Barbara Wright (Doctor Who)

From Academic Kids

Template:Doctorwhocharacter Barbara Wright is a fictional character in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who and a companion of the First Doctor. She was one of the programme's very first regulars and appeared in the bulk of its first two seasons from 1963-65, played by Jacqueline Hill. In a film version of one of the serials, Dr. Who and the Daleks (1965), Barbara was played by actress Jennie Linden, but with a very different personality and backstory.

Barbara was a history teacher at the Coal Hill School, working with science teacher Ian Chesterton. One of their students was Susan Foreman, the granddaughter of the Doctor, who showed unusually advanced knowledge of science and history. Attempting to solve the mystery of the "unearthly child", Chesterton and Wright followed Susan back to the junkyard, where they heard her voice coming from what appeared to be a police box. When they investigated further, they discovered that the police box exterior hid the much larger interior of a time machine known as the TARDIS, and were whisked away on an adventure in time and space with the Doctor and Susan.

Barbara was a strong-willed woman and provided a maternal figure to Susan. She was frequently the only person who could stand up to the First Doctor's cantankerous personality. The chemistry between Ian and herself was also evident, although the nature of their relationship was never made explicit in the television series.

In the serial The Aztecs, Barbara was hailed as a goddess by the Aztec civilization. Despite the Doctor's protests that she could not change history, she attempted to turn the Aztecs away from their practice of human sacrifice. In The Reign of Terror, she established a friendship with Leon Colbert and was distraught when he was killed. After many travels, Ian and Barbara eventually used a Dalek time machine to get home, albeit two years after their disappearance and presumably with much explaining to do to their friends and families.

Since 1994, the character has appeared in several Doctor Who novels from Virgin Publishing and BBC Books. In the BBC Books novel, The Face of the Enemy by David A. McIntee (1998), the story of Ian and Barbara, now married to each other, is picked up in the early 1970s.

Jacqueline Hill returned to the series in 1980, guest starring in the Fourth Doctor serial Meglos as the priestess Lexa.


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