Editorial: Best Modern Doctor Who Companions

Last editorial, I counted down the best Classic Who companions. Now it’s time for the current version.

Before I start, a small disclaimer: I will not be counting one-shot companions, as they did not stick around long enough for us to get to know them, compared to the longer-staying ones. Also, because this is actual friends, Adam wouldn’t make the cut even if he stuck around longer than the one-shots.

billpotts 10) Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie)–Of the companions on this list, Bill is the one with the briefest stint.  I liked her inquisitive nature and enthusiasm.  As a previous editorial stated, I don’t see her as “pushing an agenda”, I just see a fun-loving girl.

nardole 9) Nardole (Matt Lucas)–Often a companion’s job isn’t just to ask the questions the audience would ask, it’s also to play moral compass. Nardole was a good moral compass and his sardonic nature was good comedy relief.

clara 8) Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman)–Now here’s the real controversy-summoning companion! A lot of people seem to HATE Clara. But I never did. She proved herself in “Flatline” and “Face the Raven” as someone willing to sacrifice herself, even against the Doctor’s wishes. She even jumped into the Doctor’s timeline to save him from the Great Intelligence. Her one flaw was her impetuous side, which often caused her to make rash decisions.

amy pond 7) Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) What I liked about Amy was that she wasn’t afraid to put the Doctor or anyone else in his or her place. Her impulsive nature made her one of my favorites.

harkness 6) Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman)–Even if you never watched Torchwood, you knew Jack had more going for him than the sparse appearances on the main show. What I liked about Captain Jack was he was a man of action, willing to cross lines the Doctor wouldn’t.

rose tyler5) Rose Tyler (Billie Piper)–Before Clara, Rose was the most-hated companion. I never really had a problem with her. She helped the Ninth Doctor heal his psychological wounds from the Time War. I never minded her falling in love with the Doctor. How could anyone not fall in love with him?

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Twelfth: Husbands of River Song

husbandsWriter: Steven Moffatt

Director: Douglas McKinnon

Producer: Nikki Wilson

Companions: River Song (Alex Kingston), Nardole (Matt Lucas)

Series: 2015 Christmas Special

Summary: The Doctor arrives on a remote space colony on Christmas in the year 5343, where he meets River Song one last time. And gains a new companion named Nardole!

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Eleventh Doctor: The Angels Take Manhattan

angels take manhattan

Writer: Steven Moffatt

Director: Nick Hurran

Producer: Marcus Wilson

Companions: Amy Pond (Karen Gillan), Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill), River Song (Alex Kingston)

Series: 7, episode 5

Summary: The Doctor, Amy, Rory, and River Song are in New York City investigating time distortions. The Doctor is taking time out to read a book by Melody Malone and rips out the last page, telling Amy “I don’t like endings.” He is shocked when he discovers that whatever happens in the story happens to them. To make matters worse, Weeping Angels have overrun New York City, hoping to trap them and everyone else. Because of the book, this is now a fixed point. And once again, the Doctor will have to say goodbye.

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Eleventh Doctor: The Wedding of River Song


Writer: Steven Moffatt

Director: Jeremy Webb

Producer: Marcus Wilson

Series: 6, ep 13

Companions: Amy Pond (Karen Gillan), Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill), River Song (Alex Kingston)

Summary: Time has completely stopped and is happening all at once. River Song refuses to kill the Doctor and is willing to alter a fixed point in time to rebel against her brainwashing. But what is the question that must never be answered, hidden in plain sight? And what awaits the Doctor at Trenzalore?

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Tenth Doctor: Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead (dual Review)


Writer: Steven Moffatt

Director: Euros Lyn

Producer: Phil Collinson

Companions: Donna Noble (Catherine Tate), River Song (Alex Kingston)

Series: 4, episodes 8 and 9

Summary: The Doctor takes Donna to the largest library in the universe, which resides in a girl’s head. Despite the size of the library, they appear to be the only inhabitants. Suddenly, a group of archaeologists arrive, led by Professor River Song. The library is not empty, for the Vashta Nerada lurk within. This is the first time the Doctor has met River Song from his perspective, but she knows him. As for the girl whose head the library is in, she is seeing a psychiatrist named Dr. Moon, who tells her things are not what they seem and that she must save everyone within the library.

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Eleventh Doctor: Let’s Kill Hitler

kill hitler

Writer: Steven Moffat

Director: Richard Senior

Producer: Marcus Wilson

Series: 6, ep. 8

Companions: Amy Pond (Karen Gillan), Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill), River Song (Alex Kingston)

Summary: The Doctor, Amy, and Rory investigate a crop circle where they meet Mels, who’s apparently an old friend of Amy and Rory. She is being chased by police and demands to be let into the TARDIS, even pointing a gun at them and suggesting that they kill Hitler. When they arrive, they discover someone has already beaten them there–a mechanical human that has little people inside piloting it. Mels is shot by Hitler, and she regenerates in to River Song. Turns out she was actually an earlier version of River. This is actually the first time she’s met the Doctor from her perspective. But this isn’t the River Song we know. This is the River Song who will kill the Doctor.

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Eleventh Doctor: A Good Man Goes to War

good men

Writer: Steven Moffatt

Director: Peter Boar

Producer: Marcus Wilson

Companion: Amy Pond (Karen Gillan), Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill), and River Song (Alex Kingston)

Series: 6, ep 7

Summary: Learning what has happened to Amy and her unborn daughter, the Doctor brings the cavalry to her rescue at a place called Demons Run.  This episode introduces Jenny, Vastra, and Strax, collectively known as the Paternoster Gang.

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Eleventh Doctor: The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon (dual review)


Writer: Steven Moffatt

Director: Toby Haynes

Producer: Marcus Wilson

Series: 6, ep 1

Companions: Amy Pond (Karen Gillan), Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill), River Song (Alex Kingston)

Summary: The Doctor gets a message from River Song to go to 1969. He invites Amy, Rory, and River to a picnic where he is shot by an astronaut. A mysterious man identified as Canton Everett Delaware III arrives with gasoline to help them dispose of the body and says they’ll be seeing him again. As they try to figure things out, the Eleventh Doctor returns, but from an earlier point in time. The Silence are invading and do not want the Doctor to interfere. What is their plan, and what does it have to do with the moon landing and Richard Nixon?

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Eleventh Doctor: The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang (dual review)


Writer: Steven Moffatt

Director: Toby Haynes

Producer: Peter Bennett

Series: 5, eps 12 and 13

Companions: Amy Pond (Karen Gillan), Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill), River Song (Alex Kingston)

Summary: River Song contacts the Doctor and Amy. They travel to Roman-occupied Britain in 102, where they discover the Pandorica under Stonehenge. The Pandorica is a giant prison designed to contain the most destructive force in the universe. All of the Doctor’s enemies have converged on the site–Cybermen, Daleks, Autons, and Sontaran’s. Oh, and Rory’s back…as an Auton.

Review: This was the story that made me a Matt Smith fan. You see, I like the Sylvester McCoy Doctor a lot. I consider him underrated, and the thing I like best about him is how every episode was like a game of speed chess. He had an entire plan mapped out, and could even change on the fly if he needed to. I always wanted to see someone else do the same thing, and it happens here. There’s lots of great action here. I love River’s scene with the Dalek. “I’m River Song, check your records again.” (Yeah, did none of you remember what Ace did to you Daleks?) And of course there’s the awesome speech the Doctor gives at the end of part 1. What a great way to end the first series of Matt Smith’s era!

Overall Review: 10/10

Continuity: Liz 10 from “The Beast Below” receives a message at the start, as does Winston Churchill. The Fourth Doctor visited Stonehenge in “The Stones of Blood”. The Seventh Doctor actually had both a fez and a mop in one episode. When we see the message “Hello Sweetie”, we also see two Greek letters, Theta and Sigma. Theta Sigma was the Doctor’s nickname at the Academy, as we learned in “The Armageddon Factor”. In “The Forest of the Dead”, River said that her Doctor was able to turn away whole armies, which the Doctor does in this episode.




Eleventh Doctor: The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone (dual review)


Writer: Steven Moffatt

Director: Adam Smith

Producer: Tracie Simpson

Series: 5, eps 4 and 5

Companions: Amy Pond (Karen Gillan, River Song (Alex Kingston)

Summary: The Doctor and Amy find River Song floating adrift in space. She takes them to the planet Alfava Metraxis, where the spacecraft Byzantium has crashed. They are met by Father Octavian and his militarized clerics. They also discover that the craft has imprisoned a Weeping Angel. The Doctor learns that River Song has a diary that she has kept of all the times she has met the Doctor, all of which are out of order. Amy finds the Angel, and it leaves an imprint on her eye. But that which holds the image of an angel will become an angel as well. Can they escape?

Review: When I saw River Song’s first appearance, I was instantly intrigued. She trusted the Doctor implicitly, but she also admitted that the Doctor lies. She seemed to know the Doctor so intimately. I liked how the story added more to the Angel’s lore. The episode was suspenseful throughout, but the scene where you actually see them move kinda ruins things. Other than that, I liked it.

Overall Review: 9/10

Continuity: This episode is a direct sequel to “Blink”, the first appearance of the Weeping Angels. It is meant to be an earlier point in River Song’s timeline than her first appearance.