Classic and Modern ‘Who’ Characters who Should Return to ‘Doctor Who’

It was recently announced that John Simm’s incarnation of The Master will square off against The Doctor in the upcoming series, which happens to be the final one for Peter Capaldi and Steven Moffat’s. Monsters from The Doctor’s past are also returning, including the Mondasian Cybermen and Ice Warriors.

Needless to say, The twelfth Doctor’s final series is sure to be filled with many twists and surprises when it returns this Saturday, April 15. Friends and foes from The Doctor’s past (and future) are sure to pop up. So, who else should make a return – be it in series 10, or 11, or 12? Here are characters that should have another shot on Doctor Who.

(Just for fun, The Face of Boe, River Song, or Captain Jack Harkness are NOT on this list. They are on every single list of this nature, and it’s best to dig a little deeper.)


Susan Foreman

The Doctor’s first companion, and the granddaughter of The Doctor, the Time Lady was born Arkytior, but adopted the alias Susan Foreman and maintained it throughout her life. She was forced to depart the TARDIS by her grandfather, who believed that she needed to leave to pursue a normal life with a man she fell in love with.

Though Susan has returned numerous times in audio stories and novels, none of them are considered canon. Susan has presumably gone through a number of regenerations, as her grandfather did. Many expected her to return for the 50th anniversary special. Is she living a quiet life on earth? Or did she manage to find her own adventures in time and space, leading up to an inevitable path-crossing with her grandfather?

The Dream Lord

doctor who character return_dream lordA psychic manifestation of The Eleventh Doctor’s character and given life by cosmic pollen, The Dream Lord taunted The Doctor, Amy, and Rory in the series 5 episode ‘Amy’s Choice.’ Toby Jones portrayed The Dream Lord as maniacal and downright creepy, questioning The Doctor and his companions’ reality, as well as testing their trust in each other. And let’s not forget that The Dream Lord was, quite literally, in their heads, which brings his villainy to a new level.

This “character,” or aspect of The Doctor’s persona is due for a comeback. What if The Dream Lord found a way to break free and become corporeal? What if he had the same ability to trap people in his dream world creations — this time on a global scale? That would make for some good TV.

The Rani

doctor who character return_rani Like Like The Master, The Rani is a villainous Time Lady who knew both The Doctor and Master when they were youngsters. Played by Kate O’Mara, The Rani first appeared in the ‘Classic Who’ series 22 episode The Mark of the Rani against Colin Baker’s sixth Doctor. She would reprise her role a few years later, in the series 24 episode Time and the Rani, where her direct attack caused the regeneration of the sixth Doctor into Sylvester McCoy’s seventh Doctor. There was meant to be another story arc that featured Rani, but was shelved due to Doctor Who being put on hiatus in 1989.

Though not canon, she returned in the 1993 charitable special Dimensions in Time, where she attempts to trap the first seven incarnations of The Doctor in a time loop. She has since returned in a number of audio dramas and novels, but never officially since Doctor Who returned to airwaves in 2005. It was rumored that Melissa Gomez was playing The Rani when her character was still a mystery in series 8. That was obviously put to rest when it was revealed she was Missy, the latest regenerative form of The Master.


doctor who character return_jennyAppearing in the series 4 episode The Doctor’s Daughter, Jenny was the clone/daughter of the Tenth Doctor, created from his DNA. The Doctor, Donna Noble and Martha Jones travel to the planet Messaline, arriving right in the middle of a war between humans the Hath. A sample of The Doctor’s skin is forcibly taken and, with future tech, creates a fully-grown woman in combat attire. The cloning, as it turns out, is a method to grow the number of soldiers to fight against the Hath. Little did they know they’d be cloning the last of the Time Lords.

Jenny takes a bullet for her “father,” when Cobb, the leader of the human army, is angered that The Doctor denied his murder of the Hath. Jenny dies, leaving The Doctor distraught. After he and his companions leave on the TARDIS, Jenny is miraculously revived, and leaves on an escape shuttle, saying she is has “a lot to see, planets to save, rescue civilizations, monsters to defeat, and an awful lot of running to do.” It seems like she took after her old man.


doctor who character return_Omega

Omega was a Galifreyan, a founding member of the Time Lord Society, and the creator of the Eye of Harmony. The Eye of Harmony is the source energy for the planet Galifrey and their time travel technology. In the process of creating the energy, he was sucked into the black hole he created and imprisoned in a pocket universe where he gained god-like powers — as well as a desire for revenge.

The evil Time Lord made his first appearance in 4-episode story arc, The Three Doctors, featuring the first three incarnations of The Doctor trapped in the black hole Omega accidentally created. Omega would return in the Fifth Doctor episode Arc of Infinity, the audio play Omega, the novel The Infinity Doctors, and the game book Search for the Doctor.

Fenric/The Great Old Ones

doctor who character return_fenric

Fenric, according to the TARDIS wikia, is also known as Hastur the Unspeakable, Aboo-Fenrán, the Wolf, and the Hunger. He was an immensely powerful, purely evil force, old as the universe itself. Fenric was a member of The Great Old Ones, God-like beings that existed before the universe itself, spreading evil, chaos, and destruction wherever they went. Fenric made his first appearance in the “Classic Who” series 26 episode The Curse of Fenric, an enemy of Sylvester McCoy’s Seventh Doctor. He would return in the audio stories Gods and Monsters and Black and White.

The Doctor defeated Fenric in a game of chess, sending him to a realm (contained within a flask) called The Shadow Dimension. It seems like a no-brainer to bring back a character like Fenric, along with the other Great Old Ones. It would make for a great sendoff to Capaldi’s Doctor, having him take on beings that represent the physical laws of the universe.


doctor who character return_clara ashildr

Clara Oswald, who seemed more like a filler companion for Matt Smith’s Doctor, really shined as a “carer” for Capaldi’s Time Lord. In the series 9 episode, Face of the Raven, Clara met her demise in a most emotional way. However, after spending 4.5 billion years trapped in a pocket universe that led him back to Galifrey, the Doctor found a way to save her. Pulled out of time by the Time Lords’ extractor technology, Clara was trapped between two heartbeats, technically dead but ageless and alive.

What’s an impossible girl to do? Join forces with Ashildr, a young viking girl given immortality by The Doctor. She popped up every now and again throughout series 9, burdened by her eternal life. Eventually, Ashildr helped Clara make The Doctor forget their time together on the TARDIS. The two then left aboard a new TARDIS. Clara decided to return to Gallifrey to face her death… eventually. Since her heart was literally frozen in time, and now ageless like Ashildr, there isn’t any harm in taking “a long way back.” Clara and Ashildr left Galifrey, exploring time and space in their very own TARDIS.

Many fans petitioned for a spin-off series, but both Jenna Coleman and Maisie Williams are tied up in other projects. But why should that stop them from crossing paths with The Doctor amidst their adventures in time and space.


doctor who character return_Sutekh

A member of an alien race called the Osirians, and encountered by the Fourth Doctor in the ‘Classic Who’ series 13 episode Pyramids of Mars. Sutekh destroyed his planet and continued his destruction across the galaxy until his brother Horus imprisoned him in another dimensions.

Sutekh was a terrifying monster, and a truly formidable foe of The Doctors. He was easily able to possess humans to do his bidding. His powers of telekinesis even overpowered The Doctor himself. Sutekh is one of the top ‘Classic Who’ monsters that has yet to make an appearance in the new series.

The Eighth Doctor

doctor who character return_eighth doctor

Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor made his first appearance in the underwhelming 1996 made-for-tv-movie in an attempt to revive the series after it had been off the air for a decade. Thankfully, the fans, as well as the creative minds behind Doctor Who would not let Eight’s story fall through the cracks of time. His incarnation has received a thorough fleshing out in audio books and novels over the last 20 years. And then there was The Night of the Doctor – a prequel minisode for the 50th anniversary special, The Day of the Doctor. His portrayal of a withered and desperate Time Lord for an all-too-brief 7 minutes was enough to get Whovians clamoring for more. There have been many petitions to bring the Eighth Doctor back in a spin-off series about his adventures leading up to and during the Time War.

The Doctor has crossed paths with his former and future selves a few times in the series history. Wouldn’t it be something to see McGann’s Doctor on our screens again? So come on, give Eight the chance he deserves.

Did we miss a hero or villain you would like to see return to Doctor Who? Let us know in the comments!

Michael Fromm
Michael Fromm
Michael E. Fromm is an all-around scrivener, writing screenplays (short and feature), short stories, novels, poetry, blogs, articles, and press releases. Since first learning to hold a pen, he has done little but read, watch, and write about characters and worlds of fantasy. It would be very difficult to find him without a pen in hand and an idea in mind, which is problematic for anyone wanting to have a conversation with him. Michael graduated from Rowan University, primarily focusing on improving his skills as a filmmaker and screenwriter. After said schooling, he joined an elite force of Rowan grads who also had the notion of becoming filmmakers. This group, known as Justice Productions, call on him every so often to write short films. And, until this whole writing thing pays off, Michael currently does development & marketing communication (writing, graphic & publication design, social media and website upkeep, etc.) for a web development company in Central New Jersey, where he currently resides.