When Doctor Who returns with the annual Christmas special, Whovians will be waiting to see how the new Doctor, Jodie Whittaker, gets along with her companions. As she will have three companions starting the season, portrayed by Bradley Walsh, Tosin Cole, and Mandip Gill, it has elicited many conversations as to how she is going to juggle them all, and if they will be as good as companions the Doctor has had in the past. It also raises the question as to what makes a companion good. Is it how the actor plays the role, the scripts they had to work with, their actual relationship to their Doctor, or is it a combination of factors? Considering it is multiple factors, here are the Doctor’s best companions since 2005 from bottom to top.
Amy Pond – Karen Gillan did a lovely job with Amy Pond, if Pond was to be mostly disliked by fans. No one ever said that companions had to be likable. Pond was often a brat, and many fans will never forgive her for the way she often mistreated Rory. While she was very feisty and resourceful, she could also be annoying enough as to ruin an episode. Pond had a career, got married, and had this wonderful life that didn’t revolve around the Doctor, as discussed at TV Line, but she also tried to snog him which most fans hated. While it was hard to root for Pond, it is easy to appreciate that Gillan played the role very well.
Martha Jones – Freema Agyeman portrayed Martha Jones, who had these wonderful moments where she looked like the bravest woman in the universe, and was then almost completely unmemorable the next episode. She appears to have been the victim of some weak scripts which never allowed her to develop enough for fans to really connect with her. With that said, Agyeman made the most of the opportunities she had, as was evidenced by her finale which included John Simm as The Master. The best thing that can be said about Jones is that she was loyal to the Doctor, and she is someone that should have had more time with him, rather than what she got. BuzzFeed ranks her as one of the top 25 companions of all time.
THE SNOWMEN.— Thomas Murch (@ThomasJohnMurch) August 14, 2018
No offence to the previous companions of New Who, but modern humans are boring. As such, I was delighted to learn that new companion Clara would at least be a human from another time period! Having a from a different era would pro-OH WAIT.#DoctorWho #NewWhoReview pic.twitter.com/AvZTiMgMlb
Clara “Oswin” Oswald – Clara “Oswin” Oswald, portrayed by Jenna Coleman, was not a very well developed character early on, and it took nearly a year to get to the point that fans had any idea what was going on with her. She started out with her consciousness trapped in a Dalek, then she was a dead governess, but throughout it all, she was the impossible girl. While it took time to warm up to Oswin, she developed into a lovely companion that had great adventures with the Doctor, and continued the trend of being a companion that had her own life away from him. To see her at her best, watch when she was paired with the 12th Doctor, Peter Capaldi, per SyFy.
River Song – No spoilers are needed here sweetie. There is no doubt that Alex Kingston portraying River Song was one of the Doctor’s best companions, and wife to boot. While Kingston was never a regular companion of the Doctor, and she didn’t get a spinoff like Capt. Jack Harkness (John Barrowman, Torchwood), the time she had with the Doctor was never boring and each appearance announced for her was eagerly anticipated by fans. Her catchphrases, “Shh! No spoilers” and “Hello Sweetie,” are among the favorites since the show came back to television.
What is your favourite era of Doctor Who, and why?— The Women of Who (@TheWomenOfWho) August 9, 2018
For me, the RTD era is still yet to be beaten. It contains my favourite Doctor, Companion and story (Ten, Donna & Midnight); I loved seeing the companions' families; and it gave us two amazing spin-offs to expand the Whoniverse! pic.twitter.com/yC4v32DRK5
Donna Noble – Catherine Tate as Donna Noble is the second-best companion the Doctor has had. She is another companion that wasn’t always likable, but she grew on fans as she did the Doctor. She was clever and fierce, and she was the perfect foil for the Doctor. When she was returning to a normal life on Earth and had to have her mind wiped of all her memories of the Doctor, it was one of those moments when the Whoverse collectively wept according to Metro UK. To see who Noble grew to be, to only have it wiped away and return to being a petty narcissist, was a tremendous blow to fans, which speaks volumes as to how good of a companion she was.
Rose Tyler – Rose Tyler, played by Billie Piper, is the Doctor’s best companion since 2005 hands down according to The Top Tens. The revival of the show on television is largely in part to the relationship between Tyler and the 9th Doctor played by Christopher Eccleston. Tyler was sassy and funny, but full of strength and willing to save her Doctor at any cost. When it was revealed that she was “Bad Wolf” and she had stared into the Tardis to save the Doctor, it was one of the grandest gestures by any companion to that point. Her transition to the 10th Doctor, played by David Tennant, was masterful, The way she remained loyal, even if a bit disbelieving, through his regeneration was excellent. Her departure was one of the saddest of the modern Whoverse.
There are many other wonderful companions, such as Rory and Mickey, but these are the best of the modern Doctor Who era. There will always be debate over who ranks where, but it can be agreed upon that they were all good in their own special ways.