Last week we discussed whether more two-parters in series 9 was a good thing. 69% of you agreed that it was, while 31% preferred single episodes.
This week we’re looking at the companions. With the news the Rigsy will be returning in series 9, this has led us to think whether multiple companions works better than single companions. So, let’s find out.
In a show like Doctor Who, with such a variable cast, it often seems as if someone we only just met has suddenly finished their season and is gone forever. Because of this, I believe that having just one companion is better. With only so many episodes to work with per season, it’s trickier to properly develop characters when there are more of them. Companions are often the most harshly judged by fans, and a badly developed companion would have a huge negative effect on the whole show.
Another thing that immediately comes to mind when I think of multiple companions is Mickey and Rory, who were two of the most prominent new who “second companions”. Not many people seemed too crazy about Rory; he tried to look at the practical side of things, when everyone knows that Doctor Who is often far from practical. After a while, I think we all just got tired of watching him die again and again. In terms of Mickey, I have yet to meet someone made it past “p-p-p-pizza!” and stills thinks Mickey is cool.
Considering they meet new people practically every episode, I don’t think there really needs to be more than one companion. The one-time characters often act as second companions anyway. With so many people to keep track of per episode, I’d just go out of my mind worrying about them all; I mean, more characters for Moffat to kill off, right? Also, with more characters, they’d need more scenes to show what each person is doing, which implying the use of shorter scenes. This would just amount to a bunch of very short clips, which would end up being rather confusing and boring for viewers, as this style would be scattered and jumpy.
As Ben says, a second companion may allow for extra subplots or conflicts, but wouldn’t that just take away from the main plot? I much prefer having just one problem per episode, rather than having to worry about two separate issues. With multiple conflicts, the viewers would have a split focus, which wouldn’t allow them to become fully engaged in either dilemma, causing them to lose interest.
Overall, I think it’s best for extra companions to be kept to only one or two episodes, and for there to be only one main companion per season.