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5 Could Have Been Companions

Guest contributor Holly Illis looks at the ones that got away.

Following the news that we might have another companion joining Capaldi, Coleman and Anderson in the TARDIS for Series 8, I thought I would take a look back at some of the ‘could-have-been’ companions. I’ll count down my top five one-offs (or two-offs), whether they vanished because they turned down the offer to travel in the TARDIS, or even if it’s because they died. Feel free to post who you would’ve liked to see stick around for a little longer as well.

These are the ones who got away. I think they are unconventional, with interesting skills, abilities and personalities, which would have made them great permanent companions. So, take a look:

5. Jenny

jenny-doctors-daughter-shipI know she seems kind of the obvious choice, and that’s partly why I chose her. I didn’t think the episode The Doctor’s Daughter was that amazing, but the title says it all. Think of the potential! The Doctor’s biological daughter, who’s almost the opposite of him in every way, travelling with him, getting to know him… After one episode when we thought she had died I was pretty sad. After a whole series, developing that bond, a tragic series finale is practically inevitable. It’s irresistible! I would love to see that.

It could be really interesting if they played it out right, especially opposite Capaldi. He’s old enough to feel like a proper father figure, but that’s not really the Doctor we know. The Doctor we know is a wanderer, he’s dangerous, he’s dark at heart and if he felt tied down by Jenny, well, even better. Together they could do anything, but first they’d have to really get to know each other, and it’s that development that I think we missed out on when they went their separate ways in The Doctor’s Daughter.

4. Canton Everett Delaware III

day of the moon promo pics (4)First off, who doesn’t like Mark Sheppard? He’s a brilliant actor, a huge fan of the show, and while he was far from wasted in the two episodes he starred in, I feel he had so much more potential as Canton.

In terms of actual usefulness, I think he proved himself in The Impossible Astronaut and Day of the Moon. With FBI training, he was level-headed and didn’t panic when he came face to face with one of the Silence for the first time. He was able to adapt quickly to the unfamiliar environment that was a world where time travel and aliens existed. And he was good with a gun. As a general rule, the Doctor hates guns, but that may not be a bad thing, as the friction armed Canton produces might be interesting.

But it’s not just his skill that makes me think he would’ve made a good companion. I loved his personality; he was full of dry wit, and obviously very smart. He was very loyal, and he wasn’t afraid to speak his mind:

Nixon: You were my second choice for this, Mr. Delaware.
Canton
: That’s okay. You were my second choice for president, Mr. Nixon.

I loved the way he bounced off the Doctor. I loved his calmness and his control, like you could always rely on him. And I would love to see him back.

3. Craig Owens

doctor-who-closing-time-promo pics (6)Any excuse to see Alfie again! Well that’s not true, I also loved Craig and James Corden’s performance, but the Dark Lord Of All was adorable. Anyway. I’m not entirely sure why I would like Craig back, I just found him instantly likeable, and very human. I immediately empathised with him, he wasn’t the perfect copes-well-in-a-crisis companion you sometimes come across. He was genuinely scared when he saw the Cybermen, but not so scared in The Lodger that he couldn’t do something about it. In that same episode, he gets jealous about the Doctor’s success at football and his interaction with Sophie.

And he was funny. He had a great chemistry with Matt Smith that just worked, and I think Closing Time was one of the funniest episodes in Series 6. The banter was hilarious, and when people thought they were a couple… I loved Closing Time, just for those two together, because I didn’t think the episode was that great.

Craig: Doctor, please—
The Doctor
: Shush!
Craig
: No you shush!
The Doctor
: Shush!
Craig
: Shush!
The Doctor
: No you shush!

While I no longer have faith in Moffat to write stories that make complete sense, I still trust in his abilities to write very funny dialogue, and who better to deliver that dialogue than James Corden?

2. Idris

Suranne Jones on Bringing Idris BackI think part of why I love Idris so much is that she was in The Doctor’s Wife, and that has imprinted a positive association of anyone and anything in that episode onto my brain permanently, because it’s pretty much my favourite episode from the whole Matt Smith era. It would be a shame in a way to bring her back and ruin the ending of that episode:

The Doctor: Goodbye.
Idris
: No. I just wanted to say, Hello. Hello Doctor. It’s so very very nice to meet you.

 (I love that line), but I still think she would make a great companion. Being the TARDIS would make her the Doctor’s equal, if not even someone who he actually looked up to.

I think she’s very different. She’s like nothing we’ve ever seen on the show before, certainly not in the new series. And it’s fine having human companions, usually young, usually female, usually pretty, but a new Doctor deserves a bit of a break from tradition. The TARDIS personified, older, (ok, still female), and not conventionally attractive (much like Doctors shouldn’t be, according to Moffat.) I like the sound of that.

One of the problems with this of course is that with the TARDIS’ “soul” inside Idris, how would the box work? Good question. Fortunately, I don’t have to answer it.

1. Adelaide Brooke

watersofmars6Surprised? I don’t blame you. She didn’t exactly leave on good terms with the Doctor, she’s definitely not your traditional companion, and she died. No one said the return of people on this list had to be possible.

Lindsay Duncan is a fantastic actress. She had so much more to give, and while I completely loved The Waters of Mars, I felt that there was still more to discover about her.

She is entirely theoretical of course. If she hadn’t died, if the Doctor had offered to take her on and if for some reason she had actually said yes, I think she would’ve made a fantastic companion.

After their final confrontation in The Waters of Mars, it was clear that Adelaide didn’t like the Doctor.

Adelaide: And there’s no one to stop you?
The Doctor
: No.
Adelaide
: This is wrong, Doctor! I don’t care who you are! The Time Lord victorious is wrong!

A bit like what I said with Jenny, this would mean focusing on their relationship for a lot of the time, a relationship which I always envisaged would finish up a bit like the Doctor/Donna relationship. There would almost certainly be no romantic interest, but I think if they got to know each other they could become good friends.

From a practical point of view, she would probably be the best equipped companion yet – she has experienced space travel, she’s brave, she’s clever and resourceful. But she was also used to being the leader – in the TARDIS, this wouldn’t be the case, but she might still be able to keep the Doctor in check.

Yes, I think she would be interesting. But I also loved her character. So while I think the ending of The Waters of Mars was fitting, I also think it’s a shame she never got her chance to travel with the Doctor.

Conclusion

So there you have it. Each have the makings of a great companion, and each would be interesting to see, with a different dynamic against Capaldi’s Doctor. But I like them all for different reasons, and to be honest I was so spoilt for choice, you’re bound to disagree somewhere down the line. Like I said, post in the comments who you would like to see back!

Step back in time...

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117 comments
SectSqurl
SectSqurl

Sally sparrow

Jenny

Jenny flint

Madame de pompadour

Wilfred Mott

JailBanksters
JailBanksters

Jen, absolutely

Canton, yes

Craig, never

Idris, sure

Adelaide, no


EricPavlat
EricPavlat

Sally, Lady Christina, Timothy Latimer (from Human Nature/Family of Blood), and Rita.  The only one from the list above I'm interested in having join the crew is Jenny.

DrWholocked
DrWholocked

Lady Christina, the Doctor's Daughter, Martha and Cass. Of those, my number 1 choice would be Cass. Wouldn't it be ace if Cass turned out to be the original version of Clara? Moff, I want a 10% cut for providing that story arc. Cash only, no cheques! :D

TheOncomingFish
TheOncomingFish

I wish Sally Sparrow was a companion. She was a great character and Carey Mulligan is an amazing actress. 

The Moment
The Moment

They need to bring back Jenny, NOW!!!

tealeaves
tealeaves

I really think Rita should have been on the list. She was a companion who managed to be simultaneously smart, warm, funny and complex. I feel as though in some ways Rita embodies a lot of what writers have tried to do with the character of Clara - She was a companion who could keep up with the Doctor. In one episode we got a beautiful tantalising insight into the life of Rita who was pressured by her father into doing well in school, who could compartmentalise the strangeness of her life, who still held with her a Muslim faith, the kind of character development writers have failed to give Clara in half a series (Don't get me wrong I love Clara!).

A Waving Tentacle
A Waving Tentacle

Classic who:

Altos & Sabetha

Anne Travers

Jago & Litefoot

Duggan

Professor Rumford

Todd

Glitz & Dibber

Herbert

Rachel, Allison & Gilmore

Grace

the_ponds_forever
the_ponds_forever

I think Crowley- Oh wait, I mean Canton(XD), Would make a great companion! I wish he would come back but I think that Mark Sheppard would be to busy filming Supernatural

Regenerated Catterson
Regenerated Catterson

I want Jenny to come back :( Seriously, I do...Yeah Lady Christina could've been a great companion. I would've loved Canton to be in the TARDIS full-time too :)

PaddyB
PaddyB

Moffat could subvert last year's impossible girl arc by having Cass (from Night of the Doctor) traveling with the Doctor and killing him at the end of every episode. In the series finale she accidentally leaves the Doctor to be the companion to a Dalek (because she can't tell the difference)!

Whogasms
Whogasms

Moffat didn't write The Lodger. Also Rita from The God Complex was brilliant. The Doctor cried when she died. Lorna Bucket as well. And Astrid Peth was pretty good. 

PK-S
PK-S

Lady Christina, no? I've already established why I love the character (not Michelle Ryan) so I'd kill many to get her back.

Seekles
Seekles

DUGGAN! Astrid would've been awesome too. The list goes on and on.

ajl117
ajl117

Two Words. Adam Mitchell.

Kylephantom4
Kylephantom4

We forgetting Michelle Ryan as Lady Christina? She would have made a good companion, she is probably still flying around the world in that bus lol

Malohkeh
Malohkeh

Only one I want to see back on this list is Canton. I'd also love returns from Lorna Bucket and Rita, though.


Mercy Reborn2
Mercy Reborn2

I think i would like Jenny to come back someday

Iris Wildthyme
Iris Wildthyme

Sorry to make an incredibly fannish correction here, but Idris was not entirely the first time we had something like her. Compassion, an EDA character who first appeared in Interference, released in 1999. Compassion's arc later had her turn into a TARDIS in The Shadows of Avalon, and the Doctor and fellow companion Fitz then traveled around, ah, in her. While Compassion definitely didn't live up to her potential (there were plenty of interesting stories waiting to be told with her), this wasn't the first time we had a living TARDIS. However, Compassion was the "mother" of the Type 103 TARDISes, which were living beings; maybe a rival Time Lord (with Gallifrey's return) could be Idris/Compassion's spiritual successor?





The_Companion
The_Companion

Idris technically still is a companion, since she's the TARDIS :P

DaftDalek
DaftDalek

Am I the only one who would really like Ada from The Crimson Horror to return?

DaftDalek
DaftDalek

I'm one of those few who isn't fond of Idris. That's not due to Suranne Jones' acting. Just the idea of the TARDIS being someone the Doctor would flirt with is uncomfortable to me. I have always thought the TARDIS as a loyal friend and not the greatest love story thing Neil Gaiman came up with. Obviously, I wouldn't like Idris to return. I'm also against her return, because as you who like her often say, it would reduce the emotional value of The Doctor's Wife. Personally, I didn't find any of that but I can understand you. 

VictorWong1
VictorWong1

I wouldn't mind a revisit with Craig, but his "take" is that he's the "stay-at-home" companion, the anchor for one of the Doctor's "Earth-based neighborhood" adventures. A "something scary in suburbia" story would be perfect for featuring him.

I like Delaware too, but I want the version played by Morgan Sheppard, the retiree out for one last adventure.

Idris? No, she's a one-off, and she should stay a one-off. She just represents the one time the Tardis gets to express itself with a human voice, and that's as it should be.

KristiStoneman
KristiStoneman

Characters already mentioned that I would have liked to see as companions: Jenny, Lynda Moss, Rita, Sally Sparrow, Duggan, Craig Owens, and Lady Christina de Souza.  

Others I would have liked as companions are Samantha Briggs ("The Faceless Ones"), Rachel "Ray" Defwydd ("Delta and the Bannermen"), Rodan ("The Invasion of Time"), Isobel Watkins ("The Invasion") and UNIT Pvt. Ross Jenkins ("The Sontaran Stratagem"/"The Poison Sky").



MaraBackman
MaraBackman

Jenny could return and become a recurring character, if not a full-on companion. Either way, her story arc could be about the Doctor bonding with one of his own kind and trying to teach Jenny about Gallifrey.

If the show will ever be re-tooled so that the Doctor travels temporarily without companions, then Idris could be brought back as a holographic representation of the TARDIS. Although I'd prefer if the Doctor had K-9 for company.

TheRiseOfTheTwelfth
TheRiseOfTheTwelfth

Rita from The God Complex. She was so clever, so witty, and just so damn likeable. In one episode Toby Whitehouse created such a deeply, well, complex character with many levels, many layers, so many of which we never got the chance to explore. Definitely one that got away. "Oh you're good. Oh she's good. Amy, with regret, you're fired."


diego_leon1399
diego_leon1399

I think that in that list would be perfect Astrid Peth (Astrid Tardis' anagram) just think in how she grave ver life just to save the doctor and how helped the other tripulantes from the Space Titanic

Sir James Bond
Sir James Bond

For every Ying there is a Yang. For every 'up' there is a 'down'. For every K.I.T.T there is a K.A.R.R. And for every list of '5 Could Have Been Companions' there is a list of 'What The F*ck Were They Thinking' companions. So ladies gentlemen and variations thereupon, I present to you the five least appropriate people to ever sneak, smuggle, or frog-march their way into the TARDIS.

5. Creepy Poem Girl from 'The Beast Below' -  A bit like little Amelia Pond, only more rhymey, Welshy, and creepy.

4. Luke Rattigan - A bit like Adric, only more annoying.....with an unconvincing American accent. 

3. Tallulah - A bit like Tegan, only quieter......and with a slightly more convincing American accent. 

2. Gadget Gadget - A bit like K9, but with a limited vocabulary,.....and fire up his ass. 

1. Hitler - A bit like Turlough, only more Third Reichy.




Romanadvoratrelundar
Romanadvoratrelundar

@EricPavlat Christina for sure! She was so different from any of the other New Series companions, she had the attitude of River and the sass of Donna but on a totally different scale. She would have been so interesting if she got to know the Doctor better.

TardisBoy
TardisBoy

The writer of this article said: "I think she’s very different. She’s like nothing we’ve ever seen on the show before, certainly not in the new series."  - whilst a character like Idris was included in Doctor Who related media, Idris was the first character of her kind seen on the actual TV show :)

Creepy_Ghoul
Creepy_Ghoul

@DaftDalek I hadn't thought of that yet, but it would've been interesting. She would've been the first "Blind Companion" of the series.

Kylephantom4
Kylephantom4

Thats truel now that we are on the hunt for Gallifrey, this would be the perfect opportunity for Jenny to return!

Malohkeh
Malohkeh

@TakeTheType40 @Malohkeh I meant younger Lorna, I suppose. And there's so many ways to reverse death in the Who universe, there's nothing to really stop characters from reappearing...

stig oien
stig oien

@Kylephantom4 Never thought of it that way. Sounds like a good way to reintroduce Jenny. Even as a full-on companion for a while and then becoming a recurring character. She is probably able to regenerate too, so we can have Jenny along even if Georgia Tennant get tired of playing her.