Very soon a lot is going to change on Doctor Who. The addition of a new companion might seem like nothing major but it is every bit as dramatic the Doctor’s regeneration. We all might love the Time Lord himself but it’s the companions we relate to. They are our avatar in the series. We see all of time and space through their eyes. With Jenna Louise Coleman about to take up residency in the Tardis I thought it’d be nice to look at some companions of the past. Here are my 5 personal favorites.
5. Martha Jones – I have a sincere love and appreciation for underdogs. And although Ms. Jones is an entirely capable, brave, smart, strong, and loyal human being, she doesn’t stand a chance at either of the Doctor’s hearts after the loss of Rose Tyler. In a way I feel that Martha is the most tragic of the companions (although Donna Noble runs a very close second). She left the Doctor’s company because he couldn’t see her for the incredible adventurer she was. I can’t help but wonder what could have been.
4. Rory Williams – Talk about underdogs. I don’t think anyone could have suspected the hero that lived inside this boy who waited. That’s the key to this character – heart. He’s not the quickest, smartest, or strongest, but not even the Doctor’s pair of hearts could stand up to the intense love and passion which drives Rory. It took him on a truly captivating personal journey. We meet Rory as a pathetic nurse desperate for the affection of a kissing telegram. He becomes a roman soldier willing to storm the biggest and baddest Cyber ship in the fleet and demand of its crew, “Where is my wife!?”
3. Romana II – Tom Baker was my first Doctor. Alongside him was the second incarnation of his Time Lord counterpart. Yes, Romana was the first companion who refused to stay dead. (Rory’s got her beat though. And with the events of the Time War, who knows where she is now?) While the original Romana served as a better challenge for the Doctor, it was the chemistry between he and her regeneration that I found so entertaining. She was a stubborn pain but she kept him on his toes and you could tell he loved having her around. That love carried off screen as well. Tom Baker and Lalla Ward married after her departure from the show. Baker said it was because he couldn’t imagine living without her. They divorced a year later.
2. Sarah Jane Smith – No one better personifies everything that’s great about Doctor Who like his beloved Sarah Jane. Originally a nosey headstrong journalist during the Pertwee years, the character grew into a series defining staple. She was fun, funny, exciting, daring, and complex. It was incredibly moving to watch her departure from the Tardis as she told the Doctor, “Don’t forget me.” To which he could only reply, “Oh, Sarah, Don’t you forget me.” Of all the companions it was only natural that she would be the first to return in the new series. And it made even more sense to give her an equally entertaining spin-off series The Sarah Jane Adventures. Sadly, Elisabeth Sladen, the actress who gave SJS life for all those years passed away in 2010. Still, we will never forget you Sarah Jane.
Ace -What isn’t awesome about Ace? Seriously, watch her beat up this Dalek:
A street smart girl from Perivale with a love for explosives, and a deeply troubled past, who was mysteriously transported across space and forced to make her way in the universe by serving frozen food to aliens on Svartos. She uses her tough exterior as a defense against the turmoil constantly going on inside her. Like Rory she takes a personal journey and develops as a character. This may be the first time that an entire series of stories were solely about uncovering and facing Ace’s past while simultaneously forcing her to confront her memories and grow from them.
Not only was it great to watch her blow things up with her custom made explosive called Nitro-9, but the student/teacher relationship she had with the Doctor was the catalyst for Sylvester Mccoy finally getting ahold on the darker, manipulative, and mysterious Doctor he wanted the character to be. The series was canceled just before it was about to enter a new golden age. Which means we never got a chance to find out where Ace would have gone and become. After watching her struggle for and achieve redemption it was terribly disappointing not to see her new life. Word is that the Doctor was actually instructing her as a Time Lord so that she could join the society and affect the kind of change he thought his kind needed in order to progress beyond their current state of self-righteousness.
I would love to see Ace come back. I think she would have a blast running around with Matt Smith, maybe making fun of him for how old and stuffy he used to be. She did get a nod in the Sarah Jane Adventures story called Death of the Doctor. In it Sarah Jane brings up that she did some research on some other companions and she mentioned one named Dorothy (Ace’s real name) runs a charity called A Chaitable Earth. While that’s not quite as grandious as joining the Time Lords it does make sense after all her maturing that she would want to help the planet she had wanted so desperately to be free from for so long.