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Doctor Who companions

Today I received an email asking me to contribute to Journey Planet‘s special Doctor Who edition. I gladly wrote up some few hundred words — this was really last minute — but when I re-read my comments, I realised I’d waffled off-topic quite a bit. Most of the waffle is about Doctor Who companions instead of answering the specific ‘not-companion’–related questions.

I cut and pasted the off-topic waffle here. Feel free to add you own Doctor Who related waffle-y comments below. May need syrup.

Although I think Matt Smith was a great actor whose greatest difficulty was in carrying uneven scripts, my favourite New Who doctor was Christopher Eccleston.

My favourite companion of my youth was Adric because sexy maths guy. All the guys in my advanced maths and advanced science classes professed crushes on Nyssa; I liked Nyssa because smart chick but I had a crush on one of the guys so I was also jealous of Nyssa. Tegan annoyed me because she was a whiner, her ultimate goal in life was to serve drinks on an airplane and she was the best Australia could offer the doctor? Bah.

My favourite companion of the new series was Donna. No nonsense, kick-ass and prepared to give the doctor lip, Donna rocked.

Seeing older classic series, I have to say Liz Shaw was ahead of her time like classic Trek was ahead of its time. Sarah Jane was, unsurprisingly, the companion of my childhood; when she left at the end of the ‘Hand of Fear’ I sat, stunned. I was really upset, especially when the doctor didn’t get her back. And then he acquired Leela. It took a while for me to warm to Leela but her ignorance was more than compensated for by her kick-ass skills. Eventually Leela won me over. Then she left too. -_-

[Note: my greatest Doctor Who–related trauma was Adric’s death.]

Watching DW when I got older, I wasn’t such a fan of Sarah Jane — screaming and ankle-twisting cringe — until I saw an extra with Elizabeth Sladen talking about playing Sarah Jane. Liz said she didn’t mind doing the screaming because that’s what she’d do if the monsters were real. That was a paradigm shift for me, but I’d still like equal-opportunity screaming from companions of all genders. Unless they’re immortal or don’t experience fear in life-threatening situations.

End of today’s waffle.

Nalini is an award-winning writer and artist as well as managing editor of Dark Matter Zine.


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