ByAndrew Fasnacht, writer at
Pretty movies make me pretty happy. Soccer and brownies have the same effect.
Andrew Fasnacht

For some viewers, the overall quality of a Doctor and his adventures depends a great deal on the character that is his companion (pluralize when necessary).

As such, much thought must be applied when considering who ought to be cast in that pivotal role. What relationship will the character have with the Doctor? Is the actor too famous? What traits, which complement those belonging to the Doctor, would define this companion?

Note that my answers to those questions are merely opinion, and that I am disregarding obvious issues like how long Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman (and Samuel Anderson?) might be expected to retain their presence on Who. Also, this proposition applies only to Peter Capaldi’s Doctor; I don’t think this person would have been a great match with Matt Smith’s Eleven, for example.

I would cast Ellie Kendrick as the Twelfth Doctor’s companion.

Ellie Kendrick (as Anne Frank) and Peter Capaldi
Ellie Kendrick (as Anne Frank) and Peter Capaldi

Doesn’t that just look right? Credit to Hazel for the image, and, more importantly, for planting the seed of this idea in my mind.

Ellie Kendrick has been cropping up in several places these last few years, but she’s not yet become a very familiar face to a lot of folks here in the States (is she a bigger name in the UK?). Its relevance is minimal, but I believe that apparent lack of recognition would aid Kendrick in being accepted as a Doctor Who companion.

The most likely source of Ellie Kendrick’s fame, to whatever degree it exists, must surely come from HBO’s Game of Thrones. In fact, the first time I saw her was when she was clad in the colors of House Reed. Kendrick has also made appearances elsewhere on the telly (Being Human, Misfits), in the movies (An Education, The Diary of Anne Frank), and on stage (as Juliet-freaking-Capulet of all characters).

Ellie Kendrick (as Meera Reed) on Game of Thrones
Ellie Kendrick (as Meera Reed) on Game of Thrones

We may be getting a new Doctor when series 8 premieres this year, but Jenna Coleman’s Clara will continue to aid the last Time Lord in his travels.

Up to this point, Clara was, among other things, Eleven’s flirty friend. Considering the fact that Capaldi is 28 years older than Jenna Coleman, I don’t see that dynamic flying with the Twelfth Doctor. Also, her status as the ‘impossible girl’ eventually reached a conclusion (cropping up throughout time as virtually the same person, but oh wait she’s just a normal human who jumped into the Doctor’s time stream). The result of these wrinkles is that Clara basically needs to be reinvented for the new Capaldi-led series. This interpretation of the situation got me wondering what sort of person I’d like to see adventuring with Twelve. [It also made me think Clara should just be written off the TARDIS, opening the door for a new companion, but eh we’ll see what they do with her character.]

So, what do we know about this latest regeneration of the Doctor? He’s got angry eyes, for starters. He can be loud (KIDNEYS!), but he must have a somewhat playful side to him. I mean, it’s officially canon that he gleefully stole the TARDIS from his younger, David Tennant-looking self...

If Ellie Kendrick has proven to be exceedingly good at any one character trait in the projects that I’ve seen her in, it’s that she can seriously pull off being sassy. As Meera Reed in Game of Thrones, she was constantly pitting her attitude against the hostile guardian of young Brandon Stark. She also successfully portrayed Anne Frank as a typical teenager, overflowing with opinions and frequently at odds with her elders.

That sassiness is something I could imagine playing really well against the Twelve that we glimpsed in last year’s 'The Time of the Doctor' Christmas special. She’d also be slightly bookish (being a college student and all), but with a capacity for adventure hiding just under the surface. Maybe she’s a history and/or lit major; journeying through time and space would be her dream come true.

The age gap between Capaldi and Coleman’s Clara, sans any flirting, is fine by me. Ellie Kendrick’s 23 years maintains that aspect. This fact makes possible an idea that I have really taken a liking to: Capaldi’s Doctor could be a sort of father figure to Kendrick’s companion. Perhaps she lost her parents one way or another and she’s in a years-long battle with loneliness while living in university housing. She then meets the Doctor, who becomes her friend and acting-father...

It could work, yeah? Let me know what you think of the idea, and feel free to share who you would cast in Who. Just play nice.


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