I'm going to look at Barbara and Ian not only as televisual companions to the Doctor, but as icons within the wider worlds of Doctor Who. Who were they, why were they key to the success of the series, and why do we still keep returning to them over 50 years after Ian was the first person to say "but it was just a police box"?This is the sixth of the Geek Girl Chronicles, and the third of them to collect essays by women about Doctor Who (following on from Chicks Dig Time Lords and Chicks Unravel Time). Published earlier this year, it is eligible for next year's Hugo nominations as Best Related Work; the first in the series won that category in 2011, and Mad Norwegian Press has had three more nominations since (Chicks Unravel Time, Chicks Dig Gaming and Queers Dig Time Lords).
Obviously this is mainly going to appeal to Who fans with a decent knowledge of both Old and New Who, but I commend it to the rest of you anyway. I think the weakest essay here is better than the weakest ones in the two previous volumes; I think that there are a couple of really standout pieces (the para I quote above is from "Scheherazade and Galahad in an Exciting Adventure with the Daleks", by Mags L. Halliday, which was one of my favourites); and I think that the best of them relate the ongoing story of Doctor Who to wider cultural and literary trends in a way that should be relevant to anyone with an interest in the genre.
It's quite likely to get one of my nomination slots next spring. But this is the one category where my shortlist is already overpopulated, and mostly with Whoviana at that. I'll leave you with the opening para of the final chapter, Amal El-Mohtar on "A Question of Emphasis: The Doctor as Companion":