Traveling with the Doctor changes lives. History has shown us the many natures of such a change: lives that open to a new awareness and sense of purpose in a larger universe; lives that are reminded of the value and comforts of home; lives that end abruptly, or even tragically. As viewers, we may identify with certain companions over the seasons, and when the time comes that they leave the program, we might react positively or negatively to the way in which that departure is written.
This week, joined by Mike Solko of the TimeScoop podcast, we walk the list of modern Doctor Who companions, and discuss how fitting (or unfitting) their exit from the program suited the character. We agree on a few (Donna), disagree pretty emphatically on others (River), but as it happens so often on GPR, we gain a broader perspective of the impact these characters have on the audience, and how much the show has really come to mean to us all.
BONUS: We go around the room, and choose how we would want to leave the TARDIS, if we were companions ourselves. (Ah, fandom.)
Staying just safely within the bounds of professionalism and good taste, we spend a few minutes chatting and laughing with Noel Clarke, our beloved Mickey Smith, recorded live from the festivities at the third annual Long Island Doctor Who convention.
When you have a program that has spanned the decades as few like Doctor Who have done, and have at times both intentionally and unintentionally replaced actors within the principal cast, you have a rather large set of characters to draw upon for any sort of trivia game you might devise. Take three so-called “fans” of the program, and pit them against each other in attempts to identify which character delivered a single line from a single episode across that five-decade-plus span, and you’ve got a recipe for a good old fashioned geek slap fight.
This week, the GPR trio tests one another on their ability (or complete lack thereof) to identify quotes from companions who have ventured with the Doctor. The winner of this fierce competition gets…well, nothing. Probably a delicious, gourmet, home-cooked pizza, because you know for a fact who ISN’T going to win…
We have months to go before Series 10 even begins production, and possibly longer before we have definitive news on who the new companion(s) will be. You know what that means: pot-shot guesses and wild fan speculation!
Vote your conscience on the companion poll, and if you have some specifics on what you think will (or should) be done for the 12th Doctor’s company in the TARDIS console room, share it in the comments below. Let’s get hyped, and hypothesizing!
What sort of companion are you hoping for in Series 10?
“You. Now, you listen to me. You’re going to be alone now, and you’re very bad at that. You’re going to be furious and you’re going to be sad, but listen to me. Don’t let this change you. No, listen. Whatever happens next, wherever she is sending you — I know what you’re capable of. You don’t be a warrior. Promise me. Be a Doctor. Heal yourself. You have to. You can’t let this turn you into a monster. So I’m not asking you for a promise. I’m giving you an order. You will not insult my memory. There will be no revenge. I will die, and no-one else, here or anywhere, will suffer. This is as brave as I know how to be. I know it’s going to hurt you, but…please…be a little proud of me. Goodbye, Doctor.”
“Let me be brave.” A final credo repeated by Clara Oswald, and very likely uttered by many Whovians as they reached the end of an exceptional freshman script from writer Sarah Dollard. This week, we discuss this compelling story, crowned by a heart-wrenching exit by one of the most surprisingly beloved companions of the program since the 2005 revitalization.