Biggest debate with all Whovians: who is the best companion of The Doctor? Most say it’s between Rose Tyler and Clara Oswald. This argument has gone on ever since the finale of season seven where Clara enters The Doctors timeline and officially becomes a permanent figure in each and every reincarnation of The Doctor’s life. Clara’s watermark on The Doctor’s life is what makes her connection to him so strong. Some may say that Rose Tyler has the same type of connection with The Doctor. After she looked into the Time Vortex in the TARDIS she scrambled the words BAD WOLF throughout season one as a warning sign bringing her back to the Game station to help her save the Doctor and in turn the Universe. She BECAME part of the matrix within the TARDIS. Similar to Clara, she also travels through The Doctor’s timeline, but in different ways and means, interacting with his other companions. So the argument with both of these characters is that The Doctor is tied to these women strongly as they influence his life enormously. By this same logic it can be argued that Amy Pond and Donna Noble are equally as important to The Doctor.
Donna Noble as she has spent the least amount of time with him, but still . She is also the closer to understanding how his brain works, as she herself becomes part Time Lord. During the episode entitled “Journey’s End” she becomes The Donna Doctor as the Ood had so predicted. Donna has believed her entire life that she is just a nobody. After traveling with The Doctor and ironically making him understand that even the small people do matter she still has trouble grasping the fact that she can be important. In a way, her situation is similar to Rose Tyler’s (not as obvious, but still.) The entire universe brought her to the exact moment on the Crucible when the TARDIS is about to be sent to be burned and doesn’t let her out. She was meant to be inside, meant to knock over his preserved hand. Not only was a new Doctor created in her image, half human with a large helping of Donna’s personality, but Donna absorbed some of the Time Lord energy. After being electrocuted and his DNA becomes activated in her body. In that moment, it is simple insignificant Donna who saves the day. The Tenth Doctor tells Donna’s family, “she was the most important woman in the whole wide universe.” Even he acknowledges how important she is, not to just him but the entire UNIVERSE.
Rose tells her this same line in “Turn Left,” where we are presented with a world without The Doctor. It is Donnas’ choice alone to turn left or right in her car which will determine if the first attacks on Christmas Day that faithful night back in 2005 are vanquished; if the Titanic will crash into Buckingham Palace; if the hospital that disappears and goes to the moon comes back as a morgue instead and countless other adventures and changed with the absence of The Doctor. Donna may as well be linked into The Doctor’s time stream because his fate rests in her hands. Although, this was a very strange storyline as he could just regenerate. Some say he was suicidal because of his grief about Rose. Others rely solely on the speculation of the UNIT guards who say he did not regenerate fast enough. If a Time Lord is killed during regeneration he/she dies. Logic seems to point that if he never met Donna, she would not be there to tell him to stop it was time to leave as the water level was rising. The idea of our beloved Doctor actually being suicidal seems farfetched. It is more believable, however, that he was so heartbroken that he just chose to give up and chose not to regenerate. As seen in season three “The Last of the Time Lords,” The Master refuses to regenerate indicating that it is a conscious choice to do so. I don’t think it was just her physical presence that was important in stopping him, I think she was also there to stop him from displacing his own emotions onto Empress. Donna’s words stopped him from unleashing an anger you could see in his eyes. This scene is a glimpse into the relationship that we will later see develop between the two characters.
Donna also taught The Doctor compassion. He became closed off, even cold after Rose left. His relationship with Martha jones was just sad t watch, like a puppy dog nipping at unaffected heels. He seemed to be lost once he was enlightened to the actual reason she had to leave. Though Donna was a little rough around the edges, she had heart and gusto. She encouraged The Doctor to have some empathy. You can really see this in the episode entitled “The Fires of Pompei” where she encourages him to, “Save someone, please. Not the whole town just save someone.” The moment when he looks into her eyes you can see that she is affecting him. She forces him to identify with the people, who are about to lose everything just like his people did all those years ago. In “The Doctor’s Daughter” Donna and The Doctor share another moment where she tells him she thinks he is wrong about his attitude. She believes he still has it in him to love, like a father loves a child. His apprehension towards Jenny in the beginning of the episode seems to be alleviated by Donna’s encouragement. The Doctor even states, “she takes care of me!” when talking about Donna.
The relationship between Donna and The Doctor is also one of the only companion relationships where there is absolutely no romantic bond. Because, as we all know the Doctor is a strange man. He is torn between his feelings of guilt over sending his people to another universe and loneliness. His relationship with Rose was so complicated. It is very obvious, even to newbie Whovians that she was madly in love with The Doctor. Though her feelings were not reciprocated he did offer a consolation prize: his half-human “clone.” He was glad to give Rose what she always wanted: a human Doctor, to love and grow old with. Donna, whom he referred to as his best mate, was not interested in him sexually at all. It seemed at times when people insinuated that they were a couple she was more repulsed by the thought than he was, which was extremely comical compared to the last relationship he had with Martha Jones (womp, womp, womp.) This dynamic allowed for much witty banter with the use of Donna’s ever so charming and colorful cockney English. “Oi” must be her favorite word in all of time and space.
Donna Noble became one of the most beloved companions of The Doctor because she was relatable. She was an average Jane Doe who was no more talented than you nor I but she changed the world and The Doctor for better. She helped him grow up just a bit. She is definitely my favorite Doctor who companion because I could have been her. Somehow, someway bound together with The Doctor without knowing exactly why until that perfect moment when it would be my turn the save the day.
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