Surveillance. If you ask me it’s just another way of saying, ‘Go sit at the back of the class with the safety scissors and glitter.’
– “School Reunion”
Last time, I wrote about Martha Jones. In this post, I’d like to talk about Mickey Smith, part-time companion to the Ninth and Tenth Doctors.
To say that Mickey is underappreciated would be an understatement. While I had heard of other companions (and often knew what happened to them in the end, unfortunately), I had no idea Mickey even existed. He appears in only fifteen or so episodes, of which about six feature him as an important supporting character.
To be honest, Mickey is rather pathetic at first. He compares himself to the “tin dog” K-9, the Doctor’s lovable yet wimpy robot/pet. He reacts – always trying to save others from the aliens he just now noticed – instead of acting. And he’s left behind numerous times, so he won’t get in trouble.
And yet, Mickey eventually becomes something more, someone the Doctor calls “defender of the earth.” Here are some of the reasons I love Mickey – some reasons why you shouldn’t write him off as stupid.
Major spoilers for series one through two and minor spoilers for series four!
He handled the events of “Rose” rather well.
Mickey was sucked into a sentient trashcan, was replicated in plastic, learned that aliens are real, and was held captive by killer mannequins. His girlfriend, Rose Tyler, was in danger. And then she ran off with a strange man called the Doctor.
Yeah, “Rose” is an incredibly silly, even cheesy episode. But look at it from Mickey’s point of view. He must have thought the world was going mad. No wonder that at the end he hugged Rose and didn’t want to let go.
He was incredibly loyal to Rose and even to the Doctor.
By “Aliens of London,” Rose had been gone for over a year and the police suspected Mickey of murdering her. But he kept waiting for her even though her mother was furious at him, and then he helped Rose and Nine fight the Slitheen.
And then he fought Margaret with them in “Boom Town.”
And in “The Parting of the Ways,” he helped Rose get back to the Game Station so she could save the Doctor.
And he does a lot to help them in series two, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
Basically, Mickey is always there to help Rose and the Doctor whether or not he gets anything out of the deal. He’s a great friend.
He met his alternate-universe self, Ricky, and saw him die.
I don’t know about you, but this would mess me up to no end. I mean, Ricky doesn’t trust Mickey and Mickey has no idea how any of this is even possible – how can he have a different life in another world? And yet…
He stayed to help the alternate universe – twice.
I’ll admit it, this isn’t something I would do. My world has problems of its own, so I’d go back to it. Not Mickey. He stayed to help rid Pete’s World of Cybermen, then returned to save Rose in “Army of Ghosts / Doomsday.” He infiltrated Torchwood and later took care of Rose when they got stuck in the alternate universe, separated from the Doctor.
He fell in love with and married Martha Jones.
They’re only shown as a couple for a minute or so in “The End of Time, Part Two,” but they are one of my favorites in all the Whoniverse. Mickey lost his girlfriend Rose to Nine, Ten, the real universe, and finally the alternate universe and a clone of Ten. Martha loved Ten but when she realized he wouldn’t stop pining over Rose, she left him.
Both traveled with the Doctor, and both lost someone because of Rose. It fits that they would end up together, married and fighting aliens. It’s perfect and I think that pairing is really underappreciated.
So there you have it. Mickey Smith. He’s a neat guy, and it almost seems like a test run for Rory. (Another loyal companion who is turned into plastic.) But I’d pick Mickey over Rory any day. I think he has the best character development of any New Who companion besides Donna. Yes, Mickey is pathetic at first – but as Dumbledore would say, it matters not what someone is born. It matters what they grow to be.