Saturday 17 December 2022

Countdown to 60: What's two years among friends?

London: 1965!
The fifth significant moment is another Dalek-related departure. In the early days, all of the significant moments in Doctor Who were reserved for the Doctor's encounters with Daleks.
Part Six of The Chase sees the departures of school-teachers Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright. As with Susan's leaving, this is no ordinary companion departure, however. The entire series up to this point has been the tale of the Doctor attempting to get Ian and Barbara back home to present day London. We've basically been watching a two season-long story arc. If the programme can be divided up into phases (be it based on Doctors, companions, producers or script editors) this instalment marks the end of Phase One.
From this point on, the Doctor simply becomes a wanderer in Space and Time, which will remain the situation until the end of the 1960's.
The photographs of Ian and Barbara running around London, and their bus journey with Derek Ware as the conductor, were the work of Douglas Camfield - director of the story which followed The Chase.
Something which has never been properly explained is just how the teachers got away with disappearing for two whole years. The Day of the Doctor showed that Ian was Chairman of the Board of Governors at Coal Hill School (though they are infiltrated by Weeping Angels just a couple of years later, according to Class). The Sarah Jane Adventures maintained that he and Barbara were academics based in Cambridge. The War Machines novel claims it was through Ian that the Doctor was introduced to Professor Brett (and WOTAN knew his name after hacking his phone line). Ian is on his own at the inaugural meeting of the Companions Support Group.

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