Let’s take a step back from the Doctor and focus on his companions. So far, we have seen four different companions. The first companion was Rose Tyler, after her was Maratha Jones, then it was Donna Noble, and the newest is Amy Pond. Each companion is different in their own way and I think that is how fans are able to choose their favorites and least favorites. So let’s dive into the depths of three of these companions. I say only three because I haven’t seen enough episodes with Amy Pond in them to have an opinion.
Rose Tyler was the first companion that we saw. She is a blonde girl from a single parent home and when she meets the Doctor, she is being attacked by mannequins. That is where their adventure together begins. Rose came off as a person who needs guidance because they never know what to do. Although, she seemed to get better as the show went on. Then she started to fall for the Doctor which made the show even better! If I’m being honest, I definitely shipped the Doctor and Rose. And yes, I cried when she was left on the other world with a part human Doctor clone. Since Rose was gone the Doctor needed a new companion and ended up with Martha.
Martha Jones was the next companion and she met the Doctor in a hospital. At first, I really liked Martha because I felt that I could relate to her well. I say this because I am currently studying to become a doctor one day and I too would be excited to travel in time. As the show went on though I started to dislike Martha. Before you yell at your computer screen saying “WHAT. HOW? SHE IS THE BEST COMPANION EVER!” hear me out. The main reason why I didn’t like her was because she seems to be pining for the Doctor throughout her time on the series. That got really annoying, like girl he doesn’t like you MOVE ON! It probably didn’t help that I really like the Doctor and Rose together. As much as I didn’t like Martha I disliked the next companion even more.
Donna Noble was the next companion; although, she met the Doctor before Martha. I barely made it through the first episode with Donna in it because she was so rude. Once the next episode started to play and she was not in it I was thinking “Yes! She’s gone!” but plot twist, she comes back. The second time Donna appeared on the show I started to see a different side of her. Throughout the episodes she starred in a different side of her was shone. The side where she cared about others and how broken she was because of her mother. This all added up to why Donna acted the way she did. Basically, she ended up not being that bad of a companion. In my opinion, the writers could have given her a better ending before they had the new companion show up on the show.
Certainly not every companion, but in my opinion, the Doctor has definitely found deeper feelings for some of his newfound friends. Being one of the only survivors from the Time War, this lonely time lord is in search of some company. Being the last of his kind has got to feel isolating and lonesome. The idea of the companion is to give the Doctor someone to not only share his knowledge and understanding of the world with, but also someone to experience life and make memories with. On the outside the Doctor is portrayed as a kind, humorous man who takes saving the world seriously, but on the inside I find him to be more sensitive, lonely, and romantic.
Being his first companion makes Rose an easy target to this idea of a ‘romantic hero.’ Rose and the Doctor are a perfect example of a potential love that is not one sided. The Doctors first contact with Rose was during his heroic duty to save her from the mannequins. Since then, Rose has tagged along through time with the Doctor to save the world and learn about different universes. The Doctor would, and does do anything for Rose Tyler: takes her back to a universe where her father is still alive, meets her mother and helps to explain where Rose has been, and respects her and her ability to help him save humanity. The Doctor even portrayed some disliking and jealousy towards Rose’s boyfriend, Mickey. For example, during season one episode four, the Doctor gets snippy with Mickey while he is trying to save him and Rose’s mother from aliens.
The finale of Rose was heart-wrenching from a romance standpoint. After falling in love with the real Doctor, Rose stayed home in the parallel universe with the copy doctor, but struggled to find the same emotions. Throughout the show, the Doctor continually experiences heartbreak because of the events that lead up to his separation from companions he has learned to love and trust. Specifically with Rose, the Doctor was forced to save his own life and transform leaving behind his love. The Doctor not only saved his own life, but did what he thought was best for Rose because of the circumstances in her previous universe. Throughout the rest of the episodes, the Doctor struggles with a comparison between his new companions and his love for Rose Tyler.
When i first started watching Doctor Who was in this class. So my first companion that i was exposed to was Rose. Within the first couple episodes I realized that I liked her personality and what she brought to the conversations and show as a whole. I also was very thrilled when Mickey came on adventures as I enjoy his sarcasm and how he butts heads with the Doctor. As I progressed through the series with the ninth Doctor I started noticing how awfully Rose treats Mickey and then started disliking her more and more. Whenever she comes around he is like a little puppy and it’s so obvious that he loves her and would do anything for her. She doesn’t seem to care because she’s so overwhelmed with the Doctor and always leaves him hanging.
The next companion that i was exposed to was Donna. I HATE Donna. She is so annoying, loud, and rude. She is the epitome of childish, she has only been in one episode and yet she complained to the doctor, yelled and begged that guy to marry her and nagged throughout the episode. I did not enjoy that episode at all and just wanted it to end.
Finally, Martha entered the picture. The heroine of the series of female companions in my opinion. She is humble and nice and loves the Doctor. The first episode that I saw her in was the Shakespeare episode. When she entered the conversation she always raised an important question or helped continue the episode as well as added an extra layer of diversity and often brought it up in episodes. Clearly I am biased because she is easily my favorite.
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,
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.
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.
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.
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.