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Old 17-07-2013, 04:09
Omega Jim
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In my opinion, I'm really sick of the new series having developed the concept of the Doctor's companions having vast cosmic significance.

As far as I remember, apart from Adric killing the dinosaurs and Turlough working for the Black Guardian, the rest of the travellers were just part of the general story. Sometimes they were more involved clearly, but otherwise they were mostly on a normal level, except possibly Romana I suppose.

I think the concept was, in part, that there would be someone the audience could sort of relate to and empathize what it might be like to travel in the Tardis with the Doctor.

Now Rose was made a god of space and time, then crosses dimensions to restore Donna. Jack becomes a fixed point in time and possibly lives to a million years old. Martha is probably the least significant, having only travelled around the world and co-ordinating a psychic field to defeat The Master. Donna of course saved all of reality and created a new Doctor. Rory comes back from the dead and lives for 2000 years, Amy is Mother to the Doctor's wife, commands an army against the Silence and has some weird temporal memory from cracks in her wall that restores the existence of the Doctor. River Song is the most complicated person in existence, who died when we first met her to save a library and that was probably the simplest part.

Now there's Clara, who exists everywhere in the Doctor's history in some weird power struggle with the Great Intelligence, and therefore saving not just the Doctor but all of creation as a consequence.

I really really hope that Matt takes Jenna with him and we can get some vaguely normal people. I know some have been from the past or future, and some aliens, and a tin dog, but they were relatable. Look how popular Sarah Jane and the Brig are, and they achieved all they did while staying 'human'.
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Old 17-07-2013, 04:23
Theophile
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Amen, Amen and Amen.

I thought that the nadir of the show was The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe when The Doctor just stood around and the random woman knew instinctively to do everything (drive a Mech, save her children, absorb an alien race, fly a spaceship, save her husband over the English Channel, etc.) while The Doctor just was kind of there. However, with Clara, I am starting to rethink that it is actually sinking to new lows.

We should have kept Smith and fired Moffat.
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Old 17-07-2013, 08:37
greymarl
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I totally agree, and I think it stems back to Moffat's inability to write real female characters - women are allowed but they have to be these fantastical, almost super-hero, types, who are all the more difficult to relate to.

They got to do some amazing things, but Rose, Donna, Sarah-Jane and others remained very real. Realistic women who you could relate to. That is the sort of woman Moffat doesn't seem to allow on Dr Who, and I'm really tired of it being all about the companion. I watch Dr Who to see what the Dr is up to, not to watch him trying to figure out his amazing, mysterious companion for episode after episode, or be like part of the furniture while the companion has all the fun. Honestly, it's quite boring!
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Old 17-07-2013, 09:05
CD93
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I totally agree, and I think it stems back to Moffat's inability to write real female characters - women are allowed but they have to be these fantastical, almost super-hero, types, who are all the more difficult to relate to.

They got to do some amazing things, but Rose, Donna, Sarah-Jane and others remained very real. Realistic women who you could relate to. That is the sort of woman Moffat doesn't seem to allow on Dr Who, and I'm really tired of it being all about the companion. I watch Dr Who to see what the Dr is up to, not to watch him trying to figure out his amazing, mysterious companion for episode after episode, or be like part of the furniture while the companion has all the fun. Honestly, it's quite boring!
I'll take Sarah-Jane.

But Rose and Donna? Donna's meta-crisis fate echoed throughout history (after she also sacrificed herself save the Universe) and Rose absorbed the time vortex. As in the first post.

The difference with Clara? We knew something was going to happen to her from the beginning. We just saw the same thing in reverse. Until she stepped in to The Doctor's time stream - she was perfectly normal - and she may be perfectly normal again come November.

Weird and wonderful things happening to normal people isn't going to go away in Modern Who. All five companions have been normal people - changed by an event in their lives. Some (such as Clara) have been foreshadowed stronger than others, but the concept is the same. As already mentioned, Martha got off the easiest, but still went from medical student to warrior.
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Old 17-07-2013, 09:49
SilenceWillFall
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I'll take Sarah-Jane.

But Rose and Donna? Donna's meta-crisis fate echoed throughout history (after she also sacrificed herself save the Universe) and Rose absorbed the time vortex. As in the first post.

The difference with Clara? We knew something was going to happen to her from the beginning. We just saw the same thing in reverse. Until she stepped in to The Doctor's time stream - she was perfectly normal - and she may be perfectly normal again come November.

Weird and wonderful things happening to normal people isn't going to go away in Modern Who. All five companions have been normal people - changed by an event in their lives. Some (such as Clara) have been foreshadowed stronger than others, but the concept is the same. As already mentioned, Martha got off the easiest, but still went from medical student to warrior.
Yeah, I think it's funny how people keep pointing out Donna as normal compared to Amy or Clara. It's like the part when she magically appeared on the TARDIS in The Runaway Bride and then later the reason behind that and meeting the Doctor again was basically explained as destiny by the Metacrisis Doctor was wiped away from them together with the Doctor wiping out Donna's memories. That's so much more normal and more likely to happen to you than Amy growing up with the crack in her wall, right?

Same with Rose and Clara, there is hardly much difference between Rose absorbing the time vortex and gaining super powers and Clara entering the Doctor's time stream and resulting in all of her copies. As you mentioned the only difference that this time the foreshadowing was stronger than with Rose or Donna.
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Old 17-07-2013, 09:51
greymarl
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I'll take Sarah-Jane.

But Rose and Donna? Donna's meta-crisis fate echoed throughout history (after she also sacrificed herself save the Universe) and Rose absorbed the time vortex. As in the first post.

The difference with Clara? We knew something was going to happen to her from the beginning. We just saw the same thing in reverse. Until she stepped in to The Doctor's time stream - she was perfectly normal - and she may be perfectly normal again come November.

Weird and wonderful things happening to normal people isn't going to go away in Modern Who. All five companions have been normal people - changed by an event in their lives. Some (such as Clara) have been foreshadowed stronger than others, but the concept is the same. As already mentioned, Martha got off the easiest, but still went from medical student to warrior.

I knew someone would bring that up. The point I'm making is that for the vast majority of their time on the show they were normal women whom one could easily relate to even if you didn't especially like them. And, because of that, when those things happened, it was a lot easier to take because we had been allowed to get to know the characters properly on a real, human level. As you have pointed out, that wasn't allowed to happen with Clara, and thus personally, I couldn't really care less what happens to her character - because I haven't been 'let in' to get to know her properly.

But it's not just Clara, it's River Song, who I know was never a 'normal' woman anyway, but that just emphasises my point - 'normal' women aren't allowed on the show under Moffat. And then we have Amy, who again is not your average woman in the street, but a person who (like Clara) has had this mystery about her since childhood which sets her apart from the rest of us mere mortals. So, again, with both of those characters, we have the problem of not really being able to relate to them (Amy less so than River), and thus care about them.

Rose and Donna were certainly problematic as characters, but nowhere near as problematic as any of Moffat's creations.

I would like to see the companion being just that, a companion who accompanies the Doctor on his adventures. Not the cause of or solution to those adventures. Just a companion.
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Old 17-07-2013, 09:55
The_abbott
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A couple of old companions that weren't quite the norm:

Susan was the Doctor's grand daughter
The master took over Nyssa's dad's body (which they didn't use to any potential that they would in today's Who).


I agree that companions should just be normal humans/aliens with no powers or significant importance to the cosmos.
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Old 17-07-2013, 10:04
johnnysaucepn
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Wait - people are upset because Doctor Who isn't realistic enough?

Travel long enough with the Doctor, and crazy things will happen to you. That's the message that's always been there. You can't just sit in the back seat of the TARDIS and have everything pass you by. The problem is that things of huge cosmic significance happen to the Doctor, and by extension they affect the people who he's with.

I'd much rather have that that the interchangeable bland companion who's just there to fulfill whatever needs to be done to move the plot along.
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Old 17-07-2013, 10:08
Sara_Peplow
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Yes true but remember what happened to the companions whenn they were not with the doctor.
Rose was stuck in another dimension. Ending up living a normal life with a half human version of 10 "her" doctor. Donna lost her memeories but had money and a loving family mum,grandad ,husband. River was tortured in a orphange as a little girl to be a psycho killer adult . Pretended to kill him and wasted years in prison between "date nights" with her husband. Finally she died saving 10 and the other people. Now she has to spend eternity in a virtual dream world. Mr Lux FOTD "Its only half a life off course but it's forever". Finally Amy and Rory tried to go back to being "normal" after losing their daughetr and the ability to have other children. They ended up stuck in past new york with an adopted son but no contact with any other freinds or family ageing to death in their 80s . RIP mr and mrs williams. If I was Clara I would check my will and life insurance policy!.
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Old 17-07-2013, 10:17
Sara_Peplow
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All true but rememeber what happened to them when they weren't with the doctor anymore.
Rose was in a parlell universe. She got a half human version of 10 "her" doctor to be with.
Donna lost her memories but still had her family and won the lottery. River was raised to kill the doctor but fell in love with him instead. Loved him so much she wasted years in stormcage for his "murder" waiting for "date nights". Died saving his younger self and 4020 souls in the library. Now she is stuck there for eternity as a ghost. Amy and Rory tried to be "normal" after losing their daughter and the chance to have others. Ended up in past new york ageing to death never seeing their family (apart from their adopted son anthony)or freinds again. If I was Clara I would check my will and life insurance policy!.
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Old 17-07-2013, 10:20
bbll22
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Personally, I would rather have the companion be someone important and meaningful to the Doctor compared to someone like a "Bernadette Bland" who leaves no lasting memory or legacy on the show. No offence caused to anyone named Bernadette Bland by the way!

To me, companions have got to have something mysterious or hidden about them because it makes their purpose of travelling with the Doctor more worthwhile. It's far better than the Doctor just picking up a stray person for the sake of it - that is something I really don't like at all now, it just feels meaningless.

A companion needs a big purpose and I'm glad this is the way the show is going.
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Old 17-07-2013, 10:33
Theophile
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Personally, I would rather have the companion be someone important and meaningful to the Doctor compared to someone like a "Bernadette Bland" who leaves no lasting memory or legacy on the show. No offence caused to anyone named Bernadette Bland by the way!

To me, companions have got to have something mysterious or hidden about them because it makes their purpose of travelling with the Doctor more worthwhile. It's far better than the Doctor just picking up a stray person for the sake of it - that is something I really don't like at all now, it just feels meaningless.

A companion needs a big purpose and I'm glad this is the way the show is going.
Many of The Doctor's best companions: Steven Taylor, Jamie McCrimmon and, of course, Sarah Jane Smith, were people who were basically ordinary. They simply traveled with The Doctor. When push came to shove, they did some good things, even some remarkable things, but they never were the insane, super amazing, better than the rest of the universe, demigod character which the modern women seem to be. (And, of course the men are never portrayed this way, just the women. The men cower in the corners at the first sign of danger (see the episode "Rose") while the women save The Doctor, the world, etc..)

The original poster is correct, Moffat cannot write women to save his life so he makes them all Wonder Woman and we don't have anybody human with whom to relate.
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Old 17-07-2013, 10:52
bbll22
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Many of The Doctor's best companions: Steven Taylor, Jamie McCrimmon and, of course, Sarah Jane Smith, were people who were basically ordinary. They simply traveled with The Doctor. When push came to shove, they did some good things, even some remarkable things, but they never were the insane, super amazing, better than the rest of the universe, demigod character which the modern women seem to be. (And, of course the men are never portrayed this way, just the women. The men cower in the corners at the first sign of danger (see the episode "Rose") while the women save The Doctor, the world, etc..)

The original poster is correct, Moffat cannot write women to save his life so he makes them all Wonder Woman and we don't have anybody human with whom to relate.
You believe the OP is correct but I would disagree with the pair of you. I think he writes women fine, yes they may be a bit fiesty but timid and shy doesn't tend to lend itself to being a memorable character at all to me. Amy had a lot more to her character too, Clara less so for me, but they are more than just a "Wonder Woman" as you put it.

I have found people like Amy before in my life, but never anyone like Rose or Donna. Amy for me is the most relatable female companion Nu-Who has had by far.

Overall, Rory is the most relatable for me as a man and he showed great progression from being just a man "who cowers in the corner" as you label all the men for being to becoming a self-assured man who would do things that would be for the best.

Classic companions may have been more normal, but I don't honestly think it would work too well today at all now. To me the companion has to be there for a good reason, not just for the sake of it or being plucked out of their life on a whim.
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Old 17-07-2013, 10:53
SilenceWillFall
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Many of The Doctor's best companions: Steven Taylor, Jamie McCrimmon and, of course, Sarah Jane Smith, were people who were basically ordinary. They simply traveled with The Doctor. When push came to shove, they did some good things, even some remarkable things, but they never were the insane, super amazing, better than the rest of the universe, demigod character which the modern women seem to be. (And, of course the men are never portrayed this way, just the women. The men cower in the corners at the first sign of danger (see the episode "Rose") while the women save The Doctor, the world, etc..)

The original poster is correct, Moffat cannot write women to save his life so he makes them all Wonder Woman and we don't have anybody human with whom to relate.
The thing is that you're comparing Classic Who characters and NuWho characters. NuWho is much more character driven than Classic Who, which was mainly plot driven.

Also as even the OP themselves said what they are hinting at is hardly a Moffat thing only, it has been present in NuWho since the start under RTD as well from Rose Tyler, defender of the Earth, Martha Jones, the girl who walked the Earth to Donna, the most important woman in the universe. Arguably Moffat's characters are a bit more superheroish at the start than RTD's but at the end most of RTD's characters turned superhero by their end as well.
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Old 17-07-2013, 11:01
JohnnyForget
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It's the 50th anniversary of the show this year, and if you go watch the early Hartnells you'll find they're as much about Ian and Barbara as they are about the Doctor, with Barbara's brain and Ian's brawn often helping the old man (the First Doctor) out of tricky situations.

Important companions are nothing new.
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Old 17-07-2013, 11:02
SilenceWillFall
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You believe the OP is correct but I would disagree with the pair of you. I think he writes women fine, yes they may be a bit fiesty but timid and shy doesn't tend to lend itself to being a memorable character at all to me. Amy had a lot more to her character too, Clara less so for me, but they are more than just a "Wonder Woman" as you put it.

I have found people like Amy before in my life, but never anyone like Rose or Donna. Amy for me is the most relatable female companion Nu-Who has had by far.

Overall, Rory is the most relatable for me as a man and he showed great progression from being just a man "who cowers in the corner" as you label all the men for being to becoming a self-assured man who would do things that would be for the best.

Classic companions may have been more normal, but I don't honestly think it would work too well today at all now. To me the companion has to be there for a good reason, not just for the sake of it or being plucked out of their life on a whim.
I don't quite understand the need of some people to relate to the companions on a personal level. If I had to relate to a NuWho companion then it would be Martha. Yet she is probably the least interesting companion to me as I don't feel strongly about her in one way or another, I neither love her nor hate her. The companion who I can relate to least is Donna and yet she's my favorite companion.

I don't think I've ever met a woman like Donna in real life either, not sure about Rose, but if I met a person like her I'd probably go out of my way to avoid them tbh.
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Old 17-07-2013, 11:06
C. Samurai
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We should have kept Smith and fired Moffat.
We should have kicked you out of the fandom since you clearly don't enjoy quality tv.
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Old 17-07-2013, 12:31
johnnysaucepn
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When push came to shove, they did some good things, even some remarkable things, but they never were the insane, super amazing, better than the rest of the universe, demigod character which the modern women seem to be. (And, of course the men are never portrayed this way, just the women. The men cower in the corners at the first sign of danger (see the episode "Rose") while the women save The Doctor, the world, etc..)
I have no idea what particular chip you have on your shoulder, but I don't think you can possibly justify that. Rose, Martha, Donna, Amy, Rory, Clara - all clearly written as perfectly normal, if capable, members of humanity. The scripts go to lengths to show how normal they are. River is the exception, and pointedly so.

Of course the companions are going to be exceptionally brave - they always have been. And yes, they have been mostly female, but there's nothing new there.

For every female hero in a story, I can show you a male one. For every female villain, I can show you a male one. For every male coward, I can show you a male hero.
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Old 17-07-2013, 12:36
DiscoP
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Amen, Amen and Amen.

I thought that the nadir of the show was The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe when The Doctor just stood around and the random woman knew instinctively to do everything (drive a Mech, save her children, absorb an alien race, fly a spaceship, save her husband over the English Channel, etc.) while The Doctor just was kind of there. However, with Clara, I am starting to rethink that it is actually sinking to new lows.

We should have kept Smith and fired Moffat.
Fortunately fans have no say in the matter. Smith left of his own accord, (and was only ever going to do three series anyway) and Moffat cannot be fired just because he writes something that you don't like.
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Old 17-07-2013, 12:38
stud u like
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It's the 50th anniversary of the show this year, and if you go watch the early Hartnells you'll find they're as much about Ian and Barbara as they are about the Doctor, with Barbara's brain and Ian's brawn often helping the old man (the First Doctor) out of tricky situations.

Important companions are nothing new.
They have all helped solve the plot in some way as you suggest.

From Dodo's cold to Tegan's bunny rabbits.
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Old 17-07-2013, 12:44
jrmswfc
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I'm all for a bit of companion backstory, but don't think there's any need for the series heavily involving their mum / boyfriend / grandad. Rose being a particular "offender".

I much prefer the companion to be just an ordinary person who doesn't dominate the story.
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Old 17-07-2013, 13:04
Shawn_Lunn
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Companions not dominating the story is boring. They're the second lead character and TV has changed.
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Old 17-07-2013, 16:34
bbll22
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Companions not dominating the story is boring. They're the second lead character and TV has changed.
Completely agree with this. Anyway, aren't we meant to be seeing these adventures through the eyes of the companion? I thought that was the whole purpose of them...our view into the world of the Doctor...if it's through the eyes of the Doctor, it becomes quite boring soon after in my mind.

When Moffat said about the companion's being the main star of the show or things to that effect last year, I completely agreed and I hope it stays that way for a good while yet.

A companion has to have a lot more to them nowadays than just being a passenger, and as you say Shawn...TV has moved on and changed.
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Old 17-07-2013, 16:41
Laura_Amanda
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It's the 50th anniversary of the show this year, and if you go watch the early Hartnells you'll find they're as much about Ian and Barbara as they are about the Doctor, with Barbara's brain and Ian's brawn often helping the old man (the First Doctor) out of tricky situations.

Important companions are nothing new.
This! Just finished the chase and really Ian and Barbara ran things with the doctor.
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Old 17-07-2013, 16:42
Laura_Amanda
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I'm all for a bit of companion backstory, but don't think there's any need for the series heavily involving their mum / boyfriend / grandad. Rose being a particular "offender".

I much prefer the companion to be just an ordinary person who doesn't dominate the story.
Soooo people want someone relatable but not relatable enough where you care to meet their family?


I personally loved Brian Williams, Rorys dad. His role made me smile.
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