With a new Companion (the lovely Jenna-Louise Coleman) set to debut in the upcoming Doctor Who Christmas special and the latest season of Doctor Who set to air this September, I thought it would be a good time to take a look at the best and worst of the many people to travel alongside The Doctor in his TARDIS.
THE BEST COMPANIONS
1. Sarah Jane Smith
The standard by which all Companions will be measured. Liz Sladen was the perfect addition to the Who universe. She was smart, sexy and quite capable of taking care of herself instead of being a damsel in distress who needed the Doctor to rescue her constantly. And when Sarah Jane reappeared in the revived Doctor Who series she completely overshadowed Rose in my estimation.
Sarah Jane also holds the distinction of being the only female Companion to have her own show.
2. Donna Noble
Donna started out rough…she was an abrasive and unlikable character in the Runaway Bride special; but when she was brought back as the regular Companion the character had been toned down a bit and Donna become one of my favorites. She broke up the pattern in new Who to have a Companion with romantic interest in The Doctor and instead the two of them developed a wonderful friendship bordering on sibling affection. Donna also had the most heartbreaking exit of any Companion.
3. Captain Jack Harkness
Capt. Jack is a charming, swashbuckling omnisexual man whore who immediately had me going “Rose who?” after his first meeting with The Doctor. It is not often that male Companions click so well with the fandom that they rival The Doctor in popularity (aside from the legendary Brigadier) but Jack did it and was even moved over to his show, TORCHWOOD.
4. Martha Jones
I love an underdog and there is no more underdog character in the Who universe than Martha Jones. She was the Rebound Companion after the departure of Rose and that seemed to apply to how the creators of the show treated her. Russell T. Davies moved her from the confident and capable woman of science that she was in her first appearance to a gooey-eyed lovesick school girl by the second episode. And Stephen Moffatt had such a seeming disdain for her that his episodes focused on other women far more than Martha (Joan Redfern in the Human Nature/The Family of Blood episodes and Sally Sparrow in Blink). Its no wonder that at the end of the season they just wrote Martha off. Despite the shoddy treatment I still found Martha to be an awesome Companion and the creators of the show ultimately realized it too as evidenced by how often she was brought back to Who and Torchwood.
A savage warrior woman in a leather bikini…what’s not to like? Leela was a departure from Companions before (and even those after) in that she was fine with being violent. That put her at odds philosophically with the Doctor who tends to be more on the “give peace a chance” side of things. I would love to see a new Companion in the mold of Leela added to the current show.