With the new Series 9 Trailer revealing a ton of goodies from the forthcoming season, including a potential addition to the TARDIS crew played by Maisie Williams, we thought it a good time to scroll through the history of the Doctor’s companions on a quest to find 5 of the BEST TARDIS CREWS EVER….a tall order, for sure. And we’re bound to stir up some debate with our list, so please post your replies and alternative picks in the comments! We’d love to feature a guest post under this topic!
5) 4TH, SARAH JANE, HARRY
The chemistry between these three was obvious from the onset of their adventures in the 4th Doctor’s first serial, ROBOT. Clearly, all three actors got along famously and it was reflected in the on screen performance. Harry’s bravado was a perfect counter point to the Doctor’s eccentricity while the Doctor’s playful beratement was funny, yet displayed a fondness/bromance quality that was authentic and warm. Sarah’s quick wit added a needed softness between the two, and the fact that they were all capable, smart and resourceful characters led to fast paced adventures with plenty of drama. The trio was best summed up in this terrific video tribute from YouTuber TARDISELLIOT TRAILERS.
4) 5TH, TEGAN, TURLOUGH
Tegan and Turlough don’t show up on a lot of lists of Best Companions, so we’re in the minority for sounding their triumphs working with the Fifth Doctor. There was some initial animosity between Tegan and Turlough, which actually lent credibility to both characters, as the alien Turlough dismissed Tegan’s “human” reactions while her protectivness of the Doctor rang true for a strong older sister type who had been on the TARDIS since the beginning of the Fifth Doctor’s life. Both were smart and useful, and Tegan’s challenging of The Doctor coupled with Turlough’s technical expertise led to the three of them working well together.
3) 11TH, AMY, RORY
Amy and Rory Pond were the first married couple to voyage with the Doctor (although you could make an argument that Ian and Barbara were a common law pairing) and although Amy initially followed the by then well worn companion trajectory of falling in love with The Doctor, once Rory was securely positioned among the crew, she and he were joined at the hip and the trio really got to work. All three were funny, emotional and strong willed but for us it was Rory who made this dynamic work; his evolution from goofy yet adorable boyfriend to Take No Prisoners Bad Ass Roman warrior who didn’t hesitate to call the Doctor out when he felt the Time Lord was in the wrong, led to many memorable moments.
2) 9TH, ROSE, CAPTAIN JACK
More than anything, this trio were FUN. Travelling together during the latter half of series 1, Jack, Rose and The Doctor shared a bond forged from their mutual addiction to high octane adventuring. Laughing, running, facing deadly odds, the three clearly loved each other’s company and brought out the best in each other; Rose in effect teaching the Doctor to live again, while Jack taught him to laugh. Their bittersweet send off in Parting Of The Ways is one of the best moments in Doctor Who.
1) 1st, SUSAN, IAN, BARBARA
They might not have been the most emotionally complex cast, or as vital and useful as some of the other crews we’ve mentioned, but the original crew deserves a place on our list. The first quartet to journey on the TARDIS set the template for all that followed, and the show’s endearing success can arguably be attributed to the dynamic that these four established in the first few years of Who. The evolution of Ian and Barbara from stowaways to family was paced well and felt real; as was William Hartnell’s transformation from gruff overseer to loving Grandfather, culminating in a couple of poignant departure stories (Susan in the Daleks Invasion of Earth, Ian and Barbara in The Chase)