It’s not just a track from Series Four…
I saw something on Tumblr recently, supposedly an exchange between Russell T. Davies and Julie Gardner regarding what really happened to Donna Noble after ‘The End of Time.’ Fans can be reasonably confident she won a lot of money – a lottery ticket from a time traveler is always a good thing – but what was she doing with her life? According to the exchange, an early version of the script included dialogue about her work with charities. The producers regretted cutting it, wanting fans to know that while Donna might not remember the Doctor, she didn’t go entirely unchanged by her time with him.
Many fans bemoan Donna’s fate, calling it the cruelest end a companion could suffer, worse even than death. As if they’d rather die than be the person Donna was before she met the Doctor. Lance called her shallow, stupid, and it seems these fans agree.
I believe there was nothing wrong with Donna in the first place.
Other people judged her for the things she liked, an experience fans should understand intimately. But Donna never cared what anyone thought of her. She was always bold, always assertive, and always in her heart a good person. She looked after her family as best she could, but she never forgot to enjoy herself.
What the Doctor gave Donna was peace with herself. For most of her life, she didn’t believe she had any value. Traveling with the Doctor taught her that she did. However, forgetting him doesn’t mean she had to forget herself. She may not remember the experiences that revealed her to herself, but the genie is out of the bottle. Donna is a force to be reckoned with, and she knows it.
No companion – with the tragic exception of Zoe and Jamie – goes back to life as it was before. Donna has always been powerful, unstoppable even; it’s no stretch to believe she would use that power for good.
Whether it stayed in the script or not, I know Donna’s fate is a noble one.