Characters / Doctor Who Classic Series Companions

"Look after him, won't you? He gets into the most terrible trouble."
—Departing companion Turlough to new companion Peri

The many people (and the occasional robot) who accompany the Doctor in the classic Doctor Who TV series.

As with all Doctor Who characters, they appear not only in the televised Whoniverse, but also in the Doctor Who Expanded Universe branches. For their ongoing character tropes in Big Finish Doctor Who (in which the original actors continue to play them), as well as for assorted other Big Finish audio companions, see here.

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     Susan Foreman 

Susan Foreman (First Doctor)
"Oh, grandfather!"

Played by: Carole Ann Ford (1963–64, 1983, 1993)

The Doctor's granddaughter. When the series began, she attended Coal Hill School in London as a student for a few months in 1963, posing as a human with a fake human name. She's Constantly Curious and extremely sweet. Returns much later, as an adult, to help out the first five incarnations of her grandfather all at the same time.

  • Audience Surrogate: Word of God has it that she existed so that younger viewers could relate to her.
  • Bound and Gagged: In "The Keys of Marinus", in Episode 6.
  • The Bus Came Back: While Susan has certainly been on a Long Bus Trip, she did return for one adventure in 1983. To this date, Carole Ann Ford is still playing Susan in the Big Finish Doctor Who audios, both in First Doctor stories and as a companion to the Eighth Doctor.
  • Bus Crash: The Doctor stated he was the Last of His Kind as early as "The End of the World". In the later episodes "The Empty Child", "Fear Her" and "The Doctor's Daughter", the Doctor reminisces about having had children once, and confirms that he considers every last Time Lord dead.
    • Possibly subverted if the reason the Doctor thought he was the Last of His Kind is because Susan was on Gallifrey at the end of the Time War. If that's the case, now that it's been revealed that the Doctor managed to save Gallifrey in a frozen moment in time rather than destroying it it's possible that Susan's still alive.
  • The Cameo: She's very briefly seen, from the back, in a flashback in "The Name of the Doctor".
  • Cheerful Child: She has a tendency to act younger than her apparent age, probably because she is extremely young by Time Lord standards, and can't resist a giggle even at the most inappropriate times. For example, she laughs at the way one of her Dalek captors says her name in "The Daleks".
  • Cuddle Bug: Loves to cling to people, especially Barbara and her grandfather.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: One infamous moment has her accidentally dropping a bridge on top of the TARDIS and twisting her ankle in the process.
  • Depending on the Writer: Susan had originally been intended as a Creepy Good Action Girl with Psychic Powers but was ReTooled into a "normal girl" after the unaired pilot. The result of this is that her character fluctuates wildly between scripts: in "An Unearthly Child" she is a nice girl who wishes she was normal but shows a little Nightmare Fetishist behaviour ("I like walking through the dark. It's mysterious.") and physically attacks a massive, armed caveman to save her friends; in "The Daleks" she is a Kiddie Kid who displays exaggerated fear about walking through the dark and the few times she's allowed to speak it's to make stupid suggestions ("First we all lie down and pretend to be dead..."); in "The Edge of Destruction" she drifts around in a long dress, babbles about creatures inside her and threatens to shred Ian with a pair of surgical scissors; in "Marco Polo" she is a Totally Radical sixties teen who thinks everything is "gear"; in "The Keys of Marinus" she is a Distressed Damsel; in "The Aztecs" she has nothing to do; in "The Sensorites" she has a fight with her grandfather and saves the day with her telepathic powers; and then in "The Reign of Terror" she refuses to attempt to escape from a prison when she and Barbara are due to be guillotined because she's scared of the rats and then develops a fever for plot convenience. It's such a horrible mess you can tell the writers were relieved to start again with a blank slate when she got replaced with Suspiciously Similar Substitute Vicki.
  • Distressed Damsel
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Susan as a character creates a lot of continuity problems in hindsight:
    • She has a human name; it could be an alias, but the Doctor always calls her "Susan" even when the two of them are alone. Later Time Lords have outer space-y names like "Romana" or "Rassilon" or "Flavia".
    • Susan claims she invented the acronym "TARDIS". Later, all Time Lords call the machines by that name.
    • She's a blood relation of the Doctor's. Later, the Doctor's Mysterious Past became an important part of his character so any important people from his past (like Susan) wouldn't be depicted in the show in order to preserve the mystery.
    • She departs the TARDIS to marry a human. Time Lords' incredibly long life spans had yet to be established by that point, so the tragedy of Susan outliving her love by several millennia isn't brought up.
  • Human Aliens: From the same race as the Doctor, which initially the audience knew nothing about, even their name.
  • The Ingenue
  • It Runs in the Family
  • Kid-Appeal Character
  • Long Bus Trip: Returns in the 20th anniversary special "The Five Doctors", and in the Big Finish Eighth Doctor audio "An Earthly Child" and subsequent stories.
  • Morality Pet: Before the Doctor's Character Development, he rarely shows concern for anyone besides Susan.
  • Nice Girl: Creates a stark contrast to her much more ill-tempered grandfather, especially in his earliest stories.
  • Pstandard Psychic Pstance: In "The Sensorites."
  • Psychic Powers: She's very gifted in telepathy, much more so than her grandfather.
  • Put on a Bus: Done at the end of the serial "The Dalek Invasion of Earth" where the Doctor leaves her behind so she can marry a nice young resistance fighter and have some stability in her life. She would have stayed with her grandfather out of a sense of obligation if he hadn't. She returns in "The Five Doctors".
  • Riddle for the Ages: Susan's real (Gallifreyan) name. According to the short story, Roses, it is Arkytior, High Gallifreyan for "Rose". One wonders if the reason the revival series Doctor picked his first companion was based on this.
  • Screaming Woman: The original screamer. This was why the actress left the show after only one season — she got tired of this role. Thankfully, her older portrayal of the character is a lot more capable of fending for herself.
  • Security Cling: She's very frequently clinging to either Barbara or the Doctor.
  • Shipper on Deck: The Big Finish Companion Chronicle "Here There Be Monsters" opens with her talking about how she thinks that Ian and Barbara truly belong together. (The Doctor Who Expanded Universe agrees unanimously with her, and a reference in the "Death of the Doctor" episode of The Sarah Jane Adventures made it official for TV continuity.)
  • Teen Genius: Being from the highly advanced civilisation of Gallifrey, this is a given. Her astounding knowledge is the main reason Ian and Barbara become curious about her in the first place.
  • Thicker Than Water: She feels strongly about her duty to her grandfather.
  • Totally Radical: '60s version. Apparently she picked up some of the local youth lingo during her time in Coal Hill.

     Barbara Wright 

Barbara Wright (First Doctor)
"Accuse us? You ought to go down on your hands and knees and thank us! But gratitude's the last thing you'll ever have, or any sort of common sense either."

Played by: Jacqueline Hill (1963–65)

A history teacher at Susan's school who, together with Ian, gets abducted by the Doctor. A very down-to-earth companion who freely spoke her mind and never put up with the Doctor's lies and secrets. Quickly became a Memetic Badass for how determined she was in defeating monsters with whatever tools she had available.

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Barbara got chased by very unsavory types a few times, and on one occasion, was offered freedom in exchange for you-know-what. She was decidedly not impressed with the offer.
  • Action Girl: Running over a Dalek with a truck.
  • The Ageless: In "Death of the Doctor" on The Sarah Jane Adventures, Sarah Jane, after doing research to find other old companions of the Doctor, says that Ian and Barbara, now married and professors at Cambridge, are said not to have aged since the 1960s.
  • Audience Surrogate: She and Ian were designed in part so that viewers of roughly the same age could relate to them.
  • Badass Normal: Barbara ran over Daleks with a lorry. The series' Moment of Awesome page put it best: "The first two seasons could have been renamed The Why Barbara Is Awesome Show, and no one would have noticed."
  • Badass Teacher: Both she and Ian, with Barbara being the bigger Bad Ass of the two.
  • Big Damn Kiss: Barbara doesn't waste any time in becoming the first person in Doctor Who to snog someone: a handsome young Thal on Skaro.
  • Bound and Gagged: In "The Crusade", in Episode 1.
  • Brainy Brunette: She can understand the TARDIS better than the Doctor can, at times. (In one Doctor Who Magazine comic, Eleven even calls her a "beautiful, bouffanted brainbox".)
  • The Bus Came Back: Both she and Ian make a surprise appearance the 50th anniversary comic book, "Hunters of the Burning Stone".
  • Defiant Captive: Barbara is hardly passive in captivity. Her immediate reaction to hostile monsters is to bash their heads in.
  • A God Am I: Comes off as this in "The Aztecs", although she clearly knows that she isn't one. Attempting to change history and calling yourself an Aztec god (It Makes Sense in Context) will do that.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Barbara becomes less pacifist as the series continues.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Notably in "The Aztecs". Her love of history doesn't prevent her from trying on shiny things she finds in graves.
  • Mistaken For Gods: In "The Aztecs".
  • Morality Chain: Barbara has no problems with telling the Doctor where to stuff his "angry old git" act. He mellows out considerably around her.
  • Ms. Exposition: On most occasions that the team find themselves in Earth's past, Barbara, true to her profession, gives an impromptu history lesson.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: Usually played straight, but the trope came back to bite her in "The Rescue", when she mistook Vicki's pet for a monster and shot it right in front of the girl.
  • Odd Friendship: With Susan, and additionally becomes the first human companion to befriend the TARDIS.
  • Official Couple: With Ian, eventually.
  • Opt Out: With Ian, using the Daleks' time machine.
  • Security Cling: Constantly hugging Susan, bordering on Parental Substitute.
  • Sweater Girl: Wore an iconic sweater from the TARDIS wardrobe in season 1.
  • Team Mom: Especially to Susan.
  • Women Are Wiser: She has a habit of walking into a plot, seeing all possible options, and immediately steering everyone towards a solution. On most occasions, it works.

     Ian Chesterton 

Ian Chesterton (First Doctor)
"I know that free movement in time and space is a scientific dream I don't expect to find solved in a junkyard."

Played by: William Russell (1963–65)

A science teacher at Susan's school who, together with Barbara, gets abducted by the Doctor. Had a fondness for rescuing people, often through good old-fashioned fisticuffs. While decidedly less direct in his approach than Barbara, he adapted quickly to being a TARDIS traveller and put his Chronic Hero Syndrome to good use.

  • Aborted Arc: He was supposed to be in "Mawdryn Undead", but was replaced by the Brigadier (of all people).
  • Accidental Misnaming: The Doctor called him Chatterton, Chesterfield, Charleston...
  • The Ageless: In "Death of the Doctor" on The Sarah Jane Adventures, Sarah Jane, after doing research to find other old companions of the Doctor, says that Ian and Barbara, now married and professors at Cambridge, are said not to have aged since the 1960s.
  • Audience Surrogate: He and Barbara were designed in part so that viewers of roughly the same age could relate to them.
  • Awesome Anachronistic Apparel: After spending months in ancient China as Marco Polo's guest, he keeps wearing his Chinese clothing for the next adventure just for the heck of it.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Exploring a new planet? Battling the forces of evil? Whatever the danger, Ian will face it head-on, and usually faces it in a suit and tie.
  • Badass Normal: This garden variety human's achievements include beating the crap out of some soldiers and outsmarting Daleks left and right.
  • Badass Teacher: Uses his knowledge of chemistry and physics in a few adventures.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: He's pleasant, charming and easy-going.... and he will end you if you harm or threaten his friends.
  • The Bus Came Back: Both he and Barbara make a surprise appearance the 50th anniversary comic book, "Hunters of the Burning Stone".
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Even if he can barely walk (after being shot by a Dalek) or is just recovering from severe poisoning, Ian soldiers on to aid his friends. Or complete strangers.
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Good Is Not Soft: Ian probably kills more people than any other Who companion. (Excluding the Bad Wolf.)
  • The Hero: In the early times, he fit this perfectly. Say there's something dangerous that needs to be done, he'll volunteer so the elder and the women stay safe. Say there's someone that needs help, he'll insist on helping them.
  • Hot Scientist: Hot science teacher, anyway.
  • The Lancer: The original intention of the show was to make him The Hero with the Doctor being his foil. This was back when The Doctor was a jerk and a sourpuss
  • Nerves of Steel: He's very quick to leap into action.
  • Nice Guy: He's pleasant and easy-going, in contrast to Barbara's somewhat sterner demeanour.
  • Official Couple: With Barbara, eventually.
  • Old-School Chivalry: He takes it as a matter of course that it should be his duty to protect the old man and the women in his company, and brave the dangers they encounter alone if possible. Susan thinks it's lovely that he takes such good care of them, but Barbara expresses annoyance at his chauvinism on more than one occasion.
  • Opt Out: With Barbara, using the Daleks' time machine.
  • Team Dad: Takes this role to Barbara's Team Mom, with Susan as the child and the Doctor as the curmudgeonly (and later kindly) grandfather figure.


Vicki (First Doctor)
"Oh, something else I forgot to tell you. I think I've poisoned Nero."

Debut: "The Rescue"

Played by: Maureen O'Brien (1965)

Survivor of a spaceship crash on the planet Dido in the 25th century, Vicki was a teenage girl who then traveled with the Doctor. Had a fondness for monsters and villains and quickly revealed herself to be a Nightmare Fetishist. As an orphan, she grew extremely close to the Doctor (who had recently lost Susan) and the two developed a makeshift family dynamic.

     Steven Taylor 

Steven Taylor (First Doctor)
"This is quite a ship you've got here, Doc."

Debut: "The Chase"

Played by: Peter Purves (1965–66)

A very snarky marooned pilot from Earth's future, who stows away on the TARDIS. Deeply traumatised by having spent the few years before that as a prisoner, but adapts quickly to life as a TARDIS traveller.

  • Ace Pilot: One of the few companions ever seen to pilot the TARDIS, albeit under the Doctor's careful supervision.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: He doesn't believe in time travel during his first adventure, even though he has no problem with the whole "bigger on the inside" thing. The Doctor takes great delight in mocking him.
  • Characterization Marches On: He was introduced in his first full story "The Time Meddler" as a Loveable Rogue and extremely hot-tempered character who (being a space pilot) was already familiar with the way most things worked, condescendingly calling the Doctor 'Doc' and knowing lots about aliens and time travel science. In "Galaxy 4" he suddenly develops a much less hot-headed way of voicing disagreements, due to the serial being written for Barbara, and his lines just being hers with some tweaks. In "The Myth Makers", he takes a middle route between these two characterisations - the more sombre and respectful air of "Galaxy 4" while getting his confrontational personality from "The Time Meddler" back, which remains his default personality from then on.
  • Companion Cube: His stuffed panda, Hi-Fi. The only thing that kept him sane-ish while stuck on the planet Mechanus for two years.
  • A Day in the Limelight: "The Massacre" is told from his perspective, which arguably makes it the first Doctor-lite episode.
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Depending on the Writer: He started with a fairly consistent personality but devolved into a cypher due to necessity - at the time, the production was very shaky (new producers, a new technical team, tensions throughout the crew, and a lead actor who was struggling with mental health problems and couldn't remember his lines) and so the writers had to adapt scripts intended for recently departed characters for Steven, and adapt them to de-emphasise the role of the Doctor as there had been talk of completely removing his character and Re Tooling the show around Steven. As a result his character ended up filling whatever niche it needed to - funny, serious, an Action Hero, an All-Loving Hero, a romantic lead, a quirky Doctor Expy, and so on. The TARDIS Eruditorum has pointed out that it's possible Steven's chameleonic personality is underappreciated in terms of keeping the show together - it kept stories ticking along well enough that regenerating the Doctor - and thus ensuring the show would continue for decades - became possible.
  • The Heart
  • I Choose to Stay: He eventually leaves the TARDIS to mediate between two opposing factions of humans (or Human Aliens).
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Becomes one over the course of his adventures, especially after the many deaths he witnesses in The Daleks' Master Plan, and the harrowing events of the Massacre of St. Bartholemew's Eve.
  • The Lancer: To the Doctor.
  • Sarcastic Devotee: For all his snarking, he comes to trust the Doctor implicitly. It takes a lot to make Steven waver in his conviction that whatever the Doctor does or asks his companions to do, there's bound to be a good reason.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: He berates the Doctor and storms out of the TARDIS after they flee the Massacre of St. Bartholomew and leave a young Protestant girl behind.
  • You Are in Command Now: How he leaves the show. Two factions choose him as their new ruler during their peace negotiations.
  • You Look Familiar: Purves plays a different character in an earlier episode of the same story in which Steven is introduced.


Katarina (First Doctor)
"She wanted to save our lives, and perhaps the lives of all other beings of the solar system. I hope she found perfection."
First Doctor

Played by: Adrienne Hill (1965)

A priestess from ancient Troy who thought the Doctor was a god. Her character was considered too limiting and she only appeared in two stories.

  • Cargo Cult: To Team TARDIS, who are Mistaken For Gods by her.
  • Extreme Doormat: By virtue of being little more than a slave in Troy and believing the Doctor to be a god. This is a major reason why she was written out of the show. A companion who genuinely believes the Doctor to be a god and follows him without question is not an ideal vehicle for drama.
  • Famous Last Words: (addressing the Doctor) "You show me so many strange mysteries. With you I know I'm safe."
  • Fish Out of Temporal Water: The reason why the production team had doubts in her staying power as a companion. It certainly worked a couple of years later with both Jamie and Victoria.
    • To be fair though, Jamie was from the year 1745, and Victoria from 1866, while Katarina is from the time of the Trojan War (roughly 1200BC). In Katarina's case, the technological and societal gap was just too great...
  • Heroic Sacrifice: First companion to leave the show by dying.
  • Only One Name: May not even have a second name.
  • Shoo Out the New Guy: And she died in only her second adventure and fifth episode (in part 4 of a 12 part epic no less).
    • This is even more extreme in real life: Katarina's death scene was actually the very first thing Adrienne Hill filmed in the series.
  • Thrown Out the Airlock

     Sara Kingdom 

Sara Kingdom (First Doctor)

Played by: Jean Marsh (1965)

Outside of the Expanded Universe, she appeared in only one, twelve episode long, story, for seven of its episodes. She was intentionally written to serve in a companion role (taking over from Katarina) but was never intended to be a permanent character. Sara broke the normal companion mould (then and now) and worked as an agent for a sinister solar system-wide governmental security agency run by the human Big Bad. Once she realized her error, she joined the crew of the TARDIS.

  • The Atoner: After she kills her own brother and realizes she has worked for the Big Bad all along, leads to her transitioning into a more normal Action Girl.
    • The novelisation of the story makes this a big part of her character. She is haunted by nightmares of her brother's final moments and continually beats herself up over the fact that she blindly believed Mavic Chen when he said that Bret was a traitor. While she does genuinely want to stop the Daleks and Mavic Chen from destroying the universe, a major secondary reason is that she doesn't want the death of Bret to be in vain.
  • Dark Action Girl: At least, the story wants to give his impression when she first appears.
  • Expanded Universe: When her one and only (very long) story was novelised, it was split into parts. The second began by saying six months had passed since the first. Various Doctor Who Expanded Universe works have been set in this gap. (The novelizations, incidentally, do not occur in the same continuity as other branches of the EU, or with each other.)
    • Several Big Finish audio dramas featuring her are set after her death, a copy of her personality having lingered on in a wish-granting house in Ely.
  • Heroes Fight Barehanded: She loses her gun shortly after her introduction, but fights just as well without it in subsequent episodes.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Makes one.
  • More Deadly Than the Male: When she and Steven are fighting off two guards, she takes care of the one attacking her before stepping in to finish off the one attacking Steven, all without breaking a sweat.
    Sara: Not bad. Remind me to teach you a few tricks sometime.
    Steven: Remind me not to pick a fight with you.
  • My Country, Right or Wrong: Why she's sent to terminate her own brother.
  • Nerves of Steel: Even in a crisis, she carries on with her duty, such as when she continues to calmly relay information when the trio's escape ship is being pulled back by the Daleks.
  • Perpetual Frowner: As befits her strait-laced, efficient demeanour.
  • Putting on the Reich: She belongs to the SSS, too.
  • Redemption Equals Death
  • You Look Familiar: Jean Marsh had already played a different character, and returned in 1989 to play a third. Oh, and she married Jon Pertwee.

     Dorothea "Dodo" Chaplet 

Dorothea "Dodo" Chaplet (First Doctor)
"If it isn't allowed, Dodo would be first in the queue!"
Steven Taylor

Debut: "The Massacre"

Played by: Jackie Lane (1966)

An teenaged schoolgirl from the year 1966. Although a Fish out of Water in most of time and space, she tried her best to stay brave and ended up saving the day a few times over.

     Ben Jackson 

Ben Jackson (First and Second Doctors)
Ben: The Doctor always wore this. If you are him it should fit... That settles it!
Second Doctor: I'd like to see a butterfly fit into a chrysalis case after it spreads its wings.
Polly: Then you did change.

Played by: Michael Craze (1966–1967)

A sailor from 1966. He and Polly helped the Doctor through his first regeneration. They joined and left the TARDIS crew at the same time as each other.

  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Like Steven before him, while he quickly accepts the TARDIS' interior and its ability to move from place to place, he refuses to believe that it can travel in time. For a while, anyway.
  • Berserk Button: Cracks about his height.
  • The Dulcinea Effect: Ben comes to Polly's assistance when another man at the nightclub won't leave her alone.
  • In Harm's Way: When he first appears, Ben's moping every night in the nightclub because he's been given a shore posting.
  • The Napoleon: He's on the small side, being slightly shorter than Polly, and is also a terrible firebrand.
  • Official Couple: It's (much) later revealed he and Polly got married, moved to India, and opened up an orphanage.
  • Pretty Boy: One of the hottest male companions in the series.
  • The Skeptic: He has a harder time adjusting to the Doctor's regeneration than Polly.
  • Totally Radical: Intended by the production team to show the new face of Doctor Who in the swinging mid-sixties.
  • Working-Class Hero: Ben is notable for being the Doctor's first explicitly working class companion i.e. he didn't speak in BBC English like everyone else (Dodo started off with a different accent but quickly started speaking in RP anyway). This causes a contrast with Polly, who is more middle class.


Polly (First and Second Doctors)
Ben: The Doctor always wore this. If you are him it should fit... That settles it!
Second Doctor: I'd like to see a butterfly fit into a chrysalis case after it spreads its wings.
Polly: Then you did change.

Played by: Anneke Wills (1966–1967)

A secretary from 1966. She and Ben helped the Doctor through his first regeneration. They joined and left the TARDIS crew at the same time as each other.

  • Bound and Gagged: In "The Smugglers", in Episodes 2/3.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: In her first appearance we see her attempting to cheer up Ben, a complete stranger, and later easily parting with some money for a homeless man.
  • No Name Given: Polly's surname is never mentioned on screen. It's probably "Wright". (In "The Faceless Ones", an alien duplicate of her gave her name as "Michelle Leuppi", but given that she was using a different forename there's no reason to suppose she kept Polly's original surname).
  • Official Couple: It's (much) later revealed she and Ben got married, moved to India, and opened up an orphanage.
  • Omniglot: In "The Underwater Menace", Ben has Polly try to speak to a local whose language they aren't sure of, with the expectation she can do it. Indeed, she goes through four different languages before the person speaks English.
  • Only One Name: Polly's last name was never revealed on screen, but the scripts indicated it to be Wright, which has been adopted by the Doctor Who Expanded Universe. A few reference books in the 1980s gave her last name as Lopez, a mishearing of "Leuppi" as mentioned above.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Polly gets told to "Go make some coffee" a lot when she asks how she can help. Worse, when they leave the TARDIS crew Ben gets told to find his ship and become an admiral, while Polly should take care of Ben. Though in the Expanded Universe short stories from Big Finish, it's a few years before she and Ben get together, and she forges out her own career in Public Relations, becoming a little like Edina Monsoon, and later in The Sarah Jane Adventures, Sarah Jane says that they now run an orphanage in India. Polly was introduced as a scientist's personal secretary, which in 1966 meant that making coffee was more or less her real-life job. It's also arguably justified in a few cases, such as when she's on a late 21st century moon base where all the regular personnel are explicitly described as being highly-qualified scientists. Making coffee and assisting in the sickbay is actually the most helpful thing she can do.
  • Totally Radical: Intended by the production team to show the new face of Doctor Who in the swinging mid-sixties.

     Jamie McCrimmon  

Jamie McCrimmon (Second Doctor)
"Me? Foreign? You're the one that's foreign - I'm Scottish."

Played by: Frazer Hines (1966–69, 1983, 1985); Hamish Wilson (1968)

The longest running male companion to date. The longest running of all if you count by episodes instead of by years active. A young piper of the Clan McLaren, who came from 18th century Scotland. Became extremely close to the Doctor, both emotionally and due to a chronic case of Security Cling. Although he left at the end of the Second Doctor's televised run, they show up together, with both of them looking much older, for an adventure with the Sixth. This and similarly inexplicable appearances have resulted in the "Season 6B" theory, put forward by several writers and condoned by the BBC, which states Jamie continued to travel with the Second Doctor for many years before "Spearhead from Space".

  • Ascended Extra: His character wasn't intended written to be a companion and the production team filmed a version of Jamie's introduction story in which he stayed behind in Scotland.
  • Battle Cry: "Creag an Tuire!" ("The Boar's Rock", the motto of the McLaren Clan).
  • Brave Scot: And very proud of it.
  • The Bus Came Back: In addition to a cameo in "The Five Doctors", he reappeared in "The Two Doctors".
  • Butt Monkey
  • Characterization Marches On: A fairly severe example, as he was not originally intended to be a companion and was added on after they'd already filmed a scene of the crew saying goodbye to him, with the next few scripts written initially without his character. As a result, he's playing virtually a completely different and unexpectedly minor character in "The Highlanders", and in "The Underwater Menace", while he's a fairly active player in events, his dialogue and actions are mostly pilfered from Ben, Polly and some of the Ragtag Bunch of Misfits characters in the episode and rewritten in Scottish dialect, leading to a lot of out of character behaviour (notably, slapping Polly). He gets a little scene penned specifically for him in "The Moonbase" that expands upon his backstory, but he's playing a damsel role where he's sweet and vulnerable and gets menaced by the monster. In "The Macra Terror" he again gets a little scene capitalising on his Scottishness (when he dances the Highland Fling for the cheerleaders) but spends most of the script as a substitute Polly. He doesn't settle down into his main personality until "The Faceless Ones", which gives him a lot of things to do, some solid character development and even a Girl of the Week.
  • Cuddle Bug: Any time he's in the same shot as the Doctor, there's a good 50% chance they're hugging, clinging to each other's arms, patting each other's shoulders, climbing all over each other or using each other as pillows.
  • Fish Out of Temporal Water: To an extent; he was a quick learner.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: One of Jamie's ultimate fates in an Expanded Universe tale penned by Grant Morrison in the pages of Doctor Who Magazine.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: He appears in all but the first of Troughton's serials, and this pairing is remembered as one of the best ever.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Had all but his first adventure mind-wiped by the Time Lords.
  • Long Bus Trip: Appeared as a companion to the Sixth Doctor's Big Finish adventures 25 years since his last appearance in the series; 41 years since his last appearance as a Companion proper. (Frazer winds up playing a fictional version of Jamie back in the Land of Fiction ... but that's fine, he's got all the same memories of Jamie.) This must be some kind of record.
  • Man in a Kilt: He's Scottish, what'd you expect?
  • Mr. Fanservice: Named "Best Legs In The UK" much to the disappointment of many a young starlet hoping for the title.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: Mostly with the Doctor, but sometimes with the female companions as well.
  • The Nth Doctor: "The Mind Robber" replaced Frazer Hines, for an episode or two, for Hamish Wilson, who looked nothing like him. The story explained this by having him run afoul of a trap in the Land of Fiction that required the Doctor to try to reconstruct his face from a bunch of options (facial features hung on a blackboard), kind of like a Mr. Potato Head. He got it wrong the first time, and fixed it the second time, which brought back Frazer Hines. The actor switch was necessary because Frazer Hines had contracted chicken pox during the filming, and so was both contagious and also visibly affected by the disease and so unfit for filming the installments.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: He's a piper, yet he's never seen playing the bagpipes. Though, this may be for the best.
  • Running Joke: Jamie would disguise his ignorance of modern technology with a mock-casual. "Aye, that."
  • Security Cling: All the time, especially with the Doctor.
  • Ship Tease: With Polly, Victoria (especially), Zoe and Peri.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: He gives a big one to the Doctor in "The Evil of the Daleks".

     Victoria Waterfield 

Victoria Waterfield (Second Doctor)
Second Doctor: You look very nice in that dress, Victoria.
Victoria: Thank you. Don't you think it's a bit...
Second Doctor: A bit short? Oh, I shouldn't worry about that. Look at Jamie's.

Played by: Deborah Watling (1967–68, 1993)

A well-brought-up young lady from 1866. She was taken in by the Second Doctor after the Daleks blew up her home and exterminated her father, but she didn't take well at all to a lifestyle of constant danger. Gradually got broken.

  • Break the Cutie: In her first couple of stories she's plucky, adventurous, and a dead shot with a pistol. By her last, she's been reduced to a nervous wreck who can't sleep for fear of the Monster of the Week. According to Deborah Watling, this gradual shift in character was deliberate.
  • Badass Adorable: She's sweet and small and nervous and she will totally shoot you or attack you with a rogue speeding cart.
  • Damsel in Distress:
  • The Dulcinea Effect: In her first story, she has this effect on Jamie and then in every story afterward.
    Jamie: Victoria. Victoria. Say something. No. No, you can't be dead. Victoria, if anything happened to you, I'd never forgive myself.
  • Expanded Universe: Got her direct-to-video spinoff together with Sarah Jane and the Brigadier, called Downtime.
  • Fish Out of Temporal Water: Almost everywhere.
  • I Choose to Stay: She leaves Team TARDIS because she just doesn't want adventures anymore.
  • Identical Daughter: She "looks just like" her late mother, and there's a portrait to prove it.
  • Letting Her Hair Down: She's a proper Victorian woman at the beginning with all the baggage that entails. She loosens up quickly around the other two. She doesn't even seem to have any religious hang-ups, unusually for her time and background - in "The Web of Fear", she even wears a mini-skirt.
  • Missing Mom
  • Opt Out: See I Choose to Stay
  • Proper Lady: Comes with her upbringing.
  • Punny First Name: Even if it wasn't intentional.
  • Screaming Woman: So much so that Deborah Watling was nicknamed "Leatherlungs". Her screams are even used to resolve the plot of one serial.
  • Ship Tease: With Jamie.
  • Vague Age: In her first serial, she's wearing the full-length dress of an adult, but her hair is still down (an adult would have it pinned up).
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In Death of the Doctor, we do not find out what she's been up to lately.

     Zoe Heriot 

Zoe Heriot (Second Doctor)
"My head has been pumped full of facts and figures which I reel out automatically when needed, but I want to feel things as well."

Played by: Wendy Padbury (1968–69, 1983)

A teenaged astrophysicist from the 21st century (as seen from 1968). Stowed away on board the TARDIS.

     Dr. Elizabeth "Liz" Shaw 

Dr. Elizabeth "Liz" Shaw (Third Doctor)
"I deal with facts, not science fiction ideas."

Played by: Caroline John (1970, 1983, 1993)

The Third Doctor's first assistant when he was exiled to Earth. Scientific advisor to UNIT, before the Doctor showed up and casually took her job. Rarely in the mood for the Doctor's shenanigans. Because for her one season, the Doctor was Earthbound, she has the curious distinction of being the only regular companion who never once set foot inside the TARDIS (at least, not on screen).

  • Adaptational Sexuality/Bi the Way: In P.R.O.B.E. (a Doctor Who spin-off series of fan videos from the nineties, written by Mark Gatiss), Liz is either lesbian or bisexual, as she eventually enters into a relationship with Patricia Haggard (played by Louise Jameson).
  • Agent Scully: Initially she doesn't believe in aliens. She quickly changes her mind.
  • Beleaguered Assistant: Starts off as being rather unhappy with being pulled away from Cambridge.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Towards UNIT and Three.
  • Expanded Universe: Eventually got her own direct-to-video spinoff, P.R.O.B.E., in 1994.
  • Fiery Redhead: She could even out-stubborn the Third Doctor.
  • Got Volunteered: How she ended up at UNIT.
  • Hot Scientist: Spends a lot of time in Three's lab.
  • Ms. Fanservice: If her penchant for mini-skirts is any indication.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: She holds degrees in medicine, physics, and "a dozen other subjects".
  • Prim and Proper Bun: Sports one in her first story, when her relationship with the Brigadier and UNIT is at its frostiest. In subsequent stories, with the ice broken, she lets her hair down.
  • Put on a Bus: Left for Cambridge offscreen in "Terror of the Autons", apparently dissatisified with her job of "passing the Doctor test tubes". Barry Letts apparently didn't like the character, but she was already under contract, which he didn't renew. She's said to have returned to UNIT and was stuck in the moonbase as of the The Sarah Jane Adventures story "Death of the Doctor".
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Appeared in one series consisting of four stories, plus a cameo in "The Five Doctors".

     Josephine "Jo" Grant 

Jo Grant (Third and Eleventh Doctors)
Third Doctor: I thought you said you took science at A-Level.
Jo: I didn't say I passed.

Played by: Katy Manning (1971–1973)
Also appeared with the Eleventh Doctor in an episode of The Sarah Jane Adventures (2010).

Assistant to the Third Doctor during his exile on Earth. Joined UNIT when a high-placed uncle got her the job, and was quickly shoved onto the Doctor by the Brigadier. However, Jo is far from useless, and will not stand to have someone belittle her. She's an expert in escapology and can easily get out of a jam, or fight back when she needs to, so don't let her cute looks fool you. Jo is a passionate and gentle soul who deeply cares about people, and will do what she can to help them, even if it means risking her life. She sometimes will get a little too focused on them and forget about her own safety, and she can be really excitable. Returned briefly as a companion to the Eleventh Doctor in The Sarah Jane Adventures.
  • Audience Surrogate
  • Badass Adorable: Look at those faces she pulls. Look at the way she knocks out prison guards with food trays. She beats up several large soldiers and runs off with one of their motorcycles, everyone is surprised.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Incredibly charming, equally disarming.
  • Bound and Gagged: In "Day of the Daleks", in Episode 2.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Quirky, but good at her job.
  • The Bus Came Back: She became a companion to Eleven for one episode, along with Sarah Jane.
  • Combat Stilettos: Combat Platforms, really; she spends most of her serials tackling mountains, quarries, and open fields in three-to-four-inch platform boots.
  • Cool Old Lady: In The Sarah Jane Adventures
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: In "The Mind of Evil" most prominently.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl:
    "I've really got off to a terrific start haven't I? I find the man everybody's looking for, I forget where he is, and I end up by trying to blow you all sky-high."
  • Depending on the Writer: Whether in trope terms she's a genuine Ditz, a Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass, or engaging in full-blown Obfuscating Stupidity.
  • The Ditz: Not to a huge extent, as oftentimes exaggerated by fandom. Jo does have her ditzy moments, but otherwise her intelligence is quite normal.
  • Escape Artist: She's a trained escapologist, and can often wriggle her way out of trouble. Thus, while she was hardly immune to being captured, this rarely did the bad guy any good.
  • Faux Action Girl: Was originally meant to be an Emma Peel-expy — traces of this can be seen in her karate-chopping Sgt Benton in "Terror of the Autons", brandishing a gun in "The Mind of Evil" and her talents as an Escape Artist. Eventually though it became easier for the writers to portray Jo as The Ditz and Damsel in Distress. In fairness Jo was a rookie — she'd been trained as a secret agent, but had no experience.
  • Grandma, What Massive Hotness You Have: Even Rani points it out! (In The Sarah Jane Adventures)
  • Granola Girl: The Doctor notes that she's exceptionally bad at trying to be a scientist, and tries to get it into her head that it is not, in fact, the dawning of the age of Aquarius.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Easily one of the warmest companions in the series, with a heart as golden as her hair.
  • Happily Married: She stayed with Dr. Jones and had seven kids with him. They went on to have thirteen grandchildren.
  • The Heart
  • Holding Hands: The Doctor and Jo always held hands while running... because actress Katy Manning was so short-sighted that during the filming of their first adventure together, she ran straight into a tree.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: A platonic version (although Katy Manning insists otherwise). Her friendship with the Third Doctor makes him a more open and softer person, and he's noticeably hurt when she leaves him.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Arguably one of the Doctor's hottest companions — her wardrobe of mini-skirts, majorette boots and occasional panty-shots help out....a lot. That and the time Manning posed naked with a Dalek.....
  • Nice Girl: Really sweet.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: She's quite ditzy, but knows how much she can get done by acting just a bit ditzier.
  • Plucky Girl: Not many people can politely tell the Master that they aren't going to let themselves be hypnotised again.
  • The Power of Love: Gigantic invincible intergalactic demon about to wipe out mankind? No problem.
  • Ship Tease: Subtle, but towards the end of her tenure, Three seemed to be more emotionally open towards Jo. Many speculated that had Cliff not existed, and the BBC higher-ups would've allowed it, Jo and Three would've gotten together.
  • Soap Box Sadie: And it actually works out for her.
  • Undying Loyalty: To the Doctor. Even if it means certain death, she won't leave his side.
  • Walking the Earth: It's what she's been doing since she got married. She travels everywhere and stages protests with her huge family. She does so much of this that the TARDIS, which can go anywhere and any when, could not track her down.
  • The Watson: Much of her job consists of asking the Doctor what's happening.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Eventually finds a lifestyle that allows her to make a change for the planet.
  • Will They or Won't They?: She enjoys a mild flirtation with Mike Yates and in "The Curse of Peladon", she's all ready to go out on a date with him, until the Doctor whisks her away.
  • You Sound Familiar: Katy Manning also plays companion Iris Wildthyme, who has her own spinoff in the Doctor Who Expanded Universe.

     Sarah Jane Smith 

Sarah Jane Smith (Third, Fourth, Tenth and Eleventh Doctors)
Sarah Jane: So, providing we don't burn up on re-entry and aren't suffocated on the way down, we'll probably be smashed to a pulp when we land.
Fourth Doctor: Exactly. Sarah, you've put your finger on the one tiny flaw in our plan.
Sarah Jane: Our plan? It's your plan!

Played by: Elisabeth Sladen (1973–76, 1983, 1993, 2006, 2008, 2010)
Also appeared as the main character of both K-9 and Company (1981) and The Sarah Jane Adventures (2007–2011).

Sarah Jane was a journalist from South Croydon, who met the Doctor while posing as her virologist aunt Lavinia. Perhaps the most archetypal companion (many older fans grew up with her as their companion), and the longest-serving if you count by number of serials. So popular that she got two spinoffs: the didn't-go-anywhere K-9 and Company pilot, and eventually the very successful Whoniverse tie-in spinoff The Sarah Jane Adventures (2007-2011), in which the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors also appear. Still the only classic series companion to show up in the new Doctor Who TV series played by the original actress.

  • Audience Surrogate
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Kind, sweet Sarah Jane has, among other things, blown up a rocket by sniping an explosive the Doctor planted there, and almost convinced the Doctor to commit genocide against the Daleks and was prepared to do it herself but for getting interrupted. In the revived series, hurt her friends and family, and she sinks well and truly into the Mama Bear trope. On some occasions this makes her downright dangerous.
  • Bound and Gagged: In "The Masque of Mandragora", in episode 3.
  • Brainwashed: Holds the companion record for most times hypnotized. It seemed like she was hypnotized in every episode. Lampshaded in "The Hand of Fear" and The Sarah Jane Adventures.
  • Break the Cutie: She's been through a lot during her tenure.
  • Brick Joke: One that took around 30 years to land. When we last saw her in Tom Baker's day, he'd dropped her off in a place he assured her was Croydon. We find out in David Tennant's time that it was actually Aberdeen, Scotland... 408 miles (657km) apart.
    Tenth Doctor: Right. That's near Croydon, isn't it?
  • The Bus Came Back: Did it ever. Notably, she's the only (human) Classic Who companion to show up in the revived series.
  • Conveyor Belt-O-Doom: Is put on one in "The Seeds of Doom", but to be fair she also (later in the story) rescued the Doctor from said same fate.
  • Casual Danger Dialog: After she starts getting used to the lifestyle, she can go almost toe to toe with the Fourth Doctor in terms of making jokes and quips in tense situations and happily reels off nursery rhymes along with him, although she much more obviously uses Casual Danger Dialog to release stress than the Doctor.
  • Character Outlives Actor: The Eleventh Doctor mentioned to a fan in a parallel universe that Sarah Jane lived beyond her actress' death. Hammered in by The Sarah Jane Adventures ending on, "And the story goes on forever...."
  • Cool Old Lady: After "School Reunion".
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: She has a penchant for screaming... a lot. And for getting captured. Or brainwashed. However, the second she believes her Doctor to be in more trouble than he can handle, there is nothing, absolutely nothing, that will keep her from getting to his side and (with quite a frequency) rescuing him.
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Depending on the Writer: She is a feminist, and she was featured at a pretty chaotic time for feminism, so the character completely changes depending on the current author's attitude to women and/or feminism. She varies from a Straw Feminist to a Plucky Girl to The Load to Adorkable (like the author is saying feminists are sooo cute with their silly little ideas!) to You Go, Girl!. That she continually came across as intelligent, able to take care of herself, and able to stand up to the Doctor, points a lot to Lis Sladen's skill. Sometimes there would even be a more feminist-friendly script editor contrasting with a more antifeminist writer - see "Robot", where fun is poked at Sarah's hypocrisy in making an Actually, That's My Assistant blunder between a man and a woman, but a later scene shows her getting justifiably angry with a nerdy male political crank who thinks that in an ideal world Sarah would dress to his tastes.
  • The Everywoman: One of the best examples in the series.
  • Expanded Universe: Has more Expanded Universe appearances than anyone can list sensibly (though here's a good attempt). She notably appeared in the direct-to-video release Downtime together with Victoria and the Brigadier, and had her own Big Finish spinoff for a while.
  • Expy: A snarky, eager reporter who can't stay out of trouble while having epic Ship Tease? Yup, she's the Doctor's Lois Lane.
  • Friendly Sniper: Though it doesn't come up much because (like most companions to the Doctor) she doesn't usually even touch a weapon, in "Pyramids of Mars" it is established that she is a crack shot with a rifle.
  • Friendship Moment: The only companion the Doctor has called his "best friend."
  • Going for the Big Scoop: She typically runs into danger in order to get the story, especially early on.
  • Grandma, What Massive Hotness You Have: Decades after leaving the Doctor, she's still fantastic.
  • Hot Scoop: Sarah Jane features highly in the sexy companion polls on a regular basis.
  • Insistent Terminology: Frequently called just Sarah in the classic series, but insists on "Sarah Jane" by The Sarah Jane Adventures series 2.
    • Except for where the Doctor is concerned. He frequently switches between "Sarah" and "Sarah Jane".
  • Intrepid Reporter: Who actually reports on things during her time at UNIT.
  • Lady of Adventure: Jumps at the chance for space/time travel.
  • Older and Wiser: She's become increasingly Doctor-like in her later years.
  • Opt Out / Rage Breaking Point / Rage Quit: By "The Hand of Fear", she's had all she can take from the Doctor and decides to leave. And then she changes her mind at the worst possible time.
  • Plucky Girl: Starts out as this.
  • Rummage Sale Reject: The Andy Pandy outfit from "The Hand of Fear."
  • Ship Tease: Unlike Three, Four and Sarah Jane gave the appearance of quite the happy couple. Tom Baker and Lis Sladen themselves even said Four and Sarah "shagged on every square inch of the TARDIS". Fans tend to agree.
  • Straw Feminist: In her early appearances; this got toned down later.
  • The Watson: Gives a very human perspective to the very alien Fourth Doctor.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: She calls the Doctor out on his callousness in "Pyramids of Mars".

     Harry Sullivan 

Dr. Harry Sullivan (Fourth Doctor)
"Steady, steady on, old girl, steady on."

Debut: "Robot"

Played by: Ian Marter (1974–75)

A surgeon lieutenant at UNIT, of the old-fashioned gentleman variety. He joined Team TARDIS after the Brigadier told him to keep an eye on the Doctor, which Harry took to mean "across time and space". Had a habit of getting stuck down gentle slopes and being attacked by entirely stationary animals.

  • Badass Normal: No matter what Four says, Harry had his badass moments.
  • The Bus Came Back: After his departure as regular character in "Terror of the Zygons", he made one more appearance later in the season, in "The Android Invasion" (the last 1970s UNIT story to feature any recurring characters from the organisation).
  • The Character Died with Him: In The Sarah Jane Adventures episode "Death of the Doctor", he's referred to in the past tense, implying that Harry is dead.
  • The Chew Toy: The Fourth Doctor picked on him a lot.
  • Distressed Dude: All the time. Infamously got nearly eaten by a Skaro clam, despite clams not exactly being known for their high velocity or their predatory abilities.
  • Genre Refugee: According to Terrance Dicks, he was supposed to be a ridiculous, over-the-top Boy's Own adventure hero who had somehow found himself in a Doctor Who story, being narratively upstaged by the Doctor and not quite able to realise why this is happening to him. He doesn't really scan as this after "Robot", due to other writers taking his genre quirks more seriously.
  • Informed Ability: He's a doctor (a literal one of medicine), but always seems out of his element. The Doctor teases him about it and jokes that Harry's only qualified to operate on sailors. Big Finish states that he ends up working as a virus researcher for NATO. Later, in The Sarah Jane Adventures, Sarah Jane confirms that after his time with the Doctor, he did pioneering work with vaccines, saving thousands of people.
  • Just Following Orders: His reason for joining the TARDIS crew.
  • The Medic: He's medically trained.
  • Mildly Military: He's a Royal Navy Surgeon-Lieutenant, but he rarely ever acts like it.
  • The Nicknamer: Continually referred to Sarah Jane as "Old Thing" and had similar nicknames for other characters.
  • Old-School Chivalry
  • Quintessential British Gentleman: "I say!"
  • Remember the New Guy: He's first introduced as an established member of UNIT, who's apparently already very familiar with the Doctor. In fact, the Brigadier makes a phone call to the medical officer "Lieutenant Sullivan" in the story before his actual debut.
  • Straw Misogynist: Can be pretty sexist and condescending towards Sarah Jane. This was deliberate by the production team in order to contrast with Sarah Jane's Straw Feminist traits.
  • Unfazed Everyman: He takes everything in his stride.
  • You Look Familiar: Ian Marter had a minor part in the Third Doctor serial "Carnival of Monsters" before being cast as Harry.

     Leela of the Sevateem 

Leela of the Sevateem (Fourth Doctor)
"Don't worry, Doctor. I found the answer: knife them in the neck!"

Played by: Louise Jameson (1977–78, 1993)

A human Noble Savage, descendant of an ill-fated colonization expedition and genetically altered into a perfect warrior. Primarily remembered for her Fanservice leotard and trying to kill anything that looked hostile — however, though she was (initially) quite ignorant, she was definitely not stupid and made up for her lack of knowledge with her own insights, kindness and Simpleminded Wisdom.

  • Action Girl: Her first instinct when faced with trouble was to hurt things until trouble went away again.
  • Anti-Hero: Unlike the Doctor, Leela doesn't have any qualms about hurting or killing others. The Doctor caves in during their third story together and just lets her kill whatever's attacking them.
  • Badass Boast: She has some of the most memorable in the series.
    Leela: Before I die I'll see this rathole ankle deep in blood. That is a promised thing.
  • Blood Knight: A rare example of a blood knight who's both female and one of the good guys.
    Leela: Enjoy your death, Rutan! As I enjoyed killing you!
  • Bound and Gagged: In "The Talons of Weng-Chiang", in Episode 6.
  • Cargo Cult: The Sevateem turn out to be the descendants of a crashed Survey Team, and ended up worshiping their own broken technology after a few generations of mucking about in tents.
  • Conveniently an Orphan: Her father dies in their very first scene, taking the tribe's trial instead of her after she's convicted for heresy.
  • Depending on the Writer: When first introduced, she was relatively uncivilised but in fact highly intelligent (she is shown as abandoning all superstition when the Doctor explains science to her). In "The Robots of Death", she immediately understands what's going on with Poul, but lacks the cultural context to articulate it to any characters other than the Doctor. In "The Talons of Weng-Chiang", she caught on the nature of the villain almost as quickly as the Doctor. Bob Baker and Dave Martin, on the other hand, saw her as just uneducated and stupid and struggled to use her - in "The Invisible Enemy" she's described as 'all instinct and emotion', and in "Underworld" by the same writers she gets hit by Stun Guns and spends most of the story acting stoned as comic relief. Compare to "The Sun Makers", in which she is also comic relief for most of the story, but able to understand fairly sophisticated economic situations.
  • Detect Evil: Has the ability to sense evil.
  • Expanded Universe: Though Leela gets name-dropped by the Doctor in a couple of TV episodes (and in an "I wonder how Leela's doing" context), she doesn't return for real until the audio play "Zagreus", where she teams up with Time Lady President Romana. The two then went on to star in their own spin-off which ran from 2004-2013. Big Finish also sees her starring in several seasons of the Jago & Litefoot series.
  • Fur Bikini: More precisely, a leather leotard and knee-high boots. Actress Louise Jameson once showed off a letter she received from a young girl viewer asking if Leela would "please wear more clothes". In a scene filmed for the Series 5 DVD release, Amy Pond comes close to uttering the trope name when she asks if Leela (seen in a photograph) is wearing a "leather bikini".
  • Genre Refugee: She's a character from an Edwardian Jungle Opera novel, to go with her Gothic Literature-themed Doctor. She's from a Cargo Cult worshipping Ancient Astronauts (albeit with a twist), uses all of the Noble Savage and Nubile Savage tropes and her name is a play on 'Leila', the stereotypical name of foreign Femme Fatale characters of Two-Fisted Tales of this era. She also takes influence from the Pygmalion Plot, to the point where she was originally conceived as a Victorian Cockney flower girl.
  • Hot-Blooded
  • I Choose to Stay: She remains on Gallifrey and marries a Time Lord named Andred after the events of "The Invasion of Time".
  • Interspecies Romance/Mayfly-December Romance: Andred is Gallifreyan, and thus Human Outside, Alien Inside and Long Lived.
  • Jumped at the Call: Simply walked into the TARDIS and pushed buttons until she was a companion, despite the Doctor's protests.
  • Knife Nut
  • Nerves of Steel: Her "fight or flight" response has no "flight" setting. She screams exactly once (not counting war cries), and that was when a giant mutant rat started chewing on her leg. Louise Jameson is on record saying she crossed out every instance of "Leela screams" in her scripts except for the aforementioned giant rat gnawing on her leg.
  • Noble Savage: Very proud and headstrong.
  • Nubile Savage: Didn't wear a lot of clothing most of the time.
  • Only One Name: As with the rest of her tribe.
  • Parent Service: Conceived as such.
  • Psycho Sidekick: She kills or inflicts potentially-lethal violence on quite a number of mooks, and the Doctor's protests often seem only token.
  • Pygmalion Plot: The original idea (without the "falling in love with her" bit). Leela defies the trope by learning just enough about technology and manners to get by, but intentionally staying very true to her savage origins. On more than one occasion, she ends up convincing others that her way of life is just more fun.
  • Refusal of the Call: Much like the Fourth Doctor, she has zero desire to become the president of anything after she's accidentally elected, and — with a quick Screw This, I'm Outta Here! — runs off in the TARDIS instead.
  • Screaming Woman: Defied. The times she's screamed in terror can be counted on one finger, specifically when her leg is getting eaten by a monstrously-sized rat in "The Talons of Weng-Chiang". She tends to plot how to kill/defeat the baddies every other time.
  • Simple-Minded Wisdom: Upon encountering some Three-Laws Compliant robots, she snarkily posits that the second law must be "men can not harm robots" — since they obviously can't be stabbed.
  • The Strategist: She's extremely adept at planning war tactics (though many of them in the end come down to "stab things really hard", although in her defense it isn't as if the Doctor travels with a company of archers or an artillery battery). The episode "The Talons of Weng-Chiang" has her striking out on her own without the Doctor for a while, during which she manages to navigate Victorian London on her own and find exactly the allies she needs.
  • Transhuman: Her tribe was the result of an ill-fated eugenics experiment involving two groups of humans. Her group had its courage and strength boosted; the other group got enhanced reasoning skills and telepathy.
  • The Watson: One of the things that made her work so well as a companion- being a Noble Savage who had never had the opportunity to receive any kind of education beyond survival skills, she was ignorant of many things which required the Doctor to explain them to her, but she was still allowed to be very intelligent in her own right.
  • Weapon of Choice: Her knife.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Her fate in the Time War is unknown. In Big Finish episodes "The Catalyst", "Empathy Games" and "The Time Vampire", her decades spent on Gallifrey without aging start to catch up with her after Gallifrey is gone, and she lives out her final days reminiscing before dying in an alien prison.

     K 9 

K9 (Fourth and Tenth Doctors)
"I am not a dog. I dislike the terms "heel", "sit", and "boy"."

Voiced by: John Leeson (1977–79, 1980–81, 1983, 1990, 1993, 2006-2008); David Brierley (1979–80); Roy Skelton (1979)
Also appeared in K-9 and Company (1981), The Sarah Jane Adventures (2007–2010), and as the main character of K9 (2009–2010)

The first robot-buddy of the franchise, hailing from the 51st century. Several versions existed. Shared a spinoff with Sarah Jane Smith and is a recurring character on The Sarah Jane Adventures, being a regular for series 3. Also got his own Australian-made spinoff, K9.

K-9 Mark I, the original built by Professor Marius, was a highly advanced robot built to resemble a dog. Known for his laser nose, propensity to speak in Literal-Minded terms, and his constant uttering of "Affirmative", or "Negative", which stuck with his descendants. He had a short run and remained with Leela on Gallifrey. This was because his prop's maintenance sucked. Prone to break even if it hit a simple bump on the floor, he was quickly replaced by Mark II. Mark I was later brought back in his own series but due to design copyrights, he got destroyed in a fight with the Jixen and regenerated through a special repair unit into a brand new appearance with Laser-Guided Amnesia to sever all explicit ties with the Doctor Who franchise.

K-9 Mark II was the replacement for Mark I, who would now only stun, not kill things. Affectionately referring to the Doctor as "Master", Mark II was conceived because K-9 was popular with the kids, but the prop needed a redesign after breaking down all the time. He stayed with Romana II when she stopped travelling in the TARDIS. At one point, John Leeson quit signing on to voice the character and David Brierley was brought on as his interim voice actor. He tried to imitate Leeson's portrayal, but still had a noticeably different inflection, so the voice change was Hand Waved as K-9 contracting robot laryngitis, so it pained him to speak and he had a hoarser voice when he did. This let writers coast by with K-9 having as few lines as necessary to somewhat mask Brierley's portrayal until Leeson finally agreed to resume his duty as K-9's definitive voice actor.

K-9 Mark III was the model who got given to Sarah Jane Smith as a gift from the Doctor, in the One-Episode Wonder K-9 and Company. He turned up in a few comic stories and "The Five Doctors", and that was it (unless you count the non-canon "Search Out Space" and "Dimensions in Time"). He didn't appear again until 2006 in a few audio stories leading up to Sarah Jane Smith's return to the series proper, where he got badly damaged, fell into disrepair, and rusted in Sarah Jane's attic because she didn't know how to fix a robot dog with futuristic technology, nor could she reveal said technology to anyone before its time. Mark III's functionality was somewhat restored by the Tenth Doctor, long enough for him to give his life by defeating the Krillitanes.

K-9 Mark IV was given to Sarah Jane by the Tenth Doctor as a replacement for Mark III, along with a sonic lipstick inside his casing. Mark IV was better associated as Sarah Jane's K-9 than the Doctor's, and this loyal robot called her "Mistress". He sported a more computerized-sounding voice and did not have as many locomotion woes because he could hover up stairs. He served as Sarah Jane's loyal pet and had an ongoing rivalry with Mr. Smith, the Xylok supercomputer. However, licensing issues left him trying to close a black hole after a Switzerland experiment went awry for the first three seasons of the The Sarah Jane Adventures. Then, he had a more active role in the plot, until the Australian K-9 series came out and the licensing disputes resurfaced, causing him to go to college with Luke Smith and return to light roles in the show.

  • Badass Adorable: Especially in the revival series.
  • Breakout Character: Like Sarah Jane he got his own television series, even if it only lasted one season.
  • The Dog Came Back: The first K-9 (Mark I) was left with Leela on Gallifrey, the second K-9 (Mark II) was left with Romana II, a third and fourth K-9 (Mark III and IV) were given to Sarah Jane Smith...
  • The Cameo: The original K-9 hosted the 40th anniversary celebrations for the series while it was in its so-called wilderness years, voiced by John Leeson.
    • The newly-introduced Mark IV, also played by Leeson, appeared on The Weakest Link in 2007 for a promotion of Series 2, but he was mostly a Joke Character who was voted off immediately, even voting himself off (though due to the rules of the game, he had to vote for someone other than himself, but this didn't stop him from voicing his intent). The reason was that the prop operators feared K-9's dreaded habit of breaking down at the most inconvenient times would happen during the game, so they made sure he would be voted off in the first round (the game's selection of DW cast itself admittedly agreed to rig their votes so that only members of the regular cast at the time were guaranteed to stay on till the final round and guest cast got the boot- but this didn't stop top-billed actors from being voted off).
  • Canine Companion: The Doctor insisted on treating him like an actual dog.
  • Catch Phrase: "Affirmative." "Negative." "Master/Mistress?"
  • Cute Machines: Adorable.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He got into many a snarking match with Four.
  • Do-Anything Robot: Laser beam, hacking computers, defensive protocols, beating the Doctor at Chess, being a Deus ex Machina...
  • Family Friendly Firearm: K-9's ever-convenient laser beam has a kill option, but is always set on stun.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Particularly if viewed specifically as The Doctor's sidekick.
  • Insufferable Genius: He's a futuristic alien super computer, so he's just as smart as the Doctor. And he's well aware of it.
    The Doctor: We all make mistakes sometimes, don't we, K9?
    K9: Negative.
  • Kid-Appeal Character: K-9 was a huge hit with children.
  • Literal-Minded:
    Romana: Uh, K-9, what is tennis?
    K9: Real, lawn or table, mistress?
    Romana: Never mind. Forget it.
    K9: Forget. Erase memory banks concerning tennis. [whirring sound] Memory erased.
  • Made of Iron: Subverted, K9 gets damaged often despite his claims of not being made of tin.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Serves as a beeping Robot Buddy for The Doctor in the original series.
  • The Nth Doctor: Largely subverted in that each K-9 unit is essentially the exact same thing as the previous model (except the version in the K-9 spinoff, which looks drastically different).
  • Only Sane Man: K9 seems to cater to this.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: His laser weapon helps him take care of opponents often twice his size.
  • Punny Name: Get it? K-9? Because it looks like a dog! K-9! As in CA-NINE.
  • Robot Buddy: To the Doctor, Romana, Leela and Sarah Jane.
  • Robot Dog: A medical robot, originally.
  • The Spock
  • Smart People Play Chess
  • Think Nothing of It: Used a few times.
  • Zeerust: Lampshaded in "School Reunion".
    Rose: It looks so...disco.
    Tenth Doctor: Oi! In the year 5000 this was cutting-edge!


Romana (Fourth Doctor)

"You were the noblest Romana of them all."
Fourth Doctor

A Time Lord, or more properly a Time Lady, like the Doctor, and therefore has multiple regenerations. (Two were seen onscreen, dubbed Romana I and Romana II by fans; the Expanded Universe added several possible thirds.) Sent to assist the Doctor against his will in the search for the Key To Time. She was initially what one would call "book-smart": extremely well-educated (her academic record trounced the Doctor's), but quite young and with little practical experience.

Tropes common to both incarnations:

  • Character Development: Her first incarnation was cold, detached and focused purely on the mission. Once she regenerated, Romana loosened up considerably and became much more fond of the Doctor.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Both of them were prone to this. The first Romana's snark was rather icy, whereas the second preferred good natured ribbing.
  • Distaff Counterpart: To the Doctor. A wandering Gallifreyan who dresses oddly, has adventures and (eventually) carries a sonic screwdriver.
  • The Fashionista: Loved trying on new outfits, sometimes a few different ones in a single episode. Mary Tamm designed her own outfit in "The Androids of Tara" and Lalla Ward came up with her own ideas.
  • Hot Scientist: Smarter than the Doctor, albeit less experienced.
  • Only One Name: As with most Time Lords and Ladies. However, unlike many traveling Time Lords, she never adopts an alias, she just shortens her real name.
  • Overly Long Name:
    Romana: My name is Romanadvoratrelundar.
    The Doctor: ...I'm so sorry about that. Is there anything we can do?
  • Proper Lady
  • Women Are Wiser: Much more rational and level-headed than the Doctor.

Romana I
Romana I: You have absolutely no sense of responsibility whatsoever!
The Doctor: What?
Romana I: You're capricious, arrogant, self-opinionated, irrational, and you don't even know where we're going!
The Doctor: Exactly!

Played by: Mary Tamm (1978–79)

A tall, leggy, dark-haired woman; the initial concept of her was a "Grace Kelly" sort of character. Had a penchant for armchair psychology. According to the Big Finish Audios, she regenerated when forces beyond her control were drawn out by the Key to Time and started to weaken her body, but she passed the reasons off as a whim.

  • Action Girl: Occurs unexpectedly in "The Pirate Planet" when she gets into a laser gun fight and wins.
  • Agony of the Feet: Romana's fashion statement got the better of her when she made a really bad choice of shoes in "The Stones of Blood" and wore high heels in a terrain filled with rocks. Naturally, she switched to bare feet before the end of the first episode to alleviate the pain and then put on some pragmatic boots.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: She relaxes a lot over the course of her tenure.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Her: Without actually getting rid of the character. Since she's the same race as the Doctor, she could regenerate and stay on as a character. However, the regeneration comes with no explanation and is a lot like a standard Put on a Bus. She doesn't even get a death scene — Romana just happily walks into the console room with a new face and announces that she's regenerating, in a completely new way that was never seen again, and the Doctor is absolutely baffled. The Expanded Universe offered several possible explanations, which of course all contradict each other.
  • Foil: The Doctor is very experienced in adventuring but barely managed to graduate from the Time Lord academy; Romana is new to the wider universe but is very accomplished academically.
  • Identical Stranger: Princess Strella of the planet Tara.
  • Love Redeems: The Black Guardian's minion the Shadow develops a bit of a crush on Romana.
  • Naοve Newcomer
  • Pimped-Out Cape: Made of white feathers — a gift from the Doctor on their first trip together.
  • Rich Bitch: Quite posh and stuck-up, especially compared to Tom Baker's Doctor.
  • Ship Tease: One Christmas Bonus Material short had the Doctor and Romana I very obviously kissing just out of view, following by a rather suggestive look from Tom Baker.
  • Skilled, but Naοve: Maybe even more intelligent than the Doctor, but lacks any experience. When she first sees a monster, it terrifies the life out of her. She gets better though.

Romana II
The Doctor: Psst, you are wonderful.
Romana II: Suppose I am. I've never really thought about it.

Played by: Lalla Ward (1979–81, 1983, 1993)
Also appeared with the Eighth Doctor in the BBCi webcast version of "Shada" (2001)

Shorter, with strawberry blonde hair. Still snarky, but a lot more bubbly and Constantly Curious. And if anything, her style flair got even more creative.

  • Bifauxnen: She dressed in men's clothing a lot.
  • Catholic Schoolgirls Rule: Wears a very St. Trinian's style uniform in the "City of Death" serial. Lalla Ward, judging by interviews and the production notes, came up with the idea and had no concept it was a fetish.
  • Cosplay: Many of her outfits have a distinct "fancy dress" flavour: the school uniform in "City of Death", the pink version of the Doctor's costume in "Destiny of the Daleks", the fox-hunting gear in "The Horns of Nimon". Described in one DVD extra as the only woman who could pull off wearing a fruit salad on her head.
  • Expanded Universe: Her Big Finish audio spinoff with Leela, appropriately called Gallifrey (which has its own tropes page), spans eleven years (2004-2015). Big Finish is also one of the various franchises to provide a third regeneration of Romana.
  • Gendered Outfit: Wore a pink version of the Doctor's outfit at one point.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold
  • I Choose to Stay: After three serials of trying to get out of E-Space, she decides to stay at the end of "Warriors' Gate" to help free a race of enslaved time-traveling lion people from slavery.
  • Lady of Adventure: More keen on adventuring than her first incarnation.
  • Nerves of Steel: An adventurous Time Lady like her picked them up really quickly after jousting against the Daleks.
  • The Nth Doctor
  • Plot Hole: Her regeneration scene, written by Douglas Adams, is one of the series' most infamous ones. Basically, Romana shows up in Princess Astra's body and clothes and announces that she's regenerating for no reason whatsoever. When the Doctor scolds her for copying someone else's body, she merrily cycles through a series of different bodies until settling on the Astra look permanently. This type of regeneration contradicted just about everything in the series, was never explained in any way on TV, and was never heard from again. The Big Finish Gallifrey series, dives into the question headfirst and offers a very good explanation. Other bits of the Doctor Who Expanded Universe have also taken a stab at it: the short story "The Lying Old Witch in the Wardrobe", for example, suggests the TARDIS forced her to in a fit of jealousy (after impersonating Romana during the events of "Destiny of the Daleks").
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The Big Finish audios see her becoming the Lady President of Gallifrey — which was eventually confirmed as canon in "The Day of the Doctor", although only in tiny print in the background of a scene.
  • Ship Tease: Big time. The Doctor often gently teases her but is clearly very, very fond of her. The Australian commercials for Prime Computer made it more explicit with the Doctor proposing to Romana — and she says "Yes!" before he even finishes.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Whether she survived the Time War or not is unknown.
  • Took a Level in Idealism: Much more outgoing than her predecessor, she very much took after the Doctor.
  • Wholesome Cross Dresser: Romana seems to like wearing men's clothing.
  • You Look Familiar: The actress was a guest star as Princess Astra of Atrios in the story immediately preceding her debut. This was referenced in-universe as Romana choosing that form to regenerate into.


Adric (Fourth and Fifth Doctors)
"Could anyone pass the sodium chloride, please?"

Debut: "Full Circle"

Played by: Matthew Waterhouse (1980–82)

A snotty teenage maths geek from E-Space, annoying in the way that snotty teenage geek-boys usually are, but a well-meaning kid all the same. The Doctor saw him as an incompetent underling, despite the fact that Adric was an absolute genius when it came to maths — just one who had a lot of learning to do about personal skills. As a result, Adric felt ignored, unwanted and rejected, and tried coming up with his own creative solutions to solving each episode's problems. Usually very unsuccessfully. It all came to a head when he had a falling out with the Fifth Doctor and demanded to be returned to his home in E-Space.

Unfortunately, the TARDIS crew ran afoul of a Cybermen plot to lay waste to future humankind, and just barely managed to throw their plans off course. After a very brutal battle against the Cybermen, Adric's fate was tragically sealed when he became trapped inside a crashing freighter on an unstoppable collision course with prehistoric Earth. After the TARDIS navigation controls were blown up by enemy fire, the Doctor and company could only watch the inevitable unfold. With no hope of rescue, Adric braced himself for the end, sharing his late brother's fate of an equally young and bitter demise. His loss devastated the Fifth Doctor, haunting him all the way to the very last moments of his life, and it deeply affected his fellow companions Tegan and Nyssa with pain and regret.

  • All of the Other Reindeer: Adric is everybody's Butt Monkey from the word go, and seen as an annoying tagalong more than anything else. At the start of "Earthshock," he actually confronts the Doctor about the way he's being treated by everybody, and how he's completely sick of it. The Doctor dashes out of the TARDIS as fast as he can just to avoid having to talk about those things.
  • Anti-Hero: A bit of a jerk towards people at times. Notably, he felt that women aren't good for anything, which didn't exactly make him popular with fellow companions Tegan and Nyssa.
  • The Artful Dodger: It's even part of his character concept.
  • Berserk Button: Adric puts a girl in a stranglehold for trying to take his math badge. In his first scene. It is a lot more heartbreaking in hindsight considering his ultimate fate, and how his badge ends up symbolically broken.
  • BFG: Used for a very weakly executed but surprisingly effective one-man Big Damn Heroes moment near the end of "Warriors' Gate."
  • Big Eater: A large amount of his character motivation throughout the episodes stems from just wanting to find some food.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: His Healing Factor.
  • Dying Alone: On a crashing spaceship, thinking he just failed to save the world.
  • Expy: He was conceived as The Artful Dodger in space.
  • Fake Defector: Considering he does this twice over the course of his time in the TARDIS ("State of Decay", and "Kinda"), it's not surprising that a lot of fans accuse him of "always siding with the villain." (He also has a habit of actually siding with the villain. Or being kidnapped by the villain and being forced to use his abilities for said villain. Or just stealing the villain's mecha and accidentally shooting at innocent bystanders...)
  • Famous Last Words: "Now I'll never know if I was right..."
  • Good with Numbers: His main thing.
  • Guile Hero: Becomes a plot point a few times.
  • Healing Factor: You'd think it'd be a massively useful trait for a companion to have, given the scrapes they get into, but Adric's Healing Factor is only mentioned twice — in "Full Circle" (his introductory story) and again in "The Visitation."
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Towards Monarch in "Four to Doomsday." Turning the entire population of Earth into androids to rid them of disease sound like a good idea to you?
  • Human Aliens: Adric's species had three evolutionary forms, only one of which is humanoid.
  • Iconic Item: His mathematical excellence badge. Seeing it shattered on the floor of the TARDIS at the end of "Earthshock" makes the Silent Credits all the more powerful.
  • Informed Ability: For a supposed genius, Adric doesn't come off as being particularly intelligent.
  • Insufferable Genius
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: To an extent. The "jerk" part doesn't really emerge until season 19, but ultimately he still cares.
    • Justified in the long run. He starts off in season 18 in the shadow of the Fourth Doctor, who acts very smug, alien and impervious, making it hard to speak his mind, but Romana and K9 are also there to keep him in check, so he doesn't have to voice complaints. However, when Romana and K9 leave, Adric starts to voice his disdain, which is only furthered when traumatised Nyssa and especially argumentative Tegan join him as companions and the squabbling reaches a new high. Then the Doctor regenerates into his fifth incarnation, who is a lot more humbled, humane and vulnerable, removing the air of fear to speak out in front of him. Adric, of course, cuts loose on him.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Wears the same yellow rompers in every single story.
  • Little Stowaway: How he got on the TARDIS in the first place.
  • Mr. Vice Guy: Driven by a desire for approval and acceptance. Whenever there's an older man in the plot, who's in charge, has a power complex and probably some kind of plan to take over the world, Adric will cling to the guy like a perfect little teacher's pet.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Ability-wise, Adric is a surprisingly well-equipped companion, demonstrating proficiency in lock-picking, sleight-of-hand, and knife-throwing, amongst other things. The catch? Most of them only get used in one story, two if it's really lucky.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: Without achieving anything.
  • Teen Genius: And proud of it.
  • This Loser Is You: Conceived as somebody who the geek element of the fanbase would empathise with, but was too accurate a portrayal of a snotty, socially-inept teenage geek to appear in any way flattering.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: In Season 19.
  • What Have We Ear?: He teaches the Doctor a few coin tricks.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: The Doctor neatly summarizes it:
    Fifth Doctor: Now listen to me, you young idiot. You're not so much gullible as idealistic. I suppose it comes from your deprived delinquent background.
  • You Can't Go Home Again

     Nyssa of Traken 

Nyssa of Traken (Fourth and Fifth Doctors)
"Do you have any books on telebiogenesis?"

Played by: Sarah Sutton (1981–83)

A teenaged biologist and the daughter of Tremas, who got his body possessed by the Master at the end of Fourth Doctor serial "The Keeper of Traken." Quiet, stoic and very handy with electronics. One of the most accomplished TARDIS pilots among the companions; she was even able to fly it solo (with assists from Tegan in "Castrovalva" and Adric in "The Visitation").

  • '80s Hair: A big mess of brown curls.
  • Angst? What Angst?: The implications of her tragic backstory are barely mentioned in the show, but the Expanded Universe would make use of all her emotional baggage. invoked
    • The Stoic: It's implied, on the show and in the expanded universe, to be why her pain rarely shows.
  • Ascended Extra: Was never intended to be a companion, until producer John Nathan-Turner decided otherwise.
    • Even as a regular, Nyssa tended to have less to do than everyone else: unlike Adric, Tegan, or Turlough, she was rarely ever the focus of a story, with the sole exception being her final appearance in "Terminus." The character really ascended in the Big Finish audios, though: the fact that both Janet Fielding and Matthew Waterhouse initially declined to reprise their roles as Tegan and Adric (and Nicola Bryant's Peri appearances tended to be split with Colin Baker's Sixth Doctor) meant that Nyssa was one of the most frequent companions for Peter Davison's fifth Doctor in the early years of the range.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: "Arc of Infinity." She pulls a gun on the Time Lord President, amongst many others. Sarah Sutton notes in the DVD commentary how unusually trigger-happy Nyssa was in this story.
  • Brainy Brunette: Very clever. She was able to fly and repair the TARDIS, and could talk about space and time on the Doctor's own level, although she lacked his experience.
  • Break the Cutie: She's had her planet destroyed and her father possess by the Master. She copes very well.
  • Cannot Tell a Lie: While an expert on many subjects, Nyssa was not much use when it came to subterfuge.
  • Giant Poofy Sleeves: Wore them at times, but was eventually forced to discard the dress for something practical.
  • Girly Girl: To Tegan's tomboy.
  • The Heart: One of the nicest, most compassionate companions ever to grace the TARDIS.
  • Hot Scientist: Her first season had her covered from head to toe, after which (as Peter Davison put it) she suddenly magically lost half of her clothes.
  • Human Aliens: Looks completely human, like Adric.
  • I Choose to Stay: She leaves the TARDIS crew to stay on Terminus and try to restructure it into a proper hospital.
  • Identical Stranger: Ann Talbot, a blue blood from the roaring 20's.
  • Innocent Aliens: From a planet where evil is outright banned.
  • Innocent Fanservice Girl: Famous for the skirt removal bit in "Terminus," which the actor herself has described as "a gift to the fans".
  • Last Of Her Kind: The rest of Traken died in "Logopolis."
  • Limited Wardrobe: Her burgundy velvet ensemble throughout Season 19.
  • Literal-Minded: A running gag in the serials and audios is Nyssa's imperviousness to jokes.
  • Nice Girl: Really sweet.
  • Odd Friendship: With Tegan, who is almost her polar opposite, and with Adric, who becomes like a little brother to her.
  • Only Sane Woman: Out of Five's companions, Nyssa is the most rational, sensible and level-headed.
  • Plucky Girl: Eager to see the world.
  • Pretty in Mink: One of her outfits had a fur-trimmed jacket.
  • Proper Lady
  • The Quiet One: In comparison to Adric and Tegan.
  • The Reliable One: Stoic, quiet and capable.
  • Teen Genius: Able to understand the TARDIS.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Wore make-up, feminine styled hair, and skirts, in addition to being a practical intellectual and adventurer.
  • Vapor Wear: Especially noticeable in "Terminus."
  • Written-In Absence: An unfortunate side-effect of being added to the cast at a relatively late stage, many of the scripts following Nyssa's introduction had relatively little for her to do. The most notable example of this was the serial "Kinda," where she inexplicably faints and naps off-screen in the TARDIS for the remainder of the serial.

     Tegan Jovanka 

Tegan Jovanka (Fourth and Fifth Doctors)
Fifth Doctor: How do you feel now?
Tegan: Groggy, sore, and bad-tempered.
Fifth Doctor: Almost your old self, then!

Debut: "Logopolis"

Played by: Janet Fielding (1981–84)
Also appeared with the Sixth Doctor in "A Fix with Sontarans" (1986)

A brash Australian, inadvertently kidnapped from 1981 just as she was about to start a new job as a flight attendant. Created to help sell the show to Australia. Once described herself as "just a mouth on legs". One of a very few companions seen to pilot the TARDIS, albeit not very well. Longest-serving companion if you count by consecutive years active.

  • '80s Hair: The short, Sheena Easton variety. "A Fix With Sontarans" later shows her with the eightiest hair imaginable.
  • A Day in the Limelight: "Kinda" and "Snakedance" focus on her.
  • And I Must Scream: Her second time hosting the Mara.
  • Book Dumb: Subverted. Tegan was as well-educated as one would expect of a late-20th Century human. But she was flying around in the TARDIS with the Doctor, Adric, Nyssa and Turlough — all of whom were aliens from very advanced species.
  • Break the Haughty: Her second time hosting the Mara in her head doesn't leave her asleep through the ordeal, and she experiences it as a horrific And I Must Scream situation. She ends up with a disturbingly realistic trauma, crying and shaking while all the Doctor can do is hold her.
  • The Cat Came Back: The Doctor eventually got her back to where she wanted to be (Heathrow, about to start her new job), but several months too late. She returns in the next season, having lost her job before she even arrived and managed to find the TARDIS again.
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Demonic Possession: Guess who becomes the Mara's host both times it shows up?
  • Department of Redundancy Department: "How do we find the index file? Of course, if we had an index file, we could look it up in the index file under 'index file'! What am I saying?!"
  • Ignored Enamored Underling: Much of her characterisation is hard to interpret in any way other than her having an unrequited love for the Fifth Doctor that couldn't be explicitly stated because of the No Hugging, No Kissing. Apart from the fans who think that the unrequited love was for Nyssa instead.
  • Limited Wardrobe: For some reason, keeps wearing her mauve cabin crew uniform throughout Season Nineteen.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: How the character was named. Nathan-Turner was either going to choose Tegan, for an Australian friend's niece, or Jovanka, after the wife of Yugoslavian president Josip Broz Tito. Script-editor Christopher H. Bidmead read Tegan as the first name and Jovanka as the last name. The rest, as they say, is history.
  • No Sell: She manages to shut an immortal, eternal being out of her mind in "Enlightenment", just because he was annoying her too much.
  • Odd Friendship: With Nyssa, who's quiet, scientifically-minded, and always willing to help out —the exact opposite of Tegan.
  • Opt Out
    It just isn't fun, anymore.
  • Plucky Girl: Very.
  • Sarcastic Devotee: Tegan is probably the best-known example of this trope in the original series. She's usually either snarking at The Doctor, snarking at Adric, or snarking at the Monster of the Week (even, when, as in the Big Finish drama "Heroes of Sontar," it nearly gets both her and the Doctor killed...)
  • Sexy Stewardess: Even refuses to change into a more normal outfit during her first proper adventure.
  • The Time Traveller's Dilemma: Known in retrospect to have had a very nasty one in A Fix with Sontarans.
  • Tomboy: To Nyssa's Girly Girl.
  • Took a Level in Badass: She's a Non-Action Snarker for much of her initial run. But "Earthshock" finally sees her changing out of her stewardess gear and into a combat outfit, leaping into action, and shooting a Cyberman to death with its own gun.
  • Tsundere: The deredere being nearly vestigial.
  • Unfazed Everyman: Her first reaction on seeing the inside of the TARDIS isn't shock, or even curiosity — but the immediate urge to go seek out the pilot and tell him he's a rubbish driver.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Adric. They seem to care as much as they bicker, especially when one of them gets captured.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Even more so than the Doctor. If it's in any way deadly, it'll find Tegan. Somehow.

     Vislor Turlough 

Vislor Turlough (Fifth Doctor)
"What is it about Earth people that makes them think a futile gesture is a noble one?"

Played by: Mark Strickson (1983–84)

An alien noble exiled to Earth after a revolution on his planet, Turlough is posing as an English schoolboy when the Doctor meets him. Gets drafted by the Black Guardian with a promise of freedom if he kills the Doctor, but Turlough just isn't evil enough to go through with it. While the Doctor and Turlough have had their differences, Turlough eventually grew to consider the Doctor his closest friend. Just don't expect him to admit it.


Kamelion (Fifth Doctor)
"Unexpected as it may be, I do have a mind of my own."

Voiced by: Gerald Flood (1983–84)

A shape-changing robot that the Master acquired as a sort of souvenir from the planet Xeriphas, this character quite literally vanished into the TARDIS rather than becoming a Companion. (The robot was a prop from some other project that was never made, was shoe-horned into Doctor Who, and was promptly written out again when it proved to be an absolute nightmare to use, with its pre-programmed lines constantly going out of sync and suffering repeated breakdowns, and its creator died without leaving sufficient instructions behind as to how to control it.) Showed up in "The King's Demons" as a villain and puppet of the Master, got cut from an appearance in "The Awakening" and made a final appearance in "Planet of Fire."

  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: He dies. The end.
  • Expanded Universe: Actually fleshed-out in several novels, and makes one key appearance in the Big Finish Doctor Who episode "Circular Time". The reason he doesn't appear more is because several people perished (the creator/programmer of Kamelion, actors who portrayed him, a DW author who wrote a novel specifically centred around the character) when they had some major involvement with the character, and others now fear his existence is an accursed affair.
    • The Crystal Bucephalus by Craig Hinton, decides that Kamelion's unfortunate weakness would often work against both the heroes (in that Kamelion would be aiding the villain of the week, in this case a mobster/corrupt religious leader) and the villains (by specifically trying to undermine the villain in key ways that wouldn't be disobeying him). Said novel also took Kamelion and turned him from a robot into a complex sentient mathematical equation that likes taking the form of a robot instead. At least, this helps explain why the Master was so interested in him, as well as the way Kamelion changes form.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: Never mentioned again on the TV show, whatsoever; though he does appear in an easily visible photograph, among those of many other former companions, in "The Day of the Doctor". Paul Cornell did bring back Kamelion for the Big Finish Circular Time audio drama, in a short episode that delves into the Fifth Doctor's rather unusual Regeneration scene.
  • Mercy Kill: The less said about this one, the better.
  • Punny Name: Get it?
  • Robot Buddy: Literally.
  • Shapeshifting: His main power.
  • Shoo Out the New Guy: Technically he was a companion for nearly a full year. In practice, he only showed up in 2 stories, the one where he joined and the one where the writers Dropped a Bridge on Him.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Was conceived as a successor to K-9, just not looking like a dog.
  • I Want My Jetpack: Non-fictional example. Kamelion was envisioned as a highly advanced robotic prop, but the technology (and budget) around at the time of his conception was just too limited to allow for a versatile robot, which doomed his character to obscurity when he proved a veritable nightmare to operate.
  • Weak-Willed: Very easily manipulated by the willpower of others.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Only appears twice.

     Perpugilliam "Peri" Brown 

Perpugilliam "Peri" Brown (Fifth and Sixth Doctors)
The Master: I am the Master!
Peri: So what? I'm Perpugilliam Brown, and I can shout just as loud as you can!

Played by: Nicola Bryant (1984–86)

The series' only regular American companion (supposedly), Peri was a botany student who stumbled into the TARDIS while she was on holiday. Got a bit of a shock during her third televised adventure, when her kind gentlemanly Doctor suddenly regenerated into a peremptory jerkass and tried to murder her in the middle of his regeneration trauma. Developed a lot of attention from fans due to her tendency to wear tight clothes.

  • '80s Hair: With a headband and everything.
  • Abhorrent Admirer: Peri has an unfortunate knack for attracting lustful weirdos, such as Sharaz Jek and the Borad.
  • Abusive Parents: She has a nightmare about her step-father in her first appearance: fans were left to draw their own (generally unpleasant) conclusions. In the Expanded Universe, she was molested as a child. Break the Cutie indeed.
  • Absolute Cleavage: Just ask Peter Davison. Some of her wardrobe is actually modest.
  • Bare Your Midriff: She regularly tied up her shirts to reveal her midriff.
  • Bound and Gagged: In "Mindwarp", in Episode 4.
  • Break the Cutie: The Expanded Universe seems to delight in doing this to poor Peri. One tale winds up killing off her entire family. And not just that, but it was an utter afterthought in a story's epilogue where Peri had already lost some people who were like family to her. Another example deals with the alternate possibilities coming from her final appearances. The Expanded Universe gave her quite a few different fates in varying (mutually incompatible) stories. The Big Finish episode "Peri and the Piscon Paradox" dives headfirst into this idea, and follows a Peri who's in her late 40s, living on Earth, and completely oblivious to the existence of a Sixth Doctor. It turns out that the Celestial Intervention Agency decided to toy with her after the Trial and made copies of her, just to find one fate for her that would give her a decent ending. This Peri wound up marrying her high school sweetheart... and was abused repeatedly by her "perfect husband", to the point where she's rendered incapable of having children. She slowly gets used to the idea of having a messed-up life, only to have it interrupted by a run-in with her old self as well as the Fifth and Sixth Doctors. Mood Whiplash at its best.
  • Chickification:
    • In her first story, "Planet of Fire", she is one of the very few characters who ever No Sold the Master's hypnotic powers with no previous experience of them or mental training. And she gives a snarky line in response. Unfortunately, it looks as if the writers looked at her characterisation in "The Caves of Androzani", in which she is painfully dying for most of the story, and thought that was the way she should be all the time, as the serial itself proved to be highly acclaimed, owing much of its success to her distress.
    • Arguably more a case of Never Live It Down; after that episode, she proceeds to hold two renegade Time Lords at gunpoint, get the Doctor out of various traps and gets a cool moment in "Attack of the Cybermen" where she and the Doctor move in unison to take out some armed guards.
    • Likewise, the Sixth Doctor also went through an arguable characterisation faux pas via violent mood swings and the show had trouble finding its footing. Season 23 managed to recover their intended characterisations, but both characters were soon given the axe in a most unfair manner due to then-BBC Controller Michael Grade having said axe to grind with the series, putting it on hiatus. Nicola Bryant's contract ran out while the show was on hiatus and she was given a departure story to wrap things up. Her co-star Colin did not fare so well, who was fired from his role and pushed out the door on such unfair terms he refused to shoot a departure story and didn't get one until 29 years later, in audio format.
  • * Deadpan Snarker: Often. It's to be expected when her travelling companion is the Sixth Doctor.
    Sixth Doctor: I suddenly feel very conspicuous.
    Peri: I'm not surprised in that coat!
  • Distressed Damsel: All the time.
  • The Ditz: Season 22, mostly. Luckily, she improved drastically in her last season, not to mention her audio adventures.
  • Domestic Abuse: The infamous scene in "The Twin Dilemma" where a freshly regenerated Sixth Doctor throttles poor Peri is reminiscent of this. She also has a disturbing dream about her stepfather in "Planet of Fire". The Expanded Universe ran with it and both Peri's stepfather and future husband were abusive towards her. The audio adventure "Peri and the Piscon Paradox" explores this:
    An older Peri: Cute blonde guys can turn into scary violent guys real quick.note 
  • Establishing Character Moment: Her very second shot is of her in a bikini, after which she immediately proceeds to almost drown.
  • Form-Fitting Wardrobe: Had a thing for skin-tight clothes. Season 23, after a lot of family-friendly Executive Meddling, toned down her wardrobe to conservative dress.
  • Informed Attribute: Peri was a student of botany but she rarely, if ever, got to put this to use. Ironically, the very first serial after she left the show ("Terror of the Vervoids") featured a race of plant-like aliens as the villains. Poor Peri just couldn't catch a break.
  • Male Gaze: Her second scene. The camera pans up over her body in a bikini. Perhaps the most blatant Fanservice Doctor Who has ever had.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Her aforementioned tight wardrobe. Which was a bit unfair on poor Ms. Bryant, as both she and Colin have pointed out in more than one commentary that England can be really cold.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping:
    • Nicola Bryant auditioned for Peri by secretly impersonating an American accent because she wanted to be on the show, when the producers were scouting out someone who had a real American accent. She's actually got a native British accent and it slips through many times because it's her natural dialect.
    • Very pronounced in the Big Finish audio dramas. Oddly, Nicola Bryant doesn't seem to have any problem slipping back into the accent she used on the television show for certain stories, but in others she tends to speak with something much closer to her natural British accent. In general, when she appears alongside Colin Baker's sixth Doctor, she speaks with an American accent, but, strangely enough, her (chronologically earlier) appearances alongside Peter Davison's fifth Doctor feature a British accent. Which means that at some point Peri switched from an American to a British accent, and then back again. Could be Fridge Brilliance, in that Peri's accent generally got more convincing the longer Bryant was on the show, and so in her Five audios Bryant my deliberately affect a less convincing accent.
  • Parent Service: Another blatant example like Leela before her.
  • Plucky Girl: With Five, although with Six she's more of a Perpetually Annoyed Girl.
  • Shouldn't We Be in School Right Now?: Depending on what her fate really is, as Peri is said to be a college student majoring in botany when she met the Doctor while on a holiday. See the alternate possibilities above.
  • Tsundere: With the Sixth Doctor.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With the Doctor, especially after the messy regeneration experience. Their default state is to complain about each other, but if one of them gets in serious danger, expect a strong reaction from the other.
    "What do you do in that box?"
    The Doctor: (affectionately) "Argue, mainly."
  • Wacky Americans Have Wacky Names: Perpugilliam?!

     Melanie "Mel" Jane Bush 

Melanie "Mel" Jane Bush (Sixth and Seventh Doctors)

Played by: Bonnie Langford (1986–87)

A computer programmer from Pease Pottage, Mel was well known both for having a particularly piercing scream and being obsessive about her health (and the Doctor's, for that matter). She had a cheerful disposition and a perfect memory.

  • '80s Hair: Giant red curls.
  • Characterization Marches On: Her obsession with the Doctor's health. Possibly justified as he did end up changing physically, just not in a way she expected.
  • Distressed Damsel
  • Ditzy Genius: She's very clever, but very ditzy.
  • Fiery Redhead: Without the typical fighting capability.
  • Giant Poofy Sleeves: With polka dots.
  • I Choose to Stay: With Sabalom Glitz, for some reason. (She was supposed to leave in the previous serial, Ray would have been the Doctor's companion, and Ace would have stayed with Glitz — her lover. Things got shuffled around during production and Mel ended up staying with Glitz instead.)
  • Informed Ability: Mel supposedly had a Photographic Memory, but this never came up. Similarly, about the only time her experience as a computer programmer comes up is when she inexplicably identifies the Valeyard's doomsday machine as "a megabyte modem."
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: Bonnie Langford was hired because she had a scream "that could tear the paint off walls". It's not far from the truth.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: Since Mel never got a proper televised introduction (see below), the expanded universe novels and audios have built a cottage industry out of creating one for her, most of which are mutually contradictory.
  • Nice Girl: She's very sweet.
  • No Indoor Voice: Infamously so.
  • No Name Given: Mel's last name is never mentioned on screen. It was established as Bush in studio documents and a book written by the series' producer at the time, and also appears in the Expanded Universe.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: She's a computer programmer, yet she never touches one during her tenure.
  • Remember The New Girl: She was introduced as being from the Doctor's future, which means that the manner in which she first encountered and started traveling with the Doctor wasn't shown then. At the end of the season, she's seen departing with the Doctor, whom she has already met, but who hasn't yet met her. The production team apparently intended to explain all of this and give her a proper introduction the following season, but the forced departure of Colin Baker as the Doctor made that impossible. So, ultimately, Mel was just... there, with no real introduction ever shown, at least until the expanded universe got their hands on her.
  • The Pollyanna: Very upbeat, cheerful, optimistic and trusting.
  • Screaming Woman: The actress was hired for her scream which could "tear the paint off walls". For "Terror of the Vervoids", John Nathan-Turner asked her to do a cliffhanger scream on an "F" note, just so her scream would segue seamlessly into the ending credits. She did.

     Dorothy "Ace" Gale McShane  

Dorothy "Ace" Gale McShane (Seventh Doctor)
"I'm ready for them. Question is, are they ready for me?"

Debut: "Dragonfire"

Played by: Sophie Aldred (1987–89)

A late-eighties teenager rescued from an ice planet where she was working as a waitress (long story). Notable as one of the relatively few classic series girls who actively attempted to beat up the monsters rather than scream at them. She also liked to deploy her favourite weapon, a homemade explosive she called Nitro-9. Always called the Doctor "Professor", even after he asked her not to. This started out as an example of her anti-authority bent, then turned into an affectionate nickname between them. Oh, and she was the reason the Crowning Moment of Awesome trope page was created.

  • '80s Hair: A tight ponytail or braid near the top of her head.
  • Aborted Arc: Had the show not been placed on hiatus, the Doctor would have enrolled Ace in the Time Lord Academy so she could undergo training to become a Time Lord. The planned episode dealing with this plan, "Thin Ice," was eventually recorded by Big Finish in audio format, and Ace eventually gets into Time Lord Academy in the Big Finish Gallifrey series under Romana's presidency. A version of this also happens in the BBC webcast audio play Death Comes To Time.
  • Action Girl: She defeated a Dalek with a baseball bat.
  • Allergic to Evil: In the "Remembrance of the Daleks" novelization, any sign of racism brings flashbacks to the fire in Manisha's apartment.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Very much Depending on the Writer. Creator Ian Briggs wrote a sexual liaison with Sabalom Glitz into her character outline, although it was never made explicit in the series. Other writers, like Rona Munro, intentionally wrote her as a Butch Lesbian (as much as the BBC would permit anyway). Ace occasionally has chemistry with male guest stars (notably Captain Sorin in "The Curse of Fenric"), but it's much more common with the ladies. In the Expanded Universe, she Really Gets Around, although she's only seen hooking up with men. Her TV series appearances average out to Bi the Way, which Sophie Aldred herself agrees with.
  • Anti-Hero: She's not a very mentally stable person, and she's gotten in trouble with the law before.
  • Ascended Extra: The original plan was for Ace and Glitz to leave Ice World at the end of the episode, and Ray (from "Delta and the Bannermen") would have been Seven's companion. When that didn't pan out, Ace became an Ascended Extra and Mel stayed with Glitz instead. This is also the reason Glitz knows where Ace lives — it was originally meant as Foreshadowing. Word of God has it that Glitz and Ace were sleeping together and that he took her virginity.
  • Berserk Button: Do NOT call her 'small'. One Dalek made this mistake, and Ace's reaction...see for yourself...
  • Boots of Toughness: Favours rugged Doc Marten boots, where most companions' footwear tends to the flimsy and fashionable.
  • Brains and Brawn: Seven was a consummate Chessmaster and Magnificent Bastard who rarely dirtied his hands with a fight. Ace whipped up homemade explosives and rarely met a fight she didn't like.
  • Broken Bird: The girl had issues. And guidance counsellors.
  • Cartwright Curse: Became close to Mike Smith, Gwendoline Pritchard, Captain Sorin and Karra; none of them made it to the end of their respective serials. The Doctor Who New Adventures continued the trend.
  • Catch Phrase: Enjoyed shouting "Ace!" (meaning "cool"). Since this is also her nickname, it almost seems like she is engaging in Pokιmon Speak.
    • She said "Wicked!" so often that the Doctor himself was inspired to say it once.
    • Also "Oi!"
  • Crazy-Prepared: Even before meeting the Doctor, she was in the habit of taking a portable rope ladder with her wherever she went.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: The epitome of this trope, to the point where the type of Doctor that Ace really needs is a therapist.
  • Dark Action Girl: Already shows it in the TV series, and really becomes this trope in the Doctor Who New Adventures novels.
  • Delinquent: Stated to have been one in her backstory: she was excluded from school for blowing up the art room, burned down an abandoned house, and (probably for this) was cautioned by police. She is also able to drive a car despite not being old enough to hold a licence, suggesting illicit joyriding.
  • Expanded Universe:
    • One of the most frequently appearing companions in the Doctor Who Expanded Universe, especially during her friendship with Bernice Summerfield in the Doctor Who New Adventures series. In Big Finish, two versions of Ace appear: the regular one, and the one in the Big Finish stories that take place in the New Adventures series (still following us?). She's also all over the Doctor Who Magazine comics. All Expanded Universe incarnations of Ace have her gradually becoming even more badass.
    • While there's usually at least a token effort made to reconcile various contradictions in expanded universe fiction, the writers basically seem to have given up trying with Ace, especially when it comes to her departure. She has four or five completely contradictory fates in the novels, comics, and audios, and though there have been some ideas floated to try to reconcile them all (usually involving clones or alternate timeline duplicates), none of them appear to have gained much traction to date.
  • Girl of the Week: The censored Word of Gay version. Ace appeared in nine stories, and rapidly established a close friendship with an attractive young female character in at least five of them.
  • Good-Looking Privates: Ace always falls for men in uniform who later turn out to be the enemy.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Much of the Totally Radical comes from the writers' attempts to have her insult people or express emotion without swearing.
  • I Have Many Names: Is her birth name Dorothy McShanenote  or Dorothy Galenote ? Or Dorothy Gale McShanenote ? Later on, she abandons the "Ace" nickname in favor of "McShane".note  Or possibly "Dorothee".note 
  • Kill It with Fire: Her preferred method.
    Seventh Doctor: I don't believe you've met my young friend Ace, an expert in calorification,†  incineration,§  carbonization,º  and inflammation.‡ 
  • Killed Off for Real: In the infamous Doctor Who Magazine comics story "Ground Zero". As noted, though, Ace had several conflicting fates in the Doctor Who Expanded Universe. And this one got ignored by Russell T Davies, who wanted Aldred in The Sarah Jane Adventures, were it not for the untimely death of Elisabeth Sladen.
    • Ace is an inverted example of a Multiple-Choice Past. Her origins are pretty straightforward, but her future is in considerable doubt. "Ground Zero" itself contradicted the story told in the earlier novelizations and New Adventures novels, which had her adopting the name Dorothee and retiring to late nineteenth century France with a time ring that allowed her to travel approximately 100 years into the past or future. And it was in turn contradicted by the BBC Books novels by Mike Tucker and Robert Perry, which killed her off in an entirely different way. The Big Finish audios haven't provided a conclusion to the character yet, but the direction they've taken the character in is hard to reconcile with any of the preceding three. And, finally, the audio drama "Death Comes to Time" has her becoming the last of the Time Lords, but that story has a difficult relationship with the rest of Doctor Who canon even leaving that aside.
  • The Lad-ette: Although she only fully achieves this trope in terms of debauched lifestyle after her Doctor Who New Adventures age-up.
  • Mad Bomber: She's very quick to whip out those homemade explosives of hers. The Doctor is more than aware of this.
    Seventh Doctor: "ACE! Hand me some of that Nitro-9 you're not carrying."
  • Meaningful Name: Her name's Dorothy, and she ends up in the future by a "time storm". If that wasn't enough, her middle name is ''Gale''. Does this remind you of anything?
  • Nerves of Steel: She does get scared occasionally, but pushes on regardless. When she doesn't want to push on, the Doctor makes her.
  • The Nicknamer: She's best known for calling the Doctor "Professor", but she invented names for other characters as well. Mel ended up as "Doughnut".
  • No Name Given: Her surname is not given on screen, but audios use Dorothy Gale McShane.
    • The name given by the audios is itself a compromise: her full name had originally been given in the New Adventures novels and Doctor Who Magazine comic as "Dorothy McShane." When BBC Books took over the novel license, the writers gave it as "Dorothy Gale." Big Finish was more closely tied to the earlier New Adventures novels restored it to "McShane," but with the addition of "Gale" as her middle name.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Just don't call her small.
  • Pop-Cultured Badass: Look closely at her jacket, and you can spot (among other things) a Watchmen pin, two Rupert Bear pictures, several Blue Peter decorations, a Gerry Anderson fan club membership button, and a Thunderbirds patch.
  • Psycho Sidekick: Downplayed, in that a vague description of the dynamic between them would make Ace seem like a Psycho Sidekick, but the Seventh Doctor is much more ruthless than she is, in a less personally violent way.
    • Especially in "The Curse of Fenric" where the Doctor cruelly calls her an "emotional cripple". It's in order to save her life by forcing her to lose faith in him so the big bad can't destroy the world. But it's still a pretty nasty thing to do to a character established as carrying a lot of emotional baggage.
  • Really Gets Around: Not on television, but in the Doctor Who Expanded Universe novels, Ace seems to shag someone in every novel.
  • Stable Time Loop: She meets her grandmother, who she helped rescue her mother, therefore causing her own existence.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: The Doctor's companions are generally there to help minimise collateral damage, but she bucked the trend by bringing her own supply of home-made explosives (Nitro-9) on her travels. The Doctor tended to discourage this... except when it was useful to him ("Hand me some of that Nitro-9 you're not carrying").
  • Supporting Protagonist: When Andrew Cartmel tried to re-instil some mystery into the Doctor and made him a conniving Chessmaster, Ace ended up getting the most character development of any companion from the classic series.
  • Tomboy: She's not even remotely like previous companions.
  • Totally Radical: Try and listen to some of the dialogue and the slang she uses without cringing. Go on. We dare you. (Ian Briggs, the writer who created her, gave her a speech pattern based on teenagers he knew, but was forced to change the slang because his real teenagers were using words the BBC wouldn't allow its fictional teenagers to say.)
  • Weapon of Choice: Explosives!
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: In "Ghost Light."
  • You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious: If Ace calls the Doctor "Doctor" instead of "Professor", it's a sign she's genuinely upset.

     Dr. Grace Holloway 

Dr. Grace Holloway (Eighth Doctor) note
"Doctor, I only have one life. Can you try to keep that in mind?"

Played by: Daphne Ashbrook (1996)

Only on-screen companion of the Eighth Doctor, Grace also has the dubious distinction of having killed the Seventh Doctor. She's a cardiologist from 1999 San Francisco with a fondness for opera.