We all love (well, most of the time) the Doctor Who companions that we’ve had over the years, but somehow we still pine for the companions that could have been. Characters that showed up for a single episode and were so well-suited for the show you could easily imagine them travelling with the Doctor for years. Sometimes we just want something a little different — a male companion, a historical companion, an alien companion.
Maybe the timing wasn’t right. Maybe the TARDIS already had a companion or two (or three, in the Fifth Doctor’s case), and it would have been too much to take on another. Maybe the writers simply didn’t know a good thing when they had it. For whatever reason, it’s hard to watch these fantastic characters and not wish that they could have had a shot at the big leagues. These are the best of the also-rans.
10. Richard Mace (The Visitation)
I dearly wish that after The Visitation, Richard Mace was forced to escape in the TARDIS with the Doctor. He wouldn’t have lasted more than a few episodes, half a season at the most, but it would have been brilliant while it lasted. I don’t think we’ve ever had someone so ill-suited for life with the Doctor, someone so apathetic and straight-up lazy he can’t even work up the effort to run from danger. He was hilariously dramatic and so completely uninterested in being a hero, just thinking about him on intergalactic adventures makes me laugh.
I imagine that the Doctor would have been amused by him, Nyssa would have been perplexed, and Tegan…well, let’s face it, Tegan probably would have just carried on whinging about Heathrow. Regardless, Richard Mace was a gem, and it’s a crime he was only featured in one story.
This article was first posted on June 29, 2013