As we draw nearer to Series 9’s finale, we also draw closer to the end of Clara Oswald’s time in the TARDIS. Confirmed by the BBC many months ago, Jenna Coleman’s Impossible Girl will soon end her run as a companion, (and according to Moffat, her departure will be tragic) paving the way for a new member of the TARDIS crew. The Moff has gone on record as saying the new companion will not be someone we have seen before (unless he is lying…again) so everyone hoping for a full time dose of Maisie Williams, James Corden or any other beloved guest star is out of luck.
Yet it’s intriguing to ponder who of the Doctor’s many one-off companions might make a great sidekick were the opportunity to arise. So take a look back with us as 5for5 explores 5 of the Best One-Off Companions…
Despite it being 8 years ago, BLINK remains among the best rated NuWho episodes in history, thanks in no small part to pre-Hollywood Carey Mulligan’s fantastic performance in this timey wimey story. Her warmth, cleverness and bravery only heightened the drama, and since the Doctor rarely appears in the episode (but isn’t missed) she was tasked with carrying the bulk of the screen time. And did she ever rise to the occasion. Mulligan is a bit busy being nominated for Oscars these days, but Whovians hold out hope that on some distant date in the future, she might re-appear in the Whoniverse.
Tough, smart and challenging, Adelaide had all the elements of a born leader and demanded the Doctor (and the audience’s) respect from the moment she appeared. She was a welcome change from the run of wide-eyed, lovey dovey companions the Doctor had been running with for the previous years, and her heart breaking sacrifice to thwart the “Time Lord Victorious” was a shocking demonstration of the depth of her courage.
Were there ever a moment in the future when an almost out of control Doctor had to be reigned in again, a cameo or even a flashback to Captain Brook would be most appropriate. And awesome.
Now, we can hear you already…”Idris is the soul of TARDIS! She’s been a companion for virtually every one of The Doctor’s adventures!” (SIDEBAR: How much of a Who nerd are you? Can you name the episodes/stories that had no TARDIS appearance at all? Let us know in the comments if you knew all of the episodes, we’ll post the answers below!!)
BUT! Nobody can deny that The Doctor’s Wife was the first (and only) appearance of Idris, and her remarkable relationship with The Doctor was so special and unpredictable that it warrants her inclusion on this list. Powered by an outstanding performance from Suranne Jones and a great script from Neil Gaiman, Idris stole our hearts, and both of The Doctor’s. We defy you to watch the hello/goodbye scene from the final moments of the show and not get choked up.
Anytime you get a chance to secure
The Governor an actor of David Morrisey’s abilities for a guest spot, the results will speak for themselves. Morrissey took on the not at all imposing (said nobody, ever) role of a Victorian man convinced he is The Doctor, which might not sound that intimidating until you break down what was required.
Morrissey had to be convincing in his swagger and presence as The Time Lord, while sharing the screen with the actual Doctor. He had to portray Jackson Lake with enough vulnerable ambiguity to let the real Doctor (and us) realize he was human and in need of help. He had to be decisive and passionate in one moment and then timid and unsure in the next. He was the Doctor and the companion… all at once. And he did it all fantastically well.
We could go on about how valuable, charming, and inspirational “Gramps” was during his only adventure in the TARDIS, and how important he was in helping the Doctor defeat The Master and come to terms with his demise….or we could just watch him say sorry to The Doctor.
What do you think of our list? Did we miss any fantastic one-off Companions?
SIDEBAR ANSWERS! The only episodes to not feature an appearance of the TARDIS are…
Mission To The Unknown, DW and the Silurians, Mind Of Evil, The Daemons, The Sea Devils, The Sontaran Experiment, Genesis Of The Daleks, and Midnight.