It’s been a while since I really nerded out on this site. Mostly I’ve been writing about localism and search marketing this year, with occassional off-topic rants. As such, I figured I’d try to redeem 2013 with a timely (*rimshot*) post about my favorite Doctor Who companions. Let’s fight about it!
ed note: for the purposes of brevity and a more even playing field*, I’ll only be looking at the modern series companions.
#8) Donna Noble
I really wasn’t a Donna fan, which is ironic, but it was Series 4 airing in the mornings as I got ready for work that got me hooked on the show after having written it off in 2005 as too slow. In review, I understand the change-of-pace that Donna represented, but her contribution to the series remains rather small, and in truth, I’m a bigger fan of Wilf than Donna.
#7) Sarah Jane Smith & K9
This is everyone’s dalliance with true nostalgia, and it certainly was fun seeing her reprise the role in Series 2. Her episode is the first dose of darkness modern audiences really got, when we start to see that there are consequences from flying too close to the Sun.
#6) River Song
The only reason River is this low on the list is because Moffat pretty much forgot about her after Series 6. The Silence in the Library is still one of the best episodes and best uses of time travel as a character development device. Personally I can’t wait to see the big reveal when they tell us Tasha Lem is River reincarnate, though I will absolutely miss Alex Kingston’s superb Mrs Robinson vibe.
#5) Clara Oswin Oswald
The Impossible Girl. Amy vs Clara really isn’t fair, since Clara suffers from the same issues Martha had, having to be a rebound, and thus far we’ve only gotten a few episodes with her. In actuality, I realized this week that I didn’t really like the Matt Smith Doctor, I just liked the Doctor playing opposite Amy Pond. Once Clara came in as someone who’s not a charicature, we started to see the flaws in how the Doctor wasn’t able to carry the story himself anymore (perhaps intentionally to be fair) and blamed the new girl. That’s what’s really impossible about her, that there was no way she would get a chance to develop in the way Amy Pond was allowed.
#4) Capt. Jack Harkness
This guy should be on every chance they get. The Captain Jack episodes in Series 1, and the truth about him in Series 3 are all solid episodes, and he’s one of the few male competitors for the Doctor that you feel good rooting for. Plus, talk about two of the best death scenes in the series; he was saving (New) New York years before the Avengers.
#3) Amy Pond
As much as Series 1 was really about Rose (and us via Rose) learning what this whole thing was about, Series 5 was the unfortunate tale of Amy Pond, with the Doctor was a supporting character. Amy is really the action hero here, pushing the Last of the Time Lords to the background in a number of scenes. I never quite understood how Amy’s imagination was able to be used to will things into being, but way to reboot the universe with your mind, Pond; cheers for that one.
#2) Martha Jones
Why Martha Jones doesn’t get more love is beyond me. Who else walked around the world to carry out the Doctor’s vision? Who else motivated all of humanity? And really, who else had the self-confidence to walk away from a losing situation, no matter how fun and glamorous it may be? Rose, Clara, and Amy all manifest super powers at some point, while Martha does the Batman thing and shows us what the height of human determination can achieve.
#1) Rose Tyler
The way they say you always remember your first Doctor, that’s how it’ll be for me and Rose. Both Bad Wolf and The Moment (trust me on this one), able to cross dimensions, and stuck with the ultimate consolation prize; Rose started as the “every-man”, our gateway into this experience, and ended up being the hero for the Doctor that he is for everyone else.
Lots of other companions have shined brightly, and done valiant things to help the Doctor, but I can’t think of another one that inspired pure faith**.
- Rose Rules
- Martha’s finale was amazing
- Clara or River could pass up Amy if they were given the chance
- Donna is Jackie Tyler in a ginger wig
Not appearing in this list: Mickey Smith & Rory Williams. I didn’t really know what to do with the “also rans”.
* Whilst I grew up watching Tom Baker reruns on PBS, re-watching the classic series now serves more as a commentary on the morality of the time. For example, in The Three Doctors, Jon Pertwee’s Doctor runs to the lab to do some science while allowing soldiers and companions to fight to the death, something we can’t imagine the modern series doing. Therefore it’s a bit tough to make judgements about the companions of the classic series in comparison.
** I know that’s not the ultimate 10/Rose quote, but it’s one that gets less play enough though it’s really the moment that signals a higher importance for her.
- My Ten Most Heartbreaking Doctor Who Moments *spoilers* (avengersfightasone.wordpress.com)
- The Captain Kirk Problem: How Doctor Who Betrayed Matt Smith (theatlantic.com)
- Raggedy man, goodnight. (girlinbrogues.wordpress.com)
- Rules are made to be broken – 13 and Onwards, Doctor (deejsounds.wordpress.com)
- And Now For “Doctor Who” Companions And Their Disney Princess Counterparts (buzzfeed.com)
- Conversations Through Space and Time: Darlin’ Companion (culturepoppe.com)