Last night, I climbed back on the meme bicycle. I had written up a veritable monograph on the various companions I count as my favorites (and, yes, there are multiples because - after the oh-so-easy "favorite Doctor" day - I'm back in the land of indecision) when I lost the entire thing to a carelessly hit button. But anything that is remembered can return, so ....
Day 01 - My Favorite Quote
Day 02 - My Favorite Classic Series Episode
Day 03 - My Favorite New Series Episode
Day 04 - My Favorite Doctor
Day 05 - My Favorite Companion
And we're off!
- Rose Tyler - Yes, it's true. The Rose I fell in love with is smart, brave, cheeky, curious, tough, gentle, passionate and compassionate. She's also parochial, jealous and selfish - but she's willing, eventually, to admit those faults and try to work on them, to become something better. She helped a lost and damaged Time Lord, gave him something to love and live for, and gave her own love back to him unstintingly, even when she refused to let him ride rough-shod over her or anyone else - even a murderous but pathetic Dalek survivor. More, she was willing to lose herself in the heart of the TARDIS, to become the Blue Rose, to save her Doctor (and, not inconsequentially, the rest of the universe.) I can't help but love her.
- Donna Noble - Donna shares so many traits with Rose, but she is, always and inimitably, Donna. She is the best Companion the Tenth Doctor ever had, because of who she is: intelligent, inventive, funny, kind, braver than she thought she could be, unwilling to take guff off her arrogant Time Lord-best mate and willing to call him on his worst mistakes without backing down. She started out small and petty, but blossomed into her true nature even before she became the magnificent DoctorDonna. No matter what he tore from her, she had become bigger on the inside by the time her time (too soon!) with the Doctor ended. Oh, and she's a redhead. That counts for a lot here at Casakaffyr.
- Sarah Jane Smith - What, you thought I only loved New Companions? It's true that I was reminded of this wonderful woman when she re-met the Doctor, but her level-headed passion for uncovering the truth and fighting for justice, her unquenchable belief in doing the right thing, were part of her long before "School Reunion." She and the Third Doctor made a fine team (and he was so much more deserving of her than was the Fourth Doctor) and ultimately went on to lead her own team, so Sarah Jane makes this list without a moment's hesitation.
- Barbara Wright and Ian Chesterton - The very first Companions were kidnapped by a strange, selfish old alien on the run. Despite that, they helped the crotchety and paranoid First Doctor become a better person. Ian's determination and Barbara's pragmatism, their intelligence and willingness to adapt to unimaginable circumstance, helped form his opinion of humans - without that, without the kindness he saw Barbara lavish on his own granddaughter, without the respect the three of them developed (and perhaps without the example of the love he saw grow between his two human charges) the Doctor we know might never have existed. We owe a lot to Barbara and Ian, and for that, among many other reasons, they're on my list as well.
- Rory Williams - In less than a single season, I've come to love this young man. Watch how gentle he is, the born nurse who's always going to stop and ask the injured if they need help, even in the middle of running for his own life. Watch how he stubbornly sticks with his beloved and broken Amy, helping her to become as whole as he can while the cracks try to eat her humanity. Watch his eyes as he dares the Doctor to try to flim-flam him. Like my other favorite Companions, he becomes a brake on the Doctor's more-than-occasional arrogance and foolhardiness. And then watch as Rory's patience (the other side of stubborn) takes him into legend.
- River Song - Perhaps I shouldn't call her a Companion. She, like my beloved Jack Harkness, is a force of nature. Like Jack, she leaves her own mark on the Universe, quite separate from the intermittent but remarkable swathe she cuts through the cosmos when she and the Doctor are together. But she is a Companion, and she's who I want to be when I grow up: brilliant, brave, beautiful, willing to be ruthless, and full of unseen and powerful currents in her deeps.
* I have not included Jack Harkness because, in my personal Whoniverse canon, he has gone so far beyond Companion that he deserves consideration on his own. He started out remarkable and become something grander, more terrifying - and far more tragic - than even the last Lord of Gallifrey.