Who Travels with the Doctor?

Essays on the Companions of Doctor Who


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About the Book

Throughout the long-running BBC series Doctor Who, the Doctor has rarely been alone—his companions are essential. Male or (mostly) female, alien or (mostly) human, young or old (none as old as he), the dozens of companions who have travelled with him over the past 50 years have served as sympathetic proxies for the audience. Through their adventures the companions are perfected, facing danger and thus discovering their strengths and weaknesses. Yet they all pay a price, losing their innocence and sometimes their lives. This collection of new essays examines the role of the companion as an intermediate between viewers and the Doctor. The contributors discuss who travels with the Doctor and why, how they interact, how the companions influence the narrative and how their journeys change them.

About the Author(s)

Gillian I. Leitch is an independent scholar and historical researcher and is currently co-chair of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Area of the PCA. She lives in Ottawa, Ontario.

Sherry Ginn is a retired educator currently living in North Carolina. She has authored books examining female characters on science fiction television series as well as the multiple television worlds of Joss Whedon. Edited collections have examined sex in science fiction, time travel, the apocalypse, and the award-winning series Farscape, Doctor Who, and Fringe.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Gillian I. Leitch and Sherry Ginn

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 180
Bibliographic Info: filmography, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9525-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2412-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Introduction—Comrade, Confidante, Companion, Chum:
A Friend by Any Other Name (Sherry Ginn and Gillian I. Leitch) 1

With Whom He Travels: The Companions of the Doctor (Gillian I. Leitch) 9
“It’s bigger on the inside”: Verisimilitude and Companion Reactions to the TARDIS (Craig Owen Jones) 26
“The ­battle-scarred, the insane, the ones even you can’t control”: Disability and the Female Bodies of the Doctor’s
Companions (Kimberley ­McMahon-Coleman) 37
“There’s nothing only about being a girl”: Learning to “Play” the Doctor’s Companion (David Boarder Giles and Amy Peloff) 52
Life ­Post–TARDIS? The Case for Jo Grant and Sarah Jane Smith (Sherry Ginn) 69
Rose Is England: Nationhood, British Invasion Anxiety and Why the Doctor Will (Almost) Always Rescue His Companions (Tanja Nathanael) 79
Rory Williams: The Boy Who Waited (Teresa Forde) 91
A Muted Melody: The (Dis)Empowerment of River Song (Tom Powers) 106
Companions Who Weren’t: The Pompadour and the Pauper (Pamela Achenbach) 123
When No One Can Hear You Scream: Doctor Who Companions on the Printed Page (Aaron John Gulyas) 135

Selected Filmography 151
Selected Bibliography 157
About the Contributors 165
Index 167

Book Reviews & Awards

  • Who Travels with the Doctor? is an international eight author examination of a sampling of the various people who have traveled with a certain Time Lord”—SFCrowsnest
  • “Scholars of television and other media and of narrative in any media explore secondary characters in the 50-year British television science fiction series”—ProtoView