Peter Capaldi wants classic ‘Doctor Who’ companion to return

Carole Ann Ford has revealed that Peter Capaldi is keen for her too reprise her role as original Doctor Who companion Susan Foreman.

The actress played the Doctor’s granddaughter from the show’s first episode in November 1963 until 1964’s ‘The Dalek Invasion of Earth’. She later returned in 1983’s ‘The Five Doctors’ and 1993 charity special ‘Dimensions in Time’.

Doctor Who Susan

Speaking to Doctor Who Magazine in the new issue, Ford recalled: “…they invited us to the studios in Cardiff [during the filming of ‘Last Christmas’]. It was great. It was lovely to meet Peter [Capaldi]. A lovely man.

“…I had seen some of the performances he’d done as Doctor Who and I didn’t like the way they wrote him at the beginning. I thought, ‘What’s going on here? Give him a chance!’ They portrayed him as someone who was so prickly.

“…he started saying, ‘Oh, you should come back!’ I said, ‘Yeah, I’d love to come back!’ He was running around the TARDIS saying, ‘She’s got to come back! She’s got to come back!’”

Asked if she’d be interested in returning, she confirmed: “Yeah, of course! Are you kidding?”

Doctor Who An Unearthly Child Susan Barbara Ian

Susan was last seen in the opening moments of ‘The Name of the Doctor’ in 2013, played by a body double.

Issue 487 of Doctor Who Magazine is out now.

> Buy Season 8 on DVD on Amazon.

> Buy Season 8 on Blu-ray on Amazon.

Steven Moffat also reveals in the magazine that he still feels guilty about changing the outcome of the Time War in 2013’s 50th anniversary special.


Season 9 began filming in Cardiff in January and will air on BBC One this autumn.

> Here’s everything we know about Season 9 so far.

Would you like to see Susan in Doctor Who again? Let us know below…

  • Edu Osieta

    The ball is in Moffat’s corner and no cheap tricks like her coming back as male. 🙂

    • elShoggotho

      The ball is now on the showrunner’s side. I still hope that it won’t be Moffat for series 10.

      • Rusty Fender

        Better Moffat than that hack Davies.

        • elShoggotho

          YOU mentioned Davies. No one in their right mind wants him back.

        • Christopher F.

          Nobody said to bring back Davies, but we need to get Moffat out, ASAP.

      • ThePurpleFrockCoat

        I think he signed up for Series 10.

        • elShoggotho

          The BBC can still fire him.

          • ThePurpleFrockCoat

            They haven’t and the show still does well enough to keep the bosses happy so he’s staying.

  • Jenn

    It would be great if Carol-Anne and William could both reappear in character. Moffat and Peter are both super-fans so I am sure they will try to accommodate them. I really love that with Peter, there are such strong linkages to Classic Who now and they haven’t forgotten that it didn’t start in 2005 but goes way way back.

    • Kash Mutt

      William is dead…

      • Dean Brown

        He’s talking about William Russel who played Ian, not William Hartnell.
        You panicked me for a second thinking I hadn’t heard the news.

        • Dayna

          Russell did died

          • steveepee

            have you told William Russell of this? I am sure he would be interested to know.

          • Cassandra Atticum

            That was his ghost in the 50th Anniversary specials…

          • Dayna

            See! That’s what I get for listening to a “NON” Whovian! So sorry!

          • Maritimer1

            Russell is alive and well at 91.

          • Dayna

            Yeah i know. A friend of mine “who” thinks she’s a Doctor Who fan said that he die. She got him mixed up with the guy who played the Professor on Gilligan’s Island.

            Sorry for all the confusion this has cause for the fans of William Russell.

          • Kondrad Hyland

            William Russell Enoch (born 19 November 1924) still alive

          • Robert Sarnes

            Alive per IMdB and turned 91 last November

        • Robert Sarnes

          Oh, he should be more clear…lol

      • FrancoPabloDiablo


      • Debra E Moffit VanDorp

        Just looked William Russel up on the internet, does not say he is dead, says he is 90 years old. There is even a clip of an interview he did in 2012

        • Dayna

          I just told my friend and she showed me a picture and it turns out that she got William Russell’s last name mixed up with Russell Johnson from Gilligan’s Island. She thinks he (William Russell) was on Gilligan’s Island.

          • wylekat

            Oh… my. *pictures him *on Gilligan’s Island*

            “Doctorrrr, you Sonuva-” “look, Lovey! A Scotsman! Why, they’re almost a miserly as me!”

        • Graham Perkins

          I met William Russell a few months ago at Comicon in London…he wasn’t dead then…and was a lovely bloke to boot!

    • Flying Away

      According to multiple websites, he is still alive. He is 90 years old, but is still alive.

      • Hosfac

        And he looks astonishingly good for his age, too.

    • TomTheDoctor

      It would be lovely to have both Susan and Ian back but they have had many opportunities to bring Ian back especially as it is established that he’s a Governour of the Coal Hill school. After having an alien blow up part of the school you’d expect him to turn up if even just for a few minutes. But there is one thing to be considered here can Moffatt be trusted with these characters? I mean what would he do with them? Maybe it’s best and not to mention safer if we’re left with our memories.

      • Edu Osieta

        I think Moffat needs to go, he has outlived the show, too many times he has spurned the chance to bring back a past character but focuses too much time writing cheap banter revolving around a companion’s dull life.

        Ian-Coal Hiil-Doctor-Coal Hiil-Clara is apparently a very hard connection for
        Moffat to make since what we ended up with was Danny Pink and
        discussions about Clara’s vanity!!

        For me, his biggest contribution was bringing the Time Lords back, but I think writing adventure stories about people other than the companion is beyond him – that’s a limitation he has placed on his stories so far. I will brace myself continue seeing the same “most imporatant person in the world” companion themed stories .

        The Brigadier (RIP), good a character as he was, was kind of a weak shout-out to a past character. Ian, still alive, in Coal Hill and presumably in command of his faculties, appearing at the scene of the major disturbance, would have potentially been one heck of a tear-jerking reunion instead of the whole dross P.E. thing.

        • TomTheDoctor

          I totally agree, i think you have basically summed it up there

        • catwhowalksbyhimself

          They actually can’t do that, since it was established in the Sarah Jane Chronicles that he and Barbara have stopped aging. Obviously, the actor has, so he can’t appear.

          • makkabee

            They can just establish that that claim was bullshit. Not like they haven’t contradicted themselves before.

          • Doug

            It was a rumor, not an on-screen fact. Also, they can do whatever they want.

        • susanmbackstrom

          IPETITIONS DOT COM /petition/bring-susan-back

      • Cassandra Atticum

        I think having Susan and Ian in the same time line would be problematic. They shouldn’t both be aging at the same rate.

        • TomTheDoctor

          Wouldn’t be too hard as long as it was stated (or shown) that susan was left on earth for quite a time, anyway it’s not really a point of having them together in the show . more a point of having them at all in the show

        • susanmbackstrom


    • Robert Sarnes

      You realize William Hartnell died like forty years ago, right?

      • makkabee

        The “William” they’re talking about is William Russell, who played Ian Chesterton during the first two seasons of the show. He’s alive and well. Even had a cameo in the 50th anniversary movie about the start of the show a couple of years ago.

    • Doug

      Both actors have done a bunch of work for Big Finish, recording new Doctor Who stories. But I’ve heard that even recording in an audio booth it too much for WIlliam Russel these days. I think he’s taking a well-deserved rest. I’d be surprised it he ever showed up again on the show.

  • Ian

    Absolutely she should return! Also like what Jenn says William Russell as well.

  • Carolyn

    It would be wonderful if “Susan” could be on the show!!

  • Dr. Moo

    Yes! Bring her back while we still can.

  • FrancoPabloDiablo

    Let’s face it, Russell and Ford are not going to be around forever. Now is the time to use them. If Sarah-Jane could come back with such success and without alienating the general viewer then there is absolutely no reason why Ian and Susan can’t make an appearance. I’m only very sorry that Mrs Hill is no longer with us to provide an opportunity for a return of the original trio!

    • Martin Hennessee

      Yes, I’d love Ian to make one more trip in the TARDIS.

  • bln

    I must be the only one that doesn’t want Susan to come back. I didn’t like her character that much. Besides, she’s a timelord (timelady?). If the character does come back, she should be regenerated, and they should cast a new actress for Susan. After all, it’s highly unlikely not to regenerate in such a big war as the Time War.
    I do agree with William Rusell coming back, though. After all, he is Clara’s boss!

    • Jamie Lewis Milner

      maybe that’s why moffat made him her boss to plant the seed …. it would be fantastic if he was walking around the school one day and opened a cupboard up to see the tardis standing there!

    • Nathaniel

      She’s probably not a Time Lady, but a regular Gallifreyan, or Plebeian. So it would make sense for her to be so old.

      • Albert Mccune

        Why though should a non – Timelord Gallifreyan age like a human? They’re aliens after all. Who really knows what the base life span is of a regular Gallifreyan?
        It wouldn’t be as long as a Timelord’s, but it might still last a couple centuries.

      • Cassandra Atticum

        Why couldn’t the Doctor see her in the future? He is a time traveler, after all.

      • Edu Osieta

        It would be the easiest thing to give her regenerative powers. I seem to remember something like “Time Lords died and regenerated endlessly.” The plausibility that that quite a number of Gallifreyans were given renegration cycles doesn’t seem far-fetched.

        Then again, you are forgetting how River Song and Jenny, who had never been to or seen Gallifrey

    • zach

      she could come back as she is. the doctor has lived hundreds of years between regenerations. it would be no different then how they aged matt smith in his last episode before he regenerated

  • Bob Hughes

    I only watch the goofy show because of Jenna Coleman–little cutie. LOL

  • Bob Redmund Bro

    I really really hope Ian can come back. There’s a perfect opportunity. Susan too, that’d be so great!

  • Larry W. Gonzales

    YES! I would love to see her return in
    maybe a 3 story arc. As a Gallifreyan, maybe she would regenerate on the show.

    • lee

      I thought only timelord/lady can regenerate?

      • Izaya Orihara

        Susan is a timelady, she was more than 8 years old when she travelled with the doctor, so she’s already seen in the time vortex.

        • Hosfac

          Not all Gallifreyans go to the academy. This was established in “Listen.”

        • ThePurpleFrockCoat

          The title Time Lord or Time Lady is only given to Gallifreyans who have graduated from The Academy. There is no mention of Susan attending or even graduating. Time Lords and Gallifrey didn’t exist til 1966 and 1973 respectively.

          • Edward Casto

            Jenny was a Time Lord with regenerative powers, why wouldn’t Susan and her son Alex also have these powers.

          • ThePurpleFrockCoat

            Having the ability to regenerate doesn’t make one a Time Lord. Graduating from the Academy does. In Listen the man and woman in the barn didn’t have high hopes saying the little boy won’t go as far as Time Lord. Other species like The Minyans in Underworld can regenerate but are not Time Lords. Jenny is a clone but does not mean she is a Time Lord even if she can regenerate. Gallifreyan is a species. Time Lord a rank.

          • Christopher F.

            Jenny was a clone and explicitly stated on air not to have regenerative powers.

          • Spotted Feather


      • Amberd1156

        She’s his grandchild, therefore is a timelord

        • Hosfac

          She’s not a Timelord unless she attended the academy.

          • TomTheDoctor

            that is so not true, the race is timelords, thats how it always was (in classic who) and thats the way it shall remain

          • Hosfac

            Actually, that was never really discussed in the classic series. In fact, MOST THINGS weren’t discussed in the classic series. They just “were” and it was left at that. Honestly, it’s one of the greatest flaws of the old series. Things just happened, and there was little (if any) explanation given.

            And if you don’t consider the things that happen in the revival series to be canon, why are you even here?

          • mrwitticism

            ‘Honestly, it’s one of the greatest flaws of the old series. Things just
            happened, and there was little (if any) explanation given.’

            “I’ll explain later.”

          • Christopher F.

            Gallifrey had two different “races”. Plain Gallifrians who did not regenerate, and Time Lords who did. The ability to regenerate was something that was controlled by the Time Lords, not through any aspect of racial biology.

            Time Lords were granted regeneration cycles by the High Council, thats why it was supposed to be a big deal when Smith regenerated (instead of it being hand waved away by Clara wishing really, really hard), because he was out of them and couldn’t get more without the other Time Lords.

            Thats what drove the Master to evil, he had run out of regenerations and the Time Lords refused to grant him more, so he started stealing them.

          • Edu Osieta

            I think the Master was evil way before, but first, explain River Song and Jenny.

          • Christopher F.

            Jenny was a clone of the Doctor that was specifically said on screen to not be able to regenerate. She was shot but got better without changing faces, without the whole energy fields thing, etc. There is nothing to explain about her, because she never could regenerate in the first place.

            River was actually conceived inside the time vortex itself, and was a special case. Or in a less hand wavy way, River was Moffat’s bad writing not caring about anything that came before.

          • Edu Osieta

            That was a whole miraculous better, Jenny died. The Doctor said so, waffled on about her not being able to regenerate or self-heal, walked off and we all saw what followed next. There has been no explanation after to clarify that event.

            TBF, that looked like a regeneration but it was also a pointless syrupy ending that kept alive yet another dull character who created huge, unxplained gaping holes in Who history – I agree, bad and lazy writing.

            Talking of plausibility levels, River’s being born essentially a timelord due to the time vortex rings truer than Clara’s superpowers, the big teary eyes, true love or wishing really hard, that seem able to save entire universes from destruction.

            Anyone would be forgiven forI having to constatnly remind themselves that it is a sci-fi show.

          • Spotted Feather

            they never once said that she couldn’t regenerate. And there was the regeneration energy.

          • Spotted Feather

            Have they said that on the show ?

      • David Lemmo

        River Song has Timelord regenerative abilities and has Human Parents. River was conceived in the Tardis, and was exposed to the Vortex that way.

        • Spotted Feather

          had…past tense.

  • Shawn Lester

    Ace!!! Nuff said

  • I think it would be fun to have her come back for at least a few episodes.

  • Chris Howard


  • Terry

    YES, GOD DAMN IT, A THOUSAND TIMES YES!!!!! My heart will finally be healed if you do!

  • Guaco

    I’ve been dreaming of her return for ages! Wouldn’t it be cool if she returned and regenerated at the end of the episode! Then she can stay with the doctor as a companion again. Bet they got a lot to catch up on. Of course that would mean Carol-Anne couldn’t reprise the role for more than 1 episode… but I’m not sure she’s available for that long, she is getting old after all. Of course, would be cool if she stuck around for longer before regen.

  • James O’Neill

    The Doctor did say he’d come back to see her one day……

  • Christopher F.

    I really wanted Susan to come back during Matt Smith’s era, because I wanted to see the Doctor just outright blubber. If there was anything Matt could do better than any other Doctor, it was play up that soul crushing puppy dog crying face.

    • Henry V

      True enough. Tennant spent most of his tenure blubbing very unconvincingly, but Smith just breaks your heart when the tears start. Time of the Doctor nearly did me in. The End of Time just made me laugh! Just hope we don’t see Capaldi cry. That really would be too much.

      • ThePurpleFrockCoat

        Didn’t he cry when he found out Gallifrey was still lost in Death in Heaven?

        • Henry V

          Less is always more. A glisten in 12”s eye says more dramatically than all of 10’s pathetic wailing and gurning. Good actors know how to sell it properly and leave people wanting more!

          • ThePurpleFrockCoat

            So he did cry after all. Just a bit! 😉

      • Cassandra Atticum

        Tennant’s tears were just fine.

  • Jennie Nelson Snipes


  • Michael C

    Two things that have always seemed wrong in classic who: Jamie McCrimmon giving up his passage on a ship bound for the safety of France to help the Doctor and the Timelords just plonking him back in the middle of the post-Culloden massacre; and the Doctor never returning to visit Susan. Both need to be rectified.

    • Gantoor

      If you consider stories in other media to be canon, they have already been rectified. The eighth Doctor visited Susan a few times in novels and Big Finish audio stories, and some comics state that the Second Doctor actually travelled more with Jamie before regenerating( a period known as “Season 6B”)

      • makkabee

        A notion supported by the visibly older 2nd Doctor and Jamie running into the 6th Doctor and Peri in “The Two Doctors” back in season 22.

  • Hosfac

    If Sarah Jane can come back, then why not Susan?

  • Luke Clees

    This would be AWSOME!!!

  • Neil Housman

    I would love to see them do a Doctor Who movie about the Time War. John Hurt won’t be around forever and he did such an awesome job with that role.

  • Lexi Crowley

    I really, really, REALLY want this. But more than that, I want some female writers. Moffat’s capable of such great things, but he, um… yeah. He needs other people to catch the things he misses. We’ve gone from seeing all the brilliant AND awful parts of Russell T Davies’ writing, to all the brilliant AND awful parts or Steven Moffat’s, and we really need to fix this. The show’s always balanced being a bit hit and miss with being deeply beloved, but it can be SO MUCH BETTER than it is right now.

  • U Mad Bro?

    It would be an amazing story, I am sure. Even better if she were to turn out to be a Time Lord! Then they could have her regenerate and be in the universe, a potential ally to the Doctor!

  • Martin Hennessee

    What about Ian?? Please let him meet the Doctor one more time!

  • Robert Owen


  • George Covert Jr.

    YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (she can even have a final farewell and regenerate to continue the character)

  • Robert Pollock

    sure, many would(there is a Facebook page that reflects as such) and speculated the mysterious woman was her. But I have either wanted her or another to reprise the role. As it is not for sure that she is a time lord a regin may not be possible but I felt even a look alike such as Claudia Grant could play Susan. Though in an interview with the Telegraph Carol said Doctor Who ruined her career.

  • wylekat

    Is she in enough shape to run the Doctor Who 5k, tho?

  • Monty Gaither

    would like to see the Doctor and his granddaughter get together again.
    I am surprised that it never happened before. I would like to see the
    doctor find Gallifrey.

  • Why not?

  • susanmbackstrom


  • avoura

    Carole Ann Ford is currently 75, so while she is still around she could come back as Susan, with a whole story to tell her grandfather and then maybe regenerate, if she ever had that ability.

  • Lemmy Koopa

    William Russell should have already appeared at least once, maybe twice. The Day of the Doctor reveals he’s Coal Hill’s headmaster, so giving him a cameo with that reveal would have been nice. Although Russell SHOULD have been in Caretaker, a story that solely takes place in Coal Hill. It baffles me that they didn’t meet when the Doctor was literally “under employment” there.

    And Carol Ann would also be fine, as long as they keep her Big Finish stories with Paul McGann canon.

  • Tracy Tuenge

    Bring her back, it’s long overdue.

  • William R. Cousert

    Is Susan still pissed at the Doctor for leaving her behind?

  • Theodore Trout

    I would love to see William Bradley turn up as the First Doctor, too.

  • Barry Mealia

    they could bring susan back and join all the dots with river song if river song is the drs wife then is susan rivers granddaughter and would be great to have Ian return

  • Dayna

    Ok folks. Let’s drop the comments on William Russell dying. I made a mistake because of a “so called” friend who claims to be a Doctor Who fan. Is not. Let’s move on with other comments. I apologized. Thank you!

  • Doug

    Look up the company Big Finish. There are a bunch of audio stories featuring Ian and Susan, played by the original actors. Some fun stuff.