4 Different Types of Companions Doctor Who Should Consider
Guest contributor Harpal Khambay explores four different types of companions the show could use in future.
If we look at the core companions of the revived series since 2005, we have had the emotional Rose, the independent Martha, the gobby Donna, the feisty Amy and the enigma that is Clara Oswald. I feel the writers have played it safe with these, which is understandable, as the genuine and modern character of Rose was well received and heavily relatable. With the rumours of Miss Oswald’s departure ever rife in the Whoniverse, I felt it would be a good opportunity to voice the benefits of a totally different companion not from present day, as I would like to see a totally different character if Clara departs.
Someone From the Past
When it was revealed that the Eleventh Doctor’s Christmas companion would be a Victorian governess named Clara back in 2012, I was very excited. I thought it would be a great reference to the classic era (Victoria Waterfield) to have a companion from the past entering the TARDIS and travelling through time and space. Sadly, within the hour she died, and the Doctor was given the task of finding a modern Clara.
In terms of companions, it is a great task and risk to have a companion from the past, and have them bombarded with the future’s technology and slang. However the benefits of this would be that the character could provide a lot of laughs. The realisation of modern day traditions would probably be full of gold, comedic moments. As well as this, a past companion would probably go through the largest character building milestones, as life in the TARDIS would be totally new to them more than the present day companion. Travelling in the TARDIS for a companion from the past would add a new dimension to the character as they learn about new ideas from the far future.
Someone From the Future
A companion from the future would obviously be the opposite of one from the past. They would probably be lost in the ‘primitive’ world and would feel more at home in the TARDIS, which may take away from the anticipated initiation of the moment in which the companion shouts: “It’s bigger on the inside!” They might even be friendlier with aliens, not the evil ones as such, but they would be more used to seeing alien faces unlike a modern day one.
Companions from the future could rival the Doctor’s intelligence, which could be fun, as did Zoe Heriot with the second Doctor. Obviously this point depends on the character of the companion, but I have no doubt that a companion from the future would add a new dimension to the TARDIS.
A companion from the future may also struggle with situations from the past as they wouldn’t have a great deal to work with, (if they love their technology) and this requires them to think on their feet. If they were obsessed with technology however, this could prove a cop out and risk to solutions for stories, as they could just whip out a device and say, “We dealt with this in the future!” There is also the risk of upstaging the Doctor, but I do think a companion from the future would bring a unique dynamic, and part of what makes a companion different is if they have a sparky relationship with the Doctor.
A Gutsy Kid
As a younger viewer I have been constantly annoyed by the terrible portrayal of modern teenagers in the show, such as Angie and Artie. Both were uninterested in the universe, obsessed with their phones and had terrible lines. If I were a companion, I would want to be independent, interested in the world around me, and looking at previous kids in the show. I would want to prove the point that not all teenagers are as shallow as they have been portrayed. Courtney Woods has been the exception, as she wasn’t as bad as Angie, but I didn’t really see the point of her after she vanished in ‘Kill the Moon.’ Having a teen like Ace in the show would give the Doctor more responsibility towards the teenager, and generate a fatherly relationship, which might mellow his character slightly, as some don’t like this darker Doctor. This would also give the kid a chance to become tougher.
I think the Doctor needs a crazy alien companion, with a totally different culture to humans. This companion would also develop to learn different views and opinions to compare to their own, and the Doctor really would open up their eyes to other cultures and life in the universe. As well as a companion from the past, an alien would be a massive risk, but again it would echo back to the classic era and would be a new direction for the show.
I would honestly love to see any of the above ideas to manifest into a new Doctor Who companion, and any one of these concepts would bring a totally new dynamic to the show, and to the Doctor. If a companion has more to learn, or needs to accept new ideas, the show will change and if any one of these notions are picked, the character given these ideas will go through the biggest character building milestones enabling them to develop massively and progress as a character which will adapt to totally new situations different to their time or home planet.