Doctor Who probably is one of the most popular science fiction television programmes and has even been listed as longest-running science fiction television show in Guinness World Records.
Records apart, personal life of the Doctor has always been subject of much controversy and even speculation. Though he is a time-travelling humanoid alien, his companions, lovers and side-kicks have mostly been human. Online Dating University has published a cool image that lists more than 42 companions of the Doctor in a sort of taxonomy that would make a monogamous housewife cringe in horror.
The taxonomy curiously includes not only female companions, but also male companions, and ‘others’. These companions usually travel with the Doctor in the TARDIS, and share adventures (and probably a lot more) with him. So far, there have been 11 Doctors, and each of his alters on the TV have had several companions and friends. The image published by the Online dating University is not a small one, considering the number of partners he has had.
Interestingly, Doctor Who was termed as a gay icon by Ed Hagan, who wrote a feature on the Guardian. He hypothesises that one of the reasons for this is that the Doctor was usually anti-establishment, and most of his enemies were conservative douche-bags that refused to change according to times. Moreover, Doctor was always seen as a person who would not discriminate against anyone, regardless of gender, or color. That is perhaps why one gets to see 42 companions right from the Classic Seasons to New Series 5 & 6. The concept of companionship has been challenged as well, by this popular science-fiction series.
While society dictates us to limit our companions and draw lines between romance, friendship, soul mates, side-kicks and various other adjuncts, the Doctor has consistently defied these norms and stuck to his companions depending on his own whims. Perhaps that is one of the reasons for his popularity among his friends and lovers, both onscreen and off-screen.