17 Reasons Why Romana is (better than) the Doctor
1) Romana's over half a millennia younger than him but since he generally picks up humans a century younger than her, it's nowhere near as strange as it should be.
Besides it's not as though she remembers the age gap that often, since somewhere in his lives he'd neglected to find the time to grow up. There are moments, when universal armageddon is threatening and she's cold and dirty and starving, that she's infinitely grateful for that; there are times, when she's spent six hours searching the storage rooms for a working LCD, that she wishes he'd go shove his childish wonder in the Vortex and learn how to tidy up.
2) When she first saw the sonic screwdriver she was impressed. With a little ingenuity and imagination she managed to construct her own from bits and bobs she scrounged from around the TARDIS.
She wasn't impressed when she found out that he'd actually stolen his sonic screwdriver.
And she was even less impressed when he tried to steal hers.
3) Romana is the Doctor's most favourite companion ever. Of course, he always thinks that about whoever's travelling with him at the time. Best to be an optimist.
4) The Doctor never tells her that the sort of Gallifreyans who got the top grades in his year were the sort of Time Lords that turned out to be psychopathic or megalomaniacal or both.
He never tells her that the only reason he scraped that fifty-one percent on the second attempt was because one of the aforesaid megalomaniacs spent night after night tutoring him on temporal mechanics.
5) The Doctor can't hold his liquor.
It's just past midnight and he's splashing about in the fountain and singing a very bizarre and possibly libellous rendition of London's Calling. Azmael's managed to stop him from drowning himself in five inches of water, so she decides she'll just take care of the dictator deposing all by herself.
She's not that surprised at how easy it is to topple a government. It only took her four words.
6) They bump into one of his future incarnations while he's trying to seal a temporal rift somewhere in the wastes between the Milky Way and Andromeda.
She's witty and charming and warm, but the Doctor sees the way his future self is watching her. It scares him enough to hold her hand just a little more tightly, but if he's spotted it, she will have too.
When they get back to the TARDIS, he makes her a mug of hot chocolate.
He thinks he's rather good at making hot chocolate.
7) Romana doesn't have any arch-enemies. Nor has she locked up any evil from the dawn of time. And all her classmates at the Academy turned out to be perfectly normal every day Time Lords who like tradition and stability and not attempting to take over bits of the universe.
She hasn't even sunk Atlantis.
The Doctor isn't thrilled about the fact that this seems to make saving things a lot less complicated for her.
8) It's four against two, but he isn't afraid.
9) It's absolutely no good name-dropping with Romana. Either she's never heard of the particularly smashing human that he's met, or she knows some obscure and probably untrue fact about them that undercuts their best achievements.
The Doctor thinks this is very unfair on the humans.
He thinks it's even more unfair on him.
10) Sometimes the Doctor thinks about sex. Sometimes Romana does too. And sometimes they think about it at the same time and, what with Time Lords being a bit telepathic, they end up having sex. Together.
The Doctor will never, ever admit that he's wondered what it would be like with both of her incarnations.
Romana will never, ever admit that she's thought about Time Tots.
11) They're on Earth less often than he'd like.
Romana doesn't mind because she doesn't have a favourite planet.
12) She has far too good a memory. She actually listens to what he says, remembers it, understands it and uses it against him later. Most unfair.
"There is no way to integrate the dimensional integrator and the dimensional shifter. They're two entirely separate components. Whatever you've got there, it's not doing the stability of the interior dimensions any good. And it's certainly not a dimensional integrator shift, since as such a thing doesn't actually exist."
"Did I say that it did?"
"Romana, you know I'm not too keen on fibbing in my TARDIS."
He tries very hard not to meet her eyes. He tries very hard not to look guilty.
13) The Doctor isn't very good at searching E-space for a way out. He knows she won't be coming back with him, not after that message from Gallifrey.
But he has to go back some time, because he likes to take care of that universe.
And he's very glad that she's got her very own universe to take care of now.
14) He's moping about on Earth and becoming far too familiar with some of their more arcane customs. And he really wishes that he hadn't started flicking through that book on marital law.
Seems a bit unfair that after the divorce, she got the family dog and he got stuck with the bratty kid.
15) Vaporising her room was a really, really stupid thing to do.
He's getting old, and the memory is cheating.
16) "They made me President once too," he says with a sniff.
She corrects him. "Twice."
"Didn't like it."
"Don't expect you did."
The Doctor doesn't say very much after that, because Romana is a good President and he doesn't know how to relate to that at all. They're supposed to be old and withered, the walking dead, a meaningless end to a meaningless career of polishing the status quo. Romana's busy chiselling at it instead, and there are sparks flying from the stalwart conservatives (even that's something of a miracle in and of itself) but things are happening. People are talking. Arguing. Engaging with the universe around them.
On one unmemorable morning he knows damn well he murmured something about how he might like to stay for a while. After that slip he tries not to talk quite so much.
And he doesn't say anything at all when she starts a war.
Romana doesn't remind him that it's his bloody fault for being a bit useless on Skaro when he was supposed to blow up the Daleks, and then really pissing them off a bit later when he decided to blow up their homeworld after they'd built up a spiralling galactic empire.
17) There's no memorial to Gallifrey, just rumours and legends and an old man with his battered blue police box.
No-one has ever heard of Romanadvoratrelundar and he thinks he likes it better that way.
And he thinks he could grow to like revisionist history very, very much.
It's not as though he hasn't lied before.