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Mr Chinn's Top Ten Companions

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Mr Chinn
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« on: January 08, 2013, 01:07:13 am »

There is a similar list being run by Roranicus at the moment but I figured we would probably have very different top tens and so would do mine as well. Also, I'm not terribly original and I didn't want to do one that would be a head scratcher and take ages to plan out, and with companions I pretty much know where I am straight away.

So, without further ado, here is the first...
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Mr Chinn
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« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2013, 01:32:00 am »

10

Dodo Chaplet


Played by Jackie Lane

There isn't many 'best of' lists that would feature Dodo, of that I am certain, but there is just something about this girl that makes me want to always stand up and defend her. She has become to the 60's era what Adric or Mel are to the 80's in general fandom.

Dodo, and indeed the actress playing her, had it tough from the off. On screen she was filling the shoes of Susan and Vicki, squeezed into a mould she was never going to fit and as a result only ever being a comparison. Off screen they had no idea how to write her. Her character changed, he clothes changed and even did her accent, leading many to believe that she couldn't hold onto it rather than the real reason of the BBC putting their feet down about characters speaking in RP. And of course Jackie was much older than she was meant to be playing, adding another hard to swallow aspect to the character. It was all a bit shakey from the off, culminating in the actress being let go half way through a story and therefore giving the character no resolution or goodbye; she was just simply gone between episodes.

The thing is, I really like Dodo. Or maybe I just love a lost cause. Either way, I think she deserved better. She deserved better in her time and she deserves better from fandom now. A lot of her stories are missing which is a shame, but the ones that remain show off a well played, likable character who just wasn't given the chance to be anything more. She wasn't the only companion who suffered from this, but she was definitely treated the worst. I think if we had had more from the character and she had been given chance to develop then we would have a lot more fonder memories of her. But what ifs are easy and that wasn't to be.
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« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2013, 11:20:00 pm »

Aw Dodo! I can't help but pity her every time I watch her in a story. I like her but she's bland and doesn't do anything new or exciting. She wouldn't have made my list.
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« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2013, 12:51:35 pm »

I will always be a firm believer that Dodo was pretty great. Ok, she didn't have a lot to do and she didn't stick around for very long, but I liked her all the same. She wasn't ever trying to be anything she wasn't, she was just a nice, pleasant, easy to watch character. She didn't give us high thrills and adventure but she didn't do anything particularly annoying, either.
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« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2013, 12:27:44 am »

Dodo wouldn't have made my list, but not because she is bad, but rather because she doesn't have a lot going for her. She was never fiesty or dramatic or brave. She was just along for the ride. I liked her, but I want more from a companion.
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« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2013, 01:08:08 pm »

I think Dodo has suffered from the snowball effect. Enough people say she was bad that others start believing it because the masses couldn't possibly be wrong and the whole thing gets bigger and bigger. I can find no reason for her unpopularity other than the fact that she was unceremoniously let go from her contract, causing widespread gossip, rumour and speculation. If we look solely at the character and her time on the show I think she was pretty good. It's just so easy to overlook her because most of her stuff is missing and she wasn't given a tremendous amount to do. Her biggest story was having a cold. She wouldn't have made my list, but I am glad to see her make someones.
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« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2013, 02:18:46 am »

While she isn't awful, she is kind of bland and boring. It's not her fault, she was just unlucky enough to be another copy and paste companion from the early years.
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« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2013, 03:57:53 pm »

I'm not keen. I don't understand the hatred towards the character, but there is nothing special going on there either.
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« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2013, 08:55:10 pm »

Dodo's cool. Not amazing, but harmless enough.
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« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2013, 12:36:54 pm »

Dodo is always going to be a companion that sparks debate, I think, but I have never understood why. I like her, and while she may not have always had the most interesting stuff to do, she was never bad or badly acted, I don't think.
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« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2013, 12:30:47 am »

9

Liz Shaw


Played by Caroline John

Liz Shaw is an odd one when it comes to companions and assistants of the Doctor. She wasn't just someone along for the ride or wanting to see what the Doctor could show her, and she wasn't even there because she wanted to be, but was instead tasked to work with him. More interestingly though, was the fact that she was his intellectual equal which is something we haven't seen before or since, and I think this played a huge role in why we only saw her appearing in 4 stories during the Third Doctors run.

It is well known that Caroline John wanted out of the role pretty much from the beginning so finding out she was pregnant was probably a blessing for her, but it seemed that the people behind the scenes wanted her out as well so it all came together well, I suppose. Having someone there to challenge the Doctor on an intellectual level is all well and good, but if she already knew everything that was going on then there was nobody there to tell the Doctor how great he was or ask him what he was doing on behalf of the audience.

She is also unique, of course, in that she never got to travel in the TARDIS, with all her stories being set on Earth. And those Earth stories are what make her such a great companion. She didn't get to go off to the stars and she didn't get sent back through time either, but her four stories with the Doctor remain some of the best in the run of the show and she played the role she was given with such gusto and drama that you can't help but think she is awesome (if you are me, anyway). It's just a shame that she is so often overlooked.

Liz wasn't around for long, but for me she really was brilliant. Unfortunately, being brilliant was her undoing in the end and a simpler (though no less awesome) companion was needed instead.
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« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2013, 11:18:40 am »

She'd have placed higher on my list. I think she is brilliant and totally underrated and overlooked. It's a shame because the character was great and she was in 4 excellent stories.
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« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2013, 10:29:21 pm »

Liz is one of my all time favourites. I'd have rated her a lot higher on my list. She never gets the recognition she should.
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« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2013, 12:37:28 pm »

Liz is great. Definitely a strong companion and one of my favourite of the era.
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« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2013, 04:33:41 pm »

I really love both of them, but I don't think either would have made my top ten list. Not because they are bad, but because others are better imo
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« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2013, 12:21:19 pm »

She would be right at the top of my list. I love her. There's nothing conventional about her and that's what really stands out to me. It was that though that ended up seeing her leave. She only had 4 stories but they were all awesome.
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Mr Chinn
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« Reply #16 on: August 16, 2013, 11:06:39 am »

8

Martha Jones


Played by Freema Agyeman

Like Dodo in the classic series, Martha comes in for a lot of stick in the new series, most of which I think is unfair to both the character and the actress. While I would agree that she was sometimes written a bit poorly, I do think that the character really could have gone on to better things, had she been treated a bit better within the show.

After the departure of Rose, the Doctor decided to mope. And mope and mope and mope. His moping meant that Martha really never stood a chance. Episode after episode he kept reminding her, and also the audience, that she wasn't Rose and that he didn't want her around. It took almost half the season before he finally accepted her as his companion and by that time the damage was done and the audience just didn't take to her. I think if the Doctor had been more accepting of her then so would the viewing public.

What people seem to forget though, is that Martha was strong and mature and independent and I think personally, far superior to Rose who came before her. She didn't have a long run in the show and she didn't manage to win over the public, but I think had she had more time to develop and better treatment from the writers then she could have been amazing.
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« Reply #17 on: August 16, 2013, 09:26:01 pm »

After the departure of Rose, the Doctor decided to mope. And mope and mope and mope. His moping meant that Martha really never stood a chance. Episode after episode he kept reminding her, and also the audience, that she wasn't Rose and that he didn't want her around. It took almost half the season before he finally accepted her as his companion and by that time the damage was done and the audience just didn't take to her. I think if the Doctor had been more accepting of her then so would the viewing public.

You're right there. The writing really didn't help and nor did the Doctor's feelings towards her. It also didn't help she was another one lusting after him. So because of these reasons I am unfortunately one of those who doesn't like Martha much. Or her family Huh?
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« Reply #18 on: August 19, 2013, 12:33:29 pm »

I definitely agree about the reasons that the fans didn't take to her. Some of the writing for the character was awful, but overall I quite liked her. Covering the whole series I'm not certain if she would have made my list, but I do understand your reasons for adding her, and based on the list so far, I'm not surprised to see her inclusion.
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« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2013, 11:21:32 am »

I love Martha. GO MARTHA! I don't get why people aren't keen on her, I really don't. The writing did get iffy at times, but the character was always great, I thought.
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