I’m training to be a doctor. Not an alien doctor, a proper doctor. A doctor of medicine. Well that certainly is nonsense. Women might train to be doctors, but hardly a skivvy and hardly one of your colour. Oh, do you think? Bones of the hand. Carpal bones, proximal row. Scaphoid, lunate, triquetal, pisiform. Distal row. Trapezium, trapezoid, capitate, hamate. Then the metacarpal bones extending in three distinct phalanges. Proximal, middle, distal.
What Hogwarts houses would you sort The New Who Doctors and companions?
Oooh, that’s an interesting question. It’s a challenge, really, because to me, Hogwarts houses are often such a reductive thing, but within the actual Harry Potter series, in my opinion, they tend to be a lot richer and more interesting, so I feel like I chafe against certain fandom approaches. But let’s give it a go.
Ninth Doctor: Gryffindor. To me, Gryffindor, more than anything, is a need to stand up for something. Not just to be brave or cocky, anyone can do that. But to deeply grow to put onesself on the line to stand up for something, that’s what it comes down to. And that’s what Nine’s arc comes down to. He’s finding the idealist in himself again, with Rose’s help, that he would die to be, even if it meant the Daleks won. That, to me, is really quite brave.
Tenth Doctor: Ooh, it’s so easy to say Gryffindor, isn’t it? He’s the Doctor of big speeches and bold statements and such. All that fire and ice and rage feels like the most obvious example. But I’m not sure if I believe it. I think he might be more Hufflepuff than he seems. He connects a lot with people, that’s his power. When stripped of it, like in Midnight, he’s nothing. His loyalty is a big thing. He and Rose became massively codependant, for example. And that farewell tour, God. He visits everyone. Literally, everyone. That girl a guy he created using his form fell in love with. Jo Grant. Jago and Litefoot. Everybody. I tend to view regeneration stories as the purest encapsulation of an incarnation, and his makes quite the statement.
Eleventh Doctor: Slytherin, through and through. The sweetest, most well-meaning Slytherin ever, he’s brave and lovely and charming and clever and protective of his friends. But he’s a cunning one, in the way the Seventh Doctor was cunning. He keeps secrets because he thinks he knows best, and plays long games with his own universe-wide persona, and in general tries to be one step ahead of everything, even when there’s no actual mystery to solve, to the detriment of his relationships. He’s absolutely wonderful. And brave, all those years fighting to protect children, for example. But all along, he does it for his secrets and does it with a tiny bit of trickstery flourish.
Twelfth Doctor: Gryffindor. I can’t see anything else. Once I might have, his pragmatism seemed very Slytherin cunning. But over his growth, he’s proved so much more than that. I mentioned before how I think Gryffindor is more than anything a willingness to stand up for something, and he proves that. He’s pragmatic enough to know ideals alone can’t save the day, but good enough that he wouldn’t have it any other way.
Rose Tyler: Gotta say Hufflepuff, I think. Not that she is always loyal: she can be remarkably, and I believe Russell T Davies once said, beautifully, selfish. And she isn’t always there for the people she loves, like Jackie’s big speech about how she’s becoming less human. But it’s often out of her love that she fights for that, particularly for the Doctor. The whole relationship between her and Ten is just, overall, the ultimate codependency. She latches onto that, becomes infinitely loyal to that way of living and being he exemplifies. She isn’t quite a leader, but give her a Doctor and she will become the posterchild for everything he represents, all out of love. I think that’s a pretty powerful loyalty.
Martha Jones: Gryffindor. She’s clever, don’t get me wrong. But her whole arc is finding her own bravery. Both to do the great big fights, like against the Master, and to tell the guy she can’t help but fall for that he’s just not worth her pain. That is all so, so brave. She’s a quiet character, but her moments of strength are always when she speaks out and takes a stand.
Donna Noble: Oddly, I think she’s the toughest of all for me to place. She can shout the whole world down, but the quiet, working world depression and disillusionment are really the driving core of her character, I think. And that’s a contrast to the normal modern Doctor Who arc. Usually, the characters start in a messy place and find an identity, but Donna’s is a story of disillusionment with a bitterly ironic final note. It’s powerful, but also hard to fit into the more idealistic and self-actualizing Hogwarts sorting system. If pushed, I might say Gryffindor, given how brave she has to be to take a stand when stripped of everything, like in Turn Left. But I’m not sure I entirely feel it.
Amy Pond: Gryffindor and I accept no substitutes. She’s a hurt, abused girl fighting to be loved and to be heard. And when she feels like something might go wrong, she takes it on herself rather than work it out with other people. She tries to sacrifice herself even when it isn’t necessary, such as in trying to divorce Rory just so he could live the life she mistakenly thought he needed more. She is so, so humanly brave and humanly fixated on saving people in her own way. I think she’s Gryffindor at its most flawed and vibrant.
Rory Williams: Since he gets companion credit, I’ll go for him. He’s a Hufflepuff. He just is. 2000 years, I mean, come on.
Clara Oswald: In a comic, Twelve corrected his past self and called her a Slytherin. He’s right. She is. A beautiful, brave, wonderful Slytherin who aspires to be the best hero possible, but also can’t help weaving a complicated web of stories and cunning even when it traps her up.
Bill Potts: Ravenclaw. Pretty straightforwardly, she aspires to be an information sponge and then to share that with other people. That’s her whole arc. Learning all she can from the Doctor, and then sharing it with Heather. She’s a student, all in all. The only obstacle she ever had there was merely socioeconomic.
“It was beautiful. They used to call it the Shining World of the Seven Systems. And on the Continent of Wild Endeavour, in the Mountains of Solace and Solitude, there stood the Citadel of the Time Lords, the oldest and most mighty race in the universe, looking down on the galaxies below. Sworn never to interfere, only to watch.“
Tell her that she’ll go to sea and fight pirates. She’ll fall in love with a man who will wait two thousand years to keep her safe. Tell her that she’ll give hope to the greatest painter that ever lived and save a whale in outer space. Tell her that this is the story of Amelia Pond, and this is how it ends.
“It was a better life. And I don’t mean all the travelling and seeing aliens and spaceships and things. That don’t matter. The Doctor showed me a better way of living your life. That you don’t just give up. You don’t just let things happen. You make a stand. You say no. You have
the guts to do what’s right when everyone else just runs away.”
“I just know I’m running. Sometimes it’s like I’ve lived a thousand lives in a thousand places. I’m born, I live, I die. And always, there’s the Doctor. Always I’m running to save the Doctor again and again and again. Oi! And he hardly ever hears me. But I’ve always been there.”