Hello and welcome to In Too Deep, where I over-analyse a certain section of pop culture.

What with Amy and Rory’s heartbreaking departure a few months back (oh come on that’s not a spoiler, it’s Stephen Moffat, he feeds on tears and fear), it got me thinking back at all the other companions that said goodbye to the Doctor and went off on their own separate ways. There were a few that were amicable. A few that were tragic. And there were a few that were just plain weird. So join me as I look at the most silliest reasons someone ever left the Doctor.

6)Liz Shaw: Caroline Jones passed away earlier this year, and she will be missed. Mostly because she represented a first for female Doctor Who assistants. Namely she was an assistant, not a companion. She was an intellect equal of the Doctor. Well, she could keep up with him. This made it difficult for the production staff, since there was no one to ask the obvious questions for the audience. But by this point Doctor who had been on TV for about 6 years. We knew how the process went. The companion would say goodbye to the Doctor, wander off, and do new things. Hence why it was so bizarre when we start Terror of the Autons without Liz Shaw but instead meeting Jo Grant for the first time. This was the first time a companion pretty much just disappeared between stories. They hand-waved it about her wanting to go work somewhere else, but it was still bizarre. Then again she never liked U.N.I.T in the first place, so that’s understandable I suppose.

5)Tegan: I never watched much 5th Doctor stuff, so as such I never got Tegan. Apparently she was a ‘mouth on legs’ who also ended up being incredibly annoying. The ‘joke’, of sorts, was that she constantly wanted to go home and the Doctor kept failing to do that. And whilst that seems like a good idea, my God did Tegan get annoying very quickly. But as quickly as she appeared, she departed. Now Resurrection of the Daleks isn’t remembered as a classic, but it was the first 5th Doctor story I saw on VHS (anyone remember that?). Anyway story over, Daleks and soldiers are dead, it’s quite sad. And then Tegan says she’s had enough and just leaves. Just like that. No forewarning, no growing sadness. Just ups and leaves because production wanted her gone before the Doctor regenerated. It’s not sad as it is shocking. But then again that’d never happen nowadays, would it, what with all the tabloids flying about. The idea of a companion just leaving in the middle of the season for no good reason would actually be quite interesting if done right. It’s a shame it wasn’t done right here.

4)Dodo: If Tegan’s departure was sudden, Dodo’s was practically non-existent. Once again the day is saved. The War Machines have been stopped. The day has been saved. Dodo (who was sent into the countryside in the second episode since she was hypnotised to try and kill the Doctor) suddenly decides to stay. And that’s just it. She doesn’t tell the Doctor she’s staying, another character does it for her. She never even gets to say goodbye. She just decides “screw it, I’m staying in this country and time zone”. Ah well, what can you do. It’s not like the character was any good to begin with.

3)Mel: Speaking of terrible characters, then we have Mel. With little to no backstory beyond being a screamer, it’s a shame she never really did anything at all. Still, she ends her adventures with the Doctor with a rather heart-warming scene (which still ranks as one of my favourite goodbye lines): “Think about me when you’re living your life one day after another, all in a neat pattern. Think about the homeless traveller and his old police box, with his days like crazy paving”. Quite a nice little line. Shame the rest of it makes no real sense, since Mel decides to hop ship with a criminal for some reason. Why is touring with him better than touring with the Doctor? The New Adventure novels (which thus far have been dreadful, but I’m only up to the sixth one) argue it was because the Doctor was ‘telepathically’ forcing her to leave so he could become Time’s Champion, but I don’t put much faith in the New Adventures line of books. Still, another odd reason to leave.

2)Leela/Susan: Okay these two are put together for the same reason, they leave because they fall in love. And whilst that’s not a terrible reason to leave (Jo Grant’s departure proves you can do it well), it’s the circumstances that are odd. In the latter, the First Doctor basically abandons his granddaughter on a post-apocalyptic Earth because she happened to show signs of interest in a man. That’s the most irresponsible thing ever. “Oh you look like you like him, so have fun living here for the rest of your life”. I’m surprised Susan ever forgave the Doctor to be honest. The reason Leela is on this list is for much the same reason. She falls in love with a Galliyfrian solider and chooses to stay. Now while this doesn’t seem to be too bad, bear in mind she’s a savage wild girl and Gallifrey is a regal ancient race of people. So stuffy in fact that it drove the Doctor to run away. So why on Gallifrey would she want to stay there? She only just met the guy as well. So yes, two very odd departures where the companion suddenly decided they were in love.

1)Grace Holloway: For those that haven’t seen the Doctor Who TV Movie… well you’re lucky. For those that have and managed to get past the horribleness involved with it, we can all agree that the 8th Doctor was actually really good. And having another Doctor aboard the TARDIS in the form of Grace Holloway would be quite interesting. I mean, what does Grace have going for on Earth. She has no job, no house, all her possessions are in a box. She has no connections to her former life, she is totally free of responsibility. She gets to see the wonders of the universe.

… And she says no.


Sorry, I won’t rant about how stupid that companion is. But yes, that is the oddest reason why someone chose not to travel with the Doctor. If you disagree with anything, or have anything to add, feel free to comment. Till next time.

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