A run-down of Doctor Who sidekicks since the show’s 2005 revival

Doctor Who’s new companion, who will be revealed live on BBC Children In Need tonight, joins a long list of sidekicks who have appeared on the popular BBC sci-fi series since its revival.

Here is a rundown of the Time Lord’s sidekicks since 2005:

1. Billie Piper, Noel Clarke and John Barrowman

Billie Piper as Rose Tyler in Doctor Who (BBC/PA)

In 2005, Piper’s character Rose Tyler appeared alongside the ninth Doctor portrayed by Christopher Eccleston, as did Clarke’s character Mickey Smith and Barrowman in the role of Captain Jack Harkness.

The trio all made the transfer through to Scottish actor David Tennant’s tenure as the 10th Doctor in 2006, with Piper and Barrowman both making further occasional appearances on the sci-fi series over the years.

2. Catherine Tate

The comedian first appeared in a one-off Christmas episode of Doctor Who at the end of 2006, playing Donna Noble alongside Tennant. However, she was not brought back as a regular companion until the fourth series in 2008.

In 2023, the BBC will broadcast three special episodes of Doctor Who that see Tennant reincarnated as the 14th Doctor and Tate reprising her role as his former companion.

Doctor Who
David Tennant as the Doctor and Catherine Tate as Donna Noble (BBC/PA)

After their return, Ncuti Gatwa will take control of the Tardis as the 15th Doctor, with his first episode due to air over the festive period in 2023.

3. Freema Agyeman

British actress Agyeman was first introduced to the series in 2007 starring as Martha Jones, another companion for Tennant’s Doctor.

4. Alex Kingston

The former ER actress has been a familiar face on the show over the years, first starring as a guest character in two episodes during David Tennant’s era, then making frequent appearances alongside the 11th incarnation of the Time Lord, Matt Smith.

Doctor Who
Amy Pond played by Karen Gillan, The Doctor played by Matt Smith and River Song played by Alex Kingston in Doctor Who (Adrian Rogers/BBC/PA)

She also popped up in one story featuring the 12th Doctor Peter Capaldi.

5. Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill

The Jumanji actress first starred as the character Amy Pond in Matt Smith’s first full episode as the Doctor in 2010.

Later that year she was joined as a companion by Arthur Darvill who played Rory Williams, and the two characters ended up getting married.

The pair continued to travel with the Doctor for much of Matt Smith’s era.

6. Jenna Coleman

Doctor Who Christmas special
Jenna Coleman playing Clara in the Doctor Who Christmas special (Adrian Rogers/BBC/PA)

Coleman made her Doctor Who debut in 2012 as the character Clara Oswald, remaining in the show for the rest of Matt Smith’s tenure and continuing as a companion alongside his successor Peter Capaldi.

10. Matt Lucas

The comedian, famed for writing and starring in Little Britain alongside David Walliams, made his debut in the 2016 Doctor Who Christmas special, before becoming a regular for the 2017 series.

He played the character Nardole.

Doctor Who Christmas Special 2016
Matt Lucas as Nardole, Peter Capaldi as the Doctor, Justin Chatwin as The Ghost and Charity Wakefield as Lucy Fletcher (Ray Burmiston/BBC/PA)

11. Pearl Mackie

The British actress made headlines when she was cast as Doctor Who’s assistant Bill Potts, becoming the Time Lord’s first openly gay companion.

She joined the show towards the end of Peter Capaldi’s era and bowed out alongside Capaldi in the 2017 Christmas special.

12. Mandip Gill

The actress played the character Yasmin Khan throughout Jodie Whittaker’s stint as the Doctor from 2018 to 2022.

Gill starred in the series alongside a number of other companions, played by The Chase host Bradley Walsh, comedian John Bishop and actor Tosin Cole.