Doctor Who’s Companions – The Definitive Guide (Part 2)


Jamie McCrimmon

Played by Frazer Hines

Species: Human

Era: Earth, 1746 (specifically Scotland)

Doctor: Second, and teaming up with the Second and Sixth later in the series.

First Appearance:  The Highlanders (Season 4) – Jamie is a piper in the Scottish army, serving in the Battle of Culloden. He assists the Doctor in his adventure when he visits the era and Polly suggests that he join them in the TARDIS before they leave. 

Profile: Jamie may have been naive in the ways of science and the universe due to the era from- which he hails, but his bold and adventurous nature meant he never hesitated before exploring new worlds. He always had an easy banter with the Doctor, with his young and brash personality being a perfect compliment to the Doctor’s older, more wily tone. With Polly, Zoe and Victoria joining him and the Doctor, Jamie’s traditional upbringing sees him act gentlemanly and protective of the women. Jamie may not understand the situations that he finds himself in but pushing through regardless, usually with his battle cry of “Creag an tuire!”

Final Appearance: The War Games (end of Season 6) – when the Doctor is put on trail and forcibly regenerated for having stolen the TARDIS, Jamie is returned to his time with the memory of his travels erased from his memory. He would make another appearance in The Two Doctors (Season 22).

Victoria Waterfield

Played by Deborah Watling

Species: Human

Era: Earth, 1866

Doctor: Second

First Appearance: The Evil of the Daleks (Season 4 finale). Victoria is the daughter of scientist Edward Waterfield, who was dabbling in time travel. This attracted the attention of the Daleks and the Doctor followed soon after. When Edward is killed saving the Doctor from the Daleks he asks Doctor to look after Victoria.

Profile: Victoria, like Jamie, is a product of her era. Whilst Jamie is brash and fearless Victoria was quite delicate and timid. Her response to foes like Daleks, Cybermen and Yetis is to freeze up and/or scream. Although young and cautious she would show her strength when backed into a corner, and had a good instinct for people. Jamie was especially protective of Victoria, responding to her fragile nature, and he was heartbroken to see her leave them.

Final Appearance: Victoria elected to leave the TARDIS at the end of Fury From the Deep (Season 5) and settles in the 20th century.

Zoe Heriot

Played by Wendy Padbury

Species: Human

Era: Earth, 21st Century

Doctor: Second

First Appearance: The Wheel in Space (Season 5). Although Zoe’s home planet is Earth the Doctor first meets her on board the Space Station W3 where she worked a as librarian. After helping the Doctor and Jamie fighting off Cybermen she stowed away on the TARDIS looking to view the universe.

Profile: She’s very young (roughly 15) and a little naive when she boards the TARDIS. She holds a degree in pure mathematics, is an expert in astrophysics, a photographic memory and has a level of intelligence on par with the Doctor. Finding that the controlled and sterile environment that she lived in stifling she leapt at the chance to embark on an adventure with the Doctor and expand her horizons. Although she could perform complex calculations in her head and even help the Doctor do work on the TARDIS her lack of world experience could sometimes land her in trouble.

Final Appearance: The War Games (Season 6). Along with Jamie, Zoe is alongside the Doctor when he is put on trail. She has her memory erased and is returned to her life as a librarian on Space Station W3.

Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart

Played by Nicholas Courtney

Species: Human

Era: Earth, 20th Century

Doctor: Originally worked with the Second Doctor, but later meets the Third and witnessed the regeneration into the Fourth. Also met the Fifth, Sixth and Seventh.

First Appearance: The Web of Fear (Season) 5. When a group of alien Yeti’s attack London the Doctor Lethbridge-Stewart, then a Colonel, steps up to fight with the Doctor. He never takes flight in the TARDIS but remains on Earth and becomes the head of UNIT.

Profile: After the second regeneration of the Doctor leaves the time traveller stranded on Earth he spends his time working alongside UNIT. Lethbridge-Stewart has been promoted to Brigadier and heads up the organisation. He manages the research, investigation and military branches of UNIT with the Doctor operating as the expert in extraterrestrial happenings. He often finds himself befuddled by the Time Lords unusual mannerisms and habit of talking in riddles, although it seems as though the Doctor takes some enjoyment in leaving the Brig confused. Every now and then the Brig would try and pull rank on the Doctor and the Time Lord would go along, mostly out of respect for his friend.

Final Appearance: Although the Brigadier stopped his regular appearance during Season 12, he continued to pop in and out right up until Season 26 in the episode Battlefield. During his time away from the Doctor he continued his role as the commander of UNIT.

Liz Shaw

Played by Caroline John

Species: Human

Era: 20th Century Earth

Doctor: Third

First Appearance: Spearhead From Space (Opening episode  Season 7). Liz is introduced to the Doctor by the Brig to work as his assistant.

Profile: Liz is a new member of UNIT, drafted straight out of Cambridge to act as a scientific advisor. She holds degrees in medicine, psychics and is an expert in meteorites. Although she was an immensely qualified scientist she found that her skills and knowledge was limited when compared to the Doctor. She didn’t have much faith in UNIT or the Doctor until she helped him save the world from the Autons shortly after his regeneration into the Third Doctor.

Final Appearance: With the beginning of Season 8 the Brig announces that Liz Shaw had returned to Cambridge, finding that her extensive scientific background was only being used to “pass the Doctor test tubes and tell him how brilliant he is”. Her final appearance in the show was Inferno (Season 7).

Jo Grant

Played by Katy Manning

Species: Human

Era: 20th Century, Earth

Doctor: Third

First Appearance: Terror of the Autons (Season 8). With the Doctor still stranded on Earth and working for UNIT he was introduced to Jo Grant, who would become his new assistent.

Profile: After being assigned to the Doctor as a replacement for Liz Shaw, Jo Grant went on to work as the Time Lord’s assistent for several years. Their introduction is a bit rocky, with Jo having no background in science and only secured a place in UNIT when he high-ranking civil servent father pulled some strings. The Brig assigned her to the Doctor to keep her out of the way, and the Doctor wasn’t interested in having someone who didn’t understand science around. This changed over time as her outward personality helped the Doctor grow very fond of Jo and he began to act as a father figure to her. Jo Grant was likewise very loyal to the Doctor and refused to leave his side no matter what the cost.

Being a young and bubbly woman she endeared herself to many members of the UNIT organisation and they eventually took her under their wing. She could be scatter-brained and naive at times but always put her trust in the Doctor when danger loomed. Over the years in UNIT Jo Grant grows more confident and independent. Eventually during to course of an adventure she meets Professor Clifford Jones, and leaves the Doctor’s service to marry Jones.

Final Appearance: The Green Death (Season 10) saw Jo Grant fall in love with Clifford Jones, with the episode concluding with the announcement that they were going to elope.

Sarah Jane Smith

Played by Elizabeth Sladen

Species: Human

Era: 20th Century, Earth

Doctor: Third, Fourth, Tenth

First Appearance: The Time Warrior (Season 11). Whilst the Doctor and the Brig are investigating the disappearance of several brilliant scientists they meet Sarah Jane Smith who is an undercover reporter sneaking into the project to get a scoop.

Profile: After getting her first taste of time travel by sneaking on board the TARDIS and facing a Sontaran in Medieval England Sarah Jane decides to join the Doctor for more adventures. She was strong willed and idealistic, filling less of a assistent role and instead acting as a travelling companion. After his conflict with the giant spiders caused the Doctor to regenerate Sarah Jane stayed alongside him and took up her role at his side as the Fourth Doctor. During her lengthy journey with the Doctor Sarah Jane faced Cybermen, Daleks and the Sontaran and began to play a role working for UNIT. She had a bold personality that drove her forward into new realms and excitement.

After the Doctor is summoned back to Gallifrey did she eventually decide that she’d had enough and headed for home. Sarah Jane Smith returned decades later to investigate some strange happenings at a school. The Doctor was also on site at the school in his tenth incarnation and the two old friends reunited. Although she chose not to board the TARDIS once again, but they still worked together from time to time.

Final Appearance: Sarah jane first departed at the conclusion of The Hand of Fear (Season 14) when she grew tired with the Doctor. After being reunited with the Doctor her last appearance on the show was The End of Time (Special episode). Sarah Jane Smith did continue her adventures in her own spin-off series The Sarah Jane Adventures.

Harry Sullivan

Played by Ian Marter

Species: Human

Era: 20th Century, Earth

Doctor: Fourth

First Appearance: Robot (Season 12) Dr. Harry Sullivan was already working at UNIT when the Doctor underwent his third regeneration. With the Doctor having lost consciousness Sullivan was called in to examine him.  

Profile: Unlike the forward thinking young women who had been assisting the Doctor since his arrival at UNIT Harry was a traditional English thinker. Being a Surgeon-Luitenant in UNIT means that he is well equipped to head out into the unknown with the Doctor. He’s brave and physically capable of dealing the dangers they encounter. He had an easy repartee with the Doctor and Sarah Jane.

Final Appearance: Terror of the Zygons (Season 13) saw Harry’s final journey in the TARDIS, but he did return briefly in The Android Invasion.

Leela

Played by Louise Jameson

Species: Human

Era: Unspecified – some point in the far future.

Doctor: Fourth

First Appearance: The Face of Evil (Season 14). The Doctor arrived among an uncivilised tribe who recognised the Doctor as a mythological figure from their past. Leela is a warrior from the tribe who allies herself with the Doctor and later barges her way into the TARDIS to travel with him.

Profile: For quite some time the Doctor had been traveling with humans from the same era on Earth, and Leela proved be a radical change in pace. Having no exposure the space or time travel the Doctor did his best to keep Leela informed of what was going on around them, but in the end she usually opted for simple solutions to their problems. Leela did demonstrate on more than a few occasions that it was only her experience, not her intelligence, that held her back. She would absolutely refuse to go anywhere without her knife and resisted any attempts to introduce her to any form of advanced society. Whilst Leela did her best to keep up with the Doctor he would sometimes lose patience with her, and he was often kept on his toes to prevent her from killing innocent bystanders. Still, he formed a close bond with Leela and was said when she left the TARDIS.

Final Appearance: During The Invasion of Time (Season 15 conclusion) Leela met a Time Lord named Andred and elected to remain on Gallifrey with him.

K9

Voiced by John Leeson and David Bierley

Species: Robot Dog

Era: 51st Century

Doctor: Fourth, Fifth, Tenth

First Appearance: The Invisible Enemy (Season 15). Originally K9 was build and owned by Professor Marius and was used as a medical assistant. When the Doctor is brought on board the medical station and befriends the professor K9 is given the chance to join him on his adventures.

Profile: K9 as he exists in the series is actually three different different versions of the robot. The original K9 opted to stay on Gallifrey with Leela and the Doctor received the Mk II immediately after. When the Doctor reunites with Sarah Jane in later decades she has the Mk III with her, and after K9 sacrifices himself in the school to facilitate their escape he is replaced with Mk IV. The different versions all have the same abilities, personality and memory making them essentially the same being.

Although he speaks in a very robotic and straight-forward manner K9 is imbued with plenty of personality. K9 exhibits and immensely dry sense of humour, and seems quite fond of irony, something that drives the Doctor a bit batty when the robot dog is beating him at chess. He’s immensely loyal to the Doctor and his companions and dislikes being left behind in the TARDIS. Whenever he’s called upon he crosses great distances to provide aid. In addition to solving complicated problems and analysing data K9 is extremely capable in a fight. He’s equipped with a powerful laser that can stun or kill in addition to cutting through metal and rock.

Throughout his time with the Doctor K9 proved time and time again to be a powerful ally. He’d hold back hordes of enemies and solve life-and-death situations with mathematical precision. The Doctor grew very attached to the little droid, even crawling through a furnace to save him.

Final Appearance: K9 never seemed to have a definitive final episode, turning up time and time again in Doctor WhoThe Sarah Jane Adventures and his own special and spin-off series. His final episode in the main canon was School Reunion (Season 2 of the reboot).