Thursday, 26 June 2008

The Doctor's Female Companions

Susan (Carole Ann Ford) was the first companion aboard the TARDIS: she was the Doctor's granddaughter, a fact that raises questions about his family that still occupy fans today.

Jacqueline Hill played Barbara Wright. She joined the Tardis in the very first episode in 1963, along with fellow schoolteacher Ian Chesterton, and they departed together two years later. But Hill returned: the actress guest-starred as a priestess in a 1980 Tom Baker story.

Vicki (Maureen O'Brien) .Vicki was the first change to the original cast - she was a replacement for Susan

Character history

Katarina (Adrienne Hill) travelled briefly with William Hartnell's Doctor.
Katarina is introduced in the serial The Myth Makers, which takes place during the siege of Troy. She is a handmaiden of the prophetess Cassandra, and helps the TARDIS crew survive the events of the siege. When Steven is wounded, she helps him into the TARDIS as Vicki decides to stay behind in Troy with the warrior Troilus.
A sweet, simple young woman who cannot really cope with the concept that the universe has suddenly opened up to her, Katarina believes that she is dead, and that the Doctor is a god transporting her to the next life. She refers to the TARDIS as a "temple", and literally worships the Doctor, referring to him as "Lord" (much to his annoyance) and having absolute faith in him.
During The Daleks' Master Plan, Katarina is taken hostage by the escaped prisoner Kirksen, who demands that the Doctor take him to Kembel, a planet taken over by the Daleks. To prevent the Doctor giving in to Kirksen's demands, she chooses to trigger the controls to the airlock she is being held in, propelling both herself and her captor into the vacuum of space.
Despite her brief tenure on the series, Katarina is significant for being the first of the Doctor's companions to die on-screen. However, she would not be the last. In some of the tie-in fiction, her death (and later that of Adric) is portrayed as weighing heavily on the Doctor's mind.

Several Doctor Who companions are disputed: do you have to have been in more than one story to qualify? Must you have travelled in the Tardis? This is Sara Kingdom (Jean Marsh), the first character to be debated like this.

Dodo Chaplet (Jackie Lane) ran into the Tardis believing that it really was a police box. She stayed with William Hartnell's Doctor and Steven (Peter Purves).

Anneke Wills played Polly, a swinging sixties kind of companion to William Hartnell's Doctor and then Patrick Troughton's.

What the fans would give to see this episode. Deborah Watling starred as Victoria Waterfield from this Patrick Troughton story onwards. It's The Evil of the Daleks, a seven-part tale from 1967, and only a single episode remains in the archives.

Wendy Padbury's Zoe Heriot was intended to be as smart as Patrick Troughton's Doctor and less prone to the screaming that was already a hallmark of the companion's role.

Dr Liz Shaw (Caroline John) worked with Jon Pertwee's Doctor at Unit during his first season.

Katy Manning was immensely popular as Jo Grant, companion to Jon Pertwee's Doctor during his exile on Earth in the 1970s.

Perhaps the most successful Doctor Who companion ever: Elisabeth Sladen's Sarah Jane Smith joined Jon Pertwee's Doctor, stayed with Tom Baker's and made a memorable return with David Tennant's. She's also the only companion to have two of her own spin-off shows: K9 and Company in the 1980s and The Sarah Jane Adventures 2006.

After a Time Lady, a savage: Leela (Louise Jameson) stepped aboard the Tardis to join Tom Baker's Doctor. More capable than many companions, certainly more violent, she was improbably quickly married off to another Gallifreyan and left the series.

Deep breath. This is Mary Tamm as Romanadvoratrelundar, more conveniently known as Romana. A Time Lady, she joined Tom Baker's Doctor for the Key to Time season (1978/79) before regenerating into Lalla Ward for the next series. Lalla Ward took over as Romana in the 1979 Tom Baker story, Destiny of the Daleks.

Introduced for just one Tom Baker story, The Keeper of Traken in 1981, Nyssa (Sarah Sutton) was immediately brought back for the next tale and became a regular companion of both Baker's and Peter Davison's Doctors.

He doesn't give that screwdriver to just anybody. Janet Fielding was air hostess Tegan Jovanka, who joined just at the end of Tom Baker's run as the Doctor. She stayed with Peter Davison's and gave both Doctors as much hell as she could. Fielding would later become a theatrical agent and was Paul McGann's representative when he got the role of the Doctor in 1996.

Perpugilliam Brown, better known as Peri, was the first American companion aboard the Tardis - though actress Nicola Bryant is British - and she was with both Peter Davison's and Colin Baker's Doctors in the 1980s.

One of the most controversial companions in Doctor Who: Bonnie Langford was loved and loathed as Mel, who travelled with Colin Baker's Doctor.

Sophie Aldred played the streetwise Ace alongside Sylvester McCoy's Doctor. She was the last companion before the original series was cancelled in 1989.

Daphne Ashbrook in the Tardis for 1996's Doctor Who, the one-off TV movie starring Paul McGann as the Doctor. Because the film had no episode title, was set at the turn of the century and Ashbrook's character is Dr Grace Holloway, some fans refer to this film as Grace 1999.

Rose Tyler: the new Doctor Who didn't just bring back the Doctor with a bang in 2005, it revolutionised the role of the companion. Rose and her family were as pivotal to the relaunch's success as Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant were. Rose and family got trapped in a parallel universe in 2006 only to return in 2008 to fight The Darkness.

Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman) may have had an even harder job taking over from Rose than David Tennant did replacing Christopher Eccleston's Doctor, though she had nothing to worry about! She left the Doctor after the events of Last Of The Time Lords to care for her family. She joined U.N.I.T (United Nations Intelligence Task Force).

Astrid (Kylie Minogue) joined David Tennant's Doctor for just one adventure, the Christmas special for 2007, Voyage of the Damned. A waitress who dreamt of seeing the stars. The Doctor asked Astrid to join him on his travels but circumstances changed that when she sacrificed herself for the Doctor.

No longer the harassed bride, Donna Noble (Catherine Tate) is energized by traveling with the Doctor.

 Donna Noble was the only daughter of Geoff and Sylvia Noble and the granddaughter of Wilfred Mott. On her first day at school, she was sent home for biting. When she was six, her mother refused to take her on holiday. Undaunted, Donna got on a bus and went on her own to Strathclyde. Her grandfather later reminded her of this incident to buck her up whenever she felt a failure. She is also a lifelong supporter of West Ham United.

 At her wedding on Christmas Eve 2007, while walking down the aisle with her father, Huon particles reacted with her elevated emotional state and teleported Donna intothe console room on board the Doctor's TARDIS. Robot Santas prevented the Doctor returning her in time for her wedding, but he got her there for the reception. When a robotic Christmas Tree fired explosives at the wedding guests, Donna and the Doctor investigated H.C. Clements. The trail led to an abandoned secret TORCHWOOD base under the Thames where Lance (groom) and the Empress of the Racnoss revealed their plans. Donna helped the Doctor defeat the Empress and pulled him away from the Empress' death, saving his life. However, she turned down his offer to travel with him.

After the incidents over Christmas, Donna took it upon herself to find The Doctor. And she did.

 In 2009, her pursuit of the Doctor came to fruition when looking into Adipose Industries. After Donna stopped the birthing of the Adipose from fatally converting human tissue into Adipose young, she witnessed the March of the Adiose and began to travel with the Doctor in the TARDIS. Unlike most companions of the Doctor, she was well prepared for the trip having packed several suitcase which she left inside the boot of her mother's car.

Her travels with the most important man in her life began.  She met the OOD and the OOD brain, fictional crime writer Agatha Christie, the Sontarans, and even the Daleks and their creator DAVROS, when they stole 27 planets including Earth in their bid to destroy all of reality with the Reality Bomb  from within the Medusa Cascade.

On board the TARDIS, Donna is trapped as the ship plunges into the heart of the Dalek crucible the Doctor's severed right hand 'reaches out to her' and a Time Lord-Human metacrisis occurs. Resulting in a two way bio-metacrisis - firstly creating another 'Doctor' but with only one heart and then turning Donna into half-human/half-Time Lord. This enables Donna to prevent the reality bomb and helping the Doctor's retrun all 27 planets to their rightful places in time and space.

After this event, the Doctor has to remove his consciousness from Donna, thus removing all knowledge of himself and their adventures from her memory, otherwise she would 'burn up' and die if she was ever to remember. 

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