Donna Noble

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Name: Donna Noble
Occupation: Temp, companion
Relationships: The Doctor, Lee, Shaun Temple, granddaughter of Wilfred Mott
Fandom: Doctor Who
Other: played by the actor and comedian Catherine Tate
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Donna Noble was one of The Doctor's companions during the Tenth Doctor era of Doctor Who.

Her relationship with the Doctor in canon was a strong friendship, without the shippy vibes that cropped up with several of the other New Who companions.

Character Bio

Donna Noble first meets the Tenth Doctor when she is mysteriously transported into his TARDIS as she walks down the aisle to get married. Following the defeat of the Racnoss, Donna is upset and grieving, having lost her fiancé, and she declines to travel with the Doctor.

She does meet the Doctor again and they save the world from the Adipose. This time Donna accepts his invitation to travel with him.

In the Library, Donna meets River Song, and River provides the first hints that Donnas' days with the Doctor could be numbered. Under threat from the Vashta Nerada, she is uploaded by the Library computer CAL; in this virtual universe, she meets and marries Lee, and they have two children together. When the Doctor negotiates a truce with the Vashta Nerada and the Library downloads people again, she looks for Lee in the crowd, but misses him when his stutter prevents him from calling out to her.

When Donna visits a fortune teller on the planet Shan Shen, she is infected by a Time Beetle, which causes her to make a different choice in her own past, turning right when she had previously turned left. As a result, an alternate timeline is created where she never meets the Doctor. He is killed in his encounter with the Racnoss; without his intervention, the world is drastically changed from the world Donna previously knew. Ultimately Donna time travels to change her own fate for the better of the world. Landing too far away, Donna allows herself to be killed, in order to persuade her other self to turn left instead of right and restore the timeline.

In the battle against Davros and the Daleks, Donna witnesses a partial regeneration - in which the Doctor channels the extra energy into the dismembered hand he lost during his last regeneration. Trapped in a dissolving TARDIS with the strangely glowing hand, she accidentally touches it, bringing about the Meta-Crisis. A second Doctor grows from the hand, a part-human version with many of Donna's personality traits and a single heart, while Donna herself gets the Doctor's mind. Together, Donna and the Meta-Crisis Doctor return to Davros' ship, where Donna distracts the Daleks and the Meta-Crisis destroys them, saving the Time Lord Doctor and his companions.

As the Time Lord mind burns her brain, they realize the only way to save her is to destroy every shred of the Doctor in her mind, including every memory of her time with him. She begs him not to do it, but the Doctor can't let her die. Donna wakes up at home with her mother and Wilf, and briefly greets their friend John Smith, of whom she has no memory. The Doctor is gone from her mind.

Donna goes on to marry Shaun, and receives the gift of a lottery ticket from her grandfather's mysterious friend. She doesn't know how valuable a lottery ticket from a time traveler can be.


Donna Noble is generally very well received in the fandom, and became a much beloved companion. {Initial negative reaction viz Runaway Bride, turning into much-beloved companion over the course of Series 4?}

Donna Noble's story is heartbreaking. Of all the companions we've met so far in the revived Doctor Who, I'd argue that her arc is one of the widest and definitely the saddest. I was going to say "tragic", but apparently Aristotle's theory of tragedy involves a reversal of fortune that is down to an action taken by the hero. Donna, instead, is caught in the web of fate, tying her inexorably to the Doctor. [...] Fate has not been kind to Donna, but without her the universe would have suffered beyond belief. She might never know it, but she was completely magnificent.[1]

Fans often debate Donna's canonical departure from the show, where her memories of traveling with the doctor are removed for her own survival. Some have called it misogynist.[citation needed] In the essay Double Trouble: The Death of Doctordonna by PlaidAdder, she argues that "of all the companions (in the new series) up to this point, Donna comes the closest to being the Doctor’s peer; and I would suggest that this is a major part of her appeal to the viewers," and that by erasing her memories the writers indicate that "this partnership thing was fun as an experiment; but they’re not going to make it permanent."[2]



Probably the most common trope in Donna Noble stories is fixing the end of series 4, which many fans were unhappy with for taking away Donna’s memories and thus the character development that had happened over the course of the series. Fanworks are often focused on the canon friendship between Donna and the Doctor or are focused on the Doctor/Donna relationship as romantic pairing.




  • Don't Slow Down by seduff, dashafeather said of Don't Slow Down, "This is very well edited, fast paced, and truly captures the YAY-BFF feeling series 4 had."[3]



  1. ^ Being Magnificent: the journey of Donna Noble essay by torn_eledhwen at Idol Reflection, 23 Aug 2009. (Accessed 4 Feb 2012)
  2. ^ Quoted text from: Double Trouble: The Death of Doctordonna by PlaidAdder. AO3, posted 2013-10-17.
  3. ^ fanvid recs, part 1 post by dashafeather, 21 Feb 2010. (Accessed 4 Feb 2012)