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Mike Reyes, aka Mr. Controversy, has considered himself a writer ever since he was a child. He wrote for various school publications from about 1995 until 2006, and currently runs both The Bookish Kind and Mr. Controversy, which is an offshoot of the regular column he wrote in High School. He's also a film journalist/critic for Cocktails & Movies and CinemaBlend, as well as the author of several short stories such as "The Devil v. George W. Bush". Any inquiries for reprinting, writing services, or general contact, should be forwarded to: mikereyeswrites@gmail.com

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Who’s Best – A Companion on Companions

This is one of those times where my geek truly is showing. I was driving to work today, and I randomly jumped to the subject of which Doctor Who companion I thought was the best. (Mostly because my girlfriend nicknamed my car, “The Cardis”; so that thought tends to drift into mind.) So, without further introduction, I give you the companion guide to the companions of the Doctor. (Please note: these are only the companions from the new series, and only includes companions up to Donna Noble. Haven’t watched Planet of the Dead yet, and need to rewatch The Next Doctor to cover that lot. Also, I’m covering main companions, so Mickey, Jackie, Wilf, Sylvia, or any of the Jones family will not be covered.)

Rose Tyler

How They Met: Rose was a retail girl, who the Doctor saved after the Autons tried to invade England AGAIN.

High Points: The tearful goodbye in Doomsday and the Army of Ghosts, which basically followed Rose risking being forever taken away from her family by returning to our dimension to help the Doctor fight the Daleks; Destroying the Daleks while being possessed by the Time Vortex; hysterically being possessed by Lady Cassandra.

Low Points: Her return in Turn Left, which apparently proved that people in the parallel Earth speak differently than us. (Read: with weird accents) While being a pretty companion, not being terribly bright or independent. Also, she just falls too heavily for the Doctor to be of any true use.

How They Split: Rose has the “honor” of splitting from two Doctors. Remember that whole “possessed by the Time Vortex” thing? That’s what killed the Ninth Doctor. He kissed her to absorb the vortex and shoot it out back into the TARDIS, thus giving us the Tenth Doctor. Then, her and the Tenth Doctor split TWICE! Once in the sad, downer ending of Doomsday; then once again after meaninglessly bringing her and her family back to our universe, only to send them back and with their own half human clone of Tenth Doctor. (One my friend affectionately refers to as the “Handjob Doctor”, seeing as he was created by Donna Noble’s DNA fusing with the Doctor’s lost hand from “The Christmas Invasion”.)

Currently: In a parallel universe with the “Handjob Doctor”, probably making babies and causing Mickey to be extremely jealous.

Captain Jack Harkness

How They Met: The Ninth Doctor and Rose came across a dashing young lad by the name of Captain Jack Harkness, an American solider in World War II London during “The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances” storyline. As it turns out, Jack is actually a renegade time agent from the future, and later on becomes immortal after being revived by Rose Tyler, post Vortex possession. He then tries to tag along with the Tenth Doctor, only to be ditched in Cardiff, where he begins to head up Torchwood. By the end of Torchwood season 1, The Doctor comes back to Cardiff to refuel the TARDIS and Jack finally reunites with The Doctor as he travels to the end of time during “Utopia”.

High Points: Destroying homicidal makeover robots with a gun he hid…discretely, going down fighting while destroying Daleks, running Torchwood.

Low Points: Hitting on everything with a post code. Yes, he’s charming; and most certainly handsome; but Captain Jack needs to learn to keep it in the pants. (That bit with the Daleks in Series 1 generates enough goodwill to overlook this.)

How They Split: The Doctor ditched him, because he scares him. Literally, his newfound immortality and invincibility scares the Doctor, and he dropped him at the first way station he could find.

Currently: Still running Torchwood in the UK, waiting to encounter the Children of Earth.

Martha Jones

How They Met: After “The Runaway Bride”, the Doctor wound up in the same hospital as intern Martha. Which was then transported to the moon by the Judoon Platoon.

High Points: Walking the Earth for the whole year that never happened when the Master reigned supreme, and spreading the legend of The Doctor, thus creating a huge psychic network of energy that regenerated the Doctor to his younger state; fighting the Sontarans in their attempt to destroy Earth’s atmosphere.

Low Points: Basically being a willing participant in destroying the Earth in the name of the Doctor (thus proving Davros’ point that the Doctor inspires people to be a little gun crazy) , anytime she swooned over the Doctor.

How They Split: After the year that never happened during “Last of the Time Lords”, Martha split to find her own life. She became a doctor, got engaged, became a member of UNIT and served some time with Torchwood. She’d cross paths with the Doctor again in “The Sontaran Stratagem/ The Poison Sky”, where she’d be cloned and evil; then she’d come back become whiny and threatening to destroy the Earth in “The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End”. She left. Again.

Currently: On Earth, waiting for her next adventure.

Astrid Peth

How They Met: After the events of “Last of the Time Lords”, The Doctor kinda had a run in with the Fifth Doctor, which then was followed by the Titanic (the space liner, not the iceberg magnet) plowing into his TARDIS. After some quick repairs, he then goes on to stowaway on said space liner, and meets the lovely Astrid, promising her adventures and the chance to see another sky.

High Points: Resigning from her job aboard the Titanic…by killing her boss.

Low Points: A little bit of shoehorned political satire involving “cyborg marriage rights”. Look, Mr. Davies, I know gay marriage is something important, but honestly…does it have to cross over into my Doctor Who? C’mon, that’s why you had Queer as Folk. It’s a minor nitpick, really.

How They Split: Astrid died after sacrificing herself to destroy Max Capricorn, the owner of the Titanic and all around stock manipulating bastard. (He was going to crash the Titanic into Earth, in order to destroy his own company.) The Doctor tried to revive her using the ship’s teleport bracelet system, but can only muster enough energy to make her a star ghost.

Currently: Roaming free amongst the stars.

Donna Noble

How They Met: Right after his tearful goodbye to Rose, a runaway bride was somehow randomly beamed up to the TARDIS. Turns out she was pumped full of Huon particles, and those are kinda sensitive to the TARDIS. Hilarity, and nagging, ensues. After said adventure and parting of ways, she meets the Doctor once more when investigating a new diet pill that turns out to be a little more harmful than expected.

High Points: Calling bullshit on the Doctor any chance she gets by questioning his actions, persuading him to save a family of Romans from Pompeii, helping solve a mystery with Agatha Christie, saving the day in Journey’s End, grappling with her sanity and reality in The Library’s computer during “Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead”, being able to carry on her own adventure WITHOUT the assistance of the Doctor in “Turn Left”, generally being a “hot, ginger crush”.

Low Points: The Runaway Bride. She was bitchy, whiny, and just generally unpleasant. It wasn’t until she saw that there was a great big universe of adventure out there, that she gained some perspective and wised up.

How They Split: Similar to Rose Tyler, Donna gets to leave The Doctor twice. The only thing is, she leaves the same Doctor two separate occasions, and has managed not to do anything stupid that would wind up killing the Doctor. The first time, she merely turned down his offer of companionship because…well, having your wedding day ruined by aliens and your evil fiancée who was working with them all the long kinda makes you want to stay home. The second time, wasn’t so lucky. Due to a human timelord metacrisis, Donna temporarily became part Time Lord/ part Human. (This was because of her DNA creating the “Handjob Doctor”.) The human mind being what it is, it cannot handle such a concept without breaking down. So to prevent her death, the Doctor wipes her memory of all their adventures. Should she ever see him and remember anything of their time together, it’s highly possible she’ll mentally break completely.

Currently: Restored to her “Runaway Bride” factory settings, ignorant of who she was and the adventures she had. Just waiting for the Doctor to return. And he will return to her.

River Song

How They Met: This is where things get complicated. Chronologically, they meet in “Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead”, when The Doctor and Donna make their way into The Library. Technically, this is when The Doctor meets Ms. Song for the first time. How and when Ms. Song meets the Doctor is in the future.

High Points: Being the perfect match for the Doctor, acting almost as if she’s his wife or something; sacrificing herself to protect The Library and The Doctor, as well as saving the over 4,000 people trapped in The Library’s memory.

Low Points: Nothing. If anything, she’s the perfect companion for The Doctor. So far.

How They Split: Again, complications arise. River splits from the Doctor by going back into the past, which the future Doctor is knowledgeable of considering his previous incarnation lived through his first encounter with her. Which was her second encounter with the Doctor. Which also ends with her splitting with The Doctor.

Currently: Waiting to meet the Doctor for her first time (his second).

Summary: The best companions, in my opinion, are the ones that don’t fall head over heels for the Doctor, or at least do so smartly. Just acting hopelessly in love with him doesn’t help, you need some sort of brain power behind the beauty. In short, it's a tie between River Song and Donna Noble, with River having a slight advantage. (She wasn't in The Runaway Bride.)

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