A BBC archive document about Doctor Who from 1963 describes “BRIDGET (BIDDY) A with-it girl of 15, reaching the end of her Secondary School career, eager for life, lower-than-middle class. Avoid dialect, use neutral accent laced with latest teenage slang.”
But Susan isn’t the only Doctor Who character whose name underwent a transformation – remember her teachers, Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright, who featured in the first couple of series? Originally their names would have been Cliff and Lola.
The name of Mickey Mouse’s rival Mortimer Mouse was originally meant for Mickey himself, but Walt Disney’s wife Lillian thought that Mortimer made the character seem pompous. Years later, the name was used instead for Mickey’s nemesis.
In the sitcom’s unaired pilot, the female lead was a character called Katie, played by Amanda Walsh. She played a more sexual, hard-nosed version of Penny (portrayed in the series by Kaley Cuoco) — but the test audience didn’t take to her.
Arthur Conan Doyle originally wanted to name his hero Sherrinford Hope, after a whaling ship that Doyle spent some time on. But his first wife Louisa didn’t like the name so he changed it. According to the Sherlock Holmes society of London, Doyle ended up naming him after the violinist Alfred Sherlock.
Doyle originally christened Holmes’s companion Ormond Sacker, the same name as a Scottish pathologist who was based in London.
Goofy was known as Dippy Dawg when he first appeared in 1932, but by the mid-1930s, he was being called Goofy.
Kelsey Grammer, who played Frasier, told the writers that Nye didn’t sound “quite right to me”, so they came up with Crane instead.
The Disney channel show’s heroine could have gone by a pretty different moniker, although the first suggestion still borrowed the name of a North American state…
When they made their debut in February 1940 short Puss Gets the Boot, the famous cat and mouse were known as Jasper and Jinx and only became Tom and Jerry after studio employees were offered a cash prize to come up with the best alternatives.