“In Memory of Susan?” – One Whovian’s Theory

Doctor Who
Doctor Who
Doctor Who
Doctor Who

Throughout the years, the Doctor has had many different companions. Most of them have been female companions; with the occasional male involved only to shake up the dynamic. These women have been mostly in their teens to early 20s. The question here now is why does the Doctor have young attractive female companions? It cannot be purely for the sex appeal they bring to television screens.

What if it is for a different reason entirely? What if the reason the Doctor has mainly women companions is because he is trying to fill a void?

Secretly, he is a sad man. Although he hides it well, the Doctor is always sad. In his hearts lie a hole left behind by the one person he has truly left behind: his granddaughter Susan.

Susan was his first travelling companion. They left Gallifrey together to begin a whole new life. In 1963 they landed in I.M. Foreman’s junkyard and Susan, who takes her surname from the junkyard where she landed, began her new life as a student at the local school: Coal Hill. At the school she spouts knowledge that cannot be possibly known – even for a high school student! She is later confronted at the junkyard by two of her teachers: Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright, played by William Russell and Jacqueline Hill respectively. Unbeknownst to the schoolteachers, they are about to embark on both a fantastic and thrilling journey!

Susan was the closest companion,emotionally speaking, to the Doctor. Being family, that bond was particularly strong. The Doctor was never the same again after leaving her (“The Dalek Invasion of Earth” from season two in the original run of “Doctor Who”). Other women came and went. Each companion the Doctor had shared some aspect of Susan. Whether it be her curiosity, spunk, or penchant for getting into trouble – like Sarah Jane Smith would on occasion.

When the Doctor’s daughter was genetically engineered in season four of the “New Who” era, the Doctor had another shot at being a father; he had acted as a father figure to Susan all those years ago. Jenny, his daughter, had died and the Doctor once again thought he would never be happy again. So once again he attempted to fill that hole with more companions. Occasionally he would mention something he did with Susan, a happy memory, such as when he took her to the Rings of Akhaten; this particular example is mentioned in the New Who season seven episode of the same name. He has grown used to the loss – it is now a part of who he is.

What do you think? Is the Doctor trying to honor his granddaughter? Or replace her? Do you have another theory entirely as to why the Doctor has such young and good-looking companions? Let me know in the comments!

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About Brandon Rieckhoff 15 Articles
Brandon is a recent graduate of Cornerstone University; having earned his BA in Humanities. He fancies himself a big geek/nerd. He’s into, among many other things: comic books (Marvel/DC/Image, mostly), Doctor Who, a little bit of Pokemon (he’s not too familiar with current generations!), reading (he cites Ernie Cline, Raymond Chandler, and Jane Austen being among his favorite authors), gaming (League of Legends, Skyrim, Assassin’s Creed, and Pokemon: White being among his favorites), watching a myriad of film genres (his favorite film currently is Big Hero 6), and listening to music (his music tastes are as varied as his other hobbies; that is to say: widely!). He has been loving his time here at TGI and cannot wait to see what is in store for him in the future!

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