28 July 2010

Donna Noble: Companion Extraordinaire

I've just spent the majority of my summer watching the last four series of Doctor Who. I have trouble accepting Christopher Eccelston as the Doctor -- so I haven't really seen much of the first series and I have seen nothing of the original series. Even so, I want to dedicate this post to my favorite companion of the Doctor. She's a force of nature with a gentle heart. Although she doesn't think much of herself, she really is brilliant. Sounds like any other companion to the Doctor, you say? Then I am missing the key feature which marks her as remarkable: she's not in love with the Doctor! I am talking about Donna Noble.

The first episode I truly saw with David Tennant was the episode where the Doctor becomes a physics teacher in a school and Rose works as the lunch lady. Sarah Jane Smith makes a guest appearance in this episode. Wouldn't you know, Rose and Sarah Jane have a jealousy-fight. Who does the Doctor like the most? I think I might have face-palmed. Really? I thought, I'm not watching this show for the romance. I want to see some aliens!

I wound up warming up to the Doctor and Rose as a couple. And it did break my heart when she gets trapped in another dimension. It really did. Then the Doctor meets Martha, and I thought it was kind of cool in the beginning. The Doctor is lonely and, in a way, tricks this young woman to travel with him. Martha falls for the Doctor, doesn't realize that he lied to her. I have to commend her, though. I like Martha because she stands up for herself. She was the one that said "I'm not going anywhere with you until we've had a proper chat and you tell me about yourself." At the end of her run, she was also the one who said, "I'm getting out of this relationship." Because she was in love with the Doctor, but he never gave her a second glance. Kudos go to her for doing the right thing, but there was still the companion in love with the Doctor. Was this show going to have anything that wasn't related to romance? I thought.

And then there is Donna. Donna who suddenly appeared in the TARDIS, who tracked down an alien corporation making little Adipose out of human fat, who packed the trunk of her car with trunks of clothes in case she ran into the Doctor again. I find it funny when the Doctor lays down the ground rules and says "I just want a mate" and she freaks out. "You're not mating with this one!" That seemed to settle things: they would be nothing more than friends. And I just loved their interactions. Both agreed that they weren't a couple when asked, but both weren't hurt by it. In fact, Donna falls for another man in the episode sequence "Shadow in the Library/Forest of the Dead". That was sweet; it really was.

I loved Donna from the beginning. She was really enthusiastic about traveling through time and space. Her heart was in the right place; in fact it was always in the right place. During "The Fires of Pompeii", she's the one that pleads for the Doctor to save someone. In "The Doctor's Daughter", it was Donna that taught the Doctor how he could love Jenny. And, I don't think I will forget this one, she was the one who shouted at the human CEO in the episode "Planet of the Ood": "Of course they'll trust the first creature they see! They're born with their brains in their hands!"

And not only her heart, but her attitude in general. I mostly see it during the episode "Turn Left". When we see her initially make the decision, her mom tells her that she's a temp, temporary, and the big businessmen of London will move onto another girl by the time she's done. Donna originally responds with, "Yeah, well they haven't met me." Later in that episode, while walking to their new house in Leeds, Donna yells at someone in another house. Her grandfather tells her she can't change the world by shoutin' at it. "No, but I can try," she mutters. Do you see why I love it? She's just awesome, plain and simple.

Donna also has some of the best episodes of the New Doctor Who. There's "The Doctor's Daughter" which I don't fancy too much, but I can see where it can be revered as great. Donna and the Doctor meet Agatha Christie in "The Unicorn and the Wasp". How many Christie titles can you find the dialog? (No searching Wikipedia) Of course, the entire sequence of "Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead" was amazing. It introduces River Song, a companion with a mysterious past in the Doctor's future. Hello sweetie, spoilers. And then we have a few of my personal favorites. "Midnight" explores the Doctor alone on a bus with several other tourists when a strange creature steals a passenger's body and, eventually, the Doctor's voice. It's intense. Go watch it even if you don't like Doctor Who. Following that is "Turn Left", which explores what would happen if Donna didn't met the Doctor. That one is intense too. The series ends with "The Stolen Earth/Journey's End", which had me at the edge of my seat the entire two episodes. It brings together everyone who was ever associated with the Doctor across the multiple shows that make up the Doctor Who Universe. And the ending is just heart-wrenching. I might go cry again.

So there you have it. In my opinion, Donna Noble is the best companion the Doctor ever had since the series' revival. She's the Doctor's best friend, she has the best plot lines, and you can't help but fall in love with her. Her attitude is just so awesome.

I'm sorry for the long post. You'll get a short one on Monday.


  1. This is a great post. I totally agree

  2. KT

    I couldn't have put it better myself. I miss Donna Noble and think, to this date, she is the strongest companion. Unlike the others she wasn't placed as a companion to be the nation's eye-candy and for those seeking superficial gratification she was never going to tick that box. Having said that I thought she was a fine specimen of a woman and did our sex mighty proud. I miss the D. Tennant & D. Noble chemistry, it was magic to watch. I believe the audience picked up on it too, hence the work they have done together since.

    Cheers for making my day with your words.

    Raggi Doll.

  3. I think DT played Ten as a bit smitten with Donna. You said it yourself - how could you not love her? An old married couple for sure, without the sex. DT & CT had chemistry in spades.


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