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, 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)
Recruited 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!