The Doctor's Companions
 
Mickey Smith Donna Noble Martha Jones
The Runaway Bride, Partners in Crime - The Stolen Earth/Journey's End, The End of Time
Donna Noble
Donna Noble
(2006 - 2010)
Catherine Tate
Catherine Tate (christened Catherine Ford) was born in 1968 in Bloomsbury, London. She graduated from the Central School of Speech and Drama. She then spent a year with the Royal Shakespeare Company before she turned to stand-up comedy. She has also performed at the National Theatre and was a former member of the National Youth Theatre.

Before Doctor Who Catherine appeared in a number of television programmes – including one episode of Men Behaving Badly (1994), two episodes of The Bill (1993/94), one episode of London's Burning (1998) and four episodes of Harry Hill (2000). However she is more famous for the award-winning television comedy sketch show called The Catherine Tate Show (2004 – 2007) where she not only starred but also was the writer. She has been nominated for an International Emmy Award and four BAFTA Awards.

Catherine first appeared in Doctor Who, as Donna Noble in the 2006 Christmas Special “The Runaway Bride”. She was then asked to return for the whole of Season 30 (New Series 4) in 2008.

Since leaving Doctor Who she has appeared on stage in Under The Blue Sky at the Duke of York's Theatre, London and she made a guest appearance at The Doctor Who Prom, in July 2008, at the Royal Albert Hall.
 Donna marks a significant rarity amongst companions, in that not only did The Doctor ask her to travel with him twice, but she actually met him as a result of her arriving in the TARDIS rather than the TARDIS landing at her time of origin. Although she would initially possess a very abrasive, self-centred personality, Donna grew and matured from that point to become a far more likable companion, serving as a vital human influence on a Doctor who sometimes came dangerously close to crossing the line that separated him from his enemies.

The Runaway Bride
The Runaway Bride
 Originally a simple temp worker at the security firm of HC Clements in London - initially a front for the Torchwood Institute before it was all but destroyed during the Dalek/Cybermen war at the Battle of Canary Wharf - Donna became involved in The Doctor’s life when the last of the monstrous Racnoss - a spider-like alien race who had been all but rendered extinct at the beginning of time as the first Time Lords led the young civilisations in a war against them - took control of HC Clements to gain access to the Racnoss ship located at the centre of the Earth. With the aid of the duplicitous Lance Bennett - who was promised the chance to travel through the galaxy in exchange for helping the Racnoss - Donna was secretly doused with Huon particles - a long-lost energy source - over a six-month period as Lance gave her coffee filled with the particles; Huon energy required a living host - presumably sentient, otherwise the Racnoss could have more easily resorted to animals rather than humans - to catalyse properly, and the Racnoss needed the Huon energy to awaken their ship.

 However, the Huon energy in her system resulted in Donna being inadvertently teleported into the TARDIS - the only other source of Huon energy left in the universe - when her excitement at her wedding to Lance turned her body chemistry into a chemical battleground, exciting the particles and causing them to be drawn to the Huon energy within the TARDIS. Although The Doctor and Donna initially appeared incapable of getting along - The Doctor seeing Donna as annoying while Donna blamed him for her ‘abduction’ - the two became more comfortable with each other after The Doctor saved her from a robot ‘bounty hunter’, the two subsequently working together to discover the Racnoss’s plans; they even travelled all the way back to the formation of Earth to witness the Racnoss ship that would serve as Earth’s core. Having defeated the Racnoss, The Doctor offered Donna the chance to come with him, but Donna turned it down, although she encouraged The Doctor to find someone eventually.

Partners in Crime
Partners in Crime
 A couple of years later, Donna was reunited with The Doctor while investigating new weight-loss agency Adipose Industries; having come to regret her initial rejection of The Doctor’s offer to travel with her after he had opened her eyes to the wonders of the universe, Donna had begun to investigate strange occurrences in the hope of finding something that would have attracted The Doctor’s interest. While witnessing the Adipose depart Earth with The Doctor - the creatures being generated from the excess fat that people lost when taking the pills - Donna noted that Martha Jones - The Doctor’s past companion - had been a good influence on him, The Doctor appearing far more forgiving and less ruthless than he had appeared during the confrontation with the Racnoss, cementing her decision to begin travelling with him.

 In many ways, Donna served as a significant contrast to the previous two companions of the new series; for one thing, unlike Rose Tyler and Martha Jones, she had no romantic interest in The Doctor whatsoever, informing him - after he said that he 'just wanted a mate' - 'Well, you’re not mating with me, sunshine!' (Having misheard him and assumed that he said he wanted to mate). While they did kiss on one occasion, this was only because The Doctor had recently been poisoned and was attempting to force it out of his body by consuming a certain combination of minerals and chemicals; the final catalyst necessary to completely expel the poison was for him to receive a shock, which Donna accomplished by kissing him. This occasion aside, the two generally settled comfortably into a purely friendly relationship, with enjoying the opportunities presented to her by the chance to travel with The Doctor without asking for anything more from him than his friendship, prompting some fans to speculate that The Doctor saw Donna as a sister given their apparently similar physical ages.

The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky
The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky
 Although initially portrayed as self-centred and ignorant of the world around her - Donna was allegedly on holiday when The Slitheen ("Aliens of London/World War Three") and The Sycorax ("The Christmas Invasion") attacked London, and claims to have been scuba-diving during the Cybermen invasion ("Army of Ghosts/Doomsday"), thus missing all three major occurrences - she showed a great deal of compassion and human wisdom throughout her travels. This was first demonstrated when she persuaded The Doctor to save a family in Pompeii even if he wouldn’t change history to save the entire city, finally accepting his argument that he couldn’t change history on some occasions even if he wanted to. Her compassion was further highlighted in "Planet of the Ood", when she showed genuine horror at the treatment of The Ood as a slave race despite their disturbing appearance, demonstrating a great deal of insight when she stated that the Ood, by their very nature - they literally carried a part of their brains in their hands - had to trust everyone they met because they were incapable of violence. When a trip to an interstellar market saw The Doctor and Donna deal with the dangerous Time Reaver guns, Donna explored a strong sense of sympathy for Cora, a girl who had tried to sell the Time Raver guns to make lives better before the criminal Cully went after the weapons for himself, Donna assuring Cora that she understood that Cora’s intentions had been good even after Cora’s father died to save her life ("Time Reaver"). After Donna became engaged to Prince Rudolph of the nation of Goritania in 1780, although she enjoyed the attention she received as the country’s next potential Queen, Donna didn’t allow this to affect the way she treated the servants, doing her part to help the country until she learned the truth about Rudolph’s reasons for wooing her ("Death and the Queen"). Donna also convinced The Doctor to bond with his genetically-created ‘daughter’ - even giving his daughter the name ‘Jenny’ on the grounds that she’d been generated from his DNA - despite having witnessed her ‘birth’ from a machine only a few short hours ago, recognising that Jenny was still a person regardless of her origins ("The Doctor's Daughter"), later bonding with Agatha Christie during a visit to the past due to their mutual experience of failed marriages ("The Unicorn and the Wasp").

The Unicorn and the Wasp
The Unicorn and the Wasp
 However, Donna’s developed people skills could still fail her on occasion, such as when she believed that Baris - a man who had been ‘programmed’ to think that he was The Doctor - was the original Doctor rather than The Doctor himself, even claiming that The Doctor was obviously an impostor (Although the reality-warping nature of their current environment may have contributed to her mistake) ("The Doctor Trap"). A more dangerous mistake was her initial infatuation with Prince Rudolph of Goritania, with Donna going so far as to agree to marry him until she realised that he intended to sacrifice her to what was apparently Death to save his country, subsequently denouncing Rudolph as a pathetic ‘mommy’s boy’ who allowed himself to be continually ordered about by his arrogant mother rather than assert his own ideas ("Death and the Queen"). In a later trip, Donna felt uncomfortable when she realised that she was prejudiced against certain robots simply because they didn’t look human despite the more obviously artificial robots being more sentient than the humanoid ones ("Shining Darkness"). Like The Doctor, Donna demonstrated a strong admiration for those who refused to fight to solve their problems, sharing The Doctor’s enthusiasm when they had the chance to meet with famous pacifist and philosopher Mahatma Ghandi during a visit to India, Donna being saddened when she learned of his not-too-distant death while noting that Ghandi reminded her of The Doctor (Although The Doctor claimed that Ghandi was the better man) ("Ghosts of India").

Turn Left
Turn Left
Donna’s skills as a companion were not limited to providing The Doctor with a human influence; indeed, on some occasions she displayed considerable skill as an investigator, particularly when dealing with bureaucratic matters thanks to her skills as a temp worker. During the crisis that resulted in Jenny’s creation, Donna’s skills as a temp worker allowed her to quickly determine that the numbers she, The Doctor and Jenny had seen above the doors to various buildings in the colony where Jenny had been ‘born’ were actually referring to dates, revealing that the conflict being waged there had only taken place over a few days due to the rapid rate at which the people were  generating soldiers. When the Koggnossenti attempted to attack Earth by manipulating the human race’s mental faculties to make them an easier slave race, Donna was comparatively immune to their signal due to her limited exposure to the signal and her own self-confessed limited expertise with technology, although this immunity only lasted long enough for her to come up with a basic plan to destroy the Koggnossenti’s equipment with a train ("Technophobia"). During her time as the potential next queen of Goritania in 1780, Donna spent some time teaching her servants shorthand and other contemporarily useful skills ("Death and the Queen"). Her family also provided The Doctor with valuable personal assistance, Donna’s grandfather regularly defending The Doctor to his daughter when she objected to Donna’s decision to travel with The Doctor; her grandfather even once risked his life to confront a Dalek after the Daleks stole Earth, subsequently providing the returned Rose Tyler with shelter and aid while she attempted to contact The Doctor.

 Eventually, however, Donna’s time in The Doctor’s company reached its peak when the resurrected Davros stole Earth - along with twenty-six other planets - as part of his circuit to complete the ‘Reality Bomb’, a weapon that would generate neutrino energy in a single stream along the planets, the resulting energy, when compressed on a specific location, causing the electrical fields holding matter together to collapse, the destruction thus travelling through the rift at the Medusa Cascade to the entire multiverse. Although Donna was briefly separated from The Doctor when she and the TARDIS were dropped into the heart of the Crucible - the Daleks’ main ship - when she came in contact with The Doctor’s spare hand, the excess regenerative energy that The Doctor had transferred into the hand to avert a recent regeneration - he had been shot by the Daleks but, in order to prevent his appearance changing, had channelled the spare regenerative energy that would have changed his appearance into his spare hand after his injury had been healed - responding to Donna’s presence, triggering a biometric crisis that caused the hand to literally grow a second, human Doctor from itself, the ‘clone’ possessing all of The Doctor’s memory and personality while only having one heart and some of Donna’s brashness. At the same time, the biometric crisis triggered a mutation in Donna’s own cells, causing her to acquire The Doctor’s intellect and knowledge while retaining human instinct, thus allowing Donna to come up with ideas that The Doctor would never have normally considered… creating the ‘DoctorDonna’, whose existence had been ‘foretold’ by the Ood, a perfect blend of human and Time Lord.

The Stolen Earth/Journey's End
The Stolen Earth/Journey's End
 With this knowledge, Donna was able to hack into the Daleks’ control systems once on board the Crucible, disrupting their weapons and freeing her fellow companions, simultaneously allowing the cloned Doctor to activate the Daleks’ self-destruct systems. As Davros screamed in defiance as his plans collapsed around him, Donna used the Crucible’s technology to send the various stolen planets back tot heir proper places in Time, The Doctor subsequently returning his various past companions to Earth, the cloned Doctor travelling with Rose to her parallel world to live out his life with her. Unfortunately for Donna, the transference of Time Lord knowledge into her mind proved too much for her human brain to handle, and, after his past companions had left, The Doctor was forced to render her unconscious before the damage became too great, simultaneously erasing all of Donna’s memories of her travels with him. Taking her back to her mother and grandfather, The Doctor regretfully explained that, in order to prevent the knowledge she’d absorbed from destroying her mind, Donna could never be allowed to remember her travels with him, or else the knowledge would leak back into her brain and kill her. However, before he departed, The Doctor assured Donna’s family that she had made a great difference during her travels with him, with entire worlds owing their lives to Donna’s actions, Donna’s grandfather in return assuring The Doctor that he would keep watching the stars so that her family would always remember what Donna had done even if she herself could not.

The End of Time
The End of Time
Donna briefly returned in "The End of Time", when The Doctor was reunited with her grandfather Wilf while investigating The Master’s latest resurrection. Although he had to avoid meeting Donna directly to prevent his presence reactivating her Time Lord knowledge, The Doctor was gratified to learn that she was engaged to a man called Shaun Temple and generally comfortable in her life, although Wilf still felt that she would be happier if she could remember her time with The Doctor, particularly since her and Shaun lacked the financial resources to have much of a life with each other. Although she nearly suffered an overload when The Master attempted to use alien technology to turn everyone on Earth into versions of himself - Donna was apparently immune to the transformation due to the metacrisis, but actually witnessing Shaun and her mother transform triggered the knowledge in her subconscious -, The Doctor had apparently left Donna with a ‘security precaution’ in case the metacrisis knowledge was triggered, as she generated an apparently psychic blast that knocked out The Masters around her before she later regained consciousness with no memory of what had happened. Later, at Donna’s wedding, The Doctor left Wilf and Sylvia with a lottery ticket - purchased with money he’d borrowed from Donna’s now-deceased father -, the ticket evidently containing the winning numbers for that week in order to give Donna and Shaun the chance of a good life.




Memorable Moment
Rose and Donna
Rose and Donna
 Although Donna’s triumph over Davros’s Dalek army stands as a truly exceptional moment in her history, her most memorable action was unquestionably during her role in “Turn Left”, when Donna’s history was changed so that she never met The Doctor, resulting in the Time Lord dying during the confrontation with the Racnoss. As Earth fell apart in this timeline, resulting in the destruction of London and the deaths of Sarah Jane Smith and the Torchwood Three team - led by The Doctor’s old companion Captain Jack Harkness - when they fought to defeat The Judoon and the Sontarans respectively, Donna found herself regularly visited by a mysterious blond woman - later identified as Rose Tyler - who revealed the truth about what had happened to Donna, devising a plan to send Donna back in time to set history back on course. Even after learning that the restoration of the timeline would almost certainly result in her dying - even if another version of her continued to live the life she should have had - the alternate Donna nevertheless sacrificed her life to ensure that history turned out the way it should, allowing The Doctor to live so that he could save the world once again.
Television Stories
Format Story Doctor Fellow Companions Season Episodes
Television The Runaway Bride The 10th Doctor   Season 29 (New Series 3) 1
Television Partners in Crime The 10th Doctor Rose Tyler and Wilfred Mott Season 30 (New Series 4) 1
Television The Fires of Pompeii The 10th Doctor   Season 30 (New Series 4) 1
Television Planet of the Ood The 10th Doctor   Season 30 (New Series 4) 1
Television The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky The 10th Doctor Rose Tyler, Martha Jones and Wilfred Mott Season 30 (New Series 4) 2
Television The Doctor's Daughter The 10th Doctor Martha Jones Season 30 (New Series 4) 1
Television The Unicorn and the Wasp The 10th Doctor   Season 30 (New Series 4) 1
Television Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead The 10th Doctor River Song Season 30 (New Series 4) 2
Television Midnight The 10th Doctor Rose Tyler Season 30 (New Series 4) 1
Television Turn Left The 10th Doctor Rose Tyler and Wilfred Mott Season 30 (New Series 4) 1
Television The Stolen Earth/Journey's End The 10th Doctor Rose Tyler, Jackie Tyler, Captain Jack Harkness, Mickey Smith, Sarah Jane Smith, K9, Martha Jones and Wilfred Mott Season 30 (New Series 4) 2
Television The End of Time The 10th Doctor Rose Tyler, Jackie Tyler, Captain Jack Harkness, Mickey Smith, Sarah Jane Smith, Martha Jones and Wilfred Mott Season 31 (New Series 4 Specials) 2
Total Stories:   12 Total Episodes:   16
Other Stories
Format Story Doctor Fellow Companions Season Source
Book Ghosts of India The 10th Doctor   Season 30 (New Series 4) The Tenth Doctors Stories
Book Shining Darkness The 10th Doctor   Season 30 (New Series 4) The Tenth Doctors Stories
Book The Doctor Trap The 10th Doctor   Season 30 (New Series 4) The Tenth Doctors Stories
Book Beautiful Chaos The 10th Doctor   Season 30 (New Series 4) The Tenth Doctors Stories
Audio The Forever Trap The 10th Doctor   Season 30 (New Series 4) BBC Audio Adventure
Audio The Nemonite Invasion The 10th Doctor   Season 30 (New Series 4) BBC Audio Adventure
Total Stories:   6
 
Parts of this article were compiled with the assistance of David Spence who can be contacted by e-mail at djfs@blueyonder.co.uk
 
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