Doctor Who Brings Back The Franchise’s Weirdest Mystery

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

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The latest Doctor Who episode, “Boom,” had many great bits in it, but it also had a downright weird bit when the Doctor repeated a poem involving “a moon and a president’s wife.”

It’s a weird poem in and of itself (one original to the show, incidentally), but it also seems to be a callback to previous references in the franchise. Because these references to the moon keep popping up in Doctor Who, some fans think they might be coded references to Susan, the Doctor’s granddaughter.

A Short Poem

doctor who boom

As befits any theory about Doctor Who, we’ll need to work our way backward to explain how “Boom” and other episodes potentially connect to Susan.

In this recent ep, the Doctor recites a short poem about someone who ostensibly learns a lesson in the very final line: “Young man, don’t you know there’s more to life than a moon and a president’s wife.”

It’s a strange and somewhat haunting line, but what really sticks out is how this poem echoes something we have heard before.

The Night He Stole The Moon?

Back in the episode “The Magician’s Apprentice,” Missy is describing to Clara how long she has known the Doctor and says “since the night he stole the moon and the President’s wife.”

She presents this with other wild facts and claims that “one of those was a lie.” At the time, it was easy to dismiss the bit about the moon as a fabrication, something Missy would say to mess with the young Companion.

Doctor Who’s Hell Bent

However, the later episode “Hell Bent” contains a callback to this bit of business as well as a clarification, and this is where Susan comes into this theory.

In “Hell Bent,” the Doctor says that the story of him stealing the moon and the President’s wife was “a lie put about by the Shabogans.” 

If that name doesn’t ring a bell, the Shabogans are the indigenous people of Gallifrey, the planet of the Time Lords that the Doctor is from. In this ep, the Doctor clarifies to Clara that “It was the President’s daughter…[and] I didn’t steal the moon, I lost it.”

Some Confusion

doctor who boom

Now you’re caught up and probably have an honest question: how does this strange Doctor Who dialogue tell us anything about Susan, the Doctor’s granddaughter?

Some fans think that the poem the Doctor is reciting in “Boom” is about the Doctor himself; going back to “Hell Bent,” there were persistent theories that Susan might have married the President of Gallifrey and the Doctor “stole” her away.

Others think that with the daughter’s clarification, it’s more accurate that the President was the Doctor’s son, which is why Susan is his granddaughter.

Susan Is Not The Doctor’s Granddaughter?

doctor who boom

This latter idea is even supported by the Doctor Who book A Brief History of Time Lords which mentions Susan in a very surprising way.

The book illustrates all the different things the Doctor stole from Gallifrey, and it includes a picture of Susan as a reference to “the President’s daughter.”

This would be a smoking gun, but the book is not fully canonical, as evidenced by its attention to non-canonical sources where Susan is not the Doctor’s granddaughter.

Too Much To Hope For?

doctor who boom

For longtime Doctor Who fans like us, this might be a bit much to hope for, but we might just see Susan later on in this Disney-era of the show.

Not only did “Boom” bring us a poem that may or may not be talking about the Doctor’s granddaughter, but the earlier episode “The Devil’s Chord” had the Doctor explicitly mention her.

As great as Ruby Sunday has proven herself to be, we can’t help but feel the return of one of the Doctor’s original Companions would help this long-running franchise build a perfect timey-wimey bridge from past adventures to the present era.