The new era of Doctor Who is set to have a number of spinoffs, which could be led by former companions. Russell T Davies previously created The Sarah Jane Adventures as a spinoff vehicle for Elisabeth Sladen following her emotional return in Doctor Who season 2, episode 3, “School Reunion”. Season 1 companion Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) also led his own spinoff series, Torchwood, and it’s expected that RTD will continue this trend with his new era as showrunner.
Speaking at a BFI event to promote the release of Doctor Who Season 8 on BluRay, Jo Grant actress Katy Manning teased (via Radio Times) that “spinoffs (were) coming” and people were coming back. As a regular on the convention circuit, who also made a guest appearance in The Sarah Jane Adventures and the recent Jodie Whittaker finale “The Power of the Doctor”, Manning is a reliable source. Just what companions, and from which eras, will be returning remains to be seen. The format of these spinoffs is also unclear, there have been rumors of an anthology series, so perhaps each episode will focus on the post-Doctor Who life of a classiccompanion. Here’s every Doctor Who companion that could make a return in one of RTD’s new spinoff series.
8 Melanie Bush
There have been persistent rumors that Bonnie Langford will return for Ncuti Gatwa’s era of Doctor Who. It’s likely that this was a result of miscommunication arising from the companion support group scene at the end of “The Power of the Doctor”. However, Bonnie Langford is a household name in the UK, and won great acclaim for her performance as grieving mother Carmel Kazemi in UK soap opera EastEnders. A Doctor Who spinoff focusing on the Sixth and Seventh Doctor companion’s life after she left to travel with intergalactic mercenary Sabalom Glitz (Tony Selby) could explain how Mel found her way to 21st century Earth for the support group.
7 Martha Jones
Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman) had an incredibly exciting life after traveling with the Doctor, joining UNIT, being seconded to Torchwood, before becoming a freelance alien hunter. Martha Jones feels like a character with many exciting stories still to be told. As Freema Agyeman has become a globally known star from both Sense8 and New Amsterdam, she also feels like a good draw for Doctor Who‘s Disney+ era. A show based on Martha as a freelancer for hire, investigating strange phenomena and using her medical skills out in the field could provide a fun Doctor Who spin on the medical drama format.
6 Jo Grant
Given what Katy Manning said at the BFI, it does imply that she’s not currently involved in the spinoffs. Jo Grant is an environmental activist, whose husband Cliff Jones (Stewart Bevan) effectively invented plant-based meat replacement boom in the 1970s serial The Green Death. It would be fascinating to revisit Jo in 2024, as society continues to reconsider its relationship with the natural world, and the unnatural worlds of Doctor Who. A weird science show could be the perfect way to bring back Jo, or perhaps she would be an eco-consultant for Kate Stewart (Jemma Redgrave) and her new UNIT.
5 Sara Kingdom
The problem with many Doctor Who companions is that they inevitably end up back home on Earth. This provides very limited means to do a truly different Doctor Who spinoff as they’ll generally follow the same format of alien incursion in contemporary Earth setting. Returning to, and recasting, the classic William Hartnell companion Sara Kingdom (Jean Marsh) could be a fresh way to approach a spinoff. Kingdom was a member of the Space Security Service, who appeared in the epic 60s serial The Daleks’ Masterplan. Therefore, a spinoff could see Kingdom’s adventures prior to Masterplan, encountering all manner of alien threats in the far future.
4 Susan Foreman
The Doctor’s granddaughter, Susan (Carole Ann Ford) is the Doctor Who character fans most want to return. Susan stayed behind on Earth to assist with rebuilding the planet after it was decimated by Dalek occupation. A spinoff series set during this period could be a post-apocalyptic political thriller about rebuilding society after Dalek rule. As Susan is also – presumably – capable of regeneration, this means that the character could be recast. Before that, it’s hoped that the original Susan could meet her incredibly youthful-looking grandfather, Ncuti Gatwa, one more time.
3 Graham O’Brien & Ryan Sinclair
A mismatched buddy comedy starring both Bradley Walsh and Toisin Cole as Graham O’Brien and Ryan Sinclair could be a lot of fun. Their final scene together, in the 2021 special “Revolution of the Daleks” in which they give up on learning to ride a bicycle and decide to investigate Norwegian trolls is hilarious. Alternatively, a Graham and Ryan spinoff show could center on unseen Thirteenth Doctor adventures, recounted to the Doctor Who companion support group by its founder, Graham.
Ace (Sophie Aldred) made a return in “The Power of the Doctor”, when it was revealed she was working as a subcontractor for UNIT. Aldred was still the action hero that she was in the 1980s, parachuting off the roof of UNIT H.Q. and firing machine guns at Cybermen. If Elisabeth Sladen hadn’t passed away, Russell T Davies had intended for Ace to make a guest appearance in The Sarah Jane Adventures. Now that Ace has been reintroduced to audiences, the time may finally be right for RTD to realize the spinoff potential for Sophie Aldred’s beloved character.
The Sarah Jane Adventures revealed that the Seventh Doctor’s companion Ace ran a charitable organization, which did work across the world. This global focus could take Ace into territory previously unexplored in Doctor Who. The increased budgets of Doctor Who on Disney+ could allow for a globetrotting adventure series and Ace, with her global charity, would be the ideal protagonist for it.
1 Rose Tyler
Russell T Davies originally declined to do a Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) spinoff during his tenure, as he didn’t believe it would be fair for the audience to see new adventures for Rose when the Doctor couldn’t. However, almost two decades have now passed since Rose and the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) first parted company on Bad Wolf Bay. The parallel world that Rose now lives in is significantly different from the Prime Doctor Who universe that it could provide a unique spin on the Earthbound Doctor Who spinoff.
Furthermore, it would give David Tennant another chance to play the Doctor, by reprising the role of the Metacrisis Doctor that Rose eventually settled down with. Perhaps the spinoff could focus on their life together, with the Metacrisis Doctor’s nascent Gallifreyan knowledge making him a target in the new world. There’s also the thorny issue of whether Rose and the Metacrisis Doctor ever had any children, potentially creating a whole new generation of Timelords in Doctor Who‘s future.
MORE: Tennant’s Fourteenth Doctor Who Already Has The Perfect Final Line