This post is a companion to help remember the order and important moments from each of the companions in the contemporary version of the series…
The Doctor needs his companions! They help humanize his behavior, they ground him when he is getting out of control, and they’re just really cute! The companions also stand in for us, the audience. We experience the Doctor’s world from their inexperienced point-of-view.
This cheat sheet is for the modern companions accompanying the Doctor from his 9th generation to his most current form. Also included are some of the other companion-like travelers. The characters that may not be officially companions, but still do a bit of travelling in the TARDIS.
I’m going to try to keep the spoilers to a minimum, avoiding them completely when possible. But there’s bound to be some small ones.
- Rose Tyler (Billie Piper)
We meet Rose before we even meet the Doctor for the first time in the modern series. Her first episode is appropriately titled, “Rose.” She is an average-Joe, living her mundane life with her mom and her boyfriend. When she is apparently attacked by her store’s mannequins, she gets drawn into the wibbly-wobbly world of the Doctor. She travels with the 9th and 10th Doctors. Throughout her travels, the term “Bad Wolf” keeps popping up mysteriously. She is the only companion the Doctor seems to actually fall in love with. Sadly, she is in a parallel dimension now.
–Mickey Smith (Noel Clarke) begins as Rose’s boyfriend, referred to by the Doctor as “Mickey the Idiot.” He usually serves as the Doctor’s “man in the van.” Eventually he takes on a character of his own, becoming quite heroic.
–Adam Mitchell (Bruno Langley) is a short term companion during the Rose era. His misbehavior causes him to be banished from the TARDIS.
–Captain Jack Harkenss (John Barrowman) is an associate of the Doctor. He possesses the unique ability of not being able to die. He went from Doctor Who to lead the spin-off show, Torchwood.
–Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen) is companion from the early days of Doctor Who. Sarah Jane returns for “The stolen Earth” and “Journey’s End” to assist the Doctor. She has a robotic dog called K-9.
- Donna Noble (Catharine Tate) appeared as a companion in the special episode, “The Runaway Bride.” She becomes a regular later. We’ll get back to her…
- Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman)
Starting out as a medical student, Martha is drawn into the Doctor’s world when her hospital is transported into space. She travels with the 10th Doctor until she feels her relationship with him is getting uncomfortable. At one point she spends an entire year on her own, proclaiming the greatness of the Doctor. After Martha stops travelling in the TARDIS, she works for UNIT and even pops in to Torchwood once in a while.
- Astrid Peth (Kylie Minogue) was only the Doctor’s companion in “Voyage of the Damned.” She worked aboard the starship Titanic.
- Donna Noble (Catharine Tate)
When Donna comes on as a full-time companion in “Partners in Crime,” she is a very different character from any companion before. The 10th Doctor emphasizes he does not want any romantic involvement, and recruits Donna as a friend only. She has some funny moments, but overall has a tougher, more outspoken mannerism than her previous companions. She is effective at making the Doctor realize that he can show compassion. Her time with the Doctor ends when her mind can’t handle everything she has learned and she is forced to forget all of her experiences.
- Jackson Lake (David Morrisey) meets the Doctor while pretending to be the Doctor. He is only present for “The Next Doctor.”
- Rosita Farisi (Velile Tshabalala) begins as a companion to the Next Doctor, Jackson Lake. (see above) This is her only episode.
- Lady Christina de Souza (Michelle Ryan) is a street-smart thief that gets trapped with the Doctor in the desert for the episode “Planet of the Dead.”
- Captain Adelaide Brooke (Lindsay Duncan) is the captain of the doomed first colony on Mars. She only appears in “the Waters of Mars.”
- Wilfred Mott (Bernard Cribbins) or “Wilf” is Donna’s grandfather and the final companion for the 10th Doctor. He serves as a companion only in “The End of Time.”
- Amy Pond (Karen Gillian)
The 11th Doctor first meets Amelia Pond while she is a child and he is regenerating in “The Eleventh Hour.” He comes back for her years later and she decides to travel with him instead of getting married to her fiancé. She stays with the Doctor for an extended period of time and is an important key to some of his other relationships. Amy is from Scotland and that comes through in her background and accent. Her relationship with the Doctor is often the basis for jealousy and confusion as her fiancé travels with them much of the time.
–Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill) is Amy’s fiancé and later husband. He guards her for almost 2000 years as the Last Centurion. Rory and Amy end up happily together, but in a time when the Doctor can no longer contact them.
–River Song (Alex Kingston) is intimately connected with both the Doctor and the “Ponds” (Rory and Amy). She rarely travels with the Doctor, but instead, being a time traveler too, meets up with him frequently. The first time the Doctor meets her is at the end of her timeline, so he experiences their relationship out of order.
- Craig Owens (James Corden) met the Doctor once before and, for the episode “Closing Time,” gets to serve as a companion. This Occurs while Amy and Rory are still the primary companions.
- Clara Oswald (Jenna-Louise Coleman)
Known as the Impossible Girl, Clara pops up mysteriously at several different events in the Doctor’s timeline. The Doctor knows she has died at least twice as slight variations of herself when he brings her on the TARDIS as a full-time companion. It is the third time we have seen the actress when she begins travelling as Clara in “The Bells of Saint John.” She joins with him for many adventures, travelling with the 11th and 12th Doctors.
So, there it is. The Companions Companion. They all bring a little something different to the show and affect the Doctor in different ways. But they also are so necessary to make the show more relatable.
Who is YOUR favorite companion and why? Let me know in the comments!