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Susan Foreman
[[File:Susan Foreman
Susan Foreman|250px]]
Publication information
Species Time Lord
Home Planet Gallifrey
Home Era Rassilon Era
First appearance An Unearthly Child
Last appearance The Dalek Invasion of Earth (regular)
Dimensions in Time (charity special)


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[[Susan Foreman
Susan Foreman|250px]]
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Susan Foreman is a fictional character in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. The granddaughter and original companion of the First Doctor, she was played by actress Carole Ann Ford from 1963 to 1964, in the show's first season and the first two stories of the second season. She returned for the feature-length 20th anniversary episode The Five Doctors in 1983.

Background

Susan was the first ever on-screen companion of the Doctor and she stayed on Earth after the Dalek Invasion in the 22nd century. Susan is the granddaughter of the Time Lord known 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 (in the TARDIS) during their time in London in 1963. The original outline for the series did not intend the pair to be related, but writer Anthony Coburn created the family tie. According to founding producer Verity Lambert, “...Coburn felt there was something not quite proper about an old man travelling around the galaxy with a young girl for a companion.”[1]

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, another world". Susan claims to have coined the name for the TARDIS, the Doctor's time machine,[2] though later episodes seemed to indicate that it was a widely used term among Time Lords. (The non-broadcast pilot version of "An Unearthly Child" contained different dialogue, including a statement that Susan was born in the 49th century.)

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.[3]

Character history

The Doctor and Susan had already been travelling for an unspecified amount of time, before they decide to settle in London to make repairs on the TARDIS; Susan states that she and her grandfather have been in London for five months. Susan also alludes to several previous adventures to Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright in the course of their shared adventures; both on various alien planets and on Earth in various past time periods (such as encountering a wrathful King Henry VIII). Susan begins to attend the Coal Hill School in Shoreditch, where her advanced knowledge of history and science attract the attention of schoolteachers Barbara and Ian. Attempting to solve the mystery of the "unearthly child," Ian and Barbara 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, against their will.

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 young freedom fighter in the 22nd century. However, Susan feels that she has to stay with and take care of her grandfather. The Doctor, realizing 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.[4] 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.[5]

In The Curse of Fenric (1989), the Seventh Doctor states that he does not know if he has any family, which may indicate uncertainty of Susan's whereabouts.[6] In 2005's "The End of the World" the Ninth Doctor states that his home world has been destroyed and that he is the last of the Time Lords.[7] Although Susan is not mentioned by name, the Doctor says in "Father's Day" that his "whole family" died,[8] and in "The Empty Child" a character remarks he has been a father and grandfather, but no more, and the Ninth Doctor replies "I know the feeling."[9] 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."[10] In "Fear Her," the Tenth Doctor states he "was a dad once," but does not elaborate further. In "The Doctor's Daughter" the Tenth Doctor says that he had "been a father before" and is still hurt by their deaths. In "The Sound of Drums", the Tenth Doctor discusses with the Master the fact that they each chose their own names.[11] In Susan's case, it is unknown where hers comes from. In "The Beast Below", Amy asks the Eleventh Doctor if he has any kids. The Doctor does not reply, but the question clearly makes him very uncomfortable. In "A Good Man Goes to War", Amy asks again if the Doctor has children, to which he replies 'No'. When Amy rephrases the question and asks if he ever had any children, the Doctor quickly changes the subject, again looking very uncomfortable.

Relationship to the Doctor

Susan is generally assumed to be Gallifreyan like the Doctor as well as his natural granddaughter. Her description of her home planet in The Sensorites (1964) matches the Tenth Doctor's much later descriptions of Gallifrey,[3] 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.[5] Although it has never been explicitly established whether she can regenerate (it is usually assumed that she can), she does display telepathic ability on one occasion (The Sensorites).[3]

In the commentary to the BBC's DVD release of An Unearthly Child, actress Carole Ann Ford points out that suggestions that Susan was not the Doctor's natural 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' 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 Saward wrote a short story dealing with the Doctor's departure from Gallifrey for the Radio Times Doctor Who 20th Anniversary Special. This story, "Birth of a Renegade", depicts Susan as a descendant of Time Lord founder Rassilon and 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 Adventures novels, 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.

On 9 July 1994, BBC Radio 4 broadcast 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 Tovey and 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. Ian Chesterton is portrayed as Barbara's somewhat comically inept boyfriend, and also not a teacher. No last name is given for this version of the character; some movie listings[citation needed] imply that her name is "Susan Who".

Big Finish Productions released an audio drama in December 2009 titled An Earthly Child, that featured Susan (played by Ford) reuniting with her grandfather, in the form of Paul McGann's Eighth Doctor; also appearing is Jake McGann as Susan's son, Alex.

Susan appears twice during the course of IDW Comics' "Doctor Who: The Forgotten" series, first in a flashback to the First Doctor's lifetime, then at the end, as the TARDIS' matrix takes her form at The Doctor's request.

BBC Books

The Past Doctor Adventures novel The Time Travellers by Simon Guerrier gives 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 Adventures novel 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.

Telos novellas

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 Newman takes 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.

Other mentions

Susan is mentioned by the Third Doctor in Planet of the Daleks, the Sixth Doctor in Attack of the Cybermen and the Seventh Doctor in The Curse of Fenric, and a vision of Susan is seen along with every other companion up until that point aside from Leela and Kamelion on the scanner screen in Resurrection of the Daleks.

List of appearances

Television

Serial Date of original broadcast

Season 1 (1963-64)

An Unearthly Child 23 November – 14 December 1963[2]
The Daleks 21 December 1963 – 1 February 1964[12]
The Edge of Destruction 8 – 15 February 1964[13]
Marco Polo 22 February – 4 April 1964[14]
The Keys of Marinus 11 April – 16 May 1964[15]
The Aztecs 23 May – 13 June 1964[16]
The Sensorites 20 June – 1 August 1964[3]
The Reign of Terror 8 August – 12 September 1964[17]

Season 2 (1964-65)

Planet of Giants 31 October – 14 November 1964[18]
The Dalek Invasion of Earth 21 November – 26 December 1964[4]

20th Anniversary Special

The Five Doctors 23 November 1983[5]

30th Anniversary Special

Dimensions in Time 26 - 27 November 1993[19]

Films

Radio Play

Audio dramas

Lost Stories
Doctor Who Companion Chronicles
Doctor Who Unbound

Short Trips audios

  • Seven to One
  • A Star is Born

Novels

Virgin New Adventures
Virgin Missing Adventures
Past Doctor Adventures
Eighth Doctor Adventures
Telos Doctor Who novellas

Short stories

Comics

References

  1. drwhointerviews “Verity Lambert (1980′s)”, Dr Who Interviews, November 10, 2009, accessed January 18, 2011.
  2. 2.0 2.1 An Unearthly Child. Doctor Who. 1963-11-23–1963-12-14. BBC. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 The Sensorites. Doctor Who. 1964-06-20–1964-08-01. BBC. BBC1. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 The Dalek Invasion of Earth. Doctor Who. 1964-11-21–1964-12-26. BBC. BBC1. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 The Five Doctors. Doctor Who. 1983-11-23. BBC. BBC1. 
  6. The Curse of Fenric. Doctor Who. 1989-10-25–1989-11-15. BBC. BBC1. 
  7. "The End of the World". Writer Russell T Davies, Director Euros Lyn, Producer Phil Collinson. Doctor Who. BBC. BBC One, Cardiff. 2005-04-02.
  8. "Father's Day". Writer Paul Cornell, Director Joe Ahearne, Producer Phil Collinson. Doctor Who. BBC. BBC One, Cardiff. 2005-05-14.
  9. "The Empty Child". Writer Steven Moffat, Director James Hawes, Producer Phil Collinson. Doctor Who. BBC. BBC One, Cardiff. 2005-05-21.
  10. "The Age of Steel". Writer Tom MacRae, Director Graeme Harper, Producer Phil Collinson. Doctor Who. BBC. BBC One, Cardiff. 2006-05-20.
  11. "The Sound of Drums". Writer Russell T Davies, Director Colin Teague, Producer Phil Collinson. Doctor Who. BBC. BBC One, Cardiff. 2007-06-23.
  12. The Daleks. Doctor Who. 1963-12-21–1963-02-01. BBC. 
  13. The Edge of Destruction. Doctor Who. 1964-02-08–1964-02-15. BBC. 
  14. Marco Polo. Doctor Who. 1964-02-22–1964-04-04. BBC. 
  15. The Keys of Marinus. Doctor Who. 1964-04-11–1964-05-16. BBC. BBC1. 
  16. The Aztecs. Doctor Who. 1964-05-23–1964-06-13. BBC. BBC1. 
  17. The Reign of Terror. Doctor Who. 1964-08-08–1964-09-12. BBC. BBC1. 
  18. Planet of Giants. Doctor Who. 1964-10-31–1964-11-14. BBC. BBC1. 
  19. Dimensions in Time. Doctor Who. 1993-11-26–1993-11-27. BBC. BBC1. 

External links

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