The Radio Times recently ran a competition to vote for the best companion ever. The title was won by Rose Tyler who narrowly beat Cpt Jack (also introduced in the Ninth Doctor era). Full details of her victory are here: Rose Tyler triumphs in Doctor Who Companion Champion.
I’m not here to argue against Rose – for me its a contest between Jamie and Jo Grant or for Big Finish a much harder choice between Lucie Miller, Mary Shelley, Charley, Hex, Evelyn, Turlough, Ace, Flip, … in fact most of them;-)
I did wonder – is Rose the quintessential modern companion?
I ignore repeat characters (so long Paternoster gang), I also file them into two piles, A and B; I’ll explain later…
|Pile A||Pile B|
What, I hear you ask, do the two piles represent? Well Pile B is those with a special destiny in the Doctor’s life. I’ll explain:
- Captain Jack: made immortal by the TARDIS. I nearly put the pre-resurrection Jack into Pile A, then remembered we’d met the Face of Boe in an earlier episode
- Donna: manipulated in time by Dalek Caan to be part of the Doctor’s time stream
- Amy: the mother of River Song (who I didn’t even list)
- Rory: the father of River Song
- Clara: the impossible girl destined to save the Doctor (a lot), get him a new regeneration and influence him as a child
All of the Pile B characters are important from the outset. In the old days, apart from Susan and Romana (ok and Lucie Miller in Big Finish), the Doctor collected companions as he went around. Martha and Donna are both classic companions – people he met and kept with him. This is Pile A, the everyday people like you or me that could dream of ending up travelling in a blue box, not because we are special but just because.
With a choice of only two Rose is the winner – she is the feisty girl next door whereas Martha is the brainy doctor. Both are quintessential science fiction characters but only Rose started as the girl next door then ended up saving the universe. And she got her man!
So there you have it – Rose is the companion of the modern era!