All Doctor Who's and his sidekicks: nearly 60 years of the BBC series

A look back at the doctors and their sidekicks
William Hartnell 1963 – 1966
Partner - Susan
Patrick Troughton 1966 – 1969
Partner- Jamie Mccrimmon
John Pertwee 1970 – 1974
Partner - Jo Grant
Tom Baker 1974 – 1981
Partner -  Sarah Jane Smith
Peter Davidson 1981 – 1984
Partner - Tegan Jovanka
Colin Baker 1984 – 1986
Partner - Peri Brown
Sylvester McCoy 1987 – 1989
Partner - Ace
Paul McGann 1996
Partner - Lucie Miller
The war Doctor
Christopher Eccleston 2005
Partner - Rose Tyler
David Tennant 2005 – 2010
Partner - Rose Tyler
Partner - Martha Jones
Partner - Donna Noble
Matt Smith 2010 – 2013
Partner - Amy Pond
Peter Capaldi 2013 – 2017
Partner - Clara Oswald
Jodie Whittaker 2017 – present
Partner - Graham O'Brien
Ncuti Gatwa 2022 - ?
Parter - Rose Tyler (Yasmin Finney)
A look back at the doctors and their sidekicks

As we eagerly great our new Dr Who and wonder who his companions will be, we look back at the Dr and his/her sidekicks through the years.

William Hartnell 1963 – 1966

The First Doctor appeared to be a frail old professor type; but don't be fooled. He played deadly games with the Celestial Toymaker, and foiled the Daleks whenever they challenged him with.

Partner - Susan

The first Doctor was spoiled with a trio of companions when Doctor Who debuted in 1963, with Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright also in the first series, but it was the doctor’s granddaughter, Susan (Carole Ann Ford) who laid the blueprint for the traditional Doctor Who companion.

Patrick Troughton 1966 – 1969

Dr number two was very different to his predecessor - a little darker and more playful, but a razor sharp mind. But alas he was forced in to exile by the time lords.

Partner- Jamie Mccrimmon

An 18th century Scotsman known as Jamie McCrimmon is the second Doctor’s sidekick. Jamie's roots made him more ignorant than The Doctor's other 20th century companions, but the character learned quickly and was fiercely loyal.

John Pertwee 1970 – 1974

In case you didn’t know John Pertwee also played the original Worzel Gummidge and his son is the butler to young Batman in the series Gotham. The Third Doctor began his exile on earth with a new face and a new personality. He was confident and brash, but with a gentle fatherly side.

Partner - Jo Grant

Jo Grant (Katy Manning). Arguably the originator for the current companion model, She was inquisitive and confident, but dazzled enough by The Doctor's genius to need everything explanations for most things.

Tom Baker 1974 – 1981

Tom Baker is currently the longest serving doctor. Eccentric and brilliant a freewheeling bohemian spirit with a wide-eyed, childlike sense of wonder at the ways of the universe, with a taste for flair and Jelly babies.

Partner - Sarah Jane Smith

Often considered the best companion of Doctor Who's classic run, Elisabeth Sladen made a lasting impression as Sarah Jane Smith. Special mention to K-9 a robotic dog, first appearing in 1977.

Peter Davidson 1981 – 1984

Clever and kind Doctor number five was a real science enthusiast; even reuniting with his past selves to fight in the Death Zone.

Partner - Tegan Jovanka

Janet Fielding played the fifth Doctor's sidekick. Davidson was a little short-changed in the companion stakes, and it's no real surprise that this era was the start of a gradual decline in viewership for the BBC's Dr Who series. More whiney and doubtful than the other sidekicks.

Colin Baker 1984 – 1986

With an explosion of colours, words and emotions the sixth Doctor had a bit of a temper. You did not want to upset this doctor.

Partner - Peri Brown

The first American companion to travel in the TARDIS, Peri (Nicola Bryant) was a more stereotypical assistant for Doctor number six, screaming when needed and lacking somewhat in personality.

Sylvester McCoy 1987 – 1989

Doctor number six was much more playful, even clown-like at times but also a master of dark secrets. Toppling empires and entertaining the Gods of Ragnarok.

Partner - Ace

One of the more action type of characters, Ace (Sophie Aldred) was brave and bold in relation to her Doctor's unassuming calm; and the duo made a really good team.

Paul McGann 1996

Paul McGann only played the doctor once, in a special 1996 Doctor Who Film. However, he did reappear briefly in a special 50th anniversary Doctor Who episode. In The Night of the Doctor, McGann's Doctor is seen for one last time before he regenerates into John Hurt, the War Doctor.

Partner - Lucie Miller

Lucie (played by the wonderful Sheridan Smith) was forced upon The Doctor by the Time Lords, and although at first it was a reluctant pairing, the two came to be extremely fond of each other.

Photo: BBC

The war Doctor

Not technically classed as an official Doctor, we learn about him in a mini episode called ‘The Night of the Doctor'. In this special episode, Doctor number eight wants to regenerate as a warrior not a doctor. Muttering the famous line, ‘doctor no more’.

Photo: BBC

Christopher Eccleston 2005

Bringing back and regenerating the famous franchise Doctor number nine was intense and emotional and sadly only did one season.

Partner - Rose Tyler

Billie Piper, partnering not one but two doctors and increasing the importance of the sidekick role in the series.

David Tennant 2005 – 2010

Voted the nations favourite doctor. His first full episode as the Doctor was the 60-minute special 'The Christmas Invasion', broadcast on Christmas Day 2005.

Partner - Rose Tyler

It would be a crime to suggest anyone other than Rose Tyler could be the one true companion to Doctor number ten. Not only was the chemistry between the two amazing, they were the first Doctor/companion pairing to be romantically linked. According to the Express, Rose Tyler could be back in the new series of Doctor Who in 2023.

Partner - Martha Jones

Freema Agyeman had difficult shoes to fill after Rose Tyler was written out the script. Martha was a medical student whose hospital was transported to the moon. She had feelings for the doctor - they were not reciprocated - so she went back to live on earth after many adventures with the Doctor.

Partner - Donna Noble

A multi-faceted character played by British Comedy legend, Catherine Tate. Donna originally appeared in the closing scene of the show's 2006 series and then as a special guest star in its following Christmas special, "The Runaway Bride". The role of the sidekick was taken over by Martha, but Noble came back for series 4. It has also been announced that Catherine Tate will reprise the role of Donna Noble for the series' 60th anniversary in 2023.

Matt Smith 2010 – 2013

Smith became the youngest actor to play the Doctor on television (the record was held by Peter Davison for over 25 years)

Partner - Amy Pond

Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) quickly came into her own, and her rock tight friendship with the Doctor ran much deeper than most TARDIS pairings. The real sign as to Amy's importance comes when Matt Smith's Doctor sees a vision of her shortly before regenerating.

Photo: BBC

Peter Capaldi 2013 – 2017

He appeared briefly as the doctor in the 50th anniversary episode before making the role his own. He is the third Scottish actor to play the Doctor, after Sylvester McCoy and David Tennant. But, unlike Tennant, Capaldi portrays the character with his natural Scottish accent.

Partner - Clara Oswald

During the Capaldi Clara begin to exhibit more of her own personality, complimenting the Doctor number twelves brash, unsociable alien tendencies.

Photo: BBC

Jodie Whittaker 2017 – present

Our first female Doctor - and what a brilliant one. Down to earth and much more in touch with her human emotions, with a love for people and life: a modern Doctor for modern times.

Partner - Graham O'Brien

Although Yaz could be in contention as Whittaker’s Doctor but the spark comes from different personalities when it comes to the Doctors’s flying companions. We say it is Graham (Bradley Walsh) who often asks the difficult questions and comes up with the occasional reality-check at crucial moments.

Photo: BBC

Ncuti Gatwa 2022 - ?

The actor, born in Rwanda but raised in Edinburgh, Scotland, has been chosen by the BBC to replace Jodie Whittaker at the helm of this legendary series. In 2018, he rose to global stardom overnight thanks to Eric Effiong, his character in 'Sex Education' (Netflix). But as of May 2022, Ncuti Gatwa will be remembered for being the 14th Doctor Who.

Parter - Rose Tyler (Yasmin Finney)

Although not yet confirmed she will be Gatwa's new companion, she will certainly have a big role. Is there a new Doctor Who multiverse? Is she Donna's or the Doctor's daughter? We will have to wait until 2023 to find out. According to Digital Spy, she said, "This show has a place in so many people's hearts, so to be seen as a trans actress by the legend himself Russell, has not only made my year, it's made my life. I cannot wait to begin this journey and for you all to see how Rose blossoms. Get Ready."

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