Which Housemates Are Just What Doctor Who Ordered?
It's time to rank the new companion’s new companions.
I'm old enough to remember when being the Doctor's companion was a full-time job; if he ever got you anywhere or any time close to home, you'd have been well advised to get off for good right then and there, because otherwise you were liable to die before he got you back again.
But, of course, those were the old days. Now the Doctor can operate the TARDIS reliably enough to make companioning a part-time gig. Rose got to visit the old estate multiple times, Amy and Rory seemed to divide their days about equally between England and the Vortex for a while there, and we've seen Clara and now Bill attempting to pursue concurrent but separate lives apart from the Doctor entirely. And in both the latter cases, without the viewer ever getting a satisfactory explanation as to why. We already know Bill can't be pulling down too many pounds slinging chips in the canteen, so why stress about rent when the TARDIS has any number of bedroom suites that could probably be hers for the asking? She must have her reasons, and we might even learn what they are one day.
All this is to say that we should probably get used to seeing Bill's five new housemates on the semi-regular. It's a little cute how Bill got introduced to four of them on the very day they all went out house-shopping, because they decided they needed a sixth person before they even had any idea where they were all going to live. But then that led to a much more plausible situation in which the haunted house they ended up at trapped them inside so that they could be consumed by the wood itself, so I didn't have to suspend my disbelief too long.
Admittedly, we haven't spent much time with the roomies yet, but since they're already fans of the Doctor and we've already seen them die (before being brought back to life, naturally), that should be enough to go on. Let's go ahead and get them ranked from worst to first.
Pavel is the first one to be attacked, so theoretically he's the one we should know the least about. We do learn that he's an audiophile who's in the habit of shutting himself up in his room with his music, and there's nothing wrong with that. However, it's a bit telling that his housemates are perfectly content to let him do so while the rest of them are celebrating their first night together in their new digs. Also, the reason Pavel goes down first is because he moved in before everyone else...because he's already been kicked out of where he's living now. So he probably sucks.
Felicity isn't all bad; when the house seals everyone else inside, she's the only one who is able to escape to the garden. This demonstrates a powerful will to survive that could come in handy if the Doctor is going to keep popping round. But it's also driven by a claustrophobia-induced panic attack, and panicking in the Doctor's presence never comes in handy. Also, she's only outside for a matter of seconds before a tree turns her into an arboreal appetizer, so her freedom was short-lived.
There's a special kind of danger that always seems to arise when the Doctor is around. When that happens, Harry finds the only safe place to be: right next to the Doctor. While Bill is off upstairs with Shireen, Harry becomes a sort of temp-companion. This keeps him alive longer than would have otherwise been likely. Not that he has any kind of talent for it; first of all, his questions aren't as incisive as Bill's. He's not terribly quick on the uptake. And near the end, he panics, bolts, and is almost immediately buzz-sawed out of existence by swarming wood-lice. The big leagues are no place for amateurs, pal.
As the only one with whom Bill has a preexisting relationship, Shireen has the inside track. But she seems pretty useless; aside from ordering Paul to "be nice" when they first meet, she doesn't really go out of her way to help Bill integrate into the group. And she doesn't seem to contribute much else, either. She even disregards Bill's wishes with regard to bedroom assignments. While she's currently the one Bill seems closest to, I can't see that lasting indefinitely.
I'm not a fan of the way he wears his polo collar. But once Bill tells him that she's into girls, he cheerfully leaves off the clumsy passes at her and settles immediately into the role of "the funny one." Alas, he's noisily and horribly killed off-camera mere seconds later. But like everyone else, his death is only temporary and he lives to be goofy another day. Which gives him another reason to be grateful, on top of the fact that an actor of his height would normally spend his time on Doctor Who lumbering around in some kind of rubber monster suit.