Six Smart Women Discussing Doctor Who

VerityEpisodeEp72…Or as Deb so aptly put it on the Verity! spreadsheet: “Hey you! What are you doing in my TARDIS?” Join Erika, Deb, Liz, and Lynne as we talk about how the companions end up with the Doctor in the first place. There are lots of different ways and reasons folks end up aboard the TARDIS. Some do it on purpose, some are complete accidents. Some seem to have fallen out of favor in the new series, and we wish they’d make a comeback!

What kinds of companion arrivals are your favorite? Let us know in the comments!


Also covered:

Bonus links:
Erika’s essay about Nyssa
Everyone’s Just So So Special by Rob Shearman
David Tennant says Rose was the Doctor’s girlfriend
Watsonian vs Doylist

Huge thanks to all our April Fools’ Day participants:

Download or listen now (runtime 1:12:50) 

Comments on: "Ep 72 – Companion Arrivals: Beckoned, Bumbled, Barged-In" (15)

  1. : “What are you doing in my TARDIS?”

    Wasn’t that what the First Doctor said to Turlough and Tegan when he and Susan got into the Tardis in The Five Doctors?

  2. “It’s called ‘The Rescue.'” Best. Comment. Ever!

  3. Richard S. said:

    I can remember being super-excited (or early 1980s equivalent) when DWM reported that Tom Baker was going to be joined by Sarah Sutton! from The Moon Stallion!! by the late Brian Hayles!!! Also remember being puzzled and annoyed when the Doc & Adric left without Nyssa at the end of her debut story. In fact, until I saw the repeats on The Horror Channel last month, first time since I watched the BBC repeat seasons in summer & autumn 1981, I’d forgotten that Nyssa doesn’t officially join until Logopolis part 2, when she’s brought to that planet by the Watcher, just before she sees her home destroyed in part 4.

    In fact, the memory cheats so much (aha!) that I’d forgotten Nyssa was actually my favourite of that TARDIS crew right up until about Kinda part 2.

    Last weekend, The Horror Channel showed Jo Grant’s debut, first time I’ve ever watched it, a solid companion audition, what with the being hypnotised and nearly blown up & suffocated, and still able to joke about lack of qualifications. Definitely earned her place in, or in same workroom as, the TARDIS. I also like Ben & Polly’s entrance into the TARDIS (exit from London?), almost Moffaty in its: “Hey, look at this plot coupon from a few episodes ago that we nearly forgot to return for a narrative refund.”

    In terms of New Who, the intro story that’s had the biggest impact on me is The Eleventh Hour, probably a lot to do with Caitlin Blackwood’s scenes at the start, and how Karen developed it, and the instant chemistry with Matt & Arthur, and it’s still in my top five, maybe top three Matt stories. Rescue from Rory & marriage, better or worse than Dido & Koquillion?

    I’d be interested to see if Moffat breaks away from the current New Who companion format. I guess it depends if he wants to tell a completely different format of companion arc, or carry on as before. Probably the latter, given the amount of dangling (Danny-ing?) Moffat Mystery threads still in play.

  4. Squibby said:

    Another super podcast!

    If travelling in the TARDIS is the main criteria then ‘The Three Doctors’ makes all the UNIT gang, except Cptn Yates, companions. I love the Brig’s response to the inside of the TARDIS – this is what you’ve been wasting UNIT money on.

    But, if TARDIS travel is your main criteria are you going to discuss the many other companions you left off the list? Here’s just a few… Agatha Christie, H G Wells, the Mandragora Helix, Daleks, Cybermen, Sontarans, the Master, the hundreds of people the Doctor dropped home at the end of a story (like all the crew and passengers of assorted spaceships)…

    I think the main criteria for a companion is their ongoing companion-esque engagement with the Doctor and his albeit often reluctant acceptance of them in that role.

  5. terminuspodcast said:

    Excellent episode!

    Oh, and I have to say that I’m so glad you mentioned the problematic issue of throwing Adam under the bus whilst letting other companions get away with less (and for those that say that Nine was a different Doctor: Rose nearly destroyed all of existence in ‘Father’s Day’ and got a pass, so…). I’m no fan of Adam, but I’ve gone on record several times to talk about how I didn’t like the way he was treated and that his whole story was unfair on sooo many levels.

    I always found the RTD-era ‘I only take the best’ thing incredibly terrible, especially when, as Liz pointed out, there is often a ‘failed’ person set up in the ‘recruitment’ episode to make the new companion ‘look better’ (when, to me, it only makes the Doctor look more like a jerk). Plus, the whole ‘The Best’ thing is just so suspect anyway, because what the Doctor finds ‘valuable’ in someone does not necessarily make them a ‘better’ person and it does take on a very creepy tone. For example, with the Tenth Doctor, its my opinion that he tends to prefer people who *need* him (see: Rose and Donna) vs people who are just fine independent of him (see: Martha and Mickey). It’s almost like an ego-stroking thing for him. Plus, with Martha being my fave companion, it was truly awful to watch the Doctor put her through all of these ‘tests’ when she was obviously very smart and capable and when he’s taken people with him for less. Grr. I could on about that for ages.

    I suppose my favorite Doctor/companion relationships are sort of the best friends/equals or the mentor/student. Those feel much less dysfunctional to me than quite of few of the ‘I only take the best’ ones.

    P.S. ‘The Rescue’ comment totally made me laugh out loud. 🙂

  6. mendramarie said:

    My fiance and I are going through a rewatch, so I’ve thought about the Adam-in-Long-Game vs. Rose-in-Father’s-Day dichotomy (plus, after this episode, Jack-in-The-Doctor-Dances which I suppose makes it a trichotomy?) recently.

    One of the main differences I noticed wasn’t just the acts themselves (Rose’s is arguably worse, because she does know better, and she did say she wasn’t going to do anything) but each companion’s reaction to their consequences. Adam, in both Dalek and The Long Game, tries to shift the blame as soon as he thinks he might be in trouble. One look at the Doctor at the end of The Long Game and he says, “This is actually your fault; you left me alone.” He’s arguably right that the Doctor and Rose shouldn’t have left him alone, but he’s also a grownup who can make his own decisions – and he doesn’t say, “I made a bad decision.” He doesn’t accept the responsibility of the consequences.

    In contrast, Rose’s reaction in Father’s Day when she realises something’s wrong is “Is this my fault?” She doesn’t say, “You should have stopped me,” or “It’s your fault for letting us come here in the first place.” She acknowledges that she did something wrong, and she’s willing to accept the responsibility for that. (The fact that neither the Doctor or Pete let her take the consequences is an entirely different discussion.)

    In the same way, Jack at the end of The Doctor Dances doesn’t try to shift blame for the Chula ambulance onto anyone else. He acknowledges that he brought it there, and he takes responsibility for the consequences. By taking on the consequences, he opens the door for the second chance that Adam had squandered.

    Was Adam treated / written terribly in The Long Game? Yes. Would most of us do the same? Yes. But I would argue that the reason that the Doctor doesn’t give him that second chance isn’t because he breaks the “rules” but because he doesn’t acknowledge his own responsibility in breaking them.

  7. …but what category did Mel eventually fall into? 😉

    I’m wondering if there should be something along the lines of “temporarily disjointed”, which covers Mel and River? In both cases, the first time we meet them is not the first time they meet the Doctor… It’s possible Mel’s “origin story ” is covered in one of the sixth Doctor Missing Adventures, but I can’t recall off the top of my head which one.

    Oh, and in the novelisation of Fenric, Ace didn’t just happen to end up in that space parlour – the time storm whipped up in her bedroom was really created by Fenric in order to place her at the Doctor’s side.

  8. If you guys are recording a block of podcasts listeners are going to worry that Deb’s been sick for weeks! I’m glad you explained it because when I first heard her coughing I was worried. “She’s still sick? That can’t be good.”

  9. I listened to this – my first Verity podcast an found enjoyable listening whilst I walked the dog (not a euphemism by the way!). It’s hard to think of a specific fav companion. For me, big favs are Dr Two with Jamie & Zoe, Lovely Sixie & Peri, Tennant with Donna (“You’re not mating with me!!”) and I adored Amy and Rory with Dashing Eleven. Of course Ian and Babs were marvellous and it was a real shame when they left us. Currently in our marathon of story watching we’ll be next watching The Faceless Ones – I wonder what my chums will make when they realise Ben and Polly are leaving. It’s a sad and hurried end for two companions who kicked some fun into the show.

    I blubbed like a wrong-un at Rose’s departure and Donna’s sad exit. However I was glad when Marta went. I just found her simpering to be all wrong. Though she did an excellent job in the season 3 finale.

    Anyway I’m blabbering on – I loved what you said about Turlough. I’m quite fond of him but his “Muh-haha I’m evil” stuff at first was strange!

    Ace was great too:)

    A link to our marathon-watching blog below!
    Looking forward to more podcasts ladies!
    Cheers me dears

  10. Cynthia said:

    While listening to this in the car, I heard myself yelling, “What about Herbert?”. He stowed away on the Tardis and traveled to the future, nearly got killed with the Doctor and then was returned to his own time. I know it was only one episode and that most fans hate “Timelash” (I do!) and few who’ve not listened to the Sixth Doctor on Big Finish like him (he’s my favorite), but I think Herbert was at least as good as Harry.

    • Cynthia said:

      I meant to say I don’t hate Timelash!

    • I certainly don’t hate Timelash either – Colin’s Doctor was always a favourite of mine – and I’ve never heard him on audio! I like when the Doctor is a bit snappy and unpredictable! 🙂

  11. […] thought this provided some nice symmetry with our episode about companion arrivals. Join Deb, Erika, Lynne, and Tansy as we talk about how companions leave the TARDIS. Many are […]

  12. […] Companion Arrivals – is there any better entrance to Doctor Who than getting yourself tied upside down by a […]

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