When Rose Tyler departed the TARDIS, The Tenth Doctor needed a new companion to join him on his travels.
Billie Piper left some big shoes to fill, but it wasn’t long before a feisty medical student turned up on the scene. Introducing Martha Jones, played by birthday girl Freema Agyeman who turns 38 today!
However, the first episode of Series 3 (Smith and Jones) was actually not Agyeman’s Doctor Who debut. She auditioned for three other roles prior to her first appearance as Martha. She initially auditioned for Sally Jacobs in The Christmas Invasion, Esme in Rise of the Cybermen/The Age of Steel, finally Adeola in Army of Ghosts. Though she was unsuccessful in her first two attempts, Agyeman got the third role. Adeola became a casualty of the Battle of Canary Wharf, but producers were so impressed that they took Agyeman on as a serious contender for Billie Piper’s successor. When she landed the part, it was explained that Adeola was Martha’s cousin. Now in a recurring role, Agyeman stayed with the show throughout Series 3 before returning as a member of U.N.I.T. in Series 4 and Torchwood Series 2. Her final Doctor Who appearance was a cameo in The End of Time, Part Two. Her character saw The Doctor one last time before being comforted by her husband, Mickey Smith.
“All this time and you’re still full of surprises!”
During her tenure, Agyeman joined David Tennant’s Doctor in a number of wild and exciting adventures. It began with Judoon on the moon, but she later met William Shakespeare, battled Daleks in Manhattan, and fell prey to the Weeping Angels. She even walked the Earth for a year to save the world from The Master. She was a doctor in training if ever there was one!
Although Rose’s departure somewhat overshadowed her story, Martha remains a fan favourite to many. She fell in love with the rebel Time Lord, but was strong enough to know when to walk away. She more than proved herself worthy of being his companion in their terrific time together.
Join us in wishing Freema Agyeman all the best for her special day. Three cheers to one of the bravest and smartest companions of them all! Hip, hip, Who-rray!