Doctor Who: Charley Pollard and 5 Other Companions That Need Spin-Offs
I was insanely delighted to see that Big Finish was starting a new series of audio plays starring my favorite Doctor Who companion Charley Pollard in her own spin-off series. The Edwardian adventuress stowed away on the doomed airship R-101 only to be rescued by the Eighth Doctor. Her salvation was a paradox that threatened to destroy the universe, and almost allowed Rassilon to resurrect himself as a dictator over all of time and space.
Eventually, Charley grew tired of The Doctor's manipulations in people's lives, and tried to leave him. On one final adventure they each believed the other to have died, with Charley stranded on a deserted world far in the future. Of course The Doctor rescued her, except that it was the Sixth Doctor. Unwilling to be parted from him again, but terrified of telling him the future where she thought he would die, the two formed a warm but problematic partnership until they too would go their separate ways.
Her new series, debuting later this month, shows Charley and a new traveling companion trapped by the same race that she and the Sixth Doctor fought in their last outing "Blue Forgotten Planet". The Viyrans are a race known for creating some of the worst bioweapons in the universe, and Charley has chafed having to serve them. When she finds an opportunity to escape she takes it, and that's where her new series picks up.
It got me wondering, which other companions need a spin-off now?
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Kate Stewart Some days it's hard to believe that Nicholas Courtney is no longer with us. TheBrigadier seemed, well, more immortal than The Doctor himself. Thankfully, the new series has done admirably in keeping the Lethbridge-Stewart legacy alive in the form of the Brig's daughter Kate, now head of UNIT. Jemma Redgrave's performance was the highlight of the episode "Power of Three", and filled a hole in the hearts of Whovians who are still missing the more militant adventures that we saw in Torchwood
As has been pointed out many times before, The Doctor is not always around when he's needed, and if the success of Agents of Shield is any indication then the public is quite willing to embrace a superhero story that involves the rank and file as much as the main hero. Kate Stewart has shown in her brief appearances that she's more than capable of fighting the good fight against the hidden threats, and it would be nice to see more of her.
Sally Sparrow Though not a true companion in the most technical definition of the term, Sally Sparrow is still an unforgettable part of the Doctor Who universe. The intrepid, plucky amateur detective helped the Tenth Doctor get his Tardis back after he was stranded in the past by the Weeping Angels. She's one of the few non-main cast members who has been allowed to carry an episode mostly on her own, and Carey Mulligan was a joy to watch.
Like with Kate Stewart, there are all kinds of mysteries lurking about in modern day London and Sparrow has already proven that she can handle almost anything with very little help. There just seems to be a lot more to the character than was left said in "Blink". Let Moffat's Scooby Doo stand-in have a turn.
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Romana (Trey) Almost no companion has had a better run in the Big Finish audio stories than Romana, but the most interesting is not Lalla Ward. In the story "Luna Romana" Juliet Landau (Yes, Drusilla from Buffy) plays Trey, a future incarnation of the Time Lady who helps her two television predecessors.
The reason that I'm so keen on hearing more from this incarnation is not just because I would listen to Juliet Landau read stereo instructions. It's because it is heavily implied that Trey is the president of Gallifrey as it gears up to the Great Time War. Which means, a spin-off might show us how Rassilon returned from the Divergent Universe he tried to trap the Eighth Doctor and Charley in to once again resume rule over the Time Lords.
Or maybe we'll get the answer in that War Doctor novel that's coming out this summer. Regardless, Juliet Landau as a Time Lord is too good to let lie.
Heather McCrimmon Back when I was trying to figure out which companion counted as having served the longest, I neglected to mention comic companion Heather McCrimmon. The distant descendant of Jamie McCrimmon himself, Heather has the honor of appearing in more comic strip stories than any other companion of any era. She traveled with the Tenth Doctor in the long, bleak time after he removed Donna Noble's memory.
By the time the Tenth Doctor was dying and off on his "farewell" tour, Heather and her friend Wolfgang Ryter have become archeologists and freelance alien hunters. They are just about to be killed by a golem made of museum parts animated by alien bacteria when The Doctor appears with a weapon to vaporize it. Before Heather can speak to him, he waves to her and disappears in the Tardis, the last of his friends to see him before he went to make his final goodbye to Rose Tyler.
Heather was just a gift of a companion. She burned with her ancestor's courage and loyalty, but tempered that with a modern sense of justice and a willingness to be ruthless when it was necessary. If any single comic companion could absolutely fill her own pages outside the Tardis, it is Heather.
Ace If you count all media, it's very like that Ace has traveled with The Doctor more than any other single companion thanks to her status as incumbent assistant when the classic series ended in 1989 and the number of books, comics, and audio that were produced in the dark times that followed.
Yet, for all that's been said about Ace, her ultimate fate away from The Doctor has never been 100 percent established in canon. All we know for certain is that when the Seventh Doctor landed in San Francisco and was shot by gang members, Ace was not with him.
Had the classic series continued, Ace was to eventually leave The Doctor to study at the Time Lord Academy on Gallifrey. Russell T. Davies had intended Ace to join Sarah Jane Smith in her Adventures, but the death of Elizabeth Sladen prevented that from occurring in season three. Ace has been killed several times in several different medium, but as far as the audio stories are concerned she is still alive and well.
We need one definitive spin-off television or audio tale that firmly establishes how Ace left the Seventh Doctor, and what she made of her life afterwards. Now that the regeneration gap between Eight and Nine has been resolved, it's the last big puzzle piece missing in the mythos.
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