Warning: the following article contains spoilers.
When you talk to a Whovian and mention Donna Noble, generally you are met with squeals.
People LOVE Donna. Nearly everyone does. But why?
Here are the reasons I think Donna is the most beloved companion.
She is 100% relatable
Her struggle is one that everyone relates to, especially people in my generation. Considering Katherine Tate was cast at 40 years old, we can assume that the character is probably between 35-40.
She repeated states she is only a temp from Chiswick. No career. No future. Clearly not for lack of trying.
She can’t seem to have any luck with love either. After all, she falls for and marries the first guy who looks her direction. That is a sign that she hasn’t had a lot of experience.
She still lives at home with her mother. And to make matters better, her mom repeated reminds her she isn’t following the “grow up, get a job, move out, get married, and have kids” program.
Perhaps the most relatable moment for me is the culmination of all of these and her progression with the doctor. The Doctor constantly tells her she is brilliant and special.
Donna: [talking about the Doctor] But if he was so special, what was he doing with me?
Rose: He thought you were brilliant.
Donna: Don’t be stupid.
– Turn Left [4.11]
Donna: I’m nothing special.
The Doctor: Yes you are, you’re brilliant. [Donna has a flashback of Rose saying “he thought you were brilliant”]
– Turn Left [4.11]
To this, she always responds, “No, I’m not.” It isn’t until the 10th Doctor’s hand regenerates with Donna’s memories, thoughts, and personality influences that he finally gets it.
Donna: But why me?
Metacrisis Doctor: Because you’re special.
Donna: Oh, I keep telling you, I’m not!
Metacrisis Doctor: No, but you are! [beat] Oh. You really don’t believe that, do you? I can see, Donna, what you’re thinking. All that attitude, all that lip… Because all this time, you think you’re not worth it.
Donna: Stop it.
Metacrisis Doctor: Shouting at the world because no one’s listening. Well, why should they?
Donna: Doctor, stop it.
Metacrisis Doctor: But look at what you did! [frowns]
– Journey’s End [4.13]
He finally understands someone who is such a true friend to him, even after all the time with him, honestly believes she is worthless. And it kills him.
Even people with great self-confidence go through moments like this.
Very few people on the planet could not relate to the torment Donna faced when she had to stand there while the Doctor verbalized the thoughts she heard in her head, explaining why everyone treated her like she wasn’t good enough.
Because, like a lot of us, she truly believed she wasn’t.
The most important woman in the world, the woman who saved the universe, the woman who could hold her own with the Doctor, had no idea that she was anything other than a temp from Chiswick. Not worth anyone’s time.
But she wasn’t just a temp from Chiswick. She deserved something better than a man who used her to free a spider alien. Her life was so much bigger than just getting on a career path, finding a man, and settling down.
She was the most important woman in the universe.
That is why everyone loves Donna Noble. She is a reminder that even a person who doesn’t seem to be succeeding by everyones standards, including hers, is still brilliant, special, important and worth it.
We all need to be reminded of that.
All thoughts are my own. I am not affiliated with anything in this article, I am just a huge fan. I do not own any of the photos, they are used with permission.