In a show as long running and expansive as Doctor Who, we’ve all developed our favorite characters over the years.
Maybe you loved Clara, or maybe you wish you could see the OG companion Rose Tyler again. After the most recent series brought back Captain Jack Harkness, fans clamored more than ever to see their favs back on Doctor Who.
With time travel, it seems like pretty much anyone could turn up in the series again. But some characters have an easier path than others. (And frankly, some deserve a return more.)
So here it is – the definitive list of characters who can (and should) return to Doctor Who.
Can return (so easily it’s practically a plot hole they haven’t turned up):
Martha, Mickey, Kate Lethbridge-Stewart
I’m not even going to go into each of them individually. They all work for UNIT, which means any one of them could reasonably turn up any time there’s a story involving aliens on present-day Earth. (So…a lot of stories.)
Technically the Chibnall era disbanded UNIT because of Brexit (???). But that was a single throwaway line and you could bring the organization back with the same level of effort. So, Martha, Mickey, and Kate could all easily return to Doctor Who.
Sure, why not?
After the events of “The Doctor Falls,” Bill becomes a shape-shifting, time-traveling puddle-person. So a cameo appearance doesn’t seem so far-fetched in comparison, does it? In all seriousness though, she’s just sort of floating around the universe and chilling with her puddle-person girlfriend, so there’s not really a reason she can’t come back. My only hesitation would be a return now might be too soon, as she’s not been away for that long.
Someone who has been away for quite some time? Jenny. You know, from that episode where the Tenth Doctor accidentally surrenders his genetic information and spawns a fully-grown daughter? That Jenny. The Doctor thought she died, but the audience knew her Time Lord DNA allowed her to regenerate. Jenny heads out to explore the universe and is never seen again (except for over at Big Finish).
Can return…if you sort out some plot:
Donna, River, Amy and Rory (pre-“Angels Take Manhattan”)
Donna made her last TV Doctor Who appearance a decade ago, but I’m still upset about her ending. (Donna forcibly having her memories of the Doctor taken away is the most tragic companion end in NuWho. And yes, I’m including the companions who literally died.) She deserved better, and if you sort out the whole “memories making her brain burn up” thing, she could come back.
Someone who could return without a full rewrite of her ending? River Song. Look, her timeline’s already jumbled and confusingly timey-wimey. As long as you bring in a River that’s pre-Darillium, you could make it work. She’s used to spoilers anyways.
Similarly, Amy and Rory could pop in again if the show takes the timey-wimey approach. While it would be a bad idea to bring in the Ponds post-”Angels Take Manhattan” (see below), they could meet the Doctor again in an earlier part of their timeline.
Technically could…but shouldn’t:
Clara, Amy and Rory (post-“Angels”), Rose
When we last saw Clara, she was sort of pseudo-alive after being killed and then extracted from her timeline. Since she took off in her own TARDIS and headed off into the universe, technically it would seem possible for the Doctor to run into her again. But doing so would be a bad idea. Since her continued “life” is supposed to be a threat to time itself, if she ran into the Doctor again, they would probably have to “kill” her for real. Clara’s current ending lets her story stay much more open-ended and optimistic.
Similarly, catching up with Amy and Rory after the events of “The Angels Take Manhattan” would only draw more attention to the questionable plot that trapped them in New York. I mean really, the timeline is too fragile to land in New York not just for the year, but for the rest of Amy and Rory’s lives? They’ll be dead before the Doctor can ever fly the TARDIS into New York again? And how far does this time distortion extend exactly? The Doctor can’t just land in Jersey and take a cab over, huh? (Moffat, explain!!)
And finally…the original companion, Rose. Rose is much beloved by Whovians, and fans always seem to be asking for her to return to the series. So I realize making this statement is going to be controversial, but…Rose shouldn’t come back! I’m sorry, but she already had a return story arc! (Plus a sort-of return for the 50th anniversary.) To bring her back again would cheapen her original story arc.
But what do you think? Which Doctor Who companions would you most like to see return? Let us know in the comments.