Doctor Who has had its share of incredible companions over the years who have become almost as famous as The Doctor with powerful story arcs and heartbreaking farewells. There have also been a few one-off characters who would have made excellent TARDIS traveling partners. Last season, many fans wished that the wonderful Grace could have joined the crew for some adventures. Most recently, the episode “Orphan 55” introduced Bella (Gia Ré), another character who would have made a great companion for so many reasons.
The episode took Bella on an arc from awkward flirting with Ryan, to a secondary antagonist, to a hero of sorts with a (mostly) ambiguous ending. The TARDIS is understandably full right now with Ryan, Yaz, and Graham tagging along, but Bella proved to be a useful asset too. And is there really a such thing as too many people in a time machine that’s bigger on the inside? Probably not.
Why did Bella deserve a spot in the TARDIS? Here are a few reasons:
An Awesome Aesthetic
Ben Blackall/BBC Studios/BBC America
Doctor Who companions have rocked some iconic looks over the years. Martha’s red jacket, Donna’s roaring ‘20s ensemble, and Rose’s leather jacket are just a few cosplays that are instantly recognizable.
Bella has this part down to a science with her honey blonde locks, baggy black leather pants, cropped top and sheer shirt, ear piercings and cuffs, septum piercing, and patterned jacket with the collar popped up. And honestly, she would fit right in with Yaz, Ryan, and The Doctor, who all happen to be very, very attractive. Her delightfully dark style would have certainly set her apart from her predecessors, but she’s likely not coming back.
Bella was on a mission to make her mom pay for abandoning her as a child—and naming her Trixabelle. She built several complex bombs to blow up Tranquility and put a Hopper virus somewhere where The Doctor isn’t able to isolate it. Those moves definitely didn’t win her any morality points, but it certainly means she’s a smart and capable person.
In fact, one of her bombs was used to defeat some of the Dregs. The Doctor has had a lot of smart and sharp companions before but it would be interesting to uncover more of her knowledge and where she learned it.
A TARDIS Change
Bella traveling with The Doctor would have likely changed her life. She felt alone in the world and would have found her family in the TARDIS. Her relationship with The Doctor was terse but they worked together well to rescue Silas and escape the Dreg leader.
Bella obviously had some experience with teleporting and traveling to different planets (where was she from anyway?) so it would have given a fresh perspective to the team. And it’s obvious that she and Ryan had the potential to be a little more than friends (let’s ignore that “thumb” moment). Perhaps they would have gotten the development that Martha and Mickey’s freelance alien hunting duo never got on-screen.
A Running Champion
Companions have to know how to run. It’s a key part of hopping around to dangerous planets and evading monsters. Bella ran a lot in this episode and did it well right up until she decided to fight alongside her mom in the end.
Bella is witty, confident, observant, and manages to keep her wits in the midst of a crisis—all great traits. She’s obviously a careful planner and has a caring side, which is seen when she talks about her father and later with Ryan. And she made the selfless decision to protect everyone and fight the Dregs so they could get to safety.
Of course, a lot of her selfish decisions didn’t sit well with The Doctor, but it would have been awesome to see a morally murky person become better as a companion.
Bella’s fate looked pretty grim with limited oxygen and lots of Dregs but, like The Doctor said, that was only one potential timeline for Earth. Perhaps different decisions will be made to affect this outcome. Or, maybe Bella and her mom will find a way out of this and start a new life together. Either way, Bella the chops to be a companion and change the universe for the better in her own way.
Image Credit: Ben Blackall/BBC Studios/BBC America