Six Smart Women Discussing Doctor Who

VerityEpisode78This week we bring you episode 78–really! Pay no attention to Deb’s introduction. Erika isn’t the only one who makes mistakes! Join Deb, Erika, Liz, and Lynne as we talk about companion teams. First, we have to define that term and differentiate it from “TARDIS team”. Then we can get into the meat of the discussion–which companions work really really well together? Who can’t you think of without their counterpart?

Let us know your favorite companion teams in the comments!


Also covered:

Bonus links:
Erika’s grumpy/happy thing: CONsole Room
Down and Safe Liz’s Blake’s 7 podcast
Peter Capaldi w/parachute

Download or listen now (runtime 1:29:04) 

Comments on: "Ep 78 – Teams in the TARDIS (Not TARDIS Teams)" (11)

  1. Richard S. said:

    Yay, companion teams & Team Companions! And thanks for covering a topic that I think I mentioned when you were asking for themes at the start of the year.

    If I hadn’t been absolutely terrified of the Daleks as a young child, I would have probably seen most of the Pertwee era, and I would have probably got the idea that his was the default format for the show. But, fortunately, I didn’t start watching DW until the Fourth Doctor & Harry Sullivan’s first story Robot (didn’t start watching AND listening with the volume above zero until Robot part 3, I think)… and I have always felt most comfortable watching the show when it had two companions sparking off each other, even if those companions were Romana (I) and K9.

    In terms of a dysfunctional pairing, how about Tegan & Turlough? I believe Janet Fielding & Mark Strickson have said that they always tried to slip a bit of subtextual hanky-panky into the Davison era whenever the producer JNT wasn’t looking… although it’s difficult to tell given the plots & character-separations in the two stories of theirs I’ve seen most recently: Frontios (repeated again this coming weekend on Freeview ch 70) and Resurrection.

    Clearly Janet & Mark got on really well together on the show, and still do, as is apparent on the DVD extras for The Visitation. The chemistry between actors is perhaps the major Doylist factor in companion pairings; see also Karen & Arthur, William Russell & Jacqueline Hill and Anneke Wills & Michael Craze.

    I’ve been lucky enough to see most of the episodes you mentioned, in those very rare classic DW repeat seasons on the BBC, so they all hold a special place in my TARDIS-shaped heart. The first-ever Troughton story I saw was The Krotons, in the groundbreaking Five Faces Of Doctor Who season in the early 1980s, and I believe The Time Meddler was repeated about a decade later? I’ll have to start building a collection of Peter Purves DVDs sometime soon, check out that arc of his.

    Interesting how Russell T. Davies seemed to steer away from Companion Teams (apart from LINDA???) in favour of family dynamics. Grateful that Moffat brought back the idea. Vampires of Venice was a definite highlight in the Amy/Rory era, more entertaining than Power of 3 IMHO. My own best companion team story would be Ben & Polly (Polly & Ben)’s first one, The War Machines, because I was amazed at how modern & grown-up their relationship seemed.

    • Richard S. said:

      Oops, I was trying to make a perhaps-too-subtle reference to JNT’s comment about how difficult it was for actors to perform to K9’s eyeline, and it turned into an unintentional disparaging remark about Romana I. Sorry Romana I, you were my favourite!

  2. YES to more TARDIS teams in the future. Hear, Hear.

  3. Gary Schaper said:

    Big Finish has created a couple of very nice companion teams, and they’re particularly fond of playing the veteran traveler / newcomer dynamic. In part, because they have tended to take an existing solo companion and added a new one to the mix: with Hex joining the Seventh Doctor when Ace is there to show him the ropes, and Erimem joining the Fifth Doctor and Peri. Ace & Hex develop in an interesting direction, of both being commiserating subjects of the Doctor’s mysterious plan schtick. And despite Erimem coming on board from her life as a young Pharoah, she and Peri develop a great friendship with Peri introducing her to all sorts of modern and futuristic aspects of life. (They play off each other marvelously when they’re set as a team separate from the Doctor, as in The Kingmaker.)

  4. Jim O'Brien said:

    Thank you for the shout out to Steven and Vicki in “The Time Meddler”––one of my favorite Who serials across the board––as well mentioning the unlikely duo of Mel and Ace in “Dragonfire”. It was a pleasure listening to all of your picks. I was hoping that Courtney Woods might be thrown into the “team” mix with Capaldi and Coleman this past season but alas, that was not to be. Perhaps it was my nostalgia for the teacher/student days of Barbara, Ian, and Susan. I know many fans are not very keen on “Kill the Moon” but I adored that episode!

    • Yes, excellent call on The Time Meddler!

    • Agreed! I hadn’t really thought of The Time Meddler in those terms, but I think it’s an excellent comparison! Ditto for Ace and Mel – it would have been very interesting to see them do more stories together. Am I the only one who thinks that could be great in Big Finish and/or in an episode of the New Series?? 🙂

  5. Erika – about the adaptation of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell — It has been some time since I read it, but it just feels amazingly close to the book. This is helped by the illustrations in the novel – the characters have just leapt off the page.

  6. If we had a TARDIS team in season 9 would be with Psy and Siabra with Clara. I think that would be a great team as shown in the final moments of The Time Heist where they are eating Chinese and telling jokes. I think watching that kind of interaction every week. Clara and Psy had a connection but so did the Doctor and Siabra.

    Another team that I enjoyed and I don’t think was mentioned was Amy, Rory, River, and Canton with Rory taking the role of explaining the life in the TARDIS to Canton.

    I think Liz is right about why we want a single companion because we want to be that companion. However, I wonder if that is why we love the glimpse of teams instead of having actual teams. It fulfills both our needs to be that companion but also have more interaction.

  7. […] I have also been busy picking up extra work with HelloGiggles, The Mary Sue, and others. It’s been a whirlwind, but I am so grateful for it. I also had the honor of being mentioned on a podcast not once but TWICE. Verity Podcast is an all women-run show that focuses on all things Doctor Who, and they mentioned my article on The Guardian about how to combine talent and fandom love to make a little cash. If you remember…that was the article that caused a bit of backlash toward me so it was good to hear someone say they liked it LOL! They also mentioned my fledgling blog Bad Wolf Blerd. It was definitely an exciting moment, so listen to the podcast! […]

  8. Thanks for the shout-out to CONsole Room! We did indeed have a great time and would love to see any (or all!) of the Verities there in the future! 🙂

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