There’s been a ton of speculation about who the mysterious lady from the Doctor’s past will turn out to be, in this year’s holiday special. Many are pulling for Romana or the Rani, classic characters who have yet to be revived. Some even call for Jenny, the Doctor’s ‘daughter’. My money is on someone new; I think Moffat is going to make someone up and pretend they’ve been important all along.
No one so far has mentioned Susan.
I had an idea for how it could happen, and though it won’t be that way, I thought I’d write it up.
The Doctor and Clara land in this new place, for whatever reason. Though centuries have passed, and both have changed their faces, he and Susan recognize each other at once. There is a warm reunion – he is overwhelmed AGAIN with guilt but she has nothing but forgiveness for him.
How did it happen? She lived her life on Earth for many years, getting by as one does, rebuilding that world side by side with her husband. But human beings are so frail, with only a single heart; his gave out after only 50 years, and she was left alone. Still youthful but no longer attached to the place she had called home for so long, she made her way off planet and away.
Ever her grandfather’s closest relative, she wandered. She had adventures, she saw wondrous things. She made friends; some even traveled with her for a while. (She didn’t have a TARDIS, so was forced to use more conventional means.) When war broke out, she made her way to Gallifrey.
Here we could have some lovely flashback footage of Carol Ann Ford as she looks today, caring for the wounded and generally being courageous and unstoppable just back of the front line. She is old, she is weary, but she is the Doctor’s grandchild and she will not give in.
Then it all stops: the Daleks are gone, every star vanished from the sky. After a moment’s wonder, she gets back to work, healing and rebuilding as she did on Earth. Gallifreyan society gets back on its feet and begins to reestablish its bureaucracy. Wearing thin, patient Susan regenerates into a younger, reinvigorated body.
This new body is even more like her lost grandfather. Susan quickly loses patience with life on Gallifrey; there is no curiosity, no interest in the outside universe. Being brilliant, she finds a transport and a way off planet, and returns to a life of travel.
Until she meets her grandfather again.
At this point they have whatever adventure Moffat has planned for them. When it is over, the Doctor (old or new) asks Susan to join him again. She declines; she is a grown woman now, and she doesn’t need him anymore. She wishes him the best and hopes to see him again.
The Doctor and his granddaughter have a proper goodbye, and each continues on their own adventures.
It won’t happen; but wouldn’t it be nice?