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The Beloved Character Fans Hope Returns To Doctor Who

Since its inception in 1963, "Doctor Who" has earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest-running and most prolific science fiction television show in the world. The alien Time Lord's exploits through all of time and space have garnered a worldwide base of fiercely loyal and enthusiastic followers, so it's no surprise that fan theories and speculative buzz are always at a steady simmer.

With six decades of "Doctor Who" lore in its pocket (right next to the trusty sonic screwdriver), the show has a wealth of past characters to tap into for returns, series crossovers, and reincarnations. The very nature of the concept itself — with multiple versions of regenerated Doctors, "timey-wimey" plot lines, and the regular collision of past, present, and future — lends itself to recurring character appearances.

Character returns have certainly happened before on the show — even multiple versions of the title character have tended to bump into each other on anniversary specials like 1983's "The Five Doctors" and "The Day of the Doctor," which aired in 2013. Villains and arch-villains such as Davros (Terry Molloy ... and many more) and The Master (Roger Delgado ... and many more) have appeared in multiple seasons across the six decades the TV show has been running. Some of the Doctor's more popular companions, including River Song (Alex Kingston), Rose Tyler (Billie Piper), Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman), and Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman), have worked with multiple Doctor iterations across two or three seasons.

But while there's no shortage of "Doctor Who" characters from the current era fans would love to see return, including Rose, River, and Captain Jack, there's one character from the original series whose reappearance seems too intriguing for fans to stop speculating about.

Fans hope to see Susan Foreman return to Doctor Who

Susan Foreman (Carole Ann Ford) has a unique place among "Doctor Who" characters, combining her vintage status with intriguing potential for future development. Susan is the First Doctor's (William Hartnell) original companion, appearing in the first-ever episode, "An Unearthly Child," broadcast back in November 1963 (via BBC). She also happens to be the Doctor's granddaughter.

The Doctor eventually abandons his granddaughter, ostensibly allowing her to live a normal life. How does his abandonment affect her? What is her exact lineage, and how much Time Lord is within her? What would her attitude be toward the latest incarnation of The Doctor? 

While Susan's story has been explored in the "Doctor Who" extended universe, her penultimate appearance in the long-running TV series is in 1983's "The Five Doctors" (via IMDb), and she pops up a decade later in the short "Doctor Who: Dimensions in Time" (per IMDb). Fans are fascinated by the idea of Susan's appearance in future seasons. In a February Reddit poll, Susan narrowly beat River Song as the character most fans would like to see return to their respective series. Redditor u/Wixhael enthuses, "For years, fans have been asking whichever showrunner is currently involved to bring back the Doctor's granddaughter, Susan. It happens pretty much any time we get a new showrunner, and any time there's a 'mysterious female character,' people automatically start theorizing that it's her."

Reddit user u/DoctorDisco007 has a poignant take on Susan's return: "I'd like for Susan's return to be the end of the show. After years of adventure, the Doctor ... finds Susan near the end of her life. Then the two go off together, and the show ends where it began — with the TARDIS appearing in the junkyard."

Could Susan return in the new Russell T. Davies era?

Anything seems possible following the news that Russell T. Davies, who ushered in the new era of "Doctor Who" in 2005, will return as showrunner in 2023, per a September announcement from The Hollywood Reporter. Excitement for Davies' return to the helm is high among fans who look back on his 2005-2010 run as a modern golden era. Davies has made no secret of his hopes to bring "Doctor Who" up to speed with the likes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As he said in a January interview with Radio Times, "There should be a 'Doctor Who' channel now. You look at those Disney announcements, of all those new Star Wars and Marvel shows, you think, we should be sitting here announcing 'The Nyssa Adventures' or 'The Return of Donna Noble,' and you should have the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors together in a 10-part series."

Who knows? With Davies' creative vision combined with fan enthusiasm, it's quite possible we'll get to see fan-favorite Susan Foreman return to our screens in a future "Doctor Who" season.