Doctor Who: Thoughts on Martha Jones

So, the next character to enter — and leave — the series is Martha Jones. During my first two watches of the series, Martha was my second favourite companion. You can see how she differs from Rose in her first episode (the actress appeared in another episode before coming on as Martha Jones later), where when the hospital that she’s interning at is suddenly transported to the Moon she notes the issues, does the necessary explorations, and starts taking charge and making sure that everyone is being taken care of. From the start, she’s both compassionate and serious, capable and caring, and yet still does have that urge to explore that’s so important for a companion.

Watching it this time, at least, I really disliked the “unrequited love” angle with the Doctor. As I said when talking about Rose, this really kept Rose front and centre in the story when Martha was more interesting (at least to me). On top of that, it often stopped the scene to make Martha lament her lot, which made her seem a bit pathetic. It often made it seem like she was only traveling with him because she loved him, rather than for the exploration, until the time came for her to use that as a reason to not want to travel with him. I’m not going to say that that sort of conflict is unrealistic, but it just takes up time that could be used exploring her character. It also ends up being a case of “Pair the Spares”, as she ends up marrying Rose’s old boyfriend whom Rose left because of her love of the Doctor, which is a more satisfying way to end it but, again, only because the two of them were so defined by being the ones the “power couple” Rose and the Doctor rejected because they loved each other.

After she leaves, she also goes on to join UNIT and be a competent and valuable field agent, who also plays a key role in saving the Doctor and the world on another occasion. Her later appearances always pretty much had her being an amazing badass, even if in one of them she ends up captured. For the most part, she pretty much has to be considered the most competent of all of the companions of the modern Doctors, as she starts competent and skilled and only gets more competent as things go along.

Her family, especially her mother, end up being more annoying than Rose’s, mostly because while Jackie was mostly harmless Martha’s actually end up causing a major catastrophe through her distrust of the Doctor, that carried on even after he saved all of their lives, which made her seem more like an idiot than like a concerned mother. The inter-family disagreements early in the season also weren’t all that interesting and didn’t really seem to serve any great purpose.

That being said, Martha is still one of my favourite companions, and her arc is one of the companion arcs that I most enjoy, especially considering how much of it happens after she stops traveling with the Doctor. Next up is a companion that I like far less: Donna Noble.

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