Before meeting the Doctor, Barbara was a history teacher at Coal Hill School in 1960s London. After leaving the Doctor, she had an adventure with his eleventh incarnation, and at the end of that adventure she married her close friend and fellow companion Ian Chesterton.
Barbara was born and raised in London. (AUDIO: An Unearthly Woman) She had a very close relationship with her mother, Joan Wright, when she was growing up. (PROSE: A Long Night) According to one account, her father was killed in the early stages of World War II when she was a child and, after, she carried a photo of him with her. (PROSE: Tell Me You Love Me, All I Want for Christmas) Another account claimed that her father was still alive after the war. Her grandmother made her honey pancakes when she was young. (PROSE: Venusian Lullaby)
As a child, Barbara spent her summers at the Malvern Hills. (PROSE: The Edge of Destruction) Whilst sick with whooping cough at the age of ten, she read a Ladybird book about Captain Cook, sparking an interest in history. At age twelve, she was in Form 2A at Cricklewood Grammar School. In an exam, she wrote about life in Roman cities. Her answer did not impress her teacher, Mr Dolphin, whose methods of teaching history Barbara considered very dull. At age thirteen, she visited the Tower of London. (PROSE: Byzantium!)
She later attended Hampstead High School for girls. In 1952, she was in Class 5G and answered a question about the Gunpowder Plot in her second History O-levels exam paper. (PROSE: The Plotters) In her teens, Barbara dated a boy who carried a flick knife. Her mother called this her "rebellious phase". (AUDIO: 1963)
During her first year at university, Barbara still lived in Cricklewood. (PROSE: Byzantium!) Her specialities included the Aztecs (TV: The Aztecs) who, according to one source, she wrote her dissertation on. (PROSE: Nothing at the End of the Lane) According to another, she wrote it on Japan's period of exclusion and isolation. (AUDIO: The Barbarians and the Samurai) During her teacher training course, her class took a one-day course in first aid from a retired army sergeant in the university gymnasium. The course involved giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to a life-sized doll, an act which greatly embarrassed Barbara. (PROSE: The Nine-Day Queen) In 1954, she was a student teacher in Cricklewood, living in a rented room. (PROSE: The Witch Hunters)
She met with her mother every Sunday to discuss their week over tea, (AUDIO: A Small Semblance of Home) and met with an aunt named Cecilia every year in London on her aunt's birthday, 23 November. (AUDIO: 1963)
Teaching at Coal Hill
Barbara eventually moved into her own flat in London, (TV: An Unearthly Child, PROSE: Doctor Who in an Exciting Adventure with the Daleks, Byzantium!) although according to some accounts she instead lived with her mother in a house in Shoreditch. (PROSE: A Long Night, The Time Travellers) Whatever the case, she started working as a history teacher at Coal Hill School, (PROSE: Time and Relative, AUDIO: An Unearthly Woman, TV: An Unearthly Child) with her father taking her to Vincenzo's to celebrate getting the job. (PROSE: Venusian Lullaby)
Barbara would always start teaching a new class by drawing a line of chalk on the board, and marking out an 'x' for 1066 at one end and another 'x' for "today" at the other. To help the class to get a sense of history, she'd then get them to fill in the rest of the timeline with important dates, such as the signing of the Magna Carta, the invasion of the Spanish Armada and the Battle of Waterloo. (PROSE: The Time Travellers)
Barbara met Ian Chesterton during his first year teaching at Coal Hill. That year was also the first time the two of them met outside of the school, with one such occasion being when he helped her with a school history trip to the Tower of London at the end of the summer term in June. The school children found a plethora of ways to frustrate the two teachers, including getting lost, dripping ice lollies and screaming. (PROSE: The Nine-Day Queen) On another occasion, Barbara took a group of 14-year-old students on a tour of Westminster Abbey. (PROSE: Set in Stone)
On 28 March 1963, the school bully Francis Minto lopped off the head of a snowman with his cricket bat. Miss Wright came to investigate after she heard Sadie Lederer cry, however, not wanting a reputation for snitching, everyone kept quiet. Miss Wright asked why Francis had a cricket bat out of season, but decided not to pursue the matter further.
On 30 March 1963, Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright saw the movie Saturday Night and Sunday Morning at the Rialto. Susan and her friend Gillian Roberts had snuck in to see the X-certificate film, and had to hide themselves from the two teachers to avoid having their ages given away. (PROSE: Time and Relative)
Ian introduced Barbara to River Song, who had been hired at Coal Hill as a history teacher. The two got along well, with Barbara confiding in River that she would love to travel, but couldn't do it with their current salary. Barbara told Ian and River about her worries about a student, Sheila Page, who seemed to be behaving strangely. Deciding to act upon it, Barbara went to see her foster parent, but the man was very rude and refused to help. She then enlisted the help of both Ian and River to come back and insist, but when they came to the house, they found the owner dead and Sheila and her adoptive brother, Lloyd Walker, missing. Ian and Barbara came to fetch the police while River surveyed the area. When they returned, River announced she had found Lloyd. The four of them headed to the pub, where River left Ian and Barbara to take care of Lloyd as she went out looking for Sheila, turning down Ian's request to come with her. The two teachers eventually came out nonetheless, but River assured her it was all over. Before leaving Coal Hill, River said a fond goodbye to both. (AUDIO: An Unearthly Woman)
Barbara met with her mother every Sunday afternoon for tea and to discuss the events of the week. On the last Sunday before Barbara was abducted by the Doctor, she told her mother about Susan Foreman. (AUDIO: A Small Semblance of Home) Impressed with Susan's schoolwork, Barbara asked her if she would mind working with her at her house. When Susan refused becuase her grandfather didn't like strangers, Barbara asked the school secetary for her address and walked there after school. She was surprised to find a junkyard instead of a house. (TV: An Unearthly Child)
Travels with the Doctor
Is this what she did or how she felt?
In 1963, Barbara taught Susan Foreman history at Coal Hill School (TV: "An Unearthly Child") in Shoreditch, London (TV: The Day of the Doctor) in classroom Class C4. (PROSE: Nothing at the End of the Lane) She had a particular interest in the Aztecs. (TV: The Aztecs) The odd gaps in Susan's knowledge and her knowledge of things she could not know intrigued Barbara. Informing her colleague Ian Chesterton of the strange girl, together they followed Susan to 76 Totter's Lane, where they heard her voice from inside a police box. They forced their way inside, discovering the massive console room of the Doctor's TARDIS. (TV: An Unearthly Child)
According to one account Barbara met Ian at a car crash on Barnes Common and had been personally tutoring Susan. (PROSE: Doctor Who in an Exciting Adventure with the Daleks)
Susan's grandfather, the First Doctor, kidnapped Ian and Barbara in the TARDIS, which travelled back in time. The TARDIS landed in Earth's Stone Age. The Doctor was taken by Kal, who had apparently seen him produce fire from his fingers (the Doctor had been lighting his pipe using matches). The others tried to rescue the Doctor, but were taken to the Cave of Skulls. (TV: An Unearthly Child) During their imprisonment, Barbara told the Doctor the story Godfather Death by the Brothers Grimm. (PROSE: The Knight, The Fool and The Dead) The Old Mother released the Doctor and his companions because she did not want them to bring fire back to her tribe, and they escaped into a nearby forest. Ian and Barbara aided Za's injuries from an animal when he tried to chase after them, but were returned to the cave. Ian produced fire for the tribe and devised a way of scaring the cavemen by setting the skulls on fire. The group escaped to the TARDIS, which took off again. (TV: An Unearthly Child) According to another account the TARDIS travelled directly to Skaro after the group met. (PROSE: Doctor Who in an Exciting Adventure with the Daleks)
When the TARDIS landed on Skaro, the Doctor lied about the fluid link needing more mercury, when there was nothing wrong, so he could explore a nearby city. The Daleks imprisoned the Doctor and his companions inside the city, confiscating the fluid link they brought along.
Having escaped, they assisted the Thals in their attack on the Dalek city. The Daleks' power supply was damaged in the attack. The Daleks died and their plans to flood the atmosphere with radiation failed. (TV: The Daleks)
With the fluid link retrieved, the Doctor left Skaro for Earth, using the fast return switch. The spring in the switch was faulty, causing it to stick. The TARDIS was sent to the beginning of a solar system and everyone was knocked out in the trip. The TARDIS tried warning the crew about the atoms forming around them when they came to, but the Doctor assumed that this was Ian and Barbara's sabotage of the ship. Once Barbara figured out what was going on, the Doctor fixed the spring, ending the fault. (TV: The Edge of Destruction)
Still heavily damaged and malfunctioning, the TARDIS found its way to Earth, but did not make it to Ian and Barbara's time, instead landing in the Plain of Pamir in 1289. There, the Doctor and his companions met Marco Polo. Polo took the TARDIS along with its keys on his caravan across Cathay, to hand it to Kublai Khan as part of a bargain for his return to Venice. Along the way, the Mongol warlord, Tegana, also part of Polo's caravan, tried to take the TARDIS for Nogai as part of his plan to assassinate the Khan. In the chaos of Tegana and Polo's duel in Peking, the Doctor and his companions escaped in his repaired TARDIS. (TV: Marco Polo)
On the spaceship Vanguard she helped to explore the surroundings. She was taken by Benya to be examined by Olivan thinking they were Shifts. She helped to rescue the Doctor and Ian from the chains Arran had put them in but she was captured. (AUDIO: The Age of Endurance)
The Doctor landed on an island on Marinus. Arbitan asked them to search for the keys to the reprogrammed Conscience of Marinus to regain control over the Voord, as all of his followers and family members had failed to retrieve them. Arbitan trapped the TARDIS in a forcefield, preventing the Doctor and his companions' escape.
They used Arbitan's travel dials to reach Morphoton. Barbara released Arbitan's daughter, Sabetha and the rest of the city from the Morpho's mind control, wiping out the Morpho in the process, and retrieved the first key.
Ian and Barbara found a fake key in the Screaming Jungle and, after surviving several traps, were told the proper location of the second key by Darrius. The third key was found in a mountain cave and was guarded by Ice Soldiers.
Escaping the soldiers, Ian reached Millennius, where he was knocked out and framed for the murder of Eprin. The Doctor helped discover the true culprit, and Ian was spared execution. The fourth key was found inside the mace that killed Eprin when the man sent to fetch the key was captured.
The Doctor and his companions returned to Arbitan's island, where Arbitan had been murdered. Ian handed the Voord the fake key, which destroyed the Conscience, along with the Voord. They were able to leave in the TARDIS once more. (TV: The Keys of Marinus)
The Doctor and his companions arrived in an Aztec temple in Mexico. They went through a one-way passage that prevented access to the TARDIS. Barbara posed as the Aztec god, Yetaxa, with the others as her servants, to find a way back. Barbara tried and failed to change the Aztecs' history of human sacrifice for the better, which the Doctor strongly advised her against.
Susan was to be punished for denying marriage to the Perfect Victim and Ian to be executed when he was framed by the High Priest of Sacrifice, Tlotoxl, for attacking the High Priest of Knowledge, Autloc. Autloc's faith in Yetaxa was shattered, and he left for the wilderness. The Doctor, Ian and the Doctor's accidental fiancée, Cameca, distracted Ian and Susan's guard to escape. Ian prevented Tlotoxl's murder of Barbara and fought off the warrior Ixta. They worked on a wheel and pulley system to open the doorway back to the TARDIS, taking the wheel with them to avoid contaminating history (the Aztecs had never used wheels). As they departed, the sacrifice of the Perfect Victim continued as planned. (TV: The Aztecs)
The Doctor landed inside a spaceship in the 28th century, where two crewmembers were suspended in a state resembling death and another, John, had had his mind opened and turned insane, following an attack on their minds by the Sensorites. The Sense Sphere, which the ship had been trapped around, had its aqueducts' water supply poisoned with atropine by survivors of a previous human expedition whose ship had been destroyed.
The TARDIS' lock was taken by the Sensorites, leaving the Doctor and his companions trapped on the spaceship. After the Doctor and his companions resisted the Sensorites, the Doctor, Ian and Susan agreed to go down to the Sense Sphere to treat the "disease" and cure John. Barbara had to stay behind as assurance for the Sensorites, but arrived on the Sense Sphere after the Doctor had discovered a cure for the poison. The Doctor and Ian, later followed by Barbara, went to the aqueducts where Atropa belladonna had been growing. They found the human expedition and pretended to be a welcoming party for them and that the "war" against the Sensorites was won. The expedition were taken into custody on Maitland's ship. Maitland's ship was free to leave and the TARDIS crew had regained their lock. (TV: The Sensorites)
Passionate about history, Barbara could see both sides to a story. When the travellers arrived in revolutionary France, she befriended Léon Colbert. When he died, she was distraught and defended his treachery. (TV: The Reign of Terror)
When the TARDIS landed on the planet Destination, Barbara helped the Doctor investigate the conflict between the colonists and the Dalmari before she and Ian were hypnotised by the Master, a once friend of the Doctor's who had taken control of the planet, as hostages while he seised the TARDIS. The two regained their faculties while the ship sailed through the time vortex, the Master struggling to properly work the modified controls, before they overpowered him and used the fast return switch to return to the Doctor and Susan, albeit two years after they'd left. After the Doctor had stranded the Master, the group left the planet and wound up in New York City in 1888 where they were caught in a gang war. (AUDIO: The Destination Wars)
The struggle ended with Ian being shot and Susan kidnapped. As the Doctor went to confront the police about his granddaughter's abduction, Barbara accompanied Ian to the hospital, befriending Rosalita. When Ian awoke the next morning, Barbara realised that they were at risk of being caught in the Great White Hurricane. Though insisting that they get back to the TARDIS, Barbara helped Ian return Rosalita home only for her son Joseph to have been taken away by her husband Henry. Following him to the train station, they found the tracks frozen over, Ian forcing an opportunist to use his ladder to rescue the people for free. After Rosalita had been reunited with her family, Ian and Barbara returned to the TARDIS. (AUDIO: The Great White Hurricane)
The Doctor attempted to use a temporal slingshot to return to 1963 only to wind up on the planet Ashtallah, home of the Ashtallans, an immortal race with prodigious healing abilities. Barbara found herself impaled by a spear as part of an Ashtallan game only for their cells to quickly heal her. The group then conversed with the Ashtallans, Ian and Barbara telling Brenna about love before a mysterious plague began killing the aliens. In short order, it was found, much to Barbara's horror, that Sharlan was using a sample of Barbara's blood to kill their people, having nearly killed Ian to cover their tracks. After Ian had been healed by Ashthallan cells and Sharlan had fallen victim to their own plague, the group left the planet. The Doctor mused on what effects Ashtallan biology might have on Ian and Barbara, wondering if they would ever age. (AUDIO: The Invention of Death)
When the TARDIS landed in 19th century Japan before it was opened to Westerners, the Doctor and Barbara were taken prisoner at the orders of the daimyo Takagi Mamoru, while Ian and Susan managed to escape, as Mamoru suspected the two of being spies from England, sent to spy on his preparation for a revolt against the Emperor, who was about to open the country to strangers. The Doctor and Barbara tried to escape, but ended up being involved, together with Ian and Susan, in a battle between Mamoru's samurais and the Emperor's forces. After a hole had been blown in Mamoru's stronghold, the group retreated back to the TARDIS and fled. (AUDIO: The Barbarians and the Samurai)
Soon afterwards, the TARDIS landed in Tyre, where they, Ian in particular, won the favour of Princess Elissa, to Barbara's visible jealousy, and the ire of King Pygmalion. As Pygmalion was to bless his new ship, Ian was nearly killed before he was rescued by Elissa and brought aboard the ship as they sailed away from Tyre, though leaving the Doctor behind. As Ian fought off Elissa's flirtations, Barbara tried to reach out to the despondent Susan before they arrived at the site of the future Carthage. Along with Susan, Barbara was nearly conscripted into a temple before the Doctor caught up with them and painted him and his friends as emissaries of the gods. After defeating Pygmalion's fleet, the TARDIS crew took off again, Ian finding that he'd inspired Aeneas, before the ship was drawn to a temporally unstable planet. (AUDIO: The Phoenicians)
As the ship hurled out of control, Susan suggested drawing power from the TARDIS force field, being supported by an echo from a fading future version of herself, allowing the engines to break free. (AUDIO: Tick-Tock World)
A later attempt to use the fast return switch to get Ian and Barbara home, resulted in the group's return to Skaro, fifty cycles after their last visit. Brought to the Thal City, the group was shown some of their new inventions before it was found that Susan and Jyden had snuck off to the Dalek City. At the Doctor's request, Barbara stayed behind, in case Susan returned on her own, talking to Damadus about the Thals' evolution before Susan and Jyden returned with two active, yet unarmed, Dalek drones who claimed to want peace. When the Daleks were allowed to speak to the people however, they abandoned their ruse as the Dalek Supreme arrived with an army, striking the Thals with lightning from the ionising towers. Rallying the Thals once more, the group managed to free the Doctor who turned the towers against the Daleks, ending their invasion before the group left Skaro once again. (AUDIO: Return to Skaro)
The TARDIS then landed in Ekaterinburg, shortly before the Russian Civil War. Susan and Barbara explored together for a while before finding that the ship had vanished. After speaking to Thomas Preston, the British Consul, Susan and Barbara posed as nuns to infiltrate the house of Nicholas II and his family, Susan befriending Anastasia Romanov. As Barbara questioned how useful she and Susan were, Ian and the Doctor returned only for Nicholas II to reveal that he had come to terms with death and encouraged them to flee. Running back to the TARDIS, Barbara spoke with Susan again, humouring her pupil's belief that Anastasia might have escaped execution. (AUDIO: Last of the Romanovs)
Following the ship suddenly losing power, the Doctor and Susan managed to force it to self-repair which necessitated an emergency landing. The travellers found themselves on a dystopian future Earth where they were taken prisoner and forced to submit to a genetic scan to prove they were human. Though the Doctor had sabotaged the machine to read Susan as human, intending for Ian and Barbara to look after her, humanity's genes had evolved so much over the eons that Ian and Barbara did not read as human. As a result, they were sent to work in the mines with the gestalt being Brooskin. When Ian tried to escape, he wound up exposing himself to the vacuum of space with Brooskin informing the humans that they were not on Earth but on Urth, a space habitat smaller than London. Following Susan currying the favour of the settlement's rulers, she managed to free her friends before representatives from the remainder of the human race arrived. Convinced that the problems would sort themselves out very shortly, the travellers made for the TARDIS and left. (AUDIO: For the Glory of Urth)
When the Doctor was convinced that the ship had been fully repaired, the group found themselves in London 1601. When they attempted to visit the Globe Theatre, they instead found a volatile political climate before they met Judith Shakespeare who introduced them to William Shakespeare and hosted them for dinner. After Susan and Judith had bonded over being treated like children and escaped the house, Barbara was asked to stay behind in case Susan returned. Growing bored of this, Barbara eventually caught up with the group at the Globe when Susan had been drawn into Lady Penelope Rich's plot to dethrone Elizabeth I. Though Barbara tried to deter Susan, the stunt resulted in Shakespeare's arrest. As the travellers scrambled to correct history, Queen Elizabeth returned and brought the conflict to a swift end. When the time came to leave, Susan, Barbara and Ian expressed a desire to stay and see a play before an outside source activated the TARDIS and sent it flying away from England. (AUDIO: The Hollow Crown)
She liked watching plays when they were in Alexandria. When she discovered that Ian was talking to Hypathia she got angry. When the Library of Alexandria was burning down she tried to save the Books. (AUDIO: The Library of Alexandria)
They later landed in a flotilla of ships on the planet Hydra where they were captured by Amyra Kaan and Pan Vexel for being stowaways. When Ian volunteered to help a rescue mission after a shipwreck, Barbara became concerned on what he would find in the wreckage of one of the ships. The Doctor ordered her to evacuate the sinking ship with Susan and the injured Jonas Kaan but she went back to get the Doctor. She was assumed to have died but was in fact imprisoned by Tarlak and maltreated for months. She also assumed the Doctor to have died. When Susan was to be converted into a Voord, Barbara was used as a bargaining chip to get Susan to comply with Tarlak's orders. (AUDIO: Domain of the Voord)
On 22nd century Earth, the travellers found the Daleks had invaded and occupied the planet. Barbara helped a small resistance group in their plotting and, with Jenny, took Dortmun through London. With the Daleks defeated, Susan left their company to marry freedom fighter David Campbell. (TV: The Dalek Invasion of Earth)
When they arrived on the planet Dido, Barbara was pushed off a cliff by Bennett, one of two surviving passengers of the crash landed Earth ship the UK-201 as part of Bennett's plan to get away with his murder of the crew and many of the Dido people. The other surviving passenger, Vicki, brought Barbara to the UK-201 after she survived her fall, but was upset when Barbara killed Vicki's pet sand beast, Sandy, thinking it to be dangerous. After Barbara offered an apology, the two got on well and, following Bennett's death and the revelation he murdered her father, Vicki joined the TARDIS to travel in time and space. (TV: The Rescue)
The travellers stayed in a villa in Assisium near Rome for several weeks in the year 64. Ian and Barbara were taken as slaves by the slave traders Sevcheria and Didius, with Barbara sold into Nero's palace to serve Nero's wife, the Empress Poppaea. While at the palace, Barbara received a bracelet from Nero as a present. After believing Barbara had ambitions to become Empress, Poppaea tried poisoning Barbara, but she was unwittingly saved by Vicki, who didn't know Barbara was in the palace. With the help of Ian, Tavius and Delos, Barbara escaped, and Ian and Barbara returned to the villa before the Doctor and Vicki returned from their own adventures in Rome. (TV: The Romans)
The Doctor, Ian, Barbara, Vicki and Jospa had to escape from laser fire after rescuing some slaves. She found her former pursuers technology disgusting. She observed that the birds who were eating the fruits looked like they were getting intoxicated. When one of the birds attacked Vicki she realised this was because Vicki smelled like fruit. She helped Vicki back to the TARDIS, but when Jospa's device was connected to the console she experienced some pain. She then forgot who Jospa was. She devised a plan to attack the Jospa controlled Arunde using the fruit and the birds who had already attacked her earlier. (AUDIO: The Fifth Traveller)
The Doctor, Ian, Barbara, and Vicki then travelled to 1868, where they attended a lecture by Thomas Huxley. The four of them travelled into the London Underground to investigate a group of missing students and discovered that the Zarbi had populated themselves in the there. Travelling further into the sewers, they found the Animus, who had reformed itself and had moved to Earth to take revenge on the human race. Ian was able to kill it by driving a train into it. The Doctor and his companions prepared to leave, but the Doctor discovered that his companions were missing, having been pulled out of time by Adam Mitchell. (COMIC: Unnatural Selection)
Along with the Doctor's other companions, she was placed in suspended animation, (COMIC: The Choice) but was freed soon afterwards to fight the Master's Auton army, being returned to her proper time and place when Adam stood down. (COMIC: Endgame)
When Vicki told Barbara that the siesta machines that were being used on Hisk were like her teaching machines, Barbara got annoyed at the fact that her job was replaced by a machine. When she realised a local was severely depressed she helped to try and overcome the feeling by helping to bake some cakes. (AUDIO: The Sleeping City)
On one place they landed on, she became a food preparation worker but took a leave day to research the planet they were on. She was later arrested for unauthorised research. (AUDIO: The Unwinding World)
When Barbara and her friends landed near Sonning Palace, the Doctor asked her to use her historical expertise to guess where they were. She was slightly disappointed at being in the reign of Henry IV. She spent her time making some clothing for the Doctor. She later went on a pilgrimage with the Doctor to Canterbury. (AUDIO: The Doctor's Tale)
Following the Mechonoid Incident, she was the first to realise that she and Ian might be able to return home in the Dalek time machine. Determined to get home, she was willing to risk her life in the Dalek ship. On returning home, Barbara and Ian were thrilled to have safely arrived. Once they had left the Dalek ship, and it had self-destructed, the two friends realised that they had some explaining to do, as they had arrived home in 1965 — two years after they had left. (TV: The Chase) Barbara and Ian claimed to have been missionaries in Africa to account for the time gap, (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy) an explanation that was not readily accepted. As Barbara grew more fed up with having to offer excuses, she openly told the headmaster the truth about her and Ian's travels with the Doctor, mentioning several alien species by name. The outburst caused her to be put on leave for a time. (AUDIO: After the Daleks)
Life after the Doctor
In 1965, Ian and Barbara were pulled into an illusory world, and made to believe they were in Coal Hill. They encountered the Eleventh Doctor, who helped them overcome the illusion. Ian was sceptical when the strange young man proclaimed himself to be the Doctor, brushing off his intimate knowledge of their adventures as being a result of him being some sort of mind-reading alien. Barbara, on the other hand, was more willing to believe him, citing all the strange things the Doctor had done during their travels. They went with the Doctor to Cornucopia, where they discovered the place in ruins.
When the attackers (known as "the Hunters of the Burning Stone") attacked, the Doctor got their attention by claiming to possess the item they sought, allowing Ian to attack their leader from behind (and finally convincing him that he really was the same man he once knew). Barbara was then kidnapped by Miss Ghost, and transported to her ship. There, Barbara learned that Miss Ghost was actually Annabel Lake, an acquaintance of the Doctor's from 20th century Prague.
Using Annabel's ship, they flew to the Prometheans' ship, narrowly escaping the Hunters (who were revealed to be the Tribe of Gum) and saved the Doctor, Ian and Annabel's father, Patrick Lake. Unfortunately, they could not prevent the Prometheans from using their "Neural Extractor" to regress humanity to a Neanderthal mindset. On Annabel's ship, Ian and Barbara encouraged the Doctor to think of a plan, and he finally hit upon one, taking the TARDIS to the past.
As the Tribe of Gum instructed the primitive humans to worship the Prometheans, the Doctor returned, having planted the image of the TARDIS throughout human history, and using that image to alter the neural platform, reversing the effect, destroying the platform, and "locking" the minds of the human race from being altered again. Incensed, the Tribe of Gum, at the Prometheans' urging, attacked the Doctor. Barbara and Ian landed their ship on a fragment of the neural platform, and convinced the Tribe to stop by telling them of love and sacrifice, and how the Doctor protected the people of Earth for years. When the Tribe of Gum ceased their assault, the Prometheans attacked Barbara and Ian. The Tribe of Gum then turned on the Prometheans. Both sides were destroyed in the ensuing struggle. Barbara and Ian returned to their own time, and married, with the Doctor attending their wedding. (COMIC: Hunters of the Burning Stone)
At some point, Barbara was taken to the Black Archive by UNIT to have her record as a companion of the Doctor taken. Her memories of the visit were subsequently erased and she was sent on her way. (TV: The Day of the Doctor)
She began a career as a university lecturer, specialising in Aztec history. (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy) Her and Ian had a child, John Alydon Ganatus Chesterton, who grew up to be a famous musician under the name Johnny Chess. (PROSE: Timewyrm: Revelation, Byzantium!) The Seventh Doctor's companion Ace was a fan of Johnny Chess. (AUDIO: Maker of Dreams)
According to a rumour Sarah Jane Smith shared with Clyde Langer and Rani Chandra, Barbara and Ian had become professors at the University of Cambridge by at least the 2010s and had not aged since the 1960s. (TV: Death of the Doctor)
In 1985, Barbara wrote a GCSE textbook called Journeys Through History: A Sourcebook for GCSE with Ian Martin which included an extract from a biography of Lady Jane Grey by Joan Stevenson. Barbara, the Doctor and Ian had met Lady Jane in the months before she was deposed by Queen Mary I. (PROSE: The Nine-Day Queen)
When Barbara was out doing groceries, Ian was called away by the Time Lords to aid Susan on a mission to the Sense Sphere. Though he wished to wait for Barbara, the Time Lords refused to do so, taking him away and returning him just as Barbara returned home. (AUDIO: Sphere of Influence)
Ian and Barbara attended Sarah Jane Smith's memorial on a "bright, cold Spring day", where they discussed Sarah Jane with other guests, and helped fight the Jackals of the Backwards Clock to foil the Trickster's revenge plot. (WC: Farewell, Sarah Jane)
When the TARDIS was drawn to and destroyed on a world where time was in a constant state of flux, Barbara, along with Ian and the Doctor, was devoured by the Xesto, creatures that consumed time and all other possible futures, Barbara throwing herself to them out of despair after Ian was killed. When a future Susan managed to make contact with her past self, the resulting explosion caused by their violation of the Blinovitch Limitation Effect allowed the future Susan to reach back in time and help the Doctor avert the original crash. (AUDIO: Tick-Tock World)
An oak tree was planted at the Coal Hill quad in memory of Ian and Barbara. Surviving two Dalek invasions, it remained to at least the end of the 22nd century when it was found by Susan, who lived in the block of flats which Coal Hill had been converted to over a hundred years prior. Realising that the commemorative plaque had since been replaced more than once, Susan found it did not say when they ultimately died. (AUDIO: All Hands on Deck)
The Seventh Doctor chanted Barbara's name, amongst those of other companions, when under attack by the Haemovores. (TV: The Curse of Fenric) He also slightly remembered her in Rome after he turned himself human. (PROSE: Human Nature)
Barbara was keen to see the good in all things. She was frequently protected by Ian, and at times felt he treated her like a China doll, keeping her from independence. (TV: "The Screaming Jungle") Nonetheless, the pair felt love for one another, early on. (AUDIO: The Invention of Death) She protected Susan in turn, giving care and attention, and holding her close, before focusing on the task ahead. (TV: The Daleks, The Keys of Marinus) She believed in the innate goodness of people and saw that sometimes there was more to a situation than met the eye. (TV: The Romans)
Susan once described Barbara as "brave and kind". (AUDIO: Domain of the Voord) She was capable of great endurance and feats of bravery. She killed Sandy with a flare gun in shock, after which she was keen to make it up with Vicki. (TV: The Rescue) While a prisoner, Barbara looked after her fellow captives at risk to herself. (TV: The Romans)
Barbara would take her aggression out on the Daleks. Despite her initial fear, she overcame it and fought them to save her group and the Thals. (TV: The Daleks) In her second encounter with them, when one of the Doctor's experiments to get back to 1963 resulted in them returning to Skaro, Barbara was quick to point out to the Thals the danger of the Daleks, and not to trust them despite being surprised they had survived. (AUDIO: Return to Skaro) Barbara drove a truck through a roadblock of Daleks, crushing one of them, and chose to help the resistance defy their commanders. (TV: The Dalek Invasion of Earth) The next time she met the Daleks, Barbara was eager to violently attack them as soon as the Doctor gained the weaponry they needed. (TV: The Chase)
Barbara was extremely fond of Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales. (AUDIO: The Doctor's Tale) She was a supporter of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and participated in the Aldermaston marches. It was on the marches that she and Ian first became friends. (AUDIO: The Doctor's Tale)
Barbara once described travelling in the TARDIS as "the most adventurous, terrifying, exhilarating thing" that she had ever done. She admitted to Ian that she would find it hard to say goodbye to it. (PROSE: The Mother Road)
Barbara was tall, (PROSE: The Sensorites) dark-haired and slim and extremely beautiful (PROSE: Doctor Who and an Unearthly Child) Ian believed that her face was "deceptive", being attractive but with strong character. (PROSE: Doctor Who in an Exciting Adventure with the Daleks) She was always neatly dressed, (PROSE: Doctor Who and an Unearthly Child) usually in mature, conservative clothes, (PROSE: The Sensorites) and often wore a beige turtle-neck jumper and black trousers. (TV: The Keys of Marinus, The Web Planet, The Space Museum, The Chase, etc.) Someone had once unkindly said that she looked like a "typical schoolmistress". (PROSE: Doctor Who and an Unearthly Child)
Behind the scenes
- Heather Hartnell's cousin, Mildred Wright, passed away in 1959. Mildred's widower married Barbara Wright, his second wife, in 1961. (This may, of course, be a coincidence.)
- The roles of Barbara and Ian as, respectively, history and science teachers were part of the series' original plan to alternate between science-fiction and historical stories. The character was originally described (in a document written by Cecil Webber on 19 March 1963) as a not-yet-named "handsome well-dressed heroine." In a revised series proposal (which Webber produced around April 1963), she was characterised as a timid but brave twenty-four-year-old school mistress called "Lola McGovern". (DWMSE 7, p. 11)
- Barbara Wright has the distinction of being the first regular Doctor Who character to appear on screen. She also spoke the first line of dialogue ever heard in the series, "Wait in here please, Susan. I won't be long." She was the first character to meet a Dalek on screen.
- As Jacqueline Hill died six years prior to the first Doctor Who audio production by Big Finish Productions, the role of Barbara in the company's plays has been portrayed by Carole Ann Ford, Maureen O'Brien and, most recently, by Jemma Powell.
- Russell T Davies has stated that he sees Tenth Doctor companion Donna Noble as how Barbara would be presented today:
- Phyllida Law was considered for the role of Barbara.
Information from invalid sources
In the charity story An Unearthly Palaver, Ian and Barbara followed Panda back to Aunty Iris' bus, and after Barbara had a few drinks, she admitted to Iris and Panda that the students at Coal Hill were horrible.