Who are the best companions for Doctor Who?

Morgan Jeffrey from Digital Spy has joined us at W to give us his top choices for the best companion episodes on Doctor Who. Let's see what he's got in store...

Morgan Jeffrey from Digital Spy

Morgan Jeffrey from Digital Spy

For the first weekend of our Doctor Who marathon, we'll be looking at the best companion episodes - as chosen by Morgan Jeffrey himself.

Morgan has been a Doctor Who fan since BBC Two showed a stack of old episodes back in 1999. "When it did come back in 2005 I was incredibly excited," says Morgan. "And I'm incredibly excited about choosing these episodes for W - it makes me feel like some sort of expert. It's great!"

"I think companions are crucial to Doctor Who. They're a pivotal part of the show so I think it's great that W are highlighting them with these episodes that, in their own different ways, highlight just how much the Doctor really needs companions and how much the companions need the Doctor."

So what's in store?

School Reunion

Doctor Who: David Tennant, Companions: Sarah Jane Smith (Elizabeth Sladen) and Billie Piper (Rose)

"It's from series 2 and it's David Tennant as The Doctor. It brings back Sarah Jane Smith who is one of the classic companions to Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker's Doctors from the original series. That's the main reason I chose this one. It's an interesting episode in terms of examining what the companion means to the Doctor. Sarah Jane comes back and realises that he's moved on and that she wasn't the only one. Her arrival also lets Rose (Billie Piper) know that she's not the first and she won't be the last. It's one of the most emotional episodes, I think. It has an added impact if you are a fan of classic Doctor Who as well. You can enjoy it as a fan of the new series as too, but if you know the show of old and you know Sarah Jane from the 1970s I think it has an added heft. "

Army of Ghosts

Doctor Who: David Tennant, Companion: Billie Piper (Rose)

"Army of Ghosts is the end of the second series - the end of David Tennant's first series and the end of Billie Piper's original run on Doctor Who and that's the main reason I chose that one because Rose is such an important character of the revival of the show in 2005. She was the audience's way in to the show, arguably getting that character right and getting that casting of Billie Piper right is more important than getting the Doctor right I think for those first few series. So when she left it was a big shift for the show and it was her big, grand farewell as she and the Doctor are torn apart, seemingly forever. And again, it's a big, emotional farewell for her and again examines what the companion's role is and what the companion means to the Doctor. I did get emotional watching this episode for several reasons. These episodes feature the first time that the Daleks and the Cybermen share the screen for the first time, so just that in terms of pure fannish glee it's an exciting one and on top of that you've got the departure of Rose. It's a bit of a cliché but it is a bit of a rollercoaster ride of emotion because you go from being terribly excited to being completely heartbroken in the space of an hour or so. "

Doomsday

Doctor Who: David Tennant, Companion: Billie Piper (Rose)

"It's the end of Billie Piper's original run on Doctor Who and that's the main reason I chose this two-parter. Rose was such an important character in the revival of the show in 2005. She was the audience's way in. Arguably getting that character right, and getting that casting of Billie Piper right, is more important than getting the Doctor. So when she left it was a big shift for the show and this was her big, grand farewell as she and the Doctor are torn apart, seemingly forever. Again, it's emotional and it again examines what the companion's role is and what the companion means to the Doctor, and yes, I did get emotional watching this episode! It's a bit of a cliché but it is a bit of a rollercoaster ride of emotion because you go from being terribly excited to being completely heartbroken in the space of an hour or so."

Turn Left

Doctor Who: David Tennant, Companions: Catherine Tate (Donna) and Billie Piper (Rose)

"So this is what they call a "Doctor-lite" episode. David Tennant was off filming an episode and Catherine Tate was filming this one so, because of that, the Doctor is not in it very much which means that, more than ever, the companion really is the lead character and Catherine Tate really leads that episode. It's set in a parallel world where the Doctor has died and where previous episodes have explored what the Doctor's life would like without companions, this episode examines what the companion's life (and the whole world) would be like without the Doctor in it. And it doesn't go well! It's a really brilliant episode for Catherine Tate. I think it's her best performance she gives in Doctor Who."

Amy's Choice

Doctor Who: Matt Smith, Companion: Karen Gillan (Amy)

"It's a key companion episode. In this episode, it seems as though Amy and Rory have long since stopped travelling in the TARDIS and are living together in peaceful suburbia and they're married and Amy's pregnant. But in fact it's all an illusion created by alien interference. But it's interesting to see again how their lives would be without the Doctor Also, this ep also contains the first of Rory's many deaths! He dies many times throughout the series, but this is the first time he dies in the fantasy world, and I think it shows a different side to Amy. Before she's been brave and willing to take on the whole universe, and in this episode we see a slightly more vulnerable side to her through losing Rory. It also has a terrific one-off villain called the Dream Lord, played by Toby Jones - a villain who should come back!"

The Name Of The Doctor

Doctor Who: Matt Smith, Companion: Jenna Coleman (Clara)

"Clara as a character was initially surrounded by this big mystery. She kept popping up at points throughout the Doctor's timeline. she would pop up again and again and again and frequently she would die! And there was this mystery to how this was happening and in this episode the mystery surround Clara is revealed and we begin to understand how she has inserted herself into the Doctor's timeline and this episode really hammers home just how important the companion is to the Doctor. There's a montage in this episode where Clara is inserted into scenes in classic Doctor Who and they use effects to show how many times she has saved him over the years and how the companions are just as important as the Doctor sometimes even more so. So that's why I chose this episode."