The Other Splendid Chaps: The Companions (live show)

Splendid Chaps is a year-long celebration of Doctor Who‘s fiftieth anniversary: eleven live performances recorded as podcasts in which your brains will be fed, your funny bones tickled, and your hearts opened (yes, both of them!).

Having smashed through the eleven episode barrier months ago, the Splendid Chaps are back with another bonus episode, this time at the Melbourne City Library as part of their Doctor Who Festival! We’ve spent eleven episodes talking about the Doctor; now it’s time to talk about those other splendid chaps – the companions!

Companion, assistant, sidekick…none of these names really do the role of TARDIS occupant and time-space adventurer justice. In fifty years the Doctor has had almost as many fellow travellers aboard the TARDIS – most human, but also a few robots, aliens and fellow Time Lords. Exactly who counts varies depends on who you ask, but they’ve always been understood to be our point-of-view character; a proxy for the audience who will ask the Doctor to explain what on (or off) Earth is going on. Who are these people? What do they teach us about ourselves, the Doctor, and our changing society? Are they really there to get in trouble, pass the Zeus plugs and make the Doctor a better person, or is there more to them than meets the eye? And how different is the new series’ attitude to its supporting characters?

Ben, John and Petra will be joined by writer, director and podcaster Lucas Testro (Neighbours, Winners and Losers, NonCanonical), and broadcaster, documentary maker and podcaster Marian Blythe (3RRR, Boxcutters 2.0) to talk about the rest of the TARDIS crew. Plus prizes, surprises, loveliness and a live musical performance of a lost Doctor Who classic tune from Emma Heeney!

Space: Melbourne City Library, 253 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Time: Tuesday, November 19, 6:30 PM
Accessibility: This venue is wheelchair accessible.
Tickets: Free! (bookings essential; limited seats available)
Bookings: via or at the door (if seats available)
Podcast: TBA.


  1. Steve Leahy says:

    OK, here’s a bizarre thought brought on by, well, who knows what (but he’s not telling). Companions surnames; how many can you remember? While I can rattle off a list from the old series (Foreman, Chesterton, Wright, Chaplet, McCrimmon, Waterfield, Herriot, Shaw, Grant, Smith, Sullivan, Ovtraken*, Jovanka, Turlough**, Brown, Bush, & “never mentioned on screen, but reportedly Gale”***), it’s certainly not complete.
    I found trying to do the same for the new series harder (Tyler [recalled after a struggle], Smith, Harkness, Jones [a bigger struggle], Noble****, Pond, Williams, Oswald), although I found the Moffat-era companions easier.

    So, why is it easier to recall some more than others? Is it distance in time? Is it how they were addressed when the show was on air (Eg Miss Grant more often than Jo) ? Did Ben & Polly even have surnames? (Ben Jackson, it just came back to me). Are the modern companions more “familiar” in the sense that we feel more like we’re on a first-name basis with them?

    Enough randomness for now 🙂

    * yes, think about it… 🙂
    ** remembering his first name is the hard bit there!
    *** or McShane
    **** by far the best companion since the show came back

  2. Colin Russell says:

    I’m sure Petra will be happy to know that Karen Gillan(Amy Pond) shaved her head for her role in Guardians of the Galaxy – you can see the unveiling on youtube, look up ‘karen gillan wig’!

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