You can’t have a Doctor without companions (technically you can but it’s just not the same) and last week the companions for the 13th Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) were announced.
The first ever female Doctor in the show’s more than five decade history will be joined by Bradley Walsh, Mandip Gill and Tosin Cole as Graham, Yasmin and Ryan respectively. The 10-week series is scheduled be broadcast in autumn 2018.
We did not get any details about the new companions and whether they would all be full time or not. While we speculate away this is a perfect opportunity to look back at The Doctor’s fellow travelers of the modern era and do some ranking; we at redmangoreviews do love to rank stuff. I will not be including occasional companions like River Song, Mickey Smith and Captain Jack or one off companions like Astrid Peth or Lady Christina de Souza. So with that in mind and a black hole-sized SPOILER ALERT here are all eight NuWho companions ranked:
Nardole first appeared in the Christmas special The Husbands of River Song and to describe the character as underwhelming would be an overstatement. When it was announced he would become a companion in the tenth series my attack eyebrows were raised.
Thankfully the character was moderately fun and clever. But he did feel somewhat superfluous especially after the mystery of the vault was revealed. Would we really lose that much if we removed him other than a couple of rib tickling ripostes? Not really.
#7 Clara Oswald
The most divisive companion since the 2005 continuation of the series has to be Clara Oswald. Some fans hate her while others love her. Part of the reason for this dichotomy is that when she was introduced – the substantive Clara, not her previous incarnations – she was a bland character. This was no fault of actress Jenna Coleman but rather showrunner Steven Moffat who thought making his Impossible Girl mysterious meant making her as flat as the Boneless.
Thankfully after the mystery was solved she became an interesting and strong character that kept the 12th Doctor on his toes, and the two played off each other marvelously. Her love affair with Danny Pink was touching and her death in Face the Raven actually felt like a loss, though it was undercut by Moffat bringing her back two episodes later. Damnit Moffat! Sadly the weight of her blah early days dragged the character down and to near the bottom of this list.
#6 Bill Potts
Bill was a real treat and energised every scene she was in. She was one of the most down to Earth companions and helped keep the Doctor grounded. She also had a wide-eyed wonder for exploration which was refreshing. I will confess I burst out laughing when she described the Doctor’s running as a penguin with its ass on fire. Classic Bill.
She does not rank higher on this list because she was somewhat underused. Her being a lesbian seemed to be an afterthought in terms of overall story and after her tragic cyber-conversion we had the jarring deus ex machina with her puddle not-girlfriend. It is okay to let characters die and stay dead Moffat. It’s a fact of life.
#5 Rose Tyler
You never forget your first do you? I’m talking about companions by the way. What were you thinking about? In two series, and the odd future appearance, shop girl Rose stole our hearts and The Doctor’s as well. She was cool and sassy and fun loving.
But take off your nostalgia glasses (yes, do it now) and you will realise she was just an okay companion. Decent but not brilliant. But with iconic moments like the Bad Wolf transformation and the parting at Doomsday she has placed her stamp on the franchise and as we give Jack his jacket we will give Rose her blouse. We don’t want her to be cold now do we?
#4 Martha Jones
Martha! Martha! Martha! Like Clara, Ms Jones did not have the best introduction and her puppy dog pining for the Doctor got old real quick. Like Usain Bolt quick. But putting that aside the good doctor (small “d”) was a pretty dependable and capable companion.
She looks after and protects the amnesiac Doctor in Human Nature/The Family of Blood and travels the world to help defeat the Master in The Sound of Drums/The Last of the Time Lords. She even went on to join up with Torchwood and marry Mickey “The Tin Dog” Smith. Good for you Martha. You deserved it. And you deserve number three on this list.
#3 Rory Williams
Where is my wife?! With that one powerful line Rory Williams aka Rory the Roman aka Rory Pond cemented himself as one of the coolest companions ever. The sole full time male companion (and only one until his baldness Nardole) Rory was anxious yet brave, silly yet clever, and eternally devoted to his wife Amy. Whether in a plastic body, threatening Cybermen or putting Hitler in a cupboard, you were always in for a good time when Rory was around.
#2 Amelia “Amy” Pond
Come to Mama Angel, precious. We have cookies. Chocolate chip. Mmm good!The first moment we met adult Amy in that kiss-o-gram police outfit I was like hot damn! But besides being drop dead gorgeous Amy Pond was so lively, fearless and spunky. And other than a post-wedding jitters snog (British for kissing) she and the good Doctor had a warm, sweet friendship. Her relationship with Rory was timeless (literally in some cases) and the two had more chemistry than an exploding test tube.
We had fake pregnant Amy in Amy’s Choice (sounds like an after school special, no?) fake not pregnant Flesh Amy for a few episodes, and heart wrenching Old Amy in the brilliant The Girl Who Waited. It was tears when she was touched by an angel in The Angels Take Manhattan and even more tears when the Eleventh Doctor saw an image of her prior to his regeneration into the Twelfth. Come along Pond! Come along! Why won’t you come along? *assumes fetal position and breaks into an inconsolable crying fit*
#1 Donna Noble
How can you not love Donna Noble? She was so funny and feisty and had such a huge heart. Out of all the companions she did the most to keep the Doctor grounded and humane. She would plead to save a family before Pompeii was destroyed or help rescue Ood from a life a slavery.
Unlike Rose and Martha, Donna was not a love interest but a “mate”, advisor, friend and conscience for the Doctor. She really brought out the best in him and their friendship was heartwarming and highly entertaining. And the Doctor removing her memory to save her life has to be one of the most tragic companion exits in the show’s long and storied history. You may have forgotten the Doctor and your wonderful adventures, but we will never forget you Donna.
So that’s my list. Now it’s time to vote for your favourite:
For more Doctor Who goodness check out my list of the Top 10 Classic Who companions here.