But the Christmas specials were far from the start of this trend. No, it had its roots deep in the history of the Doctor...
... and it started as far back as 22 February 1964 in the adventure, Marco Polo.
Within the context for future analysis of Doctor Who, any character which has only a single adventure with the Doctor will always be classed as a Companion-Lite - never a Companion.
Ping-Cho - The Original One-OffPing-Cho, a character from the story, Marco Polo, was a sixteen year old Chinese girl whose father was a government official in Samarkand. She travelled with Marco Polo to Peking, where she was to marry an elderly member of Kublai Khan's court. The man died before she could even meet him. During the journey, she became good friends with Susan Foreman. [TARDIS.wiki]
Although she was never called a Companion, I ran across a references to this idea, particularly in the About Time books (Wood & Miles, 2006). I had not thought about her in that manner but, after reading the review in the book, it gave me pause to think about not only Ping-Cho, but other characters which could also be slotted into this category, or possibly as an Associate. The Doctor's Friends Network was beginning to grow even more.
NOTE : On further thought, and review of the story, I believe that Ping-Cho should be classed an Associate, not a Companion-Lite. I don't feel she fulfilled enough of the requirements to be a Companion-Lite.
Currently, this is the list of Companions-Lite I have from the Classic Series. Some are slotted as Companions on other lists while others aren't even considered. This goes back to that Objective/Subjective issue discussed previously. I needed to make a decision how characters would be placed within my dataset.
Katarina [The Myth Makers]
Bret Vyon [The Daleks' Master Plan]
Sara Kingdom [The Daleks' Master Plan]
Astrid [Enemy of the World]
Sgt Benton [The Invasion]
Captain Yates [Terror of the Autons]
Hal the Archer [The Time Warrior]
Inspector Duggan [City of Death]
Richard Mace [The Visitation]
H. G. Wells [Timelash]
Bin Liner [Paradise Towers] (see Ace Proto-types)
Ray [Delta and the Bannermen] (see Ace Proto-types)
Ping-Cho, Bret Vyon, Astrid, Hal the Archer, Inspector Duggan, Richard Mace, H.G. Wells, Bin Liner, and Ray are usually not cited as Companions. But watching the stories they appeared in, I noticed they act nearly the same as Companions by fulfilling many of the requirements of a Companion. But they either leave at the end of the story, aren't even in one complete story, or generally don't fulfill enough other requirements. (See 'Companion Definitions' entry)
I am still in the process of reviewing other characters and believe I will find additional entries just as I added Ping-Cho last week.
The Ace PrototypesWhen the producers realized they would have to replace Melanie Bush, a series of proto-companions were written into the scripts for the 24th season. These included Bin Liner from 'Paradise Towers' and Ray from 'Delta and the Bannermen'. This were characters they use to test the waters for a new Companion. Ace, in 'Dragonfire', was actually one of the test runs. She worked so well they decided she was the one and had her take up with the Doctor at the end of the story.
Obviously those proto-types also had to be added to the list. And why do they need to be added? Within any analysis it is important to gather the maximum amount of the data in order to produce the best results. Most complied lists for the new series add all of the one-off assistants to the Companion category. But the one-offs in the Classic are generally ignored. And since this is an analysis of the entire show I felt the need to be complete.
The TV MovieChang Lee [The TV Movie]
Grace Holloway [The TV Movie]
Chang Lee... He's always the question mark. It's a toss up as many pundits will argue that Chang Lee was actually a Companion of The Master. For this analysis I consider Chang Lee a one-off so he gets slotted in as a Companion-Lite, same as Grace Holloway.
The New SeriesAnd though it looks like there were a lot of Companions-Lite in the Classic run the new series ramps it up tremendously. Seems like having a character come in, have an adventure with the Doctor, and then leave is a favored technique. Many of the these one-offs are very specially styled characters to fit into a particular story. Something that a regular character might not do as well.
Alison [Scream of the Shalka]
Jackie Tyler [Rose]
Charles Dickens [The Unquiet Dead]
Harriet Jones [Aliens of London/World War III]
Lynda Moss [Bad Wolf/The Parting of Ways] Included cause she was asked before she died.
Queen Victoria [Tooth and Claw]
Madame De Pompadour [The Girl in the Fireplace]
Handy [Army of Ghost/The Age of Steel]
Astrid Perth [Voyage of the Damned]
Jenny [The Doctor's Daughter]
Agatha Cristie [The Wasp and the Unicorn]
Jackson Lake [The Next Doctor]
Rosita Farisi [The Next Doctor]
Lady Christina [Planet of the Dead]
Clyde Langer [The Wedding of Sarah Jane]
Luke Smith [The Wedding of Sarah Jane]
Rani Chandra [The Wedding of Sarah Jane]
NOTE : The last three will always be considered as Companions of Sarah Jane, not the Doctor even if they participate in multiple adventuresAdelaide Brooke [The Waters of Mars]
Cassie Rice [Dreamland]
Wilfred Mott [The End of Time]
Amelia Pond [The Eleventh Hour]
Winston Churchill [Victory of the Daleks]
Nasreen Chaudhry [The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood]
Vincent van Gogh [Vincent and the Doctor]
Craig Owens [The Lodger]
Dorium Maldovar [The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang]
Abigail Pettigrew [A Christmas Carol]
Karzan Sardick (young) [A Christmas Carol]
Karzan Sardick (old) [A Christmas Carol]
Canton Delaware III [The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon]
Idris [The Doctor's Wife]
Rita [The God Complex] Included cause she was asked before she died.
Madge Arwell [The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe]
Brian Williams [Dinosaurs on a Spaceship]
Riddell [Dinosaurs on a Spaceship]
Queen Nefertti [Dinosaurs on a Spaceship]
Many of the names from this list are placed on Companion lists on other sites.