This Dark Plotline Was Cut From Doctor Who

For over 50 years, "Doctor Who" has remained one of the most important contributions to British pop culture and has developed a cult following across the globe. Following the adventures of the titular character, "Doctor Who" is about a rogue Time Lord who fled the planet Gallifrey in a stolen TARDIS ("Time and Relative Dimension in Space"), a time machine equipped with a malfunctioning "chameleon circuit" which typically allows the machine to take on the appearance of local objects as a disguise, but our Doctor's TARDIS remains fixed as a blue British police box.

The Doctor has taken 13 different forms, and travels across time and space to stop evil forces, frequently only using the local resources, the multifunctional sonic screwdriver, and pure ingenuity. The Doctor has historically been one of the only exclusively non-violent protagonists on television, but according to an early draft of the pilot episode of the very first incarnation of the Doctor, the character's motives toward his human companions were originally envisioned to be something much darker than what Whovians are used to seeing.

Meet Ian and Barbara

In "An Unearthly Child," Ian and Barbara are two teachers investigating a peculiar student named Susan Foreman who is extremely advanced in knowledge of space and science. When the duo arrive at her house to check up on her, they notice the TARDIS, confusing it for a police box. They try to enter but an old man warns them not to, but they force their way inside when they hear Susan's voice. The two step inside and realize the box is larger on the inside than it is from the outside, and find Susan at the helm of a control room. Susan is the granddaughter of the Doctor, the old man from before, and the two are exiles from the planet Gallifrey. The Doctor refuses to let Ian and Barbara go and instead puts the TARDIS in flight and they all end up in the Stone Age.

During the first three serials of "Doctor Who," the group were not a fun and adventurous group, especially because the Doctor had not yet become the hero we know them as today. The early episodes of "Doctor Who" are filled with conflict, as Ian and Barbara weren't particularly close before they were essentially kidnapped by an alien, and the Doctor was pretty selfish at this point. He even caused the group to suffer from radiation sickness on the planet Skaro during the first meeting with the Daleks (the Doctor's greatest rivals) because he wanted to explore while everyone else wanted to leave.

The Darkly Alternative Storyline

As the first human companions, Ian and Barbara had to do a lot of heavy lifting for the Doctor, to get him to see them as valuable and learn to listen to their point of view. Had Ian and Barbara not been able to win him over, we would have had a very different version of "Doctor Who" moving forward, and perhaps would have even lost the opportunity to have an exceptional legacy. The duo never coupled up on screen, but across the canon of the "Doctor Who" expanded universe, we know that they later married, all thanks to the Doctor bringing them together.

If "Doctor Who" had gone as originally planned, all of this happiness would have been destroyed. As it turns out, an early draft of "An Unearthly Child" that was leaked showed indications that the Doctor was so afraid of his and Susan's secret getting out, that he was willing to kill Ian and Barbara to make sure no one would ever know the truth about his identity. After 50-plus years, the Doctor is not one for killing, only doing so if absolutely necessary and for the greater good of the universe. To have killed Ian and Barbara would have totally changed the trajectory of the character and completely altered the tone of "Doctor Who."

Thankfully, this decision never made the final cut, and we've been able to enjoy five decades of wibbly wobbly timey wimey goodness. With Jodie Whittaker finishing up her role as the Thirteenth Doctor (and the first woman to play the character) the sky's the limit as to what comes next. At least we know it won't be intentionally killing off human companions.