Movies and TV
The Escapist's Favorite Things About Doctor Who

The Escapist Staff | 20 Aug 2014 12:00
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Freema Agyeman as Martha Jones
Mike Hoffman says: Martha Jones is my favorite companion, and I know a lot of people don't share that opinion. The biggest complaint I hear about Martha is that she was angsty about her unrequited feelings for the Doctor, and admittedly that was a little hard to watch. Still, this also lends itself to Martha's greatest strength: she's her own person, fully and entirely. Sure, the Doctor doesn't have any romantic interest in her, and she knows that's okay, even if she's upset by it. She knows it doesn't diminish who she is, and she is one of the most individual companions on New Who (I haven't seen much Classic Who, sadly).

Martha wasn't plucked out of an unhappy life to go traveling with the Doctor, she was already established in a successful career and a comparatively healthy familial relationship. Unlike certain other companions, she doesn't sit around just waiting for the Doctor to come pick her up, she lives her own life. To Martha Jones, the Doctor is a companion, and only an occasional one at that. And most importantly, Martha Jones is the one who left. Completely of her own volition, she said, "You know what? This has been great, but I think I want to do my own thing, now." Not to mention she was just always awesome to watch on screen, especially in episodes like "Human Nature"/"Family of Blood".

John Simm as The Master
Marshall Lemon says: I never really bought into that "hero-nemesis love-hate" relationship business most serialized characters go through eventually. At best, it always seemed one-sided: the Joker might really enjoy toying with Batman, but that feeling is assuredly not mutual. Where I make an exception, however, is with The Doctor and The Master. Watching this pair interact is like watching a cosmic rivalry between brothers who can't quite get along, thanks largely to the performances of David Tennant and John Simm.

In many ways, The Doctor and The Master are perfect foils to each other. As Time Lords, both characters are well-versed in the nature of paradoxes and time vortex mechanics. Both are obsessed with the planet Earth, whether protecting or dominating it. Both upset the well laid plans of adversaries by taking advantage of minor details. But what made their Newvian incarnations so special was that each character shared a great loss. Despite their conflict, Gallifrey was a beloved childhood home, one neither of them could ever return to. That simple fact prompted rare, heartfelt conversations between the adversaries, and in a strange way, made them feel responsible for one another. It was a unique dynamic that made The Master one of Doctor Who's more sympathetic villains, even as he committed horrible atrocities. It's also why, just like the Daleks and Cybermen, series writers won't let him disappear forever.

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