“Who” should the next companion be?

So, you should know by now that I LOVE the Series 8 finale. LOVE with a capital LOVE. One of the best things about it (amongst others) is the incredibly simple yet effective ending to the Doctor and Clara’s story. Compared to Rose, Donna, Amy and Rory, the departure was very subdued, leaving me to think that Clara has left the series. However, she’s in the Christmas special, but what if THAT’S her departure? If it is, than next year, we’ll have a brand new companion (or companions) in the Tardis. It’s always fun having a new companion, as they get all the famous phrase: “It’s bigger on the inside”. Cue an exotic alien world, followed by amazing adventures with the Doctor.

But WHO should the new companion be? Every single New Series companion with the exception of Captain Jack is from 21st century Earth (River Song is debatable). This isn’t so bad, after all, Sarah Jane was from modern day Earth (modern day Earth being 1973 back then). However, in the Classic Series we also had: Time Ladies, Scottish warriors, aliens, robots and people from the past and future. In the new series we’ve had modern day humans and a 51st century Time Agent. It’s time for change I think. They’ve already broken the young Doctor trend, why not break the modern day Earth trend?

I would like a companion from the Earth’s past. Maybe a Victorian-era detective? A medieval princess? (Though seeing how there’s already been one medieval story in the Capaldi era I doubt this). Or maybe a companion from Earth’s future? Or an alien? Not all aliens want to obliterate mankind, and a whole new species could be created. Maybe, like the Doctor, his companion is a runaway, escaping her (or his) race. Even if Clara is staying, an alien could add an extra dynamic to the Doctor’s adventures. I have deduced that there are three main types of companions, and New Who has only really dealt with one. So, let’s start…

The brain box

Examples (that I’ve seen): Susan, Romana, Nyssa, Adric, K9 and to some extent River Song (if she counts as a companion).

This is the companion who the Doctor can treat as his equal. Normally an alien (who looks like a human) or a fellow Time Lord, the brain box serves as extra exposition and adds an interesting spin to the Tardis crew. These companions sometimes gain their own one story companion and have entire sub-plots to do with them solving a different part of the story while the Doctor is occupied or sometimes captured. K9 is the most literate example, as his main job is to break the Doctor out of jail. However, they can sometimes seem redundant, as the Doctor is normally the chief brain box and they just tag along and continue explaining. However, when coupled with type 2, they serve as a more varied Tardis team: The Doctor is the one who solves the problem, the brain box helps out and the human adds the, well, human side. On that note…

The human

Examples (that I’ve seen): Ian, Barbara, Joe, Sarah Jane, Harry, Tegan, Rose, Martha, Donna, Amy, Rory and Clara.

The majority of companions are humans from the current decade the story is set in. They normally work for UNIT, have a normal job and (for the new series), have an extended family. These companions are the ones who the Doctor stumbles across and shows them the universe, normally making them a better person. Due to them being a different species, they often clash with the Doctor, from Sarah Jane arguing for the Dalek’s genocide, Tegan spending an entire series annoyed at the Doctor’s inability to reach Heathrow, Rose sympathizing with a captured Dalek and speaking out against its death, Donna arguing with the Doctor about saving Pompeii, Amy convincing him to spare the Star Whale and, more recently, Clara storming out of the Tardis after the Doctor pushed her too far. This is where the majority of the show’s drama comes from, as normal people with normal lives explore the universe and add their personal perspective to the mix. As I said, a historical companion could add an even bigger change, and this is an almost inevitable addition to the crew (in fact, the only pure Doctor/Brain Box crew I’ve seen is Four/Romana/K9).

The action hero 

Examples (that I’ve seen): Normally the job for the male companion: Jamie, Harry, most of UNIT, Captain Jack and Series 6 Rory, though sometimes females are an example of this, like Leela, Ace and again, River Song. Many one off companions are also this too: Duggan, Canton, Riddell and Robin Hood.

When Doctor Who first started, a male companion was needed to do all the things the Doctor, at the time, couldn’t do: run down corridors, jump over buildings and hit people (Rory gets the best punch award against Hitler). These are unique companions, as the Doctor (unless he’s Jon Pertwee) will normally avoid to fight and try to talk his way out (in fact, the Fourth Doctor gets annoyed when Duggan starts punching everyone he tries to talk to in City of Death). These companions don’t run away, they stand and fight, even when they’re hideously outnumbered. Ace will hit Daleks with baseball bats, Jack will cling to the Tardis through the Time Vortex, Rory will battle Headless Monks and Leela will jannis thorn anyone who even thinks of fighting her. These companions are awesome, as it shows that not everyone who travels with the Doctor relies on him, as they can pretty much fight by themselves. A new action hero might be effective with Capaldi’s older, more talkative incarnation (spoon fight with Robin Hood aside).

So, what does this ultimately mean? It shows how varied the Doctor’s adventures can really be. In fact, the original Tardis team had all three companion types: Susan was the brain box, Barbara was the human and Ian was the action hero. The Fifth Doctor team had TWO brain boxes without an action hero (though the Fifth Doctor himself might count seeing how much he fights). The Eleventh Doctor had the human and the action hero, but not since 1963 has the full team been used. Of course three companions in a 45 minute story is probably not possible (or it might be: The Impossible Astronaught had four companions, Dinosaurs on a Spaceship had five, Time Heist had three and The Stolen Earth had everyone. Two of them were two parters but it still shows it works).

Whoever the new companion is though I’m sure that they will be fine. I’ll probably like them and Mum will be glad to see Clara gone (according to her, Clara’s crimes include slapping the Doctor, being childish near Robin Hood, arguing against the Doctor and many more which I’m sure she’ll be happy to go on about). I want more variety within the show, and companions open up gateways for interesting characters. What is your favourite companion? Mine is Sarah Jane, with Donna being a close second. What kind of a companion do you want to see in the Tardis?


9 thoughts on ““Who” should the next companion be?

  1. Hi Ben, I know nothing about Dr Who and have no idea what you’re talking about in this article. However, I haven’t commented on one of your posts for a while, and feel that I’m way overdue in saying something. In the interests of saying something meaningful, and constructive, all I can say is “Nicely written. Well done.” And I hope you get your wish, and Sarah Jane (whoever she might be) returns.

  2. Hi Ben,

    Thank you for dragging your mother into this post. I agree with Helen that this post is very well written, and I can see that you clearly enjoy Doctor Who (just a bit obsessive) and you are analytical about all the episodes.

    I’m not warm to Clara, as I find her immature and sometimes behaves in a very childish way. I didn’t like it when she was rude to the Doctor. She seemed to think that she ‘knew it all’.

    Clara is a teacher, and she is supposed to be a sensible adult, but she isn’t. I feel sorry for the pupils in her classroom.

    1. Though to be fair the Doctor did put her in a situation where she was forced to make a terrible decision. David Tennant got slapped a lot more. She also was able to outwit the cyborg, defeat the Boneless and prevent getting killed by Cybermen by pretending to be the Doctor.

      Or maybe you’re jealous =P.

    1. Rory is awesome! I’d place him third on my list. What other companion punches Hitler, talks down Cybermen fleets and becomes a 2,000 year old Auton? Though maybe it’s just that I love male companions; a Captain Jack/Rory character would be great.

      1. What a brilliant idea! I like CJ but he’s arrogant; Rory is sweet and brave but a bit of a doormat. Your suggestion could combine the best of both of them – and the worst; to make an evil twin! 😀 😀 😀

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