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John Brent, known to his friends as "John the Martian", was a friend of Susan and Gillian Roberts at Coal Hill School in 1963.

John Brent first met Susan on the first day of school at Coal Hill School, which she would later recall as one of the only reasons she liked the human race. John became close friends with her. He began to develop deeper feeling for her.

Gillian compared him to the Mekon, the enemy of Dan Dare in the British children's comic Eagle, giving him the nickname "the Martian", in spite of the fact that the Mekon was Venusian.

In March 1963, he, Susan and Gillian began to build snowmen together. They were horrified when the snowmen came to life and killed students and teachers.

His life was changed completely when his father was killed during the invasion of the Cold on 2 April. Afterwards, on 4 April, he went to live with his mother in Northumberland.

As put by Susan in her diary, "a little bird" tells her that it is "quite likely" for him to go to Cambridge University and win a Nobel Prize. (PROSE: Time and Relative)


John enjoyed classical music but disliked 1960s pop music.

John was afraid of Russians and any beings who were different, including aliens. When the Cold began taking over, he believed it was the Russians' doing. He was disturbed by Susan's distance and difference. He thought she was a Russian spy. He seemed equally disturbed when he learned she was an alien.

Early on, John showed feelings for Susan. He lost these feelings after he discovered she had two hearts but still remained friends with her.

John was heartbroken when his father was killed by the Cold Warriors. He was enraged at Gillian for not being grateful. He also wanted to seek revenge on the Cold for the death of his father and was disappointed when it was only moved to the future of Pluto. (PROSE: Time and Relative)

Behind the scenes[]

  • John and his and Susan's mutual friend Gillian Roberts appear to have been named in reference to John and Gillian, the Doctor's grandchildren who served to replace Susan in the 1960s TV Comic Doctor Who stories due to rights issues. However, as Time and Relative's John and Gillian are not siblings, nor show any signs of sharing a grandfather with Susan, they cannot be considered to be the same individuals in-universe.