Doctor Who: We Rank the Best Modern Companions!

Beside every Doctor, there’s a loyal companion — or sometimes a couple of ’em — who accompanies the centuries-old Time Lord as he strives to save all universes, great and small.

So, in anticipation of a newly-regenerated Doctor (now played by Peter Capaldi), as well as a new season of Doctor Who (this Saturday, 8/7c on BBC America), TVLine has tackled the task of ranking each of his modern-era companions (in other words, those who’ve spent significant time on the TARDIS since the show rebooted in 2005).

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Yes, we know that Rory and Mickey at least started off in the shadows of “official companions,” but they quickly earned their stripes with their loyalty to our protagonist. And while Jack Harkness and River Song quite possibly stretch the definition of “companion” even further, their enduring support of everyone’s favorite Gallifreyan made ’em impossible to omit.

For the record, our main criteria in ranking this list was determining if the companion in question had as much of an influence on the Doctor as he did on them — though we also considered general ass-kicking-ness, smarts, wit and other wibbly-wobbly stuff, too.

Check out our gallery below the poll — counting down from No. 9 to No. 1 — below!

Think someone else deserves the top spot? Feel like we didn’t give one of the Doctor’s pals enough credit? Cast your vote in our handy poll, then hit the comments and tell us which companions you value most — and why. 

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. kd83954 says:

    There are two people on that list (excluding Clara) that I want to see the 12th Doctor interact with: Doctor Donna and River song. Those two are my absolute favs.

    • EL says:

      Couldn’t agree more. FYI River Song is not really a companion. She’s the doctor’s wife. Whole different ball-game.

    • Shaun says:

      River Song shouldn’t be seen again,he’s moving forward in time and she backwards.

      • Lizzie says:

        Agree plus she died. She was only around the 11th doctor cuz of amy & rory. But she is gone. Just as Rose & Amy & Rory are stuck in different time streams

        • Sara says:

          Are Amy and Rory actually stuck in a different time stream though? I thought that they were within the time stream, but it was so unstable he couldn’t risk visiting them without all hell breaking loose with the Weeping Angels.

    • S. says:

      I loathe River Song with every fiber of my Whovian being. The whole character gets on my nerves and if she comes back, I’ll be so upset. I loved her first appearances, but the whole Silence arc was such a mess. A perfectly good character ruined. Besides which, no way does the Doctor marry her as a legitimate wife. As a gimmick to get something done, maybe, but not with that serious a level of feeling. Ten was way more hung up on Rose than Eleven on River. The flirting she did was creepy and would’ve annoyed Ten in the long run.

      • Eva says:

        PREACH. I so hope we never have to see her again. Moffat has to learn to move on finally and stop creating great concepts just to ruin them further down the road.

  2. Zack Quinti says:

    god I hate Donna Nobel worse ever.

    • EB says:

      You probably like Two and a Half Men and Nickleback too, don’t ya ;P

    • Joel says:

      I agree. Although to be fair I watched the series with Donna after she was that god awful character on the US office. It has tainted me on the actress since then. Rose and Amy Pond for the win!!

      • S. says:

        Don’t hold Catherine Tate responsible for how another series handled her. Donna trying to mime to the Doctor is one of my favorite things. It’s kinda how you imagine stalking the Doctor yourself, waving in a ‘hey! it’s me!!!’ level of enthusiasm. Donna had every reason to just be a loud mouthed, desperate spinster with no future, and instead she contributes to the well being of the universe as a strong woman on her own. The Doctor needed her when you’d expect it to be entirely the other way around.

    • Maggie says:

      Donna was the best modern companion. I loved the fact that she and The Doctor were true friends.

    • MandaJ says:

      No way, Donna was one of the best. I miss her.

  3. Sam says:

    If Rory and Amy switched places, I might agree.

  4. Aaron says:

    Donna was awesome. Not a huge fan of Clara, but I’ll blame the writers for her lack of character development.

    • Brooke says:

      Definitely. Who IS she? Aside from “a mystery to be solved” we haven’t really been shown. The actress is delightful, I just wish she’d been given more to do.

    • Sara says:

      I want to like Clara, but like you said, there has been such little actual character development! The writers *cough Moffat cough* keep shoving it down our throats that she is so important because she is “The Impossible Girl” like how before her Amy was so important because she was “The Girl Who Waited.” I want them to actually SHOW us why she is important via actual character development and story, not because of some stupid title. That’s why I loved Donna and Rose so much, because they didn’t have some silly title thrown at us over and over and over again (ok, Bad Wolf, kind of, but it was a surprising twist to find out it Bad Wolf WAS Rose and the tiny hint of what was to come with Doctor Donna). Instead, they were given great story arcs that showed their character growth and suddenly you realized how very important they really were.

      • Eva says:

        Yeah, Moffat is the master of “tell, don’t show” kind of writing the female characters. He just seems to have huge problem with developing them in an organic manner, so he slaps a sticker on and calls it a day…

  5. Jo says:

    Lol, Mickey. We should all vote for poor Mr. 0% and give him a pity win.

    • I voted for Mickey! I loved his character development! He started out as the useless boyfriend no one really liked, but in season 2 (and three! He’s Martha’s husband!) he became a proper character, and one I really enjoyed.

  6. JC1 says:

    My list would be 1) Donna, 2) Amy, 3) Rory, 4) River, 5) Clara, 6) Martha, 7) Rose, 8) Jack, 9) Mickey.

    Donna by herself is my favorite companion, for all the reasons you listed. I just wish her story hadn’t ended like it did. That still bothers me. I love Amy and Rory too – five is my favorite season I think. River was awesome, and she’s the only person I could ever ship with the Doctor – Matt Smith and Alex Kingston had some amazing chemistry. I kind of had a hard time with her origin story, and with The Wedding of River Song, but I still love the character in spite of it.
    Clara is just fun. I enjoyed the friendship she had with Eleven. I’ve been a bit mystified by all these interviews talking about Clara’s crush on the Doctor because I never saw that, but whatever.
    Martha and Rose are just complicated. While I really liked Martha by herself, I did not enjoy her unrequited crush on Ten, and that’s one major reason three is my least favorite season (the other being that finale). And Rose – I like Rose. But I just never liked the whole Ten/Rose thing. I’m not denying they were in love, but I just didn’t enjoy that storyline. I did like the Nine/Rose/Jack combo that formed for a short time in season one. I’ve always thought it was a shame that didn’t last longer.
    And Mickey. I found Mickey so annoying in the beginning, but he grew into an awesome character by the end, and apparently he ended up with Martha! I wish we could have seen how that happened.

    • Lucy says:

      Oh man, ITA with so much of your post! (Except for Mickey. I only grew from “not at all tolerable” to “just barely tolerable” during his tenure, in my book.) And your list could mirror my own (except I’d have Amy & Rory as a tie, because I love Rory so much they were such a strong unit with the Doctor). I don’t even consider River and Jack to be companions — but that’s where they’d be in my list too. :-)

    • Brooke says:

      “While I really liked Martha by herself, I did not enjoy her unrequited crush on Ten,” – YES, a thousand times, yes. It’s like RTD felt obliged to have another Doctor romancey bit after Rose left. Martha was brilliant and badass all on her own without that bit. She could have left at the end because she wanted to stick with her family after the Master showdown, rather than due to her unrequited love for the doctor. It was the most pointless storyline and I hate that it happened.

      • S. says:

        It wasn’t really a romancey bit though. The Doctor couldn’t reciprocate and sometimes people fall for others at the wrong time–she was his rebound and why not explore his pain at losing Rose by having someone else walk smack into it. He wouldn’t ever have probably clicked with her like she wanted, and Martha couldn’t understand why he couldn’t get attached in that way, but it was nice to have the Doctor just not be that into the companions the same way they were into him (well except for Donna). Even Amy would’ve gone totally for him if he’d let her in the beginning. It’s not the worst thing for someone who’s otherwise a catch to have their heartbroken by getting in an unrequited love. You can’t earn your way into that love by having a medical degree or anything, as strong a character as Martha was. He loved Rose whether he admitted it to her as Ten or not, but part of what seems to drive him that way is appreciating what someone’s capable of even if life’s dealt them a difficult circumstance. Rose shouldn’t have been able to make a difference, but she did and in doing so exemplified what appeals to him about humans. He loved Donna in a different way, but in both Donna and Rose’s cases, they were little mice that roared. Such is our species to The Doctor.

  7. Linz says:

    So glad that Donna is number 1. Loved her so much. Her and David Tennant played off each other so well.

  8. Rich Stowe says:

    BBC America is airing a special on the companions at either 10 or 11 tonight

  9. JR1234 says:

    I couldn’t disagree more about your #1. I hated every moment Donna was tagging along. I found the character awful to watch and listen to. She is #9 on my list….even lower if you include the old series.

  10. Ari says:

    Glad to see Donna at #1. She was by far my favorite. I would have swapped Amy and Rory though. I couldn’t stand Amy Pond but so adored Rory.

    • Maggie says:

      Totally agree. Donna was the best, and Rory was better than Amy. I could never understand why Rory loved Amy so much as she was mostly a b***h to him. Rory deserved better.

  11. dstumme says:

    Someone needs to rewatch “End of Time”. Donna is barely in it, and hardly plays a pivotal role, as your countdown states.

  12. Monica says:

    DONNA! <3

    • MissMel says:

      I totally agree. I refuse to drink the Rose Tyler Kool-Aid. I was watching “The Stolen Earth” a couple of nights ago and it reminded me of how much I dislike that character and why. The entire Universe is being taken over by Daleks and she’s whining about not being included in the sub-wave chat with the other companions. Try to focus on the big picture, Rose. This is not about your love life.

      Donna is my favorite companion because she truly understood who/what the Doctor is. She’s the only one of the new companions that is a true friend to him without wanting anything more. She didn’t have crazy fantasies about a romantic future he couldn’t possibly give her.

  13. Trenton says:

    River song wasn’t really a companion… Seeing as she was a time lord. Love Amy n Rory really liking Clara, but never think Martha gets enough love. She had so many fun episodes.

    • Anyone who travels on the TARDIS with the Doctor once is technically a companion, from Donna’s father to that guy Nine kicked out who has that thing in his forehead still.

      • Playhouse says:

        Can’t agree with that. A companion, in the parlance of the show, is someone who goes on more than one adventure with the Doctor, at the bare minimum.

        • Sara says:

          That’s not really true. The showrunners themselves have said that they consider Christmas Special guests to be Companions and they usually only have one adventure (best examples: Kylie Minogue and Bernard Cribbins).

    • Shaun says:

      River isn’t a time lord….she’s half Galyfreyan.

      • canadian ninja says:

        Yer half right. She’s human but with complications – both from being conceived on the Tardis and who knows what they did to her in utero at Demons Run.

  14. Jerri says:

    Captain Jack’s gotta be higher up in the list.

  15. erin says:

    So relieved to see that Donna outranked Rose! Donna was the BEST!

  16. GhostWolf says:

    Totally disliked Amy since it became more about the companion than the Doctor. Donna is on top since she played it as a mate / friend as it should be unlike Rose (love) and Martha (infatuation). As for Clara, she would have worked better as the Victorian version otherwise she’s just meh for now.

  17. Drew says:

    My list, from favorite to least favorite: Amy, Rory, Clara, Martha, River, Donna, Mickey, Rose.
    I’m really not a big fan of Captain Jack at all, so he isn’t on my list. Rose just annoyed me a lot of the time. Donna was annoying, but I think she was supposed to be abrasive and it was kinda fun sometimes. Martha is underrated. If you look at the UK box art for series 3, she’s not even on it… what’s that about?
    I think that the writing just improved in general when Amy and Rory came onto the show. The stories were easier to relate to most of the time. Amy wasn’t following the Doctor around like a puppy dog, like most of the companions do. I would say that she was the most like an equal to him, because she never waited for his permission. She didn’t follow him, she went with him. She really stole the show while she was on it. And Rory was no small part of that.
    Clara is cool, but we’re back to having a companion that runs after the Doctor with a silly smile on her face, like a dog whose master just got home from work. If they took that one element away from the character, she would be so much better. It’s like they have to try so hard with most of the companions, but Amy showed us that it could be so simple if the writers just let the chemistry drive the stories (not in a romantic way). This was what made Rose annoying too, and I would hate to see Clara go down that road because I really do like her.

  18. Hussain H. says:

    Although she was in only 1 episode (Voyage of the Damned) Astrid Peth is my favorite companion! Kylie Minogue and David Tennant together were pure TV Gold!

  19. Deion says:

    Are we really letting Rose edge everyone out? I personally love Martha. One of her storylines was learning to let The Doctor go, despite her feelings, something that Rose was unable to do. But I accept that not everyone will feel that way. I wasn’t Donna’s biggest fan, but the notion of The Doctor having a friend and not some starry eyed girl tagging behind him was great. Jack Harkness was a great character. Period.

    • Ann says:

      Thanks! I love Martha. She’s underrated and her character had so much more potencial. It’s a pity that the writing was so poor in season 3 which is still one of my favorite seasons because of Blink, Smith and Jones and the Shakespearian episode but the finale was sooooo… well let’s not talk about it. Hated it that she ended up with Mike… She was engaged to a fellow doctor and I loved that. Why change that? Not every companion has to end up with a fellow companion or the doctor or some human doctor.
      I loved that Martha was intelligent, curious and brave and not at all like Rose. Seriously I’m not a fan of Rose especially because of her way of treating Mike. Sorry but that’s not how you treat your boyfriend!

      To stop my rambling: I love Martha, Rory and Amy a lot! And Jack, well I watched every episode of Torchwood at least twice… Donna being Donna I’m not so sure how I feel about her but I know that I don’t like Rose and Clara.
      But after all: I love that show. (Almost) Every minute of it.

  20. S says:

    Donna, Rose and Jack were the best. Martha was cool too. Amy and Rory were /okay/, but I really can’t stand Clara. At all.

  21. Gary says:

    Question for all of you Dr. Who fans. Where is a good place to come into the series and start watching. I’ve wanted to try to get into it, but hate coming into the middle of things, so it’s a little overwhelming. Would the stuff that is currently on Netflix from 2005 be a good place to start, or would I feel completely lost?

    • Drew says:

      I started with the 2005 series and I followed along without any problems. They start with a new Doctor and a new companion (Rose), so everything is explained. I will say though, you need to get through some pretty iffy/silly/stupid episodes to get to the gems, especially early on. In some ways, it reminded me of an old Saturday morning show, like Land of the Lost or something like that. But then there are some episodes which are genuinely good too. Just be prepared for the pendulum to swing both ways, and enjoy the fun of it.
      Netflix does have some of the older series. I haven’t watched any of that. I’ve considered it, but I haven’t had the will to go back to 1960’s British scifi television just yet.

      • AT says:

        I thought “Rose,” the first episode was a gem! But yes, some people have a hard time for the first few episodes because it doesn’t have as great of effects as shows do now. Though I wouldn’t call them stupid, just different than what people may be used to. But the writing is still spot on. I think once season one gets to “Dalek” though people really shouldn’t have a problem with the series (even though I personally loved the first five!) Some people latch on to the first episode, other people it takes halfway through season one and then if they’re still on the fence most of them become obsessed once David Tennant is the Doctor in season 2. That’s just my experience with dozens of people I’ve got to watch the series.

        • Drew says:

          I think that for me, the show tried to go too big too often early on. There was less emphasis on the character stories and more wacky aliens trying to destroy the world every single week. Sometimes it worked well, sometimes it really really didn’t. Once you get used to it, the bad episodes can be fun too. The really fun part is when an episode comes along that catches you off guard with very solid writing, after a couple of wacky weird episodes.
          When Davies left and Moffat took over, something changed with the show. They still do weird alien episodes, but it feels more grounded and personal somehow. Maybe it was the Amy factor, I don’t know.

          • AT says:

            Yeah, I had the opposite experience! I found Davies era much more grounded in characterization and because the focus was on the companions’ POV it felt more personal. I feel like Moffat’s era is more focused on plot than characters. With Rose, Martha and Donna who feel like real women I know and even the Doctor’s reactions to them just felt more human, more personal. It goes to show how everyone will have different experiences watching which is perfectly okay. For me, Amy, Clara and River have never felt quite real, but sometimes I think that’s been on purpose. Amy connected to fairy tales. River was supposed to be a mystery but became I think a tad overly convoluted after a while. And as for Clara, she feels more like an object than a person. But again, that’s just me. There are a lot of Moffat episodes I love, but I feel like he’s become quite repetitive. Personally, I prefer character driven stories and I feel like it’s time for a new writer with a new vision for the show.

          • Drew says:

            The weird part is that when I go back to the Davies era and look at the episodes that stood out the most for me, a lot of them were written by Moffat. “The Empty Child”/”The Doctor Dances”, “The Girl in the Fireplace” and “Blink” were some of my favorites.
            I think I know more women like Amy than the others. I like Martha a lot, but like I said somewhere before, some of those earlier companions just seemed to follow the Doctor around like puppy dogs. Amy had more life of her own… at least, to me.

      • Eva says:

        I think a great place to start is episodes 9 and 10 of season 1, “the Empty child’/”The Doctor Dances”. They will give the idea of what this show can be at its best. While the very first episodes are good, they make less of an impression, especially on people who have never watched DW before. The funny thing about Moffat is, his episodes from the RTD-era tend to be the best ones in the series, and yet, to me, he is a horrible showrunner. Never should’ve been allowed at the steering wheel.

    • AT says:

      Yeah starting with season 1 from 2005 is the perfect place to start!

    • Autumn says:

      That’s a good place to start. That’s basically where the whole series reboot starts so you won’t be confused about anything.

    • JC1 says:

      That’s where I started and I wasn’t lost at all. So go for it. But I’ll echo some of the other comments that some of the first episodes are pretty odd if you’re not used to it. When we got to the Slitheen I was like “are you kidding me?” But someone convinced me to keep going, and by the time I was through “The Doctor Dances” I was completely hooked.

    • TDS-Matt says:

      Try starting with Rose. It’s an awful episode but lays the groundwork. If you really hate it, jump to The Eleventh Hour which is Matt Smith’s first episode. Watch it, love it, realize the show gets better, and then go back to the episode after Rose. Series 1 is hard to get through for the first chunk but has some absolute gems after Episode 5.

      • Drew says:

        I think that skipping Tennant completely is a mistake. He had a lot of really good performances on the show. Matt Smith was great,but Tennant had a couple of solid emotional episodes in there.

        • TDS-Matt says:

          I don’t think Tennant should be skipped; just that the show gets off to a really rough start, and I think seeing The Eleventh Hour (which establishes the rules) sort of eases you through it.

          Generally, when I introduce people, I’ll show them Rose — and not a single person I’ve introduced the show to has liked it, so then I show them The Eleventh Hour, The Girl in the Fireplace, and Blink. How could you *not* be hooked after that?

          • AT says:

            Haha! It shows how completely different circles react differently. Yes, I agree not everyone warms up to Rose, though some do right off the bat like myself (the idea of escaping one’s boring life and going on an adventure just spoke to me; I loved Rose as a character instantly). But just about everyone I’ve ever seen respond to David Tennant in the first episode he’s the Doctor. A lot of women are drawn into the Doctor/Rose romance as well and they aren’t silly teenagers either. I think everyone is different and I base my recommendations on what kind of stories they like. Do they prefer character driven stories? Do they prefer plot driven ones? Do they like romance? What kind of characters do they like? There are a lot of people I’ve had watch Doctor Who who didn’t like “Girl in the Fireplace.” So it all just depends! Personally, I tell people to start with “Rose” and explain to them what I feel they need to know based on what they typically like as a person. But then, it’s up to them to enjoy and like what they want. With Doctor Who, everyone has a different experience and like different things and none of it is wrong. Sometimes I feel like it’s tempting to try and get people to enjoy Doctor Who the way we personally do, but I think that’s a mistake. It’s best to let people enjoy what they connect to which may be the exact opposite of our own experience.

      • Eva says:

        NO! Please, don’t start watching with “11th Hour”! If you want to fall in love with DW, first watch at least some of the Russel T. Davis-era episodes (seasons 1-4). You don’t have to start with “Rose”, you can start anywhere in season 1 or 2 or 3, really, and then come back to watch the earlier eps. Just don’t skip those seasons, they are much better than anything we’ve seen in the last years! (apart from “The Doctor’s Wife”, admittedly, this episode is pure genius)

    • aeromel78 says:

      This time last year I had the same dilemma. I really wanted to start watching but felt overwhelmed by the sheer number of episodes! I actually wound up going a little backwards. I watched the 2013 Christmas episode with my cousin and loved Matt Smith, so I watched his entire run first. Then I went back and watched David Tennant’s run. I tried to watch a couple of episodes with Christopher Eccleston but for some reason he irked me. I couldn’t take to him the way I did Smith and Tennant. What I do is, when they make a reference to something that happened during Series 1, I just look it up online so I can understand.

      • Drew says:

        Watching season 1 is worthwhile, if only so that you’ll get the joke when the Doctor puts on the gas mask and asks “Are you my Mummy?” in… I think it was “The Poison Sky”.

    • Sara says:

      2005 would be a great place to start because it was a reboot, so you don’t HAVE to know anything before it as the series does a lot of explanations as it progresses.

  22. qj201 says:

    Doctor Donna

  23. AT says:

    No way Captain Jack should be #8! Here’s how I would rank them (and I’m going to count Sarah Jane since she returned in modern episodes and got her own spinoff): 1. (Tie): Rose Tyler and Donna Noble. 2. Sarah Jane 3. Captain Jack 4. Martha Jones 5. River Song. 6. Amy Pond. 7. Mickey Smith. 8. Rory Williams 9. Clara

  24. CKG says:

    lmao, anyone who voted for Clara please tell me even one unique (or consistent for that matter) personality trait that she has. I can’t believe you guys love pretty white girls so much that you’d vote for her over Martha. smh.

    • AT says:

      Yeah, unfortunately as much as I like the actress, the character of Clara is all over the place. She’s just thrown around at will and changes from episode to episode. But as long as she’s flirty, sassy and clever it’s all good, right? She’s not a ‘real’ character in the sense that she doesn’t feel like a real person. The characterization behind her is incredibly weak. Martha, on the other hand, is a layered female character with great characterization and a wonderful arc. She finds strength along the way and becomes who she was always meant to be. When she walked away from the Doctor that was an amazing moment.

    • Ari says:

      Clara is one of my least favorites. She just doesn’t seem to do anything. She’s just always sort of there but never really seems to be doing anything important. I really didn’t like Martha Jones at first but rewatching her episodes made me appreciate her. I think my top three would be Donna, Rory and Martha. Whenever I think of Clara I think of a piece of paper. Totally blank.

    • crcuchick says:

      Clara is not my favorite, but her knowledge and experience with The Doctor in all his incarnations makes her (at least on paper) close to ideal as a companion. Part of the issue with Clara, I think, is that her entire story till now was compressed into like 8 episodes. She hasn’t even had time to grow on us, but already she has become such an important part of The Doctor’s life. I have no issues with the actress, I just wish they had given more time over to developing her story and her relationship with The Doctor.Basically, they ran out of time while giving Amy and Rory (and River) a build-up to their exits.

    • Maggie says:

      Clara, Amy, and River, were all characters created to meet the needs of The Doctor. They aren’t realistic women, with Clara being the least realistic. She is a plot point, not a person. The only thing going for Clara is that the actress who plays her is so good that she makes Clara likable.

  25. Emmy says:

    Rory, Clara and Donna

  26. TDS-Matt says:

    Absolutely love Amy and Rory. Didn’t like Rose at all (she’s a complete Mary Sue, and I’m never fond of those characters), liked Martha but thought her character got shafted, adored Donna, and thought Clara got some really good material in Day of the Doctor and Time of the Doctor before really taking off in Deep Breath, so I’m hopeful she moves up the list.

    • AT says:

      Rose is not a Mary Sue. She’s a flawed female character (so not idealized perfection lacking in realism) and very well developed. It drives me crazy that when people don’t like a female character they throw out that term. Just because she’s a girl people can relate to doesn’t make her a Mary Sue. Honestly, I think that term has become sexist and a way to attack female characters with no actual basis.

  27. Why do people like Donna (just curious because she is one of my least favs, I don’t hate her character she just wasn’t a fav of mine)?
    Also, I like how Mickey has zero votes. lol.

    • crcuchick says:

      Donna and Amy are the only two modern female companions that haven’t had romantic feelings towards The Doctor (I’d argue that Clara does/did but it was subtle). Amy kind of looked upon The Doctor as an “uncle” and then ended up being related by marriage to him, so their relationship was somewhat familial. Donna is the only female modern female companion who stated, from the start, that she had absolutely no romantic interest in The Doctor, that he wasn’t her type.They were able to have a “mates”/best friend relationship with nothing else getting in the way.

      Plus, Catherine Tate (when not in The Office) is a funny actress. She brought some badly-needed humor back to the show.

      • Sara says:

        The first half of Amy’s first season had her showing romantic feelings towards him, what with the whole kissing him thing. She was fairly conflicted for a while there about who she actually wanted romantically. And even at her wedding she told him he could “most definitely kiss the bride.”
        Donna is the only modern female companion with no romantic inclinations towards whatsoever.

    • Maggie says:

      Donna was a true friend to The Doctor. She didn’t idealize him or worship him. She saw him as an equal, who happened to know more about some things than she did, but she knew more about others than he did. He knew science, but she knew people. They balanced each other, and brought out the best in each other. Donna also knew when to stop him before he went too far. Donna and The Doctor had the same curiosity about people, places, and life in general. They were both born to explore.

  28. M says:

    Rose was robbed!

  29. Anna says:

    Definitely agree with the top 2, but would rank Jack and Rory higher and Clara and River lower. Not a huge fan of Moffat-era female companions, they all seem like variations on the same “feisty and flirty” template.

    • JC1 says:

      I keep seeing this, and I don’t agree at all where Amy is concerned. Amy is so so damaged, more than any other companion of the Doctor’s I think, first by the crack in her wall stealing people from her life, and then by growing up having everyone think she’s crazy for believing in the Doctor. I fell in love with Amy in the first episode she was in, when she was talking about all the psychiatrists she’d been sent to. I think she’s so much more than “fun and flirty.” I almost put her first in my list, but I love Donna too. Hard choice.

      • Totally agree. I love Amy because she’s awesome. She’s smart, she’s cunning, she gets things done. And she has the most genuine vested interest in the Doctor, since she met this magic man as a child. She’s a companion because she’s attached to the Doctor, while it’s the other way around with everyone else (except Rory, of course).

  30. Doug says:

    As soon as I saw this list, I thought to myself I bet whoever wrote this article didn’t make Rose number 1…Controversy means more click…Rose, Donna, Amy, Rory, Martha, River…

  31. Sara says:

    Slightly off topic here (not really though):

    I think it is SO OBNOXIOUS that since Moffat took over, he keeps trying to push the importance of the companions on us by giving them stupid titles. “The Girl Who Waited” “The Impossible Girl.” Write them good stories and character development and let us realize for ourselves how important they are!

    That rant over, I love that Donna made it to the top of this countdown! I think she had the best interactions with the Doctor because they were best friends and only best friends. None of that silly will they/won’t they nonsense. She was as close to an equal in his eyes as any human could get.

  32. Cate53 says:

    As a fan of Doctor Who from years back as a kid, I did not like the companions with romantic links to the Doctor. I liked Rose until it got all soppy! I liked the more jokey platonic but still caring relationships like with Donna and Amy. I’ve always been a fan of Catherine Tate, although I will admit her intro in the Runaway Bride was rather… Strident! She ended up being a good match as a pal for David Tennant.
    Glad you picked her as number 1 as most polls seem to go for Rose. Classic fans know that the true best companion will always be Sarah Jane Smith though :)

  33. Donna and Martha are my favorite companions. Donna, in particular, stands out for her incredibly poignant arc that spoke to the hidden value and importance inherent in even the most unlikely people. She was just so powerfully human, for the lack of a better word. And, I suppose, in that sense she was the perfect complement to the Doctor. Tate and Tennant’s chemistry combined with Catherine Tate’s superb performance made Donna Noble the most important companion to me.

  34. Sebastian says:

    This list is missing Adam, who is probably the most awesome companion ever. Also, it seems to be almost perfectly opposite from the proper order. Donna was horrible, I don’t see how anyone could think otherwise, and I think Rose is way overrated.

  35. TvPeong says:

    Sarah Jane Smith deserves an honorary mention, since she did work with the doctor in the modern series.
    “School Reunion” is still one of the best Doctor Who episodes since it delves into the life after the doctor, and how he just leaves his companions behind and moves on.

  36. Favorite to least favorite: Martha Jones, Captain Jack Harkness, Donna Noble, Clara Oswald, Rose Tyler, Rory Williams, Mickey Smith, River Song, Amy Pond.

  37. KenL says:

    Please. Donna as the pick for number 1? Absolutely picked as number one solely as an anti-choice. Certainly, it can’t be a serious pick. While the actress/character combination was great and she had some great moments with David Tenant, nearly ever other companion on that list was more interesting than Donna. I’d say her character’s grandfather was more interesting alongside Dr. Who than she was.

  38. Playhouse says:

    For me: 1) Rose, 2) Donna, 3) Jack, 4) Martha, 5) Clara, 6) River, 7) Mickey, 8) Rory, 9) Amy

  39. Daisy says:

    I never undestood why everyone hated Martha Jones so much. She wasn’t the best but she by far wasn’t the worst.

  40. Tai says:

    My ranking would have to be Donna, Jack, Clara, Amy & Rory, River, Mickey, and then a tie between Rose and Martha.

    I know I was supposed to like Martha. I really wanted to but overall I just couldn’t. And Rose quickly worked my last nerve. It was so great to have Donna around. She just genuinely wanted to be his friend and that was it. Series 4 is hands down my favorite because of Donna.

    Amy and Rory tie because they’re a team. An adorable team that I loved from the very beginning. Although if I’m completely honest, Rory totally ranks higher than Amy.

  41. Miranda says:

    Donna – obviously.
    Though Rose and Amy were perfect for their Doctors.
    River Song continues to be and remains the worst.

    • S. says:

      Amen. Amy was right for Eleven. Rose for Ten and Nine. Donna was the most important woman in the whole of creation right? ;) Hard to have that label at any point and not vie for the top 2. Rose and Donna are my top 2.

  42. BTM says:

    Adam was an official companion. Please add him so we can give poor Mickey a break!

  43. Hodan says:

    Rose Tyler will forever be my favorite companion of Doctor Who. I like the others but nothing beats Rose in my book.

  44. Marz says:

    My personal list: 1. Rory. While everyone else sees the Doctor as this larger-than-life idealized hero (or villain, if you’re his enemy), Rory is the only one who sees the Doctor as a person with flaws, which he calls him out on. 2. Martha. I love her growth over the series, and I love love love that she recognized her relationship with the Doctor was not healthy so she left. She’s amazing. 3. Donna. Character development for the win (until Journey’s End erased it anyway). 4. Captain Jack. I just love him and his extreme omnisexualness. 5. Amy Pond. She’s just so sassy. 6. River Song. She kicks ass. 7. Clara. She defeated a sun monster with a leaf. ‘Nuff said. 8. Rose. Okay, I know I’m probably in the minority here, but Rose never really clicked for me. I don’t know what it is, I just never felt like she had much of a personality beyond “In love with the Doctor.” But, she did look into the heart of the TARDIS and that’s pretty badass. 9. Mickey. Poor Mickey, with this competition he never stood a chance.

  45. Lana says:

    Rose will always be our favorite companion, in fact my husband quit watching Who when Rose left. However I have loved every companion as they have all been fun to watch. Also my favorite Doctor was David Tennant and I was devastated when he left. Matt was fun just not as sexy as David. I enjoy the show and will watch the new Who with an open mind, but he still is not as sexy as David.

    • anonymous says:

      I share your sentiments about Rose :) I did the same thing as your husband lol I didn’t watch the show until she returned in season 4

  46. Donna
    Amy & Rory (I’m sorry, but I honestly liked the ponds (I know, Williams) better as a unit then Amy alone)

  47. snuggles says:

    all i know is that the female companions get hotter each iteration.
    (Sara Jane still the best)

  48. jm says:

    as first time watcher, i went with Blink and then with The Doctor´s Wife and i watched today the new from Capaldi… from all the companions i watch, i like the Lizzard woman the most… and do they girls usually be damels in danger?
    I like Amy and Clara a lot. Hate the guy companion tough