Companion’s Name: Donna Noble
Traveled with: Tenth Doctor
Seasons: New Who S3 Ep 1, and Season 4
Best Known For: Being the first New Who companion who WASN’T in love with the Doctor, blunt, loud and dishing it out as hard as she got it.
Donna was comfortable to watch because she was like the sister the Doctor never had. They were truly best friends without the pressure or relationship pressures that were felt with Rose or Martha.
Really, this would lead to some of the biggest criticism against Donna Noble. Many were put off or complained about her inability to acquiesce to the Doctor. Instead of focusing on the Doctor’s pain, a whole season was built around how such an ordinary woman would save the whole of reality and the universe. She began as an annoying desperate to marry temp secretary to becoming the first human we see in the television series that could also function with the same knowledge of a Time Lord. It would earn her the title “Doctor Donna” (Journey’s End.) This same amazing development would also lead to her final moments on the show, since it was killing her. Donna was a companion who would make a full circle from being the most important women in the universe to not remembering a second of her time with the Doctor. Her own grandfather would then lead to the downfall of the Tenth Doctor and his regeneration. It was all accomplished in a horrific fashion; becoming the antithesis of the feminist representation Donna had grown into on the modern show.
The ending of Donna Noble would be considered one of the most tragic endings for a companion, as the Doctor takes Donna’s freedom of choice away from her. This story was created under the reboot showrunner Russell T. Davies. The next showrunner, Steven Moffat would attempt to rectify or make up for this plot point through freedom of choice, memory wiping and story points via the Twelfth Doctor and his then companion Clara. There would be overt references to Donna Noble and the lack of choice he gave her when it came to taking away her memories. It was a story further played upon in the opening episode of the Twelfth Doctor’s final Season 10.
Best Episodes: Partners in Crime, Planet of the Ood, The Fires of Pompeii, The Unicorn and the Wasp, Turn Left (All Season 4)
If you want to check out the best, easiest of cheapest places to watch these episodes, check out the Where to Watch Doctor Who post.