I have to be honest with you... I'm not loving Clara Oswald as a companion. At all. This pains me to admit because I was freakin' in love with her in "Asylum of the Daleks" and "The Snowmen." She was wonderful, bright, spunky, and everything we needed, but the "real" version of her from 21st century London just lacks that energy.
Part of this is the fact that they've made her very existence a plot point, which means that she's useless as a POV character. It throws the whole dynamic off as that is the very essence of the companion's purpose, to be an anchor for the viewer in The Doctor's amazing world. Without that we are left to try and see things from the point of view of a 1,100-year-old Time Lord that we'll never fully trust or understand. It's like being a figure from one of the books of the Bible where God is being an asshole.
With three episodes left in the season and the 50th anniversary later this year it looks like we're stuck with her for a while, and it's left me daydreaming about people I've seen on television that I'd rather be watching gallivant around with The Doctor. Here's the best five, and my apologies for the all-American list.
Tina Cohen-Chang (Glee): Right about the time Glee premiered I suffered a debilitating head injury, which I hope explains why I didn't miss an episode those first two seasons before I realized that noise I heard was all the CDs in my closet screaming. Nonetheless, I always dug Tina's perky goth style and ability to be both snippy and supportive. Having re-watched a few clips of her in researching this article I find her positivity and exasperation exactly what's missing from Clara these days. Plus, it would be nice to see an Asian companion.
Audrey Horne (Twin Peaks): Granted, this may have more to do with my never-ending crush on Sherilyn Finn than anything else, but Audrey Horne was always willing to go to any ends in order to help her personal hero Dale Cooper. She was fearless and possessed of a good heart, but was prone to little wicked fits of spite that made her both a chore and a treasure. Though I'd be loathe to watch another crush on The Doctor play out, once that was out of the way you know watching her try her tricks against his enemies would be a scream.
Xander Harris (Buffy the Vampire Slayer): If there's anything really missing from the modern series and Doctor Who as a whole it's a good male companion to serve as a bro for The Doctor. He needs someone like Jamie McCrimmon from The Second Doctor's time, a dependable sort, not especially bright, but capable and willing to wade in. No one fits that bill better than the Scooby Gang's personal Zeppo. Throughout seven seasons he lacked super strength, magic, lycanthropy, or anything else that made Buffy's team a match for the denizens of the Hellmouth, but he held his own and survived while never letting an opportunity for a good geeky quip to go by.
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Phoebe Buffay (Friends): Fans of Friends know that Phoebe was constantly telling outlandish stories of her troubled youth, and she always seemed to be having even more strange adventures off-screen. Though we certainly don't need anymore non-sequitur randomness on the Tardis at this time, her kindness to the oppressed and fierce temper when threatened would more than make up for it. She's certainly the only character on television you could be certain would not even blink when she walked into a phone box and found it bigger on the inside. She'd just look for a place to set her guitar and get on with it.
Karen Walker (Will & Grace): Now, if there is anyone on TV I am convinced has actually been in the Tardis it's Karen Walker. Throughout the run of Will & Grace she dropped numerous hints of having been alive in impossible time periods like the Great Depression, as well as a alluding to famous people and places she couldn't possibly have known. Either she's a vampire, or at some point she ran away with a madman in a blue box who managed to scramble her brain a bit much upon returning her to New York. It's literally the only possible explanation for her character's behavior.