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Equality is hard!

In one of the personal stories I wrote, I gave the Doctor a Time Lord companion for a little while. The thing I noticed when I did this was that it was really hard to write! I'm so used to the dynamic of the Doctor as the leader with the companions as the follower that it was difficult to write a companion that is his equal, at least in force of personality if not in experience. Even River is always secondary to the Doctor, since she's basically a slave to her obsession with him. It was difficult to mesh two characters of equal importance and strength with different outlooks and goals, without it devolving into a battle for dominance.



( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 23rd, 2015 05:54 pm (UTC)
Personally, I think Donna is about as close as it gets to having an equal. On the one hand, she had her insecurities. At the same time, though, she wasn't afraid to take him down a peg or two when it was for his benefit. She was supportive without being simpering, she viewed him as a friend, not as a godlike being. Yes he was amazing, but he had his faults and she was very well aware of them. Each of them complemented the other. While the Doctor saw the overall big picture, Donna caught the details that he needed in order to solve the problem at hand.

You're right about River, she was too obsessed with the Doctor and (like Rose) often encouraged his bad habits. Donna had none of that, she encouraged him to be the best he could. In turn, the Doctor did the same for her. It's ok to let one person in the partnership take the lead sometimes, and then the other. When he saw that she was coming up with a brilliant idea, he certainly had no qualms about letting her lead (even as he tried to protect her, and she, him).

You may be right, though, a Time Lord/Lady companion might produce more of a battle for dominance rather than a meeting of equals.
Feb. 23rd, 2015 09:31 pm (UTC)
Donna was still a follower, but not as much as the other modern companions. She did know that she was with him because he allowed it, and that he was teaching her and showing her the universe, but the difference between her and the other companions (Rose, Martha, Amy, River, and Clara) is that she wasn't there specifically to be with him. I really feel that the others wanted to be with the Doctor and the universe was a bonus, but with Donna, she wanted to see the universe and do great things, and being with the Doctor was the bonus.

She was definitely able to relate to the Doctor on a much more equal level, person-to-person, because she didn't have the emotional baggage weighing her down, but she couldn't compete with him when it came to either knowledge/experience or self-confidence.

I've only seen a couple of Romana II episodes, but I'm a little disappointed in her stint as a Time Lord traveling with the Doctor because she wasn't as confident and, well, lordly as I would have liked. (I think I need to see some Romana I to get that.) Of course, the whole point was that Romana thought she was superior but actually was very naive and cloistered, and the Doctor was teaching her the realities of the universe, so by the time we get to Romana II, she's less dominant than you might expect from a Time Lady. She develops a lot more in the audios, and I wish that Romana was the one that traveled with the Doctor, only because I want to see that dynamic.
Feb. 23rd, 2015 09:34 pm (UTC)
One of my favorite scenes with Donna is when she sat on the hill with Wilf and told him she was waiting for a man. It's very telling that she explains that she doesn't mean it "like that", and between the lines, she says that she's waiting to for opportunity that she refused the first time. She's not waiting for the man, she's waiting for what he represents. That's the difference with Donna.

Edited at 2015-02-23 09:34 pm (UTC)
Feb. 23rd, 2015 09:57 pm (UTC)
Exactly, my feeling is that for most of his companions, it was about what he and the universe could do for them. For Donna, it was about what she could do for him and the universe. She was in it to learn and to help in whatever way she could.
Feb. 23rd, 2015 11:43 pm (UTC)
Really is hard - and kudos to you for giving it a shot!!

Feb. 26th, 2015 08:54 pm (UTC)
Sounds like a challenge indeed! Good luck with it, it should be very interesting seeing the result though ;)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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