What Ever Happened To… Susan Foreman?
Guest contributor Gustaff wonders what happened to Susan.
“Well, I made up the name TARDIS from the initials: Time And Relative Dimension In Space.” – Susan
This Time Lady was born Arkytior, which incidentally means ‘Rose’ in High Gallifreyan, but later adopted the alias Susan Foreman and maintained it throughout the rest of her life. Susan was the granddaughter of the Doctor, his first travelling companion. Her departure from the TARDIS was forced onto her by her grandfather who thought that she needed to leave to pursue a normal life with a man she fell in love with.
Roughly twenty years after being left behind on earth, Susan was briefly reunited with the Doctor in the Death Zone and met several of his future incarnations.
Susan’s life after the Doctor also contains contradictions of all sorts. The novel Legacy of the Daleks reveals that she told David she wasn’t human. Legacy of the Daleks also tells us that Susan adopted three war orphans because she was unable to conceive. She worked as a peace officer and had to disguise herself later in her life to look younger because she didn’t age as nippily as everyone else.
The Earthly Child contradicts the above account and establishes that she and David Campbell married and had at least one child together, a boy named Alex. This account also contradicts the statement that Susan told David that she wasn’t human.
Susan and Alex continued to live on earth after David died. She briefly encountered the Eighth Doctor and wondered if Alex would be allowed an education on Gallifrey, but the Doctor expressed worry that Alex’s ‘half-human’ heritage would cause problems. After the Doctor left, Susan and Alex stayed on earth to make peace with humanity.
The Doctor, still in his eighth body, returned six months later and had Christmas dinner with Lucie, Susan and Alex. Afterwards, Lucie elected to travel the world with Alex and the Doctor left. The Daleks invaded and he returned. Susan helped her grandfather, along with Lucie and Alex, defeat the Daleks, but the battle resulted in the deaths of both Lucie Miller and Alex Campbell. Susan was offered the chance to travel with the Doctor again, but refused.
The eventual fate of Susan Foreman is also contradicting. The Doctor explained to Rose that his ‘whole’ family was dead after the Time War. Whether or not he was including Susan is left up to speculation as there is still a debate over Susan being the biological granddaughter of the Doctor. The Forgotten tells us that the Doctor, now in his Tenth body, wasn’t sure if Susan was still alive or not as he hadn’t checked. This seems to imply that she wasn’t part of the Time War at all.
So Which Is The Real Susan Foreman?
Unfortunately, the television series has yet to give reference to Susan, though some fans believe that the Doctor will indeed go back for Susan in the upcoming 50th Anniversary or feel that she should be included in the special in some way. So without any television references, the bits and pieces from the various media may be used to conceive a coherent aftermath for Susan Foreman.
This Author’s Take
Personally I am against the Legacy of the Daleks approach as I count both the television series and the Big Finish stories as canon first before expanding into other media. Therefore, I accept that Susan had a child named Alex. As for her fate, I cannot be sure. I’d like to accept The Forgotten theory as it leaves the possibility of a Susan Foreman return open. I still haven’t forgotten that Susan still has all of her regenerations left, unless, like River Song, she regenerated into the Susan form prior to The Unearthly Child. Although this author believes that this theory would probably enrage some (I mean a lot of) fans. /p>
This has been the ‘What ever happened’ article on Susan Foreman. What do you think happened? Novel or Audio? Time War or The Forgotten? Thank you for reading.