Companions in the new series

The Doctor has had three regular travelling companions in the new series, plus a few that were around for a few episodes and one or two that are still cause for debate on whether they can really be called companions.

Rose Tyler

Rose Tyler

Rose was the first new companion for the Doctor, played by Billie Piper. There was some concern about this because Piper’s main claim to fame previously was as a rather cheesy teen pop star, but she did a few serious bits of acting in the months leading up to the role and she turned out to be really rather good. Far better than feared, anyway. She was brash, bold and rarely stood there screaming so she was a breath of fresh air to those of us who had grown up on the classic episodes. She also showed a bit of character growth, discovering that she could be more than a shop assistant and I rather liked that about her.

The controversial part was her relationship with the Doctor, which was gently beautiful with Nine (S1) and rather more obviously a potential romance with the Tenth Doctor (S2). Nothing ever happened on screen, although they definitely care deeply for each other, but the undertones were clearly there and many fans were unhappy about that. She’s reappeared once since her ‘leaving’ episode and she’s associated with the name ‘Bad Wolf’ for reasons that would take the whole of S1 to explain.

Martha Jones

She travelled with the Doctor in season 3 and was played by Freema Agyeman. Martha is the first black companion in Doctor Who and had the difficult task of following a hugely popular companion. We meet Martha as a fifth year medical student, so she’s very different from working class former shop assistant Rose. She quickly becomes involved in one of the Doctor’s adventures at her hosptial and is invited to travel with him at the end of that episode. The events of the final episodes of S3 make her reconsider her life with the Doctor and she decides to leave the travelling life, although not the alien hunting business. Her unrequited love for the Doctor informs a large part of this decision. Martha has been seen in a couple of S4 episodes and briefly in The End of Time working for UNIT, an organisation that combats attempted alien invasions and other oddities around the world. She has also been engaged to fellow doctor with hints that this may not have worked out as planned due to Mickey Smith.

Donna Noble

Donna Noble

Donna (played by Catherine Tate) first appeared in the 2006 Christmas special, The Runaway Bride. As the Bride of the title, she was mysteriously transported to the TARDIS as she walked down the aisle at the end of the S2 episode Doomsday and the adventure ran from there during the Christmas episode. Donna was a secretary from Chiswick who’s main aim was work somewhere posh and meet a successful man to marry. Her ability to totally ignore whatever was going on around her (including the Battle of Canary Wharf!) was a running joke in the episode. She was loud, mouthy, shouted when she was scared and very much a no nonsense woman. There were also hints at a softer side when she comforted the Doctor over his loss of Rose and she was insightful enough to tell him that he needed a companion with him to stop him from doing terrible things.

The Doctor offered to take her with him when he left, but she opted to stay on Earth and try exploring what was around her properly. It appears that she didn’t get very far, though, because when we meet her again she’s still temping, still in London, although she’s busy tracking the Doctor down having realised that staying was a huge mistake. Miraculously, she manages to find him and more or less bullies him into taking her with him.

Previous companions for the modern Doctor have all been in their early twenties. With Donna, the show went for an older companion who had a very different relationship with the Doctor and brought a different dynamic to everything they did.

Donna is my favourite from the new series: she’s enthusastic about everything new, has no misty-eyed love for the Doctor and discovers just how amazing she is during the course of their travels. That may be why her final episode devestated me rather a lot.

Mickey Smith

Mickey is played by Noel Clarke and he was origianlly introduced as Rose’s slightly dim boyfriend. The Doctor frequently calls him ‘Ricky’ as an insult. Mickey is offered the chance to travel with the Doctor during the first season but declines and asks the Doctor not to tell Rose that he didn’t have the courage to go. He finally asks the Doctor to take him with them in the season 2 episode School Renuion, staying behind in an alternate universe a couple of episodes later. He popped up a couple more times in season 2 and then was not seen again until the end of season 4 when he decided to return to ‘our’ Earth. The last time we saw Mickey, he appeared to be working for UNIT.

During the time between Rose leaving with the Doctor and returning for her first visit home, Mickey is suspected of her murder. He also appears to be a bit of a programming whizz, hacking into government websites and adapting a mobile phone to deliver the program that destorys many of the Cybermen in the alternate Earth. Despite only travelling with the Doctor for a couple of episodes, he’s definitely classed as a companion.

Captain Jack Harkness

Another companion who was only there for a few episodes but is definitely official, Captain Jack is possibly one of the most popular characters on Doctor Who and the most unusual. He’s from the 51st centuary and we first meet him in 1940s London attempting to con the Doctor and Rose because he thinks they’re from the Time Agency. He was a Time Agent, but something happened and they wiped two years of his memories. He helps undo all the damage that he caused, removes a German bomb that is about to explode and spread lethal nanogenes around the world and becomes trapped on his ship with the bomb. The Doctor and Rose rescue him and he joins them for a few episodes before being killed by Daleks.

Unknown to the Doctor, Captain Jack was revived (you’ll have to watch the episode for the full details) and finally makes his way to 20th century Earth where he works for a secret organisation that battle aliens and waits for the Doctor. They meet again at the end of S3 and Captain Jack returns to Earth afterwards. There is another reunion in S4 and I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Captain Jack no matter what happens in his other show, Torchwood.

Yes, Captain Jack is so popular that he became a central character in the first Doctor Who spin-off.

I suspect that Captain Jack is so popular because he’s outrageously flirty and omni-sexual. That’s why he became only the second companion in the history of the show to kiss the Doctor. He even beat Rose to it. He’s also quite dark at times: he was created to be the guy who picked up and used a gun when the Doctor couldn’t and the story needed that guy.

Adam Mitchell

One of the debatable ones, Adam travelled with the Doctor for one episode (and appeared in one other) and was returned to his own time for being a money-grubbing, selfish idiot. He does appear on some peoples’ list of companions, though, so needs mentioning.

The rest

The companions from the specials (Astrid, not!Doctor, Lady Christina, Captain Adelaide Brooke) are listed in some places and not in others. They were key to their episodes but did not travel with the Doctor, so they’re debatable. Donna’s grandfather, Wilf Mott, is also counted variously as a companion and not a companion. He helped with a lot of the Earth stories during Donna’s time and was key in The End of Time, but never travelled with the Doctor. I could him because I adore him and his relationship with the Doctor.

The new girl

Amy Pond is the new companion. She’s a police officer, she’s played by Karen Gillan and she’s Scottish, that’s about all we know so far.

Amy Pond

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bob
    Apr 21, 2010 @ 21:01:43

    FYI – Amy Pond is not a police officer, she wore the uniform as she does Kiss-a-grams. She wacked the Doctor, and then put on the uniform to get info from him.


    • archerygirl
      Apr 24, 2010 @ 22:35:08

      When I was writing this, the only publicity photos that I’d seen were of Amy in her uniform, waist up. Or Amy in later episodes. I know better now 😀


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