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parrot_knight [userpic]

Orange skies and silver leaves

October 21st, 2012 (08:21 pm)

There's something about this 1964 Radio Times cutting which reminds me that Susan and Doctor Who were indeed born in "another time, another world".

Also posted at http://sir-guinglain.dreamwidth.org/551156.html.


Posted by: phoebesmum (phoebesmum)
Posted at: October 21st, 2012 07:47 pm (UTC)

How does modern Who canon account for Susan? A casual enquiry, it doesn't need an in-depth answer, I'm just curious.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: October 21st, 2012 07:50 pm (UTC)

There have been several references in the post-2005 series to the Doctor having a family. He empathised with Dr Constantine over lost family members in 'The Empty Child', and in a series two story startled Rose with the admission that "I was a dad, once." So I think that from the point of view of the present series, Susan was his biological granddaughter - a view not shared by most of the production teams in the 1970s and 1980s, as far as they paid any attention to the matter.

Posted by: daniel_saunders (daniel_saunders)
Posted at: October 21st, 2012 10:43 pm (UTC)
Eleventh Doctor

Didn't he also say he'd been a Dad in The Doctor's Daughter?

I'm not sure the production teams of the 70s really cared about it and those of the eighties generally did not change things on screen, whatever they may have written in spin-offs (the exception being Susan referring to the Doctor as "Doctor" in The Five Doctors until Carole Ann Ford changed it to "Grandfather").

Posted by: daniel_saunders (daniel_saunders)
Posted at: October 21st, 2012 10:44 pm (UTC)
Eleventh Doctor

A bigger question is whether Susan was killed in the Time War, but that's a whole other can(on) of worms...

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: October 21st, 2012 10:51 pm (UTC)

Graham Williams was asked about Susan in a newspaper interview, and replied that he wasn't sure about that and assumed that she had been found under a cosmic gooseberry bush. Terrance Dicks liked to say that the granddaughter/grandfather arrangement was probably a term of affection rather than a reflection of a family relationship; and then there is Eric Saward's 'Birth of a Renegade' story in the Radio Times Twentieth Anniversary Special, where Susan was identified as 'the Lady Larn'.

To return to Williams, his statement that "the Doctor is too high-minded to be involved with girls" might be helf to speak volumes about the attitude towards sex at the BBC in the 1970s.

Posted by: daniel_saunders (daniel_saunders)
Posted at: October 21st, 2012 11:11 pm (UTC)
Eleventh Doctor

I thought Williams claimed it was the Doctor - or possibly Tom Baker - found under said bush! Didn't know about the Terrance Dicks comment either - I was going by what was on TV, I'm afraid. Did know about Birth of a Renegade; that (and the Cartmel Masterplan) was what I had in mind regarding eighties production teams saying one thing away from the TV series and another (not contradictory, but not supporting it either) in it (probably for the best).

I think Williams' second comment says as much about the Williams era (and why I like it?) as it does the BBC! The "You're a beautiful woman, probably" line is well-known, but there's a wonderful moment in The Armageddon Factor (no, really, The Armageddon Factor has lots of wonderful moments!) where Merak says he's in love with Astra and the Doctor and Romana look incredibly embarrassed, like he's made some terrible faux pas.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: October 21st, 2012 11:37 pm (UTC)

You are right about the Williams era's attitude to women; this develops something Tom Baker had already identified as a characteristic of his Doctor, which contrasted with Baker's own personality, to say the least.

Posted by: daniel_saunders (daniel_saunders)
Posted at: October 22nd, 2012 08:41 am (UTC)
Eleventh Doctor

I think it's an attitude to sex rather than to women - the Williams era scores highly regarding strong female characters.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: October 22nd, 2012 08:43 am (UTC)

Yes, you are right; it is what I should have said.

Posted by: phoebesmum (phoebesmum)
Posted at: October 21st, 2012 11:03 pm (UTC)

Thank you! That was literally all I needed to know.

Posted by: Lady Summerisle (strange_complex)
Posted at: October 21st, 2012 07:48 pm (UTC)
Doctor Who Bechdel test

Would I be right in guessing that the instalment in question was part of The Aztecs?

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: October 21st, 2012 07:52 pm (UTC)
Hartnell words

You would be right. There's a good Barbara and Susan scene in the first episode, as you probably know, which reminds me of your userpic.