Top tips for being a Doctor Who companion

If there's one thing the Doctor ought to remember, it's this: he should never travel alone...

Craig Donaghy

And to help make sure he always has someone suitably brilliant by his side, Clara has compiled a comprehensive guide to travelling with the Doctor. Keep reading for some of Clara’s top tips and handy hints for being a companion. 

First things first!

Travelling with the Doctor? Then you need to do these three things ASAP!

Number 1: GET THE KEY!


The TARDIS is a time-travelling vehicle that goes anywhere, anywhen, anyhow. It’s bigger on the inside, but to get past the smaller bit you’re going to need a key. And you’re going to have to earn the Doctor’s trust before you get it. Show him you’re real. Show him you’re brave. Show him you care.


The TARDIS is the safest place to be in the universe. Not because aliens can’t get inside it, but because where you find the TARDIS is where you’ll find the Doctor.

Number 2: GET BOOSTED!

Get the Doctor to use his sonic screwdriver on your phone, and you’ll get a superphone . . . and Universal Roaming!

Sonic Screwdriver and mobile phone

Number 3: GET MOVING!

Doctor Who running

When you’re with the Doctor, there’s a lot of running. You’ll be running from aliens, monsters and explosions. Oh, and did I mention robots? Yeah, you’ll see plenty of them too. If the Doctor stops running then that means there’s going to be even more trouble.

How to travel in the Tardis

I’m not even going to try and tell you about controlling the TARDIS – that’s for the Doctor to worry about. I’m going to give you my top tips on just being inside the TARDIS. It’s not as easy as it sounds...


Tardis Facts

• It’s got a Chameleon Circuit that can make the outside look like different things. The Doctor says it’s broken, but personally, I think he’s just fond of the blue-box look.

• The inside of the TARDIS can change style or design at the Doctor’s bidding. He keeps the old console rooms in an archive.

• This is a Type 40 TARDIS, which means it’s an antique by Time Lord standards. Imagine what a new TARDIS is like!

The TARDIS did not like me to start off with. I was too much of a mystery – the Impossible Girl, and all that. But we soon got over that and we’ve been pals ever since. Here are a few things to be aware of:

Dr Who companion with small Tardis in her hand

Aliens called the Boneless once shrunk the TARDIS with the Doctor inside. If things starts to get shrinky, then you need to get out!

Time Zombies

The TARDIS went bonkers when it had a run-in with a magno-grab. Lots of strange time stuff happened – including Time Zombies. They were fried versions of our future selves, and super creepy.


An evil force called House lured the TARDIS on to an asteroid using Time Lord distress signals, because he wanted to slurp the TARDIS’s energy. He took over the TARDIS and trapped Amy and Rory inside with a possessed Ood called Nephew.

Tardis Travel Essentials

Forget the bag – pack a suitcase. Donna Noble had the right idea when she moved into the TARDIS!

Dr Who Companion

A Pen


Never, ever leave the house without a pen. You might need to mark yourself if you see a Silent so you don’t forget about it. Or you might need to write a funny poem for a sad Adipose. You might even need to keep a journal of impossible things!

Tomato spray

OOD repellent

We know that Natural Ood are graceful, soulful, spiritual creatures. They’re not all red-eyed maniacs or pushy waiters . . . but those ones still CREEP ME OUT! It’s just that they always chase you around the room with their wiggly faces, trying to make you cups of tea. One spray of this tends to keep them away – it’s made from tomato sauce. (Maybe they’re scared someone will try to eat their spaghetti faces?)

How to help the doctor defeat:



Some Silents are very tricky and love manipulating people and time and, well... everything. Follow your instincts and be wary. Amy and Rory’s idea of drawing tallies on themselves is a good one – that way you’ll have proof that you’ve seen a Silent even once you’ve forgotten.

Weeping Angels

Weeping Angels 

Just... just don’t get zapped back in time. He doesn’t handle that well. He doesn’t like goodbyes and that’s what these monsters specialise in. If you can’t find a crack in time to send the Weeping Angels into, then set them up to look at each other so they’re quantumlocked forever! Mirrors work well for this.



Zygons keep developing – now they can create doubles using telepathy. This makes defeating them especially tricky. But when dealing with Zygons, always remember there are 20 million peaceful Zygons living on Earth – they’re not all bad.



Tricky, but here’re a few tips. Tell them you’re the Doctor and see how they feel about that. Some can’t deal with gold. And Cybermen cannot handle emotions, so give them a whole heap of love and watch their heads explode.

Things to keep the doctor away from: 

Bowl of custard


Okay, so this isn’t quite so dramatic, but give the Doctor a bowl of custard and he’ll just find weird things to dip in it. Avoid.


Time Lords

Tough, this one, because for a long time he believed he was the last of them. He was so lonely and so sad. But when Time Lords turn up, it always means trouble for the Doctor.

The Doctor with a Memory Worm

Memory Worms 

Touch one of these wiggly fellas and you lose your short-term memory. If the Doctor has one on purpose it means he’s up to something very, very tricky. If he has one by accident, you’ll have a couple of very, very tricky hours with the Doctor.

Read more tips and tricks on how to be an excellent Companion, in Doctor Who: The Companion's Companion.

BBC Logo

Doctor Who logo © 2009 and TM BBC. Licensed by BBC WW Ltd.

Sign up to the Puffin newsletter

Stories, ideas and giveaways to help you spark young imaginations