Since I've started reviewing the latest series of Doctor Who, I've gotten myself a little flak for my eagerness when it comes to the end of Rory and Amy's run as regular companions of the Eleventh Doctor. I thought this would be a good time to clarify that I don't hate either one of them. I don't hate any of the modern companions save for Adam Mitchell. Then again, you're supposed to hate him so it barely counts.
Still, for me Rory, and especially Amy, rank pretty far down the list as modern companions go. Amy suffers from being pretty crazed and, I would argue, is the weakest of the main female companions. Rory, by contrast, is a much stronger character that borders on being more badass than the Doctor himself on occasion, but his writing is very inconsistent. Frankly, it's more than time for them, and this whole Drop-Dead-Fred-growing-out-of-your-imaginary-friend theme, to end.
Still, let's see how they compare with the others the Doctor has traveled with since 2005.
10. John Riddell: Of the latest series, the stand-out one-shot appearance has been big game hunter John Riddell, who the Doctor recruited to aid him in taking on dinosaurs on a spaceship. Though he's a barely disguised caricature of Jurassic Park's Robert Muldoon, he still gives the episode some of the best moments with his swagger, drinking and gunmanship. Hopefully he'll be the Eleventh Doctor's Captain Jack, on hand for when military skill is needed then fading back to his own adventures.
9. Rory Williams: I said he ranked low, not off the list. Watching him calmly stride into the Cybermen Twelfth Legion wielding nothing but a gladius and the sonic screwdriver is a tough act to follow, and the Doctor only barely manages it. It makes up for a lot of second-rate appearances such as Amy's Choice and The Time of Angels.
8. Mickey Smith: Though Mickey started out cowardly and unreliable, by the time we last see him, he is a confident, professional man utterly at home in any situation. Of all the companions, he grows the most over the course of his association with the Doctor. He even gets to marry...
7. Martha Jones: Definitely the most capable of the modern companions, Martha brought an iron will, endless compassion and medical skill to bear in the Doctor's adventures. If you ever have a chance to pick up the novel The Story of Martha, you definitely should. During the year when the Master controls the Earth, it's she who moves across the globe telling stories about the Doctor to inspire his return and the Master's defeat. Ultimately, her unrequited love for the Doctor was her only weakness as a companion, but she still fought by his side with the best.
6. Wilfred Mott: Donna Noble's grandfather was one of the Doctor's biggest fans, and fully supported his granddaughter's desire to travel with him in a way that no other parent in the modern series had. He looked upon the Tenth Doctor as a surrogate son, despite being almost a millennium younger, and his speech to the Doctor in The End of Time encouraging him to take his service revolver to protect himself is among the best writing of the entire show, modern or classic.
5. Captain Jack Harkness: The time-traveling, omnisexual, immortal con man was criminally underused as a companion, but got plenty of his own adventures in Torchwood. His experience balanced the youth of the Doctor's younger human friends, while his swashbuckling, devil-may-care attitude contrasted nicely with the often grim outlook of the ninth Doctor and occasional cold rage of the Tenth. He had the best rapport across multiple Doctors, bested only by...
4. Rose Tyler: Let's be clear. Though Christopher Eccleston's Ninth Doctor is my favorite of all the 11, it was Billie Piper's Rose Tyler that really got the modern series going. It was her character that turned Nine from the scarred, probably PTSD-suffering loner into a man that could re-embrace his destiny as Earth's protector. As her relationship with the Tenth Doctor grew, we got to watch him fall in love not only with her, but all of humanity.
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3. River Song: I was originally going to leave River out of this due to the fact her very existence makes canonicity scream like it stepped on a LEGO in the dark. In the end, I couldn't do it. Her appearances usually herald a headache, but she's also responsible for the single greatest line in the modern series.
Nazi: What do you think you're doing here?
River: Well, I was on my way to a gay, gypsy bah mitzvah for the disabled when I suddenly thought, "Gosh! The Third Reich's a bit rubbish. I think I'll kill the fuehrer."
2. Jackson Lake: It's been argued that the Tenth Doctor was actually Jackson Lake's companion, not the other way around. Lake believed himself to be the Doctor after a Cyberman infostamp backfired and imprinted him with the memories of the legendary Time Lord. What rose from the incident was a brave man that singlehandedly waged a war against the Cybermen until the real Doctor arrived. It's still my hope that somehow, when Smith finishes his run, he will regenerate into David Morrissey.
1. Donna Noble: When it came to a true partner, no one balanced the Doctor more perfectly than über-temp Donna Noble. Her all-too-brief one series was a welcome break from the constant romantic tensions that had dominated the last two series and would return somewhat in the fifth. She was the Tenth Doctor's best friend, most reliable helper and the one he clearly had the hardest time letting go of.