Ok…I hate to rant, but I feel like I must.
The above photo shows a comment I got on Instagram tonight after posting a picture of Rose and Donna from “Turn Left,” which I just watched for the first time.
I’ve already responded to the original commenter, but can I just vent here for a sec?
1. If you love Donna Noble, great. Nothing wrong with that, more power to you. Molto bene, as Ten would say. I have nothing against you guys. Heck, I defend my favorite characters and ships too.
But Donna is not my favorite Companion. When I first met her in “The Runaway Bride,” I actually hated her. She was annoying and always complaining. I just couldn’t stand her.
In Series 4, she is definitely better, and really funny and sassy. But I just can’t get into her like I can into Rose or Clara or Sarah Jane or Jo or any Companion I really truly like. Also it seems like she was set up from birth to do what she does in the finale (I’ve been spoiled), which seems like a bit of a cop-out plot wise. If the whole season was about The Doctor showing her how brilliant she was when she felt like she was a nobody, why not let her realize that on her own rather than by doing something she was predestined to do?
Now, one can argue that this is also true of Rose becoming the Bad Wolf and Clara being the Impossible Girl. True, it feels as if they were predestined to take on those roles. But they became those people by choice. The predestination was retroactive, kind of like the thing with the drumming in The Master’s head. Rose chose to go back and save The Doctor, chose to open up the TARDIS and look into its heart and thus become Bad Wolf, just cause she wanted her Doctor to be safe, rather than stay behind with her mom and Mickey and go back to her regular life as The Doctor wanted. Clara chose to go into that time stream and undo the damage caused by the GI to save The Doctor, even though both The Doctor AND River Song begged her not to. She only knew she had saved The Doctor before because he told her so - she didn’t remember it probably cause it hadn’t happened for her yet.
The best comparison to Donna’s situation is Amy Pond. Don’t get me wrong, I like Amy. But a lot of things about her meeting The Doctor and such were, in retrospect, a little too convenient. She was able to bring him back after the Pandorica mess only cause he planted clues in young Amelia’s head to make sure it would happen. Plus, he also met her twice, same as Donna, which Ten seems to indicate in “Turn Left” is unusual. And then there’s the whole “Amy remembers two timelines” thing. There was no need for all that. She could’ve just been a regular human being, no weird superhuman stuff, just a regular human traveling with The Doctor. She would’ve been just fine. She could still have been the first face Eleven saw, been seared onto his hearts, all that. Heck even Rory could’ve been a regular, geeky guy (his ability to miraculously come back from the dead was never explained, now that I think about it).
Now I’m not saying this just to be mean. I’m a writer and an avid reader, plus I have a B.A. in Literature and Writing Studies, so I sometimes approach shows with that mindset. Consciously or unconsciously, I judge shows by their story elements - plot, character, theme, etc. Plus I am a human being and sometimes human beings like certain characters more than others, for their own reasons. And I just don’t like Donna.
2. Do not go telling people like me who are newer to a fandom (any fandom, not just DW) to “keep up with the fandom,” or get on their case because they aren’t caught up with a series. I have a life, with a part-time job and other interests and hobbies. I have a lot of free time, yes, but unlike my parents I don’t usually spend it watching hours of TV, unless I am very tired or bored (or I’m home sick). I am not a TV marathoner. I quite honestly can’t do it. I might be able to stand it for 2-3 episodes, but then I need a break. Heck, I’m not a marathoner in books or video games either. “Haste makes waste” is my motto, and I also like to be productive with my time (though granted I often fail at that). I hate sitting around doing nothing. I don’t have the patience.
I got into DW in October 2012, after seeing promos for Series 7. And I have been very slow at catching up with the series via Netflix (or TV for 7). I skipped Series 4 initially because Matt Smith was about to leave, and I wanted to get caught up on his episodes before he left (which I did, in a successful marathon experiment - search for the tag #mattsmithmarathon on Instagram for more on that). But now I’m back to it.
Not all of us are early adopters. I rarely am. So if you are one, please don’t bash us newer fans. That’s not fair.
Besides, I keep up with the fandom just fine now, thank you, with Instagram and Tumblr and Google+ and all that. I even follow the official DW Facebook page. And you can like the show without being involved in all that - my best friend is like that.
Anyway, there’s my 2¢.