I love that Walt built all of this with stories of a middle class couple, Mickey and Minnie. They aren’t royal, they aren’t rich, they just work hard and love each other. I can not think of a more romantic notion to build a company around.
Relatability. Let’s talk about that word. That’s always what comes up about Moffat, right? His companions aren’t relatable. Well, I mean, assuming we’re not going with the obvious “everyone is different and doesn’t identify with the same characters” answer, since no one has listened to that ever, let’s go over this.
What makes Davies companions relatable? They have bad relationships with their families. Rose is working class. Mickey is too, and feels expendable. Jack and Martha are both in love with someone who doesn’t love them back. Donna has a hard home life, she doesn’t care for her job, and her self-esteem is in the tank.
Guess what? I don’t have anything in common with any of those people, based on those characters. I’m a student, middle class. I’m deeply in love with someone who loves me back. I love my family and they treat me well. I’m happy. I’m comfortable with my life. I am not Rose Tyler. I am not Martha Jones. I am not Donna Noble.
I am Amy Pond, who feels alone in the whole universe. I am Amy, who struggles with thinking she’s crazy, who is depressed and anxious and terrified of loss. I am Amy, (relatively) comfortable with my body. I am Amy, a writer. I am Amy, scared that something in me is broken and that I will never get it back. I am Amy, who will never let marriage and children stand in the way of being amazing. I am Amy, worried that there is a story being told about me that I can never live up to.
I am River Song, who has the whole universe at her fingertips. I am River, bisexual and monogamous and flirtatious. I am River, and no man will ever tell me what to do. I am River, curious and adventurous. I am River, who wants to see the world. I am River, who loves history. I am River, who wants to tell Ten to shut the hell up. I am River, who has suffered and does not let that define her. I am River, and would also totally kiss Cleopatra. I want to be River, hell in high heels but oh, so very kind.
I am Rory Williams, a normal guy. I am Rory, who has worried that they love someone far more than they are loved in return– but knowing it is such a privilege to love them that I can’t really mind. I am Rory, who just wants to help people. I am Rory, who looks at the small wonders of the universe as much as a sky full of stars. I am Rory, who loves seeing things but would just like to sit down for a moment, you go on without me, no I’m fine. I am Rory, loyal to the people who love me. I am Rory, nor a fairytale, not a mystery, not an anything, just a person.
I am Clara Oswald, who wants to want normalcy more than she actually does. I am Clara, because I want to grow up to be a teacher. I am Clara, hot-headed and able and willing to hold a grudge as long as necessary. I am Clara, with amazing fashion sense. I am Clara, who fears above all living a life of wasted opportunity. I am Clara, and I hope when I am old I can look back on a life of thousands of regrets and still be happy with how things went. I am Clara, possessively loving. I am Clara, also bisexual (fight me). I am Clara, not really sure whether to be an active participant in the world or an observer but God, so curious, so engaged. I am Clara, trying to maintain control in a universe that trends towards chaos.
I’m sure someone will point out to me, hey, some of those things are contradictory. Sure. I’m not the same person I was yesterday and I’m not the person I’ll be tomorrow. Hell, I’m not even the same person I was ten minutes ago. You can’t step in the same river twice. I’m sure I’ll also hear “but Rose is much more than a shop girl! Martha is much more than a woman in love!” I know. I know that. But Amy is much more than a model, than the Girl Who Waited. Clara is so, so much more than the Impossible Girl. River is Hell in High Heels, the woman who killed the Doctor, but she’s also the woman who saved the Doctor, she’s a professor and a PhD and amazing and kind all on her own without any man.
It’s not about professions or partners or parents. It’s about heart. It’s about spirit. It’s about what people want in their deepest hearts, and yes, that’s going to be different for everyone– the Second Doctor’s three main companions were an 18th century Scottish highlander fighting a rebellion, a Victorian lady whose father was killed by Daleks, and a genius physicist from the future. Am I any of those things? Female, I suppose. Not a lot else. But Jamie is protective and loving, and Victoria is so very brave, and Zoe is smart, and I identify with those traits, something more than the superficial. Steven Moffat knows who I am. That means a lot to me.