The current TARDIS team consists of the fantastic four – Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor and her pals Graham (Bradley Walsh), Ryan (Tosin Cole) and Yaz (Mandip Gill). They have great chemistry together, but having to juggle four leads has proven to be a bit of an issue over the course of Doctor Who season 11, which just wrapped this evening with an underwhelming finale.
This is an age-old problem for the show, though. Back in the early 1980s, the Fifth Doctor was also accompanied by three companions – Australian air hostess Tegan (Janet Fielding), alien teen prodigy Adric (Matthew Waterhouse) and gentle, smart Nyssa (Sarah Sutton). The foursome’s adventures have now been re-released on Blu-Ray and one of the special features sees Peter Davison laying bare his feelings about his era of Doctor Who.
Among other things, the actor revealed that he thinks having four characters in the TARDIS makes the time machine too crowded. Here’s what he had to say about it:
“I think that three companions is too many. One of them had to go. I think that John [Nathan-Turner, producer] knew this but he wanted to get rid of Sarah, which I really was against, because Nyssa was the only one being supportive of the Doctor. She was the one who really wanted to be there. Janet[‘s character] wanted to get back to Heathrow, Adric wanted to get back to E-Space and so Sarah was my only ally on board.”
As classic Whovians will know, it was actually Adric who was elected to be the one to go. In one of the most shocking moments in Who history, the companion died defeating the Cybermen and wiping out the dinosaurs in the process (long story). It’s still one of the few times that the Doctor has failed to save a friend from death.
Looking back at it, Davison admits now that perhaps the character’s tragic exit may have gone too far, saying:
“On reflection, I think, probably, I didn’t realise how many fans would be badly affected by the loss of Adric in a tragic way. So maybe it was not a good idea.”
Many were expecting a similar heartbreaking farewell to happen to one of the Thirteenth Doctor’s trio of best buds in tonight’s finale – specifically, Graham. However, it’s now been confirmed that all four will return for Doctor Who season 12, which will arrive in 2020.