List of Doctor Who supporting characters

List of Doctor Who supporting characters

Over the course of its many years on television, the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who has not only seen changes in the actors to play the Doctor, but in the supporting cast as well.



Main article: Companion (Doctor Who)

The Doctor is usually accompanied in his travels by one to three companions (sometimes called assistants). These characters provide a surrogate with whom the audience can identify, and further the story by asking questions and getting into trouble, (similar to Dr. Watson in the Sherlock Holmes mysteries.) The Doctor regularly gains new companions and loses old ones; sometimes they return home, or find new causes on worlds they have visited. A few of the companions (Katarina, Sara Kingdom, Adric, the android Kamelion, Astrid Peth, and Adelaide Brooke) have died during the course of the series.

Recurring or important characters

UNIT personnel

Other humans

Time Lords

Aliens, robots or characters of an unknown race


(See also List of Doctor Who villains)

Major Recurring Villians

Minor Recurring Villians


  1. Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart is thought to be a companion by some[who?], though by others he is not[who?]. The argument over whether he is an acceptable companion continues to this day, although he is on the list of companions on the BBC's Doctor Who website.[citation needed]
  2. Some fans also consider UNIT era regulars Sergeant Benton and Captain Mike Yates to be "companions" although they do not fit the accepted definition. Benton and Yates appeared as regulars in Season 8, again making other appearances before (in Benton's case) and after.
  3. Lethbridge-Stewart appeared as a regular in Seasons 7 and 8 (as well as making guest appearances before and since). Nicholas Courtney, along with his role as Bret Vyon in The Daleks' Master Plan, his appearance in the charity special Dimensions in Time and his participation in the Eighth Doctor audio play Minuet in Hell, has the distinction of having acted with every screen Doctor before the Ninth and also the Tenth (although in adventures before actor David Tennant was cast as the Doctor).
  4. The Inquisitor and The Valeyard appeared in every episode of Season 23, a season that comprised just one story, (albeit split into four segments), The Trial of a Time Lord.
  5. Mickey Smith was a significant recurring character in the 2005 series, prior to briefly becoming a companion in the 2006 series. Similarly, Jackie Tyler appeared in many episodes of the 2005 and 2006 series; in the episodes "Army of Ghosts" and "Doomsday", she briefly travels in the TARDIS and acts like a companion, although she is not generally considered one.
  6. The Master appeared as a regular in Season 8 and has many guest appearances in subsequent seasons and the television movie.

Recurring alien species, monsters, or robots

(See also Category:Doctor Who races and Creatures and aliens in Doctor Who.)




Characters from Doctor Who spin-off comics, novels, audio dramas and webcasts

The Doctor Who comics, novels and audio dramas have created companions, villains and supporting characters of their own. Some of these originated in one medium and later appeared in another. The lists below indicate where a character has appeared. The canonicity of these spin-offs is unclear.


(See also List of companions in Doctor Who spin-offs)

with the First Doctor

  • John and Gillian (TV Comic comic strip)

with the Second Doctor

  • John and Gillian (TV Comic comic strip)

with the Third Doctor

with the Fourth Doctor

with the Fifth Doctor

with the Sixth Doctor

with the Seventh Doctor

with the Eighth Doctor

with the Ninth Doctor

Adam Mitchell is a television companion of Christopher Eccleston's Ninth Doctor in the 2005 series. He was acquired as a companion in "Dalek" and was expelled from the TARDIS in the very next episode, "The Long Game", for bad behaviour.

The character of Adam Mitchell was first conceived, along with Henry van Statten, during Russell T Davies' 2003 pitch to the BBC, in a story heavily based on Robert Shearman's audio play Jubilee called "Return of the Daleks" (which would later form the base for the episode "Dalek"). It was always the intention of the production team for Adam to join the TARDIS after Rose developed a liking for him. To play this role, Bruno Langley was chosen, mostly for his role on Coronation Street as Todd Grimshaw. However, Adam was not meant to be a long-term companion; indeed, Davies intended to show that not everyone is suitable to join the TARDIS crew and dubbed him "the Companion That Couldn't". "I always wanted to do a show with someone who was a rubbish companion," Davies explains in the book Doctor Who: The Inside Story.[27] "Adam doesn't realise he's out for his own good until he's put in a situation of temptation, where knowledge, information and power are put in front of him," Davies says in Doctor Who Confidential. "He's a little bit ambitious; he's a little bit too clever for his own good. So it's a chance to see someone starting on that path, which the Doctor cuts dead."[28]

Originally, there were several aspects of the character that were cut before appearing on screen: in early drafts, he was the son of Henry van Statten, and Adam's reason for his duplicity in "The Long Game" was his father's ill-health. (In the DVD commentary for "The Long Game", director Brian Grant and actor Bruno Langley discuss Adam's scripted motive of bringing future medical knowledge back home to cure his father.) Adam was also supposed to reside in Nottingham, until the casting of Langley made the production team relocate his house to Manchester. To date, he is the only known companion to be booted from the TARDIS for "bad behaviour" and the only companion of the Ninth Doctor to not meet the Tenth.

Outside of television, there is also an oblique other media allusion to Adam, made in the week in which "The Long Game" was first broadcast. The tie-in website "Who is Doctor Who?" announced that "14 year-old Adam Mitchell from Nottingham" had won a competition arranged by van Statten the previous week. Adam's winning essay on "Why I Want To Meet An Alien" focuses on acquiring advanced knowledge from them ("I don't think it's cheating, really. It's just a shortcut"). The canonicity of the material on the website is unclear.

with the Tenth Doctor

Other recurring or important characters

See also


  1. ^ a b "The Curse of the Black Spot", "A Good Man Goes to War"
  2. ^ "Victory of the Daleks", "The Pandorica Opens"
  3. ^ "Victory of the Daleks", "The Pandorica Opens", "The Wedding of River Song"
  4. ^ a b The Chase, "The Shakespeare Code"
  5. ^ Silver Nemesis, "Voyage of the Damned"
  6. ^ "The Beast Below" & "The Pandorica Opens"
  7. ^ Jack Harkness's dialogue in "Last of the Time Lords"
  8. ^ "Vincent and the Doctor", "The Pandorica Opens"
  9. ^ The Wheel in Space. Writer David Whitaker, from a story by Kit Pedler, Director Tristan de Vere Cole, Producer Peter Bryant. Doctor Who. BBC. BBC1, London. 27 April 1968–1 June 1968.
  10. ^ a b The War Games, "Episode Ten". Writers Malcolm Hulke and Terrance Dicks, Director David Maloney, Producer Derrick Sherwin. Doctor Who. BBC. BBC1, London. 21 June 1969.
  11. ^ Doctor Who Magazine (388). 18 October 2007 (cover date) 
  12. ^ "Rise of the Cybermen"/"The Age of Steel", "Doomsday"
  13. ^ "The Stolen Earth", "Journey's End", "The End of Time"
  14. ^ "A Good Man Goes to War"
  15. ^ The Abominable Snowmen. Writers Mervyn Haisman, Henry Lincoln, Director Gerald Blake, Producer Innes Lloyd. Doctor Who. BBC, London. 30 September 1967–4 November 1967.
  16. ^ The Web of Fear. Writers Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln, Director Douglas Camfield, Producer Peter Bryant. Doctor Who. BBC, London. 3 February 1968–9 March 1968.
  17. ^ "Rose". Writer Russell T Davies, Director Keith Boak, Producer Phil Collinson. Doctor Who. BBC. BBC One, Cardiff. 26 March 2005.
  18. ^ "The End of the World". Writer Russell T Davies, Director Euros Lyn, Producer Phil Collinson. Doctor Who. BBC. BBC One, Cardiff. 2 April 2005.
  19. ^ "Aliens of London". Writer Russell T Davies, Director Keith Boak, Producer Phil Collinson. Doctor Who. BBC. BBC One, Cardiff. 16 April 2005.
  20. ^ "World War Three". Writer Russell T Davies, Director Keith Boak, Producer Phil Collinson. Doctor Who. BBC. BBC One, Cardiff. 23 April 2005.
  21. ^ "Father's Day". Writer Paul Cornell, Director Joe Ahearne, Producer Phil Collinson. Doctor Who. BBC. BBC One, Cardiff. 14 May 2005.
  22. ^ Jackie is not generally considered a companion to the Doctor, however she does fulfill this role in the two-part episode Army of Ghosts/Doomsday.
  23. ^ The Three Doctors. Writers Bob Baker, Dave Martin, Director Lennie Mayne, Producer Barry Letts. Doctor Who. BBC. BBC1, London. 30 December 1972–20 January 1973.
  24. ^ "The Pandorica Opens", "A Good Man Goes to War"
  25. ^ "Day of the Moon", "The Curse of the Black Spot", "The Rebel Flesh"/"The Almost People", "A Good Man Goes to War"
  26. ^ BBC Press Release: Tom Baker returns as the Fourth Doctor in new audio dramas, 27 July 2009; accessed 2 August 2009.
  27. ^ Russell, Gary (2006). Doctor Who: The Inside Story. BBC Books. p. 164. ISBN 978-0-563-48649-7. 
  28. ^ Doctor Who Confidential – Episode 7: The Dark Side. Cut Down version on Doctor Who Series One DVD set.

External links

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