Saturday, July 7, 2007


Even though I knew it would be laden with commercials, I re-watched the second Christmas special for 'Doctor Who', "The Runaway Bride". I hadn't seen it since January (thanks pseudo-kid) and only the one time, so I wanted the chance to re-examine the performance of Catherine Tate. With the announcement of her return to the series as Donna Noble for the full run of the fourth season, I wanted to see if the fanboys in various wankboards had a legitimate reason to gripe about the casting.

I'll get this out of the way straight-off. I'm not a fan of her work in general. There's just something grating about the characters she's created for her show. And that certainly applies to Donna - for the first fifteen minutes or so of the introduction. It's such a powerful approach which she takes that I think that's what was seared into the minds of the viewers who had negative comments about her. By the end of the episode, she had begun to mature, and she promised the Doctor as they said their goodbyes that she would go out into the world and be magnificent.

It will be this new Donna who will be rejoining the Doctor, not the shrill Bridezilla termagant we first met.

Still, as I said earlier, I'm not that big a fan and I'm not looking forward too much to seeing her every episode. However, I'm willing to give RTD (mostly his other writers) the benefit of the doubt when it comes to writing the role. We'll see how it goes.

Anyhoo, that's not what I'm on about today. It was during her introduction scene that an exchange of dialogue came up which made me wonder if it was a harbinger of what would come later in the third season.....

THE DOCTOR: Are you human?
DONNA NOBLE: Is that even an option?
THE DOCTOR: It is for me, yeah.

At the time I first watched "The Runaway Bride", I think I considered that a reference to his supposed human genetic background. (I'm still of the belief that as part of his personality quirks, the Eighth Doctor was lying to Grace about his mother being human just so he could shag her.)

But now, having seen the two-parter "Human Nature"/"Family Of Blood", maybe it was a clue about the Chamelion Arch feature of the TARDIS and its function. If so, then it was a very subtle layout for the groundwork so that in hindsight the Chameleon Arch no longer looks like it was a plot device pulled out of the hat at the last moment.

Or I could just be reading more into it than intended. That's usually how I operate.....

Toby OB

"The never-ending fountain of fat, stupid trivia!"
'Doctor Who'

That really out to be in my job description as a televisiologist!


Anonymous said...

I'm willing to giver her a shot.  I'm not CRAZY about her and that is kind of a good thing.  I'm really over (at least for a while) these doe-eyed companions who stare up at the Doctor lovingly while secretly dreaming of getting his is sonic screwdriver shoved into their eye of harmony.  I think Tate will be a nice counterpoint to the Doctor's (sometimes) insufferable qualities (cockiness, peppieness,  passive-aggressiveness).  I just feel bad for Martha as a character.  They kind of treated us like kids with Rose leaving.  Two episodes in I had accepted Martha as the companion and apparently they hadn't.


Anonymous said...

All I'm gonna say is this:

I think that the whiners are just this: whiners.

We re-watched "Bride" again in Sci-Fi last night and we all loved her. I think that she could be a fantastic companion. She's not Dawson's Creek in Time and Space, she's smart, she able to change and be changed -- the ONLY worry I have is RTD's inability to sustainably WRITE for her character. To not have her descend into a chiche of a character. If he can pull that off, then I think she'll shine. But I sincerely doubt RTD has the range he needs now...


Anonymous said...

I agree wholeheartedly.  I am willing to giver her the benefit of the gout - we'll just have to see.  I am not a fan of her show by any stretch of the imagination, but she is genuinely funny when I've seen her outside of it (as in the Dawn French interviews) so we'll just have to see.  IF SHE'S BAD, then at least it will be the last horrible mistake of the RTD tenure.


Anonymous said...

Hi Toby. Don't you put down your wonderful blog!   Is the Dr. Who
"bride" going to be replacing Rose, really?! As usual, you are very
informative. A thousand thanks. And that "caveman" photo is so ....   i
am going to use it!
Enough exclamation points for today. have a good one.
np Yiannis Kotsiras