Susan Foreman

Portrayed by: Carole Ann Ford
Travelled with: First Doctor
Series: Classic

Susan Foreman was a companion of the First Doctor at the very start of his travelling life, as well as being his biological granddaughter. Susan was a Time Lady of Gallifrey, though her parents are unknown, who was young in the eyes of Time Lords, appearing to be only a teenager to human eyes, despite being older than two of her fellow companions, Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright, combined. Susan took up residence at 76 Trotter’s Lane with her grandfather in the TARDIS they had borrowed/stolen from Gallifrey, which then broke when they landed in London, prompting the Doctor to conduct some repairs. While doing this, and against his better judgement, he enrolled Susan into the local high school, Coal Hill School in Shoreditch, where she was taught by Ian and Barbara. Susan adopted the surname Foreman from the junkyard where the TARDIS resided. While here, Susan sampled the cultural fads of British teenagers, coming to love pop groups such as John Smith and the Common Men. However, due to Susan’s advanced knowledge of such things as physics or chemistry, fitting in at school proved to be troublesome. She lacked local knowledge, such as how many shillings made a pound, though she referred to her five months at school as “the happiest of (her) life”. When two of her teachers, Ian and Barbara, became worried, they followed her home where they found the TARDIS and were kidnapped by the Doctor to prevent them revealing the truth about him or Susan.

The Doctor did not trust Ian or Barbara so Susan acted as an intermediary between them to begin with, travelling as part of the very first TARDIS crew, adventuring to early Earth history, as well as meeting the Daleks for the first time on Skaro in The Daleks (Classic Series). Although Susan had advanced knowledge compared to Earthlings in areas such as the sciences, she displayed less knowledge than that of other Gallifreyans, potentially showing her young age. She was naïve to dangers the existed on any of the planets they visited, and also displayed less knowledge as to the workings of the TARDIS than the Doctor.

Susan Foreman in An Unearthly Child

Susan was very fond of both 20th century England, which formed the basis of her enrolling in Coal Hill School, her of her grandfather; however despite the Doctor’s warnings she regularly endangered their secrets, knowing so much about Earth technology and historical events, yet not knowing simple things such as the currency. Susan was quick to show fear, usually by screaming or calling for the Doctor. Though she quickly befriended Ian and Barbara, even asking the Doctor to release them from the TARDIS after he first kidnapped them, she did not accept their claims that her grandfather had deliberately sabotaged his own TARDIS in The Daleks, even though he had. When the TARDIS malfunctioned when the Fast Return Switch became stuck, Susan sided with her grandfather in blaming Ian and Barbara for the issues, though she quickly realised their innocent, Susan suffered worst from the effects of the broken Fast Return Switch.

During the Dalek Invasion of Earth (Classic Series), Susan fell in love with resistance fighter David Campbell and developed a relationship with him. After defeating the Daleks, David confessed his love for Susan and asked her to stay and marry him, but she initially declined, saying that she needed to be with her grandfather, whom she believed was dependant on her. The Doctor heard all this, and made her mind up for her, locking Susan out of the TARDIS and saying goodbye through the TARDIS monitor, telling her that one day he would return but for now she had a place that she could call home, something she had confided in David she felt she’d never really had. The TARDIS dematerialised leaving Susan on Earth with David, where she dropped her TARDIS key on the ground where the TARDIS had stood before leaving, and set off to start a new life with David.

Susan Foreman listening to a radio in An Unearthly Child

After 20 years on Earth, the Time Lord Borusa used a Time Scoop to capture Susan and place her in the Death Zone on Gallifrey alongside the First Doctor in The Five Doctors (Classic Series), where she assisted the Doctor and met his Second, Third and Fifth incarnations. Following their mission on Gallifrey, Susan accompanied the Doctor back to their time streams.

As a Time Lady, it could be assumed that Susan was called to fight in the Last Great Time War; however no evidence has been seen to suggest this. On the occasions when the Doctor has been asked whether he has family, he has either changed the subject or given an airy answer. The Ninth Doctor noted that he was the last of the Time Lords and although he did not mention Susan by name also stated that his “whole family” died. The Tenth Doctor notes that he had “been a father before” and it was evident that their deaths still hurt him, while the Eleventh Doctor does not answer his companion, Amy Pond, when she asks about his family. However, being a Time Lady would have given Susan an extended life over the human she married, so it is possible she found a way back to Gallifrey if her husband passed on, though no evidence is seen to suggest or support this.