The Strength of a Companion – Donna Noble
I’m a human being. Maybe not the stuff of legends, but every bit as important as Time Lords, thank you. – Donna Noble
During the time our beloved (well, my beloved) Tenth Doctor wandered about missing Rose and prior to meeting Martha, a woman appeared in his TARDIS. A woman who was quite put out about suddenly turning up in this strange place, who seemed more put out by the fact that she was just stolen away from her own wedding than anything else.
We had to wait a year before we saw this woman again, but this time, she willingly joined the Doctor in his TARDIS as his newest, and much needed, companion.
Donna Noble – the most important woman in the universe.
I don’t know that I have a favorite companion. I really loved all the ladies from the Russell T Davies era for different reasons. But I do have a special soft spot for Donna. Why?
Donna is outspoken. From the first moment Donna met the Doctor, she was never afraid to speak her mind. Aggressively, if need be. Why, in the first few minutes of meeting him, she smacks him across the face when he is mid-ramble. At first glance, she actually seems like someone that is going to make the Doctor crazy. Probably because…
Donna is unimpressed by the Doctor. Well, not entirely. She does grow to respect and care for a lot of who he is, but she is quick to call the Doctor on his decisions, and isn’t afraid to do give as good as she gets.
Even when they first met, she’s more concerned with getting back to her life and wedding than listening to what some “stupid Martian” has to say.
Donna makes the Doctor justify his decisions. A simple, “I’m the Doctor, that’s why” is never enough for her.
Donna makes friends. Too many shows have a habit of pitting the female characters against each other, so when Donna has the opportunity to work with companions past, it was refreshing to see how she responded. She sees the reasons why the Doctor chose to travel with them, and makes friends. She’s happy to see Rose return, thinking only of how her return should make her friend the Doctor happy, not worrying about whether her presence might jeopardize her place on the TARDIS.
Her friendship and support isn’t limited to companions. Whether it’s Miss Evangelista, the young seer in The Fires of Pompeii, or the Ood, Donna takes the time to comfort those who seem to be hurt or ignored.
Donna is confident, but not really. This might be the thing about Donna that I love most. I’ve heard a lot of people say that Donna is confident. She speaks her mind, almost to the point that some find her abrasive and annoying, so the more positive types say it’s because she’s refreshingly confident.
As we come to learn, Donna feels far from special, and a lot of her loud, outspoken behavior is a cover for how she really feels. Her job as a temp, the way her mother talks to her, even the Doctor on their first meeting telling her she’s “nothing special, not powerful, not clever”; it’s no wonder she feels the need to compensate.
But Donna is special. She is clever. And she turns out to be more important than she, or anyone, could have ever guessed.
Donna’s storyline is always the one that gives me the most feels. Her emotional appeal to the Doctor to save someone in The Fires of Pompeii, convincing the Doctor to see Jenny as his family, her keen understanding of the Ood’s peaceful nature; Donna was a woman who was so much more special than she let herself see.
She definitely showed the strength and importance of a companion.
Now, I mentioned that I love all the companions of the RTD era. So what does that mean for Moffat’s creations? Find out next month when I discuss Amy and Rory Pond!
What do you think of Donna? Was she a favorite for you? What is your favorite Donna moment?