The Rueful Fate of Donna Noble   6 comments

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 don’t.

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.

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Posted November 15, 2015 by Elisabeth in Companions

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6 responses to “The Rueful Fate of Donna Noble

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  1. A nice perspective. Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Also, a lot of Donna’s issues came from her mother badgering her constantly. When he dropped her off, her mother finally saw how important her daughter was, and that would help embolden her in her future endeavors. However, I am still of the opinion that it was the worst way for a companion to go out. Not only does she not remember, but those memories were forced from her even though she knew what would happen to her and didn’t want them taken. That was the cruelest part of all. FORCED to forget, aginst her will.

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    • But the alternative was to let her die, which I’m pretty sure is outside this Doctor’s skill set – not to mention he’d never be able to face Wilf again. I also can’t help but think of Zoe and Jamie, whose memories were stolen not to save their lives but to punish them for helping the Doctor. And Jamie was dropped back in a war zone. It doesn’t make Donna’s situation less sad, but I still can’t hate it like some do.

      See also https://type40travels.wordpress.com/2015/02/07/how-would-you-do-it/ – the writers run themselves into the ground with these companions who don’t want to go.

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      • I can’t speak to Zoe and Jamie as I’m a nunu fan. But I am one who hates what they did to Donna. She lost everything from the time with the Doctor through no fault of her own, merely the Doctor’s choice, despite what she wanted and her knowing the consequences. All of the other companions since 2005 had a happy ending (at least eventually); just not Donna, and that’s not fair.

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  3. I truly loved Donna because, she was the only companion not to fall madly in love with the doctor and make there adventures a love story. She was witty, sassy, smart, and funny and I think she is one of the best companions.

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  4. Imagine your life as an insignificant temp was interrupted by a cosmic revelation that made you super intelligent and capable of averting a universal catastrophe that led millions to revere you. But the cost of that revelation is your memory wiped clean of the entire experience.

    You would live out the remainder of your miserable existence haunted by fragments of impressions, walking into a room filled with interrupted conversation followed by stares of pity, and the nagging sense that you are destined for something better that you will never ever achieve.

    To me that is a fate worse than madness. Death would seem a kindness.

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