Why Do Whovians Hate Martha Jones?

When I started watching Doctor Who, I received many well wishes from good-intentioned Whovians and a few warnings. Most extolled David Tennant’s amazing hair, chided the campy special effects, and let me know just how much I would hate Martha Jones. Now, I am not one to do what I’m told. That’s why I’m a Wholigan, friends. So, when people tell me I will definitely, without a doubt LOVE or HATE anything, I am disinclined to believe it. You know me, I didn’t start at series 1 or even Classic Doctor Who. I jumped around the time vortex, watching episodes that friends rec’d to me, enjoying one-shot stories of the Doctor and his companions. I didn’t understand the explicit dislike many Whovians have for Martha, probably because I didn’t meet Rose first and I held no loyalties to any specific companion.

Whovians across space and time collectively groaned at this.
Whovians across space and time collectively groaned at this.


  1. Amelie G

    Hi, Blink was my first as well 🙂 I haven’t watched all the episodes but I think Rose has the advantage of being the first, Martha is the most beautiful and Donna is the funniest. Even if I like C Eccleston and M Smith, Ten rocks my world…

  2. fromcouchtomoon

    Martha rocks! She was the only educated, intelligent companion of the new Who series.The other women had street smarts and common sense, but Martha was the only companion who had enough intelligence to be the Doctor’s equal. And he needed her at that time because he was being such a whiny, distracted, lovelorn twit. If he had partnered with his usual type of daft women during this post-Rose crisis, they would have been killed, and perhaps destroyed the universe!

  3. zombiebuff

    I started watching DW from the beginning of New Who and I love Martha. She’s my favorite Ten companion. I can’t stand Rose (though, to be fair, this is possibly because one of my kiddos became obsessed with her to the point that it was obnoxious). Unlike Rose, who was unhappy with her life but doing nothing to change it until she met The Doctor, Martha was already happy doing what she wanted before she met him. Not to mention, Martha saved the world BY HERSELF while Ten was a prisoner of The Master.

    1. Jess

      But then, Rose was a 19 year old girl, raised by a promiscuous mother and who had no father or siblings. Martha was a 22 or 23 year old Resident doctor when she met 10 and had at least a larger family, if not necessarily a perfectly functional one. That being said, I didn’t mind Martha. I thought she was pretty kick Ass. However, I hated the whole love triangle/unrequited love thing. It was too intrusive for me. I didn’t dislike Martha because she wasn’t Rose. I disliked that so much of her plot revolved around her unrequited love for the doctor and overwhelmed how smart and amazing she was. I preferred the way they handled Rose via Donna. It was still a part of the plot, but because Donna had no interest in the Doctor, we could get to K of Donna for herself. I wish they had handled Martha the same way. The fans likely would have loved her then.

      1. acollectivemind

        you know what, i do hear what you’re saying but it seems to me that it is almost a moot point. the writers wrote martha to pine over the doctor and to highlight her very un-rose-like qualities. she fell for the doc much as rose did, but he didn’t fall back. which was embarrassing and boring and insipid to watch, unfortunately. martha had so many great qualities that were indeed overlooked because the doctor himself couldn’t get over the fact that she wasn’t rose. rose and jackie had a sweet relationship, if not somewhat dysfunctional, but that only endeared her to the doctor. martha had a strong, functional (sorta) family that freaked the doctor out and whom he wanted nothing to do with, ever. i guess it comes down to the writers portrayal of martha as well as the doctor’s own expectations of her. i suppose they wanted to show how much the doc loved rose and missed her when she was gone, but they just made martha look desperate. i suppose if any fans dislike martha because she’s not rose, it is only a reflection of the writing and the feelings of the doctor. very multi-dimensional, timey wimey stuff.

  4. wolfkin

    The ONLY thing I don’t like about Martha Jones’ series was in “The Shakespeare Code” when the Doctor brushed off her concerns about racism. Beyond that I did like Martha well enough. Its just that outside a few bright spots she wasn’t written as well as say my lovely Donna.

    Matter of fact she’s like the opposite of Amy in my book. I don’t like Amy that much but she was written bloody well and her connection to River Song (whom I love even more than Donna), breeds contentment.

  5. Anna

    I like Martha as a character, but I felt like she and Ten had slightly dissonant chemistry, which I think was intentional. I didn’t love her at the beginning, but I grew to like her, although the unrequited love thing was awkward because I hate seeing characters being unhappy like that (though I did love seeing her and Jack bonding over their feelings for the Doctor). I really, really liked her in the episodes at the end of series four.

  6. HermioneEverdeenBagginsEatonandtheDoctor

    I have watched episodes starting from season 1 in the new series (9th doctor)
    and honestly I really liked Martha she definitely wasn’t Rose but she wasn’t supposed to be
    she was smart, strong, brave and pretty and I don’t understand why everyone was hating on her
    I like Rose because she was there for a long time and you get emotionally attached and she was very good as a companion
    I thought Martha was smart and a good companion but she fancied the Doctor and knew he wouldn’t love her, and it was just too soon after Rose
    I like Donna because she is funny and doesn’t fancy the Doctor and is strong willed and such
    so I don’t have a favourite but I’m most attached to Rose

  7. I like Football

    I’m a big Rose fan. Rose, when separated from the Doctor, fights her way to help him, save him and overall just be there for him. She’s very resourceful and compassionate as well. Martha is a great companion as well and I don’t understand how people can hate her, but you didn’t have to go to a point that in your article you accuse Martha of not being Rose. She isn’t and most fans watched Rose for about 2 seasons and get emotionally attached which is why they miss Rose like the Doctor did. Plus, all Whovians noticed the love between them both and didn’t want to move on until it was resolved.

      1. xerohourgt

        Martha is smart and brave… That is the only good things about her. She was to whiney about you unrequited love. She was more annoying than anything. It had nothing to do with Rose why I didn’t like her. It had everything to do with her character.

      2. Lucretia Cohen

        Why do people call it a “love triangle”? A love triangle is between three people. Rose wasn’t around when Martha was and to be perfectly honest, the Doctor and Rose weren’t actually a couple. I wish fans would get off Martha’s case for her feelings for the Doctor. Never in their time together did the Doctor actually elaborate on his relationship with Rose. Whenever the subject came up, he would change it or completely shut down. Did he expect Martha to be a mind reader? What pissed me off about their time together was he was completely unappreciative of her and all the times she saved his narrow ass and how he damn near blames her for Rose not being there by merely existing. It’s not Martha’s fault Rose was stuck in a parallel universe, but God knows he acted like it was. I find it hilarious that a lot of the fans are persecuting Martha for falling for the Doctor when anyone of us would have done the same thing! Who wouldn’t fall for him?

  8. Tuuli

    Hi, I stumbled upon this post when I was googling around to find out if fans in general like Martha or not. Personally I never really cared for her, but not just because I am “loyal” to Rose. Let me explain why.
    The fundamental thing about Doctor Who is, that it inspires ordinary people to feel like they could take on the world if they had to. That’s why most of the Doctor’s companions are of lower social class, poor education and without a real future: they’re relatable, because everyone feels like they have failed at some aspect or another in their life. Everyone wants to feel like they could do great things, even if they’re currently working as a salesperson or even out of a job. The Doctor gives ordinary people the chance to do something special, that’s the allure. That’s why we have Rose, uneducated and bratty; Donna, temp who is always missing out on so many things. People who have underachieved in their life, but have potential for so much more.

    And then there’s Martha: the perfect, pretty, upper middle class doctoral student who already has everything going for them. People don’t want to see these kinds of people surpass the “ordinary, underachieving folks” on a tv show – they already do, in real life! That takes the hope and magic out of the show. And that’s why I think so many people dislike Martha. Not because she’s in love with Ten (although that might have played a part for some, especially as she was put in many intimate scenes with the Doctor, like sleeping in the same bed, unlike Rose ever was), but because she steals the thunder from all the “ordinary” people. To put it bluntly: she was too perfect for a companion, people were bound to dislike and envy her.

  9. Laura

    Well, i’ll leave the “White or Black” argument aside. Let me just tell you that i dont like Martha not because she isnt Rose, i didnt expect her to be. I just didnt like that over and over she was pushing the Doctor. “Love me Doctor, please” “love now?” “…how about now?”. And the worst was when she got mad for “not receiving a key”…in the first journey?! Come Fucking on!! Hes knowing you kid, stop being so needy!
    I dont forget that she helped the Doctor in a way that almost nobody has, but she would’ve shut her feelings and just enyoyed the ride!! It wasnt that hard. And im speaking as a girl who has been friendzoned so many times haha, i understand the position, i just dont understand the obsession over a man who has told you or proved you that “hes just not that into you”.
    Thats why, as a companion, Donna is the best, she just wanted to travel and take risks and all that stuff. She didnt ask for anything that Doctor couldnt give her. She was all that the Doctor wanted, not a love mate, but a Friend.
    (And yes, I know, Amy was a friend too, but at first she had some kind of crush with him, and asked him to kissed her. And later she blamed him a lot for things that wasnt his resposabilities…but well, I love the Ponds and thats another subject.)
    (Not speaking about Clara because i, saddly, havent met her quite good, i havent been able to finish 7th season)
    P.S. Sorry for my bad grammar, im from Mexico and dont know english quite good yet.

  10. uswholigan

    I love Amy with 11, Donna with 10, and Rose with 9. But my favorite companion–not for the Doctor, but for me–is Martha Jones. I agree with Anna above that Martha and the doctor have an dissonant chemistry (love that phrase!), and that it’s probably intentional. But Martha is as brave as Rose, even more compassionate than Donna, and intelligent and humble to boot. She is the only companion who is not “escaping” a bad or boring life, so her choice to be with the Doctor is purposeful and affirmative. She doesn’t “change” the doctor, the way the other companions do, but her experience with him gives her skills and character to save him and the earth on her own, something no other companion has done.

  11. Courtney

    I loved Martha in smith and jones but when they threw in the love triangle it kinda made me mad because I thought they were trying to hard for her to be the next rose tyler .

  12. Thaís

    I watched it from the new series in order,so I met Rose first, and I can see why everyone kinda hates Martha.While we still want Rose, she’s there with the Doctor, in the place Rose used to be, so it kinda upsets those who knew Rose first.I can’t lie, I don’t like her, but I think the reason for that is only cause I was so sad Rose was gone that I couldn’t really SEE her.In the end, she could be a great companion…if people didn’t miss Rose that much.After all I read a lot about what people think about her and now I see she’s actually an fantastic(miss you Nine) person, she was brave enough to live her life and she didn’t try to fill Rose’s place at all.We Rose fans only tought that, and therefore couldn’t enjoy her.

  13. Arkini Chan

    I am a Whovian and I love Martha! She was smart and quick thinking just like Rose. The whole time I was mad at The Doctor for not being nicer to her. But at the same time I realize he was still hurt about Rose. I didn’t really like Amy Pond at first because of the way she had puppy eyes for The Doctor with Roary madly in live with her. But then I realized I knew what it was like to love two people at once too and I was being a hypocrite. Haha. The only person I actually hated was Matt Smith. But before his episodes ended I had changed my mind, and the second time around I loved him.

  14. Eloise

    I have watched the Doctor since the end of Patrick Troughton’s time. I have seen characters/charicatures that were a victim of their time. But I fell in love with Martha Jones, more than any other companion (including including Doctor Song (if you count her as a companion)). Martha was just too darn good to be a companion. She was wonderful, whatever she chose to do and went through life being too good for almost anyone else who came along. She should be a role model for anyone who knew her. Not just her competence or bravery, her adventurousness was what appealed to me so much (as I left my home and made a life in a new country, alone, I can empathise somewhat).

  15. Mike A.

    In many ways Martha was my favorite. I loved Rose and appreciated most of Donna. Some of my favorite episodes are with Martha. I like each of them in their own way for what they bring. I am talking about Ten here. From Amy Pond on, eleven, it seems the companions always controlled the doctor. Though, I like many of those episodes, sometimes the later seasons soured on me due to the companions being in control. Oh, and Danny Pink.Wow.

  16. Céline Thord-Requena

    Most people who hate Martha are being annoyed by her feelings for the doctor…
    Well Rose, 19, who was indeed there first, fell in love with a man who appeared to be old enough to be her father (Christopher Eccleston being 19 years older than Billie Piper). Not to mention that the Doctor is actually what, 700 years old when they meet ? But somehow, people don’t mind that ambiguous relationship.
    Rose never got over it, Martha did.
    I liked Rose in the beginning, mostly for her ingenuousness. I grew to dislike her because of the Doctor’s misplaced sentiments. I liked Martha, who was a smart kick-ass grown woman.. I absolutely loved Donna (my favourite companion), witty and so strong-willed.
    I wasn’t exactly a fan of Amy Pond because as a character she was very poorly written (Steven Moffat patting himself on the back with what he thought was feminism) but Rory somehow redeemed her.
    As for Clara I have mixed feelings about her. She had a very strange narrative with Matt Smith, but she formed an iconic duo with Peter Capaldi.
    Sorry I digressed :/

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