Friends of The Doctor

“In nine hundred years of time and space, I’ve never met anyone who wasn’t important."
- The Eleventh Doctor

The Doctor has many enemies. Luckily, he also has many friends. Here are just a few.

     In his hundreds of years of travel, The Doctor met many good people who joined him in an adventure, helped him defeat the villains, and then wished him good luck and Godspeed and were never heard of again. I will let thespian rogue Richard Mace (played by comedian Michael Robbins) of the Fifth Doctor story "The Visitation" be the honorary "Friend of the Doctor" stand-in for all the one-off friends who came and went in the series. Without these characters, who show up for one story and one story only, Doctor Who would not be the show we know it to be today. Good luck and Godspeed, Richard Mace, and all the one-off friends who came before and after you!


DOCTOR: Who the hell are you?
HARRIET: Harriet Jones, MP for Flydale North.
DOCTOR: Nice to meet you.
HARRIET: Likewise.

   Harriet Jones (played by Penelope Wilson) was an insignificant "faithful back-bencher" in government, and her greeting of "Harriet Jones, MP for Flydale North" was usually ignored. In Season One, she helped The Doctor and Rose defeat the alien Slitheen family, and her ability to calm a worried and fearful public afterward led her to becoming Prime Minister. Her greeting of "Harriet Jones, Prime Minister" was always answered with a "Yes, we know who you are."

     In Season Two, she clashed with the Tenth Doctor, who then managed to ruin her political career, thus accidentally setting up the rise of the mysterious "Harold Saxon" as Prime Minister. Harriet Jones returned in Season Four to help The Doctor and friends stop Davros and The Daleks from destroying the Universe. Even The Daleks answered her introduction of "Harriet Jones, former Prime Minister" with a "YES, WE KNOW WHO YOU ARE."

     Grandfather to Donna Noble, Wilfred Mott (played by Bernard Cribbins) is one of the most lovable of all The Doctor's friends. A star gazer himself, Wilf encouraged his granddaughter Donna to stay with The Doctor, once admitting to The Doctor that her life was much better with him than without him. He was often unintentionally funny; when Rose Tyler, needing a hookup to a conference call, asked Wilf if he has a web cam, he answered that his daughter Sylvia won't let him have one because "she thinks they're naughty". He also once tried to take down a Dalek with a paint gun. His respect for The Doctor was complete and without reserve; to Wilf, The Doctor was the hero of the world. Fittingly, star gazer that he was, Wilf finally became a one-time, one-time only "companion" to The Doctor, getting to ride with him in the TARDIS near the end of The Tenth Doctor's reign.

WELL, YOU KNOW MY NAME IS BERNARD... : Bernard Cribbins has had a long and varied career on stage, in film and on television. One of his most charming enterprises was in the '70s, narrating a series of animated cartoons based on Edward McLachan's kiddie stories Simon in the Land of Drawings. People like myself who grew up in the U.S. may remember these same cartoons being narrated by children's host Bob Keeshan, aka Captain Kangaroo, a man as beloved in the U.S. as Cribbins was in the UK.

     Of all The Doctor's friends, Winston Churchill (played by Ian McNeice) may have been the most unexpected. Introduced in Season Five's "Victory of The Daleks", Winston Churchill was established as already being a friend of The Doctor, thus by-passing any pesky fan's questions like "How the hell did The Doctor and Churchill become friends?" A fun episode, if not a classic, with most of the praise going to Ian McNeice's portrayal of Churchill. While this episode is the only one featuring Churchill as a major player, he did have cameos in several other episodes, usually with stories that involved time going nuts and the need to find The Doctor to straighten everything out.

     The Paternoster Gang was one of Steven Moffat's more off-the-wall inventions, yet one of his most fun. The Gang, who ran a detective agency in the late 1800's, consisted of the reptilian "Madame" Vastra, her human wife Jenny, and their butler and driver, the Sontaran warrior Strax. Together, they appeared in five different episodes, including the Christmas special "The Snowmen". Their last appearance as of this writing was in Peter Capaldi's first full episode "Deep Breath", where they helped the deeply confused Doctor get his bearings. Madame Vastra was also instrumental in convincing Clara Oswald that although The Twelfth Doctor did not look or act like her beloved Eleventh Doctor, he was still the same man and needed her guidance and friendship.

     Their detective agency is said to have inspired Arthur Conan Doyle creation of  Sherlock Holmes. In Doyle's stories, however, Holmes never married Watson or ate Jack the Ripper.

    In 2010's "The Lodger", The Doctor attempts to discover why The TARDIS (with Amy still aboard) can not land, and he zeros it down to a strange presence in an unassuming house. In that house lives Craig Owens, your ordinary, average, nice, overweight, friendly bloke (played by comedian and talk show host Craig Corden) who likes his pizza and telly. The Doctor also meets Sophie, whom Craig is secretly in love with. While battling the whatever it is that lives in the second floor AND trying to keep Amy Pond from being lost in time forever, The Doctor also manages to get the two love birds to realize how crazy they are for each other. Cut to 2011's "Closing Time", and we find The Doctor, in a wistful mood, visiting Craig again just to say hi. There he meets Craig and Sophie's son Alfie, who prefers to be called "Stormaggedon", according to The Doctor, who speaks "baby". At the end of the episode, after Craig and The Doctor defeat a small group of Cybermen, The Doctor tells Craig, with great affection "You're me mate" just before he leaves. Unfortunately, he never gets to hear Alfie's first words: "Doctor Who?".

    Although he only appeared in two episodes of Doctor Who, Brian Williams, father of Rory Williams and father-in-law of Amy Pond Williams, was definitely a friend of The Doctor. Accidentally kidnapped by The Doctor in "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship" and taken to a Silurian spacecraft filled with prehistoric creatures, Brian got a quick lesson on The Doctor from son Rory, and by the end of the episode, Brian was begging The Doctor to take him on trips to all the places he had always wanted to go. In "The Power of Three", he spent days just gazing at a mysterious little black box simply because The Doctor asked him to do so. He also encouraged Rory and Amy to continue adventures with The Doctor; however, The Ponds' time on the show was just about up, so that is the last we would see of Brian Williams. Played by Mark Williams, well known around the world as Arthur Weasley, father of Harry Potter's best friend Ron, and also as the title character in the Father Brown mysteries.

    Danny Pink (played by Samuel Anderson) was a math teacher at the Coal Hill School, where he met fellow teacher Clara Oswald. Their friendship was often awkward, owing to her secret relationship with The Twelfth Doctor, but over time said friendship turned to love. The Doctor was initially not a big fan of Danny, calling him "P.E." (short for Physical Education), refusing to accept that he could be a math professor, but The Doctor's attitude toward Danny was less about his credentials as a teacher and more about not thinking he was good enough for Clara. The Doctor eventually warmed up to Danny Pink, especially when he saved his and Clara's life from a rather vicious alien in "The Caretaker". Any more info on Mr. Pink would be classified as "spoilers".

    When The Twelfth Doctor got stuck in a miniaturized TARDIS in "Flatline", Clara Oswald, acting as "The Doctor" herself,  enlisted graffiti artist Rigsy (played by Joivan Wade) as her temporary "companion" to help find out who or what was behind the dimensional leeching of the TARDIS. Although The Doctor initially thought of him as a lightweight idiot ("Get rid of him"), Rigsy came through in the end, being instrumental in saving the day and The Doctor. Thus, when Rigsy found himself in deadly trouble in "Face The Raven", The Doctor immediately came to his aid. Rigsy may have only been on two adventures with The Doctor, but The Doctor considered him to be a friend. That might not seem like much of a reason to put him in this section, but we're talking about a Doctor who initially liked Clara and nobody else, and tended to delete people from his memory as soon as he didn't need them anymore, so if he calls Rigsy a "friend", he means it.

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- The Ninth Doctor