Top 10 Companion Exits

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Guest contributor William Atkinson counts down the top 10 best companion exits so far.

Oh, woe is me! As the Ponds prepare to make their heart-breaking exit on TV, I think it’s just the right time to review the previous times that the Doctor’s best friends have left him. Top 10 time, me thinks…

10. Jamie and Zoe -- The War Games

A very sad ending for two great companions -- minds wiped and dumped back where they came from with only knowledge of their first adventure with the Doc. Always brings a tear to my eye when I watch it and it’s well deserving of a place in the top ten.

9. The Brigadier -- The Wedding of River Song

Not technically a goodbye as the Brigadier doesn’t actually feature, but for emotional impact it’s second to none. No less that the great man, and the great actor who played him, deserved. Bye Brig, we’ll miss you.

8. Victoria -- Fury from the Deep

Rose’s departure wasn’t the first emotional goodbye on a beach for Doctor Who and even from the audios it’s still quite touching.

7. Tegan -- Resurrection of the Daleks

Though it feels slightly tacked on, it is a beautifully written and acted scene that heralds the beginning of the end for the fifth Doctor’s era.

6. Susan -- The Dalek Invasion of Earth

“One day…” The most classic of classic speeches and one of the most emotional departures. You know the show is evolving when it loses one of the main characters and Doctor Who demonstrates its own unique style for the first time. It’s been done since in a similar way since, but there a few better than this.

5. Jo -- The Green Death

It’s blatant what’s going on here -- the Doc’s been dumped. That sad smile as he drives off into the sunset still tugs the heartstrings 40 years later.

4. Sarah Jane -- The Hand of Fear

And know we get into the real tearjerkers. The last look of goodbye, Sarah walking away, that music, that owl… A classic ending for the classic companion.

3. Donna -- Journey’s End

A modern repeat of Jamie and Zoe’s fate -- but if there’s one thing RTD could do well, it was make something emotional and I think this left a flood of tears across the country.

2. Rose -- Doomsday

If the previous one was a flood, then this was a tidal wave. So emotional, so sad….so ruined by the fact she comes back two years later. But hey, if you forget that, it’s still brilliant.

So that leaves us with number 1. Numero uno. And it could only be one…

1. Adric -- Earthshock

How could it be anything else? As Steven Moffat put it: ”It was a show that had never been surprising before, being surprising twice”. Or, less cryptically, it came out of the blue. Nobody knew what was going to happen. First we’d had the Cybermen for the first time in seven years -- extremely surprising. But killing a companion? Downright shocking. Of course, we all hated him, but in one action Adric went from Annoying Boy Genius TM to Mis-Understood Hero TM. An absolutely fantastic scene, well written and well performed-its probably the only bit of acting Matthew Waterhouse has ever managed. Brilliant ending to a brilliant serial.

And the Ponds? From what we’ve heard Adric might be in trouble.

But hey, in the 80’s he was in trouble every episode, so same old, same old.