5. The Companions Become Better People
Out of the whole of RTD's run, can you actually tell me how Rose in any way grew as a character? Other than becoming progressively more selfish, sociopathic and became just a downright nasty person? Her treatment of everyone in her family to feed her teenage obsession with the Doctor showed a character no worse than Bella from Twilight (yes I went there). And no, all of this wouldn't really be so bad, if it was made an example of and the character grew and changed and became better, but as a matter of fact the opposite is true. Every character during her time worshiped Rose and the ground she stood and yet had no real character reason to do so. She wasn't any more special than any other companion and the only reason she's so popular is because RTD felt the need to cram down everyone's throat how amazing she was every five minutes. Did she show any humility as a character? Grow or change into someone understanding and considerate of those around her? Sometimes, but only where writers like Moffat and Gatiss were writing her (see the Unquiet Dead and The Doctor Dances), but other than that, nope. Even when she returned in Journey's End she was still so possessive of the Doctor that she actively showed instant cattiness towards Martha the second she knew of her existence. Now, you might ask - what about the other companions? Well, Martha was good from the start but didn't really change much, I believe that if she was presented with the choice from her final episode in her first episode, she would've done exactly the same thing. All that really changed was that it took something that extreme for the Doctor to realise how good she was and to drop the blind Rose worship. Although Donna did develop, it was all undone in the end anyway, meaning the only companion they actually did develop was the one they undid completely in the end anyway. If that doesn't prove my point then what does? In comparison let's take a look at Amy. With Amy we had a character with abandonment issues - she was let down by every parental figure and carer in her life (including the Doctor) and was therefore reluctant put her trust in others entirely, hence her initial reluctance to marry Rory and her fling with the Doctor. With that you have a flawed and morally grey character who did things she shouldn't have, based on legitimate character reasons. But do you know the difference? The flaws of Amy are actually addressed and made an example of. For example, the Doctor deliberately invites Rory onto the TARDIS crew in order to make her realise just how much he means to her. By the end of series 5 they're married and by series 7 they're both much more mature, world-weary people as a a result of their travels. Amy's flirtation might not have completely gone but there is a clear progression in her character - she knows where her loyalties lie and actually does something with herself, growing and changing like a real person. Now I'm not going to comment on either River or Clara, mainly because Clara's story isn't over yet and River was never really a companion, at least on screen. So what does all this tell us? That Moffat at least knows how to write character arcs that start and end with a sense of positive progression, unlike RTD who gave a false impression of development but did it in all the wrong places and for all the wrong reasons.