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Teachers’ Farewell

Two teachers go home

Using Dalek time machine

It’s back to school time

The Daleks return for the second time and once again the story ends with a farewell. This time, Ian and Barbara return to earth, using the Daleks’ time machine, at the conclusion of The Chase, which seems to work more accurately than the TARDIS.

With the departure of Ian and Barbara, the viewers have lost the viewers entrance into the ongoing story and indeed three quarters of the original cast. Season two of Doctor Who was definitely one of change with only William Hartnell remaining from the original cast by season’s end.

But the departure of Ian and Barbara marks a big shift from the original premise of being “educational” and transforming into science fiction. An example of this is the very next story which is set in 1066. Barbara would be very familiar with this year and the most famous battle of this year is the battle of Hastings but this story does not focus on this but on a Viking invasion that happened before the battle. And just to remove this from the elements of a purely historical story, another time traveller is involved.

Doctor Who was evolving…

Barbara Wright: A school teacher who taught history, her cardigans were ruined in her last two stories but she had also been mistaken as an Aztec god and also managed to acquire a suntan while left on a space ship in The Sensorites.

Ian Chesterton: A science teacher who was the action man of the series (a role that future companions Steven Taylor, Ben Jackson, Jamie McCrimmon and Harry Sullivan would step into).

Although the characters never returned to Doctor Who, Jacqueline Hill would return to play Lexa in the fourth Doctor story, Meglos and Ian Chesterton was scheduled to make a return to Doctor Who in 1983. Unfortunately, William Russell wasn’t able to return so another character from the Doctor’s past [or his future from this point in time], Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (retired). This change in cast has led to real problems for any fans trying to make sense of the UNIT timeline but more of that later.

What are your favourite episodes featuring Barbara and Ian?


3 Responses

  1. Ekk. I can’t answer your question because I don’t know. I watched Dr. Who when I was young and I loved it. And I don’t have the brain capacity to remember it all that well. But I can comment on how frustrating it is when actors/characters leave shows and story lines end up hanging. I like it better when the writers at least allow the other characters to give some sort of explanations. Even if it is in later episodes. I love when characters comment on departed characters. I don’t think they should be allowed to leave us hanging! 🙂

    • Thank you for commenting. As for character arcs, this one ends better than a lot, the TARDIS hadn’t returned to “present” day except for in miniature form and so when the opportunity arose, it made sense for Ian and Barbara to take it. As for the problems in the 1983 story, Mawdryn Undead, a lot of the problems with time and dates are caused when the decision to bring the Brigadier back and the storyline includes a 1977 version of the Brig. The dates of the UNIT stories were supposedly set in the future and Sarah Jane mentions that she was from 1980 (in Pyramids of Mars) which makes trying to make any sense of the UNIT timeline a nightmare if you think too long about it. The “About Time” books have essays that try to unravel/untangle the timeline but that’s in the future. Thank you again for commenting.

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