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Ian Chesterton

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« on: June 19, 2011, 12:13:47 am »


Ian Chesterton was one of Susan Foreman's teachers at Coal Hill School, London. He was intrigued by her advanced scientific knowledge, and in talking with another of her teachers, Barbara Wright, found that he was not the only person who had noticed the strange knowledge of this pupil. One evening, as school was finishing, Ian and Barbara decided to follow Susan home. They were concerned about her, and curious. When they saw Susan enter I.M. Foreman's junkyard in Totter's Lane, the two school teachers became more concerned for her safety. Following her inside the yard, the two discovered a police box sitting incongruously among the junk. When they discovered that Susan was inside, they barged their way in and Ian discovered something he could not believe.

Ian provides the series with an action-oriented figure, able to perform the physical tasks that the elderly Doctor can not. His concern, above all, is for the safety of the TARDIS crew, and in the early stories he often takes issue with the Doctor's habit of placing the group in harm's way just to satisfy his own curiosity. The chemistry between Barbara and himself is also evident, although the nature of their relationship is never made explicit in the television series.

Ian shows a surprising breadth of skills throughout his tenure with the Doctor. He manages to create fire, rides a horse, knows how to fight with swords and is knowledgeable about pressure points that can paralyze an opponent. He is also fiercely protective of Barbara, going on a lone mission to rescue her from Saracens in The Crusade. In that story, he is also knighted by King Richard I of England as "Sir Ian of Jaffa". After many travels, Ian and Barbara eventually use a Dalek time machine to get home, albeit two years after their disappearance.
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« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2011, 01:40:22 pm »

Another companion that really needs to make a return. I suppose it could be awkward now though with what was said in SJA about him not aging and also showing up without Barbara. He was a great character though and it would be nice to see him one more time before he passes away. I know that probably sounds really morbid, but he is about 90 now
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« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2011, 02:43:34 pm »

How old would the actor have been when this aired? Barbara too?
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« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2011, 03:44:16 pm »

According to Wikipedia William Russell was born in 1924 so that makes him 39/40 when this was broadcast. Jacqueline Hill was born in 1929 so ... 34/35. If my maths is correct  Tongue
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« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2011, 09:16:25 pm »

Ian/William Russell definately doesn't get the recognition he deserves among fandom for his part in the success of the show in its infancy. What a lot of people forget is that when the show began the companions were just as important and popular as the Doctor. It was only when the Doctor became the mainstay and the companions started a heavy turnover that he stood out as the central character. Ian, as the 'hero' figure in the group must have had so many youngsters looking up to him and I love that his character was always noble and just and a great rolemodel. A brilliant companion I think
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« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2011, 10:43:03 pm »

Yes, in the original conception, the Ian and Barbara characters (although the names came later) were supposed to be the hero and her0ine, while the Doctor was the eccentric supporting character.  You can still see something of that throughout the first series.

I like the way Ian developed into a kind of action hero by necessity - he was a teacher, after all, but he found the reserves to do extraordinary things.

Edit - would you believe it wouldn't let me type her0ine properly?  Angry
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« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2011, 02:14:01 pm »

I would definately like to see him make a return at some point but as someone said above, that might prove a bit awkward now that the character has apparantly not aged in 50 years
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