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Were all the deaths/exits of the companions of the Doctor in the 2005 series caused by the decision of the actor/actress to leave the show? What about the various incarnations of the Doctor?

I always wonder why the fate of the Doctor's companions got screwed up with some strange plot. For example: Rose got stuck in the parallel world, Donna forgot about the Doctor and the Ponds' death. Martha is the only who exited properly with proper reason.

Does the Director want to change the casting once in a while?

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    just to build on @Nikolai's answer: historically speaking it has usually been the actors decision to leave the role of The Doctor (I think Colin Baker was the only one explicitly fired.) The companions are much more likely to be dropped for plot reasons.
    – KutuluMike
    Dec 28, 2012 at 17:37

1 Answer 1

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No, not every companion change has been the actor's decision. Both Doctors (9th and 10th) of the revived series have chosen to leave.

In detail:

9th Doctor (Christopher Eccleston): Various reports, but all suggest actor's decision, combined with only being contracted for one year.

Rose Tyler (Billie Piper): Actress's decision (season 2)

Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman): Director's decision / storyline reasons.

"I'd like to think that there will be more for Martha Jones, because Doctor Who has been one of the biggest experiences of my life, both in terms of my career and in terms of how it has changed my life over the last two years. I dare say a great number of people will always associate me with Martha, and that really makes me smile. It means that she lives on. That's so flattering. It's an honour. I'd love to do more with her, definitely..." — Freema Agyeman, July 2008

Donna Noble (Catherine Tate): Director's decision / storyline reasons. The 11th Doctor era severed most links with the 10th Doctor.

10th Doctor (David Tennant): Actor's decision

"I love this part, and I love this show so much that if I don't take a deep breath and move on now I never will, and you'll be wheeling me out of the Tardis in my bath chair." — David Tennant, October 2008

Amy Pond (Karen Gillan): Actress's decision.

Karen decided to leave Doctor Who more than a year ago and that decision was discussed and finalised over dinner with show boss Steven Moffat, who has written her finale in an episode called The Angels Take Manhattan.

Rory Pond (Arthur Darvill): Written out because Karen Gillan left.

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