Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you that I have a weakness for a certain television series featuring a certain alien with two hearts from a planet called Gallifrey. I thought that David Tennant was simply amazing, and I can’t even begin to describe how much I’m looking forward to the new series. From the brief clips we’ve seen, Matt Smith’s Doctor looks to have oodles of energy and with Steven Moffat steering the ship we should be in for a treat. He is, after all, the man responsible for all the best episodes of the revised series, including “The Empty Child”/”The Doctor Dances”, “The Girl in the Fireplace” and “Blink”.
But I’m unusual among Who fans in that I, quite simply, adore Donna Nobel.
Donna was introduced in the Christmas special following series two, “The Runaway Bride” and was played by Catherine Tate. Now, I’ll admit that when she turned up in the TARDIS in the last scene of series two, I was as sceptical as the next man. But I actually enjoyed her performance. It was very ‘shouty’ but also had some tender moments of light and shade.
Still, when it was announced that the character was going to come back for series four after Martha Jones lasted only one series, there was a bit of an outcry among Who fans. The thought of putting up with her week in, week out was a bit too much for some people.
As it turned out, series four was easily the best since Who was revived in 2005, and, in my opinion, Donna was the best of the three assistants that The Doctor had. Why? Whenever I state this opinion, people always ask me why.
Well, for me, it’s simple. Donna spent series four acting as The Doctor’s conscience. Rather than just going along for the ride, a little bit in awe of him the same way that Rose and Martha had, Donna actually questioned him. She fought with him. Rose was in love with the Doctor, I suppose that Martha was too. Donna wasn’t, but she and The Doctor were more like a ‘couple’, and an old married couple at that, than either of the other two.
And it’s that sense of conflict between the two that made for such a good series. After all, I’ve always said, it’s conflict that makes fro great fiction.
So, Donna Nobel, I salute you. Even though many people will disagree, I think you are, simply Brilliant.