I'll admit it---as the new season of Doctor Who draws nearer, I'm worried about it. Okay, I'm excited too, but mostly worried. This is the first change of companions since I've started watching in 2010, and one of my other shows is getting wibbly, so I'm just on edge about fandom things right now. The main thing I want to see in this season is the Doctor's smile--a real one, not a half-smile of remembrance or distraction. I want this companion (who I'll be calling C3 to distinguish her from Clara and Oswin) to help Eleven heal from ---but not forget. He can't ever forget them) the Ponds.
When I thought about this, I came up with three character traits that I think C3 needs.
1. Most of all, C3 needs to be a good listener. More than that, she needs to be a meta-listener, understanding all the things he doesn't say, all the times he stops himself from mentioning a name or looks at her with distant eyes. This might mean drawing him out on occasion, but mostly it means paying attention to him. He doesn't look back, it hurts too much, and if she ignores what he does say, he'll bottle it all up and we know where that leads....
2. Because he's sulking, C3 needs to be enthusiastic about life. Not necessarily an optimist--sarcastic would be fine--but someone who grabs his hand and drags him out of the TARDIS to meet Geronimo or visit the planet where all the ballpoint pens go. Eleven said in a season five extra scene that he brings people with him so the universe is not just "stuff," but something exciting.
3. C3 needs to care about him. Well, she should be compassionate in general, but she especially needs to care for him. He's convinced that the universe doesn't care, that it doesn't matter how many times he does good things, it will always go unnoticed--and since we're not sure where River is*, that job falls to C3. I just wish I could be there to give him a hug, but since I can't, I'm counting on C3 to remind him that he's not alone.
(And a bonus: C3 MUST get along with River) They don't have to be buddy-buddy or anything like that--it might hurt too much, now that I think of it. Oh, mah Pond girls!--but if she tries to belittle or diss River, it will not end well. If River doesn't claim revenge, all her fans will be lining up for a shot, and I'll be at the head of the line.
The only other major concern I have is that Clara might be a lesbian. Not that I think they'd show anything more than flirting or a kiss on family TV, but it would still be awkward with my family, especially the little brother. Don't want her crushing on the Doctor, either...
*Still wish Sarah Jane could show up and remind him "You've got the biggest family in the whole of creation."