10 quotes that sum up Donna Noble as a character

As the Doctor Who The 60th anniversary special is approaching, with fans eagerly awaiting the announced return of Catherine Tate as Donna Noble. Although she only spent one season traveling with the Tenth Doctor, Donna was an immensely popular companion.

With its upcoming return to the TARDIS and the unfortunate passing of Bernard Cribbins, who played Donna’s grandfather Wilf, Whovians will no doubt revisit Donna’s run as the Doctor‘s sidekick. Donna cannot be summed up in one line, as she is both brilliant and self-deprecating, sarcastic and heartfelt. However, many of his quotes from the series shed light on aspects of his strong and sensitive character.

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“Give me pockets! »

Season 3 Christmas Special – “The Runaway Bride”

Long before becoming the Tenth Doctor’s mate, Donna is introduced through the Christmas special “The Runaway Bride.” She joins the Doctor on a millennial adventure to defeat an army of robots disguised as Santa Claus, while Donna is still wearing her wedding dress.

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In a hilarious back-and-forth with the Doctor about why Donna doesn’t have a cell phone, she nastily rails against the lack of pockets in bridal fashion. It’s a testament to Donna’s ingenuity that she always proves a useful ally to the Doctor, tulle and all, even prompting him to invite her to travel with him.

“Travel with you, isn’t that a big spoiler?”

Season 4, Episode 8 – “Silence in the Library”

One of the best Doctor Who episodes featuring the Tenth Doctor and Donna Noble, “Silence in the Library” kicks off a two-part Hugo-nominated episode set in a huge, mysterious library where thousands of people have disappeared. Significantly, the episode introduces the character of River Song, who would become very prominent in future seasons.

One of River’s later catchphrases, given that she and the Doctor always meet out of order, is “Spoilers”. Donna’s dialogue here sheds light on the complexity and contradictions of accompanying a time traveler. Closeness to the Doctor is like reading the back of a book. Donna seems more than happy to peek into the future.

“I wave to Fat.”

Season 4, Episode 1 – “Partners in Crime”

On their first outing together since “The Runaway Bride,” the Doctor and Donna come face-to-face with one of the world’s cutest monsters. Doctor Who universe, Adipose. These bizarre and lovable creatures of human fat are actually leading a galactic colonization effort.

As the Fates walk home, Donna notices in disbelief the strangeness of the situation. It’s not the first (nor the last) time she’ll be exposed to the weird and wonderful secrets of the universe, but it does show how ready she is to be introduced to the Doctor’s world.

“I must have been crazy refusing that offer.”

Season 4, Episode 1 – “Partners in Crime”

Despite evidence suggesting they would make a fantastic team, Donna rejects the Doctor’s first offer to join him in the TARDIS. When she returns in the Season 4 premiere, however, audiences learn that she’s since regretted the decision.


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Donna has tried to recapture the thrill of being with the Doctor by traveling the world, but nothing compares. In the end, it’s not the adventure she’s looking for, but the chance for true friendship. That’s exactly what the doctor needs too.

“Were So Not married.”

Season 4, Episode 3 – “The Planet of the Ood”

The Tenth Doctor’s two previous companions, Rose Tyler and Martha Jones, each had romantic inclinations towards the Doctor. After their departures, it was a breath of fresh air to bring in a new character whose relationship with the Doctor was entirely platonic.

It became a running gag for Donna and the Doctor to categorically insist to the other characters that they weren’t romantically involved. Still, the love and friendship between the characters ran deep. More importantly, Donna brought the Doctor down by not imagining it. She and the Doctor felt equal, able to be both sarcastic and sincere with each other in equal measure.

“I’m nothing special.”

Season 4, Episode 11 – “Turn Left”

This season 4 episode imagines an alternate timeline, in which the Doctor dies during the events of the season 3 Christmas special “The Runaway Bride.” The focus of the episode therefore falls on Donna, who connects with Doctor Rose’s former companion Tyler to save the world.

When the episode returns to Doctor Who standard timeline, Donna utters this self-deprecating comment, but the Doctor pushes back and calls her brilliant. With as much confidence as Donna projects, she still doubts herself; fortunately, the Doctor is there to remind him of his own gifts.

” Hey ! »

Seasons 3 and 4 – Multiple episodes

It’s almost impossible to count the number of times Donna utters this interjection. A common slang for working-class British workers, “oi” is usually pronounced to get another person’s attention or to express shock.

For Donna, “oi” has almost endless meanings. Almost involuntary reaction, she uses it to express anger, surprise, exhaustion, fear, exasperation, etc. Close to a catchphrase, it underlines his humble origins and his assertive, sometimes abrasive personality.


“He’s amazing, Grandpa.”

Season 4, Episode 4 – “The Sontaran Scheme”

Outside of his friendship with the Doctor, the most important relationship of his life was with his grandfather, Wilfred “Wilf” Mott, played by the late Bernard Cribbins. Wilf also becomes enamored with the Doctor through their encounters and Donna’s praise of him.

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In a rare moment of heartfelt adoration, Donna expresses to her grandfather how wonderful the Doctor is and how she trusts him with her life. In the next breath, she warns Wilf not to tell the Doctor what she just said. It’s classic Donna: expressing genuine, deep emotion, but not wanting to give the Doctor the satisfaction of hearing it himself.

“Just saving someone.”

Season 4, Episode 2 – “The Fires of Pompeii”

The mechanics of time travel frequently present moral dilemmas for the Doctor. In “The Fires of Pompeii”, Donna is horrified to learn that the Doctor intends to leave the citizens of the city in the path of the devastating volcanic eruption; the destruction of Pompeii, he insists, is a fixed point in time that cannot be changed.

Donna cannot accept this and she convinces the Doctor to return and save a family from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. After the ordeal, the Doctor admits Donna is right and sometimes needs someone to stand up to her. This marks the moment when the Doctor and Donna truly become companions, and it reinforces Donna’s role as a moral compass for the Doctor, ready to call when he takes a wrong turn.

“I was going to be with you forever.”

Season 4, Episode 13 – “The Journey’s End”

As Donna’s mind began to fracture following her transformation into DoctorDonna, the Doctor realized that the only way to save her life was to erase her memories. It’s a devastating moment, as all of Donna’s and the Doctor’s adventures flash past the screen and disappear from her mind.

Just before the memory wipe, Donna expresses her desire to travel with the Doctor forever. It is even more tragic to know how much Donna has grown from their company and that she will be reset to the mundane life she was so dissatisfied with. Following Donna’s words, the Doctor responds with one of his most heartbreaking quotes: “We had the best of times.”


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