A Brief History Of Doctor Who Companions

This weekend, Whovians stranded in the time/space configuration we know as the present were forced to wait semi-patiently to learn the name of the Doctor’s next companion. On Saturday we found out that Pearl Mackie was the lucky actor who’ll join Peter Capaldi when the show returns to television in 2017. But Mackie’s character Bill isn’t the first (or, presumably, last) Earthling to become BFFs with a Time Lord. Since the show’s resurrection in 2005, the Doctor has had a long list of close friends with their own key to the TARDIS. Let’s reminisce.

Clara Oswald


Played by: Jenna Coleman

Episodes spent as companion: 35 (with the Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors)

Distinguishing features: Part Dalek, part impossible.

What we miss most about her: Her heroism and her lack of attachment to Earth. We loved Clara’s was devotion to time travel and the Doctor, and admired her efforts to continuously remind him of his own Doctor-ness.

Amy Pond


Played by: Karen Gillan

Episodes spent as companion: 31 (with the Eleventh Doctor)

Distinguishing feature: Mother to 52nd-century child, Melody Pond/River Song.

What we miss most about her: Her wide array of highly useful skills—Amy could pick locks, hack into computer systems, and solve riddles. And she knew how to make a sonic screwdriver. Also: the way she flirted hard with the Doctor but genuinely loved Rory.

Rose Tyler


Played by: Billie Piper

Episodes spent as companion: 30 (with the Ninth and Tenth Doctors)

Distinguishing feature: Knighted by the Queen, could “see” into the heart of the TARDIS.

What we miss most about her: The love story she shared with the Tenth Doctor. It was so strong that it sparked an an instantaneous biological meta-crisis during a regeneration, enabling the Doctor to essentially split in two so that a human hybrid version of himself could spend his life with her. Oh, and her accent too.

Rory Williams


Played by: Arthur Darvill

Episodes spent as companion: 24 (with the Eleventh Doctor)

Distinguishing feature: His dedication to Amy Pond, the woman he waited 1,894 years for.

What we miss most about him: Definitely not his weird rat tail. Maybe his dad?

Martha Jones


Played by: Freema Agyeman

Episodes spent as companion: 18 (with the Tenth Doctor)

Distinguishing feature: Her resume. Martha was a companion, a Torchwood operative, a UNIT agent, and a doctor herself (of the medical variety).

What we miss most about her: Her unflappability and her crushing cut-eye.

Donna Noble


Played by: Catherine Tate

Episodes spent as companion: 14 (with the Tenth Doctor)

Distinguishing features: Her ability to complain about anything. Oh, and the fact that she saved everything in existence from being destroyed by the Daleks.

What we miss most about her: Her TARDIS jokes paired with her whole attitude of being completely unimpressed by both Time Lords and time travel.

Jack Harkness


Played by: John Barrowman

Episodes spent as companion: 10 (with the Ninth and Tenth Doctors)

Distinguishing features: His pansexuality, his ever-preparedness, and his Rose Tyler-given immortality.

What we miss most about him: All the amazing one-liners and innuendos. Imagine if Jack Harkness had ever crossed paths with River Song?

River Song


Played by: Alex Kingston

Episodes spent as companion: 6 (with the Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors)

Distinguishing feature: Her hatred of spoilers and her status as the Doctor’s only wife (though he wasn’t her only husband).

What we miss most about her: Miss her? We just saw her in the last Christmas special… River never stays away for long, right? RIGHT?!



Played by: Pearl Mackie

Episodes spent as companion: None… yet.