At this point, the strange dynamic between Doctor Who's time-traveling loner and his endless series of female compatriots has been dissected in a thousand essays, rants and blog posts. But you still have to read Katherine Murray's new essay, for her incisive observations about one of spacetime's most dysfunctional dynamics.
Part of the strength of the show, in its rebooted form, is that, while we enjoy watching the Doctor run around being clever and wacky, the real emotional heft comes from watching ordinary people perform small acts of heroism. The Doctor doesn't save humanity just by outsmarting the aliens; he does it by inspiring human beings to become their better selves.
Because the Doctor's companions are our primary touchstone with humanity, it isn't entirely surprising, then, that they make a lot of sacrifices and endure a lot of suffering along the way. The Doctor's companions die, or their brains are erased, or they get stuck in some pocket of time where he can't reach them, or they're visited by a thousand other miseries they have to endure in order to travel through time. One of the eleventh Doctor's companions, Clara "I was born to save the Doctor" Oswald, is actually distinguished by dying multiple times – this is why the Doctor takes an interest in her in the first place; because she keeps getting killed as an indirect result of helping him, only to come back again.
Check out the rest over at Bitch Flicks.