|Relationships:||Tom Milligan (ex-fiance), Mickey Smith (husband)|
|Fandom:||Doctor Who, Torchwood|
|Other:||Played by Freema Agyeman|
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Martha Jones is the Tenth Doctor's companion and a regular character in the third season of the new Doctor Who. She also makes several guest appearances during the fourth season and on Spin-off series Torchwood. She is portrayed by Freema Agyeman.
Martha first appeared on Doctor Who while studying as a medical student in London. She is shown to be part of a close-knit but argumentative family, consisting of her mother, Francine, father, Clive, sister, Tish, and brother, Leo (along with his partner and young daughter). She also had a cousin named Adeola who died during the Battle of Canary Wharf, a line inserted into the script to explain Agyeman's previous casting as a character in the final episodes of the previous season of the show.
When the hospital she is working in is transported to the Moon by the Judoon, she joins forces with the Doctor to save the day, proving herself to be quick-thinking and practical, quickly earning the Doctor's admiration. At the end of the episode, after a somewhat disastrous family party, she meets the Doctor again, who offers to take her with him. Her desire for adventure wins out over her sense of responsibility towards her family and her studies - helped in large part after the Doctor proves to her that the TARDIS is a time machine - and she accepts.
Martha and the Doctor have many adventures together. Martha proves herself capable under pressure, saving the Doctor's life with her medical training on multiple occasions. She also reveals a certain geekiness, with references to Harry Potter and being very excited to travel back in time to meet William Shakespeare. However, the Doctor is frequently emotionally distant towards her, as he is still greatly missing former companion Rose Tyler. Understandably, Martha feels somewhat affronted by his behaviour, and worries that she is only travelling with him as 'second best' or a 'rebound'. Over time, she does convince him to open up to her and trust her, and halfway through the season he awards her 'full companion status', inviting her to travel with him indefinitely and giving her her own TARDIS key.
At the end of the third series, the Master returns to the show and takes total control of the Earth, with the Doctor and Jack Harkness incapacitated. It thus falls on Martha alone to save the world, which she does through walking the Earth for an entire year, spreading the word about the Doctor so that on a particular moment, humanity can rise together and utilise the psychic network that the Master initially created to control them to release the Doctor and regain their freedom. This taxing mission takes its toll on both Martha and her family, who are prisoners on the Master's ship, the Valiant. Although most of the world forgets the events, creating an alternate timeline usually known in fandom as The Year That Never Was, Martha is unable to. She decides to leave the Doctor in order to look after her family, and also to combat the distress that her unrequited feelings towards him have been causing. She gives the Doctor her phone, and assures him that she will see him again.
We next see Martha in the spin-off show, Torchwood. Her old friend Jack Harkness invites her down to Cardiff from her job with UNIT to help Torchwood's investigation of a shady medical organisation. While there, she quickly becomes friends with the team, developing a particularly close relationship with Owen Harper, who initially flirts with her until she explains that she has a boyfriend. After Owen's death and resurrection she takes on some of his duties and tries to help him come to terms with his new existence. When Owen returns to his job, she leaves Cardiff, and tie-in media and lines from later scenes with the Torchwood team imply that she stays in touch.
Her next appearance comes in the fourth series of Doctor Who. She is still working for UNIT and has become a fully qualified doctor. She also reveals that she is engaged to Tom Milligan - the boyfriend previously mentioned on Torchwood - a character who helped her on her mission during the Year That Never Was. She becomes instant friends with the Doctor's current companion, Donna Noble, and warns her about the dangers of travelling with the Doctor.
She is in the TARDIS when it transports her, the Doctor and Donna to Messaline. She is initially angry at being unwillingly taken away from Earth, but quickly feels a sense of excitement at being on another planet again. At the end of that episode she returns home, wishing Donna and the Doctor well.
She returns to television canon at the end of the fourth series, along with many other former companions and allies of the Doctor's, when the Daleks transport the Earth to the Medusa Cascade. She is entrusted with the Osterhagen Key, part of a device created by UNIT as a way of destroying the entire planet should the alternative - such as enslavement by the Daleks - be certain and intolerable. Although she threatens the Daleks, theorising that the presence of the Earth must be part of their plans, which its destruction would threaten, she is ultimately prevented from going through with it by being transported onto the Dalek ship. There, she is reunited with the Doctor, Jack and Donna, and meets Rose, Sarah Jane Smith, Mickey Smith and Jackie Tyler for the first time. At the end of the episode, she leaves the TARDIS with Jack and Mickey.
Her final appearance (so far), comes in the Tenth Doctor's last episode before regeneration. He visits many of his previous companions to say goodbye before he regenerates. We meet Martha again working as a freelance alien fighter with Mickey, who she married. It is unknown what happened between her and previous fiance Tom Milligan.
Martha was the source of some controversy among online Who fans. For some, she quickly became a firm favourite, but other fans were upset at having lost the previous companion, Rose Tyler, and were disinclined to warmly welcome any replacement. Other people saw race as playing a factor in the strong dislike exhibited towards Martha by some fans.
Some fans objected to Martha's character arc, and in particular, her unrequited romantic feelings towards the Doctor. Doctor/Rose remained a large and popular pairing within NuWho fandom, and some viewed Martha as a threat to the Doctor/Rose pairing. As a result some fans questioned the validity of Martha's romantic feelings for the Doctor, and others criticized the character showing an interest in the Doctor at all. However in DW fandom there are always fans who dislike romantic storylines altogether, and never approved of them in the first place.
Others saw issues of class as playing a factor in some fans preference for Doctor/Martha, over Doctor/Rose. Some view Martha as a better match for the Doctor because she is an intelligent, educated woman; with others going so far as to call Rose a 'chav' who is beneath the Doctor.
For fans of Martha, her treatment in canon is sometimes criticized. Some view the Doctor's treatment of Martha as callous or insensitive. Doctor/Martha ships may be fix-it fic for this problem.
Rose fans and Martha fans are often seen as being fierce enemies. While some fans certainly do support one over the other, there are many fans who have embraced both characters. Indeed, Rose/Martha is a small, but not unpopular, femslash pairing.
For a time, Martha was mostly commonly shipped with the Tenth Doctor. In recent years, the canon pairing of Martha/Mickey Smith has grown in popularity. This is often a secondary pairing in fics. These are often case fics, with the couple encountering the Doctor and other familiar characters while on a mission for UNIT.
Other het stories featuring Martha pair her with Tom Milligan or Jack Harkness, among others. In addition, the Doctor/Martha/Jack is a popular third-series OT3. She is also sometimes paired with Donna, Romana or Ace McShane, as well as a range of other rarepairs.
Tropes & Storylines
There is also a good amount of gen fanworks about Martha, exploring aspects of canon such as her time trapped in periods of Earth history - 1913 and the 1960s - The Year That Never Was, or her time with Torchwood.
- Reasons Why Martha Is Awesome, Without Resorting To Cheap Shots At Other Companions by Lizbee
- Last of the Time Lords: Martha Jones by calapine
- Meta: Martha Jones Is a Dork by elliptic-eye
- Martha Jones Is A Big Damn Hero by arch
- Feminists in Fiction: Martha Jones by artemis_ephesus
- Persistence of Memory (The Lives of Saints Remix) by pogrebin
- Miss Osterhagen Regrets by paperclipbitch
- Ulysses by Rheanna
- Look at me by navaan (Tenth Doctor/Martha Jones, Eleventh Doctor/Martha Jones with thrown in Jack Harkness)
- Marble House, by hollywoodgrrl
- Shut Up and Drive, by laurashapiro
- Don't Touch That Dial, by fan-eunice
Archives & Links
- Martha Jones fanfiction on FanFiction.net
- Fanworks tagged Martha Jones on AO3
- Fanworks tagged Martha Jones on DeviantArt