Doctor Who is a British science fiction television program produced by the BBC since 1963. The program depicts the adventures of a Time Lord called “the Doctor”, an extraterrestrial being, to all appearances human, from the planet Gallifrey. The Doctor explores the universe in a time-travelling space ship called the TARDIS.
Its exterior appears as a blue British police box, which was a common sight in Britain in 1963 when the series first aired. Accompanied by a number of companions, the Doctor combats a variety of foes while working to save civilizations and help people in need. Take a look below for our list of 10 best Doctor Who companions.
1. Rose Tyler
When the Doctor first met her in 2005, Rose was a nineteen-year-old living on a London council estate who had left school with little educational achievement. Emotionally shaped by living with a single mother and stories about a father whom she never knew, Rose seemed destined for a life as a retail worker.
Instead, the Doctor blew up her workplace and they began travelling together soon afterwards. She helped the Doctor work through some of the pain he had as the sole survivor of the Last Great Time War. When she met the Doctor, she was the girlfriend of Mickey Smith, but that relationship immediately began to decay after she started travelling in the TARDIS. As Mickey himself noted, she transferred her romantic attention to the Doctor.
A major facet of her travels in the TARDIS was her assuming the identity of the “Bad Wolf”. In order to get back to the Doctor, after he sent her and the TARDIS together to protect them from a Dalek attack, she was forced to stare into the heart of the TARDIS, which enfolded her in Time Vortex energy and turned her into a new and seemingly omnipotent being that could rescue the Doctor.
She also caused a temporal paradox by leaving herself a trail of clues throughout history, she was able to recognize, leading her back. But it also nearly killed her. The Ninth Doctor absorbed the Time Vortex energy and transferred it back to the TARDIS — triggering a regeneration. She thus became one of three companions — along with Peri Brown and Wilfred Mott — to be the proximate cause of the Doctor’s regeneration.
2. Donna Noble
Despite her humble beginnings, she was described by both Rose Tyler and the Tenth Doctor as being the most important woman in all of creation, due to the fact that she saved the whole of reality from the Daleks and Davros.
To survive the side effects of her transformation into the “DoctorDonna”, her memories of her time with the Doctor were forcibly erased and she was returned to Earth. She later married Shaun Temple and became Donna Temple-Noble.
3. Amy Pond
Amelia Jessica “Amy” Pond — sometimes styled Amelia Williams after her marriage — was a companion of the Eleventh Doctor.
She was nurse Rory Williams’ girlfriend and later wife and the mother of Melody Pond, who later became known as River Song. Amy died aged 87 at some point prior to 2012 after allowing a Weeping Angel to send her back in time, hoping to be reunited with her husband who had just been attacked by the same Angel. She was buried beside Rory in a graveyard in New York City.
Upon first entering the TARDIS, Amy hyper-actively questioned the Doctor about its nature and his, whether the Doctor was really “a little slug in a human suit”, what police boxes were, and if the TARDIS’s roof light ever needed changing. Quickly tiring of her questions, the Doctor threw Amy into an atmospheric bubble beyond the TARDIS, to float weightlessly in space.
4. Sarah Jane Smith
Sarah Jane Smith, occasionally rendered Sarah-Jane Smith, was a companion of the Third and Fourth Doctors.
She held the honor of being one of the few people the Doctor considered one of his best friends. She reunited with him in his tenth incarnation and had adventures with him and his eleventh incarnation. Sarah met nine of the Doctor’s incarnations in total: those already mentioned and the first, second, fifth, seventh, and eighth.
With the exception of K9, a robot dog gifted to her by the Doctor, Sarah spent most of her life alone after travelling with him, but maintained previous friendships with UNIT staff; her connections to the Doctor and the Brigadier afforded her enough pull with the group to call them in to mop up messes after a threat was averted.
By the 2000s Sarah Jane had risen to become one of the top three journalists in the UK, thanks to her passion for investigation and moral compass allowing her to publish any news that would reveal the evil or selfish nature of others. (TV: The Man Who Never Was) All the while, she hoped that she would run into the Doctor again, believing he may be involved with stopping any alien threats that were beyond her ability to thwart.
In her later life, Sarah continued to repel any alien threats, while assisting more friendly ones. She eventually created a Xylok-based computer named Mr Smith to assist her by providing information. These adventures lead her to take on her very own companions, forming a surrogate family; this group consisted of her adopted children of alien origins Luke and Sky, and her young neighbors, Maria, Clyde and Rani. Each had skills that helped Sarah in her adventures.
Despite keeping a low profile during her encounters with aliens, Sarah’s efforts to help humanity would eventually be discovered. Along with her companions, a statue would be erected in her honor.
5. Martha Jones
Dr Martha Smith-Jones was a British physician and a companion of the Tenth Doctor.
She met the Doctor while in residency at Royal Hope Hospital in London when the hospital was transported to the Moon by the Judoon troops, after which she began travelling with the Time Lord.
Unlike other companions, she not only became infatuated with the Doctor but also declared her feelings to him. She decided to stop travelling with him as he could not return her affection, but continued to have a number of adventures, both with and without him, thanks to her work with UNIT and Torchwood.
Martha also went onto marry Mickey Smith, and the two broke out on their own to become alien fighters despite having ties to Torchwood from two different Earths. She encountered the Doctor again before he regenerated, saving her life one more time.
6. Captain Jack Harkness
“Captain Jack Harkness” was the alias adopted by Time Agent and con man Javic Piotr Thane from the 51st century. He was a companion of the Ninth and Tenth Doctors.
After he was killed by a Dalek, he was revived by Rose Tyler, who at the time was transformed into a nearly omnipotent being. Unable to control her powers, she accidentally turned him into an immortal being. Because of this, the Ninth Doctor saw his companion as a fixed point — a temporal paradox that threatened the TARDIS’ proper operation. Consequently, the Doctor abandoned him in the year 200,100 aboard a space station orbiting a Dalek-devastated Earth.
Stranded, the former Time Agent had to use his own devices to catch up to the Doctor. He thought it likely that he’d find the Ninth Doctor in the early 21st century, since that was Rose’s home era. But his vortex manipulator failed to deliver him there due to the damage caused when he was exterminated by the Daleks, missing by more than a century — and going on the fritz immediately thereafter. This left the immortal no choice but to simply wait from the mid-19th to the early 21st century to reconnect with the Doctor.
During his long wait for the “right Doctor”, he experienced what was to him Earth’s history first hand and he even served in a few of the well known conflicts. He also had many different relationships, some of which produced offspring. For the majority of those years, he also worked for Torchwood Three. For several decades an informal free-lancer, he eventually became its head in the year 2000. Later that decade, he finally met up with the Doctor, although the Time Lord had by this time regenerated and was now travelling with Martha Jones.
At the dawn of the 2010s, the 456 returned to Earth. Although Torchwood was able to repel the threat, their success came at the loss of their physical headquarters and painful personal loss for Jack. He, therefore, disbanded the group and left Earth. However, he returned during the events of the so-called “Miracle Day”, and a new Torchwood team arose.
An important facet of Jack’s existence on Earth was its temporal complexity. There were whole decades when multiple versions of Jack existed on Earth. Indeed, during the whole of the 20th century, there were always at least two Jacks on Earth since a younger version was a part of Torchwood Three and an older one was in a grave dug by his brother in ancient Britain. During the World War II era, Earth had at least one more Jack — the younger “con artist” who first met the Doctor and Rose.
7. River Song
Professor River Song (born Melody Pond) was a “child of the TARDIS” and the wife of the Doctor, specifically his eleventh incarnation. She was mostly human, with some Time Lord DNA, conceived by her parents, Amy Pond and Rory Williams, aboard the TARDIS as it traveled through the Time Vortex, and then raised and conditioned by the Silence. This gave her great strength, the ability to regenerate and a great understanding of the complex principles of time and space. She loved the Doctor dearly, and shared a long-lasting relationship with him. River was one of the very few people who knew the Doctor’s true name.
Melody was stolen from her parents as a newborn baby by Madame Kovarian, to become a weapon of the Silence in their crusade against the Doctor. After a later regeneration, she killed the Eleventh Doctor, but then broke her mental conditioning to give her remaining regenerations to revive his corpse, after learning that River Song was who she would become.
The Doctor and her parents left her to make her own way in the universe. With no connection to her family or the Silence, River became an archaeologist, ostensibly to track the Doctor through time. She crossed the Doctor’s path on several occasions, across many of the Doctor’s regenerations, and generally with the result that she was meeting him at progressively earlier points in his own time stream. Hoping to avoid temporal paradoxes, the Doctor gave her a diary to keep track of their meetings and to prevent her from revealing “spoilers” to him about his own future.
Again forced by the Silence, she made a second attempt on the Eleventh Doctor’s life, which led to their eventual marriage. Though actually unsuccessful, she was convicted of his murder and spent many years in Stormcage Containment Facility for it — to convince the universe and the Silence that her husband actually was dead. This confinement was made more bearable by escaping frequently to go out on dates with the Doctor. She was eventually pardoned, due to the Doctor deleting any evidence of his existence, and became a Professor of Archaeology.
After a final adventure with the Twelfth Doctor which ended with them spending a twenty-four year long night at the Singing Towers of Darillium, she died saving the Tenth Doctor, Donna Noble, Strackman Lux, and the 4,022 people saved in the computer system in the Library. The Tenth Doctor saved her consciousness digitally to the Library’s computer system CAL. This data echo desired a true goodbye from the Doctor, and persisted for some time until the time came to say goodbye to her husband.
8. Clara Oswald
Clara Oswald was a companion of the Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors. According to the Doctor, she was “not possible” due to their meetings previously in his personal timeline, with two such encounters seeing her die. Though assured by the emphatic psychic Emma Grayling and the TARDIS scanner that Clara was just an “ordinary girl”, the Doctor couldn’t believe that to be true and thought her to be “the only mystery worth solving”.
While a physically ordinary human woman from the 21st century, Clara chose to enter the Doctor’s timeline in his tomb on Trenzalore in order to try to reverse the damage done to his timeline by the Great Intelligence. This caused the time winds to shatter her into millions of what River Song referred to as “echoes” or “splinters” that were dispersed throughout his personal timeline. These echoes corrected the damage caused by the Great Intelligence but were not the original Clara. She was trapped in the Doctor’s timeline but rescued shortly thereafter.
After Trenzalore, Clara became a school teacher, though she still traveled with the Doctor, meeting the Doctor’s War and Tenth incarnations. She was with him when he regenerated into his twelfth incarnation, having encouraged the Time Lords to grant him a new regenerative cycle and continued to travel with him thereafter.
Clara later met and fell in love with fellow schoolteacher Danny Pink. However, she lost him to a car accident despite her best efforts to bring him back.
After the loss of Danny, Clara became less attached to Earth and began to copy the heroic aspects of the Doctor’s persona; this caused her to become increasingly reckless, as she believed he would always have a plan.
Clara’s heroics eventually cost her greatly; trying to prove Rigsy’s innocence of a false murder, she took a Chronolock, which killed the one branded, from him. She was later extracted from her own fixed point of death in her timeline by the Doctor using an extraction chamber on Gallifrey, losing all physical qualities such as breathing, a pulse and even ageing, being stuck “between one heartbeat and the next”.
The Doctor then stole a TARDIS and escaped Gallifrey, travelling to the end of the universe in an attempt to fully bring Clara back, proving to be ineffective, however. The Doctor planned to wipe Clara’s memory of ever travelling with him, yet instead, in a turn of events, the Doctor lost his memories of Clara himself. She then left in the other TARDIS, planning to use it to travel “the long way around” back to Gallifrey, with Ashildr for company.
9. Rory Williams
Rory Arthur Williams was a companion of the Eleventh Doctor, who nicknamed him Rory Pond.
He was Amy Pond’s husband. He began travelling with the Doctor on the night before their wedding, but he died and was erased from history after being absorbed by the time field. Shortly before the Pandorica was opened, Rory reappeared as an Auton, waited for Amy to come out of the Pandorica for 1,894 years and was restored to a human after the second Big Bang.
He went on to marry Amy and resumed travelling with her and the Doctor. During this time, his child, Melody Pond, was born. When the Doctor married River, Rory became his father-in-law. In 2012, he was sent back in time by a Weeping Angel, and was soon followed through time by his wife. He died at age 82 some time before 2012, his gravestone standing in a graveyard in New York City.
Dorothy Gale “Ace” McShane was a companion of the Seventh Doctor.
Initially a brash and reckless teenager, Ace matured significantly into a strong, independent adult over her many years of TARDIS travel and other experiences, who was capable of surviving on her own.
Born on Earth, Ace eventually attended the Academy on Gallifrey, becoming a Time Lord. With this, she was given a TARDIS of her own and she became an agent of the Celestial Intervention Agency.
Eventually, Ace had her memory erased, was returned to Earth and set up a charity – A Charitable Earth – dedicated to helping Orphans.