The program began with the Doctor and three companions, just as it has now. Together, they formed a sort of surrogate family. This first TARDIS team is one of my favorites.

Ian Chesterton, the Doctor, Barbara Wright and Susan Foreman

1)Susan Foreman

First Appearance: "An Unearthly Child" (November 23, 1963)

Last Regular Appearance: "Flashpoint" (December 26, 1964)

Played By: Carole Ann Ford

Description:  The Doctor's grand-daughter, she left Gallifrey with the Doctor when he stole the TARDIS.  Traveled with him for an undetermined period of time before he effectively abandoned her in Twenty-Second Century London  after defeating the Dalek invasion of Earth.   Seen again briefly years later when Borusa drew several of the Doctors and their companions to the Death Zone on Gallifrey as part of his plot to gain immortality.  We never learn her final fate, but there were hints in the new series that the Doctor believes that she died in the Time War.  We never learn much about Susan, although there have been many fannish theories, none of which I personally subscribe to.

Overall:  A personal favorite of mine, and one of the old series companions that I'd like to see them bring back if she was willing.  Ford left the show because she felt that she was given the part that she was promised.  A shame, really, because she really did have an "alien" quality to her that not many of her successors did.

2)Ian Chesterton and 3)Barbara Wright:

First Appearance: "An Unearthly Child" (November 23, 1963)

Last Appearance: "The Planet of Decision" (June 26, 1965)

Played By: William Russell (a.k.a. Russell Enoch) and Jacqueline Hill

Description: A science teacher at Coal Hill School in Shoreditch, Ian and his colleague, history teacher Barbara Wright were intrigued by the way one of their students seemed to more science and history than either of them and yet did not always know basic facts about life in contemporary Britain. Following her home one evening, they discovered that she was an alien time traveler.  Kidnapped by her grandfather, the Doctor,  they had many adventures before returning to Earth in a captured Dalek timeship.  Little is known of their fate. However, in the episode "Day of the Doctor", we see an "I. Chesterton" listed as "Chairman of the Governors" of the Coal Hill School, and in the Sarah Jane Adventures episode "The Death of the Doctor", Sarah says she heard rumors of a couple of Cambridge professors, Ian and Barbara Chesterton, who hadn't aged since the 60's. (I can't say as I'm wild about that last idea.)

Overall: I always liked these two. I thought they worked well together and worked well with Hartnell and Ford. I think the fact that the initial TARDIS team had such good chemistry was a key factor in the early success of the program.  Russell never returned to the program, but Hill returned in the 1980 story "Meglos", playing Lexa, one of the rare occasions where a "companion" actor returned playing a different part.

4)Vicki

First Appearance: "The Powerful Enemy"  (January 2, 1965)

Last Appearance: "Horse of Destruction"  (November 6, 1965)

Played By: Maureen O'Brien

Description:  From the 25th Century, Vicki was shipwrecked on the planet Dido. Rescued by the Doctor, Ian and Barbara, the young orphan became a surrogate for the Doctor's departed grand-daughter, Susan. She traveled with the Doctor for a time, until, during a visit to the Trojan War, she was named "Cressida" by King Priam. Taking up with a young fellow named Troilus, she remained behind when the Doctor left.  Vicki was never given a surname on-screen. Some sources give it as "Pallister", but this is of doubtful canonicity.

Overall: One of the unfairly overlooked companions, I think. O'Brien made the best of the thankless job of replacing Carole Ann Ford. As Ford was before her, she was unhappy with how her character was handled.  

Vicki

5)Steven Taylor

First Appearance: "The Planet of Decision" (June 26, 1965)

Last Appearance: "The Savages", Episode Four  (June 18, 1966)

Played By: Peter Purves

Description: A space pilot from an unspecified time in the future, Steven crash-landed on the planet Mechanus, and was held captive by the Mechanoids. During a climactic battle between the Mechanoids and the Daleks, he stumbled into the TARDIS and traveled with the Doctor and his companions for a time. Eventually, after an adventure on the planet of the Elders and Savages, Steven accepted the leadership of the newly-formed combined society that was forming there.  Nothing of his further history is known.

Overall: Another favorite of mine from the early days of the show, Steven provided the muscle to complement the Doctor's brain-power.  Purves had appeared in the show three weeks previously, playing Morton Dill, a stereotypical Alabama hillbilly so broadly drawn as to make Max Baer Jr.'s Jethro Bodine look subtle and nuanced by comparison. Purves later became a presenter for the long-running BBC children's series Blue Peter.

Steven Taylor

6)Katarina

First Appearance: "Horse of Destruction" (November 6, 1965)

Last Appearance: "The Traitors" (December 4, 1965)

Played By: Adrienne Hill

Description: A handmaiden serving Cassandra who meets the Doctor, Steven and Vicki while they were visiting the Trojan War.  Finding herself aboard the TARDIS, she believed that she was dead and the Doctor was Zeus taking herself to the afterlife. Her travels were short as she was killed saving the Doctor and Steven from an escaped criminal.

Overall: It's hard to judge Katarina as most of her episodes are missing.  She was intended to be an ongoing character, but it was quickly decided that the character would be too difficult to write for.  A pity, really, I think it could have been interesting.  She is mostly remembered now as the first of the Doctor's companions to die on-screen.

Katarina

7)Sara Kingdom

First Appearance: "The Traitors" (December 4, 1965)

Last Appearance: "Destruction of Time" (January 29, 1966)

Played By: Jean Marsh

Description: A Space Security Agent who encounters the Doctor  and Steven during their battle with the Daleks. Mutually suspicious at first, they subsequently joined forces. Sara was aged to death by the Daleks' Time Destructor.

Overall:  Another character that it's hard to judge since most of her episodes are missing.  Marsh had appeared in the program previously as Princess Joanna in "The Crusades", and would appear again many years later as Morgaine in the Seventh Doctor story "Battlefield".

Sara Kingdom

8)Dorothea "Dodo" Chaplet:

First Appearance: "Bell of Doom" (February 26, 1966)

Last Appearance: "The War Machines", Episode 2 (July 2, 1966)

Played By: Jackie Lane

Description: A young Londoner, Dodo rushed into the TARDIS thinking it was an actual police box, just as the Doctor dematerialized it.  She had many adventures with the Doctor and his companions. Eventually the TARDIS returned to 1966 London. Dodo was taken over by the rogue computer WOTAN. The Doctor broke her conditioning and sent her to the country to recuperate. She subsequently sent him word via Polly that she had decided to remain in her own time. Her subsequent history is unknown.

Overall:  Dodo was another somewhat obvious "Susan replacement". Lane initially played the part with a Cockney accent but was quickly made to drop it. Dodo had one of the more unceremonious departures of any companion, essentially vanishing halfway through her final story.

Dodo Chaplet

9)Ben Jackson and 10)Polly:

First Appearance:  "The War Machines", Episode 1 (June 25, 1966)

Last Appearance: "The Faceless Ones", Episode 6 (May 13, 1967)

Played By: Michael Craze and Anneke Wills

Description: Polly was a secretary who met Dodo in 1966 London, taking her to a night club, where they met Ben, a sailor. Ben and Polly got caught up in the Doctor's battle against WOTAN. Afterwards, they entered the TARDIS, seeking to return the departed Dodo's TARDIS key to the Doctor, and were accidentally taken away with him. They had several adventures with the Doctor, and witnessed his first regeneration.  When the TARDIS returned to Earth the day they left it, they decided to remain there.  Little of their future life is known, but "The Death of the Doctor" suggested that they were running an orphanage in India.

Overall:  These two were good companions, serving during one of the show's early transitional periods. Polly was never given a surname on-screen. On a personal note, I've actually met Anneke Wills, a gracious, pleasant lady.

Polly, Jamie McCrimmon. Ben Jackson, and the Doctor

11)Jamie McCrimmon:

First Appearance: "The Highlanders", Episode 1 (December 17, 1966)

Last Regular Appearance: "The War Games", Episode 10 (June 21, 1969)

Played By: Frazer Hines

Description: A piper of the Clan McCrimmon, Jamie fought alongside the Jacobites at the Battle of Culloden. Encountering the Doctor, Ben, and Polly, he eventually was persuaded to join the TARDIS crew. After several adventures, he, the Doctor and Zoe was captured by the Time Lords. After the Doctor's first trial, he was returned to his own time with his memories of all but his first adventure with the Doctor wiped. Nothing is known of his subsequent future, although the Doctor saw a vision of him in the Dark Tower on Gallifrey. Older-looking versions of the Second Doctor and Jamie helped the Sixth Doctor and Peri battle the Sontarans and the Androgums.  Where this adventure fits into continuity is the subject of many fannish theories that I don't mean to get into here.

Overall:  For me, Jamie is one of the all-time greats, the best of the Doctor's male companions so far. He had a great chemistry with Patrick Troughton and Deborah Watling, and later Wendy Padbury. For that matter, he worked well with Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant, as well. A personal favorite.

12)Victoria Waterfield:

First Appearance: "The Evil of the Daleks", Episode 1 (May 20, 1967)

Last Appearance: "Fury from the Deep", Episode 6 (June 1, 1968)

Played By: Deborah Watling

Description:  A young woman from 1866 Britain, Victoria joined the TARDIS crew after her father - her only known living relative - was killed by the Daleks. She had several adventures with the Doctor and Jamie, but, tiring of their dangerous lifestyle, she settled down in late 20th century Britain, taken in by the Harris family. Nothing is known of her subsequent life.

Overall: While not bad, Victoria is not a personal favorite. Another companion who suffered from the episode wipes.

13)Brigadier Sir Alastair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart:

First Appearance:  "The Web of Fear", Episode 3 (February 17, 1968)

First Regular Appearance: "Spearhead from Space" , Episode 1 (January 3, 1970)

Last Regular Appearance: "Robot". Part Four (January 18, 1975)

Played By; Nicholas Courtney

Description:  Then Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart first encountered the Doctor when the Great Intelligence and its robot Yeti invaded London. He was subsequently promoted to brigadier and made head of the UK branch of UNIT. The Brigadier met the Doctor again when the Cybermen invaded Earth.  He recruited Liz Shaw to be his scientific advisor, but soon replaced her with the newly-regenerated Third Doctor during the first Auton invasion. He served as the Doctor's nominal superior during the latter's exile on Earth.  After the Doctor left Earth, he met the Brigadier once more during the first Zygon invasion.  The Brigadier subsequently left the military and took a post teaching mathematics at the Brendon School. While there, he met the Fifth Doctor and helped him battle Mawdryn. He later rejoined UNIT and met the Seventh Doctor and helped him battle Morgaine. By this time, the Brigadier was married to a woman named Doris. He was  also later revealed to have a daughter named Kate. He kept busy in later years, often spending time in Peru, although he is known to have had one adventure with his old friend, Sarah Jane Smith.  The Brigadier later died in a nursing home, much to the Doctor's dismay.  He was subsequently resurrected as a Cyberman, but overcame his conditioning and helped the Doctor and his daughter battle Missy.  His subsequent fate is unknown.

Overall:  One of the all-time greats,my third favorite character in the show after the Doctor and Sarah Jane. Nick Courtney just was brilliant in the part. He was good with every Doctor that he worked with. Courtney had appeared in the program previously as Bret Vyon in "The Dalek Masterplan" with William Hartnell.

14)Zoe Heriot:

First Appearance: "The Wheel in Space", Episode 2 (May 4, 1968)

Last Regular Appearance:  "The War Games". Episode 2 (June 21, 1969)

Played By: Wendy Padbury

Description:  A genius astrophysicist and mathematician, as a young girl Zoe served aboard a late 21st Century space station called the Space Wheel.  She met the Doctor and  Jamie when the Cybermen attempted to invade the station.  She stowed aboard the TARDIS, and had several adventures.  After the Doctor's first trial, she was returned to her own time with her memories of all but her first adventure with the Doctor wiped. Nothing is known of her subsequent future, although the Doctor saw a vision of her in the Dark Tower on Gallifrey.

Overall: Another all-time favorite. The Troughton/Hines/Padbury grouping is one of my all-time favorite TARDIS teams.  Padbury went on to become a noted theatrical agent.

Zoe Heriot

15)Benton:

First Appearance: "The Invasion",  Episode 1 (November 2, 1968)

Last Appearance: "The Android Invasion", Part 4 (December 13, 1975)

Played By; John Levene

Description:  A member of the British branch of UNIT, Benton was a corporal when he first met the Doctor during an invasion by the Cybermen. He would later be promoted to Sergeant and then Warrant Officer/Regimental Sergeant Major. During the time of the Doctor's exile to Earth, Benton served as the Brigadier's senior NCO.He later left the army and sold second-hand cars.

Overall: One of the series' great supporting characters, Benton was a mainstay of the show's UNIT Era, always at the Brigadier's side like a faithful hound.  The character was never given a name on-screen. Levene had previously played a Yeti and a Cyberman, and lucked into the part of Benton when the original actor was fired.

Benton

16)Doctor Elizabeth "Liz" Shaw:

First Appearance: "Spearhead from Space", Episode 1 (January 3, 1970)

Last Regular Appearance: "Inferno", Episode 7 (June 20, 1970)

Played By: Caroline John

Description: A brilliant scientist, Liz was drafted away from Cambridge by the Brigadier to serve as his scientific adviser, only to be almost immediately redundant by the arrival of the exiled Doctor. After a few adventures with the Doctor, Liz returned to Cambridge. Little is known of her later life, although according to "The Death of the Doctor", she was serving on a moon base in the early Twenty-First Century. The Doctor saw a vision of Liz in the Death Zone on Gallifrey.

Overall: I always liked Liz, and felt it was a shame she didn't get a longer run, but the producer felt that the Doctor didn't really need a genius companion.  As it happened, the actress became pregnant during her time on the show, so she probably would have had to leave anyway.

Liz Shaw

17)Josephine "Jo" Grant (later Jones):

First Appearance: "Terror of the Autons". Episode 1 (January 2, 1971)

Last Appearance: "The Green Death", Episode 6 (June 23, 1973)

Played By: Katy Manning

Description: As a young woman, Jo pulled pulled strings and got her influential uncle to get her a position with UNIT.  The Brigadier wished her off on the Doctor, making her his new assistant.  At first, he resented her, especially as she was somewhat of a bumbler. However, over time, Jo grew into her role, and she and the Doctor developed a close relationship.  Jo had several adventures with the Doctor, but eventually left him and UNIT to marry Professor Clifford Jones, a young scientist.  Jo had several children, and later grandchildren. but still found time to battle injustice all over the Earth. In the early Twenty-First Century, she and Sarah Jane Smith battled the Shansheeth alongside the Eleventh Doctor.

Overall: Not a personal favorite, but I can't deny the great chemistry between Pertwee and Manning, who were a great team.
Jo Grant
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18)Captain Mike Yates:
First Appearance: Terror of the Autons", Episode 1 (January 2,1971)
Last Regular Appearance: "Planet of the Spiders", Part 6 (June 8, 1974)
Played By: Richard Franklin
Description: Mike joined UNIT and became the Brigadier's adjutant. He served faithfully for quite some time. However, he went astray, joining Sir Charles Grover's "Golden Age" conspiracy, betraying UNIT. Because of his past service, Mike was allowed to resign quietly. Retiring to a meditation center, Mike uncovered a conspiracy by a man named Lupton in conjunction with intelligent spiders from Metebelis 3. Alerting Sarah Jane smith, he redeemed himself to an extent by helping the Doctor and UNIT defeat the conspiracy. Nothing is known of his life beyond that point, but the Doctor did see a vision of him in the Death Zone on Gallifrey.
Overall: Mike was an OK secondary character. I gather he was originally intended to be a love interest for Jo, but it never worked out that way.
 Sarah Jane Smith and Mike Yates
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19)Sarah Jane Smith:
First Appearance: "The Time Warrior", Part 1 (December 15, 1973)
Last Regular Appearance: "The Hand of Fear", Part 4 (October 23, 1976)
Played By: Elisabeth Sladen
Description: Orphaned as a young girl, Sarah Jane was raised by her Aunt Lavinia. She grew up to become a journalist, and, posing as her aunt, infiltrated a scientific establishment, where she encountered the Doctor. Suspicious of him at first, in time she became one of his best friends and had many adventures with him, even witnessing his third regeneration. In time, the Doctor was summoned back to Gallifrey, and left Sarah Jane behind on Earth in  Aberdeen.  Some time afterwards, the Doctor sent her K-9 Mk III as a remembrance.  She was one of the Doctor's friends that were abducted and sent to the Death Zone by Borusa, but her memories of those events were apparently wiped. In the early Twenty-First Century, Sarah met the Tenth Doctor and helped him battle the Krillitanes.  She subsequently had many adventures with her adopted son Luke and his friends, including encounters with the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors, and Jo (Grant) Jones.
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Overall: The greatest of the Doctor's companions. the  team of Tom Baker and Lis Sladen is what made me a life-long fan of the program.  Sladen was an amazing actor who made an indelible impression on me.  It's still hard to accept that she's gone.
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More about Sarah Jane here.
                                                                                                                                                                           
20)Lt. Harry Sullivan:
First Appearance: "Robot", Part 1 (December 28, 1974)
Last Appearance: "The Android Invasion" (December 14, 1975)
Played By:  Ian Marter
Description: A naval surgeon, Harry was brought into care for the newly-regenerated Fourth Doctor. Invited into the TARDIS, he had several adventures with the Doctor and Sarah Jane. Returning to Earth, he eventually left UNIT and was seconded to NATO, for whom he perfected a gas that was lethal to Zygons.  According to Sarah Jane, he left developed several vaccines that saved many lives.
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Overall: An OK companion, Harry looked like something out of a boys' adventure story. Marter was originally offered the role of Mike Yates, but was unavailable. He had a small part in the Pertwee story "Carnival of Monsters". Marter was hired to play Harry at a time when the production team were leaning towards hiring an older actor to play the Fourth Doctor and wanted a younger male companion to handle any action scenes. As it happened, they hired Tom Baker, who could handle the action just fine., andHarry became surplus to requirements. Sadly, Marter died quite young from complications resulting from diabetes.
 Harry Sullivan
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21)Leela:
First Appearance: "The Face of Evil", Part 1 (January 1, 1977)
Last Appearance: "The Invasion of Time", Part 6 (March 4, 1978)
Played By:  Louise Jameson
Description:  A member of a savage tribe called the Sevateem, Leela lived on a degenerated Earth colony in the far future, Leela helped the Doctor battle the  mad computer Xoanon, then forced her way aboard the TARDIS to avoid being chosen as her people's next leader.   Leela had many adventures with the Doctor. After helping the Doctor defeat a Sontaran invasion of Gallifrey, she remained behind when he left, having taken up with a Gallifreyan called Andred.
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Overall: Another favorite of mine, Leela grew as a character as the Doctor taught her about science and the greater universe. Jameson played the part well, but when she wanted to leave, the producer's were hoping to persuade her to stay, and so Leela never got a proper departure scene. and instead was paired off with a character with whom she had no chemistry whatsoever.
Leela, lethal and lovely
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22)K-9 Mk I:
First Appearance: "The Invisible Enemy", Part 1 (October 1, 1977)
Last Appearance: "The Invasion of Time", Part 6 (March 4, 1978)
Voiced By: John Leeson
Description:  K-9 was a robot dog owned by Professor Marius of the Bi-Al Foundation in the asteroid belt in the year 5000.  After the Doctor defeated the Swarm, Marius asked him to take K-9 with him, as Marius was returning to Earth and did not have the luggage allowance to take the mecha with him. K-9 had many adventures with the Doctor before opting to remain on Galliftey with Leela.
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Overall:  K-9 was an iffy idea who became a beloved character largely owing to the talent of John Leeson. The actor was loved by his co-workers, the dog itself was murder to work with. K-9 was created by the Bristol Boys, Bob Baker and Dave Martin.  Bob Baker later went on to co-create Wallace and Gromit with Nick Park.
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23)K-9 Mk II:
First Appearance: "The Ribos Operation", Part 1 (September 2, 1978)
Last Appearance: "Warriors' Gate", Part 4 (January 24, 1981
Voice By: John Leeson and David Brierley
Description: After leaving Gallifrey, the Doctor built K-9 MK II.  This K-9 had many adventures with the Doctor until he left with Romana when she decided to remain in E-Space.
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Overall:  Leeson left the program  for a period and was temporarily replaced by Brierley, who never sounded right as the character to me.
(Note:  K-9 Mk III was sent as a gift to Sarah Jane, and was destroyed during a battle with the Krillitanes, and was replaced by K-9 Mk IV/ II and IV were both voiced by Leeson.)
K-9
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24)Romanadvoratrelundar:
First Appearance (Romana I): "The Ribos Operation" , Part 1 (September 2 1978)
Last Appearance (Romana ): "The Armageddon Factor", Part 6 (February 24, 1979)
First Appearance (Romana II): "Destiny of the Daleks", Part 1 (September 1, 1979)
Last Appearance (Romana II): "Warriors' Gate", Part 4 (January 24, 1981)
Played By:  Mary Tamm (Romana I) and Lalla Ward (Romana II)
Description: Romana was a  young Time Lady assigned by the White Guardian to help the Doctor to find the Key to Time. After this was achieved, She regenerated and remained with the Doctor for several more adventures. Summoned back to Gallifrey by the Time Lords, she elected instead to remain in E-Space and help free the Tharils.
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Overall:  I've always liked both Romanas, I can't name a favorite. Both actresses played the part well. As had happened with Louise Jameson, the production team had hoped to persuade Mary Tamm to stay, and so Romana didn't get a proper regeneration scene, another of the show's great lost opportunities.
The Two Romanas
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25)Adric:
First Appearance: "Full Circle", Part 1 (October 25, 1980)
Last Regular Appearance: "Earthshock", Part 4 (March 16, 1982)
Played By: Matthew Waterhouse
Description: Adric was a young mathematical genius, part of a community descended from the survivors of a wrecked star-liner from the planet Alzarius in E-Space.  Stowing aboard the TARDIS, he had many adventures with the Doctor and witnessed his fourth regeneration, before being killed battling the Cybermen.
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Overall: Adric would be high on many old series fans' list of most-hated characters. The boy genius is a tricky character to make work at best, but the situation was made irredeemable by the casting of Waterhouse, who couldn't act worth a bucket of cold fecal matter.  I feel bad for the kid, he was put in an untenable position, which I blame JN-T for putting him in in the first place

Trivia Note: "Adric" is an anagram of "Dirac".


Adric, about to go boom.
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26)Nyssa:
First Appearance: "The Keeper of Traken", Part 1 (January 31, 1981)
Last Regular Appearance:  "Terminus", Part 4 (February 23, 1983)
Played By: Sarah Sutton
Description: A young aristocrat from the planet Traken, Nyssa helped the Doctor battle the Master. When the latter destroyed her homeworld, she traveled with the Doctor for some time. Eventually, she left the Doctor to remain on Terminus station to help develop a cure for Lazar's Disease.  
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Overall:  One of the better companions of this era, she tended to get a bit lost in the "Crowded TARDIS".
Nyssa of Traken
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27)Tegan Jovanka:
First Appearance:  "Logopolis", Part 1 (February 28, 1981)
Last Regular Appearance:  "Resurrection of the Daleks", Part 2 (February 15, 1984)
Played By: Janet Fielding
Description: A young Australian flight attendant, Tegan got caught up in the Doctor's adventures when the Master murdered her Aunt Vanessa.  She had many adventures with the Doctor, but eventually remained in her own time after an adventure with the Daleks left her weary of the Doctor's lifestyle.  Little is known of her subsequent life, although in "Death of the Doctor". she was said to be fighting for the rights of Native Australians.
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Overall:  A mixed bag.  Janet Fielding was an OK actress, and Tegan could be amusing at times, but a companion who was always whining about wanting to go home got old real fast.

Trivia Name:  Tegan's surname came from Jovanka Broz, Marshal Tito's widow.
Tegan and Turlough, pondering their life choices
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28)Vislor Turlough:
First Appearance: "Mawdryn Undead", Part 1 (February 1, 1983)
Last Regular Appearance: "Planet of Fire", Part 4 (March 2, 1984)
Played By: Mark Strickson
Description:  A political prisoner for the planet Trion, Turlough was exiled to Earth.  He was convinced by the Black Guardian to assassinate the Doctor. In time, Turlough turned against the Guardian, and traveled with the Doctor for several adventures until, on the planet Sarn, his exile was rescinded, and he returned to Trion.
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Overall:  Another one of JN-T's bright ideas, Turlough was  another of the 80's annoying companions.  Full credit to Strickson, who did the best he could with the character.
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29)Kamelion:
First Appearance: "The King's Demons", Part 1 (March 15, 1983)
Last Regular Appearance: "Planet of Fire", Part 2 (February 24, 1984)
Voiced By: Gerald Flood-
Description:  A shape-changing robot used by the Master in an attempt  to disrupt the signing of the Magna Carta, Kamelion was taken aboard the TARDIS by the Doctor. He remained there until the TARDIS visited the planet Sarn, where the Master took control of him again, and he was destroyed by the Doctor.
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Overall: Kamelion was one of the program's most infamous debacles. Sold to the production team as an actual functioning robot, it never worked and was abandoned as quickly as possible.
Kamelion
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30)Perpugilliam "Peri" Brown:
First Appearance: "The Caves of Androzani", Part 1 (March 8, 1984)
Last Appearance: "The Ultimate Foe", Part 2 (December 6, 1986)
Played By; Nicola Bryant
Description: A young American botany student vacationing in Lanzarote, Peri got caught up in a battle between the Doctor and the Master.  She had several adventures with the Doctor, even witnessing his fifth regeneration. Owing to Time Lord interference, she was left behind with the Thordon warlord Yrcanos, eventually marrying him.
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Overall: While there was nothing wrong with the idea of an American companion, and Nicola Bryant is not a bad actress, she had one of the least-convincing "American" accents of all time. In a way, it's comforting to know that British actors are as bad at doing our accents as we are at doing theirs.  Oh, and the fact that Peri whined all the time didn't help, either.
Peri Brown
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31)Melanie "Mel":
First Appearance: "Terror of the Vervoids", Part 1 (November 1, 1986)
Last Appearance: "Dragonfire", Part 4 (December 7, 1987)
Played By: Bonnie Langford
Description: Owing to a convoluted storyline, we're never shown how Mel met the Doctor. (We never even learn her surname.) She had several adventures with the Doctor before deciding to stay on Iceworld to keep an eye on Sabalom Glitz.
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Overall:  Mel is one of those characters that I like but who is unpopular with alot of fans. I just felt like her bubbly personality was a welcome break for the show.
Mel
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32)Dorothy "Ace":
First Appearance: "Dragonfire", Part 1 (November 23, 1987)
Last Appearance: "Survival", Part 4 (December 6, 1989)
Played By: Sophie Aldred
Description: A young woman form 20th Century Earth, Ace found herself blasted to Iceworld by the machinations of Fenric. There she met the Doctor and had several adventures with him. How she left him is unknown, but in "Death of the Doctor" it was implied that she was running an organization called A Charitable Earth.
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Overall: The last companion of the original series and one of  my favorites. Ace was the program's first attempt at a "street" level companion.  Her surname was never given.
Ace!
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33)Doctor Grace Holloway:
Sole Appearance:  Doctor Who (1996)
Played By:  Daphne Ashbrook
Description: A driven surgeon living in San Francisco in the year 1999. Grace operated on the wounded Seventh Doctor, inadvertently bringing about his seventh regeneration.  She got caught up in his latest conflict with the Master. Afterwards, she refused the Doctor's invitation to travel with him.
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Overall:  An OK "companion" character. I wouldn't mind seeing her again some time.
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34)Chang Lee:
Sole Appearance:  Doctor Who (1996)
Played By: Yee Jee Tso
Description: A young gang member living in San Francisco in the year 1999, Chang and several of his friends were ambushed by a rival gang. Chang's life was inadvertently saved by the arrival of the Doctor.  Chang took the wounded Doctor to a hospital.  He was subsequently duped into aiding the Master, but the Doctor didn't hold it against him.
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Overall:  Another OK character that I wouldn't mind seeing again.
The Eighth Doctor, Chang Lee and Grace Holloway
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35)Rose Tyler:
First Appearance: "Rose" (March 3, 2005)
Last Regular Appearance: "Doomsday" (July 8, 2006)
Played By: Billie Piper
Description:  A young shop-worker, Rose met the Doctor during an Auton invasion. she traveled with the Doctor and had many adventures. Eventually, she was trapped on the alternate Earth known as "Pete's World".  She returned to help the Doctor and his friends battle a Dalek attempt to destroy all of reality. Afterwards, she returned to "Pete's World" with the so-called "DonnaDoctor".
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Overall:  As the first companion of the new series, Piper did a good job. I'm not so overwhelmed by Rose as a character. I thought Piper's best work was as the Moment later on.
Rose Tyler 
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36)Mickey Smith:
First Appearance: "Rose" (March 26, 2005)
Last Regular Appearance: "The Age of Steel" (May 20, 2006)
Played By: Noel Clarke
Description: Mickey was Rose's boyfriend. At first, he was quite hostile to the Doctor, but in time they became friends.  Eventually, Mickey joined the TARDIS crew. When the TARDIS traveled to the alternate Earth that the Doctor named "Pete's World", Mickey remained there to fight the Cybermen. He remained to his home to fight the Cybermen, returning to Pete's world afterwards.  He returned home again to fight the Daleks' attempts to destroy all reality. He remained on his home Earth, where he subsequently married Martha Jones.  He was last seen with Martha, fighting a Sontaran.
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Overall:  Mickey's another favorite of mine.  Clarke's a good actor, and it was fun watching the character grow. I did think that his being married off to Martha at the end felt a bit forced. 
Mickey Smith
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37)Jacqueline "Jackie" Tyler:
First Appearance: "Rose"  (March 26, 2005)
Last Regular Appearance: "Doomsday" (July 8, 2006)
Played By; Camille Coduri
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Description:  Jackie's husband Pete was killed in a traffic accident while her daughter was quite young, so she raised Rose alone.  She was suspicious of the Doctor at first, but grew to like him.  After a battle between the Daleks and the Cybermen, Jackie went to live on the alternate Earth known as "Pete's World" where she married that world's counterpart of her late husband, marrying and having a son with him.  She returned to her own world briefly to help prevent the Daleks from using the Reality Bomb.
Overall:  I always liked Jackie as a character, owing in great part to Coduri's performance. Another favorite of mine..
Jackie Tyler
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38)Harriet Jones:
First Appearance: "Aliens of London" (April 16, 2005)
Last Appearance: "The Stolen Earth" (June 28, 2008)
Played By: Penelope Wilton
Description:  An obscure Member of Parliament, Harriet helped the Doctor battle the Slitheen. She later rose to be Prime Minister, but earned the Doctor's ire by ordering the destruction of the retreating Sycorax space ship. Fallen from power, she nonetheless rallied the Doctor's allies to battle the Daleks, and was killed defending the Earth.
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Overall:  Another favorite character. Wilton's an excellent actress, and I enjoyed her appearances in the show.
Harriet Jones - Yes, we know who she is!
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39)Adam Mitchell:
First Appearance: "Dalek" (April 30, 2005)
Last Appearance: "The Long Game" (May 7,2005)
Played By: Bruno Langley
Description: Adam was a young man working for billionaire Henry Van Statten in his "alien museum" in Utah in the early Twenty-First Century, where he met the Doctor and Rose.   When Van Statten's operation was destroyed by a Dalek, Rose, having taken a shine to Adam, persuaded the Doctor to take him aboard the TARDIS. However, at their next stop, a space station in the far future, Adam attempted to send future knowledge back to his own time for personal gain.When the Doctor discovered this, he abruptly deposited Adam back in his own time.
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Overall: This was RTD's attempt to show what a "failed companion" would be like. As such, it's an interesting exercise, but that's about it.
Adam Mitchell
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40)Captain Jack Harkness:
First Appearance: "The Empty Child" (May 21, 2005)
Last Appearance:  "Journey's End"  (July 5, 2008)
Played By: John Barrowman
Description:  A renegade time agent turned con man, Jack met the Doctor and Rose during World War Two.  He traveled with them for a while, before he was inadvertently abandoned in the far future. Making his way back to the Twenty-First Century, he became the head of the Cardiff branch of Torchwood.  He subsequently helped the Doctor battle the Master and later the Daleks.
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Overall:  Another popular companion that I  was never all that overwhelmed by.  I've never seen any Torchwood, so I can't comment on his performance there. ((Note: RTD has said that he got the name "Harkness" from Agatha Harkness.)
Captain Jack Harkness
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41)Donna Noble:
First Appearance:  "The Runaway Bride" (December 25, 2006)
First Regular Appearance: "Partners in Crime" (April 5, 2008)
Last Regular Appearance: "Journey's End" (July 5, 2008)
Description:  A temp worker from Chiswick, Donna meant the Doctor when her wedding turned out to be part of a plan by the Racnoss.  She turned down his initial invitation to join him in the TARDIS, but soon regretted her decision and sought him out, finding him again during an encounter with the Adipose.  She had several adventures with him, but when a copy of the Doctor's mind was downloaded into hers, the Doctor had to wipe her memories of her adventures with him and returned her to her family.  She was last seen when she got inadvertently got caught up in one of the Doctor's battles with the Master.  The Doctor saw her last at her wedding to a man named Shaun Temple.
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Overall: Donna was one of my favorites of the new series' companions.Tate really did a good job in the part.
Donna Noble
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42)Martha Jones:
First Appearance: "Smith and Jones" (March 31, 2007)
Last Appearance: "Last of the Time Lords" (June 30,2007)
Played By:  Freema Agyeman
Description:  A young medical student in the early Twenty-first Century, Martha met the Doctor when the hospital she was interning in was invaded by Judoon pursuing a Plasmavore.  She traveled with him for a time before an encounter with the Master left her family emotionally scarred.  She later joined UNIT.  At some point, she became engaged to a man named Tom Milligan, although they later broke up. In time, she summoned the Doctor back to Earth to counter a Sontaran invasion.  She later helped battle the Daleks and their Reality Bomb.  Eventually, she married Mickey Smith, and joined him in freelance operations.
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Overall: Another favorite of mine. Martha was one of the better companions during RTD's run.
Martha Jones
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43)Astrid Peth:
Sole Appearance:  "Voyage of the Damned" (December 25, 2007)
Played By: Kylie Minogue
Description: A waitress aboard the space Titanic , Astrid helped the Doctor defeat the schemes of Max Capricorn. but was killed in the process. The Doctor attempted to resurrect her, but was forced to release her essence into the stars.
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Overall: An acceptable bit of stunt casting for a Christmas special. An OK temporary companion.
Astrid Peth
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43)Wilfred Mott:
First Appearance: "Voyage of the Damned" (December 25, 2007)
Last Appearance: "The End of Time", Part 2 (January 1, 2010)
Played By: Bernard Cribbins
Description: Donna Noble's maternal grandfather, Wilf was working at a newsstand when he first met the Doctor.  He encouraged Donna to travel with the Doctor, and occasionally took part in the Doctor's Earthbound adventures.  He was nearly killed during one of the Doctor's battles with the Master, but the Doctor gave up one of his lives to save him.  He last saw the Doctor briefly at Donna's wedding.
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Overall:  Possibly my favorite of the characters that RTD created for the show.  Cribbins really did a good job, here.  Cribbins also played Tom Campbell in the theatrical film Daleks' Invasion Earth - 2150 A.D. Wilf wasn't originally meant to be a regular, but when Howard Attfield, who played Donna's father, became ill, Cribbins' was hired on, and his character re-written to be Donna's grandfather.
Wilfred Mott  (Note: The paratrooper badge he's wearing is Cribbins' own.)
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44)River Song:
First Appearance: "Silence in the Library" (May 31, 2008)
Last Appearance: "The Husbands of River Song" (December 25, 2015)
Played By: Alex Kingston
Description: Melody Pond was the daughter of the Doctor's companions, Amy and Rory. She was kidnapped at birth by this Silence, to be programmed to assassinate the Doctor. Coming to be known as River Song, she escaped her programming and later even married the Doctor (maybe).  After many adventures, she was (perhaps) killed while fighting the Vashta Nerada on the Library planet.
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Overall: I seem to be one of the rare fans that's not especially fond of River Song as a character. I do like the idea of a companion that the Doctor keeps meeting in the wrong temporal order, it was something the series had never really tried.
The Faces of River Song
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45)Jackson Lake:
Sole Appearance: "The Next Doctor" (December 25, 2008)
Played By: David Morrissey
Description: A Victorian gentleman whose wife was killed and son was kidnapped by Cybermen, Lake became convinced that he was the Doctor. With his own "companion", Rosita, he battled the Cybermen alongside the actual Doctor.
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Overall: Another fan temporary companion, they had fun playing with the idea that Lake might actually be the next Doctor. A nice one-shot character.
Jackson Lake and Rosita
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46)Lady Christina de Souza:
Sole Appearance: "Planet of the Dead" (April 11, 2009)
Played By: Michelle Ryan
Description: An aristocratic cat burglar, Lady Christina encountered the Doctor when the bus they were riding was transported to another world where they were threatened by a swarm of voracious metal stingrays. When they returned to Earth, she took off in the bus, which could now fly.
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Overall: Another OK "fill-in" character from the "specials" era. Not a particular favorite of mine.
Lady Christina de Souza
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47)Adelaide Brooke:
Sole Appearance: "The Waters of Mars" (November 15, 2009)
Played By: Lindsay Duncan
Description:  Adelaide was the commander of Bowie Base One in the year 2059, a base that the visiting Doctor knew was doomed to be soon destroyed.  The Doctor helped Adelaide and her crew battle the Flood, and, becoming arrogant, he decided to violate the laws of time by saving people, including Adelaide, that he knew were fated to die.  Adelaide, fearing what the Doctor might become, took her own life to restore history to what it should be.
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Overall:   Possibly my favorite from the "year of specials".  She's as much an adversary as a companion. A scary, effecting story.  The first "companion" to commit suicide.
Adelaide Brooke

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Replies to This Discussion

Updated for Astrid Peth.

Updated for Wilfred Mott.

“This was RTD's attempt to show what a ‘failed companion’ would be like.”

For a better example of a failed (yet still sympathetic) companion, see Tamsin Drew, Eighth Doctor Adventures. Her arc plays out across the entire fourth season.

Updated for River Song.

Totally agree Baron, like the concept but not the execution. I always felt The first/last appearance pretty mediocre and that the character ran away with the writers

The Baron said:

Updated for River Song.

In August of 2019, the "Unearthly Child" meets the "Unearthly Woman" as River Song encounters the original TARDIS crew, with Jamie Glover as Ian Chesterton, Jemma Powell as Barbara Wright, and Claudia Grant as Susan.

More details here.

Updated for Jackson Lake

I found this annoying. The writer's conceit was too strong - The whole experience being about how The audience was being manipulated by the writing. Too self-described for my liking and I feel it ushered in too many other such self-aware themes.

Just me?



The Baron said:

Updated for Jackson Lake

Never thought about it that way. I do think that the Davies and Moffat Eras occasionally suffered from the fact that ascended fanboys were running the show.

Richard Mantle said:

I found this annoying. The writer's conceit was too strong - The whole experience being about how The audience was being manipulated by the writing. Too self-described for my liking and I feel it ushered in too many other such self-aware themes.

Just me?



The Baron said:

Updated for Jackson Lake

Updated for Lady Christina de Souza.

Lady Christina has her own box set of adventures from Big Finish (presumably the first of a series if it sells). That's one I didn't feel the need to own; there are a whole lot of others I would order first. I suppose she does have her fans, though.

Updated for Adelaide Brooke.

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