Ian Chesterton was the Doctor’s first male companion and a science teacher at Coal Hill School. The training of his discipline made him particularly sceptical of the Doctor’s claims when first they met. Some of Ian’s best dialogue was in the early days of Doctor Who when he found the belligerence of the old git almost unbearable. Join the Doctor Who Mind Robber as we explore 10 of Ian’s best moments.
An Unearthly Child (Episode 1)
(Ian and Barbara enter the TARDIS for the first time)
Ian Chesterton: But it was a Police Telephone Box. I walked right round it. Barbara, you saw me.
The Doctor: [to Ian] You still think it’s all an illusion?
Ian Chesterton: I know that free movement in time and space is a scientific dream I don’t expect to find solved in a junkyard.
The Doctor: Your arrogance is nearly as great as your ignorance.
The Doctor: You don’t understand, so you find excuses. Illusions, indeed? You say you can’t fit an enormous building into one of your smaller sitting rooms?
Ian Chesterton: No.
The Doctor: But you’ve discovered television, haven’t you?
Ian Chesterton: Yes.
The Doctor: Then by showing an enormous building on your television screen, you can do what seemed impossible, couldn’t you?
Ian Chesterton: Well, yes, but I still don’t know…
The Doctor: Not quite clear, is it? I can see by your face that you’re not certain. You don’t understand. And I knew you wouldn’t! Never mind.
Ian Chesterton: Let me get this straight. A thing that looks like a police box, standing in a junkyard, it can move anywhere in time and space?
Susan Foreman: Yes.
The Doctor: Quite so.
Ian Chesterton: But that’s ridiculous!
Ian and Barbara with the Doctor in An Unearthly Child
An Unearthly Child (Episode 2) – The Cave of Skulls
(The TARDIS Crew arrive in pre-historic times and soon realize that they don’t even know the Doctor’s name)
Susan Foreman: We’ve left 1963.
The Doctor: Oh, yes, undoubtedly. I’ll be able to tell you where presently. Zero? That’s not right. I’m afraid this yearometer is not calculating properly. Hm! Well, anyway, the journey’s finished.
[looking at Ian on the ground]
The Doctor: What are you doing down there?
Barbara Wright: What have you done?
Ian Chesterton: Barbara, you don’t believe all this nonsense.
Susan Foreman: Well, look at the scanner screen.
The Doctor: Yes, look up there. They don’t understand and I suspect they don’t want to. Well, there you are. A new world for you.
Ian Chesterton: Sand and rock?
The Doctor: Yes. That’s the immediate view outside the ship.
Barbara Wright: But where are we?
Ian Chesterton: You mean that’s what we’ll see when we go outside?
Susan Foreman: Yes, you’ll see it for yourself.
Ian Chesterton: I don’t believe it.
The Doctor: You really are a stubborn young man, aren’t you?
Ian Chesterton: All right, show me some proof. Give me some concrete evidence. I’m sorry, Susan. I don’t want to hurt you, but it’s time you were brought back to reality.
Susan Foreman: But you’re wrong, Mr. Chesterton.
The Doctor: They are saying I’m a charlatan. What concrete evidence would satisfy you? Hmm?
Ian Chesterton: Just open the doors, Doctor Foreman.
The Doctor: Eh? Doctor who? What are you talking about?
Ian Chesterton: Just a minute. You say we’ve gone back in time?
The Doctor: Yes, quite so.
Ian Chesterton: So that when we go out of that door, we won’t be in a junkyard in London in England in the year 1963?
The Doctor: That is quite correct. But your tone suggests ridicule.
Ian Chesterton: But it is ridiculous. Time doesn’t go round and round in circles. You can’t get on and off whenever you like in the past or the future.
The Doctor: Really? Where does time go, then?
Ian Chesterton: It doesn’t go anywhere. It just happens and then it’s finished.
Barbara Wright: You’re very quiet.
Ian Chesterton: I was wrong, wasn’t I?
Barbara Wright: Oh, look, I don’t understand it anymore than you do. The inside of the ship, suddenly finding ourselves here. Even some of the things Doctor Foreman says…
Ian Chesterton: That’s not his name. Who is he? Doctor who? Perhaps if we knew his name, we might have a clue to all this.
Susan, Barbara, the Doctor and Ian in An Unearthly Child
An Unearthly Child (Episode 3) – The Forest of Fear
The Doctor:: You seem to have elected yourself leader of this little party.
Ian Chesterton: There isn’t time to vote on it.
The Doctor:: Just as long as you understand that I won’t follow your orders blindly.
Ian Chesterton: If there were only two of us, you could find your own way back to the ship.
The Doctor:: Aren’t you a tiresome young man?
Ian Chesterton: And you’re a stubborn old man. But you will lead. The girls in between and I’ll bring up the rear. Because that’s the safest way.
The Doctor and his companions in The Forest of Fear
The Daleks (Episode 2) – The Survivors
(Ian and Susan are confronted by the Daleks for the first time)
Dalek: You will move ahead of us, and follow my directions. This way. Immediately! I said immediately!
[Ian begins to run away]
[they fire at him]
Ian Chesterton: My legs! My legs!
[Susan runs towards Ian]
Dalek: Your legs are paralyzed. You will recover shortly, unless you force us to use our weapons again. In that case, the condition will be permanent.
[to the Doctor and Susan]
Dalek: You too, help him.
Ian Chesterton: My legs, my legs. I can’t use my legs!
Ian’s legs are paralysed in The Daleks
The Daleks (Episode 2) – The Survivors
(Ian and realizes that the Doctor has foolishly put all of the crew in danger by lying about the TARDIS’s fluid link)
The Doctor: We need… We need drugs to be treated.
Ian Chesterton: But where are we going to find them?
Susan Foreman: The TARDIS will have to take us to another time and place, where we can be cured.
Ian Chesterton: But don’t you remember? We can’t move the ship until we find the mercury for the fluid link!
The Doctor: For the fluid link, yes. Yes, I’m afraid I cheated a little on that. I was determined to see the city, but everybody wanted to go on, and well, to avoid arguments, in short, there’s nothing wrong with the fluid link.
Susan Foreman: What? Grandfather, do you mean to say that you risked leaving the ship just to see this place?
Ian Chesterton: You fool! You old fool!
The Doctor: Abuse me as much as you like, Chesterton. The point is… we need an immediate return to the ship, and I suggest we leave at once.
Ian Chesterton: We’re not leaving until we’ve found Barbara.
The Doctor: Very well. You may stay and search for her if you wish, but Susan and I are going back to the ship. Now, come along, child.
The Doctor: All right, carry on, fine. How far do you think you’ll get without this.
[holds up the fluid link]
The Doctor: Give that to me!
Ian Chesterton: Not until we’ve found Barbara.
The Doctor: Give it to me I say!
Ian Chesterton: No. It’s time you faced up to your responsibilities. You got us here. Now I’m going to make sure you get us back.
The Doctor: Chesterton, this is…
Ian Chesterton: We’re wasting time. We should be looking for Barbara.
Susan Foreman: He’s right, Grandfather. We are wasting time.
The Doctor: Child, if only you’d think as an adult sometimes… Oh, very well, very well. Let’s go, then. Let’s go.
Barbara, Susan and the Doctor in episode 2 of the Daleks, The Survivors
The Daleks (Episode 5) – The Expedition
(Ian is frustrated that the Doctor always gets his name wrong)
The Doctor: I’m afraid my little trick has rather rebounded on me. What you might call tempting providence, Chesserman.
Ian Chesterton: Well, don’t worry about it now, Doctor. It’s happened.
The Doctor: Yes. Well, at least you’re not vindictive.
Ian Chesterton: Well I will be if you don’t get my name right.
The Doctor: Hmm?
Ian Chesterton: It’s “Chesterton”.
The Doctor: Yes. Hey?
The Doctor: Yes, I know that.
The TARDIS Crew in The Expedition – Episode 5 of The Daleks
The Reign of Terror (Episode 5) – A Bargain of Necessity
(Ian has difficulty believing that his word will be accepted)
Léon Colbert: Now be sensible. Save yourself from the guillotine.
Ian Chesterton: You wouldn’t believe my story anyway.
Léon Colbert: Suppose you let me be the judge of that. How did you get to France?
Ian Chesterton: You really want to know, eh?
Léon Colbert: The truth?
Ian Chesterton: Oh yes, it’s the truth all right.
Léon Colbert: You swear it?
Ian Chesterton: Yes, I swear it! I flew here with three friends in a small box. When I left England it was 1963.
The title card for the animated episode 5 of The Reign of Terror – A Bargain of Necessity
The Reign of Terror (Episode 6) – Prisoners of Conciergerie
The Doctor: Our lives are important, at least to us. But as we see, so we learn.
Ian Chesterton: And what are we going to see and learn next, Doctor?
The Doctor: Well, unlike the old adage, my boy, our destiny is in the stars, so let’s go and search for it.
Ian found himself imprisoned in The Reign of Terror
The Romans (Episode 4) – The Inferno
Ian: I’ve got a friend who specialises in trouble. He dives in and usually finds a way.
The TARDIS Crew in The Romans
The Web Planet
I’ve seen a colony of ants eat their way right through a house. That size, they could eat their way through a mountain. Why are they that big?
The Doctor and Ian in The Web Planet
The Crusade (Episode 2) – The King of Jaffa
(Ian is knighted by King Richard of England).
Richard the Lionheart: [tapping his sword on each of Ian’s shoulders] In the name of God, St. Michael, and St. George, we dub you Sir Ian, Knight of Jaffa. Arise Sir Ian and be valiant.
[holds out his hand and Ian kisses it]
Ian Chesterton: Your majesty.
Sir Ian of Jaffa is knighted by Richard the Lionheart in The Crusade
The Crusade (Episode 4) – The Warlords
(Ian saves the Doctor’s life by pretending to betray him)
Ian Chesterton: I am Sir Ian, my lord, Knight of Jaffa. I know this villain’s treachery… and hearing that you were looking for him, I followed you.
(Later, as the party return to the TARDIS)
Ian Chesterton: …Any more cracks about knighthood, and I’ll carry out that execution!
The Doctor: Well, my dear boy, I must say I think you’ve earned a good knight’s sleep!
The Doctor and King Richard in The Crusade
©Vivien Fleming, 2013.