“Thank you for being a friend / Traveled down the road and back again / Your heart is true / You’re a pal and a confidant.” The English language has over fifty viable synonyms for a friend, but in the realm of the Doctor Who fandom, the term “companion” is sacred. It is a title bestowed upon those who have been given a special place in the pantheon, a category of characters for whom books are written, songs are sung (well, other than that one, but who are we to judge), and tear-jerking YouTube videos are edited. But who makes the cut? Who ascends to the higher plateau of companionship, where others are relegated to ‘friend’, ‘colleague’, or the practically insulting ‘recurring role’?

This week, we’re joined by long-time listener and friend of the podcast Nicole to discuss, debate, and dissect what it means to be an ‘official’ companion of the Doctor. With extensive contributions from folks across the social networks (thank you!), we look to criteria including time travel, significant contribution to the story, appearance frequency and concurrence, and more. Suffice to say, it gets rather…convoluted.

John Leeson LIWho 5EXTRA: Our interview with the voice of K-9 himself, John Leeson, from L.I. Who 5!