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Would you travel with the Doctor? Pros and Cons

Guest contributor Simon Beresford looks at past companion’s experiences and weighs up the good and the bad.

tennant-fires-come-with-me

Would you travel with the Doctor? It’s a question that almost needs no answer, right? I, like so many other Whovians, have been known on occasion to fantasize about how wonderful and exciting it would be to hop aboard the TARDIS and fly away with the Doctor. Many fans use fan fiction as a way of exploring these fantasies. Creating their own adventures, envisioning themselves as the Doctor or the trusty new companion. Whilst I am quite sure most of us would not hesitate to ditch our boring Earth bound lives in favour of travelling the universe with the Doctor, would it really be all it is cracked up to be? Let’s weigh up the pros and cons based on the adventures with past companions from New Who.

Disclaimer: I am not including the more obvious reasons like:

  • Pros: Travelling through time and space, meeting iconic and legendary figures, helping the Doctor to save planets and civilisations.
  • Cons: The constant dangers that come with travelling with the Doctor.

Instead I am going to concentrate on more specific things related to the companion’s character.

Rose Tyler

rose-bad-wolf-parting-of-the-ways

Pros:

  • In the episode Fathers Day Rose meets her father Pete for the first time (in her memory). Whilst this encounter does not end well, Rose at least had the opportunity to meet Pete and for a short time was happy.
  • The Parting of the Ways saw Rose become the “Bad Wolf” by looking directly into the Time Vortex, thus enabling her to save the Doctor and destroy the Daleks.
  • Throughout their adventures Rose had found an unspoken and pure kind of love with the Doctor.
  • Then finally, in the episode The Stolen Earth, after being reunited with the Doctor, it was time for her to go back to “Pete’s world.” However, this time the Doctor had a gift for Rose, the metacrisis Doctor. Even though at first Rose was not convinced, she was soon persuaded. She would now be able to live her life with the man she loves, only now he would age and be able to live a normal human life with her.

Cons:

  • In the episode The End of the World Rose witnessed the end of the Earth.
  • Again in the episode Father’s Day after the joy of finally meeting her father, it soon became clear to Pete that in order for the paradox to be put right, he would have to die after all.
  • Doomsday saw Rose trapped in an alternate universe, cut off from the Doctor forever (or so she thought)

Overall: I had always felt that Rose was somewhat lost in life, just sort of plodding along, that is until she met the Doctor. So I believe she came out of the experience better.

Martha Jones

martha-jones-doctor-who

Pros:

  • Other than the obvious travelling through time and space with the Doctor, visiting new worlds, meeting new races and historical legends, I find it quite hard to find any other specific pros for Martha.

Cons:

  • Firstly, throughout her travels Martha started to develop strong feelings toward the Doctor. However, it became clear to Martha, that the Doctor would never reciprocate these feelings.
  • In the episode The Poison Sky, Martha came face to face with her clone. Cloned by the Sontarans as a puppet. This concluded with the Martha clone dying in her arms.
  • The Master kidnapped and enslaved Martha’s family in the episode Last of the Time Lords.

Overall: I felt that Martha’s time with the Doctor was quite sad and unsatisfying for her.

Donna Noble

donna-noble-series-4-promo

Pros:

  • Again, all of the obvious pros apply.
  • In The Fires of Pompeii, Donna had managed to convince the Doctor to save a family from certain death, despite his better judgement.
  • Journey’s End saw Donna become part Time Lord enabling her to save all of creation from Davros and the Daleks.
  • Donna’s time with the Doctor came to an emotional end, with her unable to remember her time with the Doctor and if she did, even for a minute, her mind would burn. However, a huge plus was that she had been left somewhat happy. Unable to remember the Doctor she was blissfully unaware of the loss that she had suffered, also the Doctor had delivered a winning lottery ticket to her mother and grandfather to ensure that Donna would have a good life.

Cons:

  • Donna’s first big con came from her first appearance in The Runaway Bride. Helping the Doctor to defeat the Racnoss Empress revealed to Donna that Lance, her fiancé, had been working with the Empress all along and was not in love with Donna at all, but rather was just interested in the cultivating the Huon particles that he had been dosing her with.
  • In The Fires of Pompeii, this is when Donna found out about fixed points in time and not meddling with them, despite the mass loss of life or sacrifice that it may involve.
  • In Planet of the Ood, Donna was outraged at the human race for enslaving the Ood and was deeply upset by the Ood song of captivity.
  • After saving all of creation, from Davros and the Daleks in Journey’s End, the Doctor had no other choice other than to wipe Donna’s mind of all memories of her time in the TARDIS and with the Doctor.

Verdict: Donna fast became the Doctor’s best mate, there was absolutely zero sexual tension between the two. I feel that Donna had grown more than any other companion as a result of her time with the Doctor.

Amy

Doctor-Who-Amy

Pros:

  • It was Amy that had worked out that the Star Whale had volunteered to help the humans (specifically the children) on the Starship UK, by allowing them to ride on his back. Therefore there was no need to torture the poor creature.
  • In Vincent and the Doctor Amy met Vincent van Gogh. Vincent took rather a shine to Amy leading to a marriage proposal and a dedication inscription on the world famous Sunflowers painting.
  • Throughout her adventures Amy started to realise more and more that it was Rory that she truly loved. In the end she proved this beyond any doubt by choosing to be zapped back in time by the Angels in order to be with Rory in favour of staying with the Doctor.

Cons:

  • Amy saw some truly horrible things during her time with the Doctor. The first thing that affected her was the torture of the Star Whale in The Beast Below.
  • In The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone, Amy was inhabited by a Weeping Angel that was trying to escape through her open eyes. It was in this episode we learned that an image of an Angel can itself become an Angel.
  • In the episode Amy’s Choice Amy watches as Rory becomes a pile of dust after being sprayed by the Eknodine. Emotionally broken Amy decides that the only way out of this nightmare is to take her own life and the Doctor.
  • The Almost People reveals to us that Amy has not been (physically) on board the TARDIS for some time, but has been kidnapped by Madame Kovarian, so that she may take Amy’s baby, and fashion it into a weapon against the Doctor.
  • A Good Man Goes To War sees the Doctor and Rory heroically save Amy and her baby, Melody Pond. However, the joy is short lived when it is revealed that Melody was in fact a ganger and now Amy has lost her baby.
  • We find out in Asylum of the Daleks, that after what happened to Amy at Demons run she can no longer have children of her own (personally for me I found this slightly distasteful and unnecessary, I do fully understand why this was added, but still I found it unnecessary to the overall story)
  • When Rory was sent back to New York by the Weeping Angels in The Angels Take Manhattan Amy did not hesitate to let the Angel send her back so that she could be with Rory, despite the Doctor begging her not to.

Verdict: I think it’s safe to say that Amy suffered the most heartache from travelling with the Doctor. However, I think Amy is one of the strongest women to ever grace the TARDIS, and she always managed to pick herself back up to enjoy life and her adventures with the Doctor.

Conclusion

So for me personally the answer to my question would still be yes, without doubt. Whilst travelling with the Doctor would undoubtedly be dangerous and sometimes life threatening, it would be so exciting to see new worlds and time periods, to meet historical icons and save alien worlds. Besides we could get hit by a boring old bus tomorrow, walking to the boring old shop. I would much rather take my chances with a Dalek, if it meant travelling the universe with a mad man in a box.

Step back in time...

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144 comments
NedLi
NedLi

screw that, ofc i would travel with the doctor.. we are all going to die at some point. Live your life to the fullest right? how much fuller can travelling with the doctor get? Sure you MIGHT regret it if you get into some life threatening danger, who knows? but you WILL regret it if you turn down the offer.

DaireConstantineOReilly
DaireConstantineOReilly

If I traveled with the doctor I'd be the "gets kidnapped in every episode guy"

I have big curly hair, Big Nose and never keep my opinion to myself no matter how Controversial they may be. Here is a fun list of Cons/misfortunes that would happen to me on Historical Visits only pre-1960s

Ancient Rome - taken as a slave

Dark Ages - Burned at the stake for saying bad things about there god(s)

1500s Italy -sent away for torture based on my scientific views

1700s - Sold into slavery Again

1944 Berlin - Mistaken as Jew (the curly hair)

1950s America - Arrested for being Russian spy because of all my gadgets I like to carry, cellphone or a psvita.

I'd have a bad time with the Doctor. Bad luck I mean.

PS: I wrote this for fun so don't take this too seriously

DaireConstantineOReilly
DaireConstantineOReilly

In reality , we would all be scared to death if we found aliens were real and would run a mile after looking inside the TARDIS. Most would freak out and not except it was real and need years of therepy. I was watching The News when I was younger and it said that a alien ship was hovering over Dublin In Ireland,(the Irish News did it as. Joke - a pre Toy Show Joke. Irish people will understand) the joke report was so genuine I got really scared, and was releived it was a Joke. I think it's best left in fiction, But I would like to see the future from my point of view/time. And if we did get a time machine we would use it for profit.

Romanadvoratrelundar
Romanadvoratrelundar

I always wondered about this. If I didn't know the Doctor, would it really be something I would do? It's a pretty big risk - leaving everything behind to run away with a man in a box who could very well be crazy axe murdered for all you know.


WhoMallow666
WhoMallow666

I totally travel as a NuWho companion, no major problems yet. But life as a Classic companion way more hazardous, they were way more likely to be captured (everyone), hipnotized (Sarah Jane, et al.), tortured (Sarah Jane, Harry, Romana, etc.), left behind (Sarah Jane), experimented on (Peri), and/or killed off for emotional impact (Adric)... so maybe.

YgorVale
YgorVale

Theres a con with time travelling at together, you forget how old you are, or you'll think your younger than you are.

NewWho2012
NewWho2012

Of course like everyone I'd love to travel in the Tardis with the Doctor, not that it matters which Doctor, but if I could pick one I'd know which one I'd choose. Not really an adventurous person so I don't think I'd take full advantage of the adventures, but who knows I might feel different after I'd seen new things. But would be nice to travel backwards and forwards in time for a start.

WhoPotterVian
WhoPotterVian

I'd be a bit of a shy companion, rarely gathering the courage to stand up to the Doctor and following whatever the Doctor says.

Chronos the Fannibal
Chronos the Fannibal

I would probably want to do the same as Amy and hang out of the Tardis and just float there, but perhaps not done as gracefully as I would like… 

"Stop thrashing!" 

"but my foot is ticklish" *spins off into space dying while laughing*

Lord of Time
Lord of Time

Considering what happened to Martha (supporting the Doctor in a shop in 1969, having to put up with racism of the 1910's for 2 months and having to walk the war ravaged Earth for a year) it does raise a good question...

gunslinger19
gunslinger19

I think theres an aspect of playing god when traveling with the doctor and a wiser, stronger person wouldn't feel the need to abandon their own life and live a life that, while fun and exciting, is almost entirely irrelevant to your own existence, threatens everyone you love and is likely to end badly with possible death. on the other hand, I would definitely travel with him!

DawnTime
DawnTime

Hmm I think we have all thought of this over the years......... I think it depends on where we are in our lives.  When I was younger definitely before I was married and met my husband. Not so much as I get older I am very happy with my life.  If just the one trip. and with Doctors 4, 8 or 11 then into the future I would go.  I don't really live in the past.!

sontaran17
sontaran17

I wouldn't say that. The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things.The good things don't always soften the bad things, but vice-versa, the bad things don't necessarily spoil the good things and make them unimportant.




robertcyberman
robertcyberman

As long as I could select which incarnation of the Doctor I'd be travelling with.  If it was 10, forget it.

JailBanksters
JailBanksters

If there really was a Doctor, I'd even put on Lipstick and Dress if it bought me a Ticket.



Seaborn W Deadman
Seaborn W Deadman

If I could travel with the Doctor I'd probably pick Moffats house first. And threaten him at sonic point to be nice to beloved characters and make the daleks scary again.

WintersRose92
WintersRose92

Also, Martha's entire season was about her either saving/taking care of the Doctor or surviving on her own. I think Martha gets a lot of flank for coming after Rose and happening to like the Doctor too. :p As for me, there are a lot of risk, but there are risk in everything, that's what living is about. I'd love to join the Doctor!

Nightmarish
Nightmarish

Interesting, however I feel that in the end Martha came out of her time with the Doctor with more confidence and some important lessons learned. 

Polyphase
Polyphase

Poor Donna, I'll never get over that departure :( 

Would travel with him, Bloody Oath :)

BLINKANDYOUREDEAD
BLINKANDYOUREDEAD

I would LOVE to travel in space and time, mainly for the science and knowing I would make an impact, but everything else too. Being nearly killed all the time isn't necessarily a con either. Yes you could die, but I would much rather die doing the right thing, than end up dying of old age or some disease in a hospital bed. 

Seaborn W Deadman
Seaborn W Deadman

On the subject of traveling with the Doctor, I think it's time for another solo male companion, when Clara's left. Rory was great of course but he always seemed a bit sidelined by Amy. I loved Jamie, and another guy would certainly freshen things up, and amusing bromances are popular now :P alas it probably won't be awhile. At least probably not while Moffat is still running the show, to avoid too many similarities with Sherlock.

Chronos the Fannibal
Chronos the Fannibal

Thing is I think I would probably be quite clumsy. Like If the Doctor left me alone in the Tardis for a second: 

"I broke it"

"Broke what?"

"Time and Space"

'WHAT?! HOW CAN YOU BRAKE BOTH TIME AND SPACE? THAT'S NOT EVEN POSSIBLE"







rde94
rde94

I would be in that TARDIS before he even finished asking me, how could anyone turn down such a unique experience?!

grabate
grabate

I'm of the minority who would never travel with the Doctor, along with the inherent dangers at the end of the day you just a pet. Now the Doctor does care about his pets but they there to combat his loneliness and make him feel good about himself. When the pet "dies" the Doctor will pick just get himself a new pet and never discuss your or any previous pets with the new one like you were some object that got lost and was replaced.

Sir James Bond
Sir James Bond

I'd love too, but unfortunately I can't! 

Apparently, I'm 'Artron intolerant', which means I can't step inside - or attempt to nibble - any part of a TARDIS.  

I'm on a special diet and everything. 

B*gger!

Seaborn W Deadman
Seaborn W Deadman

Forget the cons, forget my life, I would jump in that Tardis the moment I heard that tell tale wheeze, plop down in a chair, and ask the Doctor politely for some tea and where we'd be going first.

Judge Claude Frollo
Judge Claude Frollo

Pros: Family? What family? I get to travel with the Doctor! I'm ready to sacrifice anything for that!

Cons:Oh, dear, either I'm dreaming, or I'm fictional and in the hands of Steven Moffat, or even worse, Michael Grade.

GWad84
GWad84

I thought Asylum of the Daleks did a decent job of making them scary again.

WiblyWoblyTimyWimyMOFFAT
WiblyWoblyTimyWimyMOFFAT

Yeah, I'd say him that TOTD better should have been a 2 parter, and he should make a minisode where eleven and river go to darillium! They could make it shortly after river had her comeback.Also like your avatar but the daleks werent scary in the rtd era and I don't think anyone could make them scary again!

WintersRose92
WintersRose92

@Nightmarish I agree, I don't think her courage to wonder the Earth for a year would've been possible had it not been for her time with the Doctor.

DaireConstantineOReilly
DaireConstantineOReilly

Was so sad, like Rose she had NOTHING in her life, no career, no real family, Hated by her domineering bitch of a mother and she had to go back to THAT . Donna became a better person.

Adric the Genius
Adric the Genius

@Seaborn W Deadman Year after year we have the same thing: young, human female companion with a strong personality.  It's time for a change.  I'd personally like another Adric, but I don't think a companion like that would be especially popular.

Judge Claude Frollo
Judge Claude Frollo

If there's one thing they need to do, it's to make Fitz canon.

For example, Clara has just left the TARDIS (safely, I hope) and the Doctor sighs and stares down and the console, mumbling 'yet another one gone...'

Then he hears a slightly familiar voice say 'Doctor?' And he turns around and sees...Fitz, who's staring at him.

Then the credits roll and the Internet explodes because the best companion ever (next to Jamie and Romana) has been made canon.

grabate
grabate

Rory would have, he was only there because of Amy. Rory's one of my favourite companion as he understood how dangerous the Doctor is. Oh and the doctor from 8s movie turned him down.

BLINKANDYOUREDEAD
BLINKANDYOUREDEAD

@grabate  But isn't it worth saving species, learning about space, meeting historical figures, and making a difference? Even if I were just a pet, if I, as a pet, get to do incredible things, why does it matter that I am a pet? He cares about his pets, so he will try to protect you at any cost, and you still get to do things that are just fantastic!! Who cares whether the Doctor has ulterior motives for your being there, what matters is the experience, not why he's giving you the opportunity! You only get so many experiences in your life, make the best of them, because people almost never have pure intentions. If that is your outlook, then what's the point of grabbing any opportunity?.......................(Sorry about the rant :P)






DaireConstantineOReilly
DaireConstantineOReilly

I'd like to go back to when my dad was 18 in 1969 Ireland and see what he was really like and try and change him into a more modern man, because he's so old fashined

Notsosmartguy
Notsosmartguy

Maybe we're all fictional characters and in the hands of Steven Moffat :-)

DaireConstantineOReilly
DaireConstantineOReilly

An Alien companion would have to just have point years to be tolerable. They need to be easy on the eye and I don't mean females

Seaborn W Deadman
Seaborn W Deadman

Donna turned him down at first too! It's definitely been done, not for everyone. Although it did end up being for both Donna and Rory :)


DaireConstantineOReilly
DaireConstantineOReilly

As as long as I could bring all my consoles pS3/PS4 and both Xboxes and my TV with sky and all my DVDs I'd jump on board

Judge Claude Frollo
Judge Claude Frollo

Knowing how he (supposedly) writes me, he's going to kill me off my spending too much time watching TV :p

grabate
grabate

Excuse me but this is a British show so it will be MUUUUM.

Seaborn W Deadman
Seaborn W Deadman

MOOOOOM. Timmy cyber-converted me!

Now, what did I tell you about cyber-converting in the house, young man.