First of all, SPOILERS AHEAD! If you don’t watch Doctor Who, or you just don’t want spoilers for 10’s era, DON’T click below.
Now, I would like to say one thing: Dr. Martha Smith-Jones is one of the most kickarse companions yet.
Martha is pretty damn awesome. She was a FAR better companion than Rose [insert expletive] Tyler. She was strong even when she was terrified, and while she wasn’t as empathetic as Donna (who, frankly, isn’t going to be surpassed in that respect), she certainly cared a lot more for others’ well-being than, again, Rose [insert expletive] Tyler, who was essentially a spoilt child who threw temper tantrums every third episode.
Here is a list of the awesomeness she does.
- She’s already practically living her dream by the time the Doctor enters her life. She’s studying to be a doctor, she has a family that’s alive, and she’s happy with her life the way it is.
- She’s bloody brilliant, and I don’t mean just the book-smart way. Obviously, she’s good at school stuff, because med school doesn’t take slackers, but later, she helps the Doctor with fixing up Yana’s stuff and she doesn’t complain one bit. She thinks logically under pressure (‘It’s not exactly airtight’), is quick (‘Expelliarmus!’), and resourceful, as well as street-smart (‘Now I’ve got a job in a shop, I’ve got to support him!’)
- She doesn’t ignore or push away her family for adventure. She obviously cares about her relationships. When the Master was P.M., she tried as hard as she could to get her family to safety. Francine, Tish, and Clive (her mum, big sis, and dad) were caught by Saxon’s men, but she managed to warn Leo in time for him to get somewhere safe with his family. This is also in contrast to Rose, who pushes Jacky and Mickey off to the sidelines because she ‘doesn’t trust’ them.
- She’s in love with the Doctor, knows he doesn’t care for her that way, angsts about it, but doesn’t think of herself badly for that. Let’s face it, if you were in love (or crushing) on someone and they didn’t acknowledge you romantically, you’d probably come to the conclusion that ‘something’s wrong with you’. Right? But Martha doesn’t talk about herself badly, doesn’t think about herself badly, and even walks away from the Doctor in the end. She knew she was giving him up, and she still left. And it was because she didn’t want to end up pining for him for the rest of her life. That’s part of what makes her so admirable in my eyes. And this also relates to the next part.
- She leaves the Doctor, and life as a companion, voluntarily. Rose got stuck in the alternate dimension with Handy, Donna had her memories erased (which, face it, was heartbreaking), Jack’s left on Satellite 5, and the Ponds are taken by the stray Angel. Martha is the only one who left on her own terms in New Who. Even the one-time companions mostly die or are pushed away; Reinette dies, Riddell is left wherever he was before DoAS, and Madge Arwell needed to take care of her family. Madge probably wouldn’t choose to travel with him, anyway.
- She doesn’t regret leaving and doesn’t want her old, TARDIS life back again. Rose’s whole storyline was basically ‘Doctor, Doctor, Doctor.’ The Ponds lived ‘on hold’ for Eleven, and they would pick up with him whenever he dropped by. Martha has quite a few opportunities to join the Doc again, but she chooses to move on, for her sake and for Mickey’s sake (they get married, yay).
- She walked the Earth for a year, in constant danger, to save the Earth.Remember the Year that Never Was? She spent that whole year in constant danger, with nothing but the clothes on her back and a fairly weak perception filter, traveling around the world telling the story of the Doctor, watching as her entire civilization was torn down around her, and yet she carried on in high spirits (and not “for the love of the Doctor” which was why a certain R-word did basically everything), but because she was just that GOOD that she refused to run away and hide and let humanity burn when she had the ability to do something about it. She saved him. She saved billions of people. And she doesn’t get nearly enough credit for that. I feel that if Rose were in place of her for those episodes, she would curl up into a ball and cry. She couldn’t handle it because she’s not mature enough. While I love Amy, I don’t think she’d be strong enough for this. Rory might have a chance of doing it. He is the Last Centurion, after all. But Martha was the best.
- She ‘babysitted’ the Doctor quite a few times. When the Doctor had to hide from the Family, she worked as a maid for three months. She had to handle racism, sexism, and was basically made to feel worthless, even by Doc himself. And when the two were stuck in the 1960s, she had to support both herself AND the 900+ year old alien. She had to suffer yet more racism, sexism, and discrimination. And we hardly hear a complaint from her. Just that one line, ‘Now I’ve got a job in a shop, I’ve got to support him!’
- She is one of only two companions of New Who who was working toward a good job. Rose worked in a shop. Donna was a temp from Chiswick. Jack is/was a conman/Time Agent/Torchwood operative. Rory was a nurse, which is alright. Amy was a kissogram, of all things. But Martha, Martha is a doctor, and probably a damn good one too.
- She had no special powers. Rose looked into the heart of the TARDIS and became the Bad Wolf. Donna got the Doctor’s mind before The Incident of Memory-Erasing happened. Amy had the power to literally reboot the universe. Martha had nothing besides her own mind and strong will. She is badass.
- When she calls, the Doctor comes. It’s as simple as that. Martha gives the Doctor her cell and tells him in no uncertain terms he’d damn well better come when she calls.
And he would, of course he would. She doesn’t really say goodbye to him, because she knows he’s coming back, that he’ll see her again, but she’s a hero now, and she knows it, and she’s off to be a doctor and help her family and save the world all by herself. Because she knows that she can do that now, and she knows how incredibly awesomely strong she is. And y’know the only other person who’s done that “I’ll call you, Doctor, and you’d better come running”? The Brigadier, with his space-time telegraph. (Mickey called Rose, I suspect, rather than the Doctor, so I don’t count that.) The Brigadier, man. The fricking epic Brigadier and the young doctor are the only ones with such a privilege.
- She laughed in the face of the Master. ‘Nuff said.
And that’s why I love Martha Jones. Up next, Donna Noble! If you liked this post, go check out my other ones!