amy-and-river

4

Honestly? There’s not a companion I don’t see Bill getting along well with.

  • She and Rose would be good, supportive friends, swapping stories about their families and lives and probably hanging out together in their pjs eating ice cream.
  • Bill would really respect Martha, and Martha would be only too happy to explain the science of things to Bill. They would geek out about scifi and Harry Potter together. When the reality of all the deaths she’s witnessed got too much for Bill, she could depend on Martha to listen and understand, since she too knows the cost of traveling with the Doctor.
  • Donna would immediately adopt Bill as her younger sister and the two of them would make the Doctor’s life hell, being constantly sarcastic to him and to each other.
  • Once Jack realized that Bill was gay, they would probably do the thing where they flirt in a ridiculously over-the-top, not at all serious way all the time. They would laugh a lot together and make jokes about straight people.
  • Amy’s never really had a girl friend before, so Bill could be Amy’s first real introduction to sleepovers and going to the pub with friends and all those normal things that Amy is so separated from, and in return, Amy would tell Bill all the stories that she has in her head, the ones she remembers as well as the ones she’s making up.
  • Bill and Rory both have the ability to see situations clearly and not get overwhelmed by the glamour of it, so they would probably really appreciate having someone else who’s straightforward and who just gets it.
  • Bill and Clara would definitely have not-so-subtle crushes on each other. Their dynamic would be all about flirty banter while saving the world.
  • I think River would tend towards a more maternal or professorial role. Bill would be kind of weirded out by the fact that the Doctor has a wife at first, but once she got over that, she would think River was super awesome, and River would be absolutely impressed by Bill’s humor and wit.
8

every series of doctor who [6/9] →  series six

Those reports of the sun spots and the solar flares. They’re wrong. They’re aren’t any. It’s not the sun. It’s you. The sky is full of a million million voices, saying, “Yes of course. We’ll help.” You’ve touched so many lives, saved so many people. Did you think when your time came you’d really have to do more than just ask? You’ve decided that the universe is better off without you. But the universe doesn’t agree.

On the Companions, and How to Define Them

In my psychology class last year, we learned about an experiment that examined individualistic vs. collectivistic cultures, and I think it works as an apt analogy for how Davies and Moffat approach companions.

This experiment compared American and Japanese students. It asked them to describe themselves, first objectively and then how they saw themselves around different people. The Japanese students were puzzled by the first task, while Americans had a harder time with the second, the implication being that those from societies that prize individuality see themselves separate from the people around them, while those from cultures that value working together and harmony will view themselves in relation to the people around them. To reiterate: this is exactly what is happening in Moffat and Davies Who.

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Different reactions to fictional couples

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Really don’t care


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OTP

Clara: The Golden Companion

One piece of criticism I often see levelled at Clara Oswald is that she was too powerful, too influential, too much a “spotlight-stealing squad” (to use a term from TVtropes.org which has a small write-up devoted to this). And I’ve seen some people outright ask why Clara got all the attention, while Amy, Rose, River, Martha, Donna, etc. didn’t.

Well, first off, that’s nonsense. As Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat have continually said since 2005, the companion is the co-lead in the modern era of Who, and the show is usually told from the point of view of the companion. Not too far removed from An Unearthly Child back in 1963 which was almost totally from the perspective of Barbara and Ian. You want a case of a show being taken back to its roots, you can’t go further back than Episode One. And during their time, all the modern companions have been in the spotlight. We’re going to see it happen again in a few weeks with Bill. Companions in Doctor Who are by their nature “spotlight-stealing squads”, at least the ongoing ones. The only way around that would be a season of nothing but “Heaven Sents” (which is not necessarily the paradise one would imagine) or the Doctor having a different companion every story which is what they’ve been trying to do with Twelve in the comics after dropping Clara, with very mixed results. And I personally find the novels in which the Doctor (any Doctor) has an adventure without a regular, established companion less appealing than those that do.

But there is another reason that I consistently see missed as to why Clara Oswald, specifically, was as influential as she was. 

Clara Oswald was the Golden Companion. That is, she was the companion created to accompany the Doctor for the golden anniversary of Doctor Who. 50 years of Romanas, Sarah Janes, Adrics, Leelas, Ians, Tegans, Roses, Marthas, Donnas, Amys … all those who came before, were in some measure distilled into a companion that represented a half century of the “best of the best” who travelled with the Doctor.

In “The Name of the Doctor” we see Clara echoed throughout the Doctor’s entire existence. In “The Day of the Doctor”, after The Moment fails to convince the Doctor not to push the button, Clara makes the Doctor choose an alternative. In “The Time of the Doctor”, Clara convinces the Time Lords to give the Doctor more regenerations (so that means every Doctor from Capaldi on out will exist because of Clara). In “Listen”, she gives the Doctor his inspiration as a young child. Ultimately, she leaves the series in “Hell Bent” as “a” Doctor in all but name. Which is perfectly fitting and a culmination of an amazing character arc that I know will be reevaluated positively by many in the years to come.

Is that a lot for a single companion to accomplish? Maybe. But then how many 50th anniversary companions are we likely to ever see?