Mickey Smith – Defender Of The Earth Or Tin Dog?

tumblr_lvzrktZG2X1qbpas5o1_500Part of a series on the New Who companions. 

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.


About nevillegirl

Elizabeth. University of Iowa class of 2019. Triple majoring in English & Creative Writing, Journalism, and Gender, Women's, & Sexuality Studies. Twenty-one-year-old daydreamer, introvert, voracious reader, aspiring writer, and lesbian. Passionate about feminism, mental health, comic books, and cats.
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12 Responses to Mickey Smith – Defender Of The Earth Or Tin Dog?

  1. Gaaaaah, should not have read this! XD I’m going to pretend I didn’t see that thing about him and Martha . . .

    I have mixed feelings on Mickey. He can be pretty jealous, clingy, and pathetic. But on the other hand, he only wants what’s best for Rose and tries really hard to fit in with her and the Doctor. Then he decided to stay in that alternate universe just as I was starting to like him. 😛

    (Love that quote at the top! He’s right, though.)

    • nevillegirl says:

      *pats* it isn’t a huge spoiler, but… yeah, it was neat to see those two together. I thought Mickey had disappeared from the storyline altogether by then…

      *nods* I’m impressed that he’s so loyal. I mean, his girlfriend ran off with another dude and while he’s not totally happy about that, he’s not vindictive towards her either.

      I love that quote because Mickey is me. I would be the pathetic sidekick who isn’t allowed to handle anything more dangerous than, well, glitter.

  2. Bane says:

    I literally just finished rewatching End of Time and thinking about Martha and Mickey.


    • nevillegirl says:


      (Gosh, I need to continue this post series… I’ve only written about Martha and Mickey. I can’t decide whether to talk about Wilf or Rose next…)

      • *sniffles* It’s okay. All better. That picture, though. It needs to be framed.

        (I vote Rose! I haven’t seen anybody talking bad about Wilf but viewpoints on Rose tend to be on either extreme of the Love-Her-To-Death/Devil-From-London range. I’m somewhere in between myself, but I’d be interested on your thoughts about her for sure!)

    • nevillegirl says:

      What, the picture of Ten + Mickey? 😀

      (Yeah, I’m in between too. I mean, she’s definitely not my favorite companion… but she’s actually pretty cool and I wish people wouldn’t write her off as some silly love-struck companion. Like, I think a big part of my post about Rose will be me arguing that people don’t pay enough attention to Rose on her own. I don’t know many people who ship Martha/Donna/even Clara with someone, but Rose everyone focuses on her love story even though she does hella rad things all on her own.
      …IDK how much of that actually made sense.)

      • YES. SO. AMAZE. ❤ ❤ I don't know, it's cute because it's a symbol of how they've come to like and respect each other, and don't just tolerate each other because of Rose any more. Like, if it was Mickey and the Doctor in the TARDIS, the Doctor wouldn't try to throw him into a space volcano or anything 😛

        (Yeah, I love how she acted in Series 1. She really stands up for what she believes in, and I think a lot of people overlook that and see the girl who "stole THEIR Doctor" instead. Like, on Tumblr, I've seen a lot of "Doctor Who fans" who are upset with Rose because she fell in love with the Doctor, and they liked the Doctor, too. [Uhhhh… number 1, he's fictional. Number 2, the actor is like 40 years old and probably married. So no. Not happening.] I mean, I don't have a problem with their love story. I think it makes sense, especially for Ten. He was always about the common people and the extraordinary power of the average human. What you said made perfect sense, though, and I agree Rose does wonderful, amazing things all on her own. *coughcoughamycoughcough*)

    • nevillegirl says:

      *deep sigh* I wish Twelve + Danny could’ve had that kind of relationship. You know, where they originally didn’t get along but they eventually become friends because of another person who connects them. 🙂

      *shakes head* That’s so ridiculous. Like, the Doctor isn’t real aaaaaand she’s not the only companion. (This applies to Martha as well – why are people so upset about her “replacing” Rose? Rose replaced… I think the companion before her was Grace from Eight’s movie?)

      (Hey, did you see my Martha post yet? 😀 )

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