Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies has said that he would have "dropped" all mention of original companion Susan Foreman from his two-part season 14 finale if executives involved in the show expressed doubts.


As the Doctor (Ncuti Gatwa) and his allies attempt to identify the mysterious Susan Triad (Susan Twist), they address the possibility that she could be a regenerated Susan Foreman – his granddaughter, first played by Carole Ann Ford.

It was the second mention of the classic character, following a brief name-drop in The Devil's Chord, where the Doctor concluded that she most likely perished in the genocide of the Time Lords.

In the latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine – out now – showrunner Davies has discussed his repeated references to the legacy character, revealing that they certainly weren't a red line when it came to script revisions.

"If my bosses had said, 'What the hell are you on about?' I would have dropped it in a second, but actually they loved it," he explained. "They were interested in it, 'Ooh, what’s this?'

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"People respond to good backstories – like they responded to an invented Time War, in 2005. It’s the name of the game these days. So that’s when it really got rich. And this was before we’d cast Susan Twist."

The identity of Susan Twist, now known to be a herald of powerful villain Sutekh (returning from 1975's Pyramids of Mars), was a point of speculation for many weeks, with Davies originally teasing that her repeated appearances were mere coincidence.

Black-and-white image of Carole Ann Ford as Susan Foreman and William Hartnell as The Doctor for Doctor Who. They're stood together, looking concerned
Carole Ann Ford as Susan Foreman and William Hartnell as The Doctor for Doctor Who. BBC/Radio Times

Now, we know the reverse is true – as if there was ever any doubt!

Davies continued: "I was already saying to the production team, 'You must cast Susan,' because she’s a brilliant actress, but also… that name is fascinating, isn’t it? Susan Twist.

"I’d tucked that away in a corner of my mind, thinking, 'Imagine if we did a twist around Susan.' So it just came together. It’s so mad."

Doctor Who season 14 is now available on BBC iPlayer.


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