Six Smart Women Discussing Doctor Who

VerityEpisode25-300It’s time once again to talk about companions! Join Deb, Erika, Katrina, and Tansy as we turn our attention to the male denizens of the TARDIS (and possibly its immediate surroundings, though we don’t agree on whether that counts). No surprise, the Verity! crew is just as divided as fandom at large when it comes to what qualifies one for “companion” status. But we do agree that male companions add a great deal of value and entertainment to our beloved show, and we want more!


Also covered:

Bonus links:
Tansy’s Hugo Award!
Watsonian vs Doylist perspectives on fiction

Download or listen now (runtime 1:24:57) 


Comments on: "Verity! Episode 25 – Let’s Hear it for the Boys!" (42)

  1. While a science teacher as a “man of action” companion seems amusing to us now, It’s worth remembering that a lot of contemporary viewers would have remembered William Russell as Sir Lancelot and that would have coloured their reaction to Ian.

    • Very true! Though frankly his Lancelot seems just as cuddly and adorable as his Ian.

      It’s worth looking at how our concepts of heroic masculinity have changed over the last fifty years, and not necessarily for the better. In those days you just needed a take charge attitude and a nice suit… in Britain, anyway!

      People always talk about Ian and Steven being there to do the rugged stuff that the Doctor didn’t – but actually they don’t do much in the way of traditional macho violence. *snuggles them*

  2. Editor’s Note:

    Woo hoo! We got out first nasty, mean, trollish comment! That means we’ve “made it” or something, right? Though they had their facts completely wrong. I probably shouldn’t find that disappointing, but I always hope for better. Most of you have just spoiled me with your intelligence and thoughtfulness!

    Anyway, I just wanted to reiterate what I (Erika) said once on the podcast. Trolling will not be tolerated, and I will not hesitate to trash the trash talk. If you don’t like us, and you express that politely, no problem–comment away! If you disagree with us or other commenters in a cordial way, that’s all kinds of good–discussion is what we’re all about! (And hey, we rarely agree with *each other*.)

    We do not have an official comment policy (and I hope we never really need one), but if we did, it would look something like this. I probably won’t resort to The Kitten Setting, but I reserve the right to do that in the future.

    Oh, and if you’re not sure if you’re trolling or not, here’s some great advice on How to Be a Good Commenter. (Note that 99.9% of our commenters already fit this mold. AND WE LOVE YOU.)

    (Big props to John Scalzi for thoughtfully addressing this sort of thing so I can just point to it. I also recommend his excellent blog, just in general.)

    To reiterate, henceforth, jerky comments will be deleted–probably before they even hit the page. And I’m not gonna pop in and gab about it if it happens, because that would be a waste of my time and a recognition of bad behavior. I’d rather just ignore the riff raff and keep partying with the cool kids. (That’s YOU. Probably.)


  3. Congrats on your 25th podcast! I will raise a glass of wine to you all this evening. 🙂

    I’d love to see a male companion travel with Capaldi and Clara, and he HAS to be there for non-romantic reasons this time, if only for the sake of variety. I think it’s highly unlikely that he’ll be in his 40s though. I expect that the Beeb execs will already be nervous enough about the Doctor being in his 50s so I’m sure they’ll be pressuring Moffat to write in a companion who is a LOT younger than that. Mind you, this is Moffat, so he might stand up to them, but I’d be very surprised.

    But I think it’s definitely time to try something a bit different with the companions. They could tick lots of boxes New Who has yet to tick by making him a character from some future or non-Earth civilisation. In fact, make him a non-human character! That would bring in another dynamic we’ve not seen in New Who yet. New things are always good.

    • I agree, Paul! I would love to see a male, non-romantic companion in the TARDIS again. Whether it’s with Clara or not, I think it would be great to see another Harry/Sarah or Turlough/Tegan companion relationship again. None of this fawning over each other (or over the Doctor) – just two people, who probably become friends, having great adventures with the Doctor.

  4. Elvisomar said:

    IF THE BRIGADIER IS NOT A COMPANION, THEN WE NEED ANOTHER WORD. More important than whether an individual traveled with the Doctor for me is: Who was best friends with the Doctor? Who became an integral part of a larger story? I have no doubt whatsoever that Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart is the closest male friend the Doctor has had (maybe since he left Gallifrey)—and the Doctor pretty much says as much at one point.

    I do not agree with Erica’s definition of a companion as one who “Puts one’s life in the Doctor’s hands”, but if that is the definition, then Wilf must be considered a companion. That’s kinda how we got Matt Smith. Further, with regard to Bernard Cribbons, I hope I beat Liz to it by saying: You completely forgot to mention he was Peter Cushing’s companion almost four decades before he became Donna’s grandfather.

    Regarding Ian and Barbara, I don’t think the Doctor was waiting for the right people. I think he had a plan to get Susan away from Gallifrey with him, and he was trying to protect her from the consequences (whatever those might have been, we still don’t really know). But I think Ian and Barbara made him change his plans, and I agree they helped him identify his own needs and preferences on how not to be alone. Having said that, I think companions after Susan left have to be considered in a different light from Ian and Barbara who were companions while Susan was still there. The Doctor’s considerations when Susan was around were different and focused more on her needs.

    Since Deb set the precedent of choosing a modern and a classic male companion, Captain Jack is my easy choice, and so is the Brigadier. I love ya Erica, but he definitely counts. (I intend this as good-natured teasing): Since you have admitted you don’t much like the Third Doctor era, I declare your opinion on the Brig invalid.

    For the future, I like what you all seemed to suggest: I also want Capaldi to keep Clara around for a while, and maybe add an older male companion. If the new companion is a love interest for Clara, how boring, and then we will all know how they will write her out of the show—also boring and annoying. How about if a new male companion character sort of fills the role apparently intended for Harry: the intelligent action man? Like a fit and active South Asian actor in his 40s, maybe a retired police detective or a research scientist? Do you think Nitin Ganatra would do it? Or no, how about Raza Jaffrey (the guy from MI5 on Spooks(!), and also Smash)?


    P.S. I heartily embrace damseling as a verb.
    P.P.S. I thoroughly approve of hiding and ignoring trolls; ’nuff said.

    • Elvisomar said:

      I meant to add, and forgot: how can anyone watch The Five Doctors and doubt that the Brigadier is a companion!?

    • Excellent points! Really when it gets down to it, we’re just talking silly semantics. (But boy isn’t it fun!?) I suppose it’s more of a spectrum than strict categories. But if we’re going categories, for what it’s worth, I think the UNIT years deserve their own special category. It may not be my favorite, but I wouldn’t dream of downplaying their importance! 🙂

      I guess I see the Brigadier as a “Prospective Companion” and Brian (as someone mentioned on Facebook) might be an off-screen companion (depending on how much time he actually spent traveling with the Doctor.) Wilf I just can’t see. They were together for a bit, and had the 10th Doctor not regenerated, maybe he would have stayed on and traveled with him, but as it was, I don’t think there was enough time put in on-screen to make it feel right to me. Maybe duration of the commitment/repetition of the travel (like in Clara’s case) means more to me than the actual travel itself.

      Again, it’s all silliness, but I’m quite enjoying thinking about it. Being a nerd is great!

      • Elvisomar said:

        Thanks Erika, we are definitely on the same page! It is the examination and comparison that is fun. Even if that takes the form of a lively and respectful debate, there are no winners. The only thing that matters is: If somebody thinks a thing is cool, other people honor that and help celebrate it. Everything else is just wonderful silliness, as you say.

    • I’d be OK with an unrequited love interest male companion – ie he’s soppy for Clara, but she’s not (different to the neglected boyfriend trope) and then after she leaves for her own reasons, he gets to level up as main companion. Likewise if Clara never shows romantic interest in Twelve but the male companion DOES that would be different enough to what’s gone before…

      But three mates in the TARDIS, no lust required would definitely be my favourite potential combination.

      • Emily said:

        That sounds a lot like Ace & Hex in the Big Finish audios, at least for the first while. And Hex definitely shapes up to be a great companion, in my opinion. The crucial thing is, though, that he isn’t DEFINED by his unrequited love. It’s there, but he also has a fascinating backstory of his own and character traits other than soppiness. This is important for any character, whatever gender/species/time of origin, but most of all for the unrequited-love characters since it’s so easy for them to sink into the pitiful/annoying category. Definitely agree on the three mates, no lust required 🙂

  5. Laurissy said:

    At first I was going to say, I define a companion as whoever is on the wikipedia list of companions and leave it at that because at the end of the day a companion is a fan made concept and the doctor doesn’t refer to his companion that often as far as i’m aware. I haven’t watched every episode of doctor who. Just give me time. Then I realised I’d have to count the specials companions which I don’t feel comfortable doing which completely contradicts my first point. I’m going to refer to Ten and say the companion “is a hand to hold.” I guess I define that as the doctor having a strong emotional connection with a person where both have a degree of respect and trust towards each other. I think Ian and Barbara gradually became this which is like most emotional connections. FYI I love the idea that Ian and Barbara created the list of criteria for the companions. So I guess Katarina and Dodo don’t count using that criteria which I am fine with. I think this does mean that Rory and Mickey don’t count as the doctor’s companions. However as Amy and Rose’s companion respectively. Yeah that makes sense. Weirdly enough using my logic I actually think that Craig counts more as the doctor’s companion than Rory and Mickey.

    In terms of favourite male companions, I’m going to have to say Steven just because I think he had the most dynamic and interesting relationship with the Doctor of any male companion and I believe he and the Doctor travelled together without female companions for a substantial time between Daleks master plan and the massacre. Then again Ian did throw a guy of a pyramid which is pretty awesome. No I’m sticking with Steven.

    PS I was wondering if you were ever going to do a podcast on the accusations of sexism in Moffat’s tenure. I realise this topic is somewhat heated but I believe some interesting debates could be had and it would be interesting to gague where the show is going and how would a more progressive stance change the show. For the record I don’t think Moffat is a sexist but there are certain aspects to his writing which I find worrying and rather irritating. Anyway really enjoying the podcast and looking forward to you guys looking at 60’s Who.

    • Elvisomar said:

      My take on the suggestion to discuss accusations of Moffat-based sexism is: If the women of Verity can find a framework for that topic to make it a worthwhile episode (or extra), I’m all in favor. But only if they continue what they have been doing (in my eyes) and that is to acknowledge the undercurrent of accusation and bring it up for discussion when it is pertinent to the topic or episode at hand.

      What I am saying is: I sort of see that question (removed from Moffat specifically) as one of the themes, or maybe I should say it is one of the filter tests for viewing that Verity members bring to the table (and instill in some of their listeners). Honestly, that sort of perspective is exactly why I listen to Verity. I want those questions to be asked, and by listening, I hope to remember to ask them myself while I am watching.

      Take in the show and enjoy it it first and foremost. But think of it as mass media literature second, and question it.

  6. Ray Adamson said:

    Confused by 2 entertains recent DVD scheduling because ,as a casual viewer,i am convinced Angus Lennie was practically a male companion in the 60,s and 70’s.Was he killed all the time in the stories because he was so difficult to work with?Or did he have to die constantly because he was Scottish?Make’s a lot of sense to give K-9 a separate programme of his own since he’s such a contentious topic for discussion amongst fans.It always happens anyway and he’d be pleased.

  7. Great episode! I just had a discussion with a friend the other day about whether a solo male companion would be a good idea so it was a bit of a surprise to listen to this Verity and find y’all tackling the exact same topic (probably more thoughtfully than I!). I definitely think that it would be an interesting dynamic for Doctor Who to explore, but that the cultural place of the show is such that it would be pretty uncomfortable for it to present an all-male cast of main characters. I don’t think Who is at a place right now (nor will it be for quite some time) where this would be a move that I would trust to not be sexist, if that makes sense.

    I’d quite like to see Big Finish tackle a male Doctor and one male companion TARDIS team, actually, since they could do it without some of the same cultural baggage attached to it that the show carries. (I’m not an expert on every audio, so if this has been done, someone feel free to point it out — to the best of my knowledge the closest thing to this is a few “Season 6B” set stories with just the Doctor and Jamie, I think.) Perhaps that could be the next place they go with Seven or Eight.

    BF have actually made an all-male TARDIS team in the Companion Chronicles series, though. There’s a trilogy of stories inserted between The Daleks’ Master Plan and The Massacre where Steven and the First Doctor are joined in the TARDIS by Oliver, who is a young stockbroker from the 1960s. I’ve been listening to those three audios over the past two days and just finished them, and I was really surprised how much I liked Oliver and his dynamic with Steven. Even though he’s only in those three stories, he shot right up *my* list of favorite male companions. (and I want to point out to BF, just in case someone in charge over there happens to be reading this, that there’s just the slightest narrative space in between his second and last story where you could conceivably slot in more adventures if you wanted to bring him back, which would be fabulous, PLEASE DO IT. 😛 ) So yes, highly recommend Oliver Harper for those interested in men in the TARDIS.

    Personally, my favorite male companion is Jamie, closely followed by Ian, Captain Jack, and Fitz (from the 8th Doctor novels)… it’s so hard to choose! And the Brigadier has to be in there too if you count him as a companion, which I sort of halfway do? He’s in a category all his own to me, honestly.

    • The Companion Chronicles have also given us some solo Turlough adventures. In the Main Range, The Holy Terror shows the Sixth Doctor travelling with Frobisher the penguin (who is a shapeshifting alien and not necessarily male, but is performed by a male artist). The Sixth Doctor also recently had a couple of adventures with Jago and Litefoot along for the ride: Voyage to Venus and Voyage to the New World.

      I haven’t heard the Oliver Harper stories but am very keen to catch up with them!

      • Elvisomar said:

        I’ll recommend those three stories with Oliver Harper very, very highly. I think Simon Guerrier is one of the best writers working for Big Finish lately. His trilogy of stories written for Peter Purves and Tom Allen are absolutely some of the best I’ve heard in the one-hour, limited cast format we see in the Companion Chronicles. I enjoyed them so much, (especially the second story) I wrote Simon and told him so. These stories, directed by Lisa Bowerman, are The Perpetual Bond, The Cold Equations, and The First Wave. Do check them out.

      • I will! His Sara Kingdom trilogy was extraordinary.

      • Elvisomar said:

        I’ve only listened to the first two, thus far, but I loved them. Jean Marsh is as good as can be, though I was not familiar with Niall MacGregor prior to listening, he more than measured up to her. The way Guerrier managed to bring Sara Kingdom back from the dead was extremely clever, as well. I suggested to Simon that he should make sure Moffat has his contact info—he was understandably self-depricating in reply. For those who haven’t heard them, the three Companion Chronicles stories with Sara Kingdom are Home Truths, The Drowned World, and The Guardian of the Solar System, all by Simon Guerrier.

  8. Scott B. said:

    Hello all! I don’t know if this has ever been discussed ‘off air’, but has any of the Verity crew (Verifyers?!?) seen the 1998 Reeltime video, “Lust in Space”? It’s kind of a fascinating look at the issue of sexism on Doctor Who, staged as a courtroom trial and featuring Nicholas Courtney as the Judge, Mark Srickson as the Prosecutor, and several former women companions from Carole Ann Ford to Sophia Aldred as witnesses for the defense or just clips of interviews where they talk about the show. Cheesy but fun to see! i have a VHS tape (and a couple of working tape players, but that’s another story), but I’ve seen it available as a DVD or on filesharing sites. I would LOVE to hear 1 or all of your opinions on it!! Keep up the great shows!!

    • Really good point! Obviously, Lust in Space is pretty tongue-in-cheek, but I think most fans would agree that Who has been plagued by some sexism over the years, so it’s definitely an interesting topic to discuss. I, too, would love to hear the Verities discuss it. 🙂

  9. James C said:

    Talk about instant gratification! My request from the previous letters page instantly answered with a really good discussion.

    I think I’d choose Rory as the best man in the TARDIS. He was never portrayed as a chicken or as weak, though he could be said at the beginning to be meek. Right from the 11th Hour Rory was smart and any reluctance about coming aboard came from his unusually clear eyed understanding of the risks and costs of doing so. His sticking around was rather brave I thought, in the face the bond that was there between a smokin’ hot and fiesty Amy and the incredibly charismatic Doctor. A weaker (and less in love) bloke could have quit the field very quickly. It’s Rory’s steadfast love, moral centre and personal transformation over time that make him the best male companion. I always half expected that it was going to be Rory that River Song killed – the best man she ever knew.

    Meanwhile, on the companion conundrum, why not have a category of ‘associates’? It’s used portentously as ‘known associate of the Doctor’ but it’s a useful term to capture the UNIT crew (including the Brig), the Paternosters and so on. Stealing from Buffy, there could also be a roster of ‘potentials’: Adam, Wilf, Astrid, Ray (Bannermen), Todd (Kinda).

    So we’d have


    … and River.

    • OMG I was going to suggest the word Associates as well! I think that allows lots of people who I wouldn’t consider companions (several UNIT folks, Wilk, Canton, etc.) to still have a place in the show.

  10. The gender of the companion only mattered to me when they started making the companion a ‘love interest’ (like Rose/Ten – did not appreciate that relationship).

    Does the companion HAVE to be female? Not for me, but then I never associated strongly with the gender of the companions, anyway – even as a kid, it was just “awesome adventure” and never “girls/boys being awesome”. That may just be me, though.

    I will say that I’ve introduced the show to my young adult niece and was explaining The Lodger to her and she stopped me suddenly and said, “Wait, he was with a guy? I thought he was always with a girl?” I assured her that some of the Doctor’s companions were male – she didn’t think that ever happened.

    And yes, the Brig counts as a companion. So does Canton. Adam doesn’t count because he was Rose’s companion (and apparently she’s a bad companion picker). Rory does count because even though he started as Amy’s companion, he grew into a full Doctor companion over time. Not sure where that puts Mickey, since the majority of his awesome happened extraTARDISally…

  11. I’m really hoping there is another male companion soon, with no romantic interest in anyone, just to change things up.

    I enjoy hearing how other people define “companions”. In my own head, I start with the “traveled in the TARDIS” definition and then completely muddle it all up from there with my own (admittedly sketchy) gut reactions.
    K9: companion, but pet-like.
    Adam: not a companion, maybe a lesser pet traveler. Like if Rose had a gerbil. No offense to gerbils.
    Mickey: Rose’s Companion
    Rory: Companion
    River: Companion+. I think.
    The Brigadier gets his own category.

    I like James C’s idea of Potentials!

    I didn’t know there was a Ravelry group! I’m only ever really on the site to quickly find a pattern or post a finished project, but I joined anyway. Also glad to see the Verity Spotting page. My family will be at Chicago TARDIS this year as well!

  12. ccarol said:

    Hey, it’s knitting _and crochet_, don’t forget the “and crochet”!

  13. I think it’s worth mentioning that, as many of the male companions were there to do the ‘action hero’ stuff, there’s a bit of a bias towards military types – even Ian would presumably have done National Service. I guess my problem is that this carries through to the modern male companions as their ultimate destiny, rather than as something the Doctor undercuts – Mickey was a mechanic (?) who ends up a mercenary, and while Rory was a nurse, he seemed to really be brought into the team when he became the Last Centurion. It’s also my problem with Martha’s later appearances – Davros was right about about a lot of the modern companions – but it does play into certain notions of masculinity: that a man really comes into his own when he learns how to shoot people. And in some ways this shows up one of the show’s little hypocrisies, and it’s why one of my favourite lines is “Rory… I’m a *nurse*”

    So yeah, if the next male companion is an action hero who leaves the Doctor to join a librarian or nursing course, I can live with that.

    (Ironically, having said all that, my favourite male companions are Rory and the Brigadier…)

    • Scott B. said:

      In regards to ‘Rory the Roman’, it’s important to consider he ONLY goes into that character when it comes to protecting Amy, all other times he thinks and acts as a nurse first! In a real way, he’s a woman’s fantasy husband/mate, a guy who’s sensitive, caring, supportive most of the time, but when it comes to protecting “his woman”, Watch Out!!! And if this sounds out of line with modern women, I know from the majority of women I know it is NOT. When I look at the Ponds, I see them as the Doctor’s modern family. In that family, if Amy is the Doctor’s ‘Big Brother’ (let’s avoid the kiss!) and River is the Doctor’s bride, Rory is both the Doctor’s brother-in-law and father-in-law (and perceived romantic rival), the relationship they have is as good as it can be.

  14. I think it’s worth mentioning that, as many of the male companions were there to do the ‘action hero’ stuff, there’s a bit of a bias towards military types – even Ian would presumably have done National Service. I guess my problem is that this carries through to the modern male companions as their ultimate destiny, rather than as something the Doctor undercuts – Mickey was a mechanic (?) who ends up a mercenary, and while Rory was a nurse, he seemed to really be brought into the team when he became the Last Centurion. It’s also my problem with Martha’s later appearances – Davros was right about about a lot of the modern companions – but it does play into certain notions of masculinity: that a man really comes into his own when he learns how to shoot people. And in some ways this shows up one of the show’s little hypocrisies, and it’s why one of my favourite lines is “Rory… I’m a *nurse*”

    So yeah, if the next male companion is an action hero who leaves the Doctor to join a librarian or nursing course, I can live with that.

    (Ironically, having said all that, my favourite male companions are Rory and the Brigadier…!)

  15. Yet another really interesting episode. Your discussions around the differing types of masculinity presented by the Doctor and his male companions has tied into some of my recent thoughts after reading Queers Dig Time Lords (it’s awesome – everyone, grab a copy!). I wonder if all the different options of masculinity made Doctor Who a “safe space” for males (whether queer or straight) who didn’t identify with a traditional macho-style hero that is common in other TV shows?

    As regards my favourite male companion, I’d have to say Rory. I’m still not a big fan of Amy, but I LOVE Rory, and I have done right from the start. In many ways (nurturing, gentle, but brave) he reminds me of my husband (one of those non-traditional males who loved Doctor Who as a child…).

    Mind you, Captain Jack is by far the sexiest male companion… (And is completely UN-like my husband 😉 )

  16. Emily said:

    I, too, loved Rory. But to me at least, it was always clear that he was playing second fiddle to Amy, which was a shame. Looking back, I think they could have done really fascinating things with the characters if, in the latter half of series 5, it had been Amy rather than Rory who was erased from the timeline. That would have left Rory and the Doctor together, and Rory with no idea why he was traveling with him (since it was for Amy’s sake that he was there – he and the Doctor had a very wary relationship for a long time). Would they have got along without Amy there as the bossy glue to hold them together? Would they have become far closer? Parted ways in disgust? Sadly it is forevermore relegated to the stuff of fanfics and alternate realities, but I think it could have done wonders for Rory’s place in the Tardis.

  17. Larry said:

    Okay, the issue I have with describing Ian as the ‘gentle science teacher’ in this latest edition (which I generally love) is backed up by the About Time volumes on that specific era. I would really recommend reading these, as they are Doctor Who Classics 101 and would probably alleviate the Katrina/Katarina issue, among others. Ian was the action hero – he fought as a gladiator, he fought and beat highly trained Aztec warriors, and he did some damage to the Daleks (just to name a few). He was NOT ‘gentle.’ The generation that was on air in 63 had either lived through the REAL war, or fought in it, and had little trouble perceiving themselves as the action hero saviors of humanity. To whit, both Jon Pertwee and Patrick Troughton both fought in WWII in the navy, I am not sure about Hartnell, but whether they fought or lived through, these were hard men who are disrespected by the term ‘gentle.’ You can Watsonien or Doyllsian to your heart’s content, this works on both levels. If you lived through the blitz, like Ian Chesterton, would you really categorize yourself as ‘gentle’? I find this disrespectful to the male heroes of the era, because both Ian and the actor who plays him would have either fought in or lived through the worst war the world has ever seen. To trivialize their actions through a few words is sad at best and unbecoming at worst.

  18. Mugsy1 said:

    Not acknowledging K9 as a male companion, while consistently calling him ‘him’ during the podcast, seems spurious. Watsonien/ Doyllsian stuff would include him as a ‘him’ because of the actors playing him, plus all received knowledge. How exactly are you going to define K9 as anything less than him?

    • You know, you’re right. While he’s (yep, there I go again, “he’s”) not human, he is pretty clearly gendered, even on the show. That said, he still doesn’t fit terribly well into the framework of the discussion of male humanoid companions. I really do think K-9 (and even Kamelion) deserve to be talked about in a setting more suitable to discussing mechanicals. (And for the record, I don’t see “mechanical” as necessarily any “less than” male. That smacks of being … is there a good science-fictioney word for prejudice against machines? Help me out here. 🙂 )

  19. Larry said:

    You cut my piece? So, you basically can’t deal with any form of criticism that doesn’t have some shite about Rory in it? Welcome to the real world, where Aristotelian debate is worthwhile, and we are not censored for our valid thoughts, especially when your podcasters get facts wrong most or the time. Fuck off to Canada and be done with it! this forum is over! and it is because of your huge ego.

    • Actually, it’s because I sleep in the middle of the night (US time), and everyone who comments for the first time gets caught in the moderation queue. That’s pretty standard practice for blogs. So it seems the ego may just lie with the person who assumes they’re being singled out when they’re not. Or perhaps you just weren’t familiar with the moderation queue thing. I’m not going to jump to conclusions.

      As for your original comment, I do think Ian is gentle. Perhaps not “gentle” as an antonym for “man of action,” but as an antonym for man of “ruthlessness and cruelty.” Happily, I think most (if not all) the companions (and most, if not all, of the Doctors) fit that mold. I don’t think living through the Blitz necessarily makes one any less than gentle, but more than anything else, I completely disagree with your implication that gentle is some sort of insult. I see it as a positive attribute. The fact that many men don’t is somewhat alarming to me (as well as more than a little depressing).

      Reasoned debate is, as you say, worthwhile. And as I said, as long as it’s done calmly and respectfully (which you almost managed) it’ll have a place here. Consider this me giving you the benefit of the doubt. Had I woken up cranky, I might’ve tossed both your comments out of pique at the second one.

    • Elvisomar said:

      Speaking as a gentleman (who is also a gentle yet masculine man), I’d like to politely request that Larry take a step back, sit down, put a cookie into his mouth, and wait until the grownups are done talking.

    • I also think that it’s fairly absurd to say that no man who fought in a war could be gentle, and to take offense at the use of the word in this context is just silly. Ian was most certainly a “gentleman”, and was never needlessly cruel. He fought when he felt had to but always showed mercy and compassion to his enemies (unless they were Daleks, perhaps). I think it’s entirely possible to a gentle man, but also to take action when necessary, and I’m sure many of the men who fought in WWII would have thought of themselves that way.

  20. My favorite male companion is Jamie, although Rory the Roman has appeal for obvious reasons

  21. The companion discussion is always a fun one. Things seemed so much easier when we just had Classic Who, didn’t they?? I totally agree with Tansy that you could do a whole episode about the “specials” companions and other people in the new series who some consider companions, but others don’t. As I said above, I think the word “associate” neatly covers most of those people because there are several (Lady Christina, Astrid, Adelaide, and more) that fit that bill. And yes, that includes Canton for me. Sorry Kat and Tansy – I’ll never think of him as a companion. 🙂

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