From Anti-Fan to Super-Fan: The Discovery of Doctor Who (Part Five)

Companions! Yes, we’ve all wanted to be one deep down. We’ve had our favourites, our not-so-favourites, with times we’ve cheered them on and times we felt they needed a slap. So, you all know how I feel about the Doctors. What about the companions?

Season 1&2: Rose Tyler (featuring Mickey Smith & Captain Jack alongside Sarah Jane (from the Old Series) and Jackie Tyler)
Season 3: Martha Jones.
Season 4: Donna Noble.

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These three main companions, I think are the best. Rose, like Eccleston being my first Doctor, was the first companion I was exposed to, so I think naturally I was hoping she came to a happy ending. Her return for me was exciting, and I feel that The Doctor in the new series hasn’t found anyone to compensate for his feelings for Rose. (River Song?) I think she was young and fun and easy to relate to – she made mistakes, but it was these mistakes that showed that she was still young and mischievous. I loved her fun and playful relationship with the Doctor, and I really did miss her when she left.
Mickey Smith, Rose’s ex-boyfriend, annoyed me at first, but I grew to respect and value his friendship, strength and courage. I was quite happy when he found Martha too.
And Captain Jack. What can I say. The handsome American who we find out we knew all along. I didn’t trust him at first, and was waiting for him to turn around and stab everyone in the back, but he quickly became loveable when he demonstrated he was worthy to be trusted.
Sarah Jane and Jackie Tyler were not so much companions (except Sarah Jane, who was one of The Doctor’s previous companions. So bringing her back, the same actor and everything, I thought was pretty awesome), but these two women were great and just added to the amazing time travelling team, no matter how awkward Jackie’s advances were!

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Martha Jones was the intelligent, brilliant companion who sadly met The Doctor at the wrong time – just after he lost Rose. But she was strong, self-sacrificial (how many times did she save The Doctor?! And travelling around the world for a year just for him?!) and smart, and I think this made me really favour her; she had skills and abilities a companion should have – unmovable trust in The Doctor, quick thinking and intelligibility; after all, she is ‘absolutely brilliant’. As a writer, I was quite happy she knew who Shakespeare was, unlike Rose, who wasn’t too fond of meeting Charles Dickens (of which I would have stood awkwardly in awe and admiration). I did wish the Doctor would take notice of her, although I guess it was just the wrong timing.

DoctorDonna4Then there was good old Donna Noble, our lovable older companion who knows how to put The Doctor in his place. She challenged him and kept him grounded, and I think she made a great friend for him. She was hilarious with her loud and bawdy personality, and, for a short moment in time, was the most important woman in the universe. She said a lot of things that cracked me up… A lot of things, but one of my favourites was:

Tennant: I just want a mate
Donna: You want to mate?!
Tennant: A mate! I want mate!
Donna: We’ll you ain’t matin’ with me sunshine!

I think the last episode of Season 4 was to also help us say goodbye to them after a seriously heart-stopping, intense double episode, which made us miss them even more. I think the scene where they were all flying the TARDIS together really showed why The Doctor was so distressed about dying – he would also lose the most important people of his life.

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Then there was Season 5. And after loving all the previous companions, I had high expectations. Unlike The Doctor and his regeneration, I wasn’t surprised to find I didn’t like The Doctor’s first companion. Amy Pond, to be honest, was not in my good books. Apart from her Scottish accent, which I loved, for me personally, I found she became quite annoying… until the episode where River Song’s identity is revealed, which was when I was quite surprised at myself. I suddenly went from rolling my eyes and muttering things to being quiet and cheering her on. Rory was a complete sweetheart and in Seasons 5 & 6 he became a quick favourite. Then we eventually had to say a final goodbye to the young couple and I found myself surprisingly sad. Eventually Amy became a companion I didn’t mind (and I only fully liked her few episodes before she left), but not as much as Rose, Martha and Donna. But don’t let my opinion filter your view of her!

Then, there was Clara. When I saw her the first time, I liked her instantly. Probably because she had bits and pieces from past companions – she was fun like Rose, intelligent like Martha and funny and bold like Donna. Like Martha, she came just after The Doctor experienced a loss, and wasn’t looking to commit to another companion in fear of losing another friend, but Smith’s doctor quickly took to her and went out of his way to find her. I think when Smith changed to Capaldi, the Clara we initially met began to change – we saw a different side of her, and I was afraid that she’d disappoint me due to her sudden change of feelings after Smith’s Doctor changed to Capaldi’s Doctor. There were times when she made me question whether she would be a trustable companion (like when she went completely mad and burned all the TARDIS keys), and the end of Season 9 has left me sitting on the fence in regards to my opinions about Clara. Of course, it was sad how it ended for her, although I do wish she would return to how she had initially felt with The Doctor. Besides, we never know what Season 9 has in store for us – and I’m looking forward to not binge watching it for once!

I think it’s natural to compare companions, as us as the viewers live vicariously through them as we experience life travelling with The Doctor. Every companion had their flaws and their strengths (some having more flaws than anything else), but they all influenced The Doctor in their own way, and I think the timing of their presence was important for The Doctor.

What do you think?
Who was your favourite companion?

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