Archive, Daily Rant, Doctor Who

ARCHIVE Day 83: Reviewing the New-Who Companions

Original Release: May 29th, 2018

Oh wow, this was timed really well for that new Season! Shame it wasn’t on Sunday though…

Twitch is having a marathon of Classic Doctor Who episodes. From what I’ve read, they’ll be segmenting it into multi-day parts and cover every available episode of the Classic series. So, if you’re a New Who fan and have never seen Doctors 1-7, make sure to tune in if you can.

Have you figured that I’m on another Doctor Who kick?

If you’ve read my post ‘My Personal Paradox with Doctor Who’, then you know I love this series. Like a lot. And do you know what my third favorite part is (first being the Doctor himself and the second being the whole episode Heaven Sent)?

Companions.

The Doctor is nothing without an audience (he says so himself in my favorite episode as listed above), and there is no better viewer then a young human. Mostly women, but we’ve gotten a few dudes. And most (not all, but most) are spectacular characters.

Now, there are some prerequisites for what I consider a ‘Companion’. These are:
1. Must travel with the Doctor for more than 3 Episodes (two-part episodes count). Therefor, characters like Luke from Season 1 and Handles from ‘The Time of the Doctor’ do not count. Sorry Handles, I love you.
2. Cannot be a character/companion from the Classic Series. Sorry Sarah Jane and K-9, but you’ve had your time.
3. Must have been in at least two consecutive episodes that are not divided in two parts. An argument can be made for River Song, Vastra, Jenny and Strax, and as much as I love them they don’t really count as ‘Companions’.

So, with these rules in mind, here are our candidates:
Rose Tyler
Captain Jack
Mickey Smith
Martha Jones
Donna Noble
Amy Pond
Rory Williams/Pond
Clara Oswald
Bill Potts
So let’s take some time to go over each and every one and discuss why we love (or get really annoyed with) these characters.

Rose Tyler

For many people who started with New Who, Rose was our first companion. She was also the first in the new series to travel with two Doctors, those being 9 and 10, a feat that will not be done again until Clara.

Rose was a genuine bad ass, exceptionally clever in a practical sense, flirtatious (at least with the Doctor) and best of all: flawed.

She has moments of incredible density, often failing to understand how alien things work. For example, in the two part episode where they fall into a parallel universe full of Cybermen, she fails completely to understand that the man resembling her father in that universe is not technically her father. He eventually warms up to the roll of a parent and even marries Rose’s mother from her universe when they all get stuck in the other world in the episode ‘Doomsday’.

She’s also kind of hostile against any woman who wants anything to do with the Doctor. For example, in the first Sarah Jane return episode, she and Sarah don’t get along until near the end of the episode. Before that, she is constantly at the poor woman’s throat.

Overall, Rose was spectacular. She and the Doctor had a genuine and believable romance that has not been replicated with any other character, with the only one coming even close being River. Plus, saying goodbye to her in ‘Doomsday’ was one of the most shattering moments in the history of television.

Captain Jack

Captain Jack is one of the shortest lived companions, but good god he was probably the most unique in the series. He was a pretty boy, a bisexual flirt, and a total bad ass. Very few people could challenge the Doctor in terms of sex appeal.

Plus, he has a genuine great respect and love for the Doctor. If he were immortal, he would’ve even been willing to sacrifice himself for him (which he did before he was unkillable). Also, he’s the Face of Bo apparently. So, there’s that.

I miss this man and I wish more than anything he came back. And I don’t mean in Torchwood. That show sucks.

Mickey Smith

Mickey probably has the biggest character arc out of any of these companions. He started out as a complete coward and hated the Doctor almost as much as Rose’s mother Jackie did. But by the end of the series, he was a badass willing to point an alternate dimension space gun at the fucking Daleks! Hell, he even stayed behind in an alternate universe to replace Rickey (his alternate self) to protect his grandmother and fight the Cybermen.

Put simply, he became a total bad ass in every sense of it. Also, the dude was just fucking funny and charming. He was a good boy.

Martha Jones

Compared to Rose (and even Donna, who got her own episode before Martha showed up), Martha is a step down in practically every way. While Rose was street smart, Martha was book smart. She was also obnoxiously in love with the Doctor.

Honestly, there isn’t a whole lot to say about her saga as a companion. Her season had a lot of really good episodes, including the first story of New Who featuring The Master. It’s just a shame that Martha’s character was… kind of annoying and unlikable. I have nothing else to say.

Donna Noble

Holy shit this character is so good. Rose was street smart, Martha was book smart, and Donna was the best kind of smart: the random fun facts smart.

Whereas Rose and Martha wanted the big D from Doctor, Donna was having none of it. She shot down anyone who thought her relationship with the Doctor was more than a friendship. Honestly, it was a huge breath of fresh air.

Donna was funny, quick witted, gentle, kind and sassy as fuck. She also had one of the most heartbreaking farewells to any companion in the history of the series. Seriously, Doctor Who became that much more sad the day Donna Noble was gone. She was, in my opinion, the best companion in the series thus far and to this day.

Amy Pond

After Donna left, we were left without a companion for the Doctor for many years. Hell, the 10th Doctor never got another one. It wasn’t until the 11th Doctor took the helm that we got a new guest in the TARDIS: Amelia Pond.

Amy Pond feels like a fantastic fusion between Rose and Donna. Sassy, street smart, kind, and an ‘I don’t give a fuck fuck you’ attitude. She was also one of the longest lasting companions, going on for two and a half seasons.

And her final episode. My god, I have no words that can describe how emotionally crushing this goodbye was. It was also the farewell of Rory Williams. And good god I loved him.

Rory Williams

Is it possible to describe a person as a bundle of purity and good?

Rory is the most pure companion to step into the TARDIS. He is motivated by one thing: his love for Amy. Shall we checklist the things he did for his wife and family?

-Guarded the Pandorica with Amy inside for one thousand years
-Blew up a fleet of Cybermen ships for information on her location
-Gave up his only protection against a Dalek virus thing to protect her

And that’s not all of it, by the way. But if I listed them all, it’d be longer than the rant itself. He is a pure boy and I miss him the most. God speed, Mr. Williams. You were spectacular.

Clara Oswald

Clara was an alright companion. Keyword being was.

For her first few years, Clara was a solid and very consistent character. She was a flirt who challenged the Doctor’s expectations and wits. She was relatively clever, friendly, and very energetic. Honestly, I really like Clara.

While she’s the 11th Doctor’s Companion. Then she overstayed her welcome.

When it came time for the 12th Doctor, they decided to keep Clara around. For another two seasons. Even though her character and story were completed after half a season. Simply put, she was dragged out for way too long.

After her first season, the writers forgot how to be consistent with her character. Some episodes, she was smarter than the Doctor himself. Other episodes she was dumber than a sack of bricks (which ultimately lead to her death).

Then there’s her final farewell as the Doctor’s Companion. It sucked. It was terrible, confusing and just not a satisfying conclusion of her story. Luckily, the latest companion was a huge step up.

Bill Potts

Bill was a huge breath of fresh air for the series. She was full of energy, more friendly and excitable than any other companion before her, and best of all: she had no romantic feelings for the Doctor at all. Hell, I think she was more in love with the TARDIS than him. And no, not because the 12th Doctor was the oldest in the New Who series. Because she was a lesbian. A really well written one, as well.

It was never obnoxious. The writers never shoved it down your throat like “LOOK AT US, WE’RE WRITING A LESBIAN CHARACTER!!” It only came up a few times during the entire season, those being when guys attempted to flirt with her or to shoot down any ideas going on in the Doctor’s head. Instead, they focused on her being a fun and likable bad ass.

Plus, her farewell is one of the most… disturbing goodbyes in the series. Other companions either left, got stuck in the past/ other dimensions, lost their memories, so on and so forth. Bill, on the other hand…

MAJOR SPOILERS FOR THE END OF SEASON 10, DON’T READ IF YOU’RE NOT CAUGHT UP

She gets turned into a fucking Cyberman and dies fighting an army of other more advanced Cybermen. It’s actually pretty disturbing, heartbreaking, and depressing.

The Future

Overall, every companion we’ve had thus far for New Who (excluding Martha and later Clara) has been fantastic. They’re all very likable, charming and had spectacular chemistry with the Doctor himself.

We don’t know who will be joining the 13th Doctor on her journey in the TARDIS. But hopefully they’ll only keep getting better and better. I honestly cannot wait to see who we get next.

Just try to keep them consist this time, okay BBC? Please?

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