Why don’t they bring back Susan to TV?

I find myself thinking about Susan.

@deltaandthebannermen has written an excellent Guide on her, and I also read up about her on the wiki, but I can’t find out what I want to know:

Carole Ann Ford is still alive, and she’s done some Big Finish so she is still active in the Whoniverse. Even if Carole doesn’t want to come back, she’s a Time Lord so could regenerate and have anyone play her. But they have never brought the character back on the modern show, and have barely featured her in books and audio.

I think she is one of the most fascinating characters, her backstory could be so interesting. We don’t know for sure if she is biologically the granddaughter of the Doctor. If she is, we don’t know if it’s her mother or father who is related to the Doctor (or if Time Lord procreation is even more complicated).

She ran away with the Doctor, but why leave her parent(s) behind? Or did something happen to them?

In Big Finish, she gets involved with the Time War and also meets the Eighth Doctor in some excellent stories. So why have they never brought her back to TV?

If you were tasked to write her into the new series, how would you do it? Would you reveal her parentage and explain why she ended up running away with the Doctor? Would you get Carole to reprise the role, regenerate her, or a bit of both? (You could have Carole play her for half and episode and then regenerate into the new actress).

I’d love to know your thoughts!


Elizabeth Sandifer talks about this a lot in the Tardis Eruditorum series. But it’s in amongst a lot of other stuff so I can’t direct you to anything specific.

I agree that it’s odd she hasn’t returned as Carole has always said she is up for it and I believe Capaldi was keen on the idea. But with the 50th and the 60th specials both passing without her, it seems the ship has sailed.

It really does seem like the sort of thing any of the showrunners would have jumped at the chance to do - I mean, look at what they did bring back in their various runs - so I don’t really know why it’s never happened. I’m not sure I’ve even seen them comment on it (and someone must have asked them).


I always wonder with this - the Doctor is her Grandfather, but there is little to no mention anywhere in any canon (so far as I am aware) of Susan’s parents. And sure, I like it when Time Lord families work a little differently to what we as humans consider a ‘family’ (#loomsforever) but nevertheless, I think that’s something that is totally slept on. What about the Doctor’s child(ren?)


I think it may be a case of “this is too big / too overwhelming to touch”. And a fear of getting it wrong. Also the longer it is left, the worse the Doctor looks for never visiting her.

There have been slight allusions to it, with The Doctor saying he’s been a parent before, in The Doctor’s Daughter. But I want to know more!

At the very least we need to bring her back and have her regenerate before Carole is too old to do it.


Isn’t it obvious? Susan’s mother’s name is Jenny, and we meet her in The Doctor’s Daughter. I mean, she has to be Susan’s mother since she is the Doctor’s daughter :laughing::laughing:

Unless the Doctor has several children, but I really don’t want to think about when and how they’ve been producing them :open_mouth:

But yeah, I really hoped they’d brought back Susan during the 60th, if only for a minisode! It pains me to know that the Doctor promised to get back to her but hasn’t kept thst promise yet (on TV at least).


Why do this make so much sense. Now I want Big Finish to do a Jenny as a mother to Susan where she is a bit older every episodes and then gets introduced to the first doctor in the finale.


And this is precisely why the subject of the Doctor’s children has been quietly ignored on TV.


And this is precisely why, in my personal DW canon, none of this father/grandfather nonsense exists :stuck_out_tongue:

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I don’t think there’s an issue with Susan being the Doctor’s granddaughter at all because that generation once removed avoids the need to think about how she came to be.

Certainly Carole Ann Ford thrives on being the Doctor’s granddaughter as this elevates her above other companions. She’s proud of that relationship and I couldn’t take that away from her.

The fact is we don’t need to know about her parents to appreciate and enjoy the paternal relationship she shares with the First Doctor. People have attempted to explain it away via Looms or adoption or the Lady Larn but it isn’t necessary. It’s a fact that can exist without the blanks being filled in.


I just don’t agree with the Doctor having those sorts of close familial ties, including having a wife (forgot to add that to my previous comment). I’d rather that sort of thing remain an element of fannish headcanon.

Susan can call herself the Doctor’s granddaughter all she wants, but, as far as I’m concerned, it’s just a title that makes her feel better :person_shrugging:.

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I admit that, despite not being that characterised in the show, I do have a soft spot for Susan. I’d love to see what happened to her after those Time War audios, or receive an official explanation of her fate on the TV show. After all, despite Gallifrey being destroyed, there might be a chance of survivors.


I’m calling it now - the entire next season is about Susan.

The Space Babies in episode 1 are clearly made from Looms and gets the Doctor thinking of Susan.
Episodes 2-6 are all about adventures the Doctor and Ruby have that are controlled by “the one who waits” as the Toymaker said - this is of course an angry Susan who have waited lifetimes for the Doctor to someday get back.

The Legend of Ruby Sunday reveals that it was Susan who dropped of Ruby at the Church, Ruby is naturally an android Susan has made to spy on the Doctor.
In The Empire of Death the Doctor and Susan have a swordfight which causes Susan to regenerate into Varada Sethu and repairs their relationship.

Sorry for spoiling the next season :upside_down_face:
(Oh my giddy aunt if anything of these ramblings prove to be true :flushed::grin:)


Susan being The One Who Waits is genius :clap:


Even the Toymaker is afraid of angry Carole Ann Ford :wink:


Just wait until everyone finds out that Mrs. Flood is Susan… :stuck_out_tongue:


I know you’re probably kidding about that, but I wrote my thinking behind who Mrs. Flood is and why she’s not Susan here:


I am, indeed, kidding about that! :cyberman: :tardis:


It’s something that feels like a no-brainer, especially after the revival got more comfortable going bringing back some certain Villains or Companions, so why not Susan too?

The Issue probably arrives with the Fact that such an episode is a fan dream for years, and yet it still hasn’t happened. Fully delivering on a return from the Doctor to Susan might be on paper one that I’d think sounds easier at first but the more, you thought about it, the more issues arrive.

The Biggest one in my eyes at least being the “how” & “why now and not sooner”. Yes she reappeared in the EU thanks to BF for example, but really that as much I like her interesting but complicated relationship with 8 is doubtful to carry or get acknowledge over, if she ever returns. (The Show and its EU while not having a clear canon and some ways to explain contradiction and how stuff may fit in is rather infamous for not really giving much acknowledgment, the biggest we got might just been in NotD.

Again I would totally love for Carol Ann to return to the Role, she was the first Companion and such a mysterious Character, especially in Hindsight. I would love how they would adress a lot and show us how she lived, but as more Time goes on, it seems less and less likely.
In general, it’s a great shame how the Revival is scared of bringing back past Timelords that aren’t the Master of Rassilon (with some I believe because of legal issues with the Estates? With others? No idea why they didnt)


With legal issues, if I understand things correctly, main thing is that on a lot of classic who, the rights to the characters belong to the writers that created them.

The Rani is the specific one I’ve heard referenced on this, because she belongs to Pip and Jane Baker, and sadly, both of them have passed away, and people aren’t really sure who would own the rights at this point.