Old Who’s – Top Ten : Worst Companions
Doctor Who wouldn’t be the show that we all know and love without the input of the Doctor’s companions; family members, friends, enemies, plot-devices, background scenery and techno-babble interpreters.
They came in many shapes, races and genders and have become as integral a part of the show – as the Tardis. However, they haven’t always gotten either the actor, or the character right; or given the companion enough to do to justify their presence.
Here are our top-ten worst companions.
No. 10 – Liz Shaw
In a more modern era, cold and tough-as-nails career-woman Liz Shaw could have been a good companion. However, her lot was to be part of the era when the companions were required to look pretty, act stupid and act as the Third Doctor’s emotional punchbag.
Liz didn’t fit and didn’t last long either for that matter. A brave move to implement a strong female character in a distinctly mysogynistic era of Who but ultimately futile. Just like the Third Doctor’s attempts to get Liz to stick the kettle on!
No. 9 – Zoey
Zoey? On the worst list? How come? Well Zoey’s perceived standing in Who is really down to her successful double act with one of the best companions ever – Jamie.
On her own, Zoey was the female Adric. Book learning of genius proportions but streetwise learning – nil. Precocious and argumentative; she regularly led her companions into danger with her lack of common-sense – or humility and mostly just hung around in the background with a self-perceived air of superiority.
Still, on the other hand – she did look great in a tight purple sequinned jumpsuit.
No. 8 – Tegan
Tegan should have been the 80’s equivilant of Sarah-Jane Smith, or her later (deeper characterised) followup; Ace. Tegan herself, was given some backstory in the Fifth era – more than any previous.
And yet, this depressive and miserable antipodeian was thoroughly undeserving of the privilege of time-travelling with the Doctor. Seemingly more worried about making her flight/job, as a low-budget air hostess.
Tegan was seemingly unable to grasp that the Doctor could (eventually!) get Tegan back to Heathrow on time; being that time was no concept to a time traveller and she wouldn’t actually be late for her flight.
Even after the Doctor did get Tegan back, she returned the following season having been fired from her hostess job and just as miserable as ever. Braveheart Tegan!
No. 7 – Dodo
Dodo was a bizarre tomboy crossed with a panto character. She might have even been a boy in disguise – it was hard to tell.
She had perchant for bizarre clothing, not least she liked to dress like a Knight from the Crusades. After decent female turns by Susan, Barbara and Vicki; Dodo was just – too silly.
Even the First Doctor eventually tired of this latest Susan stop-gap but she did the honourable thing and bailed before he could leave her.
No. 6 – Grace Holloway
Dr Grace Holloway’s present to the Seventh Doctor was to kill him on the operating table, whilst trying to perform some botched and unnecessary keyhole surgery on his twin-hearts.
Once regenerated, the Eighth Doctor chose her as a companion in unfilmed followup adventures. When infact, he should have chosen her to join the Master in the Eye Of Harmony – for wasting a perfectly good regeneration.
No. 5 – Victoria
Victoria was a frumpy girl who partnered the Second Doctor and Jamie for a time. Feeling guilty for the death of her father – Dr Waterford, the Second Doctor agreed to cart her around space-and-time.
Bizarrely, even though she was from the Victorian age-of-discovery, Victoria was even more ill-suited to a life in space-and-time than “savage” Jamie.
She regularly just stood around jaw agape as events happened around her, unable to quantify, influence or take in what was happening.
At the first available opportunity, the Doctor jettisoned her in the 20th Century.
No. 4 – Katarina
Katarina was a Trojan slave girl who could probably be the shortest lived companion in Who. She had barely joined the First Doctor’s crew, when she was sucked out of an airlock – in a tussle with a space mercenary.
Good thing too, because she was overly primitive but not in a good “Jamie” way, more in a tiresome, “shouldn’t have been brought into the Tardis” – way.
No. 3 – Turlough
Turlough was an agent of the Black Guardian sent to kill the Fifth Doctor, in retaliation for the Key To Time saga.
Although it wasn’t his fault for this betrayal, the Doctor should never have let him join the crew and clearly didn’t trust him much either. The other companions, especially Tegan – disliked him intensely and as soon as he got the opportunity, he left to become a Trion prince on his old homeworld.
No. 2 – Adric
It was tough to place this universally loathed companion into second, on this list. Ultimately though, even mathematical smart-ass child prodigy Adric – was really only a child.
He was a really annoying child – though, with a face you would ‘like to punch’, bizarre multicoloured medieval-clothing – and a toy Sherrif’s badge.
He was cold, conceited, arrogant and precocious. He regularly rubbed his companions up the wrong way and worse, despite his genius; he could even be easily led, to turn against the Doctor – if an argument was logical enough.
Ultimately, he gave his life to save the human race and he was only a kid; so it would be bad sport to make him number 1.
No. 1 – Mel
That distinction goes to Mel, who wasn’t a child, although she was an annoying, chirpy and sickeningly perfect girly-girl.
She was a good – two shoes, a strict vegetarian and a fitness fanatic to boot, she had a terrible 80’s dress sense and huge ginger curls.
What producer JNT was on when he conceived this character, is up for debate but she was universally loathed from almost her first appearance in the Sixth Doctor’s era.
The worst thing about Mel though, was her high pitched sonic-boom scream; which used to ring out about 5 times an episode and leave the viewer with bleeding ears.
One of the few good things about the Seventh Doctor’s era was that after announcing she wanted to leave the Tardis. He didn’t persuade her to stay.
Well that was out top-ten, what did you think? What were yours?