Without Barbara Wright, the Doctor’s life might have been very different, because it was this plucky schoolteacher’s curiosity about one of her students that proved the starting point for something remarkable…
Barbara Wright wasn’t looking for trouble when she followed one of her students home one night – she was just concerned for the girl… At least that’s what she told herself! In truth, Barbara’s curiosity compelled her to pursue Susan one fateful, foggy evening. Her pupil seemed to possess extraordinary knowledge of Earth’s future and past. But how? After following Susan into the TARDIS, and meeting her grandfather, the Doctor, the answer was astonishing but lucid – the girl and her guardian were travellers in time and space and together with Ian, she was about to join them on their adventures!
Oh, Doctor… Something terrible is happening to all of us!Barbara
Barbara found herself in a uniquely privileged situation. She was a history teacher who now had the opportunity to visit the eras and countries she had previously studied and taught. Naturally she was fascinated by what she found but her 1960s morality sometimes jarred with the demands of the period she found herself in. During an encounter with the Aztecs, for example, she attempted to impose her 20th Century values on their society and the results were almost fatal for her and her companions.
Barbara could be feisty and brave but had a softer, vulnerable side. She occasionally wearied of the constant danger that journeys with the Doctor entailed and like her fellow-teacher, Ian, she never lost her desire to return to England and the life she had left behind. She cared for Susan a great deal and after a while her relationship with the Doctor matured from volatile to mutual affection.
But when the Daleks’ space/time machine became available to commandeer she persuaded the reluctant Doctor to help set its controls for Earth, late 1900s. Unobserved by the two teachers, the Time Lord saw their delight at being back in London – where and when they belonged. Barbara’s travels had finished… but the Doctor’s were only just beginning!