A male companion?
WARNING: Massive spoilers for the latest episode of Doctor Who, Face the Raven. If you haven’t seen this episode, please do not read! And if you do, please don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Acknowledgement: Thanks to the Companion Page on the TARDIS Data Core website for some useful information in compiling this post
Last week’s Doctor Who episode has left a question on every Whovian’s lips. Granted, it’s one that’s been there ever since Jenna Coleman announced that she was going to be leaving, but now that it has made its way into canon, it seems everyone is actually beginning to ask it: who is going to be the Doctor’s next companion?
It was certainly a question that the newspaper The Metro was asking mere hours after we saw Clara fall to the ground. They released an article on their website with a list of possible candidates for the next companion. The only problem I had with this list was that every single entry was a woman.
There are a lot of issues which have been raised with the casting choices of Doctor Who companions. They are usually centred on the idea that most of the companions are women while the Doctor – despite it being canon that Time Lords can change sex during the process of regeneration – remains a man. While it would be nice to see a female Doctor, that is not what I want talk about. I do not wish to talk about why the female protagonist has to be the companion rather than the Doctor. I wish to talk about why the companion has to be female.
There have been numerous male companions over the years. Indeed, the very first TARDIS line up had an even male:female ratio. What I think Doctor Who is lacking, however, is the Doctor travelling exclusively with a male companion for any extended period of time.
This has happened a few times in Classic Who. The First Doctor traveled with Steven Taylor and no other companion for a while, and the Fifth Doctor traveled with Turlough alone for a while (although he wasn’t human).
In NewWho, however, this has never happened. None of the Doctors from Nine to Twelve have ever traveled with just a male companion, with one exception. In the gap between The Almost People and A Good Man Goes to War, the Doctor traveled alone with Rory while Amy was being kept on Demons Run. However, I do not count this, as we did not see any individual televised adventures with just Rory. As far as we are concerned as viewers, the Doctor still had two companions during this time.
For the next companion, I would really like to see a male companion traveling with the Doctor on his own. As it stands, all male NewWho companions have been accompanied by a female companion. That dynamic is beginning to bore me. Whether or not this will happen, I think that a sole male companion aboard the TARDIS will be a refreshing change to the show.