submitted by Vivi
To add to the list…
- Sally Sparrow: In the original Ninth Doctor short story “What I Did On My Christmas Holidays by Sally Sparrow”, which Moffat wrote for the 2006 Annual and that he then re-worked into the episode “Blink”, she was a 12-year-old girl. In the end, it turns out that the Doctor only got into contact with her because he met her older self first - a spy on mission in ‘exotic’ Istanbul, whom the Doctor calls “beautiful” and an “amazing woman” in front of the girl. That woman gave him the essay she wrote about her meeting with him as a girl, which she apparently carried with her at all times, because he would need it someday to get out of trouble. The illustrations make the girl look like a young River, by the way. Though that could be just coincidence; I don’t think an author in an anthology has that much influence on the artist’s detail decisions. Still, the character type is clearly already there in his mind. (This is also the only Ninth Doctor adventure without Rose by his side. Though the Doctor’s costume and speech patterns are correct, so it wasn’t written before casting and initial story-planning was done. Strange - for the comics, there was an executive order that there would be no stories without Rose, because it had been implied that the Doctor had just regenerated shortly before he met her. But here Moffat is, implying months of travel without having to deal with with pesky female characters who don’t fit into his idea of what the Doctor should find attractive.)
- Rose: “Red bicycle when you were 12” anyone? Yes, this is probably an artifact left over from the original idea RTD had to have the Doctor influence Rose’s life from the start to groom her into the ‘perfect companion’. As far as I’ve heard, RTD scrapped that storyline either because he saw the sort of sexual chemistry the actors had and decided to turn S1 into a love story (this is also why Rose’s stated age doesn’t add up with the baby’s age in “Father’s Day” - originally, the character was supposed to be a couple of years younger), or perhaps because someone explained to him that this plot would be too dark and creepy even if he meant to have the Doctor’s behaviour condemned by the narrative in the end. In any case, the episodes were rewritten and not much was left of this storyline. But who was the only one who didn’t erase the reference to this metaplot from his frist season script but instead acted like it was romantic? Moffat.
Thanks for the submission! I forgot about Rose and didn’t know about Sally at all! I’ve been reading the short story here on the BBC website and ugh, it’s just as you say:
‘Told you, I’m a time traveller. I got it in the future. From a beautiful woman on a balcony in Istanbul.’ He smiled, like it was happy memory. ‘She was some sort of spy, I think. Amazing woman!’
You see, I know the best thing in the world. I know what’s coming. I asked the man one more question before the end of the tape. I asked how a beautiful woman spy in the future could have a copy of my Christmas homework.
‘Can’t you guess?’ he smiled. Not grinned, smiled. ‘Her name,’ he continued, ‘Was Sally Sparrow.’
Girl meets Doctor, grows up into a beautiful woman who becomes sexualised by the narrative. ‘Happy memory’ indeed, he says it like this, FULLY KNOWING that this woman was the 12 year old girl he was talking to. That’s so creepy. It also has the Doctor warning Sally about time paradoxes, which is conveniently forgotten by the time Amy comes around.
Someone in our reblogs also mentioned Lorna Bucket from A Good Man Goes to War. She’s a minor character, like Sally, but she also met the Doctor when she was a young girl and spent her whole life knowing she was going to meet him again, which she did right before she died.
And I wasn’t aware of that whole situation regarding Rose and RTD’s initial idea for her. Nevertheless, it was a good idea to scrap it because of the implications of an older man meeting a young girl and then having the romance line when she grows older. Too bad Moffat didn’t quite get the memo.
EDIT: Apparently the idea for Rose was Paul Abbott’s idea, not RTD’s. Thanks for letting us know!