Barbara Wright was a history teacher in London who was curious about one of her students, Susan Foreman. Along with her fellow teacher, Ian Chesterton, they decide to follow Susan back to her residence, only to find her entering a Police Box in an old junkyard. The pair meet the girls mysterious Grandfather who is unable to keep them from forcing there way into the Police Box. Upon seeing the inside of the box, the Doctor can't let them leave, kidnaps the pair of them and takes them off on his adventures.

Along the way, we learn that Barbara is a strong willed woman who frequently stands up to the Doctor to fight for what she believes in. At times, she forms her opinions with logic, but also has a habit of looking at a situation emotionally. For example, she witnesses the atrocities of the Aztec empire and is determined to rewrite history and convince them to quit making human sacrifices. Despite the Doctor's warnings that she can't change history, it doesn't stop Barbara from stubbornly trying over and over again in her travels with the Doctor.

Barbara fit nicely into a motherly role for Susan and later, Vicki. The Doctor even grudgingly developed a fondness for her.

Because of that fondness, it came as a bit of a surprise to the Doctor when Barbara and Ian decided they wanted to return home to their own time using an abandoned Dalek time machine. The Doctor is furious and tries to persuade them to stay with him by suggesting the journey might kill them, but the two teachers have made up their minds. After an emotional farewell to the Doctor and Vicki, Barbara and Ian are returned to London, albeit two years after their disappearance (presumably with much explaining to do to their friends and families). The Doctor checks on the pair of them to make sure they have arrived home safely, and candidly admits to Vicki that he will miss them.

Although, Ian and Barbara's relationship is never truly clarified in the program, in subsequent audio and literary adventures, we learn that the pair do eventually get married and have a child of their own.