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Classic Who - Your Five Worst Companion Departures


View Poll Results: Your Worst (Classic Series) Companion Departure
Susan Foreman 2 2.27%
Barbara Wright and Ian Chesterton 0 0%
Vicki 0 0%
Steven Taylor 0 0%
Katarina 0 0%
Dodo 32 36.36%
Ben and Polly 2 2.27%
Victoria 0 0%
Jamie and Zoe 0 0%
Liz Shaw 2 2.27%
Jo Grant 0 0%
Harry Sullivan 3 3.41%
Sarah Jane Smith 3 3.41%
Leela and K9 mark 1 15 17.05%
Romana I 4 4.55%
Romana II and K9 mark 2 0 0%
Adric 2 2.27%
Nyssa 3 3.41%
Tegan 3 3.41%
Kamelion 5 5.68%
Turlough 0 0%
Peri 8 9.09%
Mel 1 1.14%
Ace 3 3.41%
Voters: 88. You can't vote on this poll right now - are you signed in?

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Old 04-01-2013, 09:21
Mulett
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Nowadays, we are used to companions having their own ‘story’, one that has a beginning, middle and end. Indeed, entire seasons can be written to prepare the audience for the upcoming departure of a companion.

But in classic Who a loyal, long-serving companion can have their departure bolted unceremoniously onto the end of a story and get booted from the TARDIS with barely a by-your-leave.

So, from classic Who, what are you top five worst companion departures and why?

I am thinking of those which are the result of poor writing or last-minute decisions rather than those you simply don’t like.

Here are mine:
[LIST=1][*]Mel: Perhaps the most bizarre departure of all. To be fair, Bonnie Langford did make the decision to go quite late in the day. But Mel’s decision to suddenly leave the Doctor for Glitz was completely out of character. And that oddly worded final scene between the two of them was so incomprehensible I still don’t understand it.
[*]Tegan: Wow, heartless! After an horrific adventure where she’d seen countless innocent people murdered right infront of her, long-serving Tegan wasn’t even allowed a few moments to have a hissy fit. In fact, when she tearfully said she wanted to stay on Earth, the Doctor couldn’t jump back into the TARDIS quickly enough. He didn’t consider for a moment that she might have been suffering from shock, and left her behind without any money or clothes. Worst of all, his swift departure gave Tegan no chance to catch her breath and potentially change her mind.
[*]Peri: This ending is more out-of-character for the Doctor than Peri. I understand that, in Mindwarp, he was prevented from saving her from a grisly death by the High Council. But when he discovered she was still alive, he never went back for her. Never has a companion been so appallingly abandoned. Poor Peri!
[*]Sarah Jane: Sarah deserved so much better than to be dumped by the Doctor at the end of Hand of Fear because he had to go back to Gallifrey (where humans weren’t allowed). The writers had plenty of notice that Elisabeth Sladen was leaving and such a great companion deserved a more substantial end than a single scene tacked onto the end of a mediocre story. Thank goodness for School Reunion!
[*]Leela: A very out-of-character end for loyal, strong, independent Leela. Not only did the Doctor break all the rules by taking Leela (an off-worlder) to Gallifrey, but the High Council then did an even stranger thing by allowing her to stay. And all because she briefly held hands with a Gallifreyan guard and decided it was love. Complete rot![/LIST]
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Old 04-01-2013, 09:33
darthbibble
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[*]Tegan: Wow, heartless! After an horrific adventure where she’d seen countless innocent people murdered right infront of her, long-serving Tegan wasn’t even allowed a few moments to have a hissy fit. In fact, when she tearfully said she wanted to stay on Earth, the Doctor couldn’t jump back into the TARDIS quickly enough. He didn’t consider for a moment that she might have been suffering from shock, and left her behind without any money or clothes. Worst of all, his swift departure gave Tegan no chance to catch her breath and potentially change her mind.
Totally disagree here. I love the "I can't do this anymore" way this happened, and I'm sure the Doctor could see that in her eyes when it happen.
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Old 04-01-2013, 10:35
AdelaideGirl
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I liked Tegan's departure although I agee with Mulett's description but that's why I like it. It's clear the Doctor is very happy to ditch her after all her bossiness and isn't going to give her time to change her mind again.

Mel's departure was ridiculous surely they could have found someone even a little more appealing.

Harry could have done with a better send off most of the last time we saw him he was an auton. Too bad he can't come back like Sarah Jane did.
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Old 04-01-2013, 10:42
Mulett
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I liked Tegan's departure although I agee with Mulett's description but that's why I like it. It's clear the Doctor is very happy to ditch her after all her bossiness and isn't going to give her time to change her mind again.
Superb!
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Old 04-01-2013, 11:18
adams66
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Dodo - the poor girl was hypnotised, sent away to Sir Charles' country house (and he was virtually a stranger) and then entirely forgotten by the Doctor. No goodbyes whatsoever.

Liz - another one with no goodbye scene. I know that the decision to write Liz out was taken between seasons, but surely they could have given the Brig and the Doctor a few more words along the lines of "Good old Liz, we'll miss her". Instead we are left with a casual 'she's gone back to Cambridge' and the Doctor apparently utterly unbothered.

Harry is abandoned in Scotland. It might be his choice but neither the Doctor nor Sarah seem too upset, and he's treated as just any other UNIT chap in The Android Invasion (the real Harry is barely in it anyway).
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Old 04-01-2013, 11:33
Mulett
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Yes - three good ones Adams66.

I thought the way Harry was left behind was reflected in the New Who episode Parting of the Ways, when the Doctor and Rose rush off without giving Jack a second thought.
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Old 04-01-2013, 11:36
CELT1987
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I liked Tegan's departure although I agee with Mulett's description but that's why I like it. It's clear the Doctor is very happy to ditch her after all her bossiness and isn't going to give her time to change her mind again.

Mel's departure was ridiculous surely they could have found someone even a little more appealing.

Harry could have done with a better send off most of the last time we saw him he was an auton. Too bad he can't come back like Sarah Jane did.
Harry decided on staying on Earth though didn't he? He decided not to go with the Doctor and Sarah back in the TARDIS at the end of Terror of the Zygons.
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Old 04-01-2013, 11:42
Mulett
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Harry decided on staying on Earth though didn't he? He decided not to go with the Doctor and Sarah back in the TARDIS at the end of Terror of the Zygons.
He did, but I think the issue is more that his decision to stay was such a small part of that final scene. Almost a footnote.

Harry had been a major part of Doctor Who for more than a year and deserved a proper goodbye scene.
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Old 04-01-2013, 12:03
CELT1987
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He did, but I think the issue is more that his decision to stay was such a small part of that final scene. Almost a footnote.

Harry had been a major part of Doctor Who for more than a year and deserved a proper goodbye scene.
Harry playing the hero and getting killed would have been a good send off, although sad.
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Old 04-01-2013, 12:23
gslam2
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I went for Ben & Polly - not as dismissive as Dodo but not far off and it was poor treatment for such strong characters.
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Old 04-01-2013, 12:41
Mulett
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OK, own up - who voted for Adric?
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Old 04-01-2013, 12:41
tinny
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Adric saving the earth and the dopey dr couldnt help him
duh!Davison
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Old 04-01-2013, 12:47
Alleycat666
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Leela - just thought it was totally out of character for her to suddenly fall in love (and of course the Doctor should never even have taken her to Gallifrey in the first place).

Would have been Sarah Jane, but all was forgiven because she had a proper goodbye in School Reunion.
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Old 04-01-2013, 12:57
CoalHillJanitor
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Dodo's was the worst because they could have given her a proper exit but they didn't.

Although the Doctor didn't explicitly say he would miss Liz, he did complain about losing her scientific skills.
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Old 04-01-2013, 13:07
allen_who
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I voted for Harry Sullivan. Far from being the worst in the sense that this thread means, but more so that it marked the beginning of the end of my fave era of Dr Who.

I could have watch The Doc, Sarah and Harry til the cows come home. It just wasn't the same after Zygons.... I even held out false hope that all was back to normal when watching the Android Invasion - sadly my hopes were dashed
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Old 04-01-2013, 13:26
DiscoP
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I voted for Leela. Rubbish exit that had no build up whatsoever. Apparently the real world reason for the sudden departure was that the producers didn't want Louise Jameson to leave and kept hoping she would change her mind. Right up to the last minute it seems.

Also there was meant to be another story before Tegan's last story that would have built up to her leaving a little more but this was cancelled for some reason.

I agree that the reason's for Mel's departure are a little odd but I was so glad to be rid that I didn't really care (I never knew it was Bonnie Langford's decision to leave, now there's a shocker!) and did like the final scene between her and the Doctor.

And poor Peri, still stuck with King Yrcanos surely a fate much, much worse than death...
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Old 04-01-2013, 13:58
adams66
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And poor Peri, still stuck with King Yrcanos surely a fate much, much worse than death...
If only the production team had added a postscript to that scene of Peri and Yrcanos...
I'd have forgiven them entirely if Brian Blessed could have said PERI'S ALIVE!!!!!!
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Old 04-01-2013, 14:01
Thrombin
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I have fond memories of Sarah Jane's departure. I found it quite emotional. One of the few I still remember.

I voted for Peri's.
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Old 04-01-2013, 14:08
JohnnyForget
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I voted for Dodo, for reasons already given by other posters.

Mel's is the second worst departure for me, for reasons stated in the OP's post, and I'm a little surprised that no-one has yet voted for Mel, although that's probably because everyone was so glad to get shot of her!
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Old 04-01-2013, 14:36
adams66
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Mel's is the second worst departure for me, for reasons stated in the OP's post, and I'm a little surprised that no-one has yet voted for Mel, although that's probably because everyone was so glad to get shot of her!
Ahhhh, poor Mel. Unloved by Who fans, saddled with generally terrible scripts and almost unsayable lines. Her best performance was in Delta and the Bannermen - I think the holiday camp seemed to be Bonnie's natural habitat and she really delivered in that story.
So, sometimes I actually feel a bit sorry for her. But then I only have to watch something like Paradise Towers or Time and the Rani, and I'm back to thinking - thank God we did get shot of her pretty quickly!
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Old 04-01-2013, 14:51
Corwin
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Romana I's was a bit of a weak exit.

Romana, a not yet 200 year old Time Lady decides seemingly on a whim that she wants to regenerate.

There's been a number of different reasons put forth in various media but as the TV show stands it seems a very stupid thing to do.
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Old 04-01-2013, 15:08
Mulett
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Romana I's was a bit of a weak exit.

Romana, a not yet 200 year old Time Lady decides seemingly on a whim that she wants to regenerate.

There's been a number of different reasons put forth in various media but as the TV show stands it seems a very stupid thing to do.
Its the same with Mel - later media (books I think) suggest the 7th Doctor telepathically prompted her to leave as her kind nature was preventing him from developing his 'dark side'. That was never a part of the TV show, so - as with Romana 1 - we have to go with what we saw at the time.
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Old 04-01-2013, 17:24
Muttley76
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I don't too many of them had terrible exits when I look back on it. Dodo is the one that sticks out for me, for the reasons mentioned above. Also Peri and Mel.

I have no issues with Liz's departure, funny enough, as I think her last scene is just really lovely and we have a lovely parting shot of her smiling and happy. I understand peoples problem with the abruptness etc, but sill, it doesn't really bother me.
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Old 04-01-2013, 17:50
Craigpugh
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I voted romana 1 as it was just silly.
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Old 04-01-2013, 18:10
DiscoP
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I voted romana 1 as it was just silly.
Has anyone ever dared to try and explain the odd regeneration scene that goes against we've learn't about Timelords before and since or is it best just left forgotten about?
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