I was looking at the tags on this blog and noticed that only three posts were tagged with “Donna,” and the one that was the most about Donna was talking about why she’s someone’s least favorite companion. To provide a bit of diversity in opinion, I’d like to tell you why Donna Noble might be my favorite companion on Doctor Who.
Donna’s entrance in Doctor Who is interesting because she appears in one episode before Martha’s run with the doctor, and then she finds him again afterwards. When she first meets the doctor, she’s pretty sure that she has no interest in traveling with the Doctor because she doesn’t think she could handle it. By the time they meet again, she’s decided that she can’t pass up the opportunity for adventure.
There are a few things that contrast Donna from the other two companions we’ve seen so far in New Who. One is that she makes it very clear from the beginning that she is not interested in the Doctor romantically. Rose’s romantic relationship with the Doctor developed pretty naturally, starting out with simple admiration for him. Martha was interested in him almost immediately, and she let her unrequited love for him bother her to the point that she no longer wanted to travel with him. Donna’s admiration of the doctor is strictly platonic, and I like the friendship that she has with him.
I would also argue that Donna is the most emotionally driven out of the three companions so far. I think Rose was emotional sometimes, but her emotions were mostly tied to the doctor and she let him take the lead and make the decisions. Martha was primarily logical, which while it was nice to see a female companion be so intelligent, it made her way of thinking arguably too similar to the Doctor’s. There wasn’t enough contrast between the two of them. Donna is the most likely out of the three to question the Doctor. She lets her emotions drive her in that she is always thinking about the people that are in danger or that die, and she wants to help them in any way that she can. For example, in The Fires of Pompeii, she refused to leave Pompeii without saving at least someone. I like that she makes the Doctor think about things in a different way sometimes.
I also think that David Tennant and Catherine Tate have a lot of chemistry. They are good friends outside of the show and they have similar senses of humor which translates on screen. People like to write off Donna as the “sassy companion” and say that she’s annoying, but I think there’s so much more to her than that. I’ll admit that I like sassy characters, but I also like characters with depth and a lot of emotional drive, which I think Donna has even though it’s often overlooked by fans. Those are the reasons that I love Donna Noble as a companion.