Incarnations of the Doctor
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Companions and Supporting Cast
Classic Series Companions (K9, Romana) | Revival Series Companions (Rose Tyler, Captain Jack Harkness, River Song, Clara Oswald) | Other Supporting Cast (The Paternoster Gang) | UNIT Staff
Immortals and Eldritch Abominations | The Master (John Simms' Master, Missy, Expanded Universe Masters)
Aliens and Monsters
Daleks (Davros) | Cybermen | Robots | The Silence | nySilurians | Sontarans | Time Lords | Weeping Angels | Slitheen
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.
First Doctor Era
"Susan Foreman" (First Doctor)
The Doctor's granddaughter, possibly through his son.note When the series began, she attended Coal Hill School in London as a student for a few months in 1963, posing as a human.note She is Constantly Curious and extremely sweet. Returns much later, with at least the appearance of an adult, to help out the first five incarnations of her grandfather all at the same time.
- Adaptation Relationship Overhaul: Issue 42◊ of the Doctor Who? parody comic in Doctor Who Magazine says she's actually the Doctor's great grandmother regenerated into a child.
- Aerith and Bob: The novelization to The Day Of The Doctor promises to explain why someone born in Gallifrey would have a name like Susan in the non-existent Chapter 9.
- Alien Among Us: Is one, who was trying to pass herself off as a regular human student when attending Coal Hill School.
- AM/FM Characterization: Her first scene has her dancing to sixies guitar rock (fictional band John Smith and the Common Men) on a transistor radio.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Her response to cavemen kidnapping her grandfather was to jump on the back of one and start attacking him. Granted, she didn't succeed in defeating him but right there it was established she will resort to violence if pushed too far.
- Brainy Brunette: Dark haired and very intelligent.
- Bound and Gagged: In "The Keys of Marinus" 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 an occasional 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 only reason the Doctor thought he was the Last of His Kind is because Susan was probably on Gallifrey at the end of the Time War, with her having been confirmed now to have been there in recent Big Finish releases. 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.
- But Now I Must Go: Big Finish shows her deciding it's time to leave Earth in order to assist her people in the Time War.
- The Call Knows Where You Live: Big Finish shows that the Time Lords always knew exactly where she really was, and thus when the Time War rolled around they could send the call.
- The Cameo: She's very briefly seen, from the back, in a flashback in "The Name of the Doctor". Her photo also appears on the Doctor's desk in "The Pilot".
- Category Traitor: Has become this by leaving Gallifrey and breaking the non-interference clause with her Grandfather. The EU indicates the Doctor fearing repercussions for this played a role in him leaving her behind on a "safe" Earth.
- 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".
- Cloud Cuckoolander: Her odder moments of behaviour, or when her behaviour changes (as noted below), could be explained as this.
- The Conscience: Serves as this to her grandfather.
- Constantly Curious: She is full of questions.
- 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.
- Dancing with Myself: Demonstrated to do so in an "Unearthly Child" albeit...somewhat oddly.
- Depending on the Writer:
- She was originally 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.
- Whether or not Susan should be described as a Time Lord herself (as in a member of the Time Lord Race) or a Gallifreyan is up to debate. Onscreen, it has been arguably suggested that not all Gallifreyans are necessarily Time Lords and that Time Lords are an elite society which one must join and be indoctrinated into (including the Time Lord Academy). Being that Susan was depicted as a teenager, there is little evidence that she had already done this. Her demonstrated superior knowledge of science had been explicitly mentioned to be normal for children of her planet, so that wasn't an indication of Time Lord education, although the age of enrollment being 8 means she could have been in the school for a while, if not perhaps graduated.
- This tends to happen a lot in the expanded universe: Is she really the Doctor's biological granddaughter or is she adopted? Is her name actually "Susan"? And if not, what was it? What was her life like before she left Gallifrey? What happened to her after leaving the TARDIS? The answers to these questions varies wildly between the multitude of novels, comics, and audioplays released over the years.
- Distressed Damsel: Her young age likely didn't help her to avoid being in situations like this.
- Early Instalment Weirdness:
- She has a human name, although later claimed by EU material to be an alias; her real name (depending on the source) being Arkytior or Larn.
- Susan claims she invented the acronym "TARDIS". Later, all Time Lords call the machines by that name, although it's possible she only thought she'd created it.
- She's the only confirmed blood relation of the Doctor's to have appeared, except from Jenny, with the Doctor's Mysterious Past meaning that not much more is known about the family tree.
- She departs the TARDIS to marry a human. Time Lords' life spans had yet to be established by that point, so the inevitability of Susan outliving her teenage love by centuries isn't brought up.
- Fish out of Temporal Water: Clearly doesn't know how 20th century human teenagers are supposed to act, or even the currency system used at the time and sticks out like a sore thumb at school because of it.
- Gallows Humour: Has moments of this, such as laughing at a Dalek.
- The Heart: Always wants to do her best to help.
- Human Aliens: From the same race as the Doctor, which initially the audience knew nothing about, not even their name.
- Jumped at the Call: When the Time Lords ask for her help in fighting a very particular war.
- Immortality Begins at Twenty: More like mid/late teens but the EU clarifies that her apparently older appearance when she's seen again is a disguise. She hasn't biologically aged in decades. This is a species trait.
- The Ingenue: Much more optimistic and trustworthy than her grandfather, especially when they first arrive on Earth.
- It Runs in the Family: It's very clear that she's her grandfather's granddaughter.
- Kid-Appeal Character: Basically this.
- 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.
- Mama Bear: The EU establishes that she becomes so after being left on Earth with David.
- Memetic Mutation: When established to like memes in an audio, her meme love itself became somewhat of a minor version of this on the internet.
- Missing Mom/Disappeared Dad: Her parents are never so much as mentioned, nor is her grandmother.
- Morality Pet: Before the First Doctor's Character Development, he rarely shows concern for anyone except for Susan.
- Mysterious Past: It's unknown why she and the Doctor left Gallifrey.
- Nice Girl: Creates a stark contrast to her much more ill-tempered grandfather, especially in his earliest stories. She warms up to Earth and humans much faster than him.
- Nightmare Fetishist: When she isn't scared enough to feel in danger, she certainly is this, with her voicing a love of the dark and her excitement at fighting a caveman and the prospect of using burning skulls to chase more off. Her reaction to finding a sacrificial knife is also to pretend to use it on herself.
- Noodle Incident: The Eleventh Doctor mentions having taken a visit to the Rings of Akhaten with her once, but what exactly happened during it is unknown.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Tries this when in Coal Hill Academy but her tendency to blurt things out limits the success of this and Ian even says he suspects she's smarter than she lets on.
- Older Than They Look: While in the series she claims to be sixteen during her travels with the Doctor, it's later revealed that Time Lords like her grandfather age much slower than humans at a certain point. One expanded universe source indicates shes older than Ian and Barbara combined.
- Outliving One's Offspring: Used to have offspring but conflict with the Daleks on Earth resulted in that not being the case anymore.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: Despite being the original Screaming Woman, she was a powerful telepath and a resourceful adventurer when she had to be. Unfortunately for her popularity among fans, she was overshadowed by her wily grandfather, Ian, and Barbara, all three of whom tended to make it their priority to protect her.
- Pstandard Psychic Pstance: In "The Sensorites".
- Psychic Powers: She's very gifted in telepathy, much more so than the average Time Lord, including her grandfather.
- Precocious Crush: An audio story reveals she had a crush on Ian.
- 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: Justified in the case of Susan; she's incredibly sheltered and repeatedly shown to be nervous and easily intimidated, and has been raised by the Doctor to view the outside world as an inherent threat. And, of course, she's also a child; younger by Gallifreyan standards than human ones, and even a shy human teenager could be forgiven for screaming while being kidnapped by cavemen. As it is, when older she is a lot more capable of fending for herself.
- It could be argued that applying this trope to Susan is unfair; she screams quite often, but is also shown to be remarkably intelligent, perceptive, and generally a very useful person to have around. She just gets excited from time to time.
- Security Cling: She's very frequently clinging to either Barbara or the Doctor.
- Sheltered Aristocrat: As a very sheltered member of the Time Lords, the aristocrats of the universe.
- 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.)
- Squishy Wizard: While she posses abnormally strong psychic abilities, physically she cannot put up much of a fight.
- Teen Genius: Being from the highly advanced civilisation of Gallifrey, this is a given, to the extent where she has to hold back when pretending to be a human student on Earth. 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.
- Took a Level in Badass: Her older-self in the Big Finish audios definitely did, with Susan becoming much more competent and even a member of the fledgling 22nd century human government. And she was later seen having willingly joined the Time War.
- Totally Radical: '60s version. Apparently she picked up some of the local youth lingo during her time in Coal Hill.
- Undying Loyalty: Mostly to her grandfather, but she will also refuse to leave other allies in trouble and consequently have to be physically dragged off so that she does.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: While the Doctor believing himself to be the Last of His Kind suggests he may have believed her to have been on Gallifrey and involved, exactly what she was up to during in the Time War other is currently unknown. She's been confirmed to having been a participant but that is all.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Has called out the Doctor for some of his more morally questionable actions.
- The Woobie: From having to flee her home planet for reasons her own grandfather refuses to tell her, to then being left behind by him on Earth...and things only get worse for her from there on.
- The World Is Just Awesome: Has this opinion of Earth and seems to have it of her home planet too when reminiscing in The Sensorites.
- You Can't Go Home Again: As the Doctor says, they are exiles from their own people. The EU even clarifies that Susan herself doesn't known why this is. It takes the Time War for her to go back.
- Younger Than They Look. Later becomes a complicated example of this trope, as after 30 years on Earth she has disguised herself to look like how she should at that age, were she a human, with her really still looking like a teenager. It's only therefore by Time Lord standards that this disguised appearance counts, as in actuality it would take centuries at least for her to genuinely appear that age. Her actual age is unknown, though some sources indicate she was much older than even her teachers.
Barbara Wright (First Doctor)
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 unsavoury 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.
- 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".
- Chickification: While she spends most of her time being confused and screaming in her first story, this is Justified by the circumstances of her companionship, and she soon gets some Character Development and becomes The Hero of several stories (notably Part 2 and 3 of "The Keys of Marinus" and "The Aztecs"). In stories where she has a more backseat role, it tends to be a more dynamic one (such as journeying with a Thal war band in "The Daleks", and going on an expedition to defeat the Daleks in "The Dalek Invasion of Earth"). In both "The Dalek Invasion of Earth" and "The Rescue" she is shown to be willing to kill in order to protect younger female characters with her. However, after Susan, the Damsel in Distress in most of her stories, leaves, she's replaced with Suspiciously Similar Substitute surrogate-granddaughter Vicki, a more energetic and optimistic character who tended to be paired off with the Doctor so they could go on Vagabond Buddies-type adventures as a comical B Story. Since Vicki was ineligible to be the Damsel, the role got handed over to Barbara, who then started getting captured, hypnotised, sold into slavery, and threatened with rape a lot more often. A plot point in "The Crusade" even centres around her supposed unwillingness to kill, even to protect a young female character with her.
- Damsel in Distress: She alternately played this trope straight and subverted it. The most memorable straight example would be in "An Unearthly Child", where she spends most of the last two episodes screaming and crying. She seems to have gotten it out of her system by the next serial, where she's perfectly happy to go on a commando raid into the Dalek city. Her most memorable subversion is probably "The Crusade", where she does get kidnapped, but rescues herself and is on her way back to rescue everyone else by the time Ian shows up to save her.
- Dead Unicorn Trope: When ill-informed media commentators or post-2005-only fans claim that all pre-2005 female companions were just useless screaming eye-candy, the show's defenders can point to one of the very first ones.
- 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.
- God Guise: In "The Aztecs", she gets mistaken for the Aztec deity Yetaxa and tries to use her position to change the Aztec Empire.
- 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.
- Mama Bear: Very protective of Susan and later Vicki.
- Morality Chain: Barbara has no problems with telling the Doctor where to stuff his "angry old git" act. He mellows out considerably around her.
- Mr. 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 (First Doctor)
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... There's also a less-frequent Running Gag in which aliens or non-anglophone humans have trouble pronouncing the name "Ian".
- 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.
- However, in a reconstruction of the Missing Episodes of "The Crusade", William Russell appears as an older Ian to introduce the story.
- Further, "The Day of the Doctor" has a Freeze-Frame Bonus, naming an "I. Chesterton" as the Chairman of the Governors of Coal Hill School, where he worked before travelling with the Doctor.
- AM/FM Characterization: He's surprisingly in touch with musical tastes of sixties youth, being knowledgeable of the fictional John Smith and the Common Men and dad-dancing to The Beatles' "Ticket to Ride".
- 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: He has a very dry, sardonic sense of humour. Being a schoolteacher, his snark was distinctively Stern Teacher humour.
- 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.
- 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)
Survivor of a spaceship crash on the planet Dido in the 25th century, Vicki was a teenage girl who then travelled 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.
- AM/FM Characterization: She loves The Beatles, but was unaware they played "classical music" and visited their memorial theatre in Liverpool. Fittingly enough, Maureen O'Brien is from Liverpool.
- The Cutie: Absolutely adorable.
- Fluffy Tamer: Aside from the unfortunate Hands Off My Fluffy! moment mentioned below, she also christens one of the Zarbi "Zombo", going so far as to call it cute. It being a man-sized ant, the Doctor does not agree.
- Girlish Pigtails: Her frequent hairstyle of choice.
- Hands Off My Fluffy!: In her first story, Barbara mistakes Vicki's pet for a monster and shoots it. Vicki properly breaks down.
- Heartwarming Orphan: A sweetheart with a dead mum and a murdered dad who gains a Parental Substitute in the Doctor, shortly after he has left Susan.
- I Choose to Stay: She decided to stay in ancient Troy and married Troilus, becoming Cressida (yep, the one from Greek Mythology).
- Kid Sidekick: To the Doctor, as Ian and Barbara are usually paired together.
- The Knights Who Say "Squee!": One of the rare companions with literal Squee moments, notably when she realizes that she's about to meet Nero.
- Little Black Dress: Her Iconic Outfit, a simple black minidress with a prominent zig-zag collar.
- Nightmare Fetishist: She's first introduced with a feral monster as her pet. The story after that has her gleefully watching While Rome Burns, delighted at how she gets to watch history unfold.
- No Full Name Given: Her last name is never revealed on screen. The Expanded Universe has established her full name is Vicki Pallister.
- Plucky Girl:
- She was orphaned by a space accident, and we meet her after she's been stranded on an isolated desert planet awaiting a rescue mission while being psychologically terrorised by a repugnant monster with unclear motivations who turns out to be a man she thought was her friend in disguise - she'd still been making the best of it, by befriending the local wildlife. After the Doctor takes her on she will have occasional scenes where she will remind the others of what she's lost and that the Doctor is now her only family, but is mostly resolute and cheerful, happy to take the lead in a crisis (like in "The Space Museum"), and with a big scoop of Nightmare Fetishist and Fluffy Tamer to boot.
- In "The Chase" she stows away aboard a Dalek time machine and when confronted by armed Saxon villagers, tells them to hurry up and make up their minds whether she and Steven are spies or not.
- Sometimes approaches Heroic Comedic Sociopath dimensions, especially in "The Romans". (See defining character quote above.)
- Proper Tights with a Skirt: When wearing her introductory short black dress.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute/Contrasting Sequel Main Character: Vicki, of course, was intended to occupy the same space in the group dynamic as Susan, so she's an interesting bundle of similarities and contrasts. She and the Doctor both discuss how they're looking for lost family in each other, and she falls into the "child" role with Ian and Barbara. But personality-wise, she's quite different to Susan - she's a lot more confident and adventurous, and also lacks Susan's occasionally alien outlook on the world. And for the viewers, where Susan was a mysterious and somewhat unrelatable space waif, Vicki was (despite being from the future) recognisably a Scouse mod... IN SPACE!
- Technobabble: The writers quickly realised that Vicki, being from the future, could handle a lot of the technobabble that William Hartnell had trouble with.
- Teen Genius: She can talk to the Doctor at close to his own level about time travel theory.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: She's "not good with heights". Naturally she has to be winched down a 500-metre drop to escape from the Mechanoids.
Steven Taylor (First Doctor)
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 Scepticism: 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 story.
- 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 Whomage, 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.
- Early-Bird Cameo: The Paul Magrs short story, The Runaway Hi-Fi says that Hi-Fi is actually Panda from Iris Wildthyme.
- 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 Armour: 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.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Inverted. He seemed to fill Ian's role as the strapping man of action who'd call the Doctor out, but he also had Barbra's compassion and level-headed nature.
- 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)
A priestess from ancient Troy who thought the Doctor was a god. Her character was considered too limiting, leading the production team to decide to write her out almost as soon as they'd thought of her, 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.
- Extremely Short Timespan: Despite being considered a fully-fledged companion by all sources, Katarina knows the Doctor for a matter of hours before she dies.
- 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... or would seem so until Leela came along.
- Heroic Sacrifice: First companion to leave the show by dying.
- Ironic Last Words: (addressing the Doctor) "You show me so many strange mysteries. With you I know I'm safe."
- 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 Episode Four 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: Her demise.
Sara Kingdom (First Doctor)
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.
- Ascended Extra: There was some debate among fans as to whether Sara Kingdom counted as a Companion, given that she's only alive for the course of one adventure. However the Dalek Master Plan goes on so long, with her adventures covering different times and planets, that it makes little difference. When "Master Plan" was novelised, a six-month gap was inserted in the story, to allow the expanded universe to feature more stories with Sara as a companion.
- 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: Fits the character arc of someone who does something bad at the start of the adventure serial, only to redeem themselves with a Heroic Sacrifice at the end.
- 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 (First Doctor)
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.
- Belated Happy Ending: David Bishop wrote a new epilogue to Who Killed Kennedy in 2018, in which Dodo's murder is erased from history and she and James live out their lives in happiness.
- Boyish Short Hair
- Break the Cutie: The Expanded Universe thrives on this trope anyway, but Dodo comes in for more than her share. She comes away from her travels with a venereal disease and a nervous breakdown. And that's just the start of it... In Who Killed Kennnedy, it's revealed that being controlled by WOTAN in her final story led to being committed to a psychiatric hospital and being experimented on by the Master, before escaping and becoming homeless for a few years. Finally, she's murdered by the Master's brainwashed pawn, while pregnant with her and James Stevens' baby. That's why it's such a relief when Who Killed Kennedy's new epilogue involved Twelve rewriting history to save her.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: In her brief time on the show, she manages to stand out as one of the strangest Companions the show has ever had - certainly not stupid, because she frequently makes quick connections about things the Doctor and Steven have missed, but the ways she expresses her ideas are invariably bizarre. She's also an extremely eccentric dresser (upon discovering the TARDIS wardrobe she immediately dresses up as a knight), and doesn't seem to find the fact that the TARDIS is a Bigger on the Inside time machine which can never take her back to where she came from remotely weird or upsetting at all.
- Contrasting Replacement Character: To Susan and Vicki - the former was a dark-haired, cautious, weird, ethereal girl and the latter was a blond-haired, outgoing, perky Nightmare Fetishist. While they were both Impossible Genius girls from utopian future civilisations. Dodo was a not-too-bright 1960s woman who implicitly came from a broken home.
- Conveniently an Orphan: And conveniently unhappily adopted by her great-aunt, making this teenager singularly unconcerned by the prospect of never being able to return home.
- The Ditz: It's been joked that she's called Dodo because her brain cells went extinct.
- Do Not Call Me "Paul": She's not fond of her given name, and insists on being called "Dodo". It takes the Doctor a while to get the message.
- The Good Old British Comp: Dodo was in school uniform when she first entered the TARDIS.
- Idiot Hero: It's joked that her nickname comes from the fact that her brain cells went extinct. Be it almost killing humanity with a cold or trusting a villain, she stands as one of the least intelligent companions.
- Killed Off for Real: In the original edition of the novel Who Killed Kennedy, she was murdered by the Master's brainwashed soldier. In the newly-added 2018 epilogue, time is rewritten and she lives out a happy life with James Stevens.
- The Millstone: One of the least intelligent companions the Doctor's ever been saddled with. In "The Ark" she nearly wipes out the remnants of humanity by giving them her cold (which they have no immunity to). In "The Celestial Toymaker" Steven reminds her of what her plan is three or four times and she still forgets it at the crunch time. In "The Gunfighters" she nearly shoots Doc Holliday before the gunfight at the OK Corral.
- Naïve Newcomer: Way out of her depth in her earliest adventures.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Everyone calls her Dodo.
- Plucky Girl: Very.
- The Pollyanna: Almost always peppy and upbeat.
- Put on a Bus: Didn't even get a leaving scene due to Jackie Lane's contract expiring halfway through "The War Machines". Her last scene is the Doctor breaking her free of WOTAN's mind control, and then the camera pans over while she's unconscious and she's never seen again. At the end, Polly gives the Doctor a note from her saying she's decided to stay on her native Earth.
- Save the Villain: Especially apparent in "The Celestial Toymaker", where her concern and compassion for the other players almost sabotages her and Steven's efforts to recover the TARDIS.
- Shout-Out: In Death in Heaven, Danny Pink's body was taken to the Chaplet Funeral Home. According to Word of God, this was intentionally meant as a connection to Dodo, although they leave vague any details. As a result, it could be implied that she became a funeral director in her later life.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: To Vicki, and to a certain extent, Susan. She's the last of three companions to fit the "Doctor's granddaughter" mold.
- Tomboy: Dodo doesn't wear much makeup, doesn't act very sophisticated, prefers a weird nickname to her given first name, and as for her fashion sense, please refer to her picture in this entry for a typical example.
- Totally Radical: A 1960s variant of this trope.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Appeared in just seven serials and left without a goodbye scene.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: What became of her is not mentioned in "Death of the Doctor".
- What the Hell Is That Accent?: Her dialect veers from Cockney to Manchester.
Ben Jackson (First and Second Doctors)
Second Doctor: I'd like to see a butterfly fit into a chrysalis case after it spreads its wings.
Polly: Then you did change.
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 Cameo: He briefly appears in "Twice Upon A Time" helping the First Doctor through his regeneration.
- Deadpan Snarker: Very jovial and quite sarcastic on occasion.
- 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.
- I Choose to Stay: Both he and Polly decided to go back to their own time in "The Faceless Ones".
- 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.
- Relationship Revolving Door: The Doctor Who Expanded Universe reveals that Ben and Polly's marriage after they returned to Earth eventually fell apart. They reunited and broke it off again several times over the next few decades, before eventually remarrying for real in the 21st century after both being widowed in other marriages.
- The Skeptic: It took him a while to believe that the TARDIS really travelled through time and space. He was also more sceptical than Polly when the Doctor regenerated, believing that the new incarnation was an impostor. It took a Dalek recognising the Doctor to finally convince Ben of the truth.
- 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)
Second Doctor: I'd like to see a butterfly fit into a chrysalis case after it spreads its wings.
Polly: Then you did change.
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.
- Affectionate Nickname: She was also often called "Poll" by Ben; this was adapted to "Paul" when she was pretending to be a boy in 17th century Cornwall. He also described Polly as "our little dolly-rocker Duchess" or simply "the Duchess".
- Bound and Gagged: In "The Smugglers", in Episodes 2/3.
- The Cameo: She briefly appears in "Twice Upon A Time" helping the First Doctor through his regeneration.
- Cunning Linguist: She had an aptitude for languages, being able to speak Spanish, French and German.
- 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.
- The Heart: She had great empathy for others and found the idea of no emotions appalling.
- I Choose to Stay: Both she and Ben decided to go back to their own time in "The Faceless Ones".
- Interclass Friendship: She's quite a bit more posh than Working-Class Hero Ben, but they're still Fire-Forged Friends, even getting a Relationship Upgrade in the expanded universe.
- No Full 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. A few reference books in the 1980s gave her last name as Lopez, a mishearing of "Leuppi").
- 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 three different languages before the person speaks English.
- Relationship Revolving Door: The Doctor Who Expanded Universe reveals that Ben and Polly's marriage after they returned to Earth eventually fell apart. They reunited and fell apart again several times over the next few decades, before eventually remarrying for real in the 21st century after both being widowed in other marriages.
- Stay in the Kitchen: Polly gets told to "Go make some coffee" a lot when she asks how she can help, to the point where it becomes a Running Gag in the Expanded Universe. 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.
- Stealth Pun: As above, she made coffee a lot. So, Polly put the kettle on.
- Totally Radical: Intended by the production team to show the new face of Doctor Who in the swinging mid-sixties.
Second Doctor Era
Jamie McCrimmon (Second Doctor)
The longest running male companion to date, and the longest running of all if you count by single episodes instead of by serials or years activenote . 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 expanded universe writers, 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.
- Ambiguously Bi: He showed some romantic interest in Victoria (even pretending to be her boyfriend at one point), but there was also quite a lot of intentional ship tease with The Doctor (Hines and Troughton deliberatley did this to wind up a producer at the time. This has led to quite a lot of fan speculation...)
- 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".
- 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 story 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 Hines 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, 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 Hines. The actor switch was necessary because 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 instalments.
- 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 (Second Doctor)
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.
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.
- Badass Adorable: She's sweet and small and nervous and she will totally shoot you or attack you with a rogue speeding cart.
- 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.
- Contrasting Replacement Character: Whereas Polly was an outgoing blonde middle class dolly bird from the 1960s, Victoria was a sheltered brunette upper class lady.
- Cowardly Lion: She pushes on doing what needs to be done, even while frightened almost to tears.
- 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 Grandson: 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: Her mother was already dead by the time she first appeared.
- Opt Out: She decides to leave Team TARDIS because she just doesn't want adventures anymore.
- Proper Lady: Comes with her upbringing.
- Punny Name: Even if it wasn't intentional. A woman from Victorian England named Victoria.
- 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).
- You Can't Go Home Again: Because both of her parents are dead and presumably doesn't have any other relatives, Victoria decides not to go back in her own time period.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: In Death of the Doctor, we do not find out what she's been up to lately.
Zoe Heriot (Second Doctor)
A teenaged astrophysicist from the 21st century (as seen from 1968). Stowed away on board the TARDIS.
- Action Girl: She managed to defeat the Karkus, a superhero, in unarmed combat in "The Mind Robber".
- Badass Adorable: As seen in "The Mind Robber", she's very capable of taking care of herself, when facing off and winning a fight against her favourite fictional character, the Karkus. And the smile on her face when she got Karkus to submit? Priceless.
- Brainy Brunette: Possibly the smartest human companion the Doctor's ever had.
- Contrasting Replacement Character: Whereas Victoria was upper-class, sheltered and fragile, Zoe was smart, confident and studious.
- Emotionless Girl: In her first serial.
- Though she did seem a little hurt when Leo called her 'all brain and no heart'.
- Future Spandex: Her uniform in "The Wheel in Space", and her sparkly catsuit in "The Mind Robber" and "The Invasion".
- Genius Ditz: She doesn't know much history.
- Good with Numbers: Extremely.
- Hot Scientist: With her skin-tight catsuits. (Her role on the Wheel made her a Hot Librarian, too).
- Innocent Fanservice Girl: Her Barbarella-influenced dress sense goes rather oddly with her bubbly and innocent personality.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Same as with Jamie, thanks to those Time Lords. Temporarily removed for the odd Big Finish adventure; usually returns.
- Little Stowaway: How she joins Team TARDIS.
- Long Bus Trip: Much like Jamie above, Zoe is returning to the franchise for a Big Finish story 27 years after her last appearance in the franchise and about 41 years after the actual character left the TARDIS. Like Jamie, this has to be some sort of a record. (Unlike Jamie, though, this was the real Zoe. But she doesn't remain.)
- Ms. Fanservice: Her sparkly skintight catsuit is particularly memorable, especially that lingering shot of her behind in "The Mind Robber". And that's not even mentioning the miniskirts and short shorts. It was The '60s, after all.
- Photographic Memory: Has one.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: She really is tiny, and as seen in Badass Adorable, capable of taking care of herself.
- Real Women Don't Wear Dresses: In "The Dominators" (and the novelisation of "The Mind Robber"), she thinks dresses are impractical and doesn't wear them by choice. In "The Invasion", Isobel introduces her to miniskirts, which she seems to like better.
- Sci-Fi Bob Haircut: As befits someone from the space-age future that is the 21st century.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Heriot or Herriot? The original script used the single-R version.
- Zoe or Zoë?
- The Spock
- Straw Vulcan: A bit.
- Teen Genius: Although it's never specified just how old she's supposed to be.
- Vague Age: Depending what source you consult, she's anything from 12 to 21, though Word of God tends towards 15 or 16. The only onscreen mention of her age is in "The Invasion", where the Brigadier estimates it as 19. Her actress was 21.
- Verbal Tic: Adds "Well" to the start of a lot of her sentences.
- Waif-Fu: Adept at it.
- Yank the Dog's Chain: In just about any Expanded Universe work where her Laser-Guided Amnesia is undone, she's amnesiac again (and stands a good chance of being worse off in other respects) by the end.
Third Doctor Era
Dr. Elizabeth "Liz" Shaw (Third Doctor)
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). She eventually became the main character of her own spinoff series in the 1990's, P.R.O.B.E., where she spearheaded her own UNIT- or Torchwood-esque team, the titular Preternatural Research Bureau.
- Adaptational Sexuality: In BBV Probe, Liz is either a 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.
- Defiant Captive: In "The Ambassadors of Death".
- Distinguished Scientist's Pipe: Many later stories in the Doctor Who Expanded Universe have Liz as a pipe smoker in middle age. The idea was Caroline John's.
- Expanded Universe: Got her own direct-to-video spinoff, P.R.O.B.E., in 1994, and Caroline John recorded a number of Liz-centric adventures for Big Finish.
- 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".
- Overshadowed by Awesome: She never got a chance to look good, because writers struggled to make her background as a scientific prodigy relevant when the Doctor's powers were Magic from Technology.
- 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 and didn't renew Caroline John's contract, and in any case she would have been unavailable for the next season due to pregnancy. 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".
- Screaming Woman: Averted. Caroline John was proud of the fact that she screamed exactly once in her tenure, when a Silurian was about to stick her with a pitchfork (a situation in which anybody might scream).
- Ship Tease: Perhaps because Liz was the first companion to be the Doctor's intellectual equal, the two had quite a lot of tension between them. He flirts with her on their first meeting in "Spearhead From Space", "The Silurians" opens with a sequence of him explaining to her that even though his car looks old it still has a lot of charm (while lying on the floor and seemingly looking up her miniskirt) and he strokes her hair while she's looking after him in "The Ambassadors of Death." Liz was the first in a long line of companions to have this sort of relationship with the Doctor. (Well, unless you count the Second Doctor and Jamie.)
- They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: There was nothing inherently wrong with the character's conception. However, her entire tenure was during the Doctor's "exiled to Earth without a working TARDIS" period. Thus, she never really got taken out of her intellectual comfort zone via TARDIS travel to unfamiliar worlds and times which would have served to make her a very tiny fish in a mindbogglingly big pond.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Appeared in one series consisting of four storiesnote plus a cameo in "The Five Doctors".
Jo Grant (Third and Eleventh Doctors)
Jo: I didn't say I passed.
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.
- AM/FM Characterization: She's a fan of The Beatles, as she quotes "I Am the Walrus" after the Third Doctor said, "I am he and he is me," she replied, "and we are all together, goo-goo-goo-joob?"
- Badass Adorable: Look at those adorable faces she pulls — look at the way she knocks out prison guards with food trays. When 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, when she's captured and tied up in the basement of Auderly House by time-travelling resistance fighters.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Quirky, cute, and at times something of a clutz, but overall good at her job as the Doctor's laboratory assistant. Though the Doctor initially rejected Jo as scientifically incompetent, the Brigadier was correct in his assertion that what the Doctor needed was "someone to pass you your test tubes and tell you how brilliant you are".
- 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.
- Contrasting Replacement Character: Whereas Liz was an intelligent, astute and ambitious scientist, Jo was young, ditzy, somewhat uneducated scientifically and scream-prone. This was done because it was felt by some that Liz was too like the Doctor and the assistant's job was get captured and scream a lot.
- Cool Old Lady: In The Sarah Jane Adventures, where she returns to the series after an absence of just under 40 years, but has lost nothing of her charm and sweet nature.
- Crazy-Prepared: Carries a massive set of skeleton keys with her, no matter the situation. Given how often she and The Doctor get locked up, it comes in very handy.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: In The Mind of Evil most prominently, where she and the doctor, aided by the rehabilitated prisoner Barnham, carried the Keller Machine to the site of the Thunderbolt missile to incapacitate the Master, preventing him from launching the missile at the World Peace Conference.
- Cute Clumsy Girl: Jo's first meeting with the Doctor didn't bode well. She mistook an important experiment for an accidental fire and ruined it by dousing it with a fire extinguisher."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 guys any good.
- The Fashionista: Jo was envisioned as being a "Modern Miss", and was always dressed in the latest fashions of the early 70s.
- 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, having him met him during the events of The Green Death, and had seven kids with him. They went on to have thirteen grandchildren, and we meet one of them, Santiago, during her appearance in The Sarah Jane Adventures.
- The Heart: Whilst Jo was certainly a member of the team, her individualism made her stand out in UNIT and her desire to follow her own instincts and speak her mind made the Doctor and her close — so much so that she was a contributing factor in softening him up considerably during her tenure on the series.
- Hidden Depths: UNIT's resident Cute Clumsy Girl is also a talented escapologist who carries an impressive set of skeleton keys on her person at all times, and has trained herself to resist higher forms of mind control.
- 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 softer and more open person, and he's noticeably hurt and melancholic when she leaves him.
- Meet Cute: She and future-husband Clifford meet when she bumps into him in his laboratory, knocking over his experiments in the process. It's a deliberate homage to her first meeting with The Doctor, for whom Cliff is a Suspiciously Similar Substitute.
- 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.....
- Nepotism: Only got a job with UNIT after her high-powered uncle pulled some strings. She's still very capable, though perhaps a bit clumsier than the average UNIT operative.
- Nice Girl: A very sweet, appealing young woman.
- No-Sell: When The Master attempts to hypnotise her again in "Frontier In Space", she shuts him down, her first experience of mind control at his hands having been quite enough for her. Even when he tries to take things a step further by using an actual mind control device on her, she still manages to resist, though it's more of a struggle.
- 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-but-firmly tell the Master that they aren't going to let themselves be hypnotised again, as seen in Frontier In Space.
- The Power of Love: Gigantic invincible intergalactic demon about to wipe out mankind? No problem.
- Pretty in Mink: Wears some fluffy fur coats throughout her tenure, including a huge white one in her final story, "The Green Death".
- Science Hero's Babe Assistant: She's a cute, ditzy blonde who doesn't know much about science, a foil to the Gadgeteer Genius Doctor. She is frequently captured, but is sometimes known to exhibit Obfuscating Stupidity, and is adept at escaping once captured.
- 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.
- Silver Vixen: Even Rani points it out (!) in The Sarah Jane Adventures when it's clear that she's lost nothing of her sparkle.
- Soapbox Sadie: And it actually works out for her — she left UNIT, and therefore the Doctor, to marry Professor Clifford Jones, who at the time had received United Nations funding for a variety of progressive scientific studies.
- Undying Loyalty: To the Doctor. Even if it means certain death, she won't leave his side. Katy Manning states that Jo majored in loyalty and describes it as her key character trait.
- 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 trait seems to be passed down to her children and grandchildren as well. Her grandson, Santiago, introduced in "Death of the Doctor," was born in Chile (hence his name) because that was where his parents happened to be at the time.
- 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.
- Younger Than They Look: Not that Katy Manning looked old, exactly, but Jo was supposed to be a teenager coming into her first job straight out of school, but her confident air and modern outfits didn't back this up. Nobody complained.
Sarah Jane Smith (Third, Fourth, Tenth and Eleventh Doctors)
A journalist from South Croydon, who one fateful day while investigating missing UNIT scientists, found herself swept up with a madman with a box... and found herself imprinting herself on his hearts. And ours.
The most archetypal companion (many older fans grew up with her as their companion), and the longest-serving if you count by number of seasons, together with Tegannote . 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. She was the first companion from the classic series to appear in the revival.
Also known amongst the Fandom as the boss ass companion.
- Actually Pretty Funny: Quite a few stories ended with her unable to keep from giggling at the Third Doctor's quips and antics. Fans have said this was key to the character's success—by laughing, it was clear that she was in on the joke and a willing participant, as opposed to the victim of what could easily be taken as sexist, rude behaviour by the Doctor.
- Affectionate Nickname: See Insistent Terminology: The Doctor is the only person in the universe who she allows to call her "Sarah".
- Harry calls her "Old Girl", something which she's... not exactly... fond of.
- Badass Normal: She's only human, but she's a crack shot with a rifle.
- 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, she goes full Mama Bear whenever someone threatens her friends and family. The Doctor trusts her to defend the planet if he's not there, which she often does. Are you going to make her angry?
- Bound and Gagged/Brainwashed/Tap on the Head: In the classic series, one (or more) of these would happen to Sarah Jane in each story she appeared in. Holds the companion record for most times hypnotized. Lampshaded in "The Hand of Fear" and The Sarah Jane Adventures.
- Break the Cutie: She's been through a lot during her tenure.
- Breakout Character: She gets two spinoffs.
- 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. For those of you unwilling to brave Google Maps (or a normal one - can't say I blame you!) it's a very long way.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.
- Bus Crash: After a sizable amount of time proceeded her actor's demise, the webcast "Farewell, Sarah Jane" ripped off the band-aid and depicted her funeral and Rani Chandra saying good-bye to Mr. Smith, letting someone else find him if it was meant to be.
- 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.
- Chickification: While the companion of the Third Doctor, she was intended as a tough feminist career girl who saw herself as the Doctor's equal (or even superior) no matter how condescending he was to her, and her relationship with him was quite prickly, serving as The Lancer. The Third Doctor had been nearing the end of his tenure around the time of her introduction, and the original plan was to regenerate him into a physically feeble but mentally formidable old man character; so a male companion, Harry, was introduced to serve as a Nerd Action Hero character and fight for the Doctor when required. However, the decision was instead made to cast a young, strong man as the Fourth Doctor, who was more than capable of doing the action scenes intended for Harry, and so to rebalance the dynamic Harry took over the role of The Lancer and Sarah Jane was relegated to Damsel in Distress. This also coincided with her relationship with the Doctor taking on a romantic tinge - her relationship with the Third Doctor had felt paternal due to the big physical age gap and the power dynamic, but her relationship with the Fourth Doctor, who looked younger and saw himself as equal to her, oozed Unresolved Sexual Tension to Implied Love Interest levels. Once Harry left and Sarah Jane was the sole companion, she returned closer to her original characterisation again, finding a kind of middle ground of badass and added romantic dimension (not to mention respectful treatment from her Doctor) that many fans feel is the most entertaining version of her character.
- Child Hater. At first in her own show. She's not thrilled about the idea of harbouring children, but warms to them quickly. She also doesn't care for babies, finding them "rubbery".
- Cloud Cuckoolanders Minder: With the Fourth Doctor.
- Contrasting Replacement Character: Compared to the somewhat scatter-brained but resourceful Jo, whom the Third Doctor harboured romantic feelings for (feelings that were obviously not reciprocated, much to the Doctor's clear sorrow), Sarah is more grounded but still very intelligent, while at the same time the romantic dynamic is reversed she sometimes seems to be flirting with/falling for the Doctor while he's totally oblivious to it, to the point of unceremoniously dumping her in Aberdeen when he's called back to Gallifrey.
- Cool Car: In her spinoff, she has a 1991 Nissan Figaro from Japan.
- Cool Old Lady: After "School Reunion". Don't ever actually call her old though. Even the Doctor doesn't dare to call her old — either that, or he doesn't see her as old given that Ten describes has as looking "good".
- Deadpan Snarker: Just about the only kind of combat we see her in is Snark-to-Snark Combat. She's equal to her mentor, the Doctor, in this respect.
- 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 Elisabeth 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.
- Does Not Like Spam: She hates brandy and ginger beer. The latter point helps the Doctor realise she's been replaced by a robot duplicate.
- Doesn't Like Guns: She's not a fan of guns. As she said to Captain Jack Harkness in "The Stolen Earth", "I've been staying away from you lot. Too many guns." She later tells Clyde that guns rarely solve problems without worsening them first. That said, we know from "Pyramids of Mars" that she's a pretty decent shot with a rifle.
- The Everyman: 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 (other than Donna Noble and Clara Oswald) 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.
- Implied Love Interest: For many a decade, one of the most heated debates has been whether the Doctor is capable of romantic (and/or physical) love. It all started here; the chemistry between Tom Baker and Elisabeth Sladen was so strong that as mentioned above, once Ian Marter left, the relationship between Sarah Jane and the Fourth Doctor took on this dimension.
- Insistent Terminology: Frequently called just Sarah in the classic series, but insists on "Sarah Jane" by the second series of The Sarah Jane Adventures.
- Except for where the Doctor is concerned. He frequently switches between "Sarah" and "Sarah Jane". Three, Four and Ten use Sarah Jane, Ten and Eleven also use Sarah.
- Intrepid Reporter: Who actually reports on things during her time at UNIT.
- Lady of Adventure: Jumps at the chance for space/time travel.
- Mirror Character: Both Ten and Sarah Jane do exactly the same thing. They see something suspicious in a school and decide "Right, I'm going in, unarmed, to see what is going on. Maybe, in the process, I'll fuck shit up." They do, and, unlike some companions, she comes out unscratched.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: 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.
- In The Sarah Jane Adventures, Sarah Jane is seen as an old lady or a frigid, lonely neighbour. This does not mean, however, that she cannot kick all of the arse if she must (or if the aliens become too dangerous to keep alive) - "kicking all of the arse" includes threatening the Blathereen with a gun and "crashing a bus into the side of the building."
- 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.
- Pintsize Powerhouse: She's tiny but extremely dangerous if necessary.
- Plucky Girl: Starts out as this.
- Rummage Sale Reject: The Andy Pandy outfit from "The Hand of Fear."
- Ship Tease: Tom Baker and Elisabeth Sladen themselves said Four and Sarah "shagged on every square inch of the TARDIS". Fans tend to agree.
- Silver Vixen: Decades after leaving the Doctor, she's still fantastic.
- 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".
Fourth Doctor Era
Surgeon-Lieutenant Harry Sullivan (Fourth Doctor)
A surgeon lieutenant at UNIT, of the old-fashioned gentleman variety. Originally posted to UNIT from the Royal Navy as a medical orderly, 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.
- Adaptation Species Change: The Doctor Who 3 - The Third Motion Picture shirt story set in the continuity of the Peter Cushing films has a senile Doctor Who take on a new companion called Hari Sullivan who turns out to be a yeti in disguise.
- The Artefact: He was written out for this very reason. It was initially believed that the Fourth Doctor would be played by an older actor, so Harry was meant to be the strapping male lead who would do the heavy lifting. Tom Baker's casting muted this, so Philip Hinchcliffe felt that he was a bit redundant.
- 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 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.
- Idiot Hero: He could be quite clumsy and unsubtle. This led the Doctor to declare in a moment of frustration, at the top of his lungs that "Harry Sullivan is an imbecile!", before passing out from the effects of a rockfall on Voga caused by Harry.
- 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.
- Omnidisciplinary Scientist: He's a naval surgeon, who helped develop a life-saving vaccine, as well as a chemical weapon to wipe out the Zygons.
- 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.
Leela of the Sevateem (Fourth Doctor)
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.
- Combat Pragmatist: As she says in "Face of Evil":The Doctor: You wouldn't want an unfair advantage, would you?Leela: Yes.
- Contrasting Replacement Character: Whereas Sarah-Jane was a clued-in but physically delicate Muggle Best Friend, Leela was an intelligent but undereducated Nubile Savage who the Doctor tended to pick on as an inferior and who specialised in intuition and violence.
- 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 subsequently gets name-dropped by the Doctor in a couple of TV stories (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 worshiping 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: Don't make this woman mad. Adelaide Lessage and Lord Palmerdale found that out the hard way in "Horror of Fang Rock" when Leela smacks Adelaide across the face just for screaming and threatens to cut out Palmerdale's heart.
- 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/MayflyDecember Romance: Andred is Gallifreyan, and thus Human Outside, Alien Inside and Long-Lived. In the audio series, she ends up outliving him by many years.
- Jumped at the Call: Simply walked into the TARDIS and pushed buttons until she was a companion, despite the Doctor's protests.
- Knife Nut: Her first instinct in most situations is to stab something.
- 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.
- She Cleans Up Nicely: Her Victorian dress in "The Talons of Weng-Chiang" and "Horror of Fang Rock", both serials which are infamous in the American Doctor Who fandom for their own individual reasons.
- Silent Snarker: Becomes one briefly in "Horror of Fang Rock". After she sees Adelaide faint, she rolls her eyes with a "done with this shit" look on her face.
- 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 defence it isn't as if the Doctor travels with a company of archers or an artillery battery). "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 was unknown for a long time. 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.
Adric (Fourth and Fifth Doctors)
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 story'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.
- The Artifact: His "Artful Dodger in space" conception was obvious with the very Fagin-like Fourth Doctor. The changing of Doctors and the addition of Nyssa and Tegan undermined this and he jostled for attention afterwards.
- Berserk Button: He puts a girl in a stranglehold for trying to take his maths 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 his time with the Doctor stems from just wanting to find some food.
- Bizarre Alien Biology: His Healing Factor.
- Character Tics: Due to his inexperience, Matthew Waterhouse never quite knew what to do with his hands while acting. His fidgety hands weren't meant to be a tic, but they come across as one.
- Contrasting Replacement Character: Whereas Romana was so competent that she often took charge and had the Doctor learning from her, Adric was a young boy genius who the Doctor was raising as a protege.
- 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...)
- Good with Numbers: He's the proud possessor of a badge for mathematical excellence and has demonstrated proficiency at the reality-warping mathematics that is Block Transfer Computation.
- 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."
- 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. It's likely that, to use the classic Dungeons & Dragons metaphor, he's high intelligence, low wisdom (and charisma).
- Insufferable Genius: He very much wanted to be one of these, but his sheer incompetence at pretty much anything outside of mathematics pretty much scuttled the character. As such, he frequently came across as being more "Insufferable" than "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.
- The Millstone: In "Castrovalva", he allies himself with The Master after being captured by him, and in "Earthshock", the whole plot is kicked off by him arguing with the Doctor over wanting to return to his home planet which eventually results in his death.
- 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.
- Overshadowed by Awesome: He was constantly overshadowed by the Doctor, and basically everyone else in the room, for the entire duration of his stay in the TARDIS. He was introduced as a genius mathematician, but the Doctor, Romana and K-9 were all better at maths than he was, making him seem barely average rather than special. The initial idea had been to partner him up with Tegan, an 'everywoman' companion, after Romana and K-9's departure, but the spontaneous addition of the genius scientist Nyssa to the TARDIS (who was his equal in maths and good at more than just maths) made him doubly redundant. Many of his stories have him Trapped by Mountain Lions due to the inability to use him.
- Rummage Sale Reject: He wore ill-fitting pajamas with a rather childish star on the pocket and bright green boots.
- Senseless Sacrifice: Without achieving anything.
- Small Name, Big Ego: He certaintly knows his stuff, but he doesn't have the smarts or the experience to back it up, especially compared to the Doctor.
- 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: The fourth regeneration and the arrival of Nyssa and Tegan saw him seek attention and occasionally side with the wrong people, when he wasn't complaining and boasting about how smart he was.
- 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: Because it's in a different universe. He's working on finding a solution when he dies.
Nyssa of Traken (Fourth and Fifth Doctors)
A teenaged scientist specializing in bioelectronics and the daughter of Tremas, who got his body possessed by the Master at the end of Fourth Doctor serial "The Keeper of Traken." Originally intended to be a one-off character for "Traken", the production team decided to make Nyssa a full-time companion and brought her back in the next story, "Logopolis", just in time to survive her entire planet being destroyed by The Master and to witness the Fourth Doctor regenerate into the Fifth. Stoic, level-headed and very handy with electronics, Nyssa was often portrayed as being wiser than her years, particularly in contrast to Adric, who was of a similar age and lived up to it much more than she did. 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. Her later stories depict her having grown it out slightly and styled it into the Farrah Fawcett flip.
- Advertised Extra: 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 (though "Black Orchid" gave Sarah Sutton more to do by also playing Ann Talbot, the character of Nyssa was still comparatively minor), with the sole exception being her final appearance in "Terminus", a story that ostensibly put her centre stage but in reality mainly featured her looking ill and crying a lot. The character really ascended in the Big Finish audios, though, serving as the Fifth Doctor's most regular companion there and receiving tons of character development into the bargain.
- 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.
- Ascended Extra: Was never intended to be a companion, until producer John Nathan-Turner decided otherwise.
- Beware the Nice Ones: "Arc of Infinity." She pulls a gun on the Time Lord President, among many others. Sarah Sutton notes in the DVD commentary how unusually trigger-happy Nyssa was in this story.
- Brainy Brunette: 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 possessed by the Master, though her anguish over these things is very fleeting.
- Cannot Tell a Lie: While an expert on many subjects, Nyssa was not much use when it came to subterfuge.
- Giant Poofy Sleeves: Her original outfit, but eventually done away with after her costume changes in Season 20.
- Girly Girl: To Tegan's tomboy.
- The Heart: One of the nicest, most compassionate companions ever to grace the TARDIS. This role was especially vital early on in her tenure, when the more fractious Adric and Tegan tended to clash with the Fifth Doctor.
- Hot Scientist: Her first season had her covered from head to toe, after which she started to wear less and less clothes, famously stripping down to just a slip for most of "Terminus", continuing to wear it even while doing experiments with dangerous chemicals.
- 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 '20s.
- Innocent Aliens: From a planet where evil is outright banned, though woe betide anyone who mistook her innocence for stupidity.
- 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" — though in the Expanded Universe book "Cold Fusion" there's mention of a Trakenite colony that survived.
- Leitmotif: "Nyssa's Theme" combines a child's simplicity with the interwoven complexities of a brilliant mind.
- 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: Stands out among the Fifth Doctor's more bolshy companions as being sweet and compassionate to everybody.
- 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 all the Fifth Doctor's companions, Nyssa is the most rational, sensible and level-headed.
- Plucky Girl: Always eager to help out strangers or lend her scientific services.
- Pretty in Mink: One of her outfits had a fur-trimmed jacket.
- Proper Lady: Basically an alien princess, trained up in all forms of manners and etiquette. She is one of the more poised and composed companions, despite also being one of the youngest.
- The Quiet One: In comparison to Adric and Tegan, which is admittedly not saying much, but Nyssa was never one to raise her voice unless necessary.
- The Reliable One: Stoic, quiet and capable, she didn't get involved in squabbles and got on with her duties on the sidelines.
- Team Mom: Say what you will about three companions being too many, The Doctor would never have been able to wrangle the volatile Tegan and Adric on his own. Nyssa was always calm, compassionate and the voice of reason, pushing for others to feel heard and usually acting as the team mediator. Most noticeable when she consoles Adric after his argument with The Doctor in "Earthshock", coming to him with the very motherly line "now, it's all starting to get a little bit silly, isn't it?". It works, even though she and Adric are the same age.
- Teen Genius: Her skill and knowledge with various scientific and technological concepts would be impressive in a woman twice her age, let alone a teenager.
- Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Wore make-up, feminine styled hair, and skirts, in addition to being a practical intellectual and adventurer.
- The Stoic: It's implied on the show and then confirmed outright in the expanded universe to be why she rarely lets the pain of losing her father and home planet show.
- Vapor Wear: Her "costume" for the majority of her last story, "Terminus", is just the slip she was wearing under her original outfit. She doesn't even put her clothes back on to bid a tearful farewell to Tegan and The Doctor.
- Wise Beyond Their Years: Nyssa was extremely calm, logical and level-headed, usually coming to grips with The Doctor's technical exposition faster than her fellow companions, possessing extremely advanced scientific knowledge and generally serving as a calming, stabilising influence, despite still being a teenager.
- 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 (as Sarah Sutton's contract did not cover every episode of the season).
- You Can't Go Home Again: Traken is destroyed by the universal entropy caused by the Master's meddling in "Logopolis".
Tegan Jovanka (Fourth and Fifth Doctors)
Tegan: Groggy, sore, and bad-tempered.
Fifth Doctor: Almost your old self, then!
A brash Australian, inadvertently kidnapped from 1981 just as she was about to start a new job as a flight attendant. Self-described as "just a mouth on legs", Tegan was always the first to voice complaints about the latest mess the Doctor had landed them in and spent most of her time in the TARDIS epitomizing the Sarcastic Devotee, but she also had a lot of faith in him and a great affection for her fellow travelling companions, especially Nyssa. Despite her complaining, Tegan never hesitated to help others in need, particularly the oppressed and down-trodden, and she was never shy about confronting the bad guys, even physically attacking the Master in her first appearance. Created to help make the show more popular in Australia, and theorized by Peter Davison to have been a scheme by John Nathan-Turner to get free flights from Qantas.
One of a very few companions seen to pilot the TARDIS, albeit not very well. Janet Fielding was the longest-serving companion, if you count by time elapsed between first and last regular appearance, instead of by number of episodes or stories, and (counting her brief appearance as a hallucination in "The Caves of Androzani") appears in every single Peter Davison story except "Planet of Fire".
- '80s Hair: Originally a perm underneath a hairpiece with another perm and then a red wash put through it because John Nathan-Turner thought her hair made her look too much like Adric. Before filming began on Season 20, Janet Fielding cut her hair very short because she hated the original look. "A Fix With Sontarans" later shows her with the most 80s hair imaginable, a short, frosted blowout with a longer, dead straight piece rather obviously clipped into the back. It is the second-most horrifying aspect of that episode.
- Action Survivor: Downplayed, but even from her first appearance Tegan was never one to stand around and scream while the Monster of the Week advanced on her. She physically attacked the Master at least twice, including throwing a knife at his head (not that it helped), and wasn't afraid to fight back when cornered against Cybermen and Terileptils.
- And I Must Scream: Her second time hosting the Mara.
- Animated Tattoo: The Mark of the Mara, though it was only temporary.
- Book Dumb: Subverted. Tegan was as well-educated as one would expect of a late-20th Century human, and her knowledge of her local time period and relative history occasionally proved useful in her adventures. But she was flying around in the TARDIS with the Doctor, Adric, Nyssa and Turlough — all of whom were aliens from very advanced species, who often managed to show her up due to sheer experience.
- 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. After several years in the TARDIS, the violence and death that is an unfortunate inevitability in the Doctor's travels eventually became too much for her, causing her to Opt Out. Later expanded universe stories that follow up on her post-Doctor life suggest that she suffered from a form of PTSD.
- The Bus Came Back: After her departure prior to Fifth's regeneration, Tegan shows up in Thirteenth's final story alongside Ace.
- The Cat Came Back: The Doctor eventually got her back to Heathrow Airport and left her there so she could finally start work as an air stewardess. She returns in the next season, having been fired in very short order and then managed to find the TARDIS again. Somehow.
- Catchphrase: Her G-Rated profanity "Rabbits!" is universally remembered as such. (Though of course, the evils of rabbits are Serious Business to an Australian.) Despite this, she only uttered it twice onscreen, in "Logopolis" and "Frontios", though she makes up for it by using it much more regularly in other media.
- Contrasting Replacement Character: Whereas Romana was alien, patient and erudite, Tegan was down-to-earth, bossy and abrasive.
- A Day in the Limelight: "Kinda" and "Snakedance" focus on her, specifically on her experiences being possessed by the Mara. (Although in terms of what the characters actually get to do, she's almost as sidelined in the first one as Nyssa, who's asleep for the entire plot.)
- Deadpan Snarker: There's a reason she's called "the mouth on legs".Tegan: Is that supposed to be Heathrow?Adric: It is.Tegan: Well, they've certainly let the grass grow since I was last there.Adric: Well, actually, they haven't built the airport yet. We're about three hundred years early.Tegan: That's great! Perhaps I can go out, file a claim on the land. When they get round to inventing the aircraft, I'll make a fortune.
- Demonic Possession: Has the dubious honour of playing host to the Mara both times it shows up.
- Department of Redundancy Department:Tegan: 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?!
- Evil Sounds Deep: When she's possessed by the Mara. For some reason, it also makes her sound British.
- Expy According to Janet Fielding in "Girls! Girls! Girls", she always pictured Tegan as the Lucy van Pelt of the TARDIS group.
- Ignored Enamoured 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 rule. Apart from the fans who think that the unrequited love was for Nyssa instead.
- Limited Wardrobe: Keeps wearing her mauve cabin crew uniform throughout Season Nineteen, even when given the option of changing outfits in "Castrovalva". Her reasoning for this is that when the Doctor eventually gets her back to Heathrow, she will be able to leave The TARDIS and go straight into her job before it takes off into another adventure again.
- Her Season 20 outfit of a white, corseted boob tube with matching shorts and cardigan received no such explanation. She rotates out a couple of different outfits for Season 21.
- Line-of-Sight Name: How the character was named. John 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 Eternal, an ancient, massively powerful psychic 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: After several years of travelling with the Doctor and witnessing just as many violent murders as intergalactic wonders, the deaths of "a lot of good people" is the last straw for Tegan.Tegan: My Aunt Vanessa said, when I became an air stewardess, "if you stop enjoying it, give it up."Doctor: Tegan-Tegan: It's stopped being fun, Doctor!
- Plucky Girl: Up to a point. Tegan gets kidnapped across space and time, her aunt gets murdered, she becomes possessed by the Mara twice and loses her friend Adric, all on top of the usual death and disaster that happens while travelling with the Doctor, but she always bounces back with a smile and a quip. It does all start to wear on her, though, and without the comforting presence of Nyssa around, she eventually sees one violent death too many and decides to leave Team TARDIS for good.
- Properly Paranoid: Even after Nyssa and the Doctor have accepted Turlough on board and he makes a concerted effort to earn her trust, Tegan doesn't stop believing he's up to something. Naturally, she's proven right.
- Reluctant Hero: For her first few adventures, anyway. Tegan stumbled into the TARDIS and got swept away to Logopolis completely by accident, and all she really wanted was to get home and start her job as an air stewardess. The TARDIS being the TARDIS, of course, means she has to wait quite a while to get there. She eventually comes to appreciate and even enjoy her travels, and eagerly rejoins the Doctor and Nyssa again in Amsterdam in "Arc of Infinity", though the Doctor himself is a little nonplussed by this.
- Sarcastic Devotee: Tegan is probably the best-known example of this trope in the original series, and in many ways is a precursor for Donna Noble in the revival. She's usually snarking at someone, either the Doctor, Adric (and later Turlough), or the Monster of the Week.
- Snark-to-Snark Combat: Though she had many arguments with Adric, he generally came off as more bratty and childish, and Tegan usually gained the upper hand. Turlough, on the other hand, really gave her a run for her money.
- Sexy Stewardess: Even outright refuses to change into a more normal outfit during her first proper adventure.
- Sour Supporter: Tegan would complain to the Doctor and nitpick his plans and actions until she was blue in the face, but she always stuck by him and never once lost her faith in his ability to save the day.
- The Team Normal: Tegan was the Doctor's first human companion (from Earth, anyway) since Sarah Jane, and unlike Nyssa and Adric she had no special alien abilities to bring to the table. This didn't stop her from killing a Cyberman or throwing a knife at the Master's head.
- Token Human: The only Earthling among the Fifth Doctors many companions until Peri, who replaced her.
- 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.
- It's a very quick and easy-to-miss moment, but in "The King's Demons", Tegan doesn't hesitate to throw a knife at the Master. Specifically, at his head.
- 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. And she was devastated by Adric's death in Earthshock.
- Also with Turlough. To start with, she distrusts him (with good reason) and he looks down on her, and they argue constantly. But they also protect and rescue each other on multiple occasions, and when she leaves, Tegan is just as emotional saying goodbye to him as the Doctor, and Turlough is similarly affected.
- Weirdness Magnet: It starts with her being accidentally kidnapped by the Doctor and Adric after stumbling into the TARDIS, and things only get worse for her from there. She even manages to somehow find the TARDIS again, in Amsterdam of all places, only a few months after she left the first time.
Fifth Doctor Era
Vislor Turlough (Fifth Doctor)
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.
- Anti-Hero: Starts out as the Token Evil Teammate, but it's quickly revealed he's not actually evil — just troubled.
- Awesome Mc Coolname: Has a very alien name.
- Chewing the Scenery: A specialty of his.
- Chivalrous Pervert: He even gets some in various Expanded Universe tales. Lord knows it'd never happen on camera.
- Contrasting Replacement Character: Whereas Adric was arrogant and boastful, Turlough was secretive and withdrawn. Whereas Adric would pretend to defect to villains, Turlough actually was working with a villain. At first, anyway.
- Deadpan Snarker: Particularly towards Tegan, who's just as capable of snarking right back.
- Deal with the Devil: How he starts out.
- Distressed Dude: Done often because the writers couldn't figure out what to do with Turlough.
- Evil Redhead: Started out as this until the HeelFace Turn. (And the 'redhead' part was actually enforced: the naturally blond Strickson dyed his hair because long shots made it hard to tell him and Davison apart.)
- HeelFace Turn: He starts out plotting to kill the Doctor for the Black Guardian, but eventually becomes the Doctor's loyal friend.
- Human Aliens: Looks human, and can apparently pass as one in superficial medical examination.
- Last-Name Basis: No one ever calls him "Vislor".
- Limited Wardrobe: Except for "Planet of Fire," he stays in his school uniform for his entire run. Fortunately, it's sufficiently low-key as a school uniform that the audience soon forgets what it's meant to be and he becomes a Sharp-Dressed Man.
- Long Lost Sibling: His brother.
- Mark of Shame: On his arm.
- Minion with an F in Evil: To the Black Guardian.
- The Mole: Initially.
- Mr. Fanservice: He sure took a lot of clothes off in "Planet of Fire"... not that the tight short-shorts were concealing much to begin with. Mark Strickson confirmed that, much like Sarah Sutton as Nyssa, he stripped off as a farewell present to the fans.
- Mysterious Past: And we learn what it is in his final story.
- Shirtless Scene: Combined with Sexy Soaked Shirt — with speedos.
- Slave Brand: Has a brand on his arm marking him as a political prisoner in exile from his home planet.
- Teen Genius: Although he may be older than the British schoolboy he was posing as. Understood the TARDIS well enough to set it to go to the Doctor on autopilot with a time-delayed takeoff.
- The So-Called Coward: Is actually quite happy to jump into action.
- Thicker Than Water: Cares tremendously for his brother.
- Token Evil Teammate: When the Doctor first meets him. And even after he becomes a trusted companion and friend of the Doctor, he's just as liable to abandon or betray the Doctor as he is to rescue him and his companions. Turlough's morality remains slightly dubious, even up to his last story, but he always seems to redeem himself in the end.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: He and Tegan are among the most vitriolic of all companions, and they get into several snarking matches with each other. By the time of Tegan's departure, however, Turlough protects her from Mercer and refers to her as "a friend" with uncharacteristic tenderness, and Tegan's goodbye to him is just as emotional as her one to the Doctor.
Kamelion (Fifth Doctor)
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."
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Kamelion joins the TARDIS crew at the end of "The King's Demons" and then, due to the extreme complications with the robot mentioned above, immediately disappears without explanation. As his appearance in "The Awakening" (which would have reminded the audience of his existence and established that he was still around in the TARDIS) was cut, and he is not mentioned in any other story, his only other appearance after his debut is in "Planet of Fire" - which is the story where he is killed off.
- 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. Kamelion also features in an audio trilogy voiced by John Culshaw (Devil in the Mist, Black Thursday/Power Game, and The Kamelion Empire), which concludes with Kamelion requesting that he be left alone and ignored in the TARDIS so that he can avoid being used against his fellow travellers ever again.
- 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 (albeit because he's basically designed that way).
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Only appears twice in the original series, although he has had more prominent roles in various novels and audios.
Perpugilliam "Peri" Brown (Fifth and Sixth Doctors)
Peri: So what? I'm Perpugilliam Brown, and I can shout just as loud as you can!
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.
- Absolute Cleavage: Just ask Peter Davison. Some of her wardrobe is actually modest.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 Once Done, Never Forgotten; after that story, 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.
- Constantly Curious: She gets confused about how time travel works, when she asked Six how there can be two TARDISes after meeting his second incarnation and also about why Five wears a stick of celery.
- 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.
- Lethal Klutz: One of the more infamous example of a Companion's bumbling getting The Doctor in trouble, when she prat-falls onto a batch of lethal fungus in "The Caves of Androzani". Come the end of the serial, Doctor Five has to use the only antidote on her.
- 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, a Brtish native, 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. As Doctor Who was her first professional acting job, her inexperience led to her natural accent slipping through many times. The accent is far more consistent in the Big Finish stories.
- 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.
- Traumatic Haircut: In Mindwarp, her head is shaved bald so that an alien can perform a Grand Theft Me.
- 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?!
Sixth Doctor Era
Melanie "Mel" (Sixth and Seventh Doctors)
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 was a marked change from his last several companions, who tended towards Reluctant Hero and Sour Supporter archetypes, being much more willing to roll up her sleeves and get stuck into the latest madcap adventure, and at times had to actually coax the Doctor into involving himself in events rather than the other way around. Mel had a perfect memory and excellent computer skills (which were called upon much less frequently than you would think), a sunny disposition and was generally the most straightforward Nice Girl companion of the Doctor's in years.
- '80s Hair: Mel's voluminous, frizzy red curls add about a foot to her height.
- Amateur Sleuth: Particularly in her introductory story, which was an homage to Agatha Christie stories. Mel shows a remarkable willingness to ferret out monsters and uncover mysteries for someone so inclined to scream their head off at a moment's notice.
- Beware the Nice Ones: One of the Doctor's most virtuous and kind-hearted companions, Mel doesn't hesitate to manhandle the key to the Matrix from its Keeper when she knows the Doctor is in danger. To be fair, the Keeper had tripped her up first.
- Characterization Marches On: Her obsession with the Doctor's health only lasted as long as Colin Baker did. Possibly justified as he did end up changing physically, just not in a way she expected.
- Cloud Cuckoolanders Minder: Particularly for the Seventh Doctor at the beginning of his life, but she also had to do a fair bit of reining in the Sixth Doctor at his most bombastic.
- Contrasting Replacement Character: Peri and Tegan, though competent, were still inclined to drag their feet and complain about the danger the Doctor exposed them to. Mel is much more gung-ho in her adventuring, often having to spur on the Doctor himself to get the plot moving.
- Distressed Damsel: Hazards of the companion job.
- Ditzy Genius: She's very clever, but very ditzy.
- Establishing Character Moment: The first episode of "Terror of the Vervoids" introduces her forcing the Doctor to exercise. She then shows much more interest in getting involved in the plot than he does, and of course, at the end, she screams.
- Fiery Redhead: When she gets going, Mel can shout down an entire courtroom full of Time Lords.
- Flat Character: Bonnie Langford never got a chance to shine. Mel was introduced as a supposedly "back-to-basics" companion of a kind that never really existed in the first place. She never got a proper introductory story, and was inherited by a script editor who didn't care for the character, so she never got any Character Development either.
- Giant Poofy Sleeves: Often 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: All over the place - often it's hard to remember the Mel we actually see is the same one we're told about. Mel supposedly has a Photographic Memory, but aside from a Spot the Imposter moment in "The Ultimate Foe", it never comes up. She's apparently quite well-read, with the Doctor claiming she's a fan of CP Snow in "Time And The Rani". 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." The Doctor Who Expanded Universe at least takes these attributes and makes something out of them.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: Bonnie Langford was hired because she had a scream "that 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.
- 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.
- No Indoor Voice: Even putting aside her famous scream, Mel can get a bit shouty when she's worked up.
- No Full 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.
- Plucky Girl: Her extreme pep contrasts nicely with the much surlier Sixth Doctor.
- 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 travelling 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: As mentioned above, Mel did a lot of screaming. Oddly, this tendency is very much at odds with the rest of her character, with the end result being that Mel seems to be a very capable, diligent adventurer with a habit of overreacting at the slightest sign of danger despite not seeming all that scared mere moments after she's done screaming her head off.
- Straight Man: Spends as much time being the Doctor's keeper and being exhausted with his idiosyncrasies as she does actual adventuring.
- Timey-Wimey Ball: Expanded Media has built on this detail of Mel's history; after "Ultimate Foe", the Doctor took her to where she had been separated from his future self and subsequently took on a wide range of companions until circumstances lead him to Pease Pottage to meet the younger Mel for the "first" time.
- Xenafication: "Time and The Rani" had her showing off some impressive combat skills that had never been seen or mentioned before.
Seventh Doctor Era
Dorothy "Ace" (Seventh Doctor)
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.
- '80s Hair: A tight Tomboyish 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 story dealing with this plan, "Thin Ice," was eventually recorded by Big Finish in audio format, and Ace eventually gets into the 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, shot another in the face with a rocket launcher, sniped Cybermen with a slingshot, and had an unhealthy love for homemade explosives.
- Allergic to Evil: In the "Remembrance of the Daleks" novelization, any sign of racism brings flashbacks to the fire in Manisha's apartment.
- Ambiguously Bi: 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 being bisexual, 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 story, and Ray (from "Delta wo 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.... Not for nothing was that moment the very first Moment of Awesome on this very wiki.
- 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 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.
- The Bus Came Back: After vanishing from the show with little to no explanation on what happened to her since the original cancellation, Ace shows up in Thirteenth's final story alongside Tegan, another companion of the Doctor's from the same decade.
- 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.
- Catchphrase: Enjoyed shouting "Ace!" (meaning "cool"). Since this is also her nickname, it almost seems like she is engaging in Pokémon Speak.
- She said "Wicked!" so often that the Doctor himself was inspired to say it once.
- Also "Oi!"
- Contrasting Replacement Character:
- The concept for Ace was basically 'the exact opposite of Mel'. Mel was a girly, garishly-dressed do-gooder who nagged the Doctor into improving his health, wheras Ace was a punky tomboy who lived on a council estate and blew things up with homemade explosives.
- Unlike most of her recent predecessors, she was more like a granddaughter figure, similar to the likes of Susan and Victoria.
- Crazy-Prepared: Even before meeting the Doctor, she was in the habit of taking a portable rope ladder with her wherever she went.
- Curse of the Ancients: Probably the only person born in the 1970s to use "Gordon Bennett!" as an expletive unironically.
- 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.
- Deadpan Snarker: Very sarcastic and sassy, with a tendency to speak in slang.
- 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.
- Demolitions Expert: Okay, so she may have a couple bugs to work out, but when surrounded by enemies?Ace: Do you feel like arguing with a can of deodorant that registers nine on the Richter scale?
- 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 favour of "McShane".note Or possibly "Dorothee".note Or even just "Dorothy." 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 (albeit simultaneously replacing her with an alternate version of herself). 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: Dressed down for action in jeans and Doc Martens, whips up explosives, and can scrap with the best of them. 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 Full 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 licence, 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. Many of these actually belonged to Sophie Aldred.
- 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.
- Real Award, Fictional Character: Has two Blue Peter badges attached to her jacket,both of which belonged to Sophie Aldred.
- 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, whom 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.
- Throw Down the Bomblet: Ace brought her own supply of home-made explosives (Nitro-9) on her travels, and would toss canisters of it with gay abandon. The Doctor tended to discourage this... except when it was useful to him ("Hand me some of that Nitro-9 you're not carrying").
- Tomboy: She's not even remotely like previous companions.
- Tomboyish Voice: She sounds noticeably raspier than her predecessors. Even more noticeable in the Big Finish audios.
- 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.)
- Tuckerization: Dorothy Gale is the name of the protagonist from The Wizard of Oz.
- Weapon of Choice: Explosives!
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Ace remains the only companion (in the television series, at least) to never be given a proper exit since the show was prematurely cancelled when she was still the incumbent, with Ace not so much as mentioned in the 1996 TV movie (had the show been renewed, she would have left halfway through Season 27 in 1990). Various EU materials have it that Seven's manipulations eventually went too far and she finally had enough and left. Finally, she gets a canon ending of sorts, first through a coy reference in The Sarah Jane Adventures to one of The Doctor's companions forming a charity named A Charitable Earth, one that was finally paid off in 2019, where in a BBC (and presumably canon) short released in advance of the new Blu-Ray sets being issued, we actually see Sophie Aldred as Ace running A Charitable Earth. The short ends with an off-screen Seven inviting her to come along on a new adventure.
- Ace's work with A Charitable Earth is expanded on in the novel At Childhood's End, written by Aldred and reuniting Ace with the Thirteenth Doctor.
- 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.
Eighth Doctor Era
Dr. Grace Holloway (Eighth Doctor) note
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.
- All Love Is Unrequited: Her boyfriend leaves her. Her new love interest is an amnesiac Time Lord."I finally meet the right guy... and he's from another planet!"
- Arbitrary Skepticism: She comes off a bit like this; one minute, she's floating the possibility that the man with two hearts and blood that is "not blood" is some kind of (presumably hyper-advanced) "weird genetics experiment". The next minute, when he's claiming to be an alien, she's screaming that he's a lunatic and running away from him in terror. Oh really, Grace? Granted, the Doctor's not exactly presenting his case as well as he can at that point but it's not like her explanation is any more plausible.
- At the Opera Tonight: She's attending the opera when she's called to operate on the Doctor.
- Big Damn Kiss: The first companion to ever be kissed on the lips by the Doctor. She promptly asks him to do it again. The Master gets a kiss in as well, when she's Brainwashed and Crazy.
- Black Eyes of Evil: When she's possessed by the Master's influence.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Due to being hit by the Master's poison/acidic saliva.
- Deadpan Snarker: With a lot of eye-rolling.
- Hero Killer: While it wasnt on purpose, she still killed the Seventh Doctor and did a better job than any Dalek could.
- Heroes Want Redheads: And likes snogging them.
- Hospital Hottie: Especially in her big dress.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Her attempt to save the Seventh Doctor was the cause of his death (she was thrown by his Bizarre Alien Biology), forcing him to regenerate into Eight.
- No Hugging, No Kissing: Forever averted. She and the Doctor happily make out.
- Omake: Daphne Ashbrook is a strong contender for "geekiest companion" in the whole series, and enjoys chatting with fans on her tumblr, frequently in character as Grace.
- People Puppets: To the Master.
- Refusal of the Call: Ultimately, she decides not to go with the Doctor, and the Doctor refuses to stay on Earth with her. (Big Finish confirms that they stay friends, and that he visits her on occasion.)
- Writing Around Trademarks: Due to extensive copyright issues surrounding characters specifically created for the TV movie, Grace is still not allowed to appear in Doctor Who adaptations. The Doctor Who Magazine comics gave her a major guest appearance in one story, but the editor was unaware of the legal issues and the magazine was slapped down for doing it. This hasn't prevented Daphne Ashbrook from appearing in other roles, though, and she's reunited (albeit as a very different character) with Paul McGann in Big Finish.
- However she acts as 8's companion in "Prisoners of Time", where he turns up to ask her for a trip, though she finds it overwhelming.