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Danny Pink: Recurring How?

Guest contributor Francis Milan ponders on Mr Pink’s role.

danny-doctor-who-space

What do we actually know about Danny Pink? When you break down the information from the press release, you’ll find that the answer is… Not very much. In fact, you could pack the gist of it into four basic points. Danny Pink is…

  • a) A Coal Hill schoolteacher
  • d) Played by Samuel Anderson
  • c) A recurring character in Series 8
  • b) Omega in disguise

A-ha! I had you for a minute there! Well done for spotting the error. I swapped the ‘b’ and the ‘d’ by mistake.

The point I want to hone in on is that he’ll be a ‘recurring character’, because one of the biggest question marks placed on his future on Doctor Who is just how recurring he will be. I’ve narrowed down a shortlist of past characters who could be labelled a ‘recurring character’, to try and uncover which type Danny might be.

The Should-Have-Been Astrid-type

tennant-doctor-kylie-voyageOkay, I’ll concede, this is probably the least likely option, considering that Astrid can’t really be classed as recurring. However, the list of could-have-beens is fairly extensive: a brief selection includes Lynda, Jenny, Rita, Lorna and Cass. This sort of character shows so much promise when the Doctor arrives at their door. They’re bold, gutsy, and more than just companion material. The audience root for them; we long for the Doctor to turn around in the closing moments of the episode and offer them a trip in the TARDIS. Sadly, there’s always one object that stands in the way of this – they’re usually dead by the time the credits roll. So, picture this: Danny is the typical good guy. Clara’s best buddies with him, the Doctor respects him, and the audience at home love him to bits. Of course he’ll have passed the companion initiation test come the end of the episode. But hold on a minute – he just died heroically saving the TARDIS team, destroying the main antagonist in some bizarre forklift truck-related incident. Bah.

The F-Grade Adam-type

adam-mitchell-doctor-whoCould Danny be the companion that failed to meet the mark? Adam Mitchell is the prime example of this – he could potentially bear some similarities with Danny. From what we know, Mr Pink will appear in at least two successive episodes: episodes 4 and 5. Adam also appeared in two episodes. The Doctor and Clara could pick up Danny in present-day Earth and promise to whisk him away for a trip in the TARDIS to see the universe. And so they do. Out in the future, Pink discovers he can manipulate foreknowledge of time to his own advantage, perhaps researching developments in technology or discovering catastrophic events which he could prevent in the present day. That’s a no-go, kid. You’re going home!

The Stay-At-Home Wilf-type

eotdec-(1)Every companion needs someone at home to hold the fort. This is usually a close relative: Rose had Jackie, Martha had Francine, Donna had Wilf, Clara has the Maitlands. You could even say that the Doctor had Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart to visit at home for the best part of 500 years. Could Danny qualify as one of these characters? Every story where Clara comes home to some sort of alien plot which needs a team of heroes to defeat, she and the Doctor can call on kick-ass Danny Pink to lend a helping hand. However, this would depend on him not being TARDIS-travelling material, for reasons undecided. Maybe he’s allergic to time?

The Rank-Climbing Mickey-type

mickey-journeys-endLooking back, Mickey has probably experienced the most drastic of changes in character in the modern era of the show. From 2005 to 2010, he developed from a cowardly bedroom-lurking idiot to Cybus-combatting freedom fighter who kicks asses for UNIT in his spare time. This sort of characterisation would be welcomed back to the show with open arms. He’s an example of how the Doctor empowers the people he crosses paths with, often for the better. Danny could be a timid wimp of a teacher whose life is changed by the Doctor, travelling in the TARDIS on and off. If he sticks around long enough as a semi-regular, he could leave the show as nothing short of a hero.

The Other-Half Ian-type

ian-barbara-doctor-whoThough many would campaign against it, it may not be too long before we end up with another married couple on the TARDIS, similar to Amy and Rory. It certainly offers a diverse dynamic to what we’ve known in the years prior to the 2010s. Following Samuel’s announcement as a Coal Hill schoolteacher, many fans of the Classic era instantly drew parallels between Clara and Danny’s presence on the TARDIS and that of Ian and Barbara. Though it was never explicitly stated on-screen, many people see Ian’s relationship with Barbara as affectionate and romantic, so they were naturally perceived as a couple. So, if the omens are true, could that 60s duo have already foretold the pairing of Clara and Danny?

The Steadfast Jamie-type

jamie-mccrimmon-frazer-hines-companionAmong the longest-serving companions, and certainly the most prolific male TARDIS member on the show, Jamie McCrimmon was a regular presence in Doctor Who from one of the Second Doctor’s early adventures, and saw Patrick Troughton’s tenure through to the very end. If Danny Pink joins in episode 4, it could be building up to one of the most enduring Doctor-companion set-ups of all time. He could outlast Clara, and his image could become synonymous with the Peter Capaldi era of Doctor Who.

As you have probably surmised, the possibilities I’ve listed meet a spike of likelihood towards the middle, whereas each end of the spectrum (Astrid and Jamie) are less probable. But hey, who am I to decide? My personal hope is that he follows either the Mickey route or, quite conversely, the Adam route. Perhaps he’ll even define a brand new style of companion! Maybe he takes a couple of trips in the TARDIS, and decides the time travelling life isn’t for him. Who knows? Can anyone out there in Commentland think of an interesting format for Danny? I’d love to hear everyone’s suggestions.

But please note, he’s Omega in disguise, so all your theories will be futile attempts at concealing the obvious truth. Soz!

Step back in time...

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60 comments
JenniferAdams1
JenniferAdams1

I have my own theory, well 2, about who Danny Pink is. I'm still formulating the 2nd theory. I'd be happy to submit my first theory for review.


Liana21
Liana21

If I can choose, i want an Ian, a Jamie (Is it weird that I'm creating crushes with people that pass 60 years old today?) or a Rory.

What I like from Ian and Rory, is that under their images so normal and even quirky (in Rory's terms), you find a true hero, loyal and responsible. And from Jamie is the strong bond and bromance he made with The Doctor.

MikeJackson4
MikeJackson4

I wouldn't be surprised if the rumors of Capaldi being a one-season Doctor like Eccleston that this guy might turn out to be the 13th Doctor from the future back here with the 12th Doctor for timey-wimey reasons. I keep expecting something like this to happen sooner or later.

teddybowties
teddybowties

.I want a companion that isn't human and if production restraints allow, isn't humanOID.  more histprical episodes, and more episodes not set on or nera or having to di WITH Earth.


humanity is NOT more important than the rest of the universe.;)probably.





Badwolf2
Badwolf2

a really good companion maybe someone who is brave but human like everyone on earth with faults but funny too

Unibot
Unibot

I think it's possible we could see several of these characteristics filled! I do dislike like, however, how RTD's companions like Mickey, Rose and Martha turned into "soldiers" in a way with UNIT. Davros called The Doctor out for it and I think Eleven made a conscious effort to keep Amy, Rory and Clara more civilianized. But one of the curious things about RTD's era was I felt we were suppose to praise them when "whimpy" Mickey or "whiny" Martha turned into "soldier" Mickey and "soldier" Martha. I would have just liked to have seen Martha become a successful doctor and Mickey to, well, get a job and find out what he really wants in life -- maturing but not in the violent, rah-rah tough guy sense. 

Pockydon
Pockydon

Great article Francis! I'm personally hoping for another Jamie type sometime soon, though in this day and age people would naturally jump to the 'gay' stereotype, just as they did with Frozen when that had two same-sex characters who happened to say they loved each other...even when they were both sisters. Or how the Sherlock fandom is incessant on Sherlock and Watson being gay. Somehow, I don't think the internet is ready for another Jamie, though I wish it was.

EricHarzer
EricHarzer

Percentage Chance that Danny Pink is Omega...100.





Dominic Miller
Dominic Miller

It would be nice to have the Jamie kind of companion. We haven't had one of those since... well, Jamie.


VortexDan
VortexDan

Oh god I hope he's not a love interest

TheGloamglozer
TheGloamglozer

I think he should be like the Astrid-type, but stay for three or four episodes before a shock death.

Seaborn W Deadman
Seaborn W Deadman

I really hope he and the Doctor are chummy and funny together :) like Jamie and 2. Broooomance!

lukashcartoon
lukashcartoon

Why is everyone against Clara having a boyfriend?

The_Ogri
The_Ogri

I hope he stars off like Mickey and Rory eventually ended. Strong, independent and knows what they are doing. He could even be like super smart, like some of the Classic Companions.


Malohkeh
Malohkeh

I never got the whole Adam thing. The Doctor was rather unnecessarily cruel to him, particularly seeing as Rose did pretty much the same thing in "Father's Day".

Diana van der Pluijm
Diana van der Pluijm

Just let him be a male friend that goes on all sorts of adventures with the Doctor. No romances, no bromances, no nothing. Just a guy who's helping another guy deal with all kinds of adventure-y stuff.

The Finn
The Finn

Out of those presented in the article, I'd want him to be a mix of the Ian and Jamie types.

Planet of the Deaf
Planet of the Deaf

Danny doesn't look like the wimp turned hero Mickey/Rory, type, he looks too cocky for that, the carefully posed publicity photo shows someone confident in himself.


What other options are there?


The bloke that Clara falls in love with, and leaves the TARDIS for - I hope not, that would be a feeble way for her to leave the show.


An alien or the Master in disguise, who infiltrates the school as a means of killing the Doctor?


and as a real long shot...


If the 12th Doctor is gay, then perhaps he will have a relationship with Danny Pink, that would be an unexpected development for Clara :-)


Clara Laurinda
Clara Laurinda

I LOVE this article!! ii is witty and VERY thorough and organized. You could teach my students a thing or two about writing. I never thought of the companions as belonging to certain types but you are absolutely right. I love this new perspective you have given me. Thanks again for a fine article.

antimon_bush
antimon_bush

I don't think that we need a new companion but since we already have it I'd like him to be an interesting character. Maybe similar to Mickey/Rory but far more eccentric.

VictorWong1
VictorWong1

Two other types you might think of:


1. The Spinoff Potential Paternoster / Lestrade type: a character strong enough to warrant his or her own series.


2. The Society Referential Steve Buscemi type: let's face it, that last name is going to offer so many riffs on Reservoir Dogs ...

MikeFalino
MikeFalino

I hope it turns out to be the Jamie-type. I love the idea of companions outlasting other companions (and Doctors for that matter). And I think it's time for another companion besides "the pretty young thing". 


Chronos the Fannibal
Chronos the Fannibal

Maybe the Doctor already knows him, it is possible that maybe the Doctor placed him to teach in the same school as Clara as a precaution to protect her if anything goes wrong

ManWithChips
ManWithChips

I think he'll be a bit of a Series 5 Rory type. He gets introduced as a (boy)friend of Clara's, she leaves him for time and space, something deep and emotional happens and Clara and The Doctor return for him and take him on an adventure every now and then. He eventually becomes a full-time companion. Similar to Mickey, too, I guess.

Ninjauthor
Ninjauthor

great article, I'd like him to become a jamie type, simply because I'd like some companion overlap rather than having the doctor return to earth for a new companion origin story every time a companion leaves

danb26884
danb26884

I think that he is only firends with Clara because he is investigating the doctor for some kind of organisation (like UNIT or Torchwood), meaning he will probaby not travel in the tardis but will be on earth with the doctor and clara when they have adventures on earth!

keving139
keving139

So I think you for got about a campaion type. The evil turned good Turlough type.

Antee991166
Antee991166

Just as long as he isn't a love interest and doesn't some big mystery around him, I'm perfectly fine with it.

Chronos the Fannibal
Chronos the Fannibal

I would like if he has connections to Torchwood, which does exist as far as the time of the beast and toby zed etc. so because even though it's destroyed currently it's still going to be there in the future so he could be from a future Torchwood?…


Or I would like it if he was a bounty hunter or something like that


needcomicmoney
needcomicmoney

The Ian-Type, but not necessarily the Other-Half. Ian's function in the original series was to be the man-of-action beside the elderly Doctor, so with an older Doctor again this type could make sense in the modern action-packed (so much running!) series and he does not necessarily need to be a romantic interest. Plus having two teachers from Coal Hill School again is too good for Mr Moffat to resist.

MrGuymanwatch
MrGuymanwatch

I wouldn't like a "Rank-Climbing Mickey-type" for the sole reason that we've already repeated that with Rory not long ago. As great as both Mickey and Rory's journeys were, I'd rather something different, and looking at the promotional picture of Danny, I think we'll be getting a far more sauve and confident character in him. I'd love him to be something like Jamie, we don't get enough long-serving male companions.



awkward912
awkward912

What's interesting about Danny from the little we know so far is that Steven isn't keeping him back for his own episodes only, a la River, which suggests to me that we'll be seeing quite a bit of him.

 Notsosmartguy  the dalek of Jersey
Notsosmartguy the dalek of Jersey

As a long as he's not a Adam Mitchell he can whatever Moffat needs him to be :-) though my ideal preference is that he's a Colleague of Clara's that she can't stand for whatever reason.

The Administrator
The Administrator

"Mickey has probably experienced the most drastic of changes in character in the modern era of the show. "  Might I mention a certain Nurse/Centurion? But great article anyway!





Gustaff
Gustaff

Perhaps he's The Dragon to Series 8's Big Bad.

Liana21
Liana21

@MikeJackson4 That would be so timey wimey if finally Caecilius turns out to be the actual Doctor, Doctor Capaldi would've step on a previous and a following incarnations.

teddybowties
teddybowties

@Unibot  exactly. they were made out to be shallow little twits, and we were supposed to sympathize and see them as one of us, as everymen? REALLY? ARGH. nobody ever cares about how the TARDIs or the Doctor feel after atraumatic event.. nobody ever did except for Donna,  and Barbara, whoever else from the CLASSIC SERIES I'm forgetting. They show the new characters as the ones we should feel sorry for, but they don't exhibit any redeeming qualities; only selfishness.

teddybowties
teddybowties

@lukashcartoon  why is everyone against the Doctor having one?;)exactly. 8 had a thing for Alan Turing, didn't he? And Fitz!! oh Fitz... taht screwed up little... but they totally Did It.





Seaborn W Deadman
Seaborn W Deadman

That sounds like a bromance to me :) I'd love it if he and the Doctor were good buds.


teddybowties
teddybowties

@needcomicmoney  I think you may have something there. But relaly, i just want to see Ian and Barbara one more time. That would be a special treat. And since they probably havne't aged... well... double your pleasure. It will be fascinating to see the Doctor explain THAT ONE.

lukashcartoon
lukashcartoon

I never saw Rory as a Mickey type-on his second adventure he fought a vampire. Rory didn't like the doctor for the danger he was putting Amy in. So he was probably the most level headed of the companions