Continuing on our quest to find the Doctors latest companion, I’ve decided that after yesterdays instalment of K-9, we should probably go back to humans; not just any human though, a human who is already well established in the Doctor Who universe. Twice. That’s right, it’s about time that Gwen Cooper came aboard the TARDIS.
For anyone who hasn’t seen Torchwood, let me get you up to speed with who Gwen Cooper actually is. Originally a police officer, Gwen stumbled across a team at one of her crime scenes who appeared to have brought a body back from the dead, albeit temporarily. After hearing from her superior that they were allowed to do it because “they’re Torchwood” Gwen then set off on her own personal mission to find out who or what Torchwood is. She stumbles across Captain Jack Harkness again and asks him all the relevant questions over a drink, which Jack has laced with memory loss drugs, hoping she’ll forget all about Torchwood. Luckily, she writes down the name before she passes out and vaguely remembers to keep on tracking them down. When she finds their base of operations, a certain event occurs and there’s a position to be filled. Gwen already knows too much so Jack hires her. In Series 1, Gwen has to try and juggle two lives; her life chasing monsters and aliens with the rest of the Torchwood gang, and her home life with her boyfriend and soon to be husband Rhys.
After the first series, Rhys becomes aware of her involvement with Torchwood and supports it, they fight aliens and save the world on multiple occasions. Gwen gets more used to this insane lifestyle and then Gwen and Rhys have a baby and Torchwood is seemingly disbanded and destroyed and that’s pretty much where we left Gwen’s story.
Now imagine this, 5 years after we last saw Gwen in Miracle Day, we see her with Rhys and Anwen, their now five year old child in the Welsh country, being as out of the way as possible. Gwen misses her old life with Torchwood, but wouldn’t want to risk trying to find Captain Jack again for fear of putting her daughter in danger. She did really miss the thrill of the chase though. Gwen is getting used to the humdrum life that she seems set for, and she’s fine with it. Seeing Anwen grow up and learn and develop and smile makes every single day worth it. Then, one day, Gwen hears a noise that seems somewhat familiar, but she can’t place from where; it must have been something Jack once showed her. It was the TARDIS. The Doctor bounds out, finds Gwen and drags her into the TARDIS. Jack’s in trouble, he needs the Doctor’s help; the Doctor however, needs someone who really knows Jack, he needs Gwen Cooper.
With this idea for a storyline, it would be really interesting to see how a series long main arc like The Key To Time would translate and work to the New-Who format, having a whole series bounding around time and space trying to find the lost Time Agent they both hold so dear. Having Gwen on board would also be an interesting new dynamic; the Doctor wouldn’t have to explain half as much to her as he does to most new companions as she’s already dealt with most scenarios, the wonder would more be in the new worlds of times she would visit.
Another reason why Gwen should be a full time Doctor Who companion is the fact that her and the Doctor’s morals are rather different. On one hand, the Doctor is all about trying to reason with people and not cause too much of a fuss, whereas Gwen would quite easily have no problem rugby tackling an alien to the ground and demanding answers. I’m not saying that I’d want Gwen to carry round a gun in every episode and shoot everything that looks remotely hostile, but seeing someone a little more hotheaded travelling with the Doctor could be refreshing.
My final reason that I think Gwen would make a great companion to the Doctor is the fact that, back at home, she still has Anwen; a daughter that she’s got to fight all of time and space for, knowing that she has to see her again. The fact that the companion has a daughter could also add an extra layer of compassion to the character, as you could imagine Gwen sympathising with a creature that the Doctor might not, because they’ve lost their child and Gwen knows how painful that would be.
What do you think? Should Gwen be in the running to be a new companion to the Doctor? Let me know your thoughts by tweeting me @GallifreyRchive!