Doctor Who: New Companions (A Look Back)

By December 25, 2012

With Jenna-Louise Coleman scheduled to debut (or re-debut?) the Doctor’s new companion (Clara Oswin) later today, let’s take a look back at the introductions of the Doctor’s past companions.

Rose Tyler

“You were useless in there. You’d be dead if it wasn’t for me.” –Rose Tyler, Rose

Rose Tyler was just a 19-year-old shopgirl when the Doctor took her hand and told her to run. He blew up her job and tracked a living plastic hand to her flat the very next day. While escaping from a murderous Auton clone of her boyfriend Mickey, the Doctor urged her into the TARDIS. The shock quickly wore off, and Rose helped the Doctor locate the Nestene Consciousness, before saving him with her childhood gymnastics skills. When the Doctor asked her to accompany him in the TARDIS, she reluctantly said no, citing her responsibilities at home (including a terrified Mickey, still clinging to her leg). The TARDIS disappeared and reappeared before she could make it down the block; the Doctor told her it was also a time machine, and the rest is history.

Jack Harkness

“Who looks at a screwdriver and thinks ‘Ooh ooh, this could be a little more sonic?'” –Jack Harkness, The Doctor Dances

Captain Jack Harkness was a conman and former Time Agent when he piqued the Doctor’s interest with a crashed spaceship in the middle of the London blitz. Mistaking Rose for a fellow Time Agent, he saved her as she fell from a barrage balloon in the sky. Ever the flirt, he took her atop his cloaked spaceship for a dance. He and the Doctor squabble over sonic devices (he has a gun; the Doctor, a screwdriver), but at the end of the day, Jack’s good side wins out: He brings a bomb aboard his ship to keep it from hitting the Earth. A martini in hand, Jack prepares to go down with his ship, but the TARDIS appears at the last minute, the Doctor inviting him to join them.

Martha Jones

“I like that. ‘Humans.’ I’m still not convinced you’re an alien.” –Martha Jones, Smith and Jones

Martha Jones was a med student doing her rounds when the Doctor came to the Royal Hope Hospital, faking sick. When the Judoon kidnapped the entire hospital – building and all – Martha kept calm and caught the Doctor’s attention. She refused to believe he was an alien until the Judoon’s scanner affirmed it, and immediately developed an attraction to him after he kissed her (a genetic transfer to throw off the Judoon’s scanners). When his blood was drained by a plasmavore, Martha gave him CPR, kickstarting his second heart and saving his life. With the hospital saved, the pair parted ways…but he returned, offering her a trip in the TARDIS to thank her for her help.

Donna Noble

“I knew it. Acting all innocent. I’m not the first, am I? How many women have you abducted?” –Donna Noble, The Runaway Bride

Donna Noble was just a temp from Chiswick when Huon particles snatched her out of the church and into the TARDIS on her wedding day. Outraged, she demanded to be returned, but ended up back in the TARDIS when the Doctor rescued her from a car driven by an evil, robotic Santa. They soon realized that her fiancé was in cahoots with a spiderlike alien known as the Racnoss. Out of control after losing Rose, the Doctor destroyed them all with a fiery flood, but Donna convinced him to leave before it took him with it. He brought her home for Christmas, but when he asked her to come with him, she turned him down. It was a decision she regretted, and, a year later, she began to investigate a series of strange events in order to track him down. When she finally found him, she was all ready to go: her car was packed with clothes and hats for every climate and occasion.

Amy Pond and Rory Williams

“No, seriously. You are asking me to run away with you in the middle of the night. It’s a fair question. Why me?” –Amy Pond, The Eleventh Hour

The Doctor came crashing into Amy Pond’s life when she was just a child. She sought (with little success) to satisfy his newly regenerated tastebuds, before showing him a scary crack in her wall. He left with with the promise of a quick return, but accidentally reappeared twelve years in the future. After a misunderstanding that left him handcuffed to a radiator, Amy joined the Doctor in saving the Earth from an escaped alien prisoner, and introduced him to her future fiancé (and eventual fellow companion), Rory Williams. The Doctor again disappeared and popped up in her backyard two years later, whisking her away in the TARDIS the night before her wedding.

River Song

“Oh, God, do I know that man. We go way back, that man and me. Just not this far back.” –River Song, Silence in the Library

The Doctor first met River Song on the last day of her life. An archaeologist who already knew him intimately, she was an enigma from his future, carrying a diary detailing adventures yet to come. Though she died by the episode’s end, she would be re-introduced to the Doctor twice in his next form: First as Melody Pond, the infant daughter of Amy Pond (kidnapped by the Silence and bred to kill him), and again as Mels, a childhood friend of Amy and Rory’s (who regenerated into the familiar form of River).

Will Clara be another River Song, destined to be introduced to the Doctor on the last day of her life? Or was Oswin a separate, but related character? The answer’s unlikely to be revealed just yet, but perhaps there will be hints when “The Snowmen” debuts tonight, and Clara with it.