Place of Origin:
First Seen In:
The Family of Blood
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Matron Joan Redfern, widow of Oliver Redfern, was a nurse at Farringham School for Boys, where John Smith worked from September to November 1913.
Her husband, Oliver, died in the Boer War at the Battle of Spion Kop in January 1900.
While at Farringham, John Smith fell in love with her. He showed her a journal in which he had written down his dreams, which were his adventures with Rose and Martha before he was human. After John Smith became the Tenth Doctor again, she asked him if he could change back into John. He said yes, but when she asked if he would he said no. When he asked her to join him as a companion, she dismissed the idea immediately, saying that John Smith was dead and the Doctor just looked like him. She then asked The Doctor, “If you hadn’t decided to come here on a whim, would any of these people have died?” He looked at her without answering. She dismissed him and, after he left, broke down, clutching John’s journal. (Human Nature, The Family of Blood)
Many years later, Joan’s diary was found by her great-granddaughter Verity Newman. Verity published A Journal of Impossible Things, the story of Joan’s romance with The Doctor which Verity told people who bought the book. As his regeneration into the Eleventh Doctor approached, The Doctor bought Joan’s book and asked Verity, who realised who he was, if Joan was happy in the end. Verity confirmed that Joan did live a happy life after The Doctor left, but The Doctor left without answering when Verity asked if he too had been happy. (The End of Time)
At the village dance in 1913, the Family of Blood hold Martha and Joan Redfern captive. While John Smith struggles to understand what is happening, Timothy Latimer briefly opens the fob watch containing The Doctor’s Time Lord essence. This momentarily distracts the Family, enabling Martha to grab a gun and escape with the others back to the school. John sounds the alarm and helps to organise the school’s defences while Martha and Joan search for the watch.
In an alternative future viewed by her and John Smith, she became his wife. They had two children and a number of grandchildren as they lived long, happy lives together. (The Family of Blood)
John Smith claims that his parents are called Sydney and Verity, which is a reference to Sydney Newman and Verity Lambert, the production team who first came up with Doctor Who (as seen in Mark Gatiss’s An Adventure in Space and Time). This tip of the hat is then returned to in “The End of Time,” when The Doctor visits Joan Redfern’s granddaughter at her book-signing, and we discover she has been given the name Verity Newman.
Although this is The Doctor Who role with which Jessica Hynes has made the deepest impression, it’s not her first, She can also be heard as Glory Bee (and Carla) in the 2002 Big Finish Eighth Doctor audio drama “Invaders from Mars,” written and directed by Mark Gatiss. It’s an all-star affair, with a cast that includes Simon Pegg, Jessica’s co-star in the cult comedy Spaced, and Katy Manning, who played the Third Doctor’s companion Jo Grant.
Harry Lloyd, who plays Jeremy Baines/Son of Mine, is the great-great-great grandson of Charles Dickens.