Honourable Mentions: K9, Liz Shaw, Jo Grant, Peri & Martha Jones.
5. Ian Chesterton
Ian Chesterton may have had a slight advantage over other companions. The first few scripts were shaped for him to be the show’s main character. Nevertheless, he’s still one of the bravest, most charismatic and charming companions to travel with the Doctor. His debut in An Unearthly Child proves to us early on. what a caring person he is as he follows Susan to the junkyard to ensure she’s alright. In The Daleks, Chesterton excelled, as he bravely jumped inside a Dalek in order for the Doctor and co. to make their escape. Unlike Clara in The Witch’s Familiar, Chesterton volunteered to get inside, putting himself in terrible danger to help the others. Another favourite moment of mine was when he knocked out a soldier in The Aztecs using only his thumb. It was this sort of bizarre yet heroic behaviour that made him such a strong and likeable character. His chemistry with the Doctor, Susan and Barbara was terrific to watch too and he’s proof that there should be more male companions in the show.
The last companion of the classic era, Ace is a character that tends to split opinion. Some people find her a little too crass but I think she’s excellent. Not many companions have the gumption to beat a Dalek with a baseball bat, undoubtedly her finest moment in Rememberance of the Daleks. Yes, a lot of companions today show bravery in the face of monsters, but who could actually physically challenge an enemy? Her relationship with the seventh Doctor enhanced her run in the show. Calling him “Professor” was different, but I enjoyed the respect she showed the Doctor, something that companions have rarely done since. I would love to see Ace return to the show, I can see her and the twelfth Doctor having tremendous fun together, even if it was just for one episode. She deserves an on-screen ending for the character’s story to be rounded off.
3. Sarah Jane Smith
Lots of people have Sarah Jane at number one, but number three is still excellent. Perhaps the most iconic companion of all time, Sarah Jane has met more Doctors than any other companion. She was superb with the third, the tenth, the eleventh as well as fleeting meetings with the first, second and fifth in The Five Doctors. It’s her relationship with the fourth Doctor though that she is so fondly remembered for. They truly were best friends who loved each other’s company and had tremendous fun travelling through time and space. In more recent times, she’s went on to get her own spin-off series, something I think no other companion and only Sarah Jane could carry. Her character had such depth that could stretch the Doctor Who universe to a younger audience. I’m sure the Sarah Jane Adventures would still be going strong today had Elisabeth Sladen not so tragically passed away.
2. Jamie McCrimmon
Part of the charm about Jamie McCrimmon was his eighteenth century Highland background. Coming from a different time period and a slightly different culture made him such a intriguing character, yet one we could still relate to. He faced everything head on, with passion and bravery. He would often put himself in tremendous danger to protect the second Doctor, who he had such an entertaining relationship with. In The Enemy of the World, we saw a standout example of Jamie’s bravery as he infiltrated Salamnder’s base just to find out a bit more about hm. He took a lot of risks for relatively little reward. He often too disobeyed the Doctor’s instructions which made watching him a real thrill. His final appearance was in The War Games, where he showed loyalty to the Doctor as he stood up to the Time Lords resiliantly and almost naively in an attempt to protect his beloved friend. Throughout his run, Jamie was such a fun and lovable character and I’m glad he was one of the longest serving companions.
1. Donna Noble
The first modern companion in the top five comes in at number one, and it’s no real surprise she’s the only modern companion who hasn’t fancied the Doctor. Donna was the breath of fresh air that David Tennant’s era needed following Rose and Martha’s crushes on the tenth Doctor. Her backchat was hilarious but her performance also contained a lot of emotion that made her so special. In Planet of the Ood, we saw Donna break down as she learned of the Ood’s slavery. It proved she wasn’t just the gobby Londoner she may have seemed at first glance, but she had a heart too. Turn Left is basically just a Donna Noble character piece and it’s one of the most unique and thought provoking episodes in recent times. The tenth Doctor and Donna got on together perfectly and created television gold. They had such chemistry, that just the two of them talking for forty five minutes would have made great television. I really hope Bill is more like Donna than any other modern companion. Who are your favourite companions of the show’s history?