Doctor Who: 27 Times the Humans Saved the Day (and Sometimes Lost Their Lives)

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Even all-powerful Time Lords need backup sometimes. On Doctor Who, the Time Lord Victorious that calls himself the Doctor has made a habit of picking up humans that are ordinary. 

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He shows them the universe and all the good, bad, and ugly things it can hold. All the while, he tries to protect them as best as he can. 

The relationship has its benefits. Sometimes, the Doctor's human companions save him and the world. They pick up on things he doesn't, refuse to let him die, and sometimes make the hard choices for him. 

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As enlightening as it can be to travel with the Doctor, it's always dangerous, and sometimes the humans he encounters lose their lives aiding in his quest.

Here are 27 times the humans on Team Tardis saved the day. 


1. Rory Williams Creates a Paradox

Rory Williams Creates a Paradox
Rory Williams was originally determined to outrun the Weeping Angels on Doctor Who Season 7 Episode 5, "The Angels Take Manhattan" so he wouldn't spend the rest of his life without Amy.

While he was running he realized the only way out was to die, again. Standing on the top of the building he asked Amy to push him off sure that he'll come back to life. (He'd done it before.)

She couldn't do it, so she got up on the ledge with him, and they jumped together.

2. River Song Dies in the Library

River Song Dies in the Library
The Doctor is always willing to die for humanity, but some humans are just not willing to let him. Included on that list is River Song.

When the audience first meets her on Doctor Who Season 4 Episode 8, "Silence in the Library," we learn that she has a whole future with the Doctor and she's not going to give that up.

So she takes the Doctor's place and saves him. But that's not the end of the story. Since the Doctor knows that this is going to happen he figures he found a way to save her life, which he did...with his sonic screwdriver. River Song's mind now lives in a computer filled with every book ever written.

3. Clara Breaks Up "The Hyrbid"

Clara Breaks Up "The Hyrbid"
After being stuck in his confession dial for four and a half billion years, the Doctor uses an extraction chamber on Gallifrey to save Clara from her death on Trap Street. But the action comes at a cost.

Clara's pulse should have started again when they left Gallifrey, but it hasn't. That means that time isn't healing and her death is a fixed point that the universe counts on happening. The entire scenario is further complicated by the realization that Clara and the Doctor, together, make up the creature known as The Hybrid. And together, they threaten all of time and space. Using the sonic glasses Clara reverses the polarity on a neural blocker, which will cause one of them to lose their memory of the other.

Ultimately, the Doctor forgets Clara, but using the stolen Tardis she's able to bring him to Nevada, return his Tardis to him, and say goodbye in the guise of a diner waitress.

4. Martha Jones Saves the World with a Story

Martha Jones Saves the World with a Story
Sometimes all you need to save the world are words. At the end of Doctor Who Season 3, the Doctor was imprisoned by his childhood mate The Master.

Martha escaped but said that she would be back. During that time, she traveled the world telling people the story of The Doctor. Her long game culminated when she was recaptured by The Master exactly a year later, and the people she told the story to all thought the same word at the same time breaking a neural link.

That word was "Doctor."

5. Danny Pink Leads an Army of Cybermen

Danny Pink Leads an Army of Cybermen
Missy's plot to give The Doctor an army backfired on Doctor Who Season 8 Episode 12, "Death in Heaven."

Danny Pink, Clara's boyfriend who died in a car crash an episode earlier, didn't delete his emotions which left him outside of the hive mind of cybermen.

When the Doctor passed him a bracelet Missy intended as a cyber-controller, he was able to lead the army of Cybermen into the clouds where they burned. A bittersweet end to Danny Pink.

6. Oswin Helps The Doctor Escape the Asylum

Oswin Helps The Doctor Escape the Asylum
On Doctor Who Season 7 Episode 1, "The Asylum of the Daleks," the Doctor got some help from a woman named Oswin Oswald. Though she was able to help them navigate through the Asylum, a reveal that she'd been converted into a Dalek herself meant that he couldn't save her. But, Oswin had control over the asylum's systems she was able to clear a path to safety and save the Doctor and the Ponds.

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Doctor Who Quotes

Only in darkness are we revealed. [...] Goodness is not goodness that seeks advantage. Good is good in the final hour, in the deepest pit, without hope, without witness, without reward. Virtue is only virtue in extremis. This is what *he* believes, and this is the reason above all I love him, my husband. My madman in a box. My Doctor.

Nardole [quoting River Song]

Winning? Is that what you think it’s about? I’m not trying to win! I’m not doing this because I want to beat someone! Because I hate someone, or because I want to blame someone! It’s not because it’s fun. God knows it’s not because it’s easy! It’s not even because it works, because it hardly ever does! I do what I do because it’s RIGHT! Because it’s decent! And above all, it’s *kind*. It’s just that. Just kind.

The Doctor