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Doctor Who Companion typology - Office of Naval Contemplation

Jul. 30th, 2012

11:46 am - Doctor Who Companion typology

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Date:July 30th, 2012 10:51 pm (UTC)
The connection in my mind between the Zoe role and the Susan role is that the original Susan had some very Zoe-like moments, particularly in The Unearthly Child and The Sensorites. From what I gather, Carol Anne Ford envisioned the character as much more of what would become the Zoe archetype, emphasizing the "unearthly" side of Susan's nature, whereas the writers mostly preferred to use her in the Vicki-like role, emphasizing the "child" side of her nature (probably partly because, as you say, they need someone to get into danger and they need someone to explain things to), and this conflict was the main reason CAF left the show. Looking at the early stories in hindsight, especially with what's now been established about what Time Lords are, I pretty firmly favor CAF's side.

This typology actually started out with the Vicki-to-Susan transition, where Vicki was pretty transparently a drop-in replacement for Susan in her usual role (minus most of the flashes of Zoe/Romana-like awesomeness). It became a running joke for us to refer to Vicki as "New Susan". Then when Ian and Barbara left and Stephen joined, the transition was a bit better-executed, but Stephen was still a pretty obvious replacement for Ian's plot role.

The seeds of the idea probably came from some thoughts and discussions I'd had about the new series through a bit after Rose left, about how (up to that point) the "action hero" companions (what became the idea of the Ian archetype) were absent except for two or three appearances by Captain Jack, while in the classic series they'd been a major staple for much of the show's run.
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