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|Main aliases:||Arkytior, Lady Larn, Susan English, Susan Campbell|
|Place of origin:||Gallifrey|
|First seen in:||An Unearthly Child|
|Main actor:||Carole Ann Ford|
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Susanfor other, similarly-named pages.
Susan was the assumed name of a Time Lady who was the original companion and granddaughter of The Doctor. She travelled with him during his first incarnation and reunited with him during his fifth (TV: The Five Doctors) and eighth incarnations. (PROSE: Legacy of the Daleks; AUDIO: An Earthly Child, et al) At different times in her life she was known as "Susan Foreman", "Susan English" and "Susan Campbell", but she was usually called simply "Susan". All of these names were aliases; her birth name was Arkytior. (PROSE: Roses)
Early life on Gallifrey Edit
The Doctor consistently maintained that Susan was his biological granddaughter, or at the very least that it was likely, because he had a family in the sense that humans understood. (TV: An Unearthly Child, The Dalek Invasion of Earth, The Tomb of the Cybermen, The Five Doctors, Fear Her, Smith and Jones, The Rings of Akhaten)
Though she appeared a teenager to human eyes when she met Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright, one account stated Susan was older than Ian and Barbara combined. (AUDIO: Here There Be Monsters) However, according to the First Doctor, by the time she was on Maitland's ship with Ian and Barbara, she was a few years younger than the young human, Carol Richmond. (TV: "Strangers in Space")
However, there were other accounts, arguably apocryphal, which cast doubt on their biological relationship. One, related by the Master, described Susan as Lady Larn, a contemporary of the Doctor whom he had rescued from civil strife on Gallifrey. (PROSE: Birth of a Renegade) Another intimated that she was one of the last children born on Gallifrey before Pythia's Curse. She was sent away from Gallifrey by the Other -her grandfather- during the Great Schism to Tersurus. She later returned to Gallifrey to search for him, where she met the Doctor, who she recognised as her grandfather, reborn. (PROSE: Lungbarrow)
Departure from Gallifrey Edit
The First Doctor and Susan planned to leave Gallifrey together by purloining a faulty TARDIS from the repair shop beneath the Capitol. They were about to leave in one model, but a young woman accosted the Doctor and advised him to steal a different one which was "more fun." The woman was one of the innumerable incarnations of Clara Oswin Oswald, although Susan would never know her name or significance. (TV: The Name of the Doctor) Their initial trip in the TARDIS was the first time the Doctor had ever piloted a TARDIS. He chose to travel through time, rather than just space. During that first bumpy flight, Susan could not sleep, and began to explore the TARDIS's interior. She found a mirror in the wardrobe room that reflected the image of a young man. He stepped out of the mirror, bared a pair of fangs at her, told her she was "not the one", and disappeared. The Doctor speculated that she had seen an echo through the vortex of something happening in another time. (PROSE: The Exiles)
Becoming "Susan" Edit
The first time "Susan" and her grandfather met humans was on the planet Iwa. They were separated. In his search for Susan, the Doctor found a human medical colony. The principal work of the facility, called "the Refuge", was to rehabilitate patients identified as "Future Deviants". By undergoing dream therapy, it was hoped that such individuals would not become criminals.
The Doctor soon learned the residents were besieged by fox-like aliens who could disintegrate and reconstitute their bodies. Taking him inside their compound, the humans stripped him of his clothes and burned them, citing possible contamination by the "foxes". They gave him new clothes drawn from their own supply. This meant that he was now wearing the garb of a doctor. When they assumed that he was sent by Earth to help them, he agreed. Not wishing to give them his real name, he referenced his new clothes to derive a title: "the Doctor".
He agreed to help them with their "fox problem" if they would help him find his granddaughter. They discovered "Susan" had become trapped in the colonists' "dream chambers", medical devices that put patients into deep sleep and linked them in one communal dream. Inside the dream chamber, the Doctor's granddaughter met a human colonist named Jill, who promptly gave the young girl the name "Susan", after Jill's own mother.
Eventually the newly-named Doctor and Susan were reunited. They helped the colonists broker an uneasy peace with the foxes. They left the colony, deciding to retain the names they had gained there. The Doctor was deeply impressed by humans during this initial encounter. He told Susan they should find a way to settle amongst them for a while, so that he could study them and they could maintain a low profile on the run from the Time Lords. (PROSE: Frayed)
Giving humans a try Edit
Some time after this first meeting with humans, but before taking up residence at 76 Totter's Lane, Susan and the Doctor began to study Earth and humans more closely. The precise order of these events was unclear.
One of their first trips to Earth was to the British coastal town of Keelmouth in 1933. There, they vacationed at a bed and breakfast called "Bide-a-Wee". Another of its guests was a time traveller named Prentice. He had used his technology to displace Keelmouth in time; the village was in 1933, but the surrounding world was in 1999. Prentice's aims were not precisely evil — he just wanted to retire in a place where it was always a small British village in 1933 — but the Doctor and Susan had to convince Prentice to reverse the effect, because his retirement fantasy was not fair to the people he had trapped alongside him. (PROSE: Bide-a-Wee)
On 16 August 1979, the dematerialisation circuit was fried while the TARDIS was orbiting Earth. The TARDIS was taken on-board a Slarvian transport, and the duo learned that the snail-like species planned to conquer Earth by hatching their eggs all over the planet. Their plan failed because the Slarvian ship crashed into the English Channel, making the threat localised to England. With the help of the humans Linda Grainger and her grandfather Edward, Susan and the Doctor stopped the Slarvian eggs from hatching. (PROSE: Childhood Living)
Shortly before they settled on Totter's Lane, they unwittingly travelled to Paris in the 22nd century. They became embroiled in political intrigue in the run-up to an election in the city of Urrozdinee. Departing after the incumbent had been killed, they never quite understood that the city they had visited was what had once been known as EuroDisney. (PROSE: Urrozdinee)
Soon after this, they made a short trip to the planet Tacunda. There, they uncovered a jewel called a "Blessing Star". This crystal altered the laws of probability around the holder, essentially making their dreams come true. The Doctor tried the device, wishing that he could pilot the TARDIS to 20th century Earth. He was successful at piloting the ship for one of the only times in that incarnation's existence. Unfortunately, it completely fried the navigational system, stranding the Doctor and Susan in I.M. Foreman's junk yard in Totter's Lane, London. (PROSE: The Rag and Bone Man's Story) Several months before March 1963, Susan and her grandfather took up residence in London so the Doctor could effect repairs. (PROSE: Time and Relative)
Before starting school Edit
Susan had a number of adventures before she formally started classes.
The Doctor and Susan got lost at night in the dense fog. They met a girl named Joan Calder who sheltered them at her home, where they met her mother and grandfather. During the visit the house burst into flames. On the Doctor's instruction, Susan broke a mirror in the house. The elder Calder crumbled into ash and the fire abated. Although the Doctor never was able to adequately explain the event, it was related to the fact that the house had in fact been levelled during the London Blitz two decades earlier. The Doctor postulated that Susan's action likely saved the lives of Joan and her mother. (PROSE: Ash)
On one occasion, they went to central Europe in the 16th century. On the way out of the TARDIS, Susan noticed what looked like a meteorite. She tossed it out, thinking it unimportant, but soon came to realise that it was in fact a part of a Liciax ship. When she tried to find what she had carelessly discarded, it was gone. With the help of a man named Lovey, they traced it to Prague, where they found it had been shaped into a golem. It was definitively alive. It was also on a murderous rampage. The Doctor and Susan trapped it in the attic of a Jewish synagogue, placing it under a security system, to which only they knew the access codes. Some four hundred fifty years later, the Fourth Doctor and Romana I returned to retrieve the golem, hoping to take it back to the Liciax homeworld. (PROSE: Life from Lifelessness)
At another time, they accidentally landed at the BBC's Paris studios in 1955 because transmissions there had disabled their dematerialisation circuit. They met a radio comedian named Max Wheeler, the star of a programme called Anyway, As I Say. His recordings were plagued by a distinctive background "hum" caused by ghostly aliens known as the Shakers. These aliens could kill people with sonic resonance — the thing manifesting itself as a "hum" on BBC broadcasts. During World War II, the British saw the Shakers as a useful ally. They recruited the Shakers into the French resistance. In 1955, the Shakers were unaware that the war had ended and were unable to clearly understand who their enemies were. Unfortunately, the audiences laughter during the performance of Anyway As I Say was, because of its precise harmonics, resonating them out of their "homes" in the walls of Broadcasting House, reawakening them to their murderous task. The Doctor and Susan used canned laugh tracks to force the Shakers out of the walls. Though she and her grandfather tried to explain the current reality to them, the Shakers continued to kill indiscriminately. The only course of action was for Susan and the Doctor to alter the harmonics of the canned laughter and kill them with it. (PROSE: Losing the Audience)
Life as a schoolgirl Edit
Against his better judgment, the Doctor enrolled Susan at Coal Hill School in Shoreditch, where Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright were teachers. Susan took the last name "Foreman" from I.M. Foreman, the name on the gates of the junkyard where the Doctor had hidden his TARDIS. She eagerly sampled the cultural fads of British teenagers. She came to love pop groups such as John Smith and the Common Men. (TV: An Unearthly Child)
She was also interested in beat poetry. This interest led to two adventures with her grandfather, only one of which she remembered. After witnessing a man explode into a protoplasmic mass at a beat poetry reading, her grandfather and she traced the unusual death to a British government project, Operation Proteus. They discovered the project was being run by an alien named Raldonn, who was mutating humans to turn one into his own species so that he would have a co-pilot to help him fly his ship back home. Unfortunately, his efforts relied on a lethal virus that threatened all London. After reversing the effects of the virus, the Doctor and Susan returned to the TARDIS in Totter's Lane, whereupon she was taken and then returned to his side without their knowledge. (COMIC: Operation Proteus)
Susan was taken from her time stream to the year 2082 by the Threshold. They had been hunting time travelling humans to send to their clients, the Lobri, who fed on humanity's base emotions until they could break free of their psychic plane of existence. Because time travellers could survive the journey to the Lobri's "realm", the Threshold had been particularly interested in the Doctor's former companions, like Peri, Sarah Jane, and Ace. Unfortunately, the Threshold didn't realise until after they had captured her that Susan wasn't human. The seventh incarnation of her grandfather had to rescue all his companions from the Threshold's sinister scheme. He was only successful in this effort because Ace sacrificed herself by blowing up the Lobri and herself with Nitro-9. Grieving the loss of Ace, the Doctor wiped his remaining companions' minds of the event and returned them to their proper times. Susan was returned to the side of her grandfather as they walked back to Totter's Lane after the incident. (COMIC: Ground Zero)
This was especially difficult during lessons. There was an obvious imbalance in her knowledge compared with her classmates. She understood advanced physics and chemistry beyond the abilities of her teachers, yet did not know how many shillings made a pound; she thought the United Kingdom was on the decimal system, which only the United States had in 1963 and hadn't yet been introduced to the UK. Ian claimed Susan would gradually tell of her knowledge to ensure she didn't embarrass her teachers. (TV: An Unearthly Child)
During this time, she used the Blessing Star, hoping it would help her fit in. Instead, it made her extraordinarily lucky, which only further emphasised the differences between her and her fellows. In a fit of pique, she buried the Blessing Star in I.M. Foreman's junkyard — an act that would inadvertently help England win the 1966 World Cup. (PROSE: The Rag and Bone Man's Story)
Travels with Ian and Barbara Edit
Susan's individuality may have been more a problem for her teachers than for her. Susan called her five months on Earth "the happiest of (her) life". When Ian and Barbara followed her home one night to find out more of her mysterious home life, they found the TARDIS. The Doctor kidnapped Ian and Barbara and took a reluctant Susan too, travelling to Earth in the Stone Age. The Doctor was taken by Kal, who had seen him produce fire. The others tried to rescue the Doctor, but were taken to the Cave of Skulls. The Old Mother released the Doctor and his companions and they escaped into a nearby forest. Za was injured by an animal when he tried to chase after them. Ian and Barbara took care of Za, but the group were still sent back to the cave. Ian produced fire for the tribe and devised a way of scaring the cavemen by setting the skulls on fire. The group escaped to the TARDIS, which took off again. (TV: An Unearthly Child)
When the TARDIS landed on Skaro, the Doctor lied about the fluid link needing more mercury, when there was nothing wrong, so he could explore a nearby city. The Daleks imprisoned the Doctor and his companions inside the city, confiscating the fluid link they brought along. Susan helped the Daleks write an agreement for the Thals, but once they arrived, the Daleks ambushed them, killing the Thal leader, Temmosus.
Having escaped, they assisted the Thals in their attack on the Dalek city. The Daleks' power supply was damaged in the attack. The Daleks died and their plans to flood the atmosphere with radiation failed. (TV: The Daleks)
With the fluid link retrieved, the Doctor left Skaro for Earth, using the Fast Return Switch. The spring in the switch was damaged, causing it to be stuck. The TARDIS was sent to the beginning of a solar system and everyone was knocked out in the trip. The TARDIS tried warning the crew about the atoms forming around them when they came to, but the Doctor assumed that this was Ian and Barbara's sabotage of the ship. Susan had been affected the worst by what had happened. Once Barbara figured out what was going on, the Doctor fixed the spring, ending the fault. (TV: "The Rescue", The Edge of Destruction)
Still heavily damaged and malfunctioning, the TARDIS found its way to Earth, but did not make it to Ian and Barbara's time, instead landing in the Plain of Pamir in 1289. There, the Doctor and his companions met Marco Polo. Polo took the TARDIS and its keys on his caravan the breadth of Cathay to hand to Kublai Khan as part of a bargain for his return to Venice. During this time, Susan formed a strong friendship with a young girl named Ping-Cho. Along the way, the Mongol warlord Tegana, also part of Polo's caravan, tried to take the TARDIS for Nogai as part of his plan to assassinate Kublai. In the chaos of Tegana and Polo's duel in Peking, the Doctor and his companions escaped in his repaired TARDIS. (TV: Marco Polo)
The Doctor landed on an island on Marinus. Arbitan asked them to search for the keys to the reprogrammed Conscience of Marinus to regain control over the Voord, as all of his other followers and family members failed to retrieve them. Arbitan trapped the TARDIS in a forcefield, preventing the Doctor and his companions' escape.
They used Arbitan's travel dials to reach Morphoton. Barbara released Arbitan's daughter, Sabetha, and the rest of the city from the Morpho's mind control, and retrieved the first key. While Ian and Barbara searched for the second key, Susan and Sabetha were trapped inside a mountain cave. Ian, Barbara and Altos rescued them and found the third key deep inside the caverns guarded by Ice Soldiers.
In Millennius, Ian was framed for murder. The Doctor stood as defence at Ian's trial, but he was sentenced to death. While Susan was held hostage by Kala, the Doctor learnt from her that one of the conspirators in the murder, the prosector Eyesen, was ready to collect one of the keys. Ian was spared execution. The guards captured Eyesen and the last key was found in the mace that killed Eprin.
The Doctor and his companions returned to Arbitan's island, where Arbitan had been murdered. Ian handed the Voord a fake key, which destroyed the Conscience, along with the Voord. They were able to leave in the TARDIS once more. (TV: The Keys of Marinus)
The Doctor and his companions arrived in an Aztec temple in Mexico. They went through a one-way passage that prevented access to the TARDIS. Barbara posed as the Aztec god, Yetaxa, with the others as her servants, to find a way back. For interrupting the First Victim's human sacrifice, Susan was sent to a seminary.
Susan was to be punished for denying marriage to the Perfect Victim of the Aztecs' sacrifice and Ian to be executed when he was framed by the High Priest of Sacrifice, Tlotoxl, for attacking the High Priest of Knowledge, Autloc. Autloc's faith in Yetaxa was shattered, and he left for the wilderness. The Doctor, Ian and the Doctor's accidental fiancée, Cameca, distracted Ian and Susan's guard to escape. They worked on a pulley system to open the doorway back to the TARDIS. As they departed, the sacrifice of the Perfect Victim continued as planned. (TV: The Aztecs)
The Doctor landed inside a spaceship in the 28th century, where two crewmembers were suspended in a state resembling death and another, John, had had his mind opened and turned insane, following an attack on their minds by the Sensorites. The Sense Sphere, which the ship had been trapped around, had its aqueducts' water supply poisoned with atropine by survivors of a previous human expedition whose ship had been destroyed.
The TARDIS' lock was taken by the Sensorites, leaving the Doctor and his companions trapped on the spaceship. After the Doctor and his companions resisted the Sensorites, the Doctor, Ian and Susan agreed to go down to the Sense Sphere, where the Doctor worked out the cure for this "disease", which had also afflicted Ian, while the Sensorite scientists treated John. When the Doctor and Ian had gone to the aqueduct to investigate with broken weapons, Susan held a telepathic link with Barbara to help her way through the aqueduct. The Doctor, Ian and Barbara found the human expedition and pretended to be a welcoming party for them and that the "war" against the Sensorites was won. The expedition were taken into custody on Maitland's ship. Maitland's ship was free to leave and the TARDIS crew had regained their lock. (TV: The Sensorites)
In a London devastated by the 22nd century Dalek invasion, Susan fell in love with the freedom fighter David Campbell. The Doctor realised Susan would never leave him of her own free will; she thought him dependent on her. Rather than let her choose to stay with him or with David, he forced her hand and locked her out of the TARDIS, bidding her farewell and saying that one day he would return. Meanwhile she had a place where she could belong, and a home which she confided to David she had never really had. (TV: The Dalek Invasion of Earth)
Adult life Edit
About twenty years after being left on Earth, Borusa captured Susan with a Time Scoop and placed her with the Doctor in the Death Zone on Gallifrey. She met her grandfather in his fifth incarnation (and, briefly, his second and third incarnations). She accompanied the First Doctor back to their time streams. (TV: The Five Doctors)
Susan and David adopted three war orphans and named them Ian, Barbara and David Campbell Junior; Susan was not able to conceive with David. She worked as a peace officer who made Dalek artefacts safe. The years she spent on Earth caused problems for them. She did not age as fast as humans and was forced to disguise herself to look thirty years older. In 2199, she encountered the Master whilst investigating a Dalek artefact, and was captured by him. Susan was taken in the Master's TARDIS to the planet Tersurus, where she believed that she killed him. Afterwards she took his TARDIS. (PROSE: Legacy of the Daleks)
A conflicting account held that Susan was able to have a child with David. Her son, Alex Campbell, had only one heart. Susan asked the Doctor if Alex could be educated on Gallifrey. The Doctor expressed doubts about David's acceptance when told that Alex had only one heart. After David's death, Susan became one of the leaders of the Earth council to help with the planet's recovery. She met with her grandfather in his eighth incarnation and helped stop a seemingly peaceful race from enslaving the human race. (AUDIO: An Earthly Child)
Six months later, Susan had Christmas dinner with the Eighth Doctor and Lucie Miller in the TARDIS. (AUDIO: Relative Dimensions) Susan later helped the Doctor in his efforts to defeat the second Dalek invasion of Earth. During this time, Alex was killed by the Daleks and Susan was left to deal with his death alone on Earth after Lucie Miller stopped the invasion. (AUDIO: Lucie Miller, To the Death)
The Ninth Doctor told Rose Tyler, "My entire planet died. My whole family." (TV: Father's Day) It is not clear whether he was including Susan in this. During World War II, the Ninth Doctor encountered Dr Constantine, taking care of carriers of the Empty Child plague, who told the Doctor, "Before this war began, I was a father and a grandfather. Now I’m neither. But I’m still a doctor." The Doctor replied, "Yeah. I know the feeling." (TV: The Empty Child)
The Tenth Doctor once said that he had left Susan on a future Earth with a freedom fighter with whom she had fallen in love and he was unsure if she was alive, as he simply had not checked. (COMIC: The Forgotten)
Susan loved her grandfather, as he did her. She was fond of 20th century England, so she enrolled in school there. Despite the Doctor's warnings, she still endangered their secrets. Susan was intelligent in terms of technology and historical events, but knew very little about ordinary things like money. (TV: "An Unearthly Child")
Susan was quick to show fear, either by screaming or calling for her grandfather. She quickly befriended Ian and Barbara but did not accept their claims the Doctor had intentionally damaged his own TARDIS. (TV: The Daleks)
When the Fast Return Switch was stuck, it was Susan who suffered the worst from its effects. She very nearly killed Barbara and Ian. At first she sided with her grandfather, blaming the teachers for the problems. However, she soon recognised their innocence. (TV: The Edge of Destruction)
On Marinus, Susan travelled ahead of the others and was frightened by the jungle and the screams that emanated from it. Despite her earlier truthfulness, the others did not take this seriously. (TV: The Keys of Marinus)
On 22nd century Earth, Susan developed a relationship with David Campbell. The Doctor recognised this and decided it was best to leave her behind so that she could live a normal life. Susan was reluctant, but the Doctor seemed to convince her it was for the best. (TV: The Dalek Invasion of Earth)
Behind the scenes Edit
- According to the Brief Encounter story Roses, Susan's real name is (the Gallifreyan word for) "Rose". This allows a subtle connection between the first companions of the 1963 and 2005 versions of Doctor Who.
- No televised episode has ever explored Susan's origins. The unbroadcast pilot episode features a line of dialogue in which Susan states she is from the 49th century. However, the final televised version broadcast as part 1 of An Unearthly Child contains no such reference.
- It's unclear why David Whitaker chose to change the character's name to Susan English for his novelisations. The later unofficial novel Campaign reinstated this use in tribute, but all other novelisations and original novels have used the Susan Foreman name.
- The contradicting stories regarding Susan's origins predate the BBC Wales version of Doctor Who. The 2005 version establishes the fact that the Doctor had a family on Gallifrey and intimates, though never explicitly states, that Susan was in all likelihood his biological granddaughter. As of 2012, there has never been an indication given in any TV episode to suggest otherwise.
- Some fans of the revived series believe the unknown Time Lady from TV: The End of Time was actually Susan, mainly due to the fact that when Wilfred Mott asks the Doctor who she was, the Doctor looks past him to Donna Noble (Wilfred's granddaughter) and does not answer. However, this has never been confirmed. Russell T Davies in the Doctor Who Confidential has stated that he doesn't know for certain who the unknown woman is. In a March 2009 email reprinted in REF: Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale - The Final Chapter, on pages 622-623, Russell T. Davies states that he created the character to be the Doctor's mother, and that this is what actress Claire Bloom was told when she was cast. During filming, newspapers the Daily Mail and The Daily Telegraph announced that Claire Bloom would be portraying the Doctor's mother. However, Davies has acknowledged that the character could be interpreted as any trustworthy Time Lord or possibly even someone else.
- According to The Handbook: The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to the Production of Doctor Who, among other young actresses considered for the role in 1963 were Anneke Wills and Jackie Lane, who each later played companions in the series. Director Waris Hussein is credited with recommending Carole Ann Ford for the part. According to the authorised scholarship of David J. Howe and friends, however, there is no evidence of Lane or Wills actually having read for the part, at least not for Rex Tucker, the original director assigned to the first serial. Lane doesn't even appear on the audition list that has survived in the archives, and Wills was marked as a no-show. (REF: The First Doctor Handbook)
- Carole Ann Ford's hairstyle as Susan was created by famed stylist Vidal Sassoon.