So I watched this year’s Doctor Who Christmas Special-The Snowmen.
I knew it would be atrocious as usual but I was curious about how they would handle introducing the new companion-Clara or Oswin Oswald or Clara Oswin Oswald.
Needless to say, there was only a minuscule amount of information revealed about her in that episode but at first glance she seems pretty typical of the Doctor’s companions.. She’s pretty, smart enough, and more energetic than previous companions we’ve seen but seems like a very..boring choice, I didn’t really care when she fell off a roof and almost died…I guest she’s enough to fulfill the role of the person asking questions on the audience’s behalf. But does this mean she’s a good choice of companion? Not in my opinion.
The role of the companion is really important, to me at least. The companion gives the audience a character to empathise with and give a science fiction story a human angle; it’s really important that the writers pick someone who can deliver this. Clara/Oswin seemed like a very middle class, twenty something year old with nothing interesting about her apart from “she’s clever”. This is not someone I can easily like…I can’t empathise with bland.
This bland new companion got me thinking about all the unusual companions that would have made great companions but never were. The ones like: Brian Williams (Rory William’s dad), Wilfred Mott (Donna Noble’s Grandfather) or even Jackie Tyler (Rose Tyler’s mum)? These guys wouldn’t have been another generic pretty faced assistant that the writers insist in using as a casting screen..
Donna Noble was one of my favourite companions because we could empathise with her, she didn’t have a crush on the Doctor and wasn’t afraid to shout the Doctor down when he was being silly. She was so human which was what her made a great assistant.
I also thought about other companion possibilities I’d love to see a companion who has a different ethnic background and see what this could bring to the narrative. It would be good to perhaps see a British Born Chinese companion who has had a different upbringing and see how the culture she was bought up in affects her actions. As a twenty something British Born Chinese person, I would love to see this but I would also be really interested in seeing a Muslim companion.
One of the reasons why I liked Rose Tyler was because she was essentially ‘a chav’. She was bought up on the council estate and enjoyed eating chips at the local chippy. She was believable. It made Doctor Who a more magical experience to watch because she was just a normal girl who was whisked off to travel through space and time in a blue police box.
Doctor Who is one of those very British shows that we Brits adore. We’re lucky enough to have a huge diversity of ethnicity in Britain and I think shows like Doctor Who (made by the British and for the British public) need to start reflecting this through it’s choices of companions. Britain isn’t just full of bland white middle class people like Oswin Oswald. It has only been two episodes, but poor choice of companion so far guys.
Who’s your favourite Dr Who companion and why? What other companions would you like to see?