The Doctor Who that’s currently seen on television may be a revival of the classic series that ran from 1963 to 1989, but it hasn’t forgotten its roots. From mentions of old adventures to even glimpses of past regenerations, the modern Doctor Who likes to remind audiences of the franchise’s long history. There have even been a few old companions who have appeared on the new series and its spinoffs, and now series star Peter Capaldi is keen on a particular classic character returning in the future: The Doctor’s own granddaughter Susan Foreman, who hasn’t been seen since the show’s earliest years.
Carol Ann Ford, who played Susan from 1963 to 1964, recounted to Doctor Who Magazine (via CultBox) her visit to the Doctor Who set when they were they were filming the 2014 special “Last Christmas.” There, she got to see Capaldi in action as the Twelfth Doctor, and while she admitted that she initially didn’t like the way he was written earlier in the season, she enjoyed meeting him. Then Capaldi expressed his interest in her returning, which she would be open to doing.
Susan’s last regular Doctor Who appearance was in the 1964 story “The Dalek Invasion of Earth.” There she fell in love with a resistance fighter from the future. Rather than force her to continue traveling with him, The First Doctor decided that she was a grown woman that deserved a life on her own, and emotionally left her behind. Ford later reprised a younger version of Susan in 1983’s 20th anniversary episode “The Five Doctors,” and in the years since has appeared in various novels and audio plays as well as the charity special Dimensions in Time, though most stories outside of the TV series are traditionally considered non-canon. In other words, it’s been a long damned time since her grandfather bid her farewell. Yeah, I can understand why Capaldi, being the classic Doctor Who fan that he is, would want her back.
Although Susan has rarely been mentioned in the revived series (though you could briefly catch a glimpse of her in the episode “The Name of the Doctor”), The Doctor has said before that any family he had is either missing or dead, presumably from the Time War. However, due to the events of “The Day of The Doctor”, The Doctor’s home planet Gallifrey was never destroyed at the conclusion the War by his hands, but instead now rests in another dimension.
Few Gallifreyans have appeared in the revived series other than The Doctor and his nemesis The Master because of this, but assuming that Susan wasn’t involved with the Time War and hasn’t passed away, there might be a way to bring her back at some point. The only problem with this might be explaining her elderly appearance given her Gallifreyan biology, but the writers could surely come up with a timey-wimey explanation for why the decades haven’t been as kind to her as they usually are to The Doctor.
Doctor Who Season 9 is set to air on the BBC (and BBC America for U.S. viewers) later this year.
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