Donna the Sassy Companion

Donna Noble my least favorite companion of the “New Who”. When you first meet Donna, she is very needy and oblivious at times which neither ever change. Donna is also very sassy willing to fight with the Doctor at a moment’s notice. Although somewhat slow on the uptake she is very observant of her surroundings when men aren’t involved, she is also prone to glimpses of brilliance when she can at times know miscellaneous information that helps the Doctor. Comparing her to other companions is very interesting.

Martha, Donna’s predecessor shows up in an episode with the Doctor and Donna early on in their travels. Martha is very outgoing after her travels with the Doctor and quite smart. She like Rose comes to love the Doctor but does not let that get in the way of her adventure. Donna though likes the Doctor but does not show near the level of infatuation as the previous two. Martha’s efforts to show her affection to the Doctor were stymied by the Doctor’s own love of Rose. As was very apparent to Martha the Doctor seamed to be on a rebound after his time with Rose taking Martha to the some of the same places he took Rose which Martha notices quite quickly also.

Rose was very different from Martha she never wanted to leave the Doctor. She was very dependent on the Doctor and is not as smart technically as Martha and at times Donna, but she kept the Doctor in check and saves him from time to time. Rose is the end of any real romance that happens with the Doctor at least through Donna as if Rose spoils the Doctors apatite for love particularly for his companions.

Donna shares many of the attributes of Rose, Martha, and even the Doctor. The 9th Doctor and Donna are compared in their ability to be sassy. Rose and Donna are both reliant on the Doctor to explain the situation before they really understand what is happening. Martha and Donna share compassion for other beings. The one thing that really sets Donna apart is her ability to be witty and completely brilliant in her passing remarks. One of the most interesting remarks that doesn’t get talked about much in the show is her remark about whether the spread of the human race should be compared to a virus. Because of her sassiness and her being slow in pick up on queues she irritates me and that is why she is my least favorite companion.

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Diversity in Doctor Who

Since Doctor Who rebooted in 2005 it has made strides in representing diversity on television.  Strides that can’t be said for many other television shows.  We open with episode one, “Rose” set in England, 2005, on a rare scene for television.  Rose is a working class woman who really is working class, not a dramatized version of this.  She lives in a small apartment with her single mother and wakes early every day to clock-in at her job in a department store.  She’s casual, dressing in clothes that certainly aren’t the height of fashion for the time, she isn’t dolled up in makeup only a professional could do, and what’s more; she isn’t the tiny waisted, long-legged pretty girl we’re used to seeing on TV.  Rose sets the pace for the growing diversity we’re about to be treated to in “Doctor Who”.

Not long after we get Captain Jack Harkness, the first openly pansexual in the history of “Doctor Who” who equally and openly shows attraction to men, women, aliens, and the non-gender conforming.  This was a huge leap for sexual and romantic diversity in “Doctor Who”, and one of the very first times queer people could see themselves in a character on television that wasn’t harmful.  

Next comes Martha, the first black companion on “Doctor Who”.  She’s intelligent and able to keep up with the Doctor’s rambling better, perhaps, than most other companions.  For people of colour, Martha is a big deal.  She’s a strong, woman of colour, in a leading role on one of the most popular television shows of all time.  With Martha, the television series continues to push forward for more diversity in their cast.

The next three companions, Donna, Amy, and Clara continue to portray strong female leads with diverse histories and personalities.  Along the way we meet a couple more sexually diverse characters, and characters from all different walks of life.  

Now we come to the most recent companion, Bill, who is both a woman of colour and openly gay.  She is one of the very first leading characters like this on television, a huge influence for women, people of colour, and members of the LGBTQIA+ community.  We finally have a leading character that many minorities can view themselves in in a positive way.

Soon we’ll be treated with something that came unexpected: a female Doctor.  Jodie Whittaker will soon take on the role of the Doctor and make history as the first female Doctor.  Many people are very excited about this.  We get a leading female, and also confirmation that Gallifreyans, or at least the Doctor, experience gender fluidity, which could be a nod toward the transgender community.

But when it comes to diversity, is it enough?  Though Doctor Who has done a great job positively representing different groups of people, we still are left itching for more.  Several groups who wish to see any kind of representation on television have been left out.  Doctor Who has come a long way, but I believe it can, and should, go much farther.  I hope that as the episodes continue to air we will continue to see a rise in representation in the cast.      

The 10th Doctors Need for Companionship

Through the entire series of Dr. Who, the doctor has usually had a companion with him. With the end of season 2 of New Who, you get a glimpse of a companionless 10th doctor who shows his dark side. Starting out in the beginning of season 2 you got a glimpse that this doctor was less forgiving and if push came to pull he wasn’t afraid to do what needed to be done. Then towards the end of The Runaway Bride you see a darker side of the doctor where he is just watching the emprise suffer and the only thing that snaps him out of it is Donna yelling at him. Then towards the end of the episode Donna tells the doctor that he needs to find someone (a companion) in which the doctor disagrees. She then tells him he does because sometimes he needs someone to stop him and then he agrees with her. This shows that even she sees that he can get out of control at times and that he may need reeling in.

The doctor is also visibly still upset about losing Rose, whenever her name is brought up he gets very quiet and sentimental. Him being by himself I believe is only making it tougher for him to accept that she is gone. We caught a glimpse of him with Martha and how he seemed much more like himself when they were together. This is what leads me to believe that the Doctor needs to have a companion with him so that he can move on from the previous one. Martha I believe will be a good companion for the Doctor because it shows that she is compassionate, which means she will help keep the Doctor in line and in check. With that in mind, I believe that the 10th Doctor should always have a companion not only to keep him in line but also for him to lean on.