It's going to be three times the fun for the Thirteenth Doctor, as it's been revealed that not one, but three companions will join her in the Tardis: Yasmin, played by Mandip Gill, Ryan, played by Tosin Cole, and Graham, played by Bradley Walsh. While having three regular companions traveling with the Doctor is new ground for the revival series, it was quite common during the classic era of the show.
Here are a few other times in Doctor Who History where the Doctor has travelled with three companions.
1. Susan, Ian And Barbara
The very first Team TARDIS consisted of the First Doctor and three companions, including his granddaughter Susan, and Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright, Susan's science and history teachers from when she attended Coal Hill School. Unlike most later companions who chose to travel with The Doctor, Ian and Barbara were unwillingly taken along for the ride. The First Doctor took off into the Time Stream in fear that they would reveal what they had seen inside The TARDIS after following Susan home from school. While the pair's relationship with The Doctor was tainted with distrust, this faded throughout their adventures together, with the group eventually forming a strong bond.
As the original companions, the chemistry between Susan, Ian, Barbara and the Doctor was a vital component in the show's early success, more than earning them their place in Doctor Who History.
2. Ian, Barbara and Vicki
Following Susan's departure from the TARDIS, the First Doctor, Ian and Barbara invite the orphaned Vicki to travel with them. The Doctor quickly becomes attached to Vicki, whom reminds him of Susan. After six adventures together, Ian and Barbara finally head back to their own time with the help of a Dalek ship. After a few more trips with the First Doctor and Steven Taylor, Vicki fell in love with the Trojan Prince Troilus, remaining in the past with him and changing her name to become his wife, Cressida.
After the departures of Ian, Barbara and Vicki, The Doctor remained with just two companions at a time until early in the Second Doctor's tenure.
3. Ben, Polly And Jamie
Following his regeneration and a battle with The Daleks, the Second Doctor and his current companions Ben and Polly landed in Scotland in the aftermath of the Battle Of Culloden. It is here that they meet young Scotsman Jaime McCrimmon, who soon after decided to join the crew. Together with the Second Doctor, Ben, Polly, and Jaime battle Cybermen, Fish people and the crab-like Macra. At the conclusion of "The Faceless Ones," their fifth adventure together, Ben and Polly chose to stay behind, realizing that they landed on the exact same day from which they originally departed Earth. Jaime stayed on with the Doctor, becoming the longest serving male companion in Doctor Who history.
Sadly, many of the episodes in which Ben, Polly and Jaime appear together (including Jaime's debut story, "The Highlanders"), were lost to the BBC's junking policy. Some of these stories, such as the Cyberman story "The Moonbase," have been restored with #animation, but this is a long process.
4. Romana II, K9 and Adric
After a long stint travelling with just one or two companions at a time, the Fourth Doctor found himself with three passengers once again during a series of stories known as the E-Space Trilogy. During the trilogy, young Adric stows away on the TARDIS, joining the Doctor, Romana and robot dog K9, but this group is only together for a short time. K9 is damaged, leaving him unable to safely leave E-Space, while Romana chooses to stay behind with him in order to avoid a summons back to Gallifrey.
Later, in some of Big Finish's Doctor Who audio stories, Romana manages to mend K9, escape E-Space and return to Gallifrey on her own terms, even becoming President.
5. Adric, Nyssa, And Tegan
While the trio of Adric, Nyssa, and Tegan began their travels with the Fourth Doctor, it is the Fifth with whom they are most commonly identified. Adric chose to remain with the Doctor after leaving E-Space, and Nyssa joined the crew after The Master stole the body of her Father, Tremas. Tegan, meanwhile, wandered into the TARDIS completely by accident, thinking it was a real police box. Many of the Fifth Doctor's early stories began with failed attempts to return Tegan in time for her first day at work.
The group's time together came to an abrupt and tragic end after Adric is killed in an exploding ship that filled the role of the meteor that killed the Dinosaurs. Adric's death remains an iconic Doctor Who moment, one of the only deaths of a regular companion to occur in the series.
6. Nyssa, Tegan And Turlough
While still grieving the loss of Adric, the Fifth Doctor and his remaining crew meet Vislor Turlough, a supposedly normal schoolboy who soon joins them in their travels. Unbeknown to them, Turlough is under the control of the evil Black Guardian who has tasked him with killing the Doctor. Eventually shaking the Black Guardian's influence, Turlough became a valued, if not always-trusted member of the Fifth Doctor's TARDIS Team. However, his time with the Doctor's other current companions would prove brief after Nyssa opted to stay behind on Terminus.
In a series of Fifth Doctor audio stories, The Doctor, Tegan and Turlough reunite with Nyssa 50 years in her future as she seeks a cure for an illness which has struck down her daughter. With her own ship badly damaged, Nyssa rejoins the TARDIS crew, accepting the Doctor's offer of a ride home via The Scenic Route.
And Then There Was...
Aside from the above trios, there have been a few other notable occasions in which The Doctor has travelled with three passengers. The android Kamelion travelled aboard the TARDIS with the Fifth Doctor, Tegan and Turlough, but the droid was mostly confined to the TARDIS and never really considered a "regular" companion. Some now believe that the character of Kamelion is cursed, as many involved in the creation of the droid, or those who used him in later novels and audio, have met unpleasant fates. In the new series, we have the case of the Pond Family.
While River Song was never a series regular, she joined her parents, Amy and Rory, in the TARDIS with the Eleventh Doctor on a number of occasions.
Only time will tell if the Thirteenth Doctor's new companions will reach the iconic status of some of the classic companion trios.
What do you think of the new companions? Do you plan on watching the next season of Doctor Who?