Jodie Whittaker’s recent finale, “The Power of the Doctor,” has broken a world record – and it’s all because of one man, William Russell. The actor played schoolteacher Ian Chesterton during William Hartnell’s tenure as the First Doctor and served as one of the first-ever companions alongside Jacqueline Hill’s Barbara Wright until 1965, after which Russell and Hill exited the long-running sci-fi series.
As of October 23, 2022, the day Jodie Whittaker’s final episode aired on television, Chesterton had been absent from the series for 57 years and 120 days, beating a previous record set by Philip Lowrie, who held the record of 43 years as Dennis Tanner in Coronation Street. The new record was verified by the Guinness World Records.
How it started // How it's going ✨
Wishing a very happy birthday to William Russell, who plays one of the Doctor's earliest companions, Ian Chesterton! 🥳 pic.twitter.com/eY8KUTjzj1
— Doctor Who (@bbcdoctorwho) November 19, 2022
A BBC spokesperson said in a statement, courtesy of a report from Metro, that they were “delighted” Russell and other icons Bonnie Langford, Sophie Aldred, and Janet Fielding could return for the finale (not to mention five classic Doctors making cameos). The BBC described it as a “testament to the show’s loyal viewers and fanbase that a character can return so many years later and receive such a positive reaction.”
On November 19, Doctor Who’s Twitter channel shared a birthday tribute to Russell. “How it started // How it’s going,” the post is captioned. If you want some more Doctor Who content, including a new diamond logo to celebrate the 60th year of the series, stay tuned with FlickLuster.