode of "Doctor Who" and a title often used for the first four-part serial) that he and Susan are exiles from their own people. Susan adds, "I was born in another time, on another world" (presumably Gallifrey). Susan claims to have coined the name for the TARDIS, the Doctor's time machine,cite serial | title = An Unearthly Child| series = Doctor Who| credits = Writers Anthony Coburn, C. E. Webber, Directors Waris Hussein, Douglas Camfield, Producers Verity Lambert, Mervyn Pinfield| network = BBC| city = London | began = 1963-11-23 | ended = 1963-12-14] though later episodes seemed to indicate that it was a widely used term among Time Lords. (The unbroadcast pilot version of "An Unearthly Child" contained different dialogue, including a statement that Susan was born in the 49th century.) It is not known if Susan is the character's real name or an alias to make her appear more human. The series' treatment of Time Lords' names is slightly inconsistent, with some Time Lords using "titles" such as The Doctor, The Master, The Inquisitor and so on, and some Time Lords using more "normal" names such as Borusa or Flavia.
Susan's age is given as 15. In "
The Sensorites" (1964), the Doctor, when encountering an unconscious young human woman, remarks that "she's only a few years older than Susan," suggesting that Susan is the age of a normal secondary school student.cite serial | title = The Sensorites| series = Doctor Who| credits = Writer Peter R. Newman, Directors Mervyn Pinfield, Frank Cox, Producers Verity Lambert, Mervyn Pinfield | network = BBC| station = BBC1 | city = London | began = 1964-06-20 | ended = 1964-08-01] In " The Sound of Drums", the Tenth Doctorremarks that Gallifreyan children are sent to the Academy at the young age of eight.cite episode | title = The Sound of Drums| series = Doctor Who| credits = Writer Russell T. Davies, Director Colin Teague, Producer Phil Collinson| network = BBC| station = BBC One| city = Cardiff | airdate = 2007-06-23]
The Doctor and Susan have been already travelling for a time before they decide to settle in London to make repairs on the TARDIS; evidently this has taken longer than expected, as Susan states that she and her grandfather have been in London for five months. Susan begins to attend the
Coal Hill Schoolin Shoreditch, where her advanced knowledge of history and science attract the attention of schoolteachers Ian Chestertonand Barbara Wright. Attempting to solve the mystery of the "unearthly child," Chesterton and Wright follow Susan back to the junkyard, where they hear her voice coming from what appears to be a police box. When they investigate further, they discover that the police box exterior hides the much larger interior of the TARDIS, and are whisked away on an adventure in time and space with the Doctor and Susan.
Susan continues to travel with the Doctor and her two teachers until the 1964 serial, "
The Dalek Invasion of Earth". During the events of that story, Susan falls in love with David Campbell, a freedom fighter in the 22nd century. However, Susan feels that she has to stay with and take care of her grandfather. The Doctor, realising that Susan is now a grown woman and deserves a future away from him, locks her out of the TARDIS and leaves after a tearful farewell.cite serial | title = The Dalek Invasion of Earth| series = Doctor Who| credits = Writer Terry Nation, Director Richard Martin, Producers Verity Lambert, Mervyn Pinfield| network = BBC| station = BBC1 | city = London | began = 1964-11-21 | ended = 1964-12-26] Carole Ann Ford had expressed a desire to leave the series as she felt the character of Susan was too limiting. Ford reprised the role of Susan on television in the 20th anniversary special " The Five Doctors" (1983), but no mention of David, or what became of him, was made.cite serial | title = The Five Doctors| series = Doctor Who| credits = Writer Terrance Dicks, Directors Peter Moffatt, John Nathan-Turner(uncredited), Producer John Nathan-Turner | network = BBC| station = BBC1 | city = London | airdate = 1983-11-23]
The Curse of Fenric" (1989), the Seventh Doctorstates that he does not know if he has any family, which may indicate uncertainty of Susan's whereabouts.cite serial | title = The Curse of Fenric| series = Doctor Who| credits = Writer Ian Briggs, Directors Nicholas Mallett, John Nathan-Turner(uncredited), Producer John Nathan-Turner | network = BBC| station = BBC1 | city = London | began = 1989-10-25 | ended = 1989-11-15] In 2005's "The End of the World" the Ninth Doctorstates that his home world has been destroyed and that he is the last of the Time Lords.cite episode | title = The End of the World | series = Doctor Who| credits = Writer Russell T. Davies, Director Euros Lyn, Producer Phil Collinson| network = BBC| station = BBC One| city = Cardiff | airdate = 2005-04-02] Although Susan is not mentioned by name, the Doctor says in "Father's Day" that his "whole family" died,cite episode | title = Father's Day | series = Doctor Who| credits = Writer Paul Cornell, Director Joe Ahearne, Producer Phil Collinson| network = BBC| station = BBC One| city = Cardiff | airdate = 2005-05-14] and in " The Empty Child" some dialogue implies that he is no longer a father or grandfather.cite episode | title = The Empty Child| series = Doctor Who| credits = Writer Steven Moffat, Director James Hawes, Producer Phil Collinson| network = BBC| station = BBC One| city = Cardiff | airdate = 2005-05-21] In " The Age of Steel", Mrs Moore asks the Doctor if he has any family, to which he replies "Who needs family? I've got the whole world on my shoulders."cite episode | title = The Age of Steel| series = Doctor Who| credits = Writer Tom MacRae, Director Graeme Harper, Producer Phil Collinson| network = BBC| station = BBC One| city = Cardiff | airdate = 2006-05-20] In " Fear Her," the Tenth Doctor states he "was a Dad once," but does not elaborate further. In "The Sound of Drums", the Tenth Doctor discusses with the Master the fact that they each chose their own names.cite episode | title = The Sound of Drums| series = Doctor Who| credits = Writer Russell T. Davies, Director Colin Teague, Producer Phil Collinson| network = BBC| station = BBC One| city = Cardiff | airdate = 2007-06-23] In Susan's case, it is unknown where hers comes from. In " The Doctor's Daughter" the Doctor says that he had "been a father before" and is still hurt by their deaths.
Relationship to the Doctor
Susan is generally assumed to be
Gallifreyan like the Doctor as well as his biological granddaughter. Her description of her home planet in "The Sensorites" (1964) matches the Tenth Doctor's much later descriptions of Gallifrey,cite serial | title = The Sensorites| series = Doctor Who| credits = Writer Peter R. Newman, Directors Mervyn Pinfield, Frank Cox, Producers Verity Lambert, Mervyn Pinfield | network = BBC| station = BBC1 | city = London | began = 1964-06-20 | ended = 1964-08-01] and she is fully familiar with the history and landscape of Gallifrey's Time Lord society when she and the First Doctor are transported to "the Death Zone" in "The Five Doctors".cite serial | title = The Five Doctors| series = Doctor Who| credits = Writer Terrance Dicks, Directors Peter Moffatt, John Nathan-Turner(uncredited), Producer John Nathan-Turner | network = BBC| station = BBC1 | city = London | airdate = 1983-11-23] Although it has never been explicitly established whether she can regenerate, she does display telepathic ability on one occasion ("The Sensorites").cite serial | title = The Sensorites| series = Doctor Who| credits = Writer Peter R. Newman, Directors Mervyn Pinfield, Frank Cox, Producers Verity Lambert, Mervyn Pinfield | network = BBC| station = BBC1 | city = London | began = 1964-06-20 | ended = 1964-08-01]
In the commentary to the BBC's DVD release of "An Unearthly Child", actress Carole Ann Ford points out that these suggestions that Susan was not the Doctor's biological granddaughter were only first put forward in the 1990s. She reveals that little background information on Susan's character or past history was provided to her by the production team, and so to inform her performance, she would often discuss and invent ideas about Susan with co-star William Hartnell.
Appearances in other media
Terrance Dicks's novelisation of his serial "The Five Doctors" states that Susan has been taken from a point twenty years after "The Dalek Invasion of Earth", and that she and David have three children. A marketplace scene was considered for the broadcast version of this story, but never filmed.
In 1983, "Doctor Who"'s then-script editor
Eric Sawardwrote a short story dealing with the Doctor's departure from Gallifrey for the " Radio TimesDoctor Who 20th Anniversary Special". This story, "Birth of a Renegade", depicts Susan as a descendant of Time Lord founder Rassilonand the last surviving member of Gallifrey's royal family, unrelated to the Doctor. Later "Doctor Who" spin-offs have generally ignored this account, though the story depicts Susan collapsing the Master's TARDIS around him with his own tissue compression eliminator, leaving him in a state very similar to the one in which he is found in his next televised appearance, " Planet of Fire" (albeit with a throw-away line giving a different explanation of it).
A later script editor,
Andrew Cartmel, had another explanation of Susan's origins. This account, part of the " Cartmel Masterplan", was not used in the programme, but was used as background for several of the Virgin New Adventuresnovels, most notably " Lungbarrow" by Marc Platt. In this version, Susan is the granddaughter of the mysterious Gallifreyan founder known as the Other, who may have been reincarnated as the Doctor. The Doctor had travelled back to the dawn of Time Lord civilisation and rescued Susan, who recognised him as her grandfather. The Doctor did not initially recognise her, but knew that this was somehow true. This version of Susan's origins is reflected in many other Doctor Who spin-offs.
9 July 1994, BBC Radio 4broadcast "Whatever Happened to Susan Foreman?", a humorous investigation into Susan's background. In this radio drama, Susan is portrayed by Jane Asher.
Ford herself reprised the role of Susan in the 1993 charity special "
Dimensions in Time". Ford also played an alternate version of Susan in the Big Finish Productions"Doctor Who Unbound" audio plays " Auld Mortality" and " A Storm of Angels", in which Susan has become President of Gallifrey. In the "Doctor Who Unbound" play "Exile", an alternative Doctor, whose latest regeneration was female (played by Arabella Weir), settles on Earth in 2003 using the identity and 1963 school records of Susan Foreman.
In a 1964 novelisation of the serial "
The Daleks", written by "Doctor Who" script editor David Whitaker, Susan's last name is changed from "Foreman" to "English".
A version of Susan, portrayed by
Roberta Toveyand much younger than her television portrayal, appears in the two " Doctor Who" film adaptations: " Dr. Who and the Daleks" and " Daleks - Invasion Earth 2150 AD". The film Doctor (named "Dr Who") is a human inventor, so one may infer this Susan is also human. Rather than being her teacher, Barbara is her older sister. No last name is given for this version of the character; some movie listingsFact|date=February 2008 imply that her name is "Susan Who".
Past Doctor Adventuresnovel " The Time Travellers" by Simon Guerriergives an explanation for why the Doctor left Susan. During the events of that novel, the Doctor becomes involved in the British Army's time travel experiments, which risk him being noticed by the Time Lords. He then resolves to begin looking for a place where Susan can be safe and content so that if he is ever apprehended by their people, she will still be free.
Susan reappears in the
Eighth Doctor Adventuresnovel " Legacy of the Daleks" by John Peel, which takes place after the events of "The Dalek Invasion of Earth". At the end of that novel, Susan comes into possession of the Master's TARDIS after he tries to capture her, and is once again able to roam time and space.
In the Eighth Doctor Adventure "
Sometime Never..." by Justin Richards, the Eighth Doctor's adopted daughter Miranda reappears with her own daughter Zezanne. At the novel's end, Zezanne and another character, Soul (who has duplicated the Doctor's identity), escape in a time machine which lands in 1963 London, taking the form of a police box. Zezanne, her memory hazy, accepts the "Doctor" as her grandfather. Whether this is the Doctor and Susan's origin story or that Soul and Zezanne have landed in an alternate universe is uncertain, even within the continuity of the novels.
According to the Telos novella "
Frayed" by Tara Samms (a pen name for Stephen Cole), which takes place prior to the serial "An Unearthly Child", Jill, a young girl in a besieged human medical facility on the planet Iwa, meets and named the Doctor's granddaughter Susan, after Jill's mother.
The Telos novella "
Time and Relative" by Kim Newmantakes place just prior to "An Unearthly Child". It involves Susan and several of her classmates from Coal Hill School trying to survive an alien invasion of Earth by a race of ice beings called the Cold and at the same time convince the Doctor to stop the attack.
List of appearances
Dr. Who and the Daleks"
Daleks - Invasion Earth 2150 AD"
Virgin New Adventures
All-Consuming Fire" by Andy Lane(cameo appearance)
Virgin Missing Adventures
*"The Sorcerer's Apprentice" by
Eighth Doctor Adventures
Legacy of the Daleks" by John Peel
Telos Doctor Who novellas
Time and Relative" by Kim Newman
Frayed" by Tara Samms
*"Birth of a Renegade" by
Eric Saward(" Radio Times"Doctor Who" 20th Anniversary Special")
*"Old Flames" by
Paul Magrs("Short Trips")
*"The Last Days" by Evan Pritchard (
Rebecca Levene) ("Short Trips")
*"The Longest Story in the World" by Paul Magrs ("Short Trips and Sidesteps")
*"Nothing at the End of the Lane (3 Parts)" by
Daniel O'Mahony("Short Trips and Sidesteps")
*"The Exiles" by
Trevor Baxendale("Short Trips: A Universe of Terrors")
*"The Thief of Sherwood" by Jonathan Morris ("")
Anthony Keetch("Short Trips: Past Tense")
*"Categorical Imperative" by
*"The Innocents" by
*"The Gift" by Robert Dick ("Short Trips: The History of Christmas")
*"The Ruins of Time" by
*"Life from Lifelessness" by
Keith R.A. DeCandido("")
*"Indian Summer" by James Goss ("")
*"Tell Me You Love Me" by
*"Losing The Audience" by
*"The Price of Conviction" by Richard C. White ("")
*"Operation Proteus" by Gareth Roberts and
Martin Geraghty(" Doctor Who Magazine" 231–233)
*"Ground Zero" by
Scott Grayand Martin Geraghty ("Doctor Who Magazine" 238–242)
* [http://tardis.wikia.com/wiki/Susan_Foreman Susan Foreman] at [http://tardis.wikia.com/wiki/ "The TARDIS Index File" website]
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