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My top ten Doctor Who companions

To continue my Doctor Who theme, I’ve taken a look at the Time Lord’s companions. As the Doctor’s most trusted friends and allies, companions have shared his battles, restrained his fury, and more often than not gotten captured a few times too.

10. Peri Brown (Fifth and Sixth Doctors)

Like many of the Doctor’s companions Peri (or Perpugilliam in full!) was young and spirited, joining the show from 1984-86. Producer John Nathan-Turner admitted to having hired actress Nicola Bryant for the role to “sex up the ageing series!”

9. Sarah-Jane Smith (Third, Fourth and Tenth Doctors)

Sarah Jane and K-9

Sarah-Jane, played by Elisabeth Sladen, met three Doctors, spending much of her time with Tom Baker’s fourth Doctor. She also met his greatest enemies, the Daleks, Cybermen and Sontarans, and was later recognised by Davros. The Sarah Jane Adventures, a children’s TV spin-off, is currently being lined up for a fourth series, though I’ve never watched it myself!

8. K-9 (Various Doctors)

The “shooty dog thing” as K-9 Mark III is dubbed by the Krillitane, K-9 was the name given to 4 robot dogs throughout the series. The original, created by Professor Marius and given to the Fourth Doctor, was used as the template for the future versions, each of which looked similar, but had varying skills. Features included holographic memory, a nuclear battery, and a laser gun nose.

7. Martha Jones (Tenth Doctor)

Medical student turned Torchwood employee and freelance alien hunter, Martha Jones enjoyed a brief period as the Tenth Doctor’s companion before deciding to stay on Earth. After travelling with the Doctor she became a UNIT employee, and featured in several more episodes including a cameo in Tennant’s final episode.

6. Captain Jack Harkness (Ninth and Tenth Doctors)

Definitely worthy of mention, Captain Jack Harkness travelled with the Ninth Doctor for a while, also making appearances in various Tenth Doctor episodes and the Torchwood spin-off series. Jack’s flirty “omnisexual” nature made the Torchwood series very enjoyable and epitomizes the flamboyance of the relaunched Doctor Who. No-one seems sure when whether Torchwood will get a fourth series, though it seems if it does, it will be a full 13-episode run, and will star John Barrowman as Captain Jack.

5. Romana II (Fourth Doctor)

Romanadvoratrelundar, another Timelord, travelled with Tom Baker’s fourth doctor during an excellent few series in the early 80’s. Academically superior to the Doctor, Romana’s second regeneration assumed the shape of an earlier Who character, Princess Astra. After leaving the Doctor to aid an alien race, Romana later became Lady President of Gallifrey and met Leela.

4. Leela (Fourth Doctor)

A savage warrior from the Sevateem tribe, Leela joined the Fourth Doctor as his companion despite his initial refusal. Despite her apparently primitive background, Leela had no difficulty assisting the Doctor on various adventures, before choosing to remain on Gallifrey at the end of The Invasion of Time. Played by Louise Jameson, Leela was usually seen in tribal leather gear, but remains the only companion known to have used the TARDIS swimming pool (also in The Invasion of Time).

3. Rose Tyler (Ninth and Tenth Doctors)

I know a lot of people disagree with me, but I thought Billie Piper’s time as the Doctors companion was great! Sure, she was a bit of a chav (and her character admits to it whilst possessed by the Lady Cassandra), but she did also save all of creation at the end of the Bad Wolf story arc. Rose had a lot of fun with the Doctor, and kept him down to Earth, though losing her arguably caused him to begin losing touch with humanity.

2. Liz Shaw (Third Doctor)

Caroline John as Liz ShawRecruited by the Brigadier to UNIT, Liz Shaw was a scientific advisor and companion to Jon Pertwee’s Third Doctor during his exile on Earth. An able scientist, Liz helped the Doctor repair his TARDIS before apparently becoming irritated with him, telling the Brigadier that the Doctor only needed “someone to pass him his test tubes and tell him how brilliant he is”. On an alternate Earth during Inferno, Liz Shaw headed up a section in the pseudo-fascist UNIT.

The more observant of you will have noticed I only named nine companions. I’m still trying to work out how Amy Pond fits in – as a sassy red head, I’m inclined to put her straight on top, as those who know me realise!

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6 responses to “My top ten Doctor Who companions”

  1. Dan says:

    nice post Dan! – Thanks 🙂

    We should all plan a trip to the tardis swimming pool!

  2. David Couch says:

    Have to totally agree with your assessments there.

    Amy Pond is interesting, but definitely dont know just yet…

  3. Richard Dadd says:

    A controversial list, Mr Wood.

    Liz Shaw at number 2!? Only in 4 stories, never travelled in the TARDIS, never had a goodbye scene, and yet you put her right near the top you maverick you.

    Personally, I’m not loving Amy. She’s a hotty, yes, but a bit of a trollop, and I am deeply bored of her lame love-triangle impending marriage plot line. The rest of your list however has certainly got some very wise choices.

    It’s a near impossible task, but if I had to whittle it down to ten, I’d probably go for (in no particular order) . . .

    – Sarah Jane Smith
    – Harry Sullivan (underrated)
    – Romana (love Mary Tamm, but Lalla was the best)
    – Leela (the most unique companion ever – as with Romana she was done a disservice with her farewell)
    – Ace (not an amazing performance, but I love series 26, and the way the writers started to approach writing for her)
    – Ian Chesterton
    -Barbara Wright (bits of series one are great, and you’ve got to love her standing up to the crotchety 1st Doctor)
    – K9
    – Donna (not in her bloody awful shouty Catherine Tate Runaway Bride comedy cameo, but rather in the more mature and sensitive portrayal seen in the latter half of series four, culminating in a brilliant tragic ending . . . ignoring the stupid ‘End of Time’ Post Scripts)
    – Jamie (proof that a male companion can work brilliantly)

  4. June says:

    With some of your choices, I’m questioning your sanity. Why is Sarah so low on your list?

    In my humble opinion, the top ten best companions are:

    10. Susan Foreman
    9. Captain Jack Harkness
    8. Vislor Turlough
    7. Tegan Jovanka
    6. Nyssa of Traken
    5. Donna Noble
    4. Zoe Heriot
    3. Ace
    2. Sarah Jane Smith
    1. Romana II

  5. danielgwood says:

    Thanks for your comments all!

    In general I never really related to the male companions. In part, this is because I haven’t yet seen all of their episodes (something I plan to rectify).

    I will shortly be posting a summary of the current series, in which I’ll stop sitting on the fence over Amy Pond.

    @Richard and June: Donna?! Ace?! Well, Donna I don’t think I’ll ever approve of. Ace however has a chance. So far I have only seen one episode with her in (Remembrance of the Daleks) so perhaps I need to watch some more of hers before judging.

  6. amelia murray says:

    amy pond is no.1 that is true

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