Monday, 20 July 2015

TGT Debate - Should The Doctor Have More Male Companions?

Last week we had an interesting debate about whether the Doctor should travel with more non-human companions. The results of the poll proved just as interesting, with 38% believing he should stick with humans, 6% saying he should travel with a robot and a majority of 56% who would like to see an alien on board the TARDIS. 

This week we're sticking with the theme of companions, looking at whether the Doctor should travel with more men or stick with the female companions. So, take it away Anna.

"The Doctor should have more male companions!" argues Anna

As we all know, the Doctor needs a companion. He needs someone so that he isn’t lonely, someone who can rein him in, someone he can explore the universe with. But does it always have to be a girl?
  
The majority of the Doctor’s companions have been girls, and even when there is a male companion, he is almost always secondary, and only there because of the female companion. The Doctor only seems to have companions he can impress, but perhaps he needs someone who challenges him a bit more. A male companion may be harder to impress, but this might help the Doctor truly look at the wonders of the universe, and find some really stunning adventures. Plus, I’m sure many guys would be very impressed with a time travelling space machine. 

Perhaps, with a male companion, the Doctor might also have someone he could relate to. I found that for the short time that Wilf travelled with him, they had some very meaningful chats that really meant something to them both. The Doctor often seems to question himself, and with a male companion it may be easier for him to talk to them and understand himself better. The Doctor-companion relationships should not all have to be hinting at romance, which is what everyone assumes is happening when there is a female companion. That doesn’t necessarily mean there can’t still be flirting; Jack was a male companion, and he was always flirting!

Also, it always seems to be the girls who get the cool back-stories, such as Clara (the Impossible Girl) and Rose (Bad Wolf). The only male companions I can think of with cool back-stories are Rory (the Last Centurion) and Jack (the Face of Boe), both of which were really great. I think Doctor Who needs a lot more guys with awesome back-stories, not just guys who were dragged into life with the doctor by their girlfriends. 

"The Doctor doesn't need more male companions!" argues Ben

The Doctor has travelled with many companions over the years. Some of them female, some of them male, some of them robot dogs. The most successful partnerships have always tended to be the Doctor with a female. There is clearly a reason why the writers and showrunners keep going back to this format. It's been tried and tested. Most of the more memorable companions that have become firm fan favourites are female. Susan, Jo, Sarah-Jane, Leela, Romana, Ace, Rose, Amy, River, Clara... the list goes on.

You'll notice with most of those is that they're not your traditional screaming damsel in distress. They're feisty women who can hold their own and keep up with the Doctor. This is important for Doctor Who as it provides a role model for young girls. While the boys look up to - and imagine they are - the Doctor, girls need a strong female character to inspire them. If the Doctor travels with a male friend, who is there for the girls? And it's not just girls that like the female companion. It's no secret that Doctor Who has always provided 'something for the dads' too.

The female companion also brings things to the mix that would be missing with a male companion. Firstly, the emotional relationship. Sometimes we get companions like Martha who fancy the Doctor, other times there are companions like Donna who bring comedy from not liking the Doctor in that way. We also have companions like Susan who the Doctor acts as a father figure towards. Having a female on board changes the dynamic and the companion often shows an empathy that is sometimes missing from the Doctor.

I'm not saying we shouldn't have male companions. Captain Jack, Rory and even Adric have been fun, interesting characters, but it is undeniable that the Doctor gets on better with the ladies and that's the way it should be.

So, you've heard our views, but what do you think? Should there be more male companions? Vote below and let us know your thoughts in the comments.