In one of my earlier posts, I talked about the companions putting their trust in the Doctor almost right away. This time, I want to talk about whether or not the Doctor should let humans come along on his adventures.
The Doctor usually promises to keep his companions safe. He even promises Rose’s mother and Donna’s grandpa that he will not let anything happen to their loved ones. I personally think this is an unrealistic promise. In each episode, we see the Doctor and his companion in life-threatening situations. One of the first things I noticed when watching the show was how often the Doctor leaves his companions in the new places he takes them. In class, we have talked about how many episodes involve the companion getting in trouble and needing to be rescued by the Doctor. I would argue that this wouldn’t happen as often if the Doctor didn’t leave his companions by themselves so frequently. If I were to travel to another planet or another time, I would not let the Doctor out of my sight.
Even if the companion doesn’t get hurt physically, there is going to be some emotional damage. The Doctor never intends to travel with the same companion forever. We see the impact of this in the episode “School Reunion.” Sarah Jane Smith is not too happy with the Doctor for leaving her behind. She tells Rose to prepare for her time with the Doctor to end, and Rose acts like she has never thought of her future without the Doctor. Rose also has to face the truth that the Doctor has had many companions before her.
The Doctor promises that he will not leave Rose behind. (Another promise that he can’t keep.) So what is the right thing for the Doctor to do? It it okay for him to take humans away from their families and their planet because he is lonely? Do his companions really know what they are getting themselves in for? I’m sure his companions think they are capable of making their own decisions. Maybe that is true, but I think there is no possible way for them to have any idea of what is to come.