Sci-Fi/ Superheroes: Best Companions in ‘Doctor Who’

Screenshot of (left) Matt Smith and (right) Karen Gillan in ‘Doctor Who’ Copyright goes to the BBC.

Hi! It’s Annie!

It has come to my attention that I have yet to write about ‘Doctor Who’ even though I’ve loved it for so long. And I recently went back to watch some of the eleventh Doctor and thought that it was a crime that it had taken me so long to get back around to this. I will only be discussing my personal favorite companions for the tenth and eleventh Doctors, as those are my favorite ones and the only Doctors I’ve watched seasons of more than once. Each of these Doctors have had three notable companions. For ten it was Rose, Martha, and Donna. For eleven it was Amy, Rory, and Clara. And while there is no companion that I dislike of any of this collection, I do have my favorites. So I’m going to go over how each companion was with those Doctors and which one became my personal favorite! I’m going to get right into it, but before that, this is your SPOILER warning! Seriously, if you for some reason have not watched these seasons of ‘Doctor Who’, go watch them and stop reading immediately! Seriously!

Tenth Doctor:

Rose: I think the tenth Doctor really needed a familiar face when he woke up, and Rose is the most familiar face you can get when it comes to companions. David Tennant’s Doctor was full of both charm and angst; his very first appearance also involving him taking down the entire career of a woman with only six words and claiming that he was a Doctor of no second chances. Rose is one of the most compassionate companions there has ever been, she was a perfect human side to him battling with his own occasional thirst for vengeance. Though they had a bit of a rough start, Rose soon accepted him for who he was and fell in love with him even more than she had with the previous iteration of the Doctor. They also worked well together as a team and had constant adorable banter as well as inside jokes. And Rose is the only companion to actually end up with the Doctor in a way. Not exactly, but it was basically a human version of the tenth Doctor that wouldn’t regenerate. Rose is such a comforting and friendly presence that you can’t help but feel happy when she’s on screen.

Martha: The actual Doctor to the Doctor’s lack of professional medical training. Martha is insanely intelligent and compassionate with her healing abilities. She eventually becomes more of a soldier, and it is usually because of their fundamental differences that she and the Doctor butt heads so much. Martha speaks up against the Doctor distancing himself from others and acting reckless, especially after she decided to leave after having fallen in love with him and realized that being around him was no longer in her best interest. The Doctor and Martha worked well together because they were such opposites, but it was difficult to see them as having a close relationship because of how ill fitting they were. Martha is a badass, but she and the Doctor belonged more as friends than companions in my opinion.

Donna: Donna is the most amusing companion to ever exist. No one could ever give the Doctor as good as she gets before Donna. On top of all of this, David Tennant and Catherine Tate were great friends before they even played opposite of each other here. And this wouldn’t be the last time they played opposite of each other either. They did several comedy specials together as well as theatre. If you haven’t watched them as Benedick and Beatrice respectively in Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’, I also highly recommend that. They are always hilarious together! This chemistry comes off in waves. Never has banter between two characters seemed so easy and seamless. Donna lets the Doctor know the minute she disagrees with him, but she more importantly views him as completely a friend and an equal. When the Doctor is upset she treats it as a genuine emotion and cares for him as a friend. She also constantly teases him, all in good fun though.

Winner: Donna. I love all three of these companions, but for me nothing can beat the combination of David Tennant and Catherine Tate. Their banter has never been matched since their appearance on the show, and I doubt it ever will be. Donna also had one of my absolute favorite introductions; Donna teleporting directly into the TARDIS in her wedding dress was iconic. And Donna not viewing the Doctor as someone to look up to and just her best friend, created a dynamic between them that made it feel as though the Doctor was being cared for himself. I love every scene that they’re in together and, though I love Rose and Martha, I can’t get over how perfect and amusing the Doctor and Donna were.

Eleventh Doctor:

Amy: The girl who waited. The introduction of Amy comes not long after the introduction of the new Doctor, and she is the first face he sees. She helps him discover his love of fish fingers and custard. And she’s quite possibly the sassiest companion the Doctor has ever had. Though she starts out with a crush on the Doctor, their relationship turns into something that’s more like the ultimate best friends. Amy can tell when the Doctor has reached his limits and the Doctor can tell when Amy has reached hers. Though her storyline gets very convoluted and messy as things go on, Amy will always be his family in some way. Even when that means she doesn’t always travel with him anymore. More importantly, I think Amy understood the Doctor in a way that no one else had before this. She really saw the Doctor for who he was and accepted him fully into her life. And she became an author. How cool is that?

Rory: Amy’s fiancee and eventual husband, who ends up becoming somewhat of a constant companion. Their marriage is one that the Doctor endeavors to protect, and even tricks them into getting back together on some occasions. But while Rory begins as something of an idiot, he proves himself to be one of the most true hearted people to ever board the TARDIS. He waits for Amy for two thousand years and loves her so innocently. He’s THE devoted boyfriend. Though he might not always be the smartest person in the room, his presence is lovable and needed all the same.

Clara: The impossible girl. Clara’s wit was evident from the first moment we met her, or a version of her, in the Dalek asylum. And then again when we met her as a governess in London. And then again when we met her in present day. Clara’s very good at keeping up with the Doctor, and also very good at watching out for everyone including him. The fact that Moffat essentially made her the most important companion was not great and definitely overly ambitious, as was the decision to make her almost completely on parr with the Doctor himself in some episodes with twelve. Obviously, being as smart as the Doctor is great. Not everyone can do what the Doctor can, and companions should have their own strengths. But her playfulness still comes through despite that and I always love seeing her. Establishing her as a school teacher and giving her more of a life to herself also made her more dynamic.

Winner: Though I love all of these companions, I think I’m going to go with Amy. I have several issues with Clara, more than I mentioned before and all to do with writing. Clara didn’t have much of a personality beyond the wit we first saw, and when it came to twelve she treated him as something disposable. Amy is a great example of being able to set barriers with the Doctor while still feeling like an intimate part of his life. The Eleventh Doctor was very affectionate, and seeing him hug Amy or press a kiss to her forehead was always sweet and not forced in the slightest. I think it also says something that Matt Smith and Karen Gillan are still close friends. The chemistry really does come across. And then there’s the addition of Rory, who is such an adorable and lovely character. Even if he didn’t quite always get in on the Doctor and Amy dynamic. I just don’t think many companions top Amy. And I’m sure the Doctor thinks so too.

The tenth and eleventh Doctors both had such excellent runs and such excellent companions. Though I don’t watch ‘Doctor Who’ as much as I used to, it’s still a comfort show that I occasionally go back to. And every time I’m always blown away with how lovable so many of the characters are and how much chemistry all the actors have together. So much so that they often end the show extremely close friends. The BBC has made so many of my favorite shows from ‘Merlin’ to ‘The Musketeers’ to ‘Doctor Who’ and all of these shows have become comfort shows for me. I’ll always eventually go back to one if not all of them, and the ‘Doctor Who’ seasons are full of such amazing messages about life and love and how precious it all is. If you haven’t dove into the world of BBC shows, I would recommend you do. Just prepare to fall down the rabbit hole!

See you across the pond!

Sincerely, Annie

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