IndexTimey-wimey detector → Timeline - Ian & Barbara
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This page lists appearances of Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright in the order in which they experienced them. This timeline is based upon observations of the Doctor Who universe and the events that occur during each of these stories. From these observations we have attempted to build a concise timeline. It is assumed, much like its TV story counterparts that for each novel, comic story and audio series their published/numbered order is the order they occur in. This does not apply to short stories which are often ambiguous about their placement. There are also many gaps between stories.

The layout of this timeline is in part based on the observations on Doctor Who Reference Guide and Doctor Who - The Complete Adventures, as well as information in Lance Parkin's AHistory which allow us to make observations on placement of stories, such as Doctor Who Reviews, The History of Doctor Who, The Discontinuity Guide, Clive Banks Databank, the Big Finish forums, The Whoniverse and the Divergent Universe forums. None of these sources should be used solely as a source or considered a "true" timeline for stories.


Additionally there are statements on the back of Virgin Missing Adventures and BBC Past Doctor Adventures novels that state between which TV stories the novel takes place between. These can be used to narrow the field, and should be viewed as the only placing for these novels.

Timeline[edit source]

Teaching at Coal Hill[edit source]

Susan's diary. Ian appears in various events at Coal School from 26 March to 1 April 1963. Barbara appears in events on 28 and 30 March.
Set during the summer, Ian holidays in Dorset, and thinks he sees Barbara there as well. He gains a splinter on the gate to his guest house. Both Ian and Barbara are teachers at the "same London school" by this point. Some time later, Barbara hosts a party attended by Ian.
The Doctor is still collecting parts for his TARDIS, and meets River Song for the first time.

Discovering the Celestial Omnibus[edit source]

  • PROSE: An Unearthly Palaver
Ian and Barbara investigate their strange student Panda, following him back to a double-decker bus in Putney Common. There, they meet his equally strange Aunty Iris, who whisks them away in her bus, travelling to somewhere fabulous.

Discovering the TARDIS[edit source]

On 22 November 1963, Ian and Barbara, intrigued by student Susan Foreman, follow her home and force themselves into the TARDIS, and the First Doctor flies the ship in a panic, bringing the teachers with him and Susan to 100,000 BC. Ending leads directly into The Daleks.
The travellers encounters the Daleks for the first time. He also explains that he can't properly fly the TARDIS and can't return to 76 Totter's Lane. Ending leads directly into The Edge of Destruction.
Ending leads directly into Marco Polo.

Adventures with the Doctor and Susan[edit source]

The TARDIS crew venture on a trek through China with Marco Polo in 1289. The Doctor receives a cane from Kublai Khan.
The TARDIS crew have just left China, setting this immediately after Marco Polo.
Ian is still wearing his Chinese gown, setting this shortly after Marco Polo.
Ian and Barbara are still trying to grasp some of the more alien concepts in their travels, and the Doctor is not yet on a first name basis with them.
The Doctor believes that he and Susan should be more open with Ian and Barbara, setting this after The Edge of Destruction. Ian and Barbara are given their first proper tour of the TARDIS, though it is a brief one. Though they are still recent additions to the TARDIS crew, Susan claims they have "been through so much together" by this point.
The Doctor is still unfamiliar with the layout of the TARDIS interior, and is still learning about most of the universe.
Barbara recalls the recent events of The Daleks.
The TARDIS lands on Marinus, and the crew are forced by Arbitan to locate the keys to the Conscience of Marinus before the Voord can.
Barbara has yet to visit an Aztec temple, setting this before The Aztecs. The Doctor's most recent travels haven't been into Earth's history.
The Doctor warns Barbara about the consequences of altering the course of history when she tries to educate the Aztecs against using human sacrifices. The Doctor has a brief affair with Cameca, and is gifted with a brooch from her when he leaves.
Barbara refers to the events of The Aztecs.
Barbara refers to the Doctor's warning about interfering with history from The Aztecs.
Susan knows of Barbara's familiarity with Cortez and the Mexican civilisations, setting this after The Aztecs.
Barbara believes that history cannot be changed, setting this after The Aztecs.
Susan unlocks a deeper telepathic ability than the Doctor thought she had. Barbara has fully recovered from her ordeal from The Aztecs. When Ian makes a snide comment about the Doctor's piloting, the enraged Doctor claims he will leave Ian at the next stop, leading into The Reign of Terror.
Follows on from The Sensorites, with the Doctor still arguing with Ian and Barbara, until an adventure during the French Revolution calms him down enough to forgive them.
Starts from where The Sensorites left off, with the Doctor still arguing with Ian and Barbara.
The Doctor refers to the events from The Reign of Terror as the crew's previous trip.
Authorial intent places this between The Reign of Terror and Here There Be Monsters. Barbara knows that history cannot be changed, but Ian isn't convinced.
Set directly after Farewell, Great Macedon, with the events from The Fragile Yellow Arc of Fragrance being mentioned.
Ian remembers the Doctor saying that the crew's "destiny is in the stars", which he said in The Reign of Terror. Barbara and Ian still believe that history can't be changed.
Susan is writing a letter for Ian and Barbara to read after she's gone. She mentions the Doctor's warning of the immutability of history from The Aztecs, but feels the need to explain that it's wrong, presumably setting this before The Library of Alexandria and The Flames of Cadiz.
Ian refers to the events from The Transit of Venus. He and Barbara begin to think that the Doctor has been deceitful with them about changing history. Only a few weeks have passed since The Transit of Venus.
Ian refers to the events of The Transit of Venus. He and Barbara aren't surprised when the Doctor thinks that history can be changed. Ian also mentions his broken watch, setting this before The Phoenicians.
Authorial intent places this during Season 1. The crew are a close unit, and Ian wonders if they are still on Earth, indicating that this takes place after The Reign of Terror. The Doctor spends two years on Destination fixing the damage caused by the Master. Ending leads directly into The Great White Hurricane.
This is Ian's first time in New York City. Susan admits that she sees Ian and Barbara as family. After their adventure in New York City, the Doctor claims to have found a way to return Ian and Barbara home.
Follows directly on from The Great White Hurricane, with the Doctor failing to return the TARDIS to 1963. The Doctor refers to the recent events of The Reign of Terror.
Follows directly on from The Barbarians and the Samurai. Ian and Barbara learn that the TARDIS has a library, and believe it should be around Spring 1964 in their own time. Ian sells his watch, setting this after The Flames of Cadiz.
Follows directly on from The Phoenicians. Susan mentions that she is a little bit telepathic, and the Doctor realises that he needs to give Susan more independence.
Barbara and Susan are mentioned to have stayed behind in the TARDIS, setting this before The Dalek Invasion of Earth.
Set after The Sensorites, with Susan's telepathy growing stronger.
Sequel story to The Keys of Marinus.
Susan is beginning to realise she will need to leave the Doctor soon and make her own life.
Susan mentions the human-colonised planet from The Sorcerer's Apprentice. The removal of the life pod from the TARDIS begins to affect its dimensional stability, setting this shortly before Planet of Giants.
The TARDIS begins suffering from Space pressure, setting this shortly before Planet of Giants.
Susan is still troubled with the telepathic powers she demonstrated in The Sensorites, Barbara is still regretful for the events of The Aztecs, and she and Ian recall the events of The Reign of Terror. After leaving 1692, the Doctor pilots the TARDIS to 1742, and makes further plans to jump from the 18th century to the 20th century, leading into Planet of Giants.
The TARDIS has just left the late 18th century, with the Doctor attempting to travel forward to the mid-20th century when the TARDIS shrinks due to a malfunction.
Set immediately after Planet of Giants.

Leaving Susan behind[edit source]

The Doctor encounters the Daleks for the first time since The Daleks. Susan falls in love with a rebel of the 22nd century Dalek invasion named David Campbell, and the Doctor decides to leave her behind so she can grow into her own person after the crew help defeat the Daleks on Earth.
The TARDIS crew have just left 22nd century Earth, and the Doctor still adapting to life without Susan. He has a prototype sonic screwdriver on his person.
The Doctor is still thinking about gold for a wedding ring for Susan, as he was in Venusian Lullaby.
Ending leads directly into The Zarbi Are Destroyed.
It has been roughly a year since Ian and Barbara were abducted by the Doctor in An Unearthly Child.
The Doctor explains how the TARDIS is bigger on the inside to Ian and Barbara.
Ian takes his first trip to Scotland, setting this before Set in Stone. According to him, Susan left "a while ago".

Joined by Vicki[edit source]

On Dido, the Doctor, Ian and Barbara rescue a young girl named Vicki from the clutches of Koquillion, and she is invited to join them aboard the TARDIS. After leaving Dido, the TARDIS falls from the cliff it landed on, leading into The Romans.
Romans Cutaway, along with Byzantium!, is set after the TARDIS materialises and falls off the cliff at the end of The Rescue. Romans Cutaway is set shortly before the crew settle down in Rome at the start of The Romans.
While awaiting the TARDIS's recovery, the Doctor accidently inspires Nero to burn down Rome.
According to Vicki, the TARDIS crew have just left Rome, and are still wearing their Roman clothes when they arrive in London, setting this immediately after The Romans
The Doctor is trying to make the shortest journey possible away from Rome, setting this directly after The Romans. Ian and Barbara have been traveling in the TARDIS for two years, and Ian proposes that he and Barbara should marry each other if they ever return home.
The TARDIS crew are forced to land on Vortis by the Animus.
Ian mentions the recent travels to Vortis, Rome, Byzantium, and China.
The Doctor is mentioned as being in the TARDIS with a fever.
Set between The Web Planet and The Crusade. [1]
Sequel story to The Web Planet. After helping Thomas Huxley fight off the Animus and the Zarbi, Ian, Barbara and Vicki are kidnapped Adam Mitchell, leading directly into Endgame.
The Doctor joins with his other incarnations to rescue Ian, Barbara and Vicki from Adam and the Master, and assists the other Doctors in saving their companions as well.
Ending leads directly into The Space Museum.
Ian recalls the events of The Crusade.
Vicki refers to the events of The Crusade.
Ian recalls the events of The Crusade.
Despite the events of Room for Improvement, the Doctor claims that the 23rd century is the furthest Ian and Barbara have visited Earth in the future. Vicki recalls the events of The Space Museum.
Barbara has a feeling she and Ian will find a way home soon, setting this shortly before The Chase.
Ian introduces himself as "Sir Ian of Jaffa", setting this after The Crusade. The Doctor decides to begin working on the Time-Space Visualiser.
The Doctor is still working on the Time-Space Visualiser he picked up during The Space Museum.
Ian and Barbara use a Dalek time machine to return to their home time period.
Set during The Chase: Episode 4, just after the Doctor, Ian and Barbara realise they have lost Vicki.

Life after the TARDIS[edit source]

Set directly after The Chase, with Barbara and Ian returning home to Shoreditch.
Shortly after returning home, Ian and Barbara are wed following an encounter with the Eleventh Doctor.
Barbara talks with other companions after leaving the TARDIS.
Ian meets the Seventh Doctor.
An older Ian recounts the events of The Crusade.
Ian has no knowledge of the doctor's fate after his departure from the TARDIS, setting this before The Five Companions
Ian reunites with Steven Taylor among other companions meeting the Fifth Doctor.
50 years have passed since The Dalek Invasion of Earth for Ian.
Ian and Barbara attend the funeral of Sarah Jane Smith.

Alternate universes[edit source]

References[edit source]

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