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Thursday, 2 May 2013

William Russel to Return for the 50th


I mean, there are some signs pointing to it.

I mean, like, literally. Signs.
Look at that. Ian Chesterton, Chairman of the Governors! I mean, I don't actually know what that means, but it's engraved on the school sign! Above the headmaster's name, even! Quite a long way from being a lowly science teacher--a position I guess he was somehow able to reclaim after a presumably unexplained two-year absence? Pretty sure most schools frown upon that!

(The Headmaster, by the way, is presumably Anthony Coburn, the guy who wrote the Doctor Who pilot. I couldn't find any other Coburns connected with the series. Why, then, is his first initial W.?)

It'd be thrilling if Russel got to come back as Ian, for a multiple of reasons. He was the show's action hero back in the day, after all, and it'd be interesting to see how Ian would react to a younger, more agile Doctor and the Doctor to an older, less mobile Ian, and how their dynamic would change because of that. And we'd get fun bits like Ian's mind doing backflips adjusting to this "regeneration" thing, and us getting final word on whether or not he and Barbara got together. (Well, of course they did, but confirmation would be nice!) The show also kinda owes it to him--he's been promised a return shot since the early 1980s. (His chronic unavailability resulted in the Brigadier continually taking his place and becoming a semi-recurring character after the UNIT era.)

The one hiccup, though, is that pesky little Sarah Jane Adventures episode that claimed, I zark you not, that Ian and Barbara hadn't aged a day since the 1960s. These days, William Russel is in his 80s, never mind that Jacqueline Hill is, y'know, dead. (Full of tact, that Russel T Davies.) Now, to be fair, it was framed as a rumor, but it's still something that could prove a stumbling block if taken too seriously. (The episode also gave both Ian and Barbara's last name as Chesterton, which disappointed me somewhat. That reveal really should go to Russel.)

On the other side of the argument, you have to consider the fact that the fact that William Russel's cameo in An Adventure in Space and Time allows the BBC to keep him on payroll without turning any heads,  and that AAiSaT has also, as I pointed out recently, rebuilt the I.M. Foreman junkyard fence. With this taken into account, plus the Coal Hill sign, Russel's return almost seems inevitable. Probably why I'm skeptical of it.

In any case, here's hoping fear makes a companion of him again.