|From the Blastr Article|
This is it: Companion Smack Down. The top contenders go in, only one comes out.
I’m going to rate the best of the best.
|Not Tom Baker in drag.|
Captain Jack Harkness
|"That's not a bomb. I'm just glad to see you."|
|"Oh please let me kill it, Doctor!"|
|"I can make chips!"|
A young Londoner who ran into The Doctor during an invasion by killer shop mannequins. Rose was Russell T. Davies’ obvious favorite and likely stand-in (R.T. and R.T.D.). An uneducated former gymnast who worked in a chips shop, it has to be said that she was a real go-getter and kept The Doctor on his toes, but she had the depth of a shallow puddle and was a little on the young side for him.
Sarah Jane Smith
|"I do not approve of this sexist Medieval social order and shall start a revolution forthwith."|
|"No, stupid, I haven't made up my mind. Stop looking at me. Stupid."|
|Okay, she gets points for the RPG.|
|She got sass.|
|Never bring a banana to a knife fight. Leela 1, Song 0|
|The awesome Agyeman|
|"Uh… could you explain that again, Doctor?"|
|Because of course you do.|
Score: 36 24 36
The winner: Leela.
What is the source of drama? Conflict.
What drives conflict? Character.
Which companion offered the most in-built conflict with The Doctor? Hands down, bar none, Leela. He's a hyper-educated, sophisticated Time Lord and moralizing pacifist. She's a savage warrior woman who's always ready and eager to employ lethal force. Leela had an alternate way of doing things, and wasn’t afraid to say, or do, so.
It was like The Odd Couple, only with time travel, deadly Janus thorns and a gender switch.
And yet Leela was intelligent, always learning, and willing to be essentially tutored by The Doctor. That offered room for growth, for a clash of values that could ultimately change them both. So much the show runners could have done here and ultimately didn’t. They achieved a lot, but certainly could have taken it much further. Why they've never revisited this sort of combination I'm not sure, but I imagine it would be seen as too extreme. Too controversial for safe spaces.
The only other character to push the envelope as much as Leela is Donna Noble. An argument could be made that Jack Harkness pushes it as well, but he’s just malignant narcissism with a mouth and a mirror shagging himself.
So there you go: Leela is the best companion in Doctor Who.