Six Smart Women Discussing Doctor Who

VerityEpisode79This week we forget an exciting merch-related announcement at the top of the show, so be sure to listen until the very end! Join Deb, Erika, Katrina, and Tansy as we talk about companions who take on the role of the Doctor. Some do it more effectively than others. Some take to it right away, while most develop the ability after spending more time with the Doctor. And some companions who seem very un-Doctorey indeed have their moments too.

Which are your favorite Doctorish companions? Any moments that stand out to you? Let us know in the comments!

^E

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Comments on: "Ep 79 – Companions Playing Doctor" (7)

  1. Richard S. said:

    One of the most jarring aspects of New Who for me, especially in the first season, was RTD’s use of the Doctor as mentor or advisor to the latest episode’s actual protagonist, the character who actually defeated the monster or solved the crisis: Rose, Jabe, Harriet, Nancy…

    Okay, it doesn’t hold true for every episode of Series One, e.g. the Doctor forced to make the decisive move at the climax of Boom Town, with tragic consequences. But, for the most part, while I loved the arcs that RTD set into motion at the start of New Who, I found it hard to get used to (what I regarded as) the Ninth Doctor’s passivity, and I was thoroughly relieved when The Christmas Invasion hinted at a more action-oriented Doctor to come.

    I’d say Clara wins hands-down at playing Doctor… from the fictional perspective. But on the real-world production side, my vote goes to Peter Purves in that canonical period of Classic Who history when he was being given more lines and bigger scenes and the possibility of taking over the starring role, due to William Hartnell’s health-related performance issues.

    Really need to get me some Steven Taylor on DVD, if only because I saw something on the web last weekend, a little 90-second something, which ends with a scene that might have a connection to one of his earliest stories. Or not. Or SPOILERS.

  2. I think a shout out has to go to Amy in Dinosaurs on a Spaceship. She had her own companions, one of which agreed with her and the other which argued with her and was a bit more violent. She happily pushed buttons until she made something happen, and figured out a large chunk of what was going and then used stun guns rather than actual guns on the raptors.

  3. You could make a strong case for Peter Purves filling this role, as his Steven took a leading part when William Hartnell’s health degenerated.

  4. James McCrory said:

    Peter Purves has some scenes in The Chase first as American Morton Dill; and appeared as Steven Taylor in the last episode of that story; and the existing stories

    The Time Meddler – his first trip in Tardis.
    The Ark
    The Gunfighters

    Which exist as DVDs; all are in black and white; colour didn’t start until Jon Pertwee’s first story, Spearhead from Space.

    Parts of the following (Steven Taylor) stories exist in video – Galaxy 4 (episode 3); the Daleks’ Master Plan (episodes 2, 5, 10); and The Celestial Toymaker (episode 4) exist; but are not readily available… as far as I know.

    I did manage to get a copy of episode 2 of the Daleks Master Plan through the Sun newspaper. They issued an episode/ story from each Doctor through from Hartnell to Tenant (Utopia) free with the newspaper. Nicolas Courtney is also in that episode as agent Brett Vyon

    James

  5. Jim O'Brien said:

    Kat with the D&D alignment references in her closing thoughts for the win!

  6. Emily said:

    Erika, I’m so glad you enjoyed CONvergence. I didn’t go this year but I hope you return next year when I do plan to attend.

  7. An honourable mention for companions being Doctor-ish surely belongs to the companion team in Castrovalva, where the weakened Doctor actually hands out specific responsibilities to Adric, Nyssa and Tegan. The amusing thing about this lies in seeing these companions step up at various times; Tegan first attempting to fly the Tardis, then bossing Castrovalvans, and eventually when separated from the Doctor in Arc of Infinity, driving the search for her cousin with his friend as a companion; Adric using the Master’s technology to sneak a warning to his friends in Castrovalva, then not only having the brash confidence to solve a simple problem in The Visitation by choosing to move the Tardis, but applying percussive maintenance to make it work; and finally Nyssa, not only trying diplomacy on Gallifrey in Arc of Infinity, but when it fails, refusing to give up (all right, to the extent of revealing a side of her not seen since Traken when she starts gunning down Capitol guards – who are supposed to be a trained military unit – as efficiently as she did the Fosters – who were hastily-armed gardeners).

    Perhaps a more Doctorish approach from Nyssa is evoked instead by the sequence in the Visitation in which she carries off her very own A-Team/MacGyver moment in building a weapon to take out the Terileptil android, but then wears fluffy earmuffs while using it?

    At any rate, having amply demonstrated her willingness to stand up for things that are important to her, remaining on Terminus is remarkably reminiscent of the eleventh Doctor’s stand at Christmas.

    (Final “Alternate Timeline” thought: Notably Nyssa chooses not to seek revenge by staying with the Doctor until she’d got a clean shot at the Master, when encounters with him were a fairly frequent affair. She might have got her chance: Just picture the scene in Mark of the Rani where the sixth Doctor leaves his companion to guard the Master and the Rani – with the Tissue Compression Eliminator in hand – but with Nyssa on the trigger instead of Peri! Might we then have seen the Master really worried as Nyssa’s character development took a defining and pivotal turn, whatever she actually did?)

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