Doctor Who Television

Doctor Who Companions: A Comprehensive Look

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Source: BBC America

Here at The Game of Nerds, we love a good discussion about anything nerdy. And of course one of the big ones is “Who is the best Doctor Who companion?” Obviously a matter of opinion but we’d love to see what our audience thinks too.

Soon I will be compiling our top five best and worst Doctor Who companions but for now, here is a recap of every companion that has been, just in the matter of fairness! I am only including recurring characters. That is, companions who have assisted the Doctor in several episodes.

Susan Foreman – The Doctor’s granddaughter and the first on screen companion. Susan was already well established in the TARDIS before the show began.
Ian Chesterton – A Science teacher at Susan’s school, Ian forced his way into the TARDIS due to concerns about Susan living in a police box in a junk yard.
Barbara Wright – Also concerned about Susan, Barbara joined Ian on his little breaking and entering mission, only to be kidnapped by the Doctor along with him!
Vicki – An orphan from the 25th century, the Doctor invited Vicki to join him as she reminds him of his granddaughter.
Steven Taylor – A space pilot from Earth’s future, Steven stows away on the TARDIS along with his fairthful toy panda. After two years trapped on the planet Mechanus, Steven is reluctant to put his whole faith in the Doctor and his Time Machine.
Katarina – A short lived companion, the handmaiden of Cassandra of Troy is the first companion to be killed while travelling with the Doctor, sacrificing herself to save her friends.
Sara Kingdom – Not always on the official lists of companions, Sara only survived one story before being rapidly aged to the point she becomes nothing but dust.
Dodo Chaplet – A human girl from modern day (wait, is this time first time we’ve seen that??), Dodo doesn’t spend a lot of time in the TARDIS before just vanishing and sending the Doctor a letter to tell him that she’s going for a rest out in the country.
Polly – A secretary to the man who has created a crazy AI, Polly joins the TARDIS crew after taking Dodo’s letter to the Doctor and accidentally leaving with him.
Ben Jackson – A Navy sailor on shore leave, Ben’s first appearance is when he protects Polly in a nightclub. Over their time in the TARDIS they become close and are the first companions to witness the Doctor’s regeneration.

Jamie McCrimmon – A piper from 1746, Polly suggests that they take Jamie with them after the 19 year old risk his own life to escort them back to the TARDIS in the aftermath of the Battle of Culloden.
Victoria Waterfield – Orphaned by the Daleks after her father discovers some of the secrets of time travel in the 1800s, Victoria is a lot stronger willed than she sometimes seems to be.
Zoe Heriot – A young mathematical genius from the 21st Century, she joins the Doctor in order to escape her sterile lifestyle on the Wheel in Space and explore.

Liz Shaw – Supposedly UNIT’s new Scientific Advisor, Liz ends up playing second fiddle to the Doctor more often than not during his long exile on Earth.
Jo Grant – Jo is sent to work for UNIT after her uncle pulls some strings in order to keep her out of trouble. Enthusiastic and bubbly, Jo is a huge contrast to her predecessor.
Sarah Jane Smith – Journalist Sarah Jane used her aunt’s name to get herself into a UNIT facility and found a lot more than she bargained for when she ended up assisting the Doctor after renowned scientists are kidnapped.
Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart – The Earth-bound Brigadier first meets the Doctor when he is a Colonel trying to battle against Yeti in the London Underground but after taking control of UNIT, becomes a loyal friend to the Doctor.
Sergeant John Benton – A UNIT soldier who always seems to be around when there is trouble afoot surrounding the Doctor. Benton never technically travelled in the TARDIS but accompanied the Doctor on many Earthly adventures.

Harry Sullivan – A Naval doctor who ends up travelling in the TARDIS after messing with the controls. The Doctor had originally planned on taking him on a quick jaunt to the moon but overshoots somewhat.
Leela – Warrior of the Sevateem, Leela insisted upon joining the Doctor on his adventures. She easily got to grips with concepts she had previously had never come across and was a strong willed companion who wasn’t afraid of danger.
K9 – The original Tin Dog, several iterations of K9 travelled with the Doctor and ended up having several versions scattered throughout time and space where he got left behind!
Romana – Romanadvoratrelundar was a Time Lady who travelled with the Doctor during two of her regenerations. With the same level of knowledge about time as the Doctor, she definitely gave him a run for his money.
Adric – A young man from the N-Space planet of Alzerius, Adric stows away with the Doctor after the death of his brother. This mathematical genius was inexperienced in the world outside of numbers.
Tegan Jovanka – Australian air hostess Tegan just wanted to get to Heathrow for her first day of work. Apparently TARDIS is not the quickest form of transportation and the self declared “Mouth on legs” was never impressed by the Doctor’s lack of navigational equipment.
Nyssa – Nyssa just kind of turned up one day. She’d been left on the planet Traken after the Master kills her father and takes over his body but ends up on Earth where she meets up with the Doctor, Adric and Tegan.

Vislor Turlough – Political exile from the planet Trion, Turlough has a rocky start to his time in the TARDIS while the Black Guardian tries to convince him to kill the Doctor and steal the time machine for himself. However drawn to the Doctor’s willingness to trust him, Turlough refuses the Guardian’s offer, becoming a loyal travelling companion.
Kamelion – Does anyone remember him? A shape changing android, Kamelion joins the TARDIS after being freed from the Master’s influence but doesn’t stick around for long before being influenced once again by the Master and begging the Doctor to be destroyed.
Perpugillium (Peri) Brown – An American botany student, Peri joins the TARDIS crew after Turlough saves her from drowning. Looking for adventure, Peri finds it by the bucket load while travelling with the Sixth Doctor.

Mel Bush – Mel is unusual as she first meets the Doctor off-screen. Instead he is shown a future adventure by the Time Lords and then at some point they meet and start having adventures after that. Mel’s warm and cheeky personality leads her to try to always see the best in people.
Dorothy (Ace) Gale/McShane – Dragged from her time and place on Earth, Ace meets the Doctor and Mel in the future on a distant planet. She’s outgoing and is never far from her baseball bat or supply of explosives.

Dr Grace Holloway – A cardiologist from San Francisco, Grace accidentally ends up killing the Doctor, causing him to regenerate. He offers to take her with him, but she declines.

Rose Tyler – Down to Earth Rose meets the Doctor when the shop where she works is taken over by Autons and the two form a very close bond.
Adam Mitchell – Boy genius who will do whatever he can for personal gain, Adam was a perfect example of how not to travel in the TARDIS!
Captain Jack Harkness – Action hero from the 51st Century, Jack is a con man, a time traveller and accidentally immortal.

Mickey Smith – Rose’s ex-boyfriend and metaphorical ‘tin dog’, Mickey goes on to prove himself by growing up and saving the world.
Martha Jones – Medical student Martha starts travelling as the Doctor’s way of thanking her for saving his life. However Martha quickly falls in love with him but grows away from that as she walks the Earth to save humanity from the Master.
Donna Noble – Loud and undervalued, Donna always felt the need to shout to be heard however travelling with the Doctor opened her eyes to everything around her and the two became great friends. Donna finds a quieter way to show her strength and true self.

Amy Pond – With a name from a fairytale, Amelia Pond grows from a lonely little girl to an adult who doesn’t tie herself down too much or put too much faith in people. Something she learns to do again as the series goes on.
Rory Williams – Almost the opposite of his wife Amy, Rory has a great deal of inner strength and  won’t allow people to suffer.
River Song – The daughter of Amy and Rory and recurring love interest of the Doctor, the pair never meet each other in the right order. From being conceived in the time vortex, River possesses many traits of the Time Lords including the ability to regenerate.
Clara Oswald – Met as several people through time, each of them dying to save the Doctor, the original Clara Oswald is strong and brash but won’t allow anyone to get hurt, particularly not children.

Nardole – Originally a servant of River Song in the far future, Nardole starts to travel in the TARDIS after the Doctor attaches his head back to his body. He stays with him so that the Doctor has someone to help him after the Doctor says his final goodbye to River and will continue into series 10.

So after looking back over the last 53 years worth of travelling companions, who are your best and worst of all time?

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