When I tell people that Donna Noble is my second all-time favorite companion, I get some funny looks (if it’s possible to actually see a funny look via Twitter, but believe me, it’s a funny look). What is it about Donna Noble that makes her so appealing?
Sure, Catherine Tate is a very funny actress, with wonderful comedic timing; Donna’s brash attitude and take-no-prisoners style of speaking brought a spark back to Doctor Who that was missing with Martha Jones’ constant mooning and moping around. However, as the show went on, Donna’s defenses lowered and we started to learn just what made her tick.
Underneath that overconfidence was a woman who was so lonely, who didn’t think she was all that, who assured us that she was “nobody special,” and at base, was just “a temp from Chiswick.” But she was so much more - at the heart of Donna Noble was the woman who cried when she heard the Ood’s song, who mourned the children she never had in “Forest of the Dead” and who found out just how important she was when the world was about to end at the hands of the evil genius Davros and the TARDIS was sinking into a pit of fire.
I think we all see so much of ourselves in Donna - more perhaps than in heroic Rose or lovely Amy. Those companions have that certain something , where you think, “Well, of course they wound up with The Doctor, they are Chosen, they have such forceful personalities.” Donna comes to The Doctor having nothing.
She is like you and me - just one of six billion people on the planet, nobody special - but at the same time, is the absolute key to the survival of the human race. When she undergoes the biological metacrisis (a word which, by the way, neatly sums up every emotional up and down you can possibly ever have) and becomes the Doctor/Donna, she has extracted the best of herself; the knowledge of a Time Lord with that extra oomph that humans have.
She has learned that it’s not just the Doctor that makes her special - she herself, the lowly temp, is something spectacular, a woman who is remarkable in her perceived unremarkableness. Donna had that extra oomph all along, more so than any other companion we’ve seen in this new version. It just took a huge bug on her back to make her believe it.
Article by @abby_queenofall