With David Tennant and Catherine Tate reprising their roles as The Doctor and Donna Noble for three specials this festive season, what better way to celebrate one of the most iconic duos in the Whoniverse than a walk down memory lane? Ever since Donna crash landed in the TARDIS, quite literally, the on-screen chemistry between Tennant and Tate has gripped a generation of Who fans. And the return of Russel T Davies has seen us receive an early Christmas present in the form of a Doctor Donna reunion. But what are the top ten best moments throughout the history of their time-travelling friendship?
10) My Arms Are Too Long
The Doctor and Donna are back! And it only took them a couple of episodes to deliver one of the most memorable lines in recent Who history. ‘My arms are too long…' Wild Blue Yonder is one of the weirdest, creepiest and funniest episodes of all time, all rolled into one. Which, let's be honest, is the perfect Doctor Who combo. But that moment when Donna delivers the emotionless ‘My arms are too long' line while sporting her long prosthetic limb will, for me, be the takeaway moment from these specials. And who can't relate to Donna when she was half-puddle-of-gloop?
9) The First Meeting
We couldn't have a top ten list without their first meeting, now could we? All the way back in 2006, Donna Noble appeared out of thin air on the TARDIS for the first time. Obviously, throughout Who, we have so many ‘first time seeing the TARDIS' moments, and sometimes they can get a bit samey. The shock of it being bigger on the inside, the bewilderment of time travel and being in space with an alien. What I love is that Donna brought a unique sense of chaos to the occasion. It also happens to be the first mention of Nerys…
Doctor: How did you get in here?
Donna: Well, obviously, when you kidnapped me. Who was it? Who's paying you? Is it Nerys? Oh my God, she's finally got me back. This has got Nerys written all over it.
Doctor: Who the hell is Nerys?
Donna: Your best friend.
Doctor: Hold on, wait a minute. What are you dressed like that for?
Donna: I'm going ten-pin bowling. Why do you think, dumbo? I was halfway up the aisle! I've been waiting all my life for this. I was just seconds away, and then you, I don't know, you drugged me or something!
8) Midnight Phone Call
Don't all best friends have cute phone calls at midnight? Well, the Doctor and Donna have cute phone calls on Midnight. The planet, that is. The phone call doesn't need much explaining, it just gives perfect Doctor and Donna friendship energy.
Doctor: I'll be back for dinner. We'll try that anti-gravity restaurant. With bibs.
Donna: That's a date… Well, not a date. Oh, you know what I mean. Oh, get off.
Doctor: See you later.
Donna: Oi. And you be careful, all right?
7) Why Don't You Ask Her Yourself?
While this moment is forever remembered as one between Rose and the Doctor after so much time apart, I also love Donna's role in it. The delivery of that line, ‘Why don't you ask her yourself' will go down in history as the set-up for one of the most heartwarming Doctor Who moments. But, more importantly, it was Donna's sacrifice (a version of Donna at least) in Turn Left that even allowed the Doctor and Rose to reunite in the first place. I'm not crying, you're crying!
6) You Alright?
The Doctor-Donna relationship has always been rather unique since Doctor Who was rebooted due to the sheer lack of any romance whatsoever. And while we are treated to so many outlandish and hilarious moments of friendship, we also get little nuggets of the deeper stuff too.
At the end of Forest of the Dead, Donna simply asks the Doctor, ‘You alright?'.
‘I'm always alright,' he replies.
‘Is alright special time lord code for… really not alright?'
‘Cos I'm alright too.'
5) The Fires of Pompeii
This episode lives long in the memory from Tennant and Tate's time together for a very different reason. While we were used to snorting and chortling our way through an episode of Doctor Who with that duo as the leads, we got to see another side of them in The Fires of Pompeii. The Doctor's companions have always been far more than lucky ticket winners who get to travel the stars. They are also teachers. They remind a lonely old time traveller how to be compassionate in his darkest and loneliest times. And when Donna forces Ten to go back and save one single family from the fires of Pompeii, we see one of the most emotional examples of this throughout not only Tate's time on the show, but in Who history.
4) The Doctor Donna
It would be amiss to create a list of Doctor and Donna moments without mentioning when they literally became the DoctorDonna. When Davros traps the Doctor and attempts to destroy the TARDIS with his companion still inside, Donna touches the jar containing Ten's old chopped-off hand. The regenerative energy stored inside combines with Donna's human DNA and causes an instantaneous biological meta crisis which allows her to save the day. The only downside is that it also paves the way for Donna's exit from the show.
3) Watch it, Earth Girl
Although still part of the meta-crisis moment, this iconic line seems worth a spot of its own on our list. Of course, Donna touching the hand jar not only made her half-timelord, but it also created the Meta-Crisis Doctor (also played by David Tennant). When the half-time-lord-half-human version of Tennant appears in the TARDIS, he and Donna have a hysterical exchange of words. Donna's usual ‘Oi! Watch it, spaceman!' is returned with an ‘Oi! Watch it, Earth girl!' The gasp afterwards is peak Doctor and Donna energy.
2) Masters of Charades
When you think of famous Doctor and Donna moments, it is extremely hard to look past their long-awaited reintroduction back in 2008. Following the positive reception to Catherine Tate's Christmas special debut, Donna returns in all her glory as she seeks to hunt down the Doctor. After a string of near-misses, the two finally lock eyes once more through two panes of glass and proceed to have one of the funniest mime conversations on TV. It's always a moment I look out for when rewatching the series, no matter how many times I have seen it. I like to think that the Doctor and Donna absolutely kill it at charades after Christmas dinner every year.
“The lost moon of Poosh!”
“How on Earth did you get that just from him drawing a circle with his finger?!”
1) I Just Want A Mate
This will forever be my all-time favourite Doctor and Donna moment, for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it is side-splittingly funny. Upon reuniting in Partners in Crime and saving the world from turning into cute little fat babies, The Doctor faces a difficult decision. Travel alone, or invite Donna to be his next companion? When speaking candidly about the complex relationship with Martha, Ten says the iconic line, ‘I just want a mate', to which Donna replies, ‘You just want to mate?! You're not mating with me, sunshine!' But it is far more than a funny interaction, within minutes of her officially joining team TARDIS it sums up the relationship between Donna and Ten perfectly. Platonic, loud, and hilariously funny. After the heartbreak of Rose and the unrequited relationship with Martha, The Doctor needed Donna, and boy did we as the viewers need them both.