While there are many much loved companions of the Doctor, there are also those that are almost universally hated. Some of those are done so quite fairly, but there are several that get voted way down on the lists purely because no one remembers who they are!
Adam was a lesson in how not to be a Doctor Who companion. He was self centred, egotistical and greedy. He thought he was the best at everything and didn’t get to stay for very long after taking a trip into the future and trying to steal information for his own personal gain. The Doctor took him home and left him with a hole in his forehead that opened whenever someone around him clicked their fingers. Honestly, he probably got off lightly.
Wait who? Kamelion was a fully robotic companion and joined the TARDIS after the Doctor rescued him from the Master’s influence. Unfortunately a plethora of behind the scenes issues caused Kamelion to become unusable and his only other on screen appearance found him being manipulated by the Master again until he asks the Doctor to shut him down permanently.
Young and very self centred, Adric always believed that he was right about everything and wanted to prove it. Surely with his gold star for being a mathematical genius should have leant him at least a small amount of logic. Adric was abrasive and didn’t get on with people very well. In the end his desire to be right was his downfall. His gold star was used to suffocate cybermen and Adric died trying to stop the spaceship that was plummeting to Earth (and ended up being what wiped out the dinosaurs). Adric’s death is the only time that the end titles haven’t run as normal, instead being in total silent over an image of his broken badge.
Though in general a bright and happy character, Dodo is not remembered all that fondly. The possible descendant of a character in ‘The Massacre of St Bartholomew’s Eve’, Dodo seems to have been taken on board the TARDIS purely because the Doctor couldn’t save Anne Chaplet earlier in the story. Dodo also almost wipes out a large group of future humanity by bringing the common cold on board a space station and eventually just vanishes, sending the Doctor a note to tell him that she isn’t coming back.
A computer programmer from a small Sussex village, Mel has a photographic memory and is almost always cheerful. Apart from when she’s screaming at things. She is also a health enthusiast and was often going on at the sixth Doctor that he should do more exercise. You’d think with all the running around and hiding from monsters they do, she wouldn’t bother. She’s the first companion to meet the Doctor in a different order to when he meets her, which does cause some confusion as to when he does actually meet her. Perhaps it is just from the era she was in and the fact Doctor Who on the whole was starting to become a dying art, but Mel isn’t a character who is remembered fondly by the fans.
Often low down in the lists of companions, Vicki was a bright young woman whom the Doctor adopted into the TARDIS while he is still coming to terms with leaving Susan behind. Vicki is enthusiastic about her live inside the TARDIS and leaves during the siege of Troy when she falls in love with Troilus. She makes sure that the Doctor takes Katarina with him in her place and eventually Vicki becomes known as the legendary Cressida.
(Less Than) Honourable mentions
Lots of companions that come at the bottom of polls are the ones that aren’t bad, they just weren’t around for very long and over time just faded into obscurity. Though she was the first companion to die while travelling in the TARDIS, she did so by sacrificing herself for the sake of her friends. She wasn’t quite right for what the story wanted, being from so far in the past that she had absolutely no frame of reference to interpret much of the modern world. Katarina was quickly lost to the midsts of time.
Not always thought of as a companion and very easily overlooked. If she hadn’t been aged into dust, Sara could have made a fantastic companion. However here she is at the bottom of pretty much every list that remembers her.
Mixed reviews for Clara. However it seems that what she suffers from most is Moffat-itus and his inability to create strong women without giving them some special greater purpose. She’s often shown as some kind of superwoman instead of an ordinary person thrown into extraordinary circumstances. She is so willing to help others that she has little sense of self preservation and literally dies several times. She also had the potential to be a badass character from the Victorian era before that version of her was killed and replaced by yet another modern day companion.
Considering the Doctor spent all their time together in series 1 taking the piss out of him, it’s easy to see why people don’t like Mickey. He’s often overlooked and then overshadowed by Rose. He wasn’t designed to be a good character, just another reason for Rose to want to leave. It’s only in series 2 and beyond that Mickey grows into a strong person who wants to be good enough not just for other people but to be able to prove to himself that he’s more than just the Tin Dog.