Martha Jones: The Companion

Martha Jones is the 10th Doctor’s second companion. Jones is an acquired taste. Some people say that Jones is too forward because she does not like to be the damsel in distress.  Martha likes to think of herself as the Doctor’s equal. She does not want to be looked as the companion that is dependent on the Doctor.  Martha looks at the Doctor as her partner and not as some powerful alien. She argues with the Doctor with a purpose. Martha does not like to be bossed around if it is not necessary. However, I think it is obvious that she is a dominating force when she on the show, but she is still just a companion. Martha does get in situations where the Doctor must rescue her. She also is seen to have a temper,

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but I believe it because of her strong personality. She doesn’t like to know that there is nothing more that she could do to help the Doctor. A lot of the “Whovian” fandom dislike Martha because she fails to be a Rose or a Donna. Despite this, Martha works harder than any other companion. She leaves her medical career to continue helping the Doctor with his crazy adventures. Martha is loyal, reliable, and she’s strong. She is by far the best companion that the doctor has had.

 

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The 10th Doctors Need for Companionship

Through the entire series of Dr. Who, the doctor has usually had a companion with him. With the end of season 2 of New Who, you get a glimpse of a companionless 10th doctor who shows his dark side. Starting out in the beginning of season 2 you got a glimpse that this doctor was less forgiving and if push came to pull he wasn’t afraid to do what needed to be done. Then towards the end of The Runaway Bride you see a darker side of the doctor where he is just watching the emprise suffer and the only thing that snaps him out of it is Donna yelling at him. Then towards the end of the episode Donna tells the doctor that he needs to find someone (a companion) in which the doctor disagrees. She then tells him he does because sometimes he needs someone to stop him and then he agrees with her. This shows that even she sees that he can get out of control at times and that he may need reeling in.

The doctor is also visibly still upset about losing Rose, whenever her name is brought up he gets very quiet and sentimental. Him being by himself I believe is only making it tougher for him to accept that she is gone. We caught a glimpse of him with Martha and how he seemed much more like himself when they were together. This is what leads me to believe that the Doctor needs to have a companion with him so that he can move on from the previous one. Martha I believe will be a good companion for the Doctor because it shows that she is compassionate, which means she will help keep the Doctor in line and in check. With that in mind, I believe that the 10th Doctor should always have a companion not only to keep him in line but also for him to lean on.

The Companion’s relationships

SPOILERS!!!!

Through watching the New Who series it has been very evident that the companions of the doctor have had interesting relationships with other humans. In almost every instance the companion’s previous relationship or current relationships are almost always interracial. Now before I get hammered with “what about Amy and Rory” I would like to point out that Amy is Scottish and Rory is English. They are the closest to the same ethnicity as any of the companions and their relationships. Starting with Rose the beloved and I would like to say it hurt me a little when she was gone but her “boyfriend” Mickey before and during her excursions with the doctor was obviously a different race than what she was. He being Black and Rose being White. It is not odd for there to be relationships with someone of a different race but it does seem odd that It has become a theme throughout the New Who series. Then we see Martha who is only interested in being more than friends with the Doctor who was and has always been white. Even Donna here husband that she was going to marry was “black” and she was white. This now has turned from a coincidence to a trend. Now we learn that Donna was just tricked by her would be husband because he was promised by the spider-like alien that lived in the middle of the earth to be saved when the end of the world comes. Now we come to the most current companion that has been available is Clara Oswald. We first meet her in the body of a Dalek in the episode Dalek Asylum and she saves the Doctor by clearing the memory of him throughout the Daleks. We later learn that this is just because Clara jumps into the Doctor’s timeline and is seen all through the history of the Doctor. But that’s not what we need to talk about now. Clara’s main love interest throughout her time with the Doctor is Daniel Pink and guess what. He is also black while Clara maybe having a dark complexion is white creating this yet broken trend of the companions having interracial relationships. I have said it before that this is not a bad thing but it is something that I wanted to point out. The final piece I wanted to throw in is that River was Black at one point in her regenerations to bring up the question. Will the Doctor ever be Black? Thus continuing the trend of interracial relationships throughout the show.

Opportunites Lost

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Whatever your feelings on Donna as a character, I believe her exit from the series was the most tragic of all the companions we have seen so far. Yes, this even beats out Rose’s departure. When we first encounter Donna, she is more concerned with the latest gossip than with the well-being of others. She is annoying to most fans, and she is certainly a much different companion than Rose or Martha; she doesn’t seem to have much to offer to the storyline besides some sassy retorts. As her time in the TARDIS goes on, I see a change in her behaviors. She is still sassy, but some more compassion and depth develop in her character. Donna fights with the Doctor to save the people of Pompeii, something neither Rose nor Martha did to such an extent, and she understands the true plight of the Ood when the slavery plot is discovered. She understands that they are a trusting race, and the humans took that for weakness. When I saw this episode, I was shocked and impressed that Donna had such insights.

All of this makes her departure so tragic. Donna becomes a better person because of the Doctor and all he had shown her. To forget it all and go back to who she was before she met him is such a loss, both for her and for her family. For a brief moment, Donna understood that she was important and that she could do something to save the world. The Doctor does have a relationship with his companions, even if not truly romantic, and when they part, it is like breaking up. I think both the Doctor and his companion feel sad when they part company, but remembering the good times and how the experience changed them is an integral part of who they both are. If I had an opportunity like seeing the world, even if it couldn’t last forever, I would want to cherish the memories as part of who I am. Forgetting would be all the more tragic because I wouldn’t even know what I had missed.

Risky Business

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.   tumblr_mj05q55WgC1qkrgz5o1_400

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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.

Regression Through Time

While we have been on the topic of Martha in class, I wanted to take a moment to compare how Martha is treated in “The Shakespeare Code” and in “Human Nature.” After watching both episodes, I was shocked at the differences I saw. From what I know of history, 1599 was around the time when white Europeans were of the opinion that native peoples were an inferior species, and their sole purpose was to be enlightened and civilized. Yet, in “The Shakespeare Code,” Martha’s color serves as a point of interest for Shakespeare, making her more attractive rather than an inferior being to be scoffed at.

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Although I applaud the decision to make Martha the object of affection, I then had higher hopes for “Human Nature.” Surely a show that upends racial stereotypes that far in the past would do so in 1913 also, but I was disappointed and shocked at her treatment. For example, the boys in the school make racial slurs at Martha, claiming that they do not know how she can tell when anything is clean with hands that color. John Smith also thinks less of Martha, especially when she is trying to convince him that he is really the Doctor. He chalks her ranting up to cultural differences and proceeds to treat Martha like her brain is incapable of understanding rational conversation.

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The difference in Martha’s treatment might come from the points each episode is trying to make. “The Shakespeare Code” emphasizes what an extraordinary man Shakespeare was, and portraying him as having positive feelings towards people of color is the perfect example. On the other hand, “Human Nature” emphasizes how human the Doctor truly has become. He cares for Martha as a Time Lord, but seeing him as a human and treating Martha as inferior is used to show how complete the transformation was. In any case, I was disappointed that the writers chose to display such racial distinctions when they had previously been so progressive. I already feel bad for Martha as the rebound companion, and I feel she deserved better.

 

Legacy

So as we have learned there are a lot of things that drive the fan base of Doctor Who. These things include fan vids, artwork, memes, fan-fiction, and believe it or not even games. Over break I decided to download “Doctor Who: Legacy”. This is an app you can download on your phone. It is on Android and Apple platforms. Essentially you get to play real episodes of Doctor Who as a team against the enemies in the episodes. The team you pick is a Doctor and any ally of the Doctor, which includes companions and anyone that has helped the Doctor. However, you have to unlock companions and other allies as you go on.

The game starts off with a tutorial where you are Peter Capaldi with one companion. It took me through one battle then explained what was capable within the game. It is pretty cool that it is able to follow plot lines from episodes. I am assuming since the BBC is a part publisher they can do this.

The battles that take place between the team you pick and the enemy. It consists of moving gems in any order you want in order to get three gems in a row. It is kind of like Candy Crush in the idea of moving things to get them in order to score points. In this game when you get the gems in order your team then attacks the enemy. The battles are turn based so when you attempt to put gems in order whether you fail or are successful then the enemy has a chance to attack. The team that runs out of a hit points first losses. Generally there are multiple waves. The first wave usually has three enemies, second has two, and the last has one. First wave starts off as being the easiest and the final wave is the hardest.

I have no played the game all that much so this is my basic understanding of the game. If any of you decide to download the game, let me know what you think!

If you are a big fan Doctor Who and have some time to kill I would recommend this if you are trying to waste some time or are bored.

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