The internet lit up a couple days ago when pictures of The Doctor and his new companion showed up online. People oohed over his natty new threads. People aahed at how adorbs Jenna-Louise Coleman continues to be. Some people told the other people that the term "adorbs" makes them sound like slapdick assholes. Those people responded with requests to "totes fuck yourselves," but common ground was eventually reached when people on both sides of of the slangtinental divide agreed that no matter how much of a mon-chi-chi this Selena Gomez lookalike might be, she has to be a better companion than Rose Tyler.
Which of course, got me to thinking. "Huh," I thought, "I'm certain that somewhere on the internet, someone has actually compiled a list of the 10 best companions the Doctor has had since Russell T. Davies helped bring the old man back to prominence in 2005. I'm almost doubly certain that those lists are wrong, because I didn't write them."
10) Martha Jones
It's not that her main characteristic was "useless pining," it's that I can't remember a single thing she did besides moon over the Doctor and pout about his relationship with Rose. I just sat here for five straight minutes trying to remember anything of worth, and I remembered that she carried a big ass gun once, but I think that was in Torchwood, not Doctor Who, and then I realized I'd just wasted five minutes thinking about Martha Jones, and I got mad at myself.
9) Astrid Peth
Gets the nod over Martha, despite being a one-off, because she at least did something, which was sacrificing her own life to save The Doctor's. Voyage of the Damned shouldn't have worked. But it did, in no small part due to Kylie Minogue's performance. I can't think of a single episode of Doctor Who that ever worked because of Martha Jones, so there you go: Astrid Peth at number nine.
8) Rose Tyler
She wasn't a bad companion. She just unfortunately became the means by which Russell T. Davies would frequently indulge some of his worst, hypersentimental, cloying tendencies. Many judge her the worst, but I think that's a little unfair; While Rose with the Tenth Doctor seemed less a character and more an instrument made of concentrated saccharine and tears, Rose with the Ninth was fun as hell, and when Eccleston looked at her, grinned and told her "Rose Tyler. You were fantastic," you believed him.
7) Mickey Smith
Mickey gets the nod over Rose because Mickey put up with all of her shit and somehow never descended into a murderous rage. Plus he proved to be a pretty fun foil for the Doctor in his own right. Sometimes the Doctor needs a punching bag, and Noel Clarke taking a shot or two right in the pride is always entertaining.
6) Craig Owens
The father of Stormageddon only has two episodes of companioning to his credit, but he provides enough charm and goodwill in those two episodes to vault into sixth place. Of all the characters Moffat has written in his run, Craig might be the most genuinely good as a person. His dynamic with the Doctor is so unique compared to the other companions, their interactions so rewarding, that many people were pulling for Craig to get the nod as the new full-time companion. Except to do so, he'd have to either a) abandon his family like that asshole Richard Dreyfuss in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, or b) take his family, including little Stormageddon, into a interstellar Police Box wherein they will be introduced to all manner of death, destruction, horror, and despair.
5) Amy Pond
The Girl Who Waited was once vying for the top spot on this list. She didn't take the Doctor's crap, she watched for the blind spots the Doctor never checked, and spent much of her time on the TARDIS as the Doctor's equal. Not love interest, not object of condescension; equal. So why does she stall out at #5? Because as her tenure went on, she became kind of a mean-spirited, selfish dick, specifically towards...
4) Rory Williams
The Boy Who Waited, and Mr. Amy Pond. Essentially, he is all of the positives of Amy Pond, made into a completely separate person, except less selfish and capricious. He's not as smart, he's not as quick, but the loyalty Rory displays is honestly affecting, the moments he is given do not feel forced or falsified in the ways that tripped up Rose or Amy. Mrs. Pond may have been the only person in the world special enough to recreate the universe, but Rory is the person she did it for.
3) Jack Harkness
Come on. I don't even have to say a fuckin word. Look at that beautiful, omnisexual Han Solo. Unf.
2) Wilfred Mott
I know, he's only really a companion for one episode. I know he also, technically, causes the Doctor's death. Being that he's a one-off who puts into motion one of the most melodramatically tortured, plodding endings the series has ever seen, how the hell do I justify Wilf going in at #2?
That's how. Which brings us to the best companion the Doctor's ever had, maybe even the best companion, period:
1) Donna Noble
Such a good character that many episodes consisted of me yelling at the screen for the Doctor to shut up so Donna could fix things. I'm not sure there's ever been a companion who was the Doctor's equal in almost every way, who commanded just as much attention onscreen as he did. Her series may not be the best overall since 2005, but when it was great (and it often was) it was largely because she was great in it.