6

At the end of "The Dalek Invasion of Earth", after the TARDIS dematerializes, Susan drops something on the ground.

What did she drop? What was its significance?

5

Susan Foreman dropped her TARDIS key.

The final shot zooms in on the key, but due to the grade of film from the time it is difficult to see what it is. Also, the scene was shot in one take, so the key fell where the actor dropped it and the camera pans over to show it as it lay - there was no repositioning of the key to make it any clearer what it was. At the time that would have been seen as an unnecessary cut, and reshooting to show the key more clearly would have been considered a waste of film. However, you can see the key clearly around Susan's neck before she drops it:

Susan with the TARDIS key around her neck

A close-up on the key:

TARDIS key

Susan after she has taken the key from around her neck:

Susan after key has been taken off

The final shot of the key on the ground:

enter image description here

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8

It was her key to the TARDIS.

Per the official novelisation of the episode;

Susan and David stepped back, as the dematerialisation noise began, and the TARDIS disappeared.
Quietly David said, 'He knew, Susan. He knew you could never leave him. That's why he left you.'
As David took Susan in his arms the TARDIS key slipped from her fingers, and lay unregarded on the ground. Susan made no attempt to pick it up because she knew she wouldn't be needing it again.

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