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Real Name: (Real name unknown. But she used the name
Search for 'Susan' on Amazon

An "unearthly" intelligence. An ungodly scream.

Running in high heels. Dashing young freedom fighters.

The nature of exactly who or what Susan is used to be very simple.

She referred to the Doctor (01) as her grandfather, thus she was related to him genetically, thus she was a Time Lord.

The problem is that all of this is inferred information, and other deductions are possible based upon the scant information we have on hand. Because she was mostly seen in the series prior to the first appearance of Gallifrey (the Doctor's home planet) or the Time Lords, we're connecting dots that have never been explicitly connected in the television show.

She could be using the term "grandfather" as a sign of respect and affection, or as a part of a "cover story for the humans", rather than because it's actually true. Because it has never been made explicitly clear whether the term Time Lord refers to a race or a class, it might also be that she is Gallifreyan, and the Doctor's genetic relative, but not a Time Lord. This, some say, would explain why she took such a passive role in the one adventure in which she was actually on Gallifrey, and why we've never seen a regenerated form of her character. Or it could be that we've only been exposed to her over the course of 20 years of her first regeneration, and she naturally defers to her older relative as a measure of respect.

The biggest and most serious challenge to the common deduction that she is actually the Doctor's Time Lord granddaughter, however, is the 1990s novel, Lungbarrow. This slim volume greatly revised what it meant to be a Time Lord, along lines that are eerily similar the Byrne revamp of Krypton in his Man of Steel run.

Gone was the implicit understanding that, at some point, the Doctor (I) must've been young, in love, and sexually active--replaced by a vision of Gallifrey in which, precisely like Byrne's Krypton, a family would make an application for a "replacement relative", and the child would be conceived and birthed in a sterile, technologically enhanced way.

WIth this revision came the notion that perhaps Susan was not a Time Lord, or that she wasn't related to the Doctor, or both--because it didn't make sense that one so carefully conceived could be so utterly useless in the field as Susan. Or was it that she was actually specifically described as not the Doctor's granddaughter? You and I will probably never know, because the print run on Lungbarrow was so small that your chances of getting your hands on it at a reasonable price are next to nil.

[In fairness, Lungbarrow received some legitimacy by briefly turning up on the official BBC Doctor Who website. Lest you think, though, that this makes it "official", it should be pointed out that this is exactly the same space that gave us an "official" Ninth Doctor played by someone other than Christopher Eccleston.]

This debate therefore continues to this day, among "serious" Doctor Who fans, with no clear resolution in sight. For what it's worth, however, a 2004 poll at, the leading fan site, still finds strong majority support for the notion that she is, simply, the Doctor's Time Lord granddaughter.

Events in the 2005 Doctor Who series, however, make all of this moot, because it's postulated fairly clearly there that the Doctor is the sole survivor of his race.

Still, if you go by just what's on the television screen, and what's appeared in licensed comics, Susan is the granddaughter of the Doctor, and there is no reason to believe she's anything but a Time Lord. Almost always depicted as very youthful, and almost certainly in her first regeneration, she makes a lot of mistakes of the young, and is perpetually, it seems, the "victim" of any scheme put forth by this week's aliens.


First Appearance: None listed.

View a chronological listing of this character's appearances

Issue Appearances:
Doctor Who (1984)
Doctor Who Magazine (1979)
Doctor Who Magazine Special (1980)
Doctor Who: The Forgotten (2008)
The Comic Relief Comic (1991)

Group Affiliation(s):
Doctor Who companions
Time Lords and Gallifreyans

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