Have any of the novels…

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    Steve W
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    Have any of the novels addressed what happened to the Doctor’s daughter and/or son? His granddaughter Susan’s parent, whichever relation that was to the Doctor. Susan’s of course been mentioned, and even been in some Big Finish stories to continue her story. But has anybody mentioned that the Doctor essentially stole away his child’s daughter and never brought her back? I’ve read that Lungbarrow deals with the Doctor’s family, but I don’t know much more than that since looking on the Doctor Who wiki for such things leads to a million article links away from that page just to explain what’s going on in any novel story I look up.

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    None of the books I read have explained it. But, then again, I’ve read only a small fraction of all the books written about Doctor Who. I’ve read a bunch of novelizations, of which only a few had the original Doctor in them, and none of them address the issue of Susan’s parents.

    It’s a topic I think needs to be addressed, especially while Carole Ann Ford is still alive. The setting would be easy: The Doctor finds himself on Earth – about 50 years after the Daleks were defeated – and comes face-to-face with an aging Susan. She grills him about her parents – she doesn’t know about them herself – and, after a series of adventures on Earth, the Doctor tells her what she needs to know. Very poignant scene. Blah. Blah. Blah. Tears. Farewell speech. A wink from the Doctor and he’s gone.

    A plausible story is she was a Galifrein orphaned by some war or maybe she was the sole survivor of a deadly mishap with a Tardis or spaceship. Lots of possibilities.


    @ubikuberalles wrote:

    A plausible story is she was a Galifrein orphaned by some war

    This is what the novel Lungbarrow goes with, though the waters are further muddied by making Susan the granddaughter of the Other.

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    If indeed the doctor picked her up as a war orphan, how old was she when that happened? 9? 15? 18? I’m thinking 18 or so since she knew a lot of Math and Science but little of Geography and so on. It would be nice if he picked her up at nine years old and they spent nearly a decade at this other planet that had advance math and science skills before migrating to Earth. It would show that he had some paternal skills and exercised them for those ten years.

    This also makes me curious as to how much time (Doctor Time, that is) passed between the time the Doctor stole the Tardis and when he and Susan arrived on Earth. Weeks? Months? Years?


    All of the spinoff media that boldly step further back in time than An Unearthly Child seem to stick to portraying Susan as not much younger than she is in her first TV appearance. Lungbarrow establishes an origin story for the Doctor that not everyone likes (it depends on how you feel about the earlier New Adventures novels’ depictions of a sterile Gallifrey relying on genetic looms) that goes somewhat like this:

    1. The “holy trinity” at the dawn of Time Lord society – basically, the introduction of time travel, genetic looms and regeneration – consisted of three figures: Rassilon, Omega and the Other.

    2. In the TV story Remembrance of the Daleks, the seventh Doctor is in possession of a Gallifreyan superweapon he stole before leaving Gallifrey in his first incarnation. While telling Ace of its origins, he mentions Rassilon and Omega being present when it was tested, and remarks “…and didn’t we have trouble with the prototype.”

    3. In Lungbarrow, we learn that the Other was a Gallifreyan who resembled the first Doctor, and clashed often with Rassilon and Omega over matters involving politics, wars, and interfering with other species. During one war in the early days of the Time Lords, the Other sought refuge – and oblivion – by jumping into the matter stream fueling the genetic looms.

    4. The Other’s genetic material re-emerged, significantly remixed, as the Doctor in the loom at the house of Lungbarrow. The Other may not have been entirely Gallifreyan in origin. (This is a trap door for the eighth Doctor’s claim to have a human mother and Gallifreyan father – he may be remembering the Other’s childhood, not his own, having just regenerated and rebooted his memory. Yes, it’s a cheap and cheesy trap door, but Lungbarrow was published a year after the McGann movie and fandom was desperately obsessed with that one element of the movie.)

    5. During another Gallifreyan uprising, the first Doctor was recognized by Susan, who was actually the grandchild of the Other. (Keep in mind that, while resembling a teenager, it may be useless to try to assign an Earth age to Susan, so even if decades had passed since the Other’s apparent demise, it might not have been a complete surprise for her to see her grandfather.) Not wanting to leave Susan in harm’s way, the Doctor elects to “play the part” and help her escape, genuinely growing fond of her over time to the point that he would never reveal the truth to her.

    As fond as I am of the books, I consider that origin story something that isn’t absolutely vital to the character. Nothing else has ever touched on it, not even later books. And you better believe it was controversial.

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