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The 10 Best Doctor Who Companions, Ranked (2005-Present)

Since its revival in 2005, “Doctor Who” has introduced a diverse array of Doctor Who companions who have traveled alongside the Doctor, enriching the series with their unique perspectives, deep emotions, and memorable moments. These companions have become beloved by fans for their distinct personalities, the adventures they’ve undertaken, and the profound impact they’ve had on the Doctor and the narrative of the show. In this post, we rank the modern era Doctor Who companions from worst to best, celebrating their contributions to the timeless saga of “Doctor Who.”

Doctor Who Companions, Ranked

10 – Graham O’Brien

Doctor Who Companions - Graham O'Brien
(Image Credit: BBC)

Graham O’Brien, known for his practical wisdom and kindness, brings a grounded perspective to the Doctor’s adventures. Initially sceptical of the alien and the extraordinary, Graham evolves into a brave and dependable Doctor Who companion. His emotional depth, stemming from personal loss and his battle with cancer, adds a poignant layer to his character. Graham’s loyalty and resilience make him a relatable and endearing figure, providing a touch of humanity amidst the chaos of time travel.

Who plays Graham O’Brien? Bradley Walsh

First appearance:The Woman Who Fell to Earth” (2018)

Last appearance:Revolution of the Daleks” (2021)

Best Episodes:

Number of Featured Episodes: 23

Travelled With: Thirteenth Doctor (Jodie Whittaker)


9 – River Song

Doctor Who Companions - River Song
(Image Credit: BBC)

River Song, the enigmatic and adventurous archaeologist, brings complexity and romance to the series. With a timey-wimey relationship with the Doctor that unfolds out of order, River’s story is both tragic and exhilarating. Her confidence, intelligence, and charm make her a compelling character. River’s mysterious origins and deep connection with the Doctor are central to many story arcs, adding layers of intrigue and emotion to the narrative.

Who plays River Song? Alex Kingston

First appearance:Silence in the Library” (2008)

Last appearance:Twice Upon a Time” (2017)

Best Episodes:

Number of Featured Episodes: 15

Travelled With: Tenth Doctor (David Tennant), Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith), Twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi)


8 – Bill Potts

Doctor Who Companions- Bill Potts
(Image Credit: BBC)

Bill Potts, a lively and inquisitive companion, brings a fresh perspective with her curiosity and genuine compassion. As an openly gay character, Bill adds significant representation to the series. Her thirst for knowledge and her empathetic nature make her interactions with the Doctor and other characters both heartwarming and thought-provoking. Bill’s journey, though brief, is marked by personal growth, deep emotional connections, and memorable adventures.

Who plays Bill Potts? Pearl Mackie

First appearance:The Pilot” (2017)

Last appearance:Twice Upon a Time” (2017)

Best Episodes:

Number of Featured Episodes: 13

Travelled With: Twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi)


7 – Ruby Sunday

Doctor Who Companions - Ruby Sunday
(Image Credit: BBC)

Ruby Sunday, a new addition to the Doctor Who universe, is known for her courage and quick thinking. Her youthful energy and adventurous spirit bring new life to the series, making her a fresh and exciting character to watch. As a companion to the Fifteenth Doctor, Ruby’s dynamic with the Doctor promises to explore new facets of the classic Doctor-companion relationship.

Who plays Ruby Sunday? Millie Gibson

First appearance:2023 Christmas Special” (2023)

Last appearance:Empire of Death” (2024)

Best Episodes:

Number of Featured Episodes: 9

Travelled With: Fifteenth Doctor (Ncuti Gatwa)


6 – Jack Harkness

Doctor Who Companions - Jack Harkness
(Image Credit: BBC)

Jack Harkness, the charming and enigmatic Time Agent, adds flair and mystery to the Doctor’s adventures. His immortality and complex past make him a fascinating and beloved character. Jack’s flirtatious nature, combined with his deep sense of justice and loyalty, create a unique dynamic with the Doctor and other companions. His appearances often bring a mix of humour, drama, and action to the series.

Who plays Jack Harkness? John Barrowman

First appearance:The Empty Child” (2005)

Last appearance:Revolution of the Daleks” (2021)

Best Episodes:

Number of Featured Episodes: 13

Travelled With: Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston), Tenth Doctor (David Tennant), Thirteenth Doctor (Jodie Whittaker)


5 – Clara Oswald

Doctor Who Companions - Clara Oswald
(Image Credit: BBC)

Clara Oswald, known for her quick wit and adventurous spirit, adds depth and intrigue to the series. Her multiple incarnations and mysterious origins make her a standout character, exploring themes of identity, bravery, and the complexities of time travel. Clara’s evolution from a curious companion to a confident and assertive traveller is compelling, and her relationship with the Doctor is marked by mutual respect and deep affection.

Who plays Clara Oswald? Jenna Coleman

First appearance:Asylum of the Daleks” (2012)

Last appearance:Twice Upon a Time” (2017)

Best Episodes:

Number of Featured Episodes: 38

Travelled With: Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith), Twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi)


4 – Dr. Martha Jones

Doctor Who Companions - Martha Jones
(Image Credit: BBC)

Dr. Martha Jones, celebrated for her intelligence, independence, and resilience, brings a unique perspective and strong sense of responsibility to her adventures. Her story delves into themes of unrequited love, self-reliance, and personal growth. Martha’s medical expertise and quick thinking often save the day, and her journey from a medical student to a world-saving hero is inspiring.

Who plays Dr. Martha Jones? Freema Agyeman

First appearance:Smith and Jones” (2007)

Last appearance:The End of Time” (2010)

Best Episodes:

Number of Featured Episodes: 20

Travelled With: Tenth Doctor (David Tennant)


3 – Amy Pond

Doctor Who Companions - Amy Pond
(Image Credit: BBC)

Amy Pond, known for her bravery and determined personality, becomes one of the Doctor’s most loyal companions. Her strong-willed nature and quick thinking help her navigate many challenges, exploring themes of loyalty, courage, and personal growth. Amy’s relationship with the Doctor is deeply emotional, and her journey with Rory adds an extra layer of complexity to her character.

Who plays Amy Pond? Karen Gillan

First appearance:The Eleventh Hour” (2010)

Last appearance:The Angels Take Manhattan” (2012)

Best Episodes:

Number of Featured Episodes: 35

Travelled With: Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith)


2 – Donna Noble

Doctor Who Companions - Donna Noble
(Image Credit: BBC)

Donna Noble, known for her sharp wit and tenacity, transforms from a temp worker to a confident and compassionate traveller of time and space. Her character explores themes of self-worth, courage, and the impact of ordinary people on the universe. Donna’s dynamic with the Doctor is one of mutual respect and deep friendship, making her departure all the more heartbreaking.

Who plays Donna Noble? Catherine Tate

First appearance:The Runaway Bride” (2006)

Last appearance:Journey’s End” (2008)

Best Episodes:

Number of Featured Episodes: 16

Travelled With: Tenth Doctor (David Tennant)


1 – Rose Tyler

Doctor Who Companions - Rose Tyler
(Image Credit: BBC)

Rose Tyler, known for her bravery, compassion, and deep connection with the Doctor, is one of the most iconic companions. Her relationship with the Doctor profoundly impacts the series’ narrative and emotional depth, exploring themes of love, sacrifice, and personal growth. Rose’s journey from a shop assistant to a defender of the universe is marked by significant growth and unforgettable moments.

Who plays Rose Tyler? Billie Piper

First appearance:Rose” (2005)

Last appearance:The Day of the Doctor” (2013)

Best Episodes:

Number of Featured Episodes: 24

Travelled With: Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston), Tenth Doctor (David Tennant)

Frequently Answered Questions

Who is the most popular modern Doctor Who companion?

Rose Tyler is often considered the most popular modern companion due to her deep emotional connection with the Doctor and her significant impact on the series.

Which companion had the most episodes in the modern era?

Clara Oswald, portrayed by Jenna Coleman, featured in the most episodes, with a total of 38 appearances.

Who are the companions that travelled with more than one Doctor?

  • Rose Tyler: Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston) and Tenth Doctor (David Tennant)
  • Jack Harkness: Ninth Doctor (Christopher Eccleston), Tenth Doctor (David Tennant), Thirteenth Doctor (Jodie Whittaker)
  • Clara Oswald: Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) and Twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi)
  • River Song: Tenth Doctor (David Tennant), Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith), Twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi)

Which companions have had romantic connections with the Doctor?

Rose Tyler and River Song are the most notable companions who have had romantic connections with the Doctor, adding layers of emotional complexity to their relationships.

Who is the longest-serving companion in the modern era of Doctor Who?

Clara Oswald is the longest-serving companion in terms of episodes, appearing in 38 episodes from 2012 to 2017.

Are there any companions who are also notable for their roles in other TV shows or movies?

Yes, several companions are notable for their roles outside of Doctor Who:

  • Karen Gillan (Amy Pond): Known for her role as Nebula in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
  • Freema Agyeman (Martha Jones): Starred in the TV series “Law & Order: UK” and “Sense8.”
  • John Barrowman (Jack Harkness): Starred in “Torchwood” and has a successful stage and TV career.

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