With Peter Capaldi’s Doctor Who debut upon us, let’s reflect on past Doctors and who we wish they’d teamed up with.
We are beyond excited for the eighth season of Doctor Who, which premieres August 23. To celebrate, Hypable is having a Who Week celebration of the series.
For this column, we’ll be looking back to the Doctor’s Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh incarnations, and imagining some great could-have-been companion combinations.
Jack Harkness/Eleventh Doctor
While we love Jack Harkness with whatever Doctor he’s paired up with, we never got to see him with with Eleven, and that’s a big shame. Particularly because Eleven tends to get even more lighthearted-flirty with his companions than Ten did, and we could imagine this pair of characters (and actors) having a lot of fun playing up that tension.
And of course, while the pair would certainly give us a lot of laughs, both Eleven and Jack have experienced hardships on their adventures. Their way of dealing with grief is very similar, and we think they’d be able to support each other if they needed to.
River Song/Ninth Doctor
This might not be one of the funniest matches for Alex Kingston’s hilarious River Song – and that’s exactly why we’d love to see it.
When the Doctor first met River in “The Silence of the Library,” he was already nearing his 11th incarnation. And already then, she looked at him with wonder, because, “Look at you. You’re so young.”
Of course the fact that River had never seen the Doctor younger would rule out a Nine/River rendezvous. But if it had happened, wouldn’t it have been intense to see – especially in flashback form, knowing everything the Doctor had ahead of him? This angry, immediately-post-war Doctor, being schooled by the only person with the power to do so. It might settle his spirit a little bit.
Amy Pond/Tenth Doctor
We feel like Ten would be exclaiming “What?!” to every other sentence that came out of Amy Pond’s mouth. This sassy, brash girl would waltz into the poor ignorant Doctor’s life and act like she knew him (much less elegantly than River ever did), and immediately start ordering him around. It’d be amazing.
But she’d also be able to recognise the sadness and tragedy which plagued Ten’s incarnation, and offer him a kind of comfort which none of Ten’s three companions were able to do. Amy has a deep, unshakeable confidence both in herself and the Doctor, and while Rose was definitely brave, Amy has the ability to (almost) never let fear get the best of her. She’s a stubborn fighter, just like Ten.
Donna Noble/Eleventh Doctor
Let’s face it: this combo would be pure crack. And let’s throw Jack Harkness in there just for kicks! Donna and Ten was a brilliant combination – and maybe it’d almost be too much with Eleven, but we’d be willing to take that chance.
Not only would Eleven and Donna have some hilarious times together, but Matt Smith also brings a very gentle, caring side of the Doctor out which Donna might benefit from, especially after her Doctor Donna ordeal. Since Donna never met the Doctor’s 11th incarnation, he might actually be able to talk to her without risking her getting her memories back… and somehow be able to give her the comfort she doesn’t realise she so desperately needs.
Rory Williams/Ninth Doctor
Now this pairing might seem random, but it has the potential to be absolutely hysterical. Eleven’s Rory Williams, of course, is very similar to Nine’s Mickey Smith, but we think Rory just has a bit of an edge of purpose and determination, which would make him a much more feisty match to Nine.
Just as Rory challenged and grounded Eleven, we think he could do the same for Nine. And their similar temperaments would lead to some heated arguments in the TARDIS!
Mickey Smith/Eleventh Doctor
This is the obvious flip of the previous pairing. But we actually think that, unlike Rory and Nine, Eleven and Mickey would get on quite well.
Mickey was a good guy, bumbling and appreciative of the nice things in life, and he would probably bring out the more childlike, carefree side of Eleven.
River Song/Jack Harkness
Ah yes, how could we not mention what is probably the most requested fan pairing in the Whoniverse? Both Alex Kingston and John Barrowman have expressed an interest in seeing the pair unite on screen (even discussing a possible spinoff), and who knows… but it seems like a bit of a stretch at this point.
River and Jack together on screen would be, in the words of Nine, absolutely fantastic. They have very similar personalities – they are confident, fiery and brave – but some interesting differences, too. Jack is more impulsive and reckless, while River enjoys being the superior, most intelligent person in the room.
Barrowman has previously suggested the two pair up for a series of rogue adventures (Firefly-style?), and we’d watch that show in a heartbeat!
Bonus: Martha Jones/Twelfth Doctor/
This isn’t a column listing the past Doctor Who characters we’d like to see with the Twelfth Doctor, but we thought we’d throw one in here anyway! Of course, the obvious choice for Twelve would be River Song, but that’s a whole other discussion.
So why Martha, out of all the Doctor’s past friends and companions? Because out of the four (five) New Who era Doctors and companions, Martha/Twelve might possibly be the very best fit. Hear us out here.
Martha Jones was a great, underused character, who unfortunately debuted on the series at the worst possible time. The Doctor (and audience) was still grieving the loss of the “original” companion Rose, and poor Martha developed a very inappropriate romantic crush on Ten which neither he nor the viewers had much time for.
But as a character, Martha was great. She was smart, resourceful, and grounded – qualities we’re betting the new Doctor will really need in his companion. Clara is smart and resourceful too, but she is also very fragile (despite her brave and sassy front), and it doesn’t look like Twelve will be the deep-heart-to-heart-having kind of Doctor. Martha is, at this point in time, married to Mickey (we assume), and would therefore (we hope) not be interested in the Doctor romantically. She’s a hardened soldier now, and she’s got a history as the Doctor’s companion. She knows what he’s like, and will be able to understand what he’s gone through.
We think bringing Martha back for an arc (or even as a Clara replacement?) would be a very bold, interesting choice (especially considering she was a Davies creation)… and it’s probably never going to happen. But if it did? We think Twelve and Martha would make a great team.
Which past Doctor/companion combination would you most like to see?