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Actionmage

Donna Noble: Runaway Temp

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The incomparable Donna Noble brought a breath of humor and true companionship after crushes (requited and not) and sadness and The Master.  The waved at "fat", was at Pompeii (and helped finish starting it's destruction), became a part of that library, and made an unforgettable left turn. (I haven't watched that episode all the way through again; it's just that intense for me. That and "Midnight".)

Oi! Anyone have some love for Ms. Noble?

Edited by Actionmage
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Yes, she really got the worst sendoff. Really, what was RTD thinking? Oh, let's undo all her character development.

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Donna's ending is the reason why I absolutely hate RTD's writing. Seriously, nothing he ever wrote after Journey's End earned a single iota of respect from me.

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Donna's ending killed me. I have rewatched every episode up to Stolen Earth several times, but I can't bring myself to watch Stolen Earth and Journey's End again for the emotional toll it takes on me. But I also think that it was an amazing story. It was so powerful that I literally cannot bring myself to watch it again.

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Donna is my favorite and it will take a lot to usurp that role. A lot of it was the character development. I love the idea of this woman showing up with all this latent strength that comes out quite naturally but is in a person who is wholly unaware she is strong at all. I love that she could be exactly what the Doctor needed - a true and good friend. I love that they could have such a bond of friendship with none of the cloying romanticism hanging off it. She was funny and clever and secure in herself and unapologetic about who she was. 

And I loved her journey. 

I understand why her ending is such an affront. It's almost like a betrayal... a huge negation of all she had done, all she had accomplished all the growth she did. The things she never knew about herself!! It's a goddamn tragedy of one of the highest orders. BUT (yep, that was coming), it made it more poignant to me. It brought up a lot of deep contemplation regarding the nature of value of self... if you can never know who you were and what you did - but still changed and protected and saved so many lives, is it not more valuable? At least in the sense that you can never be a part of that and so the power of the echo you leave behind is all that is left in the universe. And she left such a large echo... 

I'm a sucker for the bittersweet and Donna's whole season was bittersweet and beautiful and wonderful to me. 

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More Donna love here. By far my favorite companion so far (only reserving judgment because I haven't seen all the Old Who yet). Thank you EC Amber for articulating why even though the ending of Doctor Donna was horrific, I was still ok with it. She was a powerful character but I always felt that she was a companion for a short time for a reason. I am reminded of that poem that says that people come into your life for a reason, or a season, or a lifetime. Donna was there for a reason:

When someone is in your life for a REASON,

it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.

They have come to assist you through a difficulty;

to provide you with guidance and support;

to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.

They may seem like a godsend, and they are.

They are there for the reason you need them to be.

There are so many reasons Donna was there with the Doctor for a short time...

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I cannot watch Donna's send-off; I watch that whole episode right up until just after Bad Wolf Bay, and then I'm outta there.

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Donna was amazing - and she was really the best match for Tennant's Doctor. They made each other better. More than Rose, she healed him and her loss set him on the path that led to his regeneration. Jacob's recap of Season 4 on TWoP makes me cry as much as the show itself does. "She was his best friend and he took her in his arms and killed her, while she begged him not to." I thought Jacob had written that, but I can't find it.

In my head, Donna found her strength on her own in the end. That when she had enough money from her lottery win, she was finally able her to look beyond her shallow life, and be moved by the poverty and suffering of humanity, just as she was moved by the Ood, and by the people of ancient Pompeii. I like to think that she set up a foundation to help, and that she became known as a great humanitarian, an advocate for the downtrodden. I've read fanfiction where the 11th Doctor comes to her on her deathbed, touches her and allows her to remember everything as she is dying. I like that idea - that at the last, she knew how important she was and that she was remembered.

That I can't help but think about what happened to her is the hallmark of a great character. The truly great ones live beyond the page and screen in our hearts.

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Donna was amazing - and she was really the best match for Tennant's Doctor. They made each other better. More than Rose, she healed him and her loss set him on the path that led to his regeneration. Jacob's recap of Season 4 on TWoP makes me cry as much as the show itself does. "She was his best friend and he took her in his arms and killed her, while she begged him not to." I thought Jacob had written that, but I can't find it.

In my head, Donna found her strength on her own in the end. That when she had enough money from her lottery win, she was finally able her to look beyond her shallow life, and be moved by the poverty and suffering of humanity, just as she was moved by the Ood, and by the people of ancient Pompeii. I like to think that she set up a foundation to help, and that she became known as a great humanitarian, an advocate for the downtrodden. I've read fanfiction where the 11th Doctor comes to her on her deathbed, touches her and allows her to remember everything as she is dying. I like that idea - that at the last, she knew how important she was and that she was remembered.

That I can't help but think about what happened to her is the hallmark of a great character. The truly great ones live beyond the page and screen in our hearts.

^ This. Loved Donna.

Can we have another one like that instead of eye candy, please, pretty please?!!?

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I enjoyed Donna (also hated the ending of her story).  I liked having the Doctor travel with an adult. 

Totally agree with this. I didn't really think of the others not being adults but really you're right, and they aren't. She is just so much more than they are. I miss Donna the most of them all, except maybe River.. I wonder how River and Donna would have gotten along if they had more time together and River didn't know how Donna's story would end.

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I loved Donna (and not just because we share a name)-and I think a big part of it was that she wasn't in awe of the doctor-she stood up to him, had a mind of her own, and was truly a companion, not a dependent. Clara has had some of that same feeling about her at times, but, to be blunt, she's too young for it to really come off as an equal-and that will be more the case with 12 since he's an older actor to start with.

 

And if they ever retcon anything, I want Donna to get her memory back, unscathed.

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Certainly my favorite of the companions. I can't re-watch her last episode because it makes me both incredibly sad for Donna and angry about her fate.

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The Donna episode I simply cannot watch is "Left Turn".  It's almost an hour of gut punches. Yes, Donna sets things right, but it's like It's A Wonderful Life, imo. You have to slog through the horrors and terror Donna's facing and in the end, Donna ensures that that future does not happen, yet she remembers that. In her mind, she lived it.

 

Then to know what's coming in two episodes? Hurts my heart. 

 

My favorite, though? It''s a tie between "Partners In Crime" and "The Wasp and The Unicorn". One day I like one more than the other, but they highlighted what was fun about Donna larkin' about wif The Spaceman.

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I'm not one for reading interviews or watching behind the scenes stuff. Has RTD explained why he did that to Donna? It's not a nice ending, there must be some reason for it.

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Donna is by far my favorite companion of the new era. I love that she was, like the old school companions, an ordinary person who became extraordinary through her adventures. Just thinking of how she ended makes me cry.

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Donna was the regular woman companion who became extraordinary from her time on the Tardis. But to save her life she had to be Ordinary again. She has no idea that she was able to become something wonderful. She had to revert to the woman who felt she needed a man to be fulfilled. The sad thing is that she was something wonderful all a long. Donna has friends and family and a cool quirky personality. She just needed someone to tell her that she is appreciated. She needed to be able to appreciate herself. She saved the whole world and is appreciated but doesn't know it  :'(

 

But she was also a character used to make Rose and 10 be able to happen with out really happening. They can't have multiple doctors running around but they can't have the doctor happy in love so they made 10-2. And the Doctor Donna was a way to get Donna gone too. They gave her a tragic ending without having to kill her. Though Killing would have been a better ending in some ways. If Donna really doesn't back then I will always wish they killed her off. It would have really been what 10 deserved and would have really given The doctor and the audience a personal death. 

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In the episode "Forest of the Dead", Donna meets a man, Lee McAvoy, at the hospital where she is being treated by Dr. Moon.  They fall in love, get married and have kids.  When the Library is returned to normal, they are split apart.  Her last words to him are "I will find you!"  Shades of Daniel Day Lewis and Last of the Mohicans!!  Anyway, back to the Library, we see Lee on a transport and he sees her.  Due to his stutter, he's unable to call to her and they're split again.

 

My question - has it ever been said why TPTB didn't explore and proceed with that?  How wonderful it would have been to see him next to Donna as they leave the church.  Is it because Donna can't remember anything of her time with the Doctor?

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Gracie, I love when certain characters come back and I always thought it would have been perfect to have that guy come back and meet Donna in a real setting.  I thought that ending was heartbreaking.  Who knows why they never thought to have him back.  Maybe they couldn't get the actor. 

 

I'm glad Donna wasn't killed off.  Her ending was sad but I'm sure she wouldn't rather be dead.  She seemed happy at her wedding and probably even happier when she found out her lottery ticket was a winner.  I thought the entire Donna saga was very creative.  Much better than anything SM has done since.

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Donna was also my favourite New Who companion. Her journey was wonderful. I thought Catherine Tate showed a lot of range notably in "The Forest of the Dead" episode (she was the best part of this two parter) and "Turn Left". In the scene where she realizes her children are not real and she loses them, she showed a lot believable anguish. I loved how she was 10's best friend. The ending didn't make sense, but I like to think that she gained some confidence in herself. When we see her again, she has moved on and does seem happier than before she met the Doctor.

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One last thing - I've never seen anyone address this.  After 10 had to wipe Donna's memory, he explained to Wilf and Sylvia why Donna could never remember and what would happen if she did.

 

Fast forward to "The End of Time", Wilf repeatedly talked to 10 about the possibility of bringing Donna back into 10's life.  He knows what would happen to his granddaughter if that were to happen.  

 

Am I reading this right?  Wilf is ready to sacrifice his granddaughter to get 10 to smile again?

 

ETA - granddaughter and grandfather are two very different things....

Edited by Gracie

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Maybe Wilf realised that things that are described as 'this can never happen' in RTD stories tend to happen with no major repercussions. See Donna's brain melting if she ever remembers (but it doesn't) or travel between the dimensions being totally impossible (apart from when it's not).

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I liked 10 and Donna, their series is my favorite, from the Pompeii episode to "Left Turn", from "Midnight" to the end.  The ending was a bittersweet one, but I didn't hate it.  I thought it was a kindness that the Doctor erased her memory, how could Donna go from being "the most important woman in creation" back to her ordinary London life?  The rest of her life would've been a series of let-downs.  I also thought it was a message to the audience that they too could've had a secret superhero life without even remembering it.  I'll never forget the look on Donna's face when she realizes what the Doctor is about to do.  Great job Catherine Tate.

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My question - has it ever been said why TPTB didn't explore and proceed with that?  How wonderful it would have been to see him next to Donna as they leave the church.  Is it because Donna can't remember anything of her time with the Doctor?

 

I'm not sure that it's ever been said, but it just seems like a missed connection sort of thing. The library - and the people saved in it - were from the 50th or 51st century, so Donna would never be able to meet Lee in her normal life. 

 

Donna's ending leaves me somewhat ambivalent. I hate it for her sake, as the character deserved a lot more, but people rarely get the good they deserve. I actually think it's decent writing, as it underscores what the Doctor learned from Donna: there are small victories. Just because he can't fix a situation entirely doesn't mean he shouldn't help at all. Pompeii has to burn, but that doesn't mean that a single family can't be saved. Donna can't be 'fixed,' but that doesn't mean her life has to be entirely miserable. I always connect it to (Eleven's) "Vincent and the Doctor," funnily enough, and it's part of why I tear up at the end of that episode. The Doctor realized, somewhere along his time with Donna, that even if you can't make the pile of bad things smaller, you can add a lot to the pile of good things.

 

And, just for the hell of it: Donna Noble Exterminates!

Edited by drmka9
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actually think it's decent writing, as it underscores what the Doctor learned from Donna: there are small victories. Just because he can't fix a situation entirely doesn't mean he shouldn't help at all.

 

 

Well said. I think you're right, that was Donna's purpose in Ten's life, and his purpose in her life was to let her know she is more than she thinks she is. I like to think that, though he wiped her memory of what she went through with him, the basic sense of worth stuck with her.

 

My very first Doctor Who ep was The Runaway Bride and while my initial reaction as I tuned in just when they were facing down the giant red spider was WTF is this insanity, I fell head over heels in love with Ten and Donna. Their banter, their friendship, her ability to get him to stop and think about how his actions affect the world.

 

I love how accepting and loving she was with all species. When Ten let her hear the Ood singing and she looked at him with that heartbreaking look, realizing he heard them constantly. She just had so much empathy which I think is what the Doctor often lacks. And she put him in his place. They were like brother and sister and no matter what the show tries to tell me about all his many love interests, I think Donna was and always will be his best friend.

 

I also felt how much joy David and Catherine got in working together. They were lightening in a bottle for me. I have liked other Doctors and other companions, but Ten and Donna were the perfect pair and I don't think the show will ever top them for me. And Donna is hands down my favorite companion without contest.

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Donna's ending leaves me somewhat ambivalent. I hate it for her sake, as the character deserved a lot more, but people rarely get the good they deserve. I actually think it's decent writing, as it underscores what the Doctor learned from Donna: there are small victories. Just because he can't fix a situation entirely doesn't mean he shouldn't help at all. Pompeii has to burn, but that doesn't mean that a single family can't be saved. Donna can't be 'fixed,' but that doesn't mean her life has to be entirely miserable.

I agree.  But appreciating the reason for Donna's ending, and the quality with which it was done, doesn't stop me from being sad that we didn't get to spend more time with her.

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I think my favorite relationship in all of NuWho is that of Donna with her granddad Wilf.  They were so sweet together.  He was her biggest cheerleader.

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How much do I love Donna? I'm tearing up as I read this thread. I'll admit, I didn't like the strident Donna originally and was rooting for the spider. But then Donna came back the next season , and I realized why she was the perfect companion for the Doctor at that time.

When she heard the Ood sing, when she fell in love in the Library, she broke my heart. When she argued for saving the family in Pompeii, she was all of us.

She was the best of humanity. And she made the Doctor more human.

I wanted so much more for her, and I just wish we'd had her for longer.

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Donna should be Capaldi's companion - they would be perfect together. I will never understand why TPTB didn't have her walking out of the church with the library guy either.

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Donna should be Capaldi's companion - they would be perfect together. I will never understand why TPTB didn't have her walking out of the church with the library guy either.

That would have been nice, but Library guy is from the future - he lives at the time the Library exists, so thousands of years after the present, where Donna is. Also, I guess, the argument would be that it's a bit too fairytale for Donna, sans memory, to have found him without even knowing he existed - plus, possibly, a bit dangerous. I like the guy she married - from what we saw of him, he seemed really sweet. There's no reason they shouldn't be happy together.

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