I love Doctor Who. I am the sort of fan-girl to dress up in my TARDIS blue best and fly overseas to San Diego, basking in the commentary and spoilers of Moffat and Co (if only I could afford it). I’m not a purist, I wasn’t upset or offended when Smith jumped in to replace Tennant – Doctor Who wasn’t about age, or carrying a certain crowd, it was fresh, fast and packed with caveats of character subtlety. The Day of the Doctor delivered on my expectations and gob-smacked me long after I left the cinema, clutching my 3D glasses desperately, as I came to grips with everything I’d just seen. Unashamedly, I’ve watched it a few times since to pick up a few timey-wimey extras and respectful nods to the past lost in the fray of general on-screen awesomeness. Though one can ramble about Doctor Who all day (and the subsequent intricacies and subtext of Moffat Vs Davies), it wasn’t the fast talking, cracker-jack time traveller who first seduced me into giving this screen-time dinosaur a second chance.
I was intrigued by the companions. Ordinary humans picked out from a din of faces and temperaments, seemingly average in every way to prying eyes, but curiously, the Doctor dismissed class and culture, favouring ingenuity and adaptability. Admittedly, the schedule of modern companions is a far cry from the simpering Mary Sue originals, a sort of comedic relief so ridiculous and two dimensional one could not truly connect with the character. Unless you were a particularly sexist guy, and a believer in archetypal characters carrying a gendered story.
Nope, the current roster of companions kick arse. Note, some aren’t particularly perfect or well developed, as Moffat seems to be foiled by the same archaic beliefs of past directors and show runners. Oh well, baby steps. Here are three from the early seasons that immediately spring to mind:
Seasons: One, Two (Guest appearances in season four and the Day of the Doctor).
Doctors: Ninth and Tenth
Occupation/Social Class: Shop Girl/Working Class
- Jumping between dimensions in season four, culminating in the events of Stolen Earth and Journey’s End.
- Absorbing the Time Vortex in Parting of the Ways and taking on a whole Dalek Fleet, to survive and thrive after Eccleston’s Doctor gives her a firm pash to spare her life and prompt his regeneration into Tennant.
Less Than Kickass Moments:
- Being a bit of a pris at the end of Journey’s End, clamouring to the Doctor to take her with him, despite having a fully human replica willing to make a life with her.
Seasons: Three (Guest appearances in season four and Torchwood).
Occupation/Social Class: Doctor/Upper Middle
- Generally showing more common sense than the Doctor on a variety of occasions.
- Trekking across the world on her lonesome, as the globe falls under the malevolent influence of the Master, in order to save the life of everybody on the planet.
- Joining UNIT after leaving the TARDIS and becoming a bit of a legend.
Less Than Kickass Moments:
- The Stockholm Syndrome-like obsession Martha has with a clearly disinterest Doctor, as he pines for Rose.
Occupation: Temp from Chiswick
- Talking the Doctor out of killing the Racnoss Empress and warning him not to travel alone.
- The empathy and understanding Donna shows the enslaved Ood, in Planet of the Ood.
- A dystopian Donna in Turn Left, a Doctor Lite episode of the fourth season.
- The regeneration energy transference into Donna, creating the hilarious Doctor Donna.
Not So Kickass Moments:
- Donna is the ultimate companion, even if she’s just a temp from Chiswick!
Of course, I’ve left out two of my favourites (River Song and Rory) as I could really go on for words and words and words. So, tell me, what’s playing tonight on your LG DVD player, your Blu-Ray player or the various Doctor Who streams set up internet wide? Does Donna do it for you? Do you revile Rose (as some do)? Have you had enough of Martha to last you a lifetime? Let me know below in the comments and take me through your favourites! Alonsi!
Jessica Thompson writes about pop culture and has interests in technology as well as the world of Film/TV.