28 December 2012

The Doctor's Girls-Dodo-Companion Analysis

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Art by mimi-na on Deviant Art

Twirling DodoSo Doctor Who's first attempt to present us with someone from The Swinging Sixties.

Okay, what next guys? Guys? Are you there guys?

Now that they have her here, they have no idea what to do with her. If The Island of Misfit Companions existed, she would be president. But it wasn't Jackie Lane's fault. It seems that no one in control of the show had any idea how to write for a character such as this.

In any case, have a Twirling Dodo gif

NOTE : After a review from one of the project scientists, we discovered a quirk in the importing of the data. Efforts are underway to correct the process and a revised analysis will be posted here.

Profile [Dodo]

Dodo brings back a problem settled with Vicki. Yes! The Problem of Susan again. Vicki was a self-sustaining girl who the Doctor could accompany and not encounter the I want to go adventuring with you / I want to protect you from harm problem. Dodo could not fit into the same mould as Vicki. Far from independent, Dodo needed the Doctor to protect her. Thus the reoccurring problem. Vicki had a meaningful role as our starchild-mod-future whereas Dodo had... well it's so difficult to figure out what she had.

The Doctor took Dodo on board cause he felt sorry for not saving Anne Chaplet in The Massacre, but not because she had the same surname as Anne Chaplet. That was just the time travel gimmick. The showrunners needed a new female companion. So they had her waltz right into the TARDIS, practically give the Doctor and Steven her life story, and then run away with two perfect strangers in a magic box.

Dodo, the first and poorest example, attempted to add a contemporary London girl to the cast. Turns out, she main task became nothing more than stupid comic relief. No Doctor from the new series would take someone like Dodo (As Adam exemplified that bad companions do make it on-board but are immediately dumped off). Vicki, the icon of the 60s youth culture, differed from Dodo, a condemnation of contemporary youth. Creations of two very different writers. Written as stupid, ignorant, and worthless some fans place the blame on certain members of the production staff who took on the program but were not always in the proper mindset to run a show like Who.

Dodo helped the show go from companions that set the tone of the show to companions only good for advancing the plot.

But the real kicker, the abysmal sendoff they gave her. She left halfway through the story and never come back. And nobody ever checks on her, not even the Doctor! Chalk up another one for John Wiles as he nonchalantly dumps another companion he didn't like. (redacted from entries by Philip Sandifer [TARDIS Eruditorum] and Wood & Miles [About Time])

Polly, Dodo, and Ben walk into a bar


First Doctor : An Unearthly Child
Steven (Companion) : The Chase
Ben (Companion) : The War Machines
Polly (Companion) : The War Machines

A scarce network with very few connections. Definitely not a lot of possibilities. A small network tends to make someone look more important.


Celestial Toymaker (Villain) : The Celestial Toymaker

NOTE : It was purposed The Celestial Toymaker wold return to face the Sixth Doctor. The season was never produced.

The smallest network so far. With a network this small some of the analysis will be misleading. Correct in regards to the science, but misleading in the actual facts. That happens when there aren't a lot characters to interact with. The charts work with the top three character rankings and with only six people altogether, Dodo has a 50/50 chance of making the grade. She makes it in by default. But we will proceed never-the-less as I'm doing all the Companions.

NOTE : Many of the problems of "little networks" re-occur when we get to the First Doctor's analysis and the network gets larger.

Dodo's Friend Network

Node ColourBar

Dodo Friends

Again, a very simple network. Steven on one side and Ben & Polly on the other. And since Ben & Polly's initial story also contains Dodo's exit story. That creates very weak links. Much weaker links than they have with the First Doctor.

Dodo's Story Network

Dodo Story

An indicator of Dodo's self-importance in a small network is her connection to a grand total of five stories - one where she appears in for only half the story and then unceremoniously written out of the show. Looks like John Wiles and Donald Tosh were trying to correct a mistake they think they made.

The Analysis

Dodo SNA

As I figured when I saw the scarcity of characters, Dodo comes in the highest obtaining a top ranking in 14 out of 14 Standard Network measures. No surprise with only six characters. The First Doctor and Steven follow closely (again no surprise). The other three characters chart significantly lower.

Sort of a no-brainer analysis. Most companions chart high in their own network but this one nearly hit the max. It shows one of the short-comings of this type of analysis as it has trouble with very small networks. We'll see what happens with the entirety of the First Doctor's network.

Dodo Key Entity

The Key Entity chart becomes even more lop-sided.


The grouping section contains shows some interesting partitioning. The out-going Team TARDIS of the First Doctor, Steven and Dodo, are grouped together. The incoming companions, Polly & Ben are set off in the second group.

Group 1 : First Doctor, Dodo, Steven, Celestial Toymaker

Group 2 : Ben & Polly

Dodo Subgroups

No big surprise here as Ben & Polly's only appearance was in The War Machines. So with four times the strength in Dodo's links to the rest of Team TARDIS, Ben & Polly become separated into a group of their own. This corresponds to the Standard Analysis Network chart with Dodo, Steven, and the First Doctor all ranked high and Ben & Polly both ranked low. The program placed The Celestial Toymaker, the wild card, into group 1.

Even with significantly strong links to the First Doctor, Ben & Polly's lack of a link to Steven or the Celestial Toymaker causes them to be set apart in their own group.

Rankings Compared to the First Doctor

Dodo outranks not only the First Doctor, but everyone else. Part of the type of results with a very tiny network. I predict that when we get to the First Doctor's network, Dodo will not make the top three in any measures. The sole exception could be with the Potentially Influential or it she scores high in Connecting Groups. Most of the charts resemble the one below:

Group Awareness
1First Doctor37.9%
6Celestial Toymaker2.4%

The Doctor usually gets ranked 1st, followed by Steven in 2nd, then Dodo in 3rd with Ben & Polly tied in 4th and 5th and The Celestial Toymaker in 6th. But even ranked in third place, Dodo's score was 40% lower than Doctor's and less than ½ of Steven's. Not strong marks yet with such a small network, enough to give her a strong showing.


Interesting how a character which I know not to be well connected rates high in a smaller network. It's an example of A 'medium' sized fish in a very small pond. I believe this may be the case with several upcoming and previous companions analyzed so far. For Dodo, her position in the First Doctor's network will be an example of A small fish in a large pond and I doubt she will attain any measurable showing.

The next question, "Which of the First Doctor's Companions will rank at the top?"

NEXT UP : Ben & Polly

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