Stefan’s Reaction to Doctor Who

As someone who had seen many episodes of Doctor Who before deciding to take this class, all of the episodes I have watched thus far for class are all ones I have seen at least once, if not two or three times previously. We are not yet to my favorite episodes, I love Rory and Amy and the relationship they have with the Doctor, however, I have enjoyed revisiting Nine and Ten along with all of their companions because I haven’t seen the show since it was taken off of Netflix.

I have enjoyed re-watching all these episodes even more because I have been watching them with my fiancé, Stefan, who had never seen Doctor Who before I started this class. I had talked to him about it previously, but never shown him an episode. Watching Doctor Who from the rebirth of the show with a first time watcher has been extremely enjoyable for me. I enjoy seeing his reaction to big plot twists or his reaction to the different aliens. One of Stefan’s most shocked reactions so far has been when Jack revealed he is called the Face of Boe. I can’t wait for him to see more of the show throughout the semester and see his reaction to more big events.

Overall, he thinks that the show gets much better as it goes on. He had an extremely hard time getting into the show in the beginning, but he is blown away by how everything is so connected and how they have done a good job paying attention to detail. He enjoys the show a lot more now, but still says he wouldn’t just sit down and watch it by himself. When I asked Stefan to rate the show out of ten, he said it was a four in the beginning but now he thinks it’s a seven or an eight.

Stefan’s favorite companion so far is Martha because she is smarter than Rose but not as much of a know-it-all as Donna is. Donna is his least favorite because he doesn’t like her character and doesn’t like her behavior. I’m excited for him to meet Eleven, Rory, and Amy in the future and I hope he continues to think the show gets better as we go forward.

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Donna Noble Appreciation Post

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.

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.

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.