Six Smart Women Discussing Doctor Who

VerityExtraDefinitiveCompanions2-300Happy Hallowe’en to you all! Due to some tricks technology played on us, you get the treat of not having to wait another week to hear the conclusion of our definitive companion series. Join Deb, Erika, Lynne, and Tansy as we wrap up the remaining five Doctors and discuss who we think is the definitive companion for each.


Download or listen now (runtime 34:48) 

Comments on: "Verity! Extra! – Definitive Companions (Part 2)" (21)

  1. Laurissy said:

    Yeah someone else voted for Vicki for 1st doctor. In terms of Ben and Polly I just got the 10th planet on DVD and I loved it when Toby Hadoke asked Anneke Wills her opinion on everytime they say how much the companion is involved how progressive Sarah Jane/Rose/Amy insert companion name here and to prove this they show a clip of Polly making the coffee.She just said Polly is clever which is unmistakably true for anyone who watches her stories. So yes I hope more ben and polly episodes emerge I look forward to the release of the underwater menace and the moonbase. Also First sorry never been first before want to get it out of my system.

  2. Ray Adamson said:

    You know,i bet the fifth doctor frequently wished Polly was still travelling with him considering how difficult it was for him to get a cup of tea from the australian air hostess he was stuck with!Not a lot of discussion relating Dodo Chaplet as a possible candidate for first doctors’ definitive companion,i notice.I don’t think there will be much dispute about that.Commiserations on the technical gremlins which deprived us of the podcast that might have been this week.Surprised Erika is not more familiar with first Doctor stories,i would have thought regular viewings of The Gunfighters would be practically conditional because of her better half.

    • Poor old Dodo. She suffered from weird production choices more than most, with even her accent sliding about from story to story depending on production/director whim – and disappearing in the middle of a story, with not even a final wave.

      • Deborah Stanish said:

        My personal head canon: Dodo was abducted by the Celestial Toymaker who was simply mad for another round of games with the Doctor. Dodo waited patiently for the Doctor to realize that the lame of excuse of “gone off to the country” was a half-hearted diversion at best. When he never showed up she swallowed her disappointment and then nimbly escaped the Toymaker’s clutches, eventually making quite a nice life for herself. She is no longer mad at the Doctor, mostly, but if they should ever cross paths again, she may not be able to resist a good slap. Seriously, “the country”? Oh, Doctor….

        (We shall not speak of Who Killed Kennedy)

  3. baticeer said:

    My choices of definitive companions for this second set of Doctors would be:

    5 – Unfortunately I haven’t yet experienced more than a few Fifth Doctor stories and of all the Doctors he’s the one I’m the least familiar with, so I’m not really sure. I will say that Tegan is the one who pops into my mind first but I couldn’t tell you why!

    4 – Leela; I can see the argument for Sarah Jane or Romana but I think I choose Leela. Honestly the fact that Sarah was present alongside the Third Doctor and appeared in the new series and her own spinoff as well, makes me less likely to think of her as definitive. It’s like, I don’t necessarily think of the Fourth Doctor immediately when I think of Sarah, so vice versa doesn’t apply? If that makes any sense. 🙂 For Romana it would be the fact that she has two different incarnations so neither one of them can really be definitive in my mind for the Doctor. When I think of the Fourth Doctor, I just automatically imagine him alongside Leela.

    3 – Jo! I wouldn’t pick the Brigadier for this not because I don’t think of him as a companion (he really is in my mind) but rather for the same reasons that I didn’t say Sarah Jane. The Brig is a real multi-era character who had adventures alongside most of the Doctors even though he was only a regular in the UNIT era. I think of him more as an “all of Doctor Who” character and so it’s like, if the Doctor is not definitive for the companion in my mind, then the companion is not definitive for the Doctor.

    2 – Jamie. Duh! Their friendship is one of my favorite Doctor/companion relationships ever (actually it’s probably THE favorite) and it’s pretty much impossible to have one without the other. The more interesting debate here would be “which is the Second Doctor’s most definitive team?” When I think of the Troughton era I think of him alongside Jamie and Zoe but I’m not sure why them specifically.

    1 – Vicki, oh my gosh I was so pleased to hear my exact thoughts on why she is the definitive one articulated perfectly. Barbara and Ian I love dearly but they are a unit where you can’t have one without the other and therefore neither of them alone is definitive for me. Vicki is such an under-appreciated character and I really do think that she is pivotal for the show. Susan left the cast essentially because her character did not really work as well as she should have and if she had been replaced by a companion who was somehow misconceived or subpar it would have been a disaster! People give Patrick Troughton so much praise for proving that the show could continue with a change of lead actor (and rightfully so!!) but you never hear similar comments about Maureen O’Brien which is a shame. The end of The Rescue is a pretty landmark moment when you think about it. The Doctor inviting a human to come travel with him in his TARDIS – for the first time ever.

    • I’m so glad you thought I was articulate! I just listened to the episode myself and I was all “what are you even saying, woman?” I left out half my argument, too! MIght have to come back for a Last Word post…

    • Elvisomar said:

      Baticleer, I don’t recall if you weighed in with your choices for the latter Doctors, but just out of curiosity: With your criteria of multi-Doctor companions being ruled out, how does that affect your selection of a definitive companion for the ninth Doctor?

      I agree that Sarah Jane and the Brigadier are an important of the Doctor’s life in more than one incarnation; but that would seem to apply to Rose, Captain Jack, Mickey, Mel, Adric, Peri, and presumably Clara. (To my way of thinking, even if I accept your premise, there are other multi-Doctor companions that still remain very strongly tied only to one incarnation of the Doctor. I’m thinking of Tegan, Nyssa, Ben, Polly, and River.)

      Just to be clear, I’m not intending to challenge you, exactly. If that works for you, rock on, (because this is just a mental game we are playing anyway), but I am curious whether you make a distinction between Rose and Sarah Jane with regard to your reciprocal definitiveness requirement.

      • Elvisomar said:

        Oops, Bataceer. Sorry for the typo on your name.

      • Elvisomar said:

        Got it wrong a second time… oy… Baticeer.

      • baticeer said:

        Fair question. I suppose I would say that I don’t necessarily rule out a companion who is in the eras of multiple Doctors as being definitive. It just makes them less *likely* to be definitive in my mind. Rose is certainly my definitive Ninth Doctor companion. Because when I think of Rose I think of her with the Ninth Doctor and vice versa.

  4. Rosie said:

    If I was playing Doctor-companion word association I immediately think of the following: 1st Doctor and Susan, 2nd Doctor and Jamie, 3rd Doctor and Jo, 4th Doctor and Sarah Jane, 5th Doctor and Tegan.

    But if I think about it more closely, I think I’d go with Barbara for the 1st Doctor. Especially for that rant in Edge of Destruction.

    I’d still stick with Jamie for the 2nd Doctor through sheer longevity. And definitely Jo for the 3rd Doctor, particularly since I just watched the special edition dvd of The Green Death. The final scenes still slay me.

    Re-examining the 4th Doctor is much trickier. I think the influence of pop culture has made me lump 4 with Sarah Jane even though I personally think she worked better as a companion for the 3rd Doctor in her professional capacity as a journalist who wasn’t so reliant on the Doctor. I can definitely see the argument for Leela because of the unique nature of the ‘mentor-pupil’ relationship. And classic stories like Talons just add to that as well as the audios. But if I can do a semi-cheat and consider Romana as a single character rather than considering her separate incarnations, I’d pick her. She is his equal and in some areas his superior and it was an entirely different relationship he had with her as a fellow time lord. Plus City of Death being the highest rated story ever. I’m even tempted to make a cheeky pick of K9. Even after K9 decides to leave, the Doctor can’t bear to be without him and rebuilds him!

    And Tegan and the 5th Doctor still makes sense to me. Few companions have challenged the Doctor in the way Tegan did. It was refreshing to see a relatively combative yet loyal doctor-companion relationship. And yet despite all that, Tegan stuck around for one of the longest, perhaps even the longest tenure of any companion in the show’s history. For me her absence for most of the Big Finish audios was glaringly noticeable until Janet Fielding finally deigned to reprise the role. I missed that abrasive, no-nonsense attitude that cut through the crap. But I also agree that 5’s era was about TeamTardis more so than any other era and the Tegan/Nyssa/Adric dynamic appeals to me the most.

    • Imagine if the Doctor attempted to rebuild ALL his companions after he left! (No, Rose, don’t go in there, that cupboard is full of robot Tegans!)

  5. Another great podcast! Going to add my votes for the second set:

    5th Doctor – Tegan. She was always there and her hurt and disappointment (and grief after Earthshock) were major effects on how 5 developed. Can fully see why people want it to be Nyssa though.

    4th Doctor – Sarah Jane. It would just be criminal if she wasn’t on this list and I think the relationship with 4 is one of the best and warmest in the shows history. The “I know you’re a Timelord” scene from Pyramids and the access tunnel scene from Ark in Space are worth her inclusion alone. Her final scene where she gets dumped in Aberdeen is heartbreaking as well. The relationships with Romana (no number – they’re one person), Leela and K9 are all very honourable mentions though.

    3rd Doctor – Jo. Honourable mentions for Liz and Sarah Jane but the relationship with Jo was special. I can understand a lot of people picking the Brig but for me he isn’t a companion. That isn’t a detriment to him, I count him above and beyond all the companions as the Doctor’s true best friend.

    2nd Doctor – Jamie. Can’t even comprehend it being anyone else! 😉

    1st Doctor – . Here is where I fail. It’s the first TARDIS team and I can’t separate them. The whole history and future of the show is based on what was created by these three and I can’t bring myself to separate them! I know that quite probably discounts my opinion on this one but I really can’t do it.

  6. TheHandofFear said:

    Loving the podcast, but after listening to you all year I feel this page might be helpful:

    Lots of great alternatives there 🙂 Give “quintessential” a bit of a run, eh?

    Otherwise you’re my favourite Who podcast at the moment, I hope you keep going after the end of the anniversary year.

    • TheHandofFear said:

      Whoops, and my votes go to:

      5th Doctor: Tegan

      4th: Sarah (for the exact same reasons as Tansy’s)

      3rd: Jo

      2nd: Jamie

      1st: Susan

      Length of tenure’s obviously a major consideration when discussing this sort of thing, as much as I love Ben and Polly I can’t give it to them given they were only in it for a year, and split between two Doctors. I love the Brig but there were many Pertwee stories where he and his team were all but (if not completely) absent.

      With regards Dodo, I still love the Splendid Chaps’ theory that the Doctor murdered her. “Dodo, hmm? Oh, I got a call from her to say she’s fine, she’s decided to stay in the country. I doubt we’ll see her again. No, she didn’t want to speak to anyone else. Don’t question me. Anway, I’m off.”

    • FYI, many of the times we use that word we’re actually subtly poking fun at the BBC for their (often inaccurate) overuse of “iconic”. Though you may be right that we’ve gone so far as to dip into ridiculouness ourselves. Though I think when it comes down to it “definitive” and “representative” are probably more oft used on Verity!

  7. Wow, you guys all made good cases for who should be the definitive 1st Doctor companion. I’m going to go with Barbara but, seriously, you could twist my arm gently with all the other arguments. I was shocked that I could be persuaded to support the Vickie case but, sure, I could go with her too–well played whoever thought up that one. And to catch up with last week, even though I’ve never seen Frobisher, I would vote for him just to not have to think of Peri. Do any female fans like Peri? I only hear from male fans who love her and I dread to think why.

    • baticeer said:

      I’m not male and I like Peri. But on the other hand… I am kind of allergic to the idea of strongly disliking almost any female characters especially if they are companions. Seriously, it is difficult to find a fictional lady that I hate. And Peri is not one of my favorite companions ever. She’s just kind of there and doing things and it’s fun and I enjoy her, but I don’t go out of my way to praise her the way I do, say, Barbara.

      I’m sure the intensely adoring Peri fangirls are out there though, small though their numbers may be! I have learned that Doctor Who fandom is a place where no matter how maligned a story or character is, there is SOMEONE who counts it/them as their favorite of all time, no matter how weird you think that is. 🙂

  8. […] takes us waaay back to a fun topic from our very first year! Join Deb, Erika, and Kat as we decide who are the definitive companions for each Doctor. […]

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