Companions in Color by Samantha Harden

From the moment I happened upon Matt Smith dipping fish fingers into custard on an iTunes promotion, I knew I would love Doctor Who. But I wasn’t prepared for how much. No other show has so often made me feel like the world might just be okay.

However it’s still a bit of a rarity to see myself represented on screen, and despite the show’s 55 year history it will only have its first writer of Color in the upcoming series 11. In a show that is so often in touch with relevant issues of our time, it’s disappointing and even hurtful when it fails to address the nuanced struggles of the marginalized groups and minorities who watch and adore it. Despite this lack of behind screen representation, the show has turned out several thought provoking characters of Color, although much is still missed in the overall picture.



Undervalued by Rose, the butt of the jokes in the TARDIS, Mickey was left with more than a little time to consider what the universe had to offer by the time Rose and the Doctor returned to the Powell estate. Despite being dubbed ‘Mickey the Idiot’ by the Doctor, he had skills, and assisting the TARDIS team in their shenanigans made him realize that maybe the simple life wasn’t for him after all. So. he took a deep breath and decided to retroactively accept the Doctor’s offer to join the crew, only to have it immediately made clear by Rose that his presence was anything but welcome.

He joined to learn; to explore and discover things within himself that he had only begun to scratch the surface of on his earth-bound gallops. But he was ignored, figuratively invisible as he held a button for half an hour because the Doctor literally forgot he was there. They mocked him as if he was at fault for following orders – but when the Doctor tells you to do something, you do it. He just doesn’t usually forget you exist in the middle of it. But like the ‘insignificant little power cell’ that ended up restoring the TARDIS in Rise of the Cybermen, he had infinite potential that with the right encouragement would save worlds. He realized this and, not unlike Martha decided to leave a vaguely toxic environment to stay where he could become his best self. When he returns in Army of Ghosts there is a change in his countenance. He’s confident, fiercer, harder and almost indistinguishable from his parallel self, Ricky. This new man is most certainly different. He fits so neatly into the box of performative masculinity often associated with Black men, and I wonder why his gentleness had to be sacrificed for it.



“But how does it travel in time? What makes it go?”

“Oh, let’s take the fun and mystery out of everything.
Martha you don’t want to know, it just does.”

Martha’s opening words on her first TARDIS trip prove her keen mind, but the Doctor is unreceptive to this. The curiosity and brilliance which he praised in countless others before her (a certain beautiful French aristocrat comes to mind), are seen as bothersome and fun-sucking here. Perhaps he is resistant to a companion who doesn’t see him as a magical anomaly, but acknowledges that there must be some logic behind the smoke and mirrors. I remember being taken aback the first time I witnessed it, confused as to why my Doctor, kind hero and encourager of curiosity and questions galore, would ever discourage constructive inquiry. If I, a Black woman of eighteen at the time, was wounded by his response, imagine the effect it could have on younger viewers of Color. Mickey wasn’t clever enough, but Martha was a killjoy; who must they become to be worthy of respect?

“If you don’t mind my saying, you seem a little familiar with him.
Best remember your place.”

Something else I found startling as a new Whovian was the overwhelming vitriol in the fandom directed at her character. Yes, many bristled at the thought of anyone new taking centre stage after the passion that Rose incited, but the more I saw, the more the general disdain looked much less wholesome. How dare this intelligent, (slightly) more age appropriate woman fancy the Doctor? What gave her the right? But whether or not she was liked, she taught the Doctor, viewers and the future writers of the show much more than they could have anticipated. The Doctor learned not to dismiss his companion’s worries as they walked through times that were not made for them, in a world whose prejudices they were all too familiar with. His failings with Martha became his triumphs with Bill.


“Oh I bet you are. I know your type.”

Unlike Mickey, Danny was actively pursued by Clara, removing the problematic notion that she was his prize. However, Danny was constantly assumed to possess the type of masculinity that Mickey aspired to, despite consistent evidence to the contrary. Clara uses this to her advantage to shade the Doctor’s perception of Danny when she’s lying (to both of them), characterizing him as over-protective to the point of being controlling.

Companions of Colour post
She meant no harm besides a days work in slight manipulation, and it certainly couldn’t have fallen on better ears than the Doctor’s who was hardly listening, but often what seem like fairly harmless white lies have had dangerous implications for Black men throughout history. You only have to type the name Emmett Till into a search browser to see one of the most horrific examples the ramifications of such a small lie can have. Throughout history, even to this day, White lies largely hold more power than Black truth. If Clara had been careless enough to spread these inaccuracies of Danny’s personality to others, and one day she didn’t come back home, Danny would most likely have found himself in a well of hot water, similar to that of Mickey in series one. He was the prime suspect in Rose’s disappearance for twelve months, but upon confronting Jackie, Rose and the Doctor with his justifiable anger, not only is he denied the dignity of an apology from Jackie or Rose, he is then called an idiot by the Doctor. Although Danny was an interesting example on the variations of masculinity, I would still be reluctant to say that Doctor Who has done particularly well in its treatment of Black men. I’m looking forward to series 11 in hopes that this changes with Ryan.



“Most people when they don’t understand something they frown. You…smile.”

most people when they don't understand
With that sentence Bill not only became the first companion of Color that was never at any point treated like a burden, but she also became the first from a very long line to be specifically chosen. Not just thrown together with the Doctor by chance and precarious circumstances, not a mystery to solve. On a sunny day in a comfortable office with no looming threat peeking ‘round the corner, the Doctor looked at Bill and said, ‘You. I want you.’

“My mum always said, ‘with some people, you can smell the wind in their clothes”

On a snowy Yuletide evening Bill sits in the Doctor’s office and invites him into her head, where she frequently converses with her late mother. You get the feeling that this isn’t a normal exchange for Bill. She utters the words with enough comfort in the Doctor’s presence, but her eyes briefly flit askance, indicating her lingering shyness. But he’d established a trustful relationship with her; she knows her thoughts are free to move and stretch in his company. The gentleness of this exchange strikes such a wonderful chord with me. The issue of freedom of expression in Black youth is a prevalent one. One discourse in particular discusses the whimsy of Willow and Jaden Smith, who are often mocked for their abstract blend of philosophical and scientific ideas, which are really just the product of an excellent education paired with ripe, creative minds. As Twitter user Son of Baldwin states:

‘Sometimes I think we hate Jaden and Willow Smith because they are free black
children and we don’t know what free black children look like.’

The Doctor gives Bill a similar education as her tutor, teaching her about the interconnectivity of the universe, never letting her forget that “…Everything rhymes.” So often Black children (people in general, really) are dismissed or called mad for having unique ideas, or possessing a slightly larger dose of oddity. Their Blackness is then called into question by those in and outside their community alike, the latter of which use the oft uttered micro-aggression ‘But you’re not really Black’. As a lifelong oddball myself, I found my heart pleasantly aching at the recognition of another ‘Free Black Child’ in a story I hold so dear.


“Look! There’s Bill! Dead, dismembered, fed through a grinder and squeezed into a Cyberman, doomed to spend an eternal afterlife as a biomechanical psycho-zombie. It was hilarious! …Ripped out her heart, threw it into a bin and burnt it all away”

I honestly loved the series 10 finale. The crisp, eeriness of the cinematography and set, the chilling music, and the excellent dialogue that kept you rapt, though the plot is a slow, steady unfurl. But despite all of that, my stomach churns every time I hear those lines. The lucidity and grotesque violence in the description of her death are incredibly jarring. We don’t live in a particularly squeamish time; I myself enjoy a fair bit of action and non-gratuitous violence, but continuously seeing the apparent relish with which writers victimize Black and queer women, usually to deepen the pain of a White protagonist is exhausting. The Whoniverse now has an interesting track record of turning Black characters into Cybermen. There’s Danny Pink, and in Chris Chibnall’s Torchwood episode Cyberwoman not only is a Black woman (the girlfriend of a protagonist) the titular character, but she is also hyper sexualized in way that is almost comical, if blatant fetishization ever could be. However, this quite literal othering of Black characters didn’t slide firmly into place until Bill.

In The Doctor Falls, a small girl with afro-puffs vaguely reminiscent of a younger her, brings Bill a mirror and says, “Everyone’s too scared to talk to you, but I’m not.” Bill turns it over and sees not herself, but what they made her into. She is not a monster, she never could be, but the mirror is telling her otherwise.

“This won’t stop you feeling the pain, but it will stop you caring.”

The surgeon’s discomfiting words are staunchly reflective of the historical global oppression of people of Color, and the often implemented strategy of dehumanizing them to the point where they no longer cared about their suffering. As Frederick Douglass stated in Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass,

“I have found that to make a contented slave, it is necessary to make a thoughtless one…he must be made to feel that slavery is right; and he can be brought to that only when he ceased to be a man.”

Unlike Oswin from Asylum of the Daleks, or Clara in The Witch’s Familiar, Bill did not have an elaborate world created in her mind to mask the pain, nor was willingly stepping into or even consciously aware of her alien exterior. She was killed; her insides violently wrenched from her, and remade into their image. The Doctor theorized that Bill’s time spent living under the Monks’ fascist regime taught her to hold onto herself, but she already knew how to do that. When you grow up hearing that you shouldn’t be who you are, you cling onto yourself a little tighter than most.


D: “Bill, I’m sorry but you can’t be angry anymore. A temper is a luxury you cannot-“

B: “Why can’t I?! Why can’t I be angry?! You left me alone for ten years! Don’t tell me I can’t be angry!”

D: “Because of that, that’s why. Because you’re a Cyberman.”

B: “People are always going to be afraid of me, aren’t they?”

Despite the violence of Missy’s words from the previous episode, it was this moment that pricked me the most from the finale. The Doctor, champion of rage, forbidding the righteous anger of a Black woman. ‘The Angry Black Woman’ is such a pervasive myth throughout history that it’s become its own problematic trope in media. From Tyler Perry’s Diary of a Mad Black Woman reinforcing the idea within Black culture, to countless works using Black women’s anger as a gimmick or comic relief, it persists, reducing the outrage of a century’s brew of sexism, racism, as well as personal baggage into a punch line.

Once more humor becomes the socially acceptable tool to assuage the fear of those around, an irrational fear which ironically they have conjured themselves. Somehow The Doctor Falls manages to slip into a faux pas of metaphor; an attempt at a touching, bittersweet scene, becomes a work of Afro-surrealism gone wrong. Bill is shot, stripped of her agency, brutalized, othered and then told that she cannot afford the ‘luxury’ of her anger. However, when your very existence is called into question, and your life is at constant threat, anger is not a luxury. Harnessed properly it becomes a tool to ensure your progress and eventual triumph. But Bill’s anger never is harnessed, until the Doctor, persistently in the form of a White man, tells her to direct it at an obstacle he sees fit to be removed.


To Moffat’s credit, and my immense relief, Bill was not wasted and fridged like so many queer women and women of Color before her, but was instead restored with a warmth and beauty that brought tears to my own eyes. It was wonderful to see her character get an ending she deserved, her months of studying the universe with the Doctor a precursor of the infinite adventures to come, and an easy way back into the narrative should a future writer ever want to bring her back. And yet, I couldn’t help being struck by one last troubling thought. In a world where White women’s tears have repeatedly been a rallying cry to violence against people of Color, and the tears from women of Color are dismissed, it was Heather’s tears, not her own that saved her. Perhaps it’s intentionally left for the audience to interpret whether the tear she cries in the closing scene of World Enough and Time is nothing but an echo of her former self shown for our benefit, or one of Heather’s tears. But regardless, it holds no power. It doesn’t save her, it merely illustrates the depth of her suffering.

With series 11 approaching, I am so recklessly optimistic for the future of this show I adore. I know that with each passing day, we get closer to a world where everyone will be able to see themselves in these mirrors of media we make for ourselves. I’m crossing my hearts that it’s soon.

Written by Sam who you can follow on Twitter and Instagram
Her new project ‘Sam & Am’s Tea Party’ Podcast you can find on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Women in our history books: But where are they in Doctor Who? by Emma Jones

The Doctor Who historical has been around since the very beginning of the show, with the very first story,  An Unearthly Child being set in the pre-historic era. Since then there have been many episodes which deal with historical figures and events, something which the revived show has continued.


 The last historical episode that featured a woman as the primary character however, was Agatha Christie back in series four with The Unicorn and the Wasp, nearly ten years ago. Before that, Queen Victoria in Tooth and Claw and Madame Du Pompadour in The Girl in the Fireplace both in 2006. That’s it. We’ve had just three in the last 13 years. The underrepresentation of women in Doctor Who historicals probably reflects the underrepresentation of women in society as a whole. With women’s voices largely having been forgotten or ignored, having accurate stories about them becomes vastly more difficult.

It’s a shame. There are so many women from history who would be amazing to see in Doctor Who, how about Rosalind Franklin or Ada Lovelace? With Jodie Whittaker’s arrival as the ‘first female Doctor,’ many people think that it’s high time for an episode with the Suffragettes for example, which personally I would adore. Maybe she can finally get her laser spanner back from Emmeline Pankhurst! But for now such figures have been overlooked, or like Boudicca have only been used in the expanded universe.


Despite glimpses of historical women in the Moffat era, such as with the devious and strong-willed Queen Elizabeth I in The Day of the Doctor, and Queen Nefertiti in Dinosaurs on a Spaceship, there haven’t been any episodes solely focused on women from history. The celebrity historical itself has fallen by the wayside since 2014’s Robot of Sherwood, which was questionable at best seeing as the figure in question was fictional.

The past can serve as a real source of inspiration for young people watching the show. Seeing the achievements of real women from history is so valuable, and something that couldn’t happen nearly as well if these things were done by fictional characters in an episode set in the future. Knowing that there were great women who challenged oppression, or made wondrous scientific discoveries can make those things acceptable and achievable to children watching today. Titles like Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls are flying off the shelves, so why can’t we see that on screen?

But the historical episode can be tricky to pull off… In new Doctor Who the celebrity can often be portrayed as how the popular consciousness has already constructed them, rather than being an accurate depiction and the lack of criticism given to them can be damaging. Is it right to have the Doctor (famously a champion against injustice), having a fun romp with Agatha Christie even though she allegedly had troubling attitudes about race? Does not challenging this mean the celebrity is a one-note representation of the real person and becomes a caricature? There is also the argument that if we judge every historical person by modern attitudes they would surely all fall short in at least one regard, but we should still question the choices made.

Furthermore, by not having the past differ in any meaningful way from the present (as we saw in The Shakespeare Code); does it almost negate the reason for going in the first place? Could it be actively harmful when historical racism is flippantly ignored? (Even more so when our main character, the Doctor, is doing it). Thin Ice showed that we can put the past in a negative light, and how needed it is to show the audience that our values have, (or not, depending on the context) changed as a society.

When the most popular dramas aired today are pure historicals featuring women – The Crown and Victoria, Doctor Who should actively try creating compelling stories about forgotten or lesser-known incredible women. Let’s make the past feel like an accurate representation rather than just a setting in the present.

What do you think? Should we even see the return of the ‘celebrity historical’? And if so, which women would you like to appear in Series 11 and beyond?

This guest post was written by Emma Jones, find her other post here. Follow her on Twitter: @milkwithginseng

The Women of Time: How do companions feel about each other?

Can you believe it’s been ten years since The Stolen Earth aired? Neither can we!

Something we love in particular about this series are the companions all uniting in a team effort to help the Doctor. An interesting side of this is how the female characters are are written, characterised and how they interact with one another. There have been lots of companion team-ups over the years, so we thought we’d take a look at how our favourite space girls interact with each other…

Rose Tyler


Rose Tyler was always a feisty character, but her reactions to some of the Doctor’s other companions are a bit harsh. When the team meet Sarah Jane Smith in School Reunion Rose isn’t happy that the Doctor has been close to any woman before her, and well, fair enough at the shock – he hadn’t even told her about them! Rose’s reaction to Sarah Jane results in her exhibiting some pretty nasty behaviour, even getting them both caught up in a ‘I’ve fought cooler creatures than you!’ argument.

‘I don’t mean to be rude or anything, but who exactly are you?
Sarah Jane Smith. I used to travel with the Doctor.
Oh. Well, he’s never mentioned you.
Oh, I must’ve done. Sarah Jane. Mention her all the time.
Hold on. Sorry… Never.’

This attitude is repeated in The Girl in the Fireplace when the Doctor slightly falls for would-be companion Madame de Pompadour and Rose responds by sulking and acting like a child with Mickey. As much as we disagree with the way Rose behaves towards these women, it definitely makes her feel more real. It feels natural that she’d be jealous or shocked and then act up, as teenage girls often do!

By the time Turn Left arrives, Rose seems happy to interact and be pals with Donna in order to get to the Doctor. However, in The Stolen Earth she’s still acting bitter and jealous towards Martha and other women who are there for the same reason. Is this because she knows the Doctor only has platonic feelings towards Donna but is unsure how he feels about the others? It feels a bit odd considering she’s (meant to have) grown up a fair amount since Doomsday, leaving us wishing that she’d been developed to welcome other women and not pit them against herself. C’mon Rose, you’re better than that!

Martha Jones


Martha has a generally kind and positive attitude towards women, particularly when meeting other companions. At the beginning of her time in the TARDIS though, the tension created by Martha’s feelings towards the Doctor and his grievance over Rose meant that she felt some bitterness towards her. ‘Good old Rose…’  But can you blame her? Being consistently compared to another woman can’t be good for anyone and mixed with unrequited love…

‘Rose’d know. A friend of mine, Rose. Right now, she’d say exactly the right thing. Still, can’t be helped. You’re a novice, never mind. I’ll take you back home tomorrow.

This theme continues when Martha has to watch the Doctor’s human counterpart fall in love with kind-of-companion Joan Redfurn in Human Nature. Although it’s an impossible situation to imagine yourself in, she’s incredibly prickly towards Joan, and that’s not because she’s terrified of the Family of Blood finding them, she’s jealous.

Russell T Davies hits us up with some character development and by the end of series three, and throughout series four Martha is finally written to LOVE HERSELF. This gives her the space and confidence to support other women, and is even ecstatic when the Doctor and Rose reunite ‘He found you!’. We love queens supporting queens!

Donna Noble


Happily, Donna is incredibly welcoming and kind to all other companions she comes across. Meeting Martha in The Sontaran Strategem, she treats her with the utmost respect and reassures her that the Doctor has talked about her – frequently, when Martha is a bit put out at being replaced so quickly. Donna also happily points out to the Doctor at how Martha has moved on and blagged herself someone who loves her.

‘I’ve heard all about you. He talks about you all the time.
I dread to think!
No, no, no. No, ne says nice things. Good things. Nice things. Really good things.
Oh my God. He’s told you everything.
Didn’t take long to get over it though. Who’s the lucky man?
What man? Lucky what?
She’s engaged, you prawn.’

Something to ponder on is that the Doctor actively assumed they would both fight over him, when actually they’re practically BFF’s on the spot! Talk about presumptuous. At the end of The Poison Sky, Donna actively tells Martha to stay on the TARDIS and travel with them – can’t imagine Rose doing that with as much gusto! In addition to this, her reaction to Jenny, a one-off companion in The Doctor’s Daughter is also one of complete loyalty and commitment to making sure the Doctor is emotionally okay. She really is his best friend.

She does slip up a bit however, with her introduction to River Song in The Silence in The Library. Unlike Amy in series 5, Donna is very much irritated by River’s mystery (aren’t we all) and snaps: ‘What are you talking about? Are you just talking rubbish? Do you know him or don’t you?’ It’s not so much River’s obvious close relationship with the Doctor that annoys Donna, it’s just someone she wouldn’t get on with in reality. Be that in a planet that’s a library or the M&S on Chiswick High Road!

Women vs Women

The root of this ‘women vs women’ problem centres around men. It’s a typical trope for the writing of women, that their want and need for men is put above all else, even each other. However, Russell doesn’t use it in a way that is detrimental to the characters; he instead uses it to develop them. Rose, Martha, Donna and Sarah Jane all support each other as they grow and realise that the common problem is the Doctor. Once they understand that, their behaviour changes. And we think this makes them more believably human and incredibly relatable.

It’s also a big reflection of the Tenth Doctor, his hold over people and how he moulds them. Once we see the ‘children of time’ finally team up to help him save the day, every woman stands out as their own, very individual character. After their shining moment, they go back to their day to day lives, stronger than ever before. The exception to this is Rose, who seemingly can’t live without the Doctor. Whilst this is a romantic idea, it’s a shame that this was added on to the story of someone who didn’t have the best relationships with alot of the women we saw on screen (bar her mum!).
We’re here for women supporting women, always.

Why Exclusive Spaces Should Be Inclusive: Gender Equity in Doctor Who

Since starting this all-female Doctor Who blog, it’s fair to say we’ve taken a lot of flak from all corners of the fandom. Our aim for The Time Ladies and its accompanying podcast and social media channels is to raise the voices of women in a community where there is a significantly large male-to-female ratio, particularly within positions of influence. 

A lot of people have argued over the ‘exclusivity’ of our space because we only feature female contributors. One argument in particular is that we’re creating the complete opposite of equality –actually encouraging the gap between men and women, and widening it. 

This is untrue. Let’s take a wider look at gender equity. 

Even if men and women were given the exact same opportunities, it does not equal equality of the outcome. This is why we need gender equity, a strategy that seeks to create the outcome of gender equality.

Imagine: three people all from different backgrounds, genders, ethnicities and sexualities. Now imagine them all standing on boxes, reaching high into the sky to get fruit (opportunities), from the trees. If we were to place them all on equally sized boxes and therefore giving them ‘equal’ opportunity to reach the fruit, the outcome would obviously not be the same for everyone.


The inequality we see in this analogy is due to deeply rooted systemic inequalities in power; meaning men are naturally privileged in comparison to women just for being born male. The same also goes for white women being more privileged than women of colour, heterosexual women being more privileged than someone who is LGBTQ+, and so on.

In order to reach equality, we must boost minorities and under-privileged people to the same level. The boxes must be raised in order for them to reach the fruit. In the example of The Time Ladies, we must bring women up to the same level as men. So, by this logic we have to give women, LGBTQ+ women, and women of ethnic minorities opportunity and safe spaces in order to work towards gaining fairness and equality.

This is where the term ‘empowerment’ comes into play. By creating an all-female space, we are raising the voices of passionate women, changing the community and bringing everyone together equally. We can develop ourselves and other women’s agency, relations and structures. This needs to happen across all communities, and most definitely in the Doctor Who community, despite many believing otherwise.


This is why it is necessary to make a big deal out of a female Doctor. Across 54 years of the show, 13 actors have played the lead character, and even though there have been female Time Lords for decades as accompanying characters, there is no denying that there is a running theme with 13 white men playing the main part. The Doctor is an alien who can regenerate into anyone, so being a woman shouldn’t be a big deal in the show. In the real world however, it is a huge step in the direction of seeing equality on our television screens and should most definitely be celebrated.

Just because the Doctor is a woman, doesn’t mean inequality and sexism isn’t a problem within the Doctor Who community. A lot of men try to say this isn’t true, but I’m afraid they’re not opening their eyes to the topics in the tree analogy, and are also not on the receiving end of it.

Be open to people when they say they’re feeling unfairly treated or put down, they’re saying it for a reason. And for now, we will carry on being an female-led space which everyone can enjoy.


Thoughts on Regeneration: A Trans Perspective by Emma Jones

Doctor Who has been in my life since I was eight years old when I first watched Rose in 2005. As I started to struggle with gender identity and finally realised I was transgender around the time Matt Smith became the Doctor, the show became an escape. Then it introduced the concept of gender swapping regenerations which it expanded on over the years till the culmination of the Thirteenth Doctor, and it helped me understand myself better.

After dealing with his own identity crisis, the Twelfth Doctor says, ‘…you look at me, and you can’t see me’ and it immediately clicked. It allowed me to articulate my feelings about how it hurt to be misgendered, to feel like and know you’re a girl but have everyone look at you and think and refer to you as a boy. Not too long afterwards I began my gender transition.

Copy of Blog Title – Untitled Design

It’s July 16th, 2017 and my heart is beating fast. I’m nervously refreshing Twitter in anticipation of the announcement of the Thirteenth Doctor. I didn’t particularly want to know, but as a British person I knew that it’d spoiled as soon as I set foot out the door, so I decided to take the initiative. As the mysterious figure pulled their hood down to reveal Jodie Whittaker, I’m filled with wonder and joy and at the back of my mind; envy.

I was envious because while the Doctor gets to regenerate into a woman in an instant, painlessly and without incident, I’m not so lucky. Instead of a remarkable transformation, my ‘transition’ has been a slow, frustrating, expensive process.

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It’s December 25th, 2017. My eyes are wet after Peter Capaldi gives his beautiful and sad final speech, each long pause he gives makes me think ‘this it, she’s a-coming’. Like a lot of Doctor Who fans, I was apprehensive about how the regeneration would be handled. Would Chris Chibnall take a The Curse of Fatal Death type approach and make quips, or go another route and just not mention probably the biggest change in the show’s history. Then I went from crying to smiling in the space of a minute when they took the third option, having the Doctor be ecstatic, with that big grin and just two simple words. Not only was it just so perfectly crafted but as a trans woman, I felt I could relate to her feelings of excitement.

Despite the challenges of transitioning and having to deal with gender dysphoria, which for those that don’t know is a sense of discomfort as a result of your biological sex not matching your gender identity, trans people can sometimes experience the opposite: gender euphoria. Which is joy at seeing yourself as your real self in a mirror or a TARDIS monitor for example. Having the Doctor be thrilled seeing herself is such a powerful thing to see as someone who’s struggled with accepting their body.

Copy of Blog Title – Untitled Design (1)

While I think one possible reading of Thirteenth Doctor regeneration is that she is transgender, it is perhaps overanalysis two words and a smile. But regeneration in the new series always has been about how the Doctor approaches the construction of their self and their identity. Having the Doctor be the same person even if they express themselves in different ways in a different body is an excellent parallel for trans people’s lives.

As much as I want Thirteen to be a woman, I’d love in future for the show to explore the whole diverse and beautiful spectrum of identities. By having the Doctor referring to themselves as a man when in a male body and as a woman when in a female body can serve to reinforce cisnormative gender assumptions. For example, in regards to other Time Lords (like Missy), does her newfound empathy and acceptance of femininity support the notion of biological essentialism which argues that the differences between men and women come from nature? Having the Doctor rejecting binary pronouns and identity would make perfect sense for their character, seeing as actual human beings are already challenging binaries let’s have the Doctor break some more ‘rules’. They’re nothing if not a rebel.

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Doctor Who can often be an escape from something, from harsh realities. But that also means it’s an escape to something as well – to a place where gender and its associated stereotypes are irrelevant and where if you want to be a woman, you can. Regeneration isn’t just a convenient excuse to change actor, it’s a statement and a promise: Anyone can be the Doctor. That’s such a powerful message for trans people to hear, especially relevant in a media environment that is nearly devoid of any other stories that can even relate to trans experiences like Doctor Who has shown. The fact that young trans people can take inspiration from the new Doctor shows how important this show is, how significant this change is but also shows how much more work we need to do.

Written by Emma, who you can follow on Twitter here.

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Classic Who for Beginners

if you’ve never delved into the world of classic Doctor Who then it can be a bit overwhelming. Where do you start? Only half of our time lady team (Kezia) has completed watching all of classic Who, while Beth is currently making her way through the Hartnell era.

Never fear though, because this week sees the launch of Doctor Who and Twitch’s classic series stream! From An Unearthly Child to Survival you’ll be able to watch it all.
We were lucky enough to be asked to appear on their Twitch Presents: Doctor Who chat show, talking all things Who! You can find Beth on the sofa discussing stories and Doctors between episodes on Twitch. In the meantime, if you’re not sure where to begin, we’ve created a beginner’s guide to Classic Doctor Who. We’ve picked a story from each Doctor that we think would be a great jumping on point, get your notepad ready…

The First Doctor

Top Pick: The Dalek Invasion of Earth


Join the first Doctor and his friends as they take on The Dalek invasion of Earth! The second ever appearance of the Daleks brings them to 2160’s London, where the Doctor’s enemy is trying to blow up the earth’s crust and destroy the world. After the TARDIS is blocked by fallen girders, the team must find out what is going on and are unable to leave. This is an incredibly important story for the Doctor as well as the first TARDIS team as they battle the deadly Daleks. You’ll get a taste of black and white Doctor Who as well as some good old quality time with brilliant companions Susan, Barbara and Ian! The team get split up in typical classic Who style bringing different, exciting elements to the adventure as well as insights into each character. The story is filled with action, romance and even heartbreak as The Doctor says goodbye to his grand-daughter. We’re treated to a real insight into Susan’s life with The Doctor as she tells her new-found love interest, David, that she longs for a life in one place with one identity. After the team save the world from the Daleks, The Doctor realises that she deserves this life with the person she loves and leaves her forever. Your hearts will break as he says goodbye and William Hartnell delivers one of the most iconic speeches in Doctor Who’s history. If you want a first Doctor story to get you started, this is definitely the one!

We also recommend: An Unearthly Child, The Daleks, The Time Meddler, The War Machines and Tenth Planet.


The Second Doctor 

Top Pick: The Tomb of The Cybermen


We actually think most of the second Doctor’s stories are excellent jumping on points, his Doctor and companions offer a lighter, more adventurous offering to the first so you’re in for a treat! If you want an overall flavour of his era we recommend the wondrous The Tomb of the Cybermen. Follow Jamie, the Doctor and Victoria on an adventure to unearth the secrets of a hidden away cave, discovered by an archeological trip on the planet Telos. They have no idea of what hides beneath the ground (but from the title I think you can guess). This is the first time we see the cyber mats and the first time the Cybermen make one of their infamous entrances, it really is iconic. There’s a brilliant mix of hilarity and big jump scares, but mostly adventure. Honestly, watch this and you’ll wonder why people call classic Who slow!

We also recommend: The Mind Robber, The Web of Fear, The Invasion, The Enemy of the World and The War Games

The Third Doctor

Top Pick: The Green Death


A thoroughly modern story that still resonates with us today, The Green Death deals with environmental issues, giant maggots and heartbreak for the Doctor as he says goodbye to companion Jo Grant.

As a mysterious death at a coal mine attracts UNIT’s attention, the team head to South Wales to find out what’s going on. The Doctor and Jo are split up when he wants to go to Metebilis 3 and she wants to investigate the mine and meet Nobel prize winner Professor Clifford Jones. This brings them into the middle of a deadly polluted chemical company run by a mysterious super computer named BOSS who is intent on poisoning the earth. The Doctor uses his wit and cleverness as a disguise to infiltrate the company and find out what’s going on, all the while his beloved companion Jo is falling in love with Clifford and helping to save the day in the process.

The story is a beautiful character piece for the Doctor and features stunning performances from Jon Pertwee and Katy Manning as their final moments together play out. It feels modern and relevant in terms of character as well as the environmental sub-plot, something that affects the Earth even more today. Along with UNIT, giant maggots and a good old traditional setting of an underground mine, this adventure is the perfect start to a third Doctor watch.

We also recommend: Spearhead From Space, Inferno, The Sea Devils, The Three Doctors and Carnival of Monsters. 

The Fourth Doctor

Top Pick: Genesis of The Daleks


Genesis of The Daleks introduces one of Doctor Who’s most iconic villains; creator of the Daleks, Davros. In the first of many appearances in the show, we are treated to the beginning of the Daleks story and just what drove them into being created. Alongside this we’re treated to appearances of their home planet, Skaro and an iconic TARDIS team adventuring upon it without the TARDIS…

On a mission for the Time Lords, The Doctor and his companions must complete a deadly task: Stop the Daleks from ever being created. This story deals with themes of morality, death, power and responsibility with the Doctor put through a difficult test. It’s one of the fourth Doctor’s most loved adventures and hold significant importance in terms of the show’s canon. With an appearance from the Time Lords and a look into the Daleks’ origins, it’s an exciting window into classic series Doctor Who. As well as this, it features the wonderful Sarah-Jane Smith and Harry Sullivan to help the Doctor with his mission, giving us the perfect introduction to Tom Bakers era of the show and all of its most famous elements.

We also recommend: The Ark in Space, The Brain of Morbius, The Seeds of Doom, The Hand of Fear, The Robots of Death, The Ribos Operation, City of Death
and The Keeper of Traken.

The Fifth Doctor

Top Pick: The Caves of Androzani 


This pick isn’t necessarily representative of the fifth Doctor’s era but The Caves of Androzani gives a taste of him at his absolute best. In this incredibly dark story the Doctor and new companion Peri are stuck on mining planet Androzani Minor where let’s say, the Doctor has got himself into quite a pickle! A story of kidnap, blackmail, politics and warfare take place underground as the truly terrible people (essentially tories), ruin the lives of everyone in their shiny offices far away. It’s some of the most absorbing Doctor Who and amazing storytelling.

A Doctor couldn’t go out on a higher note, there’s a reason this is consistently voted as one of the best Doctor Who stories of all time.

We also recommend: Castrovalva, Four to Doomsday, Kinda, Snakedance, Black Orchid and The Five Doctors.


The Sixth Doctor

Top Pick: Vengeance on Varos


Another dark story to add to your list, in Vengeance on Varos the Doctor and Peri arrive on a planet which feels very much like our potential future. In a heightened game of what feels like Big Brother, the public lives through the screens in their homes to vote for what happens to the people within ‘the game’. Imagine casually voting on someone’s life? Or worse still, your whole day revolving around that act? That’s where we’re at in this episode! You’ll get to watch the iconic, repulsive Sil *tongue waggle* and see Colin’s Doctor in action man mode as he leaps over fiery pits and more! The darker stories in the sixth Doctor’s era are definitely his best, and definitely worth the watch.

We also recommend: Attack of the Cybermen, The Mark of the Rani
and Revelation of the Daleks.


The Seventh Doctor

Top Pick: Remembrance of the Daleks


Remembrance of the Daleks is the perfect episode to introduce you to the seventh Doctor’s era. The story brings the Doctor to a very important time indeed; 23rd November 1963. The TARDIS lands back on 76 Totter’s Lane where the Doctor’s adventures began 25 years before, and there’s trouble at coal hill once more. Not only is the adventure a 25th anniversary extravaganza but it is also the Dalek’s last television appearance before the new series revival of the show.

On the hunt for some Time Lord technology hidden on Earth by the Doctor, two fractions of opposing Daleks fight to secure it and wreak havoc on time and space. With the whole universe in danger and a Dalek civil war unfolding, how will The Doctor and Ace save the day? Baseball bats, flying Daleks and coal hill nostalgia make this a fun and exciting adventure to jump into.

We also recommend: Paradise Towers, Delta and the Bannermen, Silver Nemisis, Battlefield, The Curse of Fenric and Survival. 

11 hopes for series 11

The next series of Doctor Who is (kind of) right around the corner with 6 months-ish to go! To maintain excitement levels in this quiet period, we’ve been thinking about what we hope for the 13th Doctor and the future of our favourite show. Read on to find out our 11 hopes for series 11…

Focus on diversity

As the casting for series 11 has revealed so far, the TARDIS team has gained lots of fresh faces on the show this year. We’re hoping representation is at the forefront of the show including people of all genders, ethnicities and sizes in stories! Something Doctor Who does best is keeping up with change in the world and being an advocate for people from minority backgrounds. Saying that, more work still needs to be done and we’re looking forward to seeing Chibnall’s take on this for his era of Who!

Historical Episodes

The past is a vast subject that can provide endless prospects for Doctor Who stories. Famous figure-heads, world changing wars and the history of the human race lies ahead for The Doctor and her friends! Since we’ve only been given a handful of historical adventures in the last few series, we’d love to see more stories that help shape our new companions and teach the audience about what led us to the society we’re in today. And what’s better than a TARDIS team in period costumes?! Bradley Walsh in Tudor attire? Big yes!


New Monsters and Villains

We’d love to see the 13th Doctor fend off new monsters and villains as she navigates through her new regeneration. The last few series have lacked any long-lasting iconic new monsters, so some creepy new creatures are just what’s needed to send us behind the sofa, and we honestly can’t wait to be scared – scare us damnit! Every Doctor has had an iconic villain and we’re excited to see what 13’s may be. Robots, aliens and villains galore, there’s a whole universe of baddies to defeat…

Space Stories

Visits to far-away worlds is what the Doctor does best, excitedly showing her TARDIS team the universe. There’s nothing we love more than stepping foot on a new world and discovering what hides in the shadows. Some of our favourite Who moments are on alien soil and we can’t wait to watch our new companions witness new worlds and see things through their eyes. Give us brand new planets, civilisations and cities to explore!

Educational episodes

Doctor Who was originally created to be an educational show and teach its young audience lessons about history, science and other very school-based subjects. Throughout the show’s history we’ve been taught life lessons, historical moments and scientific facts that have stayed with us. We’d love to see if the show can still teach the children who watch, and challenge the thoughts of adults who swear by it. From social and political behaviours to the way our planet works, Doctor Who is our classroom and The Doctor is our teacher.



Series 11 is a complete overhaul for the brand of Doctor Who and we can’t wait to see its shiny new format. We hope it’s new, fresh, exciting and blows the television world apart. New Doctor, new TARDIS, new logo; we’ve already been treated to some elements of the re-brand and these teases made us drool in anticipation. We want to see more – more of her costume, new writers and directors, the show could go anywhere.


As a family show, one of our favourite elements is the feeling of a team or family aboard the TARDIS. We know that Yasmin, Ryan and Graham are joining the Doctor for adventures, so are our dreams of having a full TARDIS coming true? Which characters will we relate to? Who will be our parental figures or our dream best friend? We can’t wait to find out!


Twice Upon a Time left us questioning just how The Doctor will survive that cliff-hanger. After regenerating from into the 13th Doctor, the TARDIS threw her overboard mid-flight leaving her falling down to Earth! Well, we presume it’s Earth. WE LITERALLY DO NOT KNOW. How will she get out of it? How does she meet her new companions? Where does that outfit come from? Damnit Chibnall, we want answers!


Equality/More Female Writers/Directors

There have been some amazing women working on Doctor Who in recent years, but unfortunately only a handful. With new Who only producing 3 female writers so far, it’s kind of not good enough?! We’re really hoping that the team recruit more women to bring the first female Doctor to life. They could even go as far as splitting the writing duties equally, and making sure people of different ethnicities and sexualities are included so we can get the most realistic and fair version of Doctor Who as possible.

Story Arcs

We love a good story arc! Threads sewn throughout the series that pay off in the finale is a traditional Doctor Who trope that works perfectly with its format. We want to spend every week analysing and creating theories about what’s to come. We’re loving all this mystery surrounding series 11 and really hope it continues into the show whilst on air so we can experience some truly jaw-dropping moments.


Recent Doctor Who has been an emotional rollercoaster to say the least. With saying goodbye to the 12th Doctor and Steven Moffat’s whimsical era, we’ve almost ran out of tears! We’re looking forward to hopefully having light, fun Doctor Who again after Steven’s darker, more complicated classic take. Of course, all eras of the show are different which just adds to our excitement about where this one will take us.

What are your hopes for series 11? Let us know by commenting below or tweeting us!

Women’s Bodies in Doctor Who

By Beth Axford & Kezia Newson

A Personal Struggle: Beth

I have struggled with body image my whole life. From being bullied as a child for my overweight figure, to eating problems and self hatred, the struggle has always been there. Body image in television and film has always favoured petite women with tiny waists, with any inch of fat on their bodies considered bad or disgusting. Doctor Who is no exception to this, and over the years has contributed to problems we face as women over what we should or shouldn’t look like.

Doctor Who, A contributor to society’s faults?

Let’s take a look at Doctor Who and its history with body image, as well as sexualisation of women and their status as companions…

Women in Doctor Who have always played major roles as companions, helpers to the Doctor and a relatable hook for people to watch the show. We’ve had intelligent, brave and funny counterparts to our hero since 1963, and not all of them have been victim to sexualisation or negative body image standards. Unfortunately though, there are questionable examples of how the show portrays companions, or how those in close contact interact with them. Could this negatively impact on women and girls of all ages?

Kezia’s take on Classic Who and Body Image

Leela – ‘for the dads’


As her character is extremely fierce and a total step-up from screaming companions, watching Leela feels both progressive and regressive. Yes, she’s defending the Doctor, saving his life numerous times with her in-tune sense to danger as well as her knife… but she does this all whilst wearing variations of a leather bikini. Even now, people comment on how the viewing figures shot up and how much the dads and young boys loved her, which makes me feel a bit queasy. By speaking about how her body simply upped views, we completely discredit her character and how much of an impact Louise Jameson made on the show as an actress. At the time she was on the show, Louise received a letter from a young girl saying ‘Will you please put some clothes on?’ Even a young girl realises that the character is being more defined by her costume than by her performance.

Peri – ‘the amount you weigh’


There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that Peri was a sexual object from her very first appearance in Doctor Who. By just her third scene she’s swimming in an itsy-bitsy bikini, and her body seems to make an impression before her personality. This theme continues throughout her time on the show, with her cleavage being as much part of her character as her voice. Despite her costume being overtly sexual, Peri herself isn’t openly sexually confident or says anything that would include that in her personality. In fact, she’s quite a reserved, quiet botanist. Of course, you can be quiet and wear sexy clothes but it lends itself more to the argument that the clothing was decided on for the male gaze rather than any character development. Even with her figure being flaunted everywhere, the sixth Doctor in Revelation of the Daleks insinuates she’s put on weight when he gives her a leg up over the wall and says ‘Drop you? I’ll be lucky if I can lift you, the amount you weigh.’ The yo-yo-ing in her being attractive or un-attractive enough for the show is completely tedious.

Sophie Aldred –  being told to lose weight for season 25


“Sophie had a similar experience. She’d struggled with eating disorders as a young woman. After ‘Dragonfire’ aired, she was told to lose half a stone before the next season was filmed. She was so furious that she actually gained weight to spite them.”

-From the Gallifrey One Women’s panel, 2018.

New Who and body image; Beth and Kezia investigate 

Billie Piper/Rose Tyler – ‘it’s like living inside a bouncy castle’


According to Billie Piper’s book Growing Pains, an eating disorder and problems with mental health are what led her to quit music and eventually pursue acting. She reports that when she started Doctor Who she was a size 12, the average size of a woman in the UK and the biggest size she’d been since looking after herself and eating properly.  But as she began series two of the show, her disorder came back with a vengeance as she shot to stardom.

There is dialogue on the show during her era that could be considered body shaming: Rose and Mickey’s conversation about Trisha, a woman he was dating whilst she was away Rose comments on as ‘big’, and he hits back that she’s ‘lost weight’ as if that defines her as a person. In School Reunion Mickey also polices Rose’s eating, saying ‘If I were you, I’d go easy on the chips’ in reference to winning the Doctor’s romantic affection. The fact of the matter is, these tiny mentions are not needed and equate weight with beauty. This theme of Rose’s weight is reinforced in New Earth when Cassandra in Rose’s body remarks that it’s ‘like living in a bouncy castle’.

On the other hand, there is much to be said about body image and representation in Russell’s era, with Rose and Donna being curvy, normal women and the inclusion of Martha, a woman of colour. Apart from the odd comment and the whole first episode of series four dedicated to weight and bodies, Russell did quite well with representation.

Amy Pond – ‘the legs’


Amy Pond was sexualised from the second she appeared onscreen as an adult and announces her job as a kissogram. The first shot of her is a pan up her legs, objectifying her for the male gaze from the get-go. Fair enough, a gal’s gotta do what she’s gotta do to make a living, but in a show like Doctor Who it feels very out of place. Steven Moffat himself has said that it was her beauty and tall, petite figure that contributed to Karen Gillan being cast: “I saw Karen walking on the corridor towards me and I realised she was 5’11, slim and gorgeous and I thought ‘Oh, oh that’ll probably work.'”. Her legs are consistently mentioned even after she leaves the TARDIS (she’s simply referred to by the Doctor as ‘the legs’ in Day of The Moon), which feels massively degrading considering her many great attributes and contributions to adventures.

Clara Oswald – ‘squeezed into a skirt a little bit too tight’


Clara Oswald is a particularly recent and prominent example of sexualisation of women and how body image is perceived today. From the moment she stepped on the TARDIS, the Eleventh Doctor couldn’t help but comment on her body. Moments such as slapping her butt with a towel and commenting on how her skirt is ‘just a little bit too tight’ come to mind when thinking about the pair and make for uncomfortable viewing. These scenes are obviously written as jokes, but don’t come across particularly funny to most women watching.

Even the Twelfth Doctor, who seemingly has no sexual interest in her, makes a comment on her hips and body shames her in Into The Dalek – ‘Any remarks about my hips will not be appreciated.’ ‘Ach, your hips are fine. You’re built like a man.’. If Clara Oswald is built like a man, what kind of message does this send to anyone larger than a size 8? As well as this, the fact that Jenna was cast based somewhat on her looks as well as her acting is saddening in itself.

River Song – ‘I need to weigh myself’


You would think, with the most well-known regeneration of River Song being the fabulous Alex Kingston, we wouldn’t have to worry about body shaming. A woman who’s confident in her own skin head to toe right? But in Let’s Kill Hitler, as Mel is about to regenerate, she shuts down Rory by saying ‘Oh shut up Dad. I’m focusing on a dress size.’ If that didn’t leave us with our jaws hanging open at how outrageous the line is, as soon as she’s in her new body the first thing she exclaims is ‘Excuse me you lot, I need to weigh myself’. Is that really the first thing we should be hearing onscreen from the first woman to regenerate ever on television? Sure, whenever the Doctor has regenerated he’s commented on his appearance, but never his weight. It’s shocking that these lines were allowed to be in the show, and to presume that a woman’s first thought is her dress size. Not. Cool.

Bill Potts – ‘I fatted her’


The most recent case of body shaming in the show came in The Pilot when Bill talks about a character she served chips to. She specifically says ‘I fatted her’ and goes on to say that in life it is ‘beauty or chips’. Why can’t we have both? Why can’t curvy people enjoy chips and still be beautiful? Why must we shame what a person eats, or how big their body size is? The messaging is unsettling in a family show where younger girls watching may think they look wrong or what they’re eating is wrong. It is worth a mention however, that Dorothy Koomson fixes this brilliantly in her short story, Bill and the Three Jackets, all about body positivity and loving yourself for who you are! You can read this fab story in the Day She Saved The Doctor anthology book.

Doctor Who and its contribution to a woman’s struggle (Beth):

Representation of women of all sizes and colours has not been great in the show, and consistently having astonishingly beautiful companions with unachievable body standards is not only hard for the audience to relate to, but contributes to the societal problems with how young women perceive themselves. I cannot stress enough how important it is to end body shaming comments and extreme sexualisation in a family show like Doctor Who. Going through my late teens while Clara Oswald was travelling on the TARDIS, I have distinct painful memories of over-exercising and under-eating to try and achieve a body just like hers. I would work out for hours staring at a poster of her and The Doctor on my wall, hoping that one day I would be as worthy and beautiful as her. This is not to say that we shouldn’t have beautiful companions, just that we should have representation of normal people. People of all sizes, colours, heights, abilities. People who make us feel like we are enough.

We’d love to hear your thoughts, opinions and stories on this subject. Tweet us @thetimeladies_!

This topic can be a little sensitive, and we’re always open to private messages on Twitter or an email in our inbox ( if it is something you’re struggling with.

Companions That Never Were

Over the years there have been some incredible women to grace the world of Doctor Who, but sadly never made it as long-term companions. This week we’re taking a look at these fantastic characters and what made them that extra bit special…


Helping the Ninth Doctor and Rose escape the TV shows of platform one,
‘Lynda with a Y’ fitted the team effortlessly and stole all of our hearts
with her adorable nature. The Doctor took a particular shine to her and
even offered her the trip of a lifetime – before she was brutally exterminated
by the dreaded Daleks. JUSTICE FOR LYNDA!

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Joan Redfern

Falling in love with The Doctor is never easy, but completely impossible when
you don’t know he’s The Doctor. Joan Redfern heart-breakingly became John Smith’s
lover only to find out he was an alien in disguise. The perfect match to the tenth doctor,
we are still hurting from the pair parting ways, especially after seeing the potential wedding scene. CRY.

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Astrid Peth

Astrid Peth brought an exciting new take on a companion role to the show,  played
by none other than actual Queen KYLIE MINOGUE. A tough lady from space, she compliments The Doctor perfectly and her adventurous side is infectious. Unfortunately, her bravery and kindness was quite literally the death of her – by saving the earth and everyone on the ship from their demise, she had to take down Max Capricorn and lost her life in the process. I mean… it’s just not fair!

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Jenny, or more famously ‘The Doctor’s daughter’, gave us all hope that our hero
would finally have another of his kind around to keep him company. Perhaps she took on too many of his good qualities though since she sacrificed herself for him by the end of the story! Right at the end of the episode she is revived by the source energy and flies off for adventures of her own… And finally, ten years on, Big Finish are giving her the spin off she deserved!

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Lady Christina 

Lady Christina is the ultimate badass woman we need in the TARDIS. Stealing from museums, helping The Doctor save the world and then whizzing off in a flying bus? It’s been nearly 10 years and we’re still sad she didn’t stay for more fun! And, as if Big Finish couldn’t get any better, they’re also giving Lady Christina De Souza her own adventures! We can’t wait to hear more of what she got up to after Planet of The Dead.

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Rita helped The Doctor, Amy and Rory face off the Minotaur in 2011’s The God Complex. Smart, brave and kind, she would have made the perfect companion – so much so that The Doctor jokingly offered her a place on the TARDIS. After helping the trio find out what was going on, she sadly sacrificed herself and left a hole in our hearts. There’s a running theme here, isn’t there?

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Osgood is literally ALL of us. A massive fan of The Doctor’s, she helped save the world a number of times and proved she was perfect for the TARDIS team. A scientist working for UNIT, she’d already helped save the world long before she met The Doctor. Her and her Zygon counter-part continued to live on after the events of Day of The Doctor… until Missy murdered one of them in Death in Heaven. We still don’t know which version of her perished, but it doesn’t matter as long as Osgood lives on!

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Journey Blue

After The Doctor saved Journey Blue from death, she then returned the favour when she convinced her uncle not to kill him. The team then take on the task of going inside a real Dalek, whilst they’re miniaturised and everything! After the adventure ends, she asks The Doctor to take her with him, to which he refuses because she’s a soldier. This seems totally unfair since he’s practically a solider himself! Brave, exciting and funny, we wish he had given her a chance.

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One of the most famous ‘almost companions’ of recent times, Shona wowed audiences in Last Christmas with her hilarious personality and funky dance moves (!) She even gets a story set-up at the end of the episode, alluding to her backstory and possible future in the show. We would have loved to have seen her aboard the TARDIS, but Clara stayed on and the rest is history! BRING SHONA BACK!

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An absolute highlight of Series 9, O’Donnell appeared in Under The Lake/Before The Flood, helping save the world from The Fisher King and his ghosts. Incredibly kind, sassy and most importantly, Scottish, we LOVED her. In another heartbreaking end, she proclaims her giddiness over The Doctor, the TARDIS and we get so excited for her future… till she’s murdered by the fisher king leaving us more than a little bit weepy. Her bravery helped the rest of the team survive, making her one of the best guest characters of recent years.

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So there we have it… there’s definitely a recurring theme here, right? All the best characters die… and that RTD and the Moff are evil.

These are just some of the amazing guest companions from recent years, but who would you love to have seen more of? Let us know by tweeting us @thetimeladies_!

The Beginners Guide to the Women of Big Finish

The extended world of Doctor Who is vast and glorious and very hard to keep up with. Books, comics, games, spin off shows… the adventures go on forever! One of the fantastic ways the show is kept alive is through Big Finish, who’ve been creating brilliant audio stories for nearly 20 years. The audios are officially licensed, technically canon and feature all our favourite Doctor Who actors. They’ve filled in gaps, created new characters and given the eighth Doctor the story he truly deserved.

Big Finish have given a new lease of life to our favourite female characters, giving them their own spin offs and adventures with different doctors. They’ve even created some of the most amazing women to grace the world of Doctor Who! As our favourite show is currently off the air, we thought we’d bring you a beginners guide to our favourite women of Big Finish, from old characters to new…

Bernice Summerfield


If you love: The 7th Doctor, Ace, River Song

Seventh Doctor companion Bernice Summerfield originated from the Virgin New Adventures books that filled the ‘wilderness’ years when Doctor Who was off air. At a time when Big Finish was just starting out, they plucked her from the New Adventures pages and gave Benny her own series. In her nearly 20 years of audio stories she’s had adventures with the Seventh and Eighth Doctor’s as well as featuring in a Twelfth Doctor novel and travelling with an alternative, unbound universe incarnation. An archaeologist from the 26th century, she’s smart, brave, and a force to be reckoned with. It’s also worth noting that the fabulous Lisa Bowerman -who brings Benny to life also appeared in the very last Classic Doctor Who serial, Survival as Karra! Keep an eye out for our candid interview with the actress, coming soon.

We recommend starting with: The New Adventures Of Bernice Summerfield

Check out all of Benny’s adventures here

River Song


If you love: River Song, New Who/Classic Who mashups

Ever wondered what fantastical tales lie in that mysterious diary of River Song’s? Well now you can find out in The Diary Of River Song, all her own adventures outside the TARDIS. There are three boxsets to devour featuring the Doctor’s wife, telling us more about the pairs history and what she gets up to away from his company. She meets the Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth doctor’s in these stories, taking her Doctor total up to 7. Soon to meet the Fourth Doctor, she’s certainly ticking off the checklist!

Start here

Check out all River Song here

Lucie Miller


If you love: Rose Tyler, The Eighth Doctor, Early 2000’s Who

If you love Rose Tyler or the vibe of 2006 Doctor Who, you’ll LOVE Lucie Miller! Her feisty personality and hilarious sense of humour make her one of our favourite Doctor Who companions. Big Finish give the Eighth Doctor a bit of a new series spin, making these adventures feel like the RTD/Paul Mcgann series we never had. Featuring in four series of adventures, Lucie’s story is timey wimey and exciting from the very beginning. You will absolutely fall in love with her and want to be her best friend as she sasses The Doctor and helps him save the day.

You can listen to Lucie’s first series on Spotify

Check out all her stories here

Donna Noble


If you love: The New Series, The Tenth Doctor, Donna Noble

Donna Noble makes her glorious return to the world of Doctor Who after nearly 10 years in The Tenth Doctor Adventures. Big Finish bring her to life so well that it’s almost as if we’ve been transported back to 2008! Feisty, brave and as funny as ever, these audios do her character a great service, and are a perfect place to start for Big Finish beginners. The set consists of 3 stories featuring the Tenth Doctor and Donna Noble, reuniting David Tennant and Catherine Tate once more. Death and The Queen is a particularly lovely story where Donna really shines, somehow making us love her even more.

Check out the set here

Other Tenth Doctor Adventures

Charley Pollard


If you love: Historicals, companions from the past, the Eighth Doctor

If you’re looking for something a bit different, Charley Pollard may be the girl for you. An adventurer from 1930’s England, Charley was a stowaway on a British airship when she met the Doctor. Saving her from the airship when it crashed, the Doctor caused a temporal paradox from her death being a fixed point in time. Charley ended up having adventures with the Eighth and Sixth Doctor’s and even has a spin off series of her own. Having a companion from the past is a brilliant change and gives a whole new perspective on travelling with the Doctor.

Start here

Check out all Charley Pollard here

Now that we’ve introduced you, why not go on some adventures?…

Let us know what your favourites are @thetimeladies_!

We love you, Doctor Who.

Dear Doctor Who,

I mean the show, not the character. Although they’re pretty much the same thing, right? Does it really matter? I can hear the William Hartnell fans typing furiously as we speak!

Anyway. It’s Valentines coming up. A time of love, friendship and  tweeting about ‘how great your day of Netflix and pizza’ has been and buying reduced heart shaped chocolates the day after. Love comes in many different forms: Romantic, platonic, that feeling you get when you hear your favourite show’s theme tune…and each should be celebrated just as much as romantic love.

Which is why I’m writing this love letter. You see, I hold you (yes you!), my cosy little TV show, very close to my heart. I love you. Sorry to drop the L bomb so early on, but really, it’s best I get straight to the point.

You see, I have a lot to thank you for. Throughout my life, I have felt directionless, lonely and without meaning. This is typical of many people attempting to survive the world that is thrust upon us, which is why escapism is such a necessity. Which is why you, DOCTOR WHO, are such a necessity. When something is always there for you, brings you joy and friendships and shapes you as a person, it becomes a life line. So, thank you Doctor Who, for being my life line.

I love you because you’re always there for me. I love you because I can jump in that blue box any time and experience another universe. I love you because you teach me lessons and make me the best version of myself. But most importantly, I love you because you’ve given me friendships. The people I’ve met through our shared love for you have changed my life in ways I could never have imagined. Smart, kind, loving people who continually help and support me whenever they can. You did that, you created this world for me and many others.

This was bound to get a bit cheesy, but all the best love letters are. You are loved, so much and by so many. Even when you go a bit weird and the sixth Doctor tries to strangle Peri, or that time when you made us sit through giant eye bogey monsters. OR when you kill off characters only for them to come back an episode or two later. Oh, and that time whe- sorry, that sentence got away from me. What I’m trying to say is, that despite all your flaws and mishaps, we still treasure you. You are lots of people’s everything, and that is the most beautiful thing of all.

So, thank you Doctor Who. I love you with all my heart.
Yours tearfully,

A Time Lady.

Our favourite love stories

Ian and Barbara

Both of us absolutely adore the relationship between Ian and Barbara. It’s so real: two colleagues and friends, slowly getting to know each other better… and just see what blossoms. It’s not showy and there are no grand declarations – it’s respect and trust. Two of the things that should be the foundation of any close relationship. Although their love for each other is never confirmed in script, we all know that surely they live happily ever after, best friends and companions till the end. Because who else would they fall for?

The Doctor and Jamie

Two male characters who go on adventures, are best friends, (technically) live together and regularly exchange hugs and hand holds? You couldn’t write that in 2018! In a world where male friendships have to be a testosterone filled beer-and-gaming-and-no-talking-about-feelings fest, it’s so refreshing to watch the Doctor and Jamie. Although the TARDIS has had many male companions since, not quite the same friendship levels have been reached.

The Doctor and Rose

The most classic of all love stories: boy meets girl, they fall in love, boy regenerates into another body… wait what. Personally, we almost love the relationship between Rose and Nine more than hers with Ten, controversial? We like seeing the mutual respect and friendship grow between them. When the Doctor thinks that he’s lost Rose in Dalek, you can visibly see the moment when his heart(s) break. But regardless of which Doctor, it’s a relationship that stands the test of time (quite literally) and when the Tenth Doctor burnt up a sun just to say goodbye… tell us you didn’t sob. Arguably the most romantic of relationships between The Doctor and his friend, we lapped up every minute.

Donna and Wilf

As we’re celebrating all types of love, we had to include two of our most devoted characters. If you’ve ever been lucky enough to have a close relationship with an older family member, you’ll love seeing the friendship between Donna and Wilf as much as we do. Not only is he her Grandfather (or ‘Gramps’), he’s her best friend, confidant and most trusted advisor. Who else would she tell about about a flying blue box and know they wouldn’t laugh in her face? He celebrates her wins with her and picks her up when she’s low. “You go and see the stars, and then bring a bit of them back for your old gramps.” We all wish we had a Wilf.

The Time Ladies

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Because we’re big ol’ cheeseballs we had to include ourselves! Galentines was just a day ago and we love celebrating friendship above all kinds of love. We started talking about this blog, the need for it and our mutual love for all things Doctor Who a year ago and look at what’s happened! As much as your romantic relationships, tell your best friends you love and adore them, they need to be adored by you too. Thanks for bringing us together, Doctor Who.

Let us know your favourite Doctor Who love stories whether they be romantic, platonic or family related, we want to hear them all!
Comment below or tell us on Twitter or Instagram.