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The top 5 SF sidekicks who wouldn’t make the cut as “Doctor Who” companions

February 12, 2009

We’ve known for a while now who’s been selected to play the 11th Doctor, but despite an active rumour mill, there’s still no confirmation from the BBC of who will be Doctor Who’s next Companion.

To that end, I’ve assembled a list of five notable sidekicks from around the SF universe who just wouldn’t cut it as one of the Doctor’s famed cadre of tag-alongs.

5) R2D2
In many respects, this little astromech would make a welcome addition to the Doctor’s team: he’s brave, loyal, able to figure ways out of a tough spot, and he doesn’t take up much room. That being said, there’s no place for Artoo in this exclusive club because with his vast array of built-in tools, there’d be no need to use the Sonic Screwdriver, and we couldn’t have that, now could we?

4) Chewbacca the Wookiee
The big walking carpet is a good friend to have at your back in any kind of situation, whether it’s scouting for fares at the bar, fixin’ droids, puttin’ the boots to Imperial stormtroopers, piloting your starship, or keeping you warm in a damp cell. Chewie’s the kinda guy who would have looked the werewolf from “Tooth and Claw” in the eye and said “Bring it on, bitch.” (not that anyone would be able to understand what he said) The problem with Chewbacca is that he likes his guns, and the Doctor does not. That, and he’d probably shed too much, and you’d never be able to get all the hair out of the TARDIS.

3) Jack Burton
The swaggering, John-Wayne-imitating owner of the ol’ Porkchop Express is good to have at your back in a fight (sometimes) or a game of fan-tan (definitely). Problem is, he’s pretty clueless and would probably spend most of his time ogling alien women rather than helping the Doctor solve the mystery behind whatever big trouble they’d get themselves into from week to week.

2) Arnold J Rimmer
If you need to clean out the chicken soup dispenser on your interplanetary mining ship, Rimmer’s your man. Want to have someone constantly whine, complain, be rude to you, and find new ways to humiliate himself? This technician second-class is the hologram you need. Sadly, the Red Dwarf’s most famous deceased crewmember would probably be too cowardly (unless it was his alter-ego Ace) to even step inside the TARDIS, never mind join the Doctor on an adventure.

1) Marvin the paranoid android
In “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” books, we encounter strange methods of powering and moving spacecraft, like the improbability drive and the bistromath drive. If only they’d learned to tap the bottomless resource of Marvin’s depression, Arthur Dent & co could have had the powers of gods. The Doctor is probably smart enough to harness the potential of this self-pity, but this is never likely to happen. Marvin’s ability to be a downer is so utterly relentless that it might even be able to crush the Doctor’s seemingly boundless optimism. It would be the irresistable force meeting the immovable object. Matter and anti-matter colliding. They’d simply cancel each other out. That’s why there’s probably a sub-clause somewhere in the Shadow Proclamation that decrees that these two never meet, and thus Marvin would be the last entity, anywhere, anytime that would have a shot at being a Companion.

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