Companion (Doctor Who)
In the long-running BBC television science fiction programme Doctor Who and related works, the term "companion" refers to a character who travels with, or shares the adventures of the Doctor. In most Doctor Who stories, the primary companion acts as an audience surrogate. He or she provides the lens through which the viewer is introduced to the series. The companion character, many times, furthers the story by asking questions and getting into trouble, or by helping, rescuing or challenging the Doctor. This designation is applied to a character by the show's producers, and appears in the BBC's promotional material and off-screen fictional terminology. Until the modern revival of the series in 2005, the term was rarely used on-screen. The Doctor also refers to the show's other leads as his "friends" or "assistants"; the British press have also used the latter term.
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When Doctor Who was created, the dramatic structure of the programme's cast was rather different from the hero-and-sidekick pattern that emerged later. Initially, the character of the Doctor was unclear, with uncertain motives and abilities. The protagonists were schoolteachers Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright, who provided the audience's point-of-view in stories set in Earth's history and on alien worlds. Ian in particular served the role of the action hero. The fourth character was the Doctor's granddaughter Susan, who (though initially presented as an "unearthly child") was intended as an identification figure for younger viewers.
Carole Ann Ford, who played Susan Foreman, became unhappy with the lack of development for her character, and chose to leave in its second series. The character of Susan was married off to a freedom fighter and left behind to rebuild a Dalek-ravaged Earth. Doctor Who's producers replaced Susan with another young female character, Vicki. Similarly, when Ian and Barbara left, the "action hero" position was filled by astronaut Steven Taylor. This grouping of the Doctor, a young heroic male and an attractive young female became the programme's pattern throughout the 1960s.
When the programme changed to colour in 1970, its format changed: the Doctor was now Earth-bound, and acquired a supporting cast by his affiliation with the paramilitary organisation United Nations Intelligence Taskforce (UNIT). The Third Doctor, more active and physical than his predecessors, made the role of the "action hero" male companion redundant. In the 1970 season the Doctor was assisted by scientist Liz Shaw and Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, along with other UNIT personnel (such as Sergeant Benton). The intellectual Shaw was replaced by Jo Grant in the 1971 season, and as the programme returned to occasional adventures in outer space, the format shifted once more: while UNIT continued to provide a regular "home base" for Earth-bound stories, in stories on other planets the Doctor and Jo became a two-person team with a close, personal bond. This pattern, the Doctor with a single female companion, became a template from which subsequent episodes of Doctor Who rarely diverged. The "heroic male" type occasionally returned (for example, Harry Sullivan, Adric, Vislor Turlough, Jack Harkness and Rory Williams), but the single female companion was Doctor Who's staple.
The character of Harry Sullivan was created by the production team when it was expected that the Fourth Doctor would be played by an older actor who would have trouble with the activity expressed by his predecessor. In the event, the Fourth Doctor part went to 40-year-old Tom Baker and the part of Harry, no longer required for the action role, was reduced.
In the final season for the Fourth Doctor, he acquired three companions (Adric, Tegan and Nyssa) and this situation continued under the Fifth Doctor for a while. Adric was written out by the unusual method within the series of being "killed off". By the Sixth Doctor, the Doctor was down to a single companion again.
Although the term "companion" is designated to specific characters by the show's producers, and appears in the BBC's promotional material and off-screen fictional terminology, there is no formal definition that constitutes such a designation. Stephen Brook in The Guardian newspaper's Organgrinder blog discounted Michelle Ryan as a likely next companion but said that "what constitutes a Doctor Who companion is no longer clear" The definition of who is and is not a companion becomes less clear in the newer series. During the Doctor's three latest incarnations, his primary companions, such as Rose Tyler and Martha Jones, have fulfilled a distinct dramatic role, more significant than other, less-prominent TARDIS travellers such as Adam, Jack, and Mickey. The British press referred to Martha as the "first ethnic minority companion in the 43-year television history of Doctor Who" and the "first black assistant", despite the presence of Mickey Smith in the previous season—including several episodes in which he travelled in the TARDIS with the Doctor.
The opening credits do little to clarify the situation. In the first two series of the renewed programme, the only supporting actor to receive a title credit is Billie Piper. In subsequent series, Freema Agyeman and Catherine Tate are credited in all episodes in which they appear. In the third series John Barrowman receives a title credit for his return to the show. Series Four gave Agyeman, Piper, Barrowman, and Elisabeth Sladen title billing for each of their reappearances. Noel Clarke reprised his role in the Series Four finale; although listed as a companion alongside the other actors on the BBC Doctor Who website, Clarke is not credited in this way. In The End of Time John Simm receives title billing for his antagonist role as the Master, ahead of Bernard Cribbins as companion Wilfred Mott.
Companions in the new series also have a more flexible tenure than their classical predecessors. Several companion characters have returned to the series after leaving the Doctor's company, most notably in the Series Four finale "The Stolen Earth" / "Journey's End", which features the return of Rose, Martha, Jack, Sarah Jane and Mickey. This tendency, plus the increase in "one-off" companions like Astrid Peth and Jackson Lake, has further obscured the matter of who is and is not a companion, and when.
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The Doctor's companions have assumed a variety of roles—involuntary passengers, assistants (particularly Liz Shaw), friends, and fellow adventurers; and, of course, he regularly gains new companions and loses old ones. Sometimes they return home, and sometimes they find new causes—or loves—on worlds they have visited. A few companions—most notably Katarina, Sara Kingdom, and Adric—have died during their travels with the Doctor.
Most companions travel in the TARDIS with the Doctor for more than one adventure. Sometimes a guest character will take a role in the story similar to that of a companion, such as photographer Isobel Watkins, who plays a significant role in The Invasion (1968), or Lynda in "Bad Wolf" and "The Parting of the Ways" (2005). In the revived era, some guest characters have gained companion status such as Mickey Smith, River Song, Wilfred Mott, and Craig Owens.
Despite the fact that the majority of the Doctor's companions are young, attractive females, the production team for the 1963–89 series maintained a long-standing taboo against any overt romantic involvement in the TARDIS: for example, Peter Davison, as the Fifth Doctor, was not allowed to put his arm around either Sarah Sutton (Nyssa) or Janet Fielding (Tegan). However, that has not prevented fans from speculating about possible romantic involvements, most notably between the Fourth Doctor and the Time Lady Romana (whose actors, Tom Baker and Lalla Ward, shared a romance and brief marriage). The taboo was controversially broken in the 1996 television movie when the Eighth Doctor was shown kissing companion Grace Holloway. The 2005 series played with this idea by having various characters think that the Ninth Doctor and Rose Tyler were a couple, which they vehemently denied. Since the series revival, the Doctor has kissed many of his companions including Rose and Jack, although each instance was not necessarily in a romantic context (see also "The Doctor and romance"). Donna Noble vehemently denied a sexual interest in the Doctor when he invited her to join him and explained "I just want a mate," which she misheard as "I just want to mate." Rose and Martha each developed romantic feelings toward the Doctor. On the opposite side of the same coin, Amy reacted to the stress of her adventures by aggressively trying to seduce the Doctor despite being in love with her fiancé Rory; the Doctor forcibly pushed her off of himself. The Eleventh Doctor romantically kissed Amy and Rory's daughter, sporadic companion River Song, in "Day of the Moon" and married her in "The Wedding of River Song."
Previous companions have reappeared in the series, usually for anniversary specials. One former companion, Sarah Jane Smith (played by Elisabeth Sladen), together with the robotic dog K-9, appeared in four and two episodes, respectively, of the revived series more than twenty years after their last appearances in the 20th anniversary story The Five Doctors (1983). The character of Sarah Jane also headed up a Doctor Who spin-off, The Sarah Jane Adventures, with K-9 until Sladen's death. Another companion, Captain Jack Harkness, is the lead character in the spin-off BBC science fiction programme Torchwood. Not only have these former companions continued to make appearances on Doctor Who, they have sometimes been accompanied by some of their own companions from the spin-offs when doing so, including Jack's colleagues Gwen Cooper and Ianto Jones, and Sarah Jane's 'family' Mr Smith, Luke Smith and K-9 Mark IV. Other former companions from both the classic era and revived series have also returned as guest stars in the spin-offs, including Martha Jones on Torchwood, and Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart and Jo Grant on The Sarah Jane Adventures. K-9 Mark I has also been spun off into its own series, albeit with an independent continuity.
When Doctor Who returned to television in 2005, the companion characters played a slightly different role, partly due to a strong focus on the character of Rose Tyler and characters connected to her. For example, although Adam Mitchell was a companion by the standard definition, he appeared in only two episodes and was arguably a less significant part of the 2005 series than Rose's sometime boyfriend Mickey Smith, who was not technically a companion but appeared in five episodes (or six, including a brief appearance as a child in "Father's Day"). Mickey later gained full-fledged companion status when he travelled in the TARDIS in the 2006 episode "School Reunion". In that episode, Sarah Jane Smith referred to Rose as the Doctor's "assistant", a term to which the latter took offence. This exchange might be regarded as indicating the new series' shift in approach to the companion role.
As of the end of the sixth series, Sarah Jane Smith is the only classic era companion to have travelled again with the Doctor in the revived series, and one of two to have done so in the revived era. She declined his invitation in "School Reunion", but subsequently met up with the Doctor aboard a Dalek ship in "Journey's End" and travelled with him, several other companions, and Rose's mother Jackie Tyler in the TARDIS as they towed the Earth back to the solar system. Sarah Jane, her predecessor Jo Jones (née Grant), and their own respective companions subsequently momentarily travelled in the TARDIS with the Eleventh Doctor in The Sarah Jane Adventures serial, Death of the Doctor. The Eleventh Doctor attempted to have Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart travel with him again in "The Wedding of River Song" only to learn of the Brigadier's death months earlier.
In the classic era, companions' friends and families were rarely depicted and almost all were kept unaware of the true nature of the Doctor and the TARDIS. Exceptions include the very brief portrayals of Susan's future husband David Campbell; Dodo Chaplet's ancestor Anne Chaplet; Victoria Waterfield's father Edward; Jo Grant's future husband Prof. Clifford Jones; the companions' various co-workers at UNIT; Leela's father Sole & future husband or lover Andred; Tegan Jovanka's aunt Vanessa, maternal grandfather Andrew Verney, & cousin Colin Frazer; Nyssa's father Tremas & step-mother Kassia; Vislor Turlough's maths teacher retired Brig. Lethbridge-Stewart; Peri Brown's step-father Prof. Howard Foster, & future husband King Yrcanos; Ace McShane's ex-lover Sabalom Glitz, maternal grandmother Kathleen Dudman, infant mother Audrey Dudman, & a photograph of her maternal grandfather Frank Dudman); and Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart's second wife Doris. Classic era spin-off media additionally introduced Sarah Jane Smith's aunt Lavina Smith (who had been an unseen character in the original series) & foster brother Brendan Richards, and Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart's daughter Kate (who would later guest appear in the revived series) and grandson Gordon.
Conversely, families and friends of most companions in the revived era are extensively and continually depicted, and their adventures with the Doctor are generally not kept secret. The revived era has also featured a number of companions related to other companions by blood or marriage (Donna Noble's grandfather Wilfred Mott, Amy Pond's fiancé-cum-husband Rory Williams, and the couple's daughter River Song, and former companions Mickey Smith and Martha Jones who married subsequent to their companionship). No such relationships occurred among companions in the classic era (although original companions Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright are reported in the revived era to have married subsequent to their companionship). The families of some classic-era companions too have been depicted in the revived era, such as Jo Grant (n/k/a Jo Jones)'s grandson Santiago Jones; and Sarah Jane Smith's parents, adopted son Luke Smith, adopted daughter Sky Smith, and alternate timeline fiancé Peter Dalton; and Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart's daughter Kate Stewart.
Another change in the revived era is the depiction of many companions' pre-doctor lives, particularly their childhoods; no companion was so depicted in the classic era. Companions Rose Tyler, Mickey Smith, Adelaide Brooke, Amy Pond, Rory Williams, and River Song have all been portrayed in their youths by juvenile actors on Doctor Who; the pre-companionship lives of the Pond-Williams-Song family being particularly well-documented. Companions Jack Harkness and Sarah Jane Smith have also been depicted in their youths on their respective spin-off series.
A recurring theme of the new series is the toll the loss of companions takes on the Doctor. While he would more or less easily deal with his companions' departures in the classic series, the new series show that the Doctor is having a harder time recovering when a companion leaves him, especially when they do so in tragic circumstances. After losing Donna Noble, the Tenth Doctor refused to travel with a companion until after his regeneration, unable to cope with them leaving anymore. Later, the loss of Amy and Rory drives the Eleventh Doctor into a deep depression, with him retreating to Victorian London where he refuses to get involved in the world's affairs anymore. Additionally, "Let's Kill Hitler" shows the Doctor's continuing guilt in relation to several past companions.
List of television companions 
First Doctor 
|Companion||Actor/Actress||Seasons||First serial||Last serial||Appearances with the First Doctor|
|Susan Foreman||Carole Ann Ford||1–2, 1983 Special||An Unearthly Child[nb 1]||The Five Doctors[nb 2]||11|
|Barbara Wright||Jacqueline Hill||1–2||An Unearthly Child||The Chase||16|
|Ian Chesterton||William Russell||1–2||An Unearthly Child||The Chase||16|
|Vicki||Maureen O'Brien||2–3||The Rescue||The Myth Makers||9|
|Steven Taylor||Peter Purves||2–3||The Chase||The Savages||10|
|Katarina||Adrienne Hill||3||The Myth Makers||The Daleks' Master Plan||2|
|Sara Kingdom[nb 3]||Jean Marsh||3||The Daleks' Master Plan||The Daleks' Master Plan||1|
|Dodo Chaplet||Jackie Lane||3||The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve||The War Machines||6|
|Polly||Anneke Wills||3–4||The War Machines||The Tenth Planet||3|
|Ben Jackson||Michael Craze||3–4||The War Machines||The Tenth Planet||3|
- Susan travelled with the Doctor prior to the events of An Unearthly Child.
- Susan leaves the Doctor in The Dalek Invasion of Earth, later appearing in The Five Doctors as companion to the First Doctor (then played by Richard Hurndall).
- The inclusion of Sara Kingdom as a companion varies; e.g. she does not appear on the BBC website list of companions.
Second Doctor 
|Companion||Actor/Actress||Seasons||First serial||Last serial||Appearances with the Second Doctor|
|Polly||Anneke Wills||4||The Power of the Daleks||The Faceless Ones||6|
|Ben Jackson||Michael Craze||4||The Power of the Daleks||The Faceless Ones||6|
|Jamie McCrimmon||Frazer Hines
Hamish Wilson[nb 1]
|4–6, 22||The Highlanders||The Two Doctors[nb 2][nb 3]||21 (20 as companion)|
|Victoria Waterfield||Deborah Watling||4–5||The Evil of the Daleks||Fury from the Deep||7[nb 4]|
|Zoe Heriot||Wendy Padbury||5–6||The Wheel in Space||The War Games[nb 3]||9 (8 as companion)|
|Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart||Nicholas Courtney||1983 Special||The Five Doctors[nb 5]||The Five Doctors[nb 6]||3 (1 as companion)|
- Jamie is played by Hamish Wilson in parts of The Mind Robber episodes 2 and 3, while Frazer Hines was suffering from chickenpox.
- Jamie returns to his own time in The War Games, but later appears in the Sixth Doctor-era story The Two Doctors, again as the Second Doctor's companion.
- Also makes a cameo appearance in The Five Doctors
- Not including The Wheel in Space, where Deborah Watling is credited for a brief reprisal from Fury from the Deep.
- First appears in The Web of Fear (as Colonel) and The Invasion alongside the Second Doctor, before appearing as a semi-regular character throughout the Third Doctor's era. He further appears in Robot and Terror of the Zygons alongside the Fourth Doctor, and Mawdryn Undead alongside the Fifth Doctor before serving as the Second Doctor's companion in The Five Doctors.
- The Brigadier later appears in Battlefield alongside the Seventh Doctor, and The Sarah Jane Adventures story Enemy of the Bane.
Third Doctor 
|Companion||Actress||Seasons||First serial||Last serial||Appearances with the Third Doctor|
|Liz Shaw||Caroline John||7||Spearhead from Space||Inferno[nb 1]||5 (4 as companion)|
|Jo Grant||Katy Manning||8–10||Terror of the Autons||The Green Death[nb 2]||15|
|Sarah Jane Smith||Elisabeth Sladen||11, 1983 Special||The Time Warrior||The Five Doctors[nb 3]||6|
- Liz also makes a cameo appearance in The Five Doctors.
- Jo also appears in The Sarah Jane Adventures story Death of the Doctor, alongside Sarah Jane Smith and the Eleventh Doctor.
- Sarah continues to travel with the Doctor following his regeneration in Planet of the Spiders, and after her later departure from the series serves as the Third Doctor's companion once more in The Five Doctors.
The following three characters, all associated with UNIT during the Third Doctor's exile to Earth, are sometimes considered his companions despite only appearing irregularly during his tenure.
|Character||Actor||Seasons||First appearance||Last appearance||Appearances with the Third Doctor|
|Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart||Nicholas Courtney||7–11||Spearhead from Space||Planet of the Spiders||16[nb 1]|
|Sergeant Benton||John Levene||7–11||The Ambassadors of Death[nb 2]||Planet of the Spiders[nb 3]||12|
|Mike Yates||Richard Franklin||8–11||Terror of the Autons||Planet of the Spiders[nb 4]||9|
- Not including The Five Doctors, where the Brigadier appears as the Second Doctor's companion.
- First appears alongside the Second Doctor in The Invasion, as Corporal Benton.
- Subsequently appears with the Fourth Doctor in Robot, Terror of the Zygons and The Android Invasion as RSM Benton.
- Also makes a cameo appearance in The Five Doctors
Fourth Doctor 
|Companion||Actor/Actress||Seasons||First serial||Last serial||Appearances with the Fourth Doctor|
|Sarah Jane Smith||Elisabeth Sladen||12–14||Robot||The Hand of Fear||13[nb 1]|
|Harry Sullivan||Ian Marter||12–13||Robot||Terror of the Zygons[nb 2]||7 (6 as companion)|
|Leela||Louise Jameson||14–15||The Face of Evil||The Invasion of Time||9|
|K-9 Mark I||John Leeson (voice)||15||The Invisible Enemy||The Invasion of Time[nb 3]||4[nb 4]|
|K-9 Mark II||John Leeson
David Brierley (voices)
|The Ribos Operation
The Creature from the Pit
|Warriors' Gate[nb 5]
The Horns of Nimon
3[nb 6][nb 7]
17–18, 1983 Special
|The Ribos Operation
Destiny of the Daleks
|The Armageddon Factor
The Five Doctors[nb 8]
|Adric||Matthew Waterhouse||18||Full Circle||Logopolis||5|
|Nyssa||Sarah Sutton||18||The Keeper of Traken||Logopolis||2|
|Tegan Jovanka||Janet Fielding||18||Logopolis||Logopolis||1|
- Not including The Five Doctors, where Sarah Jane appears as the Third Doctor's companion.
- Harry also appears in The Android Invasion.
- This first incarnation of K-9 returns in the independent spin-off series K-9, regenerating into a newer form.
- Not including Image of the Fendahl, where the K-9 prop appears but has no lines.
- A further model of K-9, "Mark III", features in the pilot of K-9 and Company with Sarah Jane Smith, and Doctor Who episode "School Reunion" with the Tenth Doctor and Sarah Jane. Killed and replaced by K-9 Mark IV in the latter episode, he subsequently appears irregularly in The Sarah Jane Adventures, and also the Doctor Who episode "Journey's End".
- Not including Destiny of the Daleks, where the K-9 prop briefly appears and has no lines.
- Not including the incomplete and unbroadcast serial, Shada.
- Romana leaves the Doctor in Warriors' Gate, before appearing again as the Fourth Doctor's companion in The Five Doctors (played by Ward).
Fifth Doctor 
|Companion||Actor/Actress||Seasons||First serial||Last serial||Appearances with the Fifth Doctor|
|Adric||Matthew Waterhouse||19||Castrovalva||Earthshock[nb 1][nb 2]||8 (6 as companion)|
|Nyssa||Sarah Sutton||19–20||Castrovalva||Terminus[nb 2]||12 (11 as companion)|
|Tegan Jovanka||Janet Fielding||19–21||Castrovalva||Resurrection of the Daleks[nb 3][nb 2]||19 (18 as companion)|
|Vislor Turlough||Mark Strickson||20–21||Mawdryn Undead||Planet of Fire[nb 2]||11 (10 as companion)|
|Kamelion||Gerald Flood (voice)||20, 21||The King's Demons[nb 4]||Planet of Fire[nb 2]||3 (2 as companion)|
|Peri Brown||Nicola Bryant||21||Planet of Fire||The Caves of Androzani||2|
- Adric also makes a cameo appearance in Time-Flight.
- Also makes a cameo appearance in The Caves of Androzani
- Tegan is left behind by the Doctor at the conclusion of Time-Flight but returns in the next serial Arc of Infinity, set around a year later in her relative time.
- Due to problems with the robotic prop, Kamelion was not featured in the five serials between his first and last stories. Planned scenes in the The Awakening were cut and never broadcast.
Sixth Doctor 
|Companion||Actress||Seasons||First serial||Last serial||Appearances with the Sixth Doctor|
|Peri Brown||Nicola Bryant||21–23||The Twin Dilemma||The Trial of a Time Lord: Mindwarp||9|
|Melanie Bush||Bonnie Langford||23||The Trial of a Time Lord: Terror of the Vervoids[nb 1]||The Trial of a Time Lord: The Ultimate Foe||2|
- The series never establishes how Mel meets the Doctor, who first appears as part of the Doctor's future. Their first meeting is recounted in the Past Doctor Adventures novel Business Unusual. Note that the four adventures broadcast under the single title The Trial of a Time Lord are in this table each counted as separate appearances.
Seventh Doctor 
|Companion||Actress||Seasons||First serial||Last serial||Appearances with the Seventh Doctor|
|Melanie Bush||Bonnie Langford||24||Time and the Rani||Dragonfire||4|
|Ace||Sophie Aldred||24–26||Dragonfire||Survival[nb 1]||9|
- Ace's fate is unknown past Survival as she does not appear in the following story, the 1996 film, although it is implied in Death of the Doctor that she has become a charity worker on Earth.
Eighth Doctor 
|Companion||Actress||Story||Appearances with the Eighth Doctor|
|Grace Holloway||Daphne Ashbrook||Television movie||1|
Ninth Doctor 
|Companion||Actor/Actress||Series||First episode||Last episode||Appearances with the Ninth Doctor|
|Rose Tyler||Billie Piper[nb 1]||1||"Rose"||"The Parting of the Ways"||13|
|Adam Mitchell||Bruno Langley||1||"Dalek"||"The Long Game"||2|
|Jack Harkness||John Barrowman||1||"The Empty Child"||"The Parting of the Ways"||5|
Tenth Doctor 
|Companion||Actor/Actress||Series||First episode||Last episode||Appearances with the Tenth Doctor|
|Rose Tyler||Billie Piper||2005 Specials–2, 4||"The Christmas Invasion"||"Journey's End"[nb 1]||21 (17 as companion)|
|Mickey Smith||Noel Clarke[nb 2]||2, 4||"School Reunion"[nb 3]||"Journey's End"[nb 4]||10 (5 as companion)|
|Donna Noble||Catherine Tate||2006 Special, 4||"The Runaway Bride"[nb 5]||"Journey's End"[nb 6]||16 (14 as companion)|
|Martha Jones||Freema Agyeman||3, 4||"Smith and Jones"||"Journey's End"[nb 7]||19 (18 as companion)|
|Jack Harkness||John Barrowman||3, 4||"Utopia"||"Journey's End"[nb 8]||6 (5 as companion)|
|Astrid Peth||Kylie Minogue||2007 Specials||"Voyage of the Damned"||"Voyage of the Damned"||1|
|Sarah Jane Smith||Elisabeth Sladen||4||"The Stolen Earth"[nb 9]||"Journey's End"[nb 10]||4 (2 as companion)|
|Jackson Lake||David Morrissey||2008–10 Specials||"The Next Doctor"||"The Next Doctor"||1|
|Rosita Farisi||Velile Tshabalala||2008–10 Specials||"The Next Doctor"||"The Next Doctor"||1|
|Lady Christina de Souza||Michelle Ryan||2008–10 Specials||"Planet of the Dead"||"Planet of the Dead"||1|
|Adelaide Brooke||Lindsay Duncan||2008–10 Specials||"The Waters of Mars"||"The Waters of Mars"||1|
|Wilfred Mott||Bernard Cribbins||2008–10 Specials||The End of Time[nb 11]||The End of Time||8 (1 as companion)|
- Rose departs in "Doomsday", and makes brief cameo appearances in "Partners in Crime", "The Poison Sky" and "Midnight" before returning as a companion from "Turn Left" to "Journey's End". She briefly appears in The End of Time, before serving as the Tenth Doctor's companion again in the 50th anniversary special.
- Casey Dyer had previously played a young Mickey in "Father's Day".
- Mickey is introduced in "Rose" as Rose's boyfriend and recurs regularly before becoming a companion.
- Mickey departs in "The Age of Steel" and re-appears in "Army of Ghosts" / "Doomsday" before returning as a companion in "Journey's End". He also appears in The End of Time.
- Introduced in "Doomsday" as "The Bride"
- After initially refusing to join the Doctor on his travels in "The Runaway Bride", Donna returns as a regular companion from "Partners in Crime". She also appears in The End of Time.
- Martha departs in "Last of the Time Lords", but returns from "The Sontaran Stratagem" to "The Doctor's Daughter" and again for "The Stolen Earth" / "Journey's End". She also appears in The End of Time.
- Jack rejoins the Doctor in "Utopia" before departing in "Last of the Time Lords", but returns again for "The Stolen Earth" / "Journey's End". He also appears in The End of Time.
- Previously appears with the Tenth Doctor in "School Reunion".
- Also appears in The End of Time. Additionally, the Doctor appears alongside Sarah Jane in The Sarah Jane Adventures stories The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith and Death of the Doctor, in his Tenth and Eleventh incarnations respectively.
- Wilf is introduced in "Voyage of the Damned", and recurs throughout series 4 as Donna's grandfather.
Eleventh Doctor 
|Companion||Actor/Actress||Series||First episode||Last episode||Appearances with the Eleventh Doctor|
|Amy Pond||Karen Gillan[nb 1]||5–7||"The Eleventh Hour"||"The Angels Take Manhattan"[nb 2]||33 (31 as companion)|
|Rory Williams||Arthur Darvill[nb 3]||5–7||"The Vampires of Venice"[nb 4]||"The Angels Take Manhattan"[nb 5][nb 2]||27 (24 as companion)|
|River Song||Alex Kingston[nb 6]||6||"The Impossible Astronaut"[nb 7]||"The Wedding of River Song"[nb 8]||12 (5 as companion)|
|Craig Owens||James Corden||6||"Closing Time"[nb 9]||"Closing Time"||2 (1 as companion)|
|Clara Oswald||Jenna-Louise Coleman[nb 10]||7–||"The Snowmen"[nb 11]||N/A||10 (9 as companion)|
- Caitlin Blackwood plays a young Amy (as Amelia) in "The Eleventh Hour", "The Big Bang", "Let's Kill Hitler" and "The God Complex".
- Amy and Rory are left by the Doctor in "The God Complex", but appear briefly in "Closing Time" and feature as companions again in "The Wedding of River Song". They appear in the final scene of "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe", before returning as companions from "Asylum of the Daleks".
- A younger Rory is played by Ezekiel Wigglesworth in "Let's Kill Hitler".
- Also appears in "The Eleventh Hour"
- Rory is killed in "Cold Blood", but returns in "The Pandorica Opens" as an Auton duplicate before being restored to humanity and resuming his travels with the Doctor and Amy in "The Big Bang".
- Earlier incarnations of River (as Melody Pond) are played by Sydney Wade in "The Impossible Astronaut" / "Day of the Moon" and Nina Toussaint-White in "Let's Kill Hitler", with Maya Glace-Green playing a younger version of the latter regeneration in the same episode.
- River first appears alongside the Tenth Doctor in "Silence in the Library" / "Forest of the Dead", introduced as a companion from his relative future who calls the Doctor to her aid. Progressively younger versions of River subsequently summon the Eleventh Doctor in "The Time of Angels" / "Flesh and Stone" and "The Pandorica Opens" / "The Big Bang", before the future Doctor summons her to his death in "The Impossible Astronaut".
- River refuses the Doctor's offer to travel with her permanently in "Day of the Moon". She subsequently features as a companion in "A Good Man Goes to War", "Let's Kill Hitler" and "The Wedding of River Song", and also appears in "Closing Time". She later appears in "The Angels Take Manhattan" and "The Name of the Doctor".
- Craig first appears in "The Lodger", and acts as the Doctor's companion in the absence of Amy and Rory in "Closing Time".
- Sophie Downham appears as young Clara in "The Name of the Doctor".
- Coleman first appeared as Oswin Oswald in "Asylum of the Daleks", a character who shares several characteristics with Clara. Clara dies at the conclusion of "The Snowmen", before a third iteration of the character joins the Doctor permanently in "The Bells of Saint John". "The Name of the Doctor" sees Clara enter the Doctor's personal timeline, splintering herself across time and accounting for her earlier appearances.
List of Spin-Off Companions 
As well as the TV series, the Doctor has had various other companions in spin-off media, such as books and audios.
First Doctor 
|Companion||Actor/Actress||First story||Last story||Appearances with the First Doctor|
|Oliver Harper||Tom Allen||The Cold Equations||The First Wave||1|
Second Doctor 
|Companion||Actor/Actress||First story||Last story||Appearances with the Second Doctor|
|Serenadellatrova (Lady Serena)||N/A||World Game||World Game||1|
Third Doctor 
Fourth Doctor 
Fifth Doctor 
|Companion||Actor/Actress||First story||Last story||Appearances with the Fifth Doctor|
|Erimem||Caroline Morris||The Eye of the Scorpion||The Bride of Peladon||13|
|Thomas Brewster||John Pickard||The Haunting of Thomas Brewster||Time Reef & A Perfect World||3|
|Amy||Ciara Janson||The Judgement of Isskar||The Chaos Pool||3|
Sixth Doctor 
|Companion||Actor/Actress||First story||Last story||Appearances with the Sixth Doctor|
|Evelyn Smythe||Maggie Stables||The Marian Conspiracy||Thicker Than Water||22|
|Thomas Brewster||John Pickard||The Crimes of Thomas Brewster||Industrial Evolution||3|
|Charley Pollard||India Fisher||The Condemned||Blue Forgotten Planet||7|
|Mila||India Fisher/Jess Robinson||Patient Zero||Blue Forgotten Planet||3|
Seventh Doctor 
|Companion||Actor/Actress||First story||Last story||Appearances with the Seventh Doctor|
|Bernice Summerfield||Lisa Bowerman||Love & War||Eternity Weeps||45|
Eighth Doctor 
|Companion||Actor/Actress||First story||Last story||Appearances with the Eighth Doctor|
|Mary Shelley||Julia Davis||The Company of Friends||Army of Death||4|
|Charley Pollard||India Fisher||Storm Warning||The Girl That Time Forgot||29|
|Lucie Miller||Sheridan Smith||Blood of the Daleks||To the Death|
|Molly O'Sullivan||Ruth Bradley||The Great War||X and the Daleks||4|
Ninth Doctor 
Tenth Doctor 
|Companion||Actor/Actress||First story||Last story||Appearances with the Tenth Doctor|
|June||N/A||The Slitheen Excursion||The Slitheen Excursion||1|
Death of a companion 
During the course of the show's history, there have been a few occasions when companions have died while on adventures with the Doctor.
- Two companions are killed in the The Daleks' Master Plan. Katarina, who had been introduced at the end of the preceding story, was deemed by the production team to be an unsuitable character as a long-term companion, and so Katarina is killed when she opens the airlock of a spaceship after being taken hostage by a convict. Sara Kingdom, who takes over Katarina's companion role for the remainder of the story, is also killed when she undergoes extreme ageing as a side-effect of the First Doctor's activation of a "Time Destructor" device.
- Adric dies at the end of Episode 4 of Earthshock in the explosion of a bomb-laden space freighter in Earth's atmosphere c. 65.5 million years BC, which becomes the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event. He was unable to steer the ship away as a Cyberman destroyed the controls.
- Kamelion, an android companion, is destroyed by the Fifth Doctor in Episode 4 of Planet of Fire as an act of mercy after Kamelion is taken over by the Master and asks the Doctor to destroy him.
- K-9 Mark III sacrifices himself in "School Reunion" in order to save the Doctor and his friends from a group of aliens. The subsequent K-9 Mark IV that the Doctor leaves with Sarah Jane tells her that the Mark III's files have been transferred to the new machine.
- The destruction of Gallifrey in the Time War and the Doctor's belief that he is the last surviving Time Lord imply the deaths of Leela, Romana, and Susan Foreman. In "The Empty Child" and "The Doctor's Daughter", the Doctor alludes to having lost his family.
- Astrid Peth sacrifices herself in order to kill Max Capricorn by driving him into a reactor core at the end of "Voyage of the Damned". The Tenth Doctor partially resurrects her and sends her atoms flying into space.
- At the end of "The Waters of Mars", Adelaide Brooke kills herself to preserve a fixed point in time.
- Sarah Jane Smith alludes to the death of Harry Sullivan in the epilogue of "Death of the Doctor", in which she speaks of several former companions in the present tense, and Harry in the past tense.
- The Eleventh Doctor attempts to call Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart in "The Wedding of River Song", only to learn of the Brigadier's death months earlier, coinciding with the death of his actor, Nicholas Courtney.
- River Song sacrifices herself in "Forest of the Dead" to save the Doctor's life, but he is able to upload a digital copy of her consciousness to the data core.
- In "The Angels Take Manhattan", Rory Williams and Amy Pond are displaced in time by a Weeping Angel; Amy allows the Angel to send her back so she can be with Rory. A gravestone reveals they died at the ages of 87 and 82 respectively.
Spin-Off Media 
- Lady Serenadellatrova- Serena for short- is shot through both hearts when saving the Duke of Wellington in World Game.
- Roz Forrester, companion of the Seventh Doctor, dies in the novel So Vile a Sin when she is killed as part of a revolution led by her family against the corrupt Earth Empire.
- Evelyn Smythe dies of old age while helping the Doctor stop the powerful Word Lord in A Death in the Family.
- Liz Shaw dies in the 1997 Virgin New Adventures novel Eternity Weeps by Jim Mortimore, the victim of an extraterrestrial terraforming virus contracted while part of a UNIT team investigating an alien artefact on the Moon. However, in the 2010 The Sarah Jane Adventures episode, Death of the Doctor, it is mentioned that Liz is stationed on UNIT's moon base.
- Traitorous companion Elizabeth Klein is erased from history in The Architects of History in order to undo the damage she had caused to Time after stealing the TARDIS.
- C'rizz is killed in Absolution when he becomes the temporary vessel for a dying race, causing him to burn out.
- Lucie Miller died in the events of To the Death where she flies a Dalek saucer into the core of the earth causing a timewarp killing her and the Daleks in the area.
- Oliver Harper is killed by a Vardan in The First Wave. He goes on to exist as a noncorporeal entity in the Doctor's TARDIS for the duration of the First Doctor's tenure, reappearing to him during the events of The Tenth Planet.
- Hex dies following complications from a gunshot wound he sustained in The Angel of Scutari at the conclusion of Gods and Monsters
- The Doctor Who Magazine comic strip has Ace being killed in an explosion in the storyline Ground Zero, while veteran companion Jamie McCrimmon dies an elderly man in The World Shapers.
- In The Trial of a Time Lord, Peri Brown is killed by King Yrcanos in Mindwarp, after her brain has been replaced by that of Kiv, a member of the Mentor race. However, in The Ultimate Foe it is revealed that Peri had not been killed and had instead become Yrcanos' consort.
- Grace Holloway is killed by the Master but revived by the TARDIS' link to the Eye of Harmony during the 1996 television movie.
- Jack Harkness is killed by Daleks but is brought back to life and given immortality by Rose Tyler in "The Parting of the Ways". He has since died numerous times in both Doctor Who and Torchwood, always returning to life soon after.
- The alternative timeline from "Turn Left" sees the off-screen deaths of Sarah Jane Smith and Martha Jones (as well as Sarah Jane's own companions Luke Smith, Maria Jackson, and Clyde Langer), but these events are undone by Donna Noble's own self-sacrifice at the episode's climax.
- Sarah Jane Smith also dies as a teenager in an alternate timeline in "Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane?".
- Rory Williams is killed by the Eknodine in one of the dream worlds of "Amy's Choice". Realising it is her only chance of seeing Rory again, Amy Pond subsequently kills both herself and the Doctor in the same reality.
- Rory is also killed by the Silurian Restac at the conclusion of "Cold Blood", sacrificing himself to protect the Doctor. He is subsequently consumed by a crack in time, which wipes him from existence. He reappears in "The Pandorica Opens" as an Auton duplicate, created from Amy Pond's memories, and is restored to his old life along with the rest of the universe in "The Big Bang".
- Rory is shown dying of old age in "The Angels Take Manhattan", in front of himself, Amy, the Eleventh Doctor and his daughter River Song. He and Amy negate the timeline by jumping off of roof, thereby preventing him from being sent further back in time to die of old age downstairs.
- An older version of Amy Pond is killed by a handbot in "The Girl Who Waited" as it gives her medicine it doesn't know will kill her, but her existence is erased when The Doctor, Amy, and Rory leave that timeline.
- In "The Snowmen", Clara Oswald is dragged to her death by the Ice Governess, while earlier in "Asylum of the Daleks" she was turned into a Dalek and left in the Dalek Asylum as the Daleks destroy it - though at that point not as the Doctor's companion. A third version of the character continues to live in modern-day England.
See also 
- The Handbook: Fourth Doctor p?
- Brook, Stephen (23 January 2009). "Michelle Ryan guest stars in Doctor Who. But would she make a good companion?". The Guardian (UK). Retrieved 1 June 2010. "A minor factor in the continual swirl around Doctor Who is that what constitutes a Doctor Who companion is no longer clear. Sure, Rose, Martha and Donna were all companions. So was Captain Jack. But what about Mickey and Jackie? How do you qualify? Name in the opening credits, regular trips in the Tardis? The doctor kisses you? I'm no longer sure. Modern TV drama is so difficult."
- Adam Sherwin (5 July 2006). "Sidekick whose time has come". The Times (UK). Retrieved 1 June 2010.
- Richard Simpson (5 July 2006). "Doctor Who gets first black assistant". Daily Mail (UK). Retrieved 1 June 2010.
- "BBC Doctor Who Series 4 Characters". Retrieved 1 June 2010.
- Commentary on DVD of Castrovalva
- BBC - Doctor Who Classic Episode Guide - Doctor Who: The TV Movie - Details, retrieved 21 April 2013
- "Partners in Crime"
- "Flesh and Stone"
- Sarah Jane Smith has appeared in "School Reunion", "The Stolen Earth", "Journey's End", and "The End of Time". K-9 has appeared in "School Reunion" and "Journey's End".
- The Dalek Invasion of Earth
- The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve
- The Evil of the Daleks
- The Green Death
- The Face of Evil
- The Invasion of Time
- The Awakening
- Arc of Infinity
- The Keeper of Traken
- Mawdryn Undead
- Planet of Fire
- The Ultimate Foe
- The Curse of Fenric
- K-9 and Company
- Statement by Mickey Smith to Martha Smith-Jones in "The End of Time"
- Statement by Sarah Jane Smith to Luke Smith in the epilogue scene of Death of the Doctor part 2
- Death of the Doctor
- The Temptation of Sarah Jane Smith
- The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith
- "The Power of Three"
- "Father's Day"
- "The Waters of Mars"
- "The Eleventh Hour", "The Big Bang", "Let's Kill Hitler", "The God Complex", "The Angels Take Manhattan"
- "Let's Kill Hitler"
- "A Good Man Goes to War", "The Impossible Astronaut", "Day of the Moon", "Let's Kill Hitler"
- The Temptation of Sarah Jane Smith, Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane?
- BBC - Doctor Who, The Snowmen, retrieved 26 April 2013
- Robinson, Nigel; Nathan-Turner, John (1981). The Doctor Who Quiz Book. Target Books. pp. 39 and 98. ISBN 0-426-20143-4.
- Lofficier, Jean-Marc (1994). The Doctor Who Programme Guide Third Edition. Virgin Publishing Ltd. pp. 16, 43 and 45. ISBN 0-426-20342-9.
- Howe, David J.; Stammers, Mark and Walker, Stephen James (1994). Doctor Who The Handbook – The First Doctor. Virgin Publishing Ltd. p. 297. ISBN 0-426-20430-1.
- Richards, Justin; Martin, Andrew (1997). Doctor Who The Book of Lists. BBC Books. pp. 13 and 218. ISBN 0-563-40569-4.
- Pixley, Andrew (16 December 1998). Doctor Who Magazine (272). p. 21
- Campbell, Mark; Duncan, Paul (2000). The Pocket Essential Doctor Who. Pocket Essentials. pp. 20–21. ISBN 1-903047-19-6.
- Cornell, Paul; M.Day, K. Topping, D. J. Howe and S. J. Walker (1995, 1998 and 2003). "The Daleks' Master Plan". Doctor Who: Classic Series Episode Guide. BBC. Retrieved 1 June 2010.
- Haining, Peter (1983). Doctor Who: A Celebration – Two Decades Through Time And Space. Virgin Publishing Ltd. p. 85. ISBN 0-86369-932-4.
- "Companions". Doctor Who: Classic Series Episode Guide. BBC. 2007. Retrieved 14 September 2007.
- "Doctor Who – Classic Series – Companions – Nyssa". BBC. Retrieved 1 June 2010.
- Nathan-Turner, John (1986). Doctor Who — The Companions. New York: Random House. pp. 18–21. ISBN 039488291 Check
- Howe, David J; Stammers, Mark (1995). Doctor Who — Companions. London: Doctor Who Books. p. 103. ISBN 1852275820.
- "Doctor Who — Classic Series — Companions — Kamelion". BBC. Retrieved 2012-11-12.
- "Press Office – Doctor Who press pack phase six Episode Seven". BBC. 4 May 2005. Retrieved 1 June 2010.
- "Doctor Who – Captain Jack Harkness – Character Guide". BBC. 28 March 2008. Retrieved 1 June 2010.
- "Doctor Who – News – Noel natters to DWM". BBC. 21 February 2006. Retrieved 1 June 2010.
- "Doctor Who – Mickey Smith – Character Guide". BBC. Retrieved 1 June 2010.
- "Doctor Who – Martha Jones – Character Guide". BBC. Retrieved 1 June 2010.
- "Companion Piece". BBC News. 14 August 2007. Retrieved 1 June 2010.
- "Who Should Be So Lucky?". 19 December 2007. Retrieved 1 June 2010.
- "Confidential at Christmas". Doctor Who Confidential. Season 4. Episode 1. 25 December 2007.
- "Doctor Who – Sarah Jane Smith – Character Guide". BBC. Retrieved 1 June 2010.
- Olsen, Anton (21 July 2009). "Who's Your Favorite Doctor Who Companion?". Wired.
- Executive Producer Mark Cossey, Executive Producers For Doctor Who Russell T Davies, Julie Gardner, Producer Zoë Rushton, Series Producer Gillane Seaborne (25 December 2008). "[Untitled]". Doctor Who Confidential. Series 4. Episode 14. BBC. BBC Three.
- Collins, Robert (16 December 2008). "Doctor Who: Velile Tshabalala". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 1 June 2010.
- Cook, Benjamin (9 January 2008 (cover date)). "Sands of time". Radio Times (11–17 April 2009). pp. 16–20
- "TV – Tube Talk – Ten 'Waters of Mars' teasers". Digital Spy. 30 October 2009. Retrieved 1 June 2010.
- "Lindsay Duncan to star in second Doctor Who Special of 2009". BBC. 19 February 2009. Retrieved 1 June 2010.
- Davies, Russell T (7 April 2009). Dr Who's Easter special. BBC News. Retrieved 7 April 2009
- Doctor Who: Best of the Companions (Television production). BBC America. 28 August 2011.
- Gareth Roberts (24 September 2011). "Open All Hours". Doctor Who Confidential. Series 6. Episode 12. 4:52 minutes in. BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0155jf4/Doctor_Who_Confidential_Series_6_Open_All_Hours/. "The Doctor allows Craig to come along and play the part of his companion [...]"
- "A Brief History Of Time (Travel): The Daleks' Master Plan".
- Doctor Who: Companions, 1995