Doctor Who: Looking Back at 47 Days #9 – One Time Guest Characters

A few years ago, I did a series of 47 daily posts which all looked at different questions related to the revival series of Doctor Who, focusing on stuff I like about the show. I worked out a series of questions in advance and then picked one randomly for each day. I’ve decided to revisit the series to see how my opinions may or may not have changed, and to bring two of my daughters into the discussion, since they are both big fans and have recently finished watching the revival series.

Why 47?  It’s my favorite number.

Why Doctor Who?  It’s my favorite show.

Why the modern day Doctor Who only?  Simply because I remember it better.

Why are we looking back at this now? Because we’re on a 47 day countdown to November 23, the birthday of the show.

Check out Day #8 here.

When I first did this, it was September 2016, which means we were in between the Christmas episodes The Husbands of River Song and The Return of Dr. Mysterio, and were yet to debut Peter Capaldi’s last season on the show. Jodie Whittaker was even further away. How has the passage of time, evolution of opinions, and three further seasons of the program impacted my opinions?

Today is Day #9, and our theme is…

Favorite One-Time Guest Character

This is all about those characters who only ever appeared once in the series, considering two- or three-part stories as single appearances. This discounts the likes of River Song, Winston Churchill, Rigsy, Grace O’Brien or Pete Tyler.

But it still includes more characters than we can mention here. However, some of my favorites are Grant Gordon from The Return of Dr. Mysterio, Joan Redfern from the Human Nature two-parter, Nancy from The Empty Child two-parter, Jenny from The Doctor’s Daughter, Jackson Lake from The Next Doctor, and Daniel Barton from Spyfall.

But none of them are my actual favorite, who remains the same as last time last time around…

Sally Sparrow from Blink

Sally is a rare breed in Doctor Who–a first time character who became the main character an episode in her first and only appearance. (Eldon Pope did the same thing in Love and Monster, but that was such a terrible story that one doesn’t want to pick it for favorite anything).

Blink is the opposite of terrible–it’s one of Steven Moffat’s masterpieces which introduced one of the most popular Doctor Who monsters in the Weeping Angels and pushed forward the playful cleverness of time travel in a way the show had never done before.

But it also featured a stellar performance by Carey Mulligan as Sally Sparrow, a character who is so strong, so watchable, so likable and so appealing that one barely even notices that David Tennant is only in the episode as an extended cameo.

It’s a shame she never returned to the show, but I guess if she had I’d have to think of someone else for this spot.

What do my daughters say?

Johanna (16) surprisingly picks Cass, played by Emma Campbell-Jones in the mini-episode Night of the Doctor. She liked the character a lot and was sad when she died.

Laurelle (14) struggled to think of anyone, but eventually settled on Reinette from The Girl in the Fireplace, played by Sophia Myles, because she thought she was okay and she liked the episode.

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