Comparing the Female Companions of Revived Who
Guest contributor Gemini R compares the main companions so far. Who comes out on top?
The companions in Doctor Who are of unbelievable importance to the show. We need someone to keep the mad man in a box in check. This is why I so often despise the Christmas specials, because we are introduced to characters that hold absolutely no bearing on the show. That being said, I do not like all of the companions that we’ve had in Doctor Who up to this point and in my mind, there is a clear superior companion. In this article I will examine what I liked about each companion and who is superior. It should be remembered that this is all opinion based and as such, is not a statement of fact, merely my own feelings.
What can I say about Rose? How about… I hate her. I hate her with every fibre of my being. This is no fault of Billie Piper as she acts superbly as Rose, bringing this utterly detestable character to our screens. Rose was the first companion for my generation of Doctor Who fans; she was the ordinary, working class individual who seized upon an opportunity to escape from what must have seemed like a pointless life after the events of ‘Rose’. In fact with Christopher Eccleston, if you didn’t look too closely at Rose you could very easily be mistaken into thinking that she is a good person. After all, she’s kind hearted, friendly, and she fights her fear when she’s in danger. However during her run with the 9th Doctor, she becomes the damsel in distress repeatedly, only managing to save herself a couple of times, whilst allowing the Doctor to rescue her from every danger imaginable. Of course, that is largely the companion’s duty it seems but that’s a topic for another day.
Ignoring her damsel in distress moments, Rose is also selfish. At 19 years old she is hardly a mature individual and she abandons her boyfriend all too quickly to go travelling with someone whom she has only just met. After then coming home after being missing for a year, she does not even call him when she’s home. Instead… she watches television. Upon meeting Captain Jack for the first time, she describes herself as ‘available’ despite having a boyfriend. However I must mention that she does everything in her power to go and help the Doctor in the series finale, unfortunately leading to her basically killing the Doctor. But that’s fine because he can regenerate… and there the problems start.
Throughout the 10th Doctor’s entire run, he is completely obsessed with Rose and why? Because she cannot let him go in any capacity. When she meets Sarah Jane for the first time, she’s jealous that the Doctor used to travel with someone other than her. This is understandable but why would you be so aggressive about it? Why not accept the Doctor’s past and move on instead of being mean towards a woman double her age. I could go on a lot longer about how disgusting Rose is but I will simply leave you with the memory of Rose kissing the human Doctor in front of the real Doctor, her Doctor, the man who went through all these adventures with her in two different faces and she kisses a half Donna, half Doctor who has been alive for 15 minutes and just committed genocide.
Why does everyone like this character? I don’t, although that’s not because I think that she is a poor companion. The writing for Martha is indeed several steps above the writing for Rose, however I didn’t approve of yet another girl travelling with the Doctor because she’s fallen madly in love with him. The reason I dislike Martha is because the show wants me to. Every time Martha demonstrates how much better a companion she is, the Doctor brings up how much he misses Rose and how lonely he is without Rose. If I liked Rose, I’d understand. I don’t have a lot to say about Martha other than she IS a better companion than Rose; I just wish the show had let us see that. Also, I was not amused when Russell T Davies wrote Martha and Mickey Smith as being married. It is not cool to put two characters that have nothing in common, except for the fact that they are both black, together.
Just when you were about to lose hope that anyone would be allowed to be acknowledged as a better companion than Rose, here comes Donna. Donna is my favourite companion of the Tennant era. After a shamefully poor first outing where the villain was a devious arachnid, essentially Dr Smith from the Lost in Space movie, Donna returned to our screens in Partners in Crime… another shamefully poor first outing. In fact, I don’t much like half the episodes she’s in to be honest. Then perhaps it is a testament to just how great this character is that I watch those episodes not because I like anything other than Donna, and of course her fascinating relationship with the Doctor. This is the first companion where she and the Doctor have been on the same page, they are best mates and nothing more. That is Doctor Who’s best atmosphere, where everything is laid back and it’s just two friends travelling the universe together. In fact, Donna is so much the Doctor’s equal that she even gets some Time Lord DNA… which is stupid but I appreciate the wacky science fiction stories like that. Donna is kind, loving, sassy and most importantly, she is the Doctor’s equal. She’s the best companion in the Tennant era and brings the qualities you want in a best friend.
Okay I admit it, I’m biased. The fact that Matt Smith is not only the Doctor I believe to be the best of ‘New Who’ but also ‘My Doctor’ means that I have a special place in my heart for the woman who would first travel with him. Despite Amy being flawed, it is through her travels with the Doctor that she becomes a better person. The Doctor shows up in her childhood and becomes an obsession for young Amelia, but upon meeting him when she is fully grown, she changes and becomes a new woman, learning that she is not meant to be with the Doctor. After trying to seduce the Doctor she learns that her Rory, the last centurion, is of course the man she is to be with. How could he not be? He’s loved her for years despite never being noticed and has always had her best interests at heart. Then of course Moffat decided to ruin Amy by mentioning that the reason her and Rory get separated for a brief time is because she can’t have his children. But ignoring that tiny facet of the idiocy that was ‘Asylum of the Daleks’ I love Amelia Pond. She is my Amelia and Rory is my Rory. I personally believe that without the Ponds, the 11th Doctor lost a huge part of himself and I don’t find him as appealing without that part. I will look back on Series 5 and 6 with fond memories of travelling with these imperfect, perfect people.
I debated whether to include Clara, she’s still fairly new after all with only half a series and couple of specials to her name. I don’t particularly care for Clara, but I don’t dislike her yet. She’s just kind of ‘there’ for me at the moment, filling in some space after the heartbreak of losing the Ponds. Maybe I’m still hung up on them but I don’t find anything about Clara interesting, not even the mystery of the impossible girl hooked me in as much as the cracks in time and Amy’s pregnancy.
After watching a fair amount of Doctor Who again, I’ve got to say that it is my opinion that Amelia Pond is the best companion to travel with the Doctor. Donna, is obviously a close second with Clara bringing up third, Martha being fourth and Rose being dead last. Amy is the best companion by far because she is the most interesting character. Amy evolved from her travels with the Doctor, something that I don’t really think the other companions can really say to any degree. Donna stayed exactly the same because the 10th Doctor deleted her journey with him. Martha just stopped fancying him and Rose… I won’t keep going on about her.
Clara unfortunately seems to lack any real characterization at this point and I don’t really feel like Moffat has put his whole weight behind writing her. But Amelia Pond was his first companion, she was the best companion and I don’t think anyone will be able to beat her out of that role.
Oh and if you’re wondering why I didn’t include River Song on this list well… She’s not as bad as Martha and Rose but not as good as Donna, put her next to Clara for characters I really don’t care about.