“Yo NuWhovians, I’m really sad for you, I’mma let you finish but Clara is NOT one of the longest-standing companions ever.”
Seriously, the media and modern fans piss me off with that shit. Railing on about how great David Tennant was, how Rose is their favorite companion, and now ranking Clara above all others for her time on the show.
Give me a break. At the end of Series 8 and the Christmas Special she’ll only rank up there for “total adventures”, meaning televised stories. That ties her with Rose at #3 and yes, one of yours is #1… Amy Pond was there for 25 story lines. Yet I bet you “fans” probably never heard of the Brigadier, who was there for 23 of his own story lines; and he outdid every single companion for total airtime.
You see, while you’re talking about the tenure of your NuWho characters, you forget that your stories are usually 45 minutes long, maybe jumping to 50-60 for specials and then up toward 90-100 for your two-parters. Old school Who, though? A complete story took 100-150 minutes, with the largest around 5 hours and the smallest still coming in at almost an hour. You get your story squeezed into a prime time TV slot, whereas ours were like watching feature films. That also means that, when it comes to on-screen time, the original companions beat yours hand down. Let’s take a look at the top 10 companions for episodic hours:
- Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (48)
- Jamie McCrimmon (47)
- Sarah Jane Smith (37)
- K-9 (33)
- Ian Chesterton (33)
- Barbara Wright (33)
- Jo Grant (32)
- Tegan Jovanka (28)
- Amy Pond (24)
- Susan Foreman (23)
Oh, what’s that? Only one NuWho companion makes it and it isn’t even precious Rose? That’s right, ven stuck-up Barbara and Ian, whiny Tegan, and scatter-brained Jo got more play than the new lot.
And then there’s actual tenure on the show. You go on about how X person was on the show Y months, but how long is that overall? I mean, Clara will have been on the show for 18 months upon her exit, including downtime between episodes and seasons. That ain’t nothing compared to some of the original companions, including a select few who would disappear for years before showing up for a stint again. Let’s at the top 10 for total consistent (no more than three episodes in gaps) years:
- Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (5)
- K-9 (3.33)
- Tegan Jovanka (3)
- Sarah Jane (2.75)
- Peri Brown (2.66)
- Jamie McCrimmon (2.5)
- Amy Pond (2.5)
- Jo Grant (2.5)
- Nyssa (2)
- Rory Williams (1.8)
Wow, you got two NuWho characters on there… in the lower end. Still got beat out by some of the same original companions. This isn’t even taking into account those who would come back regularly over years or even decades. That’s right, Sarah Jane had the longest stint on the show at 34.5 years between her first and last episodes, followed by the Brigadier (21.66) and Susan (19.33). The best you can come up with is River Song, who was with the show for almost 5 years but only appeared in 10 adventures. Even with the huge gaps between some of Jack or Rose’s reappearances, they were still beat out by a robot dog (who was on the show for over 3 years with only a few gaps).
So shut up about your stupid Clara, talking about how it’s so shocking she’s leaving the show after 18 months. Until you’ve watched Sarah Jane get suddenly ditched, Romana and K-9 disappear into the E-Space, or Adric sacrifice himself for all life on Earth… you don’t know what it’s like to have a companion leave the show.