Lists of favourites and least favourites are a well known tradition in many fandoms. So here I bring you The Game of Nerds voted top Doctor Who companions. In no particular order.
Full of attitude and refusing to take any nonsense from anyone, Donna is a companion the likes of which is rarely seen in New Who these days. A female companion who has never had a romantic interest in the Doctor. Travelling just for the sheer thrill of adventure, Donna learns to find herself and trust her own instincts. Funny and Sassy, she doesn’t let the Doctor push her around and won’t hesitate to call him on it if she thinks he’s in the wrong. A fantastic dynamic between the two leads, Catherine Tate absolutely nailed the humour of her character as well as the fantastic emotionally charged and serious scenes. And that ending is one hell of a heartbreaker.
Medical Student Martha shows that she can hold her own, taking in everything she could and being strong enough to walk away when she realises that the relationship she has with the Doctor has become unhealthy, due to her crush on him. Martha always wants to help as many people as she can and won’t hesitate to put herself in harms way to do so. When she returns in later series as a full medical officer of UNIT she has grown up a lot, got over her thing for the Doctor and has become entirely comfortable in her own skin. Often underrated, however Martha definitely deserved more appreciation than she gets!
On the losing side of the Jacobean rebellions, Jamie is barely managing to escape the Redcoats with his life intact when he meets the Doctor. Initially suspicious of the man and his English friends, the two quickly become firm friends and Jamie is still the longest running companion in terms of the number of episodes he appears in. Quick witted, Jamie is eager to learn about the strange new world he has found himself in and deals with new situations by comparing them to things he is already familiar with. Ready to defend the people he cares about at a moment’s notice, this young man proves himself over and over to be a strong and loyal friend. And the knife he keeps in his sock is just a reminder that he is not to be trifled with. Jamie’s eyes are opened to how there is good and bad in everyone and that your perceptions of people aren’t always correct. But alas when the Doctor’s past catches up with him, the two are forced to separate forever in a beautiful and warm goodbye of old friends.
Well you can’t have one without the other! Amelia Pond and Rory Williams work far better as a pair than either of them would on their own. Headstrong and idealistic, Amy is a force to be reckoned with and her husband Rory is a great foil for her temper with his level headed attitude. They would both do anything to make sure that they stay together, even when Amy pushes Rory away because she thinks he deserves better than her. Though there were many times where it looked like Amy didn’t appreciate Rory enough, when it counted she would always choose him. The Girl Who Waited allowed herself to be touched by a Weeping Angel and leave the Doctor forever so that she could be with her Last Centurion. Their relationship was a rollercoaster but one that was always driven by their love both of adventure and of each other.
Sarah Jane Smith
No list of top Who companions is complete without Sarah Jane. An intelligent journalist and fast learner, Sarah Jane quickly discovers that there’s more to the stories she is investigating than meets the eye when she encounters the Doctor. The pair of them become fast friends and probably would have travelled forever with other companions just coming and going if they had been able. But alas the Time Lords called the Doctor back to Gallifrey and at the time it wasn’t allowed for anyone who wasn’t Gallifreyan to step foot on the planet. Sarah Jane was left behind but wasn’t alone. One Christmas the Doctor sends her K9 Mark 3 and she never stops investigating the strange and wonderful things that she encountered while on board the TARDIS. These investigations lead to her having many adventures of her own and eventually finding a real family like she had never been able to have before.
Ace helped to pave the way for modern companion who are strong, sexy and good with explosives. Well, perhaps not that last part so much. Snatched from Earth and left on a distant planet where she eventually meets the Doctor and Mel, Ace finds stability and friendship that she’d never had before while travelling with ‘The Professor’ (as she calls the Doctor). She is also rarely seen without access to some kind of weapon, weather that is her supply of Nitro-9 that she created herself, her baseball bat or the catapult that she keeps in the pocket of her jacket. Ace is more likely to fight her way out of a situation than run or try to talk her way out. It’s not known within the TV series what happened to Ace. When Doctor Who returns in the 90s after being cancelled, Ace has left the TARDIS.
Though not always thought of as companions, the following characters deserve some mention due to their relationships and loyalties towards the Doctor.
The Doctor and River have gone through a lot together, always meeting at different points in their time streams so they never quite know where they stand. Daughter of Amy and Rory, River’s past was a mystery for a long time. Though brilliant when she encounters the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors, it is with Doctor number Twelve that their relationship really comes to a head and a fitting conclusion to her story arc.
Brigadier Alastair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart
UNIT soldiers aren’t often counted as being true companions of the Doctor, however the Brigadier is a character that has become an integral part of Doctor Who mythology. First encountered as a Colonel while investigating the strange goings on in the London Underground, the Brigadier runs UNIT for many years and is a firm friend of the Doctor in all the incarnation he has met him in. Without the Brigadier, Doctor Who would be much different than it is today. UNIT may never have had its longevity, and of course he is the father of current UNIT Scientific Officer, Kate Stewart.