A Few Thoughts On Danny Pink

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Patrick Kavanagh-Sproull shares some early views on the recent casting of Samuel Anderson.

Danny-SAMUEL-ANDERSON-dalek

Well, I’m pretty chuffed. Samuel Anderson, another runaway from Emmerdale, is joining the TARDIS duo and making it a trio in the show’s forthcoming eighth series. Anderson is playing Danny Pink, a colleague of Clara’s at Coal Hill School, and, one can but presume he’ll be filling in the male companion role that has been left vacant since Arthur Darvill’s Rory got zapped back in time.

I’m pleased with Pink’s part in Peter Capaldi’s first series but there are a lot of things to be considered as, hopefully, this article will look over. Call it a sequel to my piece at the back-end of last year regarding a potential new assistant.

A guy to Clara’s gal.

Not a day goes by without another selection of ageism comments regarding the rather marvellous Capaldi (basing that on his track record). It seems that a knot of people out there still think that the Twelfth Doctor couldn’t have a romantic interest in Clara – because of his age. It’s ludicrous, of course, as it would be perfectly possible for the pair to work as a couple but, if we’re honest, it’s most likely not going to happen. Now that the chiselled cheekbones (who wasn’t jealous of Matt Smith’s?) and quiffs are behind us and we’ve got an “old beast to snarl at you for a bit” it seems the coquettish Clara is without someone to fawn over. Enter Danny. Judging by the online reaction Anderson’s physique has been well accepted so now we’ve got an attractive guy to Jenna Coleman’s attractive gal.

I do have qualms, though. The last couple to step over the TARDIS threshold – and, undoubtedly, the most popular but that’s if we don’t consider the silent, steamy chemistry between Adric and Nyssa (it was there, we all know it) – were Amy and Rory: the redhead and the nurse. When they left the streets of the world flowed salty with the tears of weeping fans; they were universally adored. This was down to the banter shared by Arthur Darvill and Karen Gillan but, most importantly, their evolution. By The Angels Take Manhattan they’d moved on from The Vampires of Venice (no ill feelings to that underrated gem) considerably all thanks to Steven Moffat’s development. If Danny and Clara (could their portmanteau name be ‘Clanny’… an eerie resemblance to Clyde and Rani of The Sarah Jane Adventures’ ‘Clani’ relationship) are just a couple for the sake of being a couple I’ll be disappointed. But who knows, they could have similar development as Amy and Rory? Only time will tell.

The impossible boy.

Clara Oswin Oswald (or you could scratch that middle bit): the Impossible Girl. It sounds good, it looks good, it wasn’t executed as… good. The latter half of series seven had a story arc centred around a neophyte companion, Clara and how she ended up splintered throughout time. The answer was not witchcraft (my own sneaky suspicion) but rather she hopped into the Doctor’s time stream and saved him ‘all at once’. Everything was tied up hence and the Eleventh Doctor and Clara travelled on. The lovely Jenna Coleman’s companion wasn’t as well received as Steven Moffat and his chums down at the BBC hoped so the impossible girl arc wasn’t too well received either. When Danny Pink steps into the fray (I’ve ran his name through an anagram checker umpteen times and it’s not come out with ‘Davros’, ‘Master’ or ‘Paradise Towers swimming pool crab’ so we can erase those three possible story arcs off our collective lists) hopefully he will actually step into it and not get introduced as a story arc or a plot device. Occasionally I watch Rose or Smith and Jones and smile at the simplicity of Martha and Rose’s introductions; they’re one of the things I love about the Russell T Davies era.

A premature introduction or perfect timing?

As I said before, Clara hasn’t been welcomed with as open arms as past companions and, in my view, audiences need a bit more time to warm to her (although if The Time of the Doctor showed us anything, she’s definitely improving). It took Amy a full series before we were comfortable with Rory travelling alongside her (I’m discounting Rory’s odd appearance in series five) and the series split has muddled things up. I’m not too sure if Clara has had enough time on her own to now be forced to share the TARDIS but it hasn’t been confirmed that Danny will appear from Capaldi’s opener to the series finale (although going by filming pictures he won’t) – or, as a matter of fact, be a companion and not a Madam Vastra/Kate Stewart returner.

Welcome aboard, Danny Pink. I hope you’re good. Good in that you’re resourceful and funny and likeable and heroic (I’d rather like an instant hero; Rory could be macho, it just took him a while to really find his feet with Amy and around the Doctor) and everything that has made previous companions so fantastic. And yes, it is bigger-on-the-inside.

Step back in time...