The Sixth Doctor may have had a brief television tenure, but his list of Doctor Who companions keeps on growing thanks to the expanded universe of books, comics and audio adventures. Who were the Sixth Doctor’s ‘forgotten’ companions?
First, we have to mention Perpugilliam Brown (or Peri) who travelled with him throughout most of his TV adventures and indeed witnessed his regeneration into his sixth incarnation at the end of ‘The Caves of Androzani.’ Peri was the first of the American Doctor Who companions, although the British actor Nicola Bryant had to fool the production team into thinking she came from the States in order to secure the part. This meant using her fake American accent off camera as well – even with the Sixth Doctor Colin Baker!
Peri left the Doctor during ‘The Trial of a Time Lord’ in 1986, and became one of the few Doctor Who companions to actually die on screen – although it was subsequently revealed that her death (which had been viewed through the Matrix) never actually happened, as the Matrix had been tampered with. Even so, she ceased travelling with the Doctor to marry the eccentric King Yrcanos and become a warrior queen.
Her replacement was Melanie Bush – a computer programmer from Pease Pottage who, in another first for Doctor Who companions, had ginger hair – something that was pivotal in the actor Bonnie Langford’s casting in 1986. Alas, Mel’s computing skills were seldom put to good use during her travels with the Sixth Doctor, although she was highly intelligent and had perfected the art of total recall. Mel continued travelling with the Doctor into his seventh incarnation, and ultimately left him on Ice World to travel the universe with the notorious ‘wheeler dealer’ Sabalom Glitz.
These are the Doctor Who companions from the Sixth Doctor’s tenure that fans are most familiar with, but things get a bit complicated when we enter the world of comic books, novels and Big Finish audio adventures. Indeed, the Sixth Doctor’s ‘expanded universe’ tenure has thus far been much larger than his television one, and he has made many more friends on his travels through time and space…
One of these is Frobisher the penguin, who mainly featured in the comics and audio adventures. He was a shape-shifting detective from the planet Xenon, and even though he never appeared on screen, he did make his first appearance alongside the Sixth Doctor around the same time ‘The Twin Dilemma‘ aired. Timeline-wise, he belongs near the beginning of the Sixth Doctor’s tenure, as he travelled in the TARDIS at the same time as Peri. His key adventures are ‘The Shape Shifter’ comic strip and ‘The Age of Chaos,’ written by none other than Colin Baker himself.
See our longer piece on Frobisher here.
Following ‘The Trial of a Time Lord,’ the next of the more obscure Doctor Who companions was Grant Markham who travelled with the Sixth Doctor for one adventure only in the ‘Time of Your Life’ novel by Steve Lyons. Markham was from New Tokyo on New Earth in the year 2191, and a skilled computer programmer. He did, however, suffer from robophobia as a result of seeing his mum killed by a Cyberman when he was a child.
Sometime later, the Sixth Doctor was joined by Evelyn Smythe. Evelyn was certainly one of the older Doctor Who companions and was a History lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University; the Sixth Doctor invited her into the TARDIS owing to the fact that she was a nexus point – a particularly rare and important part of the timeline that could drastically alter the course of history. Indeed, Evelyn came to the Doctor’s attention after her entire family was erased from the timeline in the Big Finish adventure ‘The Marian Conspiracy,’ which the Doctor sought to put right.
And of all the ‘expanded universe’ Doctor Who companions, Evelyn was one of the longer ones, and went on many adventures with the Sixth Doctor. She also overlapped with Mel Bush; this was after she had fallen in love with (and married) a man named Justice Rossiter on the planet Világ and left the TARDIS for a time, much to the Doctor’s disapproval. But he and Mel visited Evelyn on Világ to help deal with her troublesome stepdaughter in the Big Finish adventure ‘Thicker than Water,’ and she didn’t travel with the Sixth Doctor again after this, although she did subsequently encounter the Doctor’s seventh incarnation.
Will Hoffman and Emily Chaudry
The next Doctor Who companions to travel with the Sixth Doctor were UNIT soldiers Will Hoffman and Emily Chaudry whom he encountered in the short story ‘The Terror of the Darkness’ by Joseph Lidster. And although the Doctor offers to return the pair to UNIT HQ and the end of this adventure, they are side-tracked in the follow-up short story ‘Incongruous Details’ and take a trip to London during the Second World War.
Ultimately, Will Hoffman was killed in the audio adventure ‘The Longest Night‘ after a battle with ICIS – the corrupt Internal Counter-Intelligence Service.
Jason, Zog and Crystal
After this, the characters of Jason, Zog and Crystal were the next Doctor Who companions to join the TARDIS. Jason was the first, and was rescued from the guillotine in 18th century France in the audio adaptation of ‘The Ultimate Adventure.’ He later met Crystal (a nightclub singer from London) after she helped to stop a US envoy from being kidnapped by the Cybermen. Zog, meanwhile, was a slave at a notorious underground bar called Bar Galactica on the planet Sentros, and teamed up with Jason, Crystal and the Sixth Doctor during ‘The Ultimate Adventure.’
And whilst it’s not clear what happened to Jason and Crystal, Zog was one of the few secretly villainous Doctor Who companions who was actually trying to enslave the universe, and ceased travelling with the Sixth Doctor after the short story ‘Face Value’ by Steve Lyons.
Charley Pollard and Mila
After this we have Charley Pollard, one of the Doctor Who companions from the Eighth Doctor’s era who first met him during the audio adventure ‘Storm Warning.’ However, her encounter with the Sixth Doctor came during Big Finish’s ‘The Condemned‘ and she went on to travel with him for a time, ultimately changing his memories to protect the timeline and convincing the Sixth Doctor that he actually travelled with a girl called Mila.
Next is Jamie McCrimmon – more commonly known as the companion to the Second Doctor, and indeed one of the longest-serving Doctor Who companions. He was reunited with the Sixth Doctor in the Big Finish adventure ‘City of Spires‘ and continued travelling with him until ‘Legend of the Cybermen.’ However, in true Doctor Who style, this wasn’t the real Jamie McCrimmon, but a fictional recreation to help the Doctor fight off a wave of Cybermen.
Jago and Litefoot
And this wasn’t the last time that former Doctor Who companions stepped into the Sixth Doctor’s life, as he also encountered Leela in Victorian London along with his old friends Henry Gordon Jago and Professor George Litefoot as they investigated various Machiavellian machinations in ‘The Hourglass Killers.’ This wasn’t a Doctor Who adventure, though, but part of Big Finish’s Jago and Litefoot spin-off series, and the Doctor had a number of adventures with his old friends before inviting them to join him for further travels in the TARDIS.
As such, Jago and Litefoot became official Doctor Who companions in the Big Finish stories ‘Voyage to Venus‘ and ‘Voyage to the New World.’ They’re a difficult pair to sum up in a sentence, but simply put, they were created by the writer Robert Holmes as characters for the Fourth Doctor story ‘The Talons of Weng-Chiang,’ with Jago being a somewhat eccentric theatre owner, and Litefoot a police pathologist. They developed a strong friendship after their initial experience with the Doctor, and continued looking into all-things supernatural after the Time Lord had departed.
After Jago and Litefoot, another of the old Doctor Who companions returned to the Whoniverse, this time in the shape of Flip Jackson whom the Doctor had initially encountered during his travels with Evelyn Smythe. She was from 21st century Earth and worked as a cashier at Fresh Goods, first encountering the Doctor in the Big Finish adventure ‘The Crimes of Thomas Brewster.’ She was reunited with him during ‘The Curse of Davros’ after the deranged Dalek creator tried to manipulate her into thinking the Sixth Doctor was an imposter. He failed, naturally, and Flip went on to join the Doctor on his travels through time and space.
Doctor Who companions don’t stick around forever, though, and Flip ultimately left the Doctor after getting engaged to her boyfriend Jared, who had previously appeared in ‘The Crimes of Thomas Brewster.’ This wasn’t a smooth departure, though, as prior to this she had been plummeting to Earth on a piece of space debris in the Big Finish adventure ‘Scavenger,’ and the Doctor had used the TARDIS to bend space and time and slow her descent.
Flip did eventually make it to the wedding, of course – even if the Sixth Doctor didn’t. But Flip did encounter the Doctor again in ‘Quicksilver’ after she was time-scooped by the Zenith and sent to Vienna in 1948. It was here that she got to meet the next of the Doctor Who companions Constance Clarke, a member of the Women’s Royal Naval Service (or WRENs) from the Second World War, whom the Doctor encountered in the audio adventure ‘Criss-Cross.’ Flip went on to join the Sixth Doctor and Constance on their travels.
And at the time of writing, Constance is the most current of the Doctor Who companions for the Sixth Doctor. Flip’s fate is still unknown, having survived being stung by a Pandorian Quill Spitter and being taken to hospital in ‘The End of the Beginning‘ from Big Finish. The Sixth Doctor did also encounter the universe’s top archaeologists River Song and Bernice Summerfield, plus many ‘one-off’ Doctor Who companions such as Matthew Sharpe in ‘The Lure of the Nomad‘ and Yrsa Kristjansdottir in ‘The Hunting Ground.’ Who know how many more friends the Sixth Doctor will make during his extended travels throughout time and space.
Have we missed any Doctor Who companions from this list? Let us know in the comments below!