martha's quest

As she turned the pages and the lines of print came gently up through her eyes to her brain, without assault, what she gained was a feeling of warmth, of security; for here were ideas which she had been defending guiltily for years, used as the merest commonplaces. She was at home, she was one of a brotherhood.
—  Doris Lessing (Martha Quest)

Can we talk about how Dr Martha Jones went up against the Master and the Toclafane with only the help of (mostly non-time traveling, probably formerly civilian) humans? She tricked the Master, completely, while her family and her friends were being held by him. I think, during her quest, Martha was one of the loneliest companions. She spent a year with no permanent companions walking through the wasteland of her planet. I think Jack is really the only one who was ever that alone (being stuck in the wrong time and immortal).

Why do people give Martha shit after that? She saved the fucking world when the Doctor couldn’t. She tricked a Timelord! And she was her own person in a way a lot of the other companions aren’t. She knew what she wanted when she met the Doctor, and she followed that. Her dreams shifted a little, working with UNIT and Torchwood instead of an ordinary hospital, but she became a Doctor just like she wanted and she was a total badass while doing it.

She read as if this were a process discovered by herself; as if there had never been a guide to it. She read like a bird collecting twigs for a nest. She picked up each new book, using the author’s name as a sanction, as if the book were something separate and self-contained, a world in itself.
—  Doris Lessing (Martha Quest)