And now Adrian Mourby finds out
whatever happened to Doctor Who's
granddaughter Susan Foreman of class B.
I had a happy childhood,
although I don't remember Galli very well.
We moved to London in to Coal Hill.
I came here with my grandfather.
My parents were too busy with the shop.
What kind of shop?
It sold concepts, philosophical,
You could buy them in purely
intellectual form or printed on a T-shirt.
Ian Chesterton, deputy head,
Coal Hill School.
Yeah, I remember her all right.
She was the one who disappeared.
Her family owned a scrapyard in...
Where was it? Totter's Lane. .
Yes, I'm afraid I do remember.
It got me into the papers, didn't it?!
How did you come
to be at Coal Hill School?
My parents were concerned
about the education offered on Gallifrey.
It was a very science-based planet.
I was fine on thermo-nuclear dynamics
and warping, but my French was poor.
- It's a universal language!
Everyone in our galaxy speaks some French.
It's invaluable in a system
like Alpha Centauri
where you can't get served
unless one ''parle un peu de français''!
Why did you come
to south London, then?
That was my grandfather.
He'd just retired so my parents
sent me here with him.
I was supposed to go to a lycée,
but Grandfather was a bit nervous
about setting down in Paris
because of the lavatories,
so we landed up in Coal Hill.
I first became aware
of Susan Foreman in .
She was a new girl and
I was head of science.
She couldn't cut up a frog
to save her life, but one day,
she explained Einstein's general
theory of space and time to the class,
and I was amazed.
-She understood it?
- She didn't understand it very well,
but she was very relaxed about
the ideas, as if they were old hat.
So I got talking in the staff room
to Barbara Wright,
who taught Susan history,
and she said the girl showed
a similar absurd confidence
about things that happened in the past.
We didn't know whether
she was an unusual
talent who needed
or just a pain in the neck,
so we tried to contact her parents.
Now, I remember Susan became very cagey.
She said they'd got a sale on,
or some such nonsense,
so Miss Wright and I decided...
This is unethical, I admit,
but we decided to follow Susan home
to Totter's Lane where she was living.
Now, this bit IS strange.
She was living inside a police box
in this scrapyard.
Anyway, the next
Monday, she wasn't at
school and the phone
box had disappeared.
Well, that's all there was to it.
I went through all this in .
- Did you meet her grandfather?
- No. It was his scrapyard, was it?
What about the time travel?
What do you mean, time travel?
If Ian Chesterton won't tell
you about the trips we made,
he is either lying or suffering time lag.
It can bring on amnesia. It does happen.
And into the future, and back
to the times of Marco Polo and the Incas.
Oh, dear. Like I said,
we had all this out in !
Susan Foreman disappeared
from school. She was .
Girls of that age often did.
They go down to Brighton with
some boy on the back of a scooter,
then claim they've had amnesia
or been abducted by gypsies.
Only she stays away.
She comes back eight months later
with some tale that
Barbara Wright and me
have been travelling
in time with her,
and that in years,
the Earth will be
overrun by little
men in metal boxes!
She's not still sticking
to that story, is she?
Ask the Thals if you don't believe me.
Ask Temmosus. Everyone knows you
always get an honest answer from a Thal.
Since , Temmosus
Skyedron has been
EC Commissioner for
Ah, yes, that unfortunate
battle on Skaro.
Well, I remember Ian very well
from that time - Susan not so well,
but of course, we often meet now
at community functions.
Ian was a fine physical
specimen and very
active in our fight
against the Daleks.
I am almost certain he was not androgynous,
which made him stand out somewhat
amongst us Thals.
I think there was also a woman, Barbara,
who was also far from androgynous.
She backcombed her hair, as I recall,
and stuck out her bosoms.
Ian was very angry
that the Daleks were
into the atmosphere
to wipe us out.
He insisted we fought back,
and as he was a guest,
of course we went along with this view.
You say he remembers nothing of this?
after your battle with the Daleks?
We went backwards
and forwards in time. It was very tedious.
You see, my grandfather was showing off.
When Ian, Mr Chesterton,
had first come inside the Tardis,
he'd refused to believe
it could move in time and space
because he was an O-level science teacher.
This was just the excuse
my grandfather was looking for
to take us everywhere
and everywhen he wanted.
He used to pretend he had
no control over where we landed,
but we always set down somewhere
with a breathable atmosphere
and compatible gravity!
I get the impression
you didn't enjoy time travel.
Well, you can get the most enormous
time lag, but more importantly,
I was supposed to be sitting my mock
O-levels while all this was going on.
Barbara Wright was quite worried, too.
She was supposed to be invigilating!
Barbara Wright now lives in mid-Wales.
Why do you want to talk about Coal Hill?
We're doing a programme
on the time traveller, Susan Foreman.
I believe you taught her history.
Look, I was
out of teaching for years.
I've got my head together now.
I don't want that stuff.
I don't wanna talk about her.
It's bad stuff, you know?
Phone boxes and talking tin cans!
I don't do it any more, OK?
I think you got the wrong number.
In the s,
I was an agony aunt on ''Petticoat'',
the teenage magazine.
I got letters from a girl in south
London who was missing her parents.
I wrote to her that
she must stand up to her grandfather,
who owned a scrapyard in Tower Hamlets.
I never received her reply,
but by then we were off
with my teachers in the Tardis.
The letters dried
up, but I had a
postcard from France dated .
It said her grandfather had taken her away
and she wanted either to go home
to her parents or back to school.
I wrote to her that her grandfather
had no legal right
to take her out of full-time education,
and she should ring
the Attendance Officer herself.
Talking about things
and bringing them out
into the open does
the world of good.
I thought it was a really
mean trick to take us back to .
I'd made it very clear that I wanted
to get back for my French oral,
but Grandfather took me
back to Revolutionary Paris instead.
''Oral history, my girl!'' he said.
That was his idea of a joke!
Didn't Ian and Barbara have any say?
Mr Chesterton went quite
loopy after destroying the Daleks.
He got a kind of blood lust
And Miss Wright had become
very distant and superior
since the Aztecs proclaimed her
a reincarnation of the High Priest Yetaxa.
It was the backcombing.
In their theology, reincarnated
immortals look like Kathy Kirby.
It was difficult to get any sense
out of either of them.
Anyway, my grandfather
was a frustrated Time Lord.
- A Time Lord?
- They control the space time continuum.
They're based on Gallifrey.
My grandfather was put up to be one
but he was blackballed.
Probably, they got wind
of his interventionist tendency.
He preached non-involvement
but he didn't practise it, you see?
Most of the times and places
we visited are restricted.
You'd never get a flight plan agreed
for . It's too significant.
Consequently, we had to use
the temporal B-roads to avoid detection.
That's how we sometimes got lost.
Ian Chesterton says your
grandfather was a scrap merchant.
No, he's confusing the fact
that in November ,
our Tardis was parked
in a scrapyard in Totter's Lane.
My grandfather was a
retired time traveller.
He was a commercial traveller except
that he sold things in time and space
rather than just in the space
continuum. It's quite legal.
How long did you travel in time for?
Eight months. My grandfather
had had enough of me by then,
and he locked me out of the Tardis.
- Where was this?
- London. .
The Daleks tried to replace
the Earth's core with a propulsion unit
that would enable them to fly
the planet around the galaxy.
The place was in a real mess.
I was angry at being dumped there.
I thought your teacher
had destroyed the Daleks on Skaro.
That's true but that was in the future.
So incensed were the Daleks
by the defeat Ian and the Thals
were inflicting upon them,
they flew in a time machine to Earth
to revenge themselves
race or to stop him being born.
You can do that when you time travel.
Revenge yourself for something
by preventing it happening?
Yes. Their Tardis developed a leak
in the fluid link
and couldn't get any further back
than , when Ian was years d*ad.
So they set about enslaving
the entire population,
mining out the Earth's core,
you know how it is,
except that we turned up there
with Ian alive eight months later.
- It gets very confusing.
Of course, we joined the freedom fighters.
Given a choice, my grandfather
will always join the freedom fighters.
Usually, they're better looking.
You don't remember the fight
to free the Earth from the Daleks?
You're as potty as she is!
Grandfather said that it would be best
if I stayed with David Campbell,
the leader of the freedom fighters.
I knew what he was up to.
I was cramping his style.
He was nipping round the back road
to the space time continuum,
meeting up with blonde Thals, Aztec
handmaidens and French courtesans.
The last thing he wanted was some
teenager calling him ''Grandfather'',
particularly as he'd found
a way to regenerate himself.
- Oh, yes.
Once he'd hacked into how it was done,
he went one further
and made sure he came back younger.
Each time he's regenerated,
I think that's obvious!
Every time I meet him,
he's with some woman.
There have been so many,
Zoe, Sarah Jane, Jo, Ace, Romana!
He claims there's nothing
going on between them,
but why does he go to such lengths
to stay young?
He's on his seventh incarnation now.
Last time I saw him, he was my age.
- You've lost me there.
- Ask him!
Ask them, all the women he's had
in the back of that Tardis.
Mrs Jo Jones of Llanfairfechan,
Gwynedd, formerly Jo Grant.
Susan has got this whole thing
completely out of context!
The Doctor liked female companions.
Nothing wrong with that.
- He was a doctor?
- Not a medical doctor.
He had some Open Universe degree.
He used to be a commercial time traveller.
After he retired,
he took a PhD in botany.
On many planets, the plants are
more intelligent than the people!
Did he have the secret of rejuvenation?
I didn't know it was a secret.
He pretended he didn't
know how it happened,
but we all knew it was a hormone thing.
''Hormone Reversal Treatment'',
they called it.
You were asking about sex really,
I knew the Doctor in his third incarnation,
and we spent a lot of time together
in the Tardis, and I can tell you,
There was a certain sexual
tension in the air.
After all, he wasn't getting any older.
I thought maybe in a few years,
when we were closer in age,
but in the end I left, like all the others.
I think he was too much of a gentleman.
Also, there was never enough time.
I think Susan just felt hugely rejected.
Of course I felt rejected!
Imagine your nearest relative throws
you into a post-holocaust wasteland,
and says you belong
in the arms of an urban guerrilla!
But you WERE in love
with David Campbell?
I was !
I was always in love with someone!
I'd been in love with a Menoptera,
but Grandfather hadn't told me
to shack up with a big furry butterfly!
There I was in the year ,
over years from my school,
in a city that was nothing but ruins.
David said we could rebuild it together.
''OK'', I thought, but when I looked
at the size of the problem -
rebuild London after the Daleks
and their Robomen had smashed it up?
I thought, ''No, thank you!''
and I rang home.
My godfather's brother,
Terry, was very nice,
and said next time he was inspecting
that part of the time waft,
he'd pick me up, which he did.
Did he get you back
in time for your O-levels?
I didn't really want to go back to .
I'd seen a bit of the future by this time
and knew that things were pretty
quiet in London until ' , ' ,
so I asked him to drop me off
some time around then.
But he said that he
could only obey real time,
which is a bit patronising because
any fool knows time is relative!
Real time meant
that I'd been away eight months,
so I had to go back to July .
On the plus side,
at least I was somewhere that wasn't
covered in rubble and bits of d*ad Dalek,
but I missed my mocks and my O's.
The headmaster called me in and said,
''That girl who disappeared
at the end of last year, Susan Foreman,
''she's turned up.''
And then he said,
I'll always remember this,
''I should tell you, Ian, that she's making
some serious accusations about you.''
My stomach went through the floor.
I was young, I was stupid!
I realise that now.
I should have kept quiet
about what had happened,
but all the girls were asking me
what it had been like.
I felt rather inadequate
when I said I
hadn't been with a boy
on a motor scooter.
They even started to tease me
that I hadn't had the nerve.
So I told them that I'd been
to China and South America and Paris
with Mr Chesterton and Miss Wright.
He was a bit of a dish, you see.
But then one girl,
Veronica Cartwright it was,
said, ''But they've been here
all the time, Susan Foreman.
''You're a liar, you are!''
Wouldn't it have been easier
to pretend you HAD been to Brighton?
Well, yes, but I can't lie, you see.
It's a very Earth thing, lying.
People don't lie on other planets?
It's one of the reasons there's
so little interplanetary tourism to Earth -
because of your reputation for dishonesty.
I can't lie, although it always
gets me into trouble.
What I didn't know was that Ian
and Barbara were already back.
When my grandfather chucked me out
in , they were inside the Tardis,
but months later, when he was
on the planet Mechanus,
my grandfather sent Ian and Barbara
back to Earth,
but at a point one second before
they first entered the Tardis.
And, of course,
the Tardis was no longer there.
So, as well as suffering
they appeared never to
have left Coal Hill,
been away a year.
Whereas I had come back
four months before them,
but only turned up now, eight months after.
This is the kind of irresponsible
thing my grandfather does,
so I had to explain
about time travel if
anyone was to believe
me, which they didn't.
''Teenage Runaway Schoolgirls,
the New Cathy Come Homes!''
At that time,
the ''Daily Sketch'' was doing a piece
about runaway pregnant schoolgirls.
Somehow, they got on to Susan.
It was a relief to find
someone who seemed to believe me.
He told me he wanted to tell
the real story of my time away.
I was staying in a YWCA by then.
So how did you come
to meet this reporter?
I was in an espresso bar,
and this man offered to buy me
a coffee, and I thought, ''OK.''
He seemed sympathetic and said
he just wanted to tell the true story.
When I explained that in , BC,
the tribe of Gum had lost
the knack for making f*re,
I could see that I wasn't really
telling him what he wanted to know.
After a while, he got up to go.
I was so desperate
for someone to believe me,
that I did something I shouldn't have.
''I've got artefacts in my room.''
I think he misunderstood what I meant.
What I'd got were bits and pieces
that I'd smuggled through
from different times we'd visited.
A sou from ,
an Ancient Chinese tea bag,
an early form of Aztec contraception,
and some in-flight cutlery from Mechanus.
Former investigative reporter.
Serving six months
for impersonating a gynaecologist.
This is a long time ago, you remember.
I must admit I thought,
when she invited me up to her room,
we were in for a spot
of the old slap and tickle.
I wasn't expecting a duffel bag
of knick-knacks from the British Museum!
''What do you say now?'' she said.
''Look,'' I said, ''you're a nice girl.
''I don't know where you got this stuff,
but I should put it back if I were you,
''or just chuck it in the river.''
I was so annoyed,
I threw him out.
It made a bit of a noise.
That got me into hot water with the warden
because we weren't allowed visitors,
so I had to leave the hostel.
I was on my own at my digs
and she turned up at the door.
I said, ''I can't talk
to you and I don't
want to after what
you've been saying!''
He was my only chance
to prove I wasn't insane!
It was Mr Chesterton or Miss Wright,
and she'd taken a field trip to Peru.
I said, ''You must remember!
Try and remember!
''You were knighted
by Richard the Lionheart,
''you were tried for m*rder in Millennius,
''you led the Thals' att*ck on Skaro!''
I was standing in the rain.
I was desperate.
With just me saying it,
all they had was a silly schoolgirl,
but if he could just remember
one little bit of it,
they couldn't ignore TWO people!
I shouldn't have called the police.
She was talking nonsense.
Out of her head, she was.
I hoped they'd warn her off,
not take her in and search
through her belongings!
''Runaway Schoolgirl att*cks Teacher.
Stolen Goods Seized.''
'''I'm a Time Traveller',
Says Teenage Susan!''
I remember those headlines!
I don't blame Mr Chesterton,
nor the police.
They were only doing
their job, and so was
the reporter from the
What really hurt
was the man from the British Museum
who identified my souvenirs
as museum property!
That was a complete lie!
I got sent to an approved school
in Barking. It was like prison.
It was a very bad time for me.
When I got out, I drifted.
I tried religion,
I tried opening a concept shop of my own,
but people only wanted the T-shirts,
and you don't make much on those.
I decided the time
travel was just past
history and I became
an ordinary girl.
I got a job as a
typist with the civil service,
and in , I was involved with
Britain's entry into
the Common Market,
and I've stayed in the EC ever since.
When I got to Brussels,
I noticed that a lot of the other officials
weren't from this planet at all.
There are several former time travellers
running things here at the moment.
And you married an EC commissioner?
Marriage was a mistake, really,
because I couldn't lie sufficiently.
I just couldn't! I could cheat
but I couldn't lie.
After the divorce, I threw myself
into this career and did rather well.
I was determined I would become
a commissioner, too.
I'm very pleased she got on.
I think we all imagined
she'd go the way
so many girls do after
What really galled me, though,
was the fact that five years ago,
up she pops as an EC Commissioner
Education had always been
a hobbyhorse of mine
because I'd missed out on my O-levels,
so when the job in education
came up, I jumped at it.
It's bad enough
with the National Curriculum and NMS,
but following EC regulations
as well leaves no time for teaching.
How can she expect
us to predict truancy levels,
special needs and computer literacy
up to the year ?
That's over years' time!
She has no idea of the damage her
EC nonsense is doing to British education.
Why are you so keen
to standardise education until ?
I've been there.
I know what a mess the schools
were in when the Daleks attacked.
The system collapsed completely!
So you're trying to prepare
the Earth against another Dalek att*ck?
Not another one.
The same one.
It hasn't happened yet,
but there's only years to go.
We all admire Susan tremendously.
She has great energy,
but she can enjoy a laugh.
That's why she fits in so well in Brussels.
It's important that you don't take
this job too seriously,
otherwise you could get very depressed.
Next year, when Brussels announces plans
to extend membership
to other parts of the galaxy,
I can see there will be
an enormous public outrage,
and the usual expressions of disbelief.
You'd think they wouldn't be
surprised by now.
And it's true you came here
from the planet Skaro?
- Six billion light years away?
Are there many people
from outer space running the EC?
- Why isn't this generally known?
I don't think
anyone's asked us before!
Do you ever see your grandfather?
I see him from time to time,
but I never know what he's going
to look like. He's probably by now.
I did suspect that he was
one of my daughter's boyfriends!
The Time Lords caught him
speeding through the Dark Ages.
He didn't think anyone
would look for him there.
He claims he files his flight plans now,
though you never know with him!
When you look back to , ' ,
to the time when you were
in the news, do you have any regrets?
No, not at all. What's the point?
Mind you, the timing of our
adventures was a bit unfortunate.
If we hadn't set off in November ' ,
things would have been much easier.
I could have taken my mock O-levels,
and I wouldn't be embarrassed
when somebody says,
''Do you remember what you were doing
when you heard about President Kennedy?''
I get the strangest looks when I say
I was hurtling back , years
to a point where mankind
had lost the ability to make f*re.
That's why I like working here,
to be honest. Nobody bats an eyelid.
Those of them who have eyelids.
In ''Whatever Happened to Susan?'',
Susan was played by Jane Asher
and Ian by James Grout.
Other parts were played
by June Barrie, Eva Haddon,
Andrew Sachs, Peter Woodthorpe
and Becky Harrison.
Claire Rayner appeared as herself.
''Whatever Happened to Susan?''
was written by Adrian Mourby,
and produced in Bristol by Brian King.
Next week, ''Whatever Happened
to the Notorious Victorian m*rder,
''Little Lord Fauntleroy?''
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02x02 - Whatever Happened To Susan Foreman?
Episode transcripts for the audio files, "Doctor Who".
Mixed audio files as submitted from users.
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