The Doctor has traveled Universes and still seems to end up with an English / UK companion and befriends mostly humanoid--class entities. Are there any instances that deviate from this scenario?

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    Note, of course, that Amy Pond is most definitely not English. – Paul D. Waite Mar 6 '14 at 13:09
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    If we’re talking creatures that he befriends, he seemed fairly friendly with the Face of Boe. I guess he’s part of a humanoid though. – Paul D. Waite Mar 19 '14 at 10:29
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    I'm surprised no one has mentioned Peri Brown who was American (though played by British actress Nicola Bryant). – user5651 Mar 19 '14 at 11:11
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    Or Tegan who was Australian – Nigel Ellis Mar 21 '14 at 8:53
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    Adric and Turlough were both aliens. – Mark Rogers Mar 21 '14 at 14:53

On the show itself he hasn't if you don't count K9 and Kamelion. In the Doctor Who comic strip, one of his long-running companions was Frobisher, from a shapeshifting race called the Whifferdill; he usually took the form of a penguin, so I don't think that counts as humanoid. The Tardis wikia page on companions also mentions some other "obviously non-human species" in the "non-humans" section, but I think all the ones mentioned besides the Whifferdills would qualify as humanoid.

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    I suppose that's valid enough because I didn't specify a canon. – Meat Trademark Mar 6 '14 at 16:48

He does seem to have a preference for Humans

In fact, its what got him stranded here for a time. However, it isn't an exclusive one. At least not in the entirety of the series. Since the reboot, his companions have been human and typically from somewhere or somewhen around the British Isles / United Kingdom. This gets a little grey if you include Vastra and Strax as companions since they are clearly not from around here.

If you go back to the First Doctor and start counting, there have been many companions not from this Earth:

  • Susan Foreman, Gallifreyan
  • K9, Robot Dog
  • Romana, Gallifreyan / Time Lady
  • Adric from the E-Space planet Alzarius
  • Nyssa from the planet Traken
  • Turlough, a political prisoner from the planet Trion
  • Kamelion, a shape-changing sentient robot

Some on that list may be "human" but just not born here - the Whoverse is a little fuzzy about the whole notion of why most aliens are bipeds who speak English, though many of them are simply humans who have ventured into space. Adric and Nyssa may or may not be on that list. I intentionally left out Leela, as a member of the Sevateem she's almost certainly got ancestry here. Also Jack Harkness, as he is from Boeshan Peninsula, a future human colony.

For non-humanoids entirely, the list is whittled down to K9 and (depending on her shape), Kamelion.

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    Actually speaks English is covered. The Tardis translates for anyone who travels in it. – Tim B Mar 6 '14 at 16:35
  • Should also be noted that Terran Sci-Fi, not just Dr. Who is biased towards human-sized, bipedal humanoid species. It is my one disappointment in the "digital revolution" that no one uses CGI/creative makeup to include non-bipedal sentients. – Pulsehead Mar 6 '14 at 17:50
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    Turlough was from off-world too, as I remember. – PeterL Mar 6 '14 at 20:00
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    @joshbirk I don't think that they count as companions, no; just pointing out that the Silurians (as far as I know) are native to Earth, and so Vastra is "from around here", and is huma-noid, even if not homo sapiens. – Joshua Taylor Mar 19 '14 at 16:02
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    @Xantec, "CGI is too expensive" is in my mind bunk. Babylon5 did huge amounts of CGI about 20 years ago. Also I guarantee that if the producers saved most of their CGI budget for one major episode, they could create a truly memorable antagonist, akin to the first appearance of Daleks or Weeping Angels in the series. Just my 2 cents. – Pulsehead Mar 19 '14 at 17:43

K9 (both versions) and Kamelion count as companions, of the Fourth and Fifth Doctors respectively. The K9s were of course robot dogs, and Kamelion was an android.

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  • Kamelion was humanoid, and could change shape generally to another humanoid shape. Granted he/it was a companion for two serials but was still humanoid as per my question. K9 was more pet / comic relief than an actual companion as there was a human companion in place simultaneously whereas K9 was more ancillary. – Meat Trademark Mar 6 '14 at 13:21
  • I remember a reference in "School Reunion" where one Mickey refers to himself as "the tin dog". (Thanks to Wikipedia for filling in the details). – AMADANON Inc. Mar 7 '14 at 0:22

Captain Jack isn't British and being immortal isn't all that human because as Tennant stated 'dying is part of being human' so by the tenth Doctor's definition the inability to die is non-human. Also to counter act the humanoid concept yes jackis humanoid but his future self (the face of bo) is not.

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  • The question was "humanoid," not human. Jack is definitely a humanoid. – Meat Trademark Mar 21 '14 at 2:15
  • Jack is the face of bo so at some point he will no longer be humanoid if they ever bring bo/jack back – giacomo casanova Mar 21 '14 at 3:17
  • Nicely done, sir. And since the Doctor is a Time Lord, me saying that happens in the future is moot. I'll kick a plus at ya. Hey, ten points is ten points. Since I've upvoted your answer, PLEASE edit it to include the Face of Bo detail. (Besides, it's a pretty short answer as is which is generally frowned upon.) If you don't edit, I'll be forced by shame to rescind my upvote. :( – Meat Trademark Mar 21 '14 at 4:51

The BBC, and television and movies generally, has/have a very strong preference for humanoid aliens, or larger aliens in lieu thereof: It's a heck of a lot easier to do a creature if you can put a human in the suit. There have been exceptions involving puppetry or robotics ("animatronics") , but given that Dr. Who originated so long ago and was a low-budget effort for many years, it shouldn't surprise anyone that there's a bias in this direction.

It's also easier for the most of the viewing audience to identify with humanoids.

"US Television features cardboard-cutout characters in front of three-dimensional scenery. The BBC does it the other way around."

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  • "Are there any instances that deviate from this scenario?" – Alex Jan 15 '19 at 18:17

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