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August 28, 2015

Doctor Who gets younger, redder with new companion

by John Scott Lewinski, posted May 29th 2009 2:02PM
The new cast of 2010's next full season of the world's longest running sci-fi show is looking a lot like "Jim Henson's Doctor Who Babies" with the announcement of the new companion for Matt Smith's 11th Doctor.

Twenty-one-year-old Karen Gillan will become the show's first "ginger" companion when the red-head steps into the Tardis for executive producer Steven Moffat next year. When standing alongside 26-year-old Smith, the pair could look disturbingly like a Twilight book cover.

While it's not fair to say she got the part because she's Scottish, it couldn't hurt that her boss (Moffat) hails from the same part of the world. She studied acting at Telford College in Edinburgh and already has a short list of credits, including Outcast (a film with Jekyll star, James Nesbitt).

For a producer who once said The Doctor should be "40-something and weird looking," Moffat has put together the youngest Doctor and companion tandem ever to tour the universe. That could worry some fans that the show is leaning too much toward kids or surrendering to Hollywood's Star Trek "younger reboot" trend.

Then again, there's a reason Moffat has won three consecutive Hugo awards (one for each season he's written for Doctor Who). And, the BBC entrusted him with their biggest show for a reason: He's written the best episodes of the series since it returned to first-run TV. He's earned some fan trust and it should be interesting see how he uses these two in his new, darker Doctor Who.

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Roger Omeus Jr

I think with every new Doctor they should spot light on one old assistant. I loved that they brought Sarah Jane Smith back, and now she has one series (which ofcourse they don't play here in the U.S. dammit). I for one would love to see the new Doctor face Peri for instance. The way they left here story line was so dangling in the wind. I mean we know she survived, but the doctor and his new assistant should have to face what life can be like with the Doctor. It's not amazing all the time, just as Martha pointed out to Donna. The Doctor is like fire, and sometimes you get left behind, or worse dead. Another assistant I would love to see is Tegan. I could create an infinite amount of story lines to bring these stories to life, but that's just the writer in me. Sorry for the ramble, but I'm new to this site, and I love Dr. Who!

June 04 2009 at 11:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Judith Turner

I liked the way they transitioned from Christopher Eccleston to David Tennant, by keeping the same companion and letting her be a surrogate for the changes the audience was going through. Changing Doctors and companions simultaneously strikes me as a rather poor idea.

I also liked that they had 2nd companions at times with Rose's pre-TARDIS boyfriend (can't remember name of either the actor or character) and later Captain Jack Harkness. Martha was a great companion; I haven't seen the Donna Noble eps. yet but from other work by Catherine Tate, I think Donna Noble would have helped viewers get through the wrench a new Doctor inevitably brings.

May 29 2009 at 8:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The new doctor is just going to be "rude and ginger"

May 29 2009 at 4:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

With the already youngest actor getting ready to play the Doctor, now we have this 'pretty young thing' stepping into the TARDIS to join him?

Is she eye candy? Sure. Can she act? Apparently.

But...is she good for 'Doctor Who'? I'm not so sure.

The LAST thing we need in this series is another roamance angle -- whether it be unrequited (ala Martha Jones) or hinted that they both dig each other (Rose).

The Doctor's physical appearance might be getting younger (PB above is right -- next regen he'll be a teenager or -- yikes -- pull a 'Benjamin Button and need diapers), but the fact remains he's a 900 YEAR OLD ALIEN!! What exactly is being suggested here? That this being who's shy of a thousand years old would prefer the companionship and interaction of a young girl who has lived a fraction of his lifespan than someone with at least a few more years of knowledge, maturity, etc?

This makes him seem like a dirty old immortal.

As an aside, would it be too much trouble to throw a third companion back in the mix again? There was some great banter back and forth with the Doctor, Rose and Jack, not to mention the 'parties' that filled the TARDIS back in the 'old days.'

I dont know...Moffet blew us away with 'Blink' and 'Midnight'. But so far he's got me worried about his capabilities as showrunner. I don't need a younger, sexier "Doctor Who" series. But then again, I guess I'm not really the demographic anymore.

May 29 2009 at 3:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Tom's comment

You have to look deeper - Tennant's Doctor came a long way. Look at (how they tried to portray) him at the end of the series when he talked about his human version. He was very affected by all the loss of his companions...I hope that storyline continues to carry over.

May 29 2009 at 4:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"Jim Henson's Doctor Who Babies"

More like Doctor 9021Who.

May 29 2009 at 3:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Give me RTD anytime for writing the Doctor. I was never thrilled with Moffat's episodes. I don't think much of the new Doc, and his chum. Oh well, I have all my old Tom Baker episodes, and all the DT ones. And what, you don't remember Donna Noble as a redhead? Gingers everywhere curse you.

May 29 2009 at 3:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to mj's comment

That's what they all say about the new Doctors...until they see them and like them :)

May 29 2009 at 4:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

She's very cute...

May 29 2009 at 3:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

While I'm sure she's a lovely actress who will do a wonderful job, I cannot stress my disappointment in type of companion. This parade of young and pretty, potential love interests is getting annoying. What's wrong with male companions or older companions of either gender?

Fingers crossed for another companion being introduced. And fingers crossed she doesn't fall in love with him like Rose and Martha.

May 29 2009 at 2:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Doesn't the Doctor regenerate younger every time? IF so, then he's going to be a teenager next time!

May 29 2009 at 2:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to PB's comment

Not everytime: Colin Baker was older than Peter Davison.

May 29 2009 at 2:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Donna was a redhead and so was Melanie Bush as played by Bonnie Langford in the eighties.

May 29 2009 at 2:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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