In this episode we are first introduced to the epicness that is Donna Noble. Hurrah!
Before I start talking about stuff that is actually relevant to the episode, I just wanted to point out that the actress who plays the Empress of the Racnoss is Sarah Parish. Sarah Parrish was in Blackpool with David Tennant in which he was her love interest.
And speeeeaking of David Tennant working with actors from Doctor Who on other projects, David Tennant did a sketch with Catherine Tate for Comic Relief back in 2007. It was EPIC. Basically Catherine Tate has a sketch comedy show in which she plays a character called Lauren Cooper, and she’s portraying Lauren in this sketch. Lol. Her brand of humor might be obnoxious to some, but it makes me laugh.
Ok that has nothing to do with the actual episode, but I just want to make all of you guys watch Blackpool and Catherine Tate. Haha. Seriously, Blackpool is so epic. You should watch it. Anyway, on to what this rewatch is actually supposed to be about… The Runaway Bride!
The plot with the Empress of the Racnoss is kind of lame and boring, whatever. There are still enough great moments to give this episode a ‘B’.
I LOVE that Tardis motorway chase scene. Best thing EVER! That moment when the Doctor get’s Donna to trust him is just fabulous. Lance, Donna and the Doctor on the Segways also makes me smile. Also, “orders from Mr. Saxon. Fire at will.”? I see you, season arc. I see you. All of those things as well as some good character moments raise this episode to being a good episode instead of a just ‘ok’ one. Anyway, let's move on to the character bits.
Let’s start with… Donna!!!! I love Donna a lot. I loved her from very early on in this episode. I love her brashness, but also her sudden quietness when she opens the Tardis doors and sees that she’s in space. Catherine Tate is seriously brilliant as Donna. I get the impression that Donna feels her emotions very intensely. She can swing from happy to angry to sad super fast, of course, but I get the feeling that she feels those emotions to her core. My heart just absolutely breaks for her when it turns out that Lance didn’t love her and was just using her.
But having Catherine Tate as the Companion also allows from some fun comedic moments. The little slapstick comedy moment in the middle of all of the drama and evilness is kind of fantastic. I’m not gonna lie. It’s one of my favorite moments of the entire episode. But like I said, she also has some very moving moments.
Yes, I am aware that this cap is from a slightly later scene, but I wanted to show how devastated Donna was.
Donna: But... we were getting married.
Lance Bennett: Well, love, I couldn't risk you running off. I had to say yes. And then I was stuck with a woman who thinks the height of excitement is a new flavour Pringle! Oh, I had to sit there and listen to all that yap yap yap. Oh, Brad and Angelina, is Posh pregnant, X factor, Atkins diet, feng shui, split ends, text me, text me, text me - dear god, the never-ending fountain of fat, stupid trivia! I deserve a medal.
It’s a brief moment that I hadn’t really noticed before, but I love that moment when Donna says that she won’t let them hurt the Doctor after lance reveals himself to be working with the Empress. I love Donna. Even when she’s clearly upset about being betrayed by her fiancé, she’s protective of the Doctor.
I think the relationship between the Doctor and Donna is interesting. Something about her obviously makes the Doctor feel ok about opening up to her a bit about his pain of losing Rose. I love that Donna, much like Rose, just GETS the Doctor. She knows that sometimes you just have to stop him. She also recognizes that the Doctor has a tendency to treat people like objects, but Donna always snaps him out of that.
The Doctor: [in a frenzied 'light-bulb' moment] Ahh! The wedding! That's right, you're getting married! That's it! Best day of your life, walking down the aisle... Oh, you're body's a battleground, there's a chemical war inside! Adrenaline, acetocholine, WHAM go the endorphins! You're *cooking*! Yeah! You're like a walking oven, a press cooker, a microwave, all churning away; the buttons reach boiling point and SHAZZAM...
Donna: [slaps him hard upside the face]
The Doctor: [disbelief] What did I do this time?
She also understands that it’s not good for the Doctor to be alone which is something that the Doctor himself doesn’t quite get for a long time. When you let the Doctor be emo on his own for too long, he gets into the “Time Lord victorious” head space which is good for nobody. But I don’t think the Doctor gets that yet. He invites Donna alone because he likes her as a person, not because he doesn’t want to be alone.
Donna: Promise me one thing though, Doctor.
The Doctor: What's that?
Donna: That you'll find somebody.
The Doctor: I don't need anybody.
Donna: Yes you do. Because I think sometimes you need somebody to stop you.
And, of course, as a shipper, I’ve got to love the Rose!angst in this episode. In the old series, once a companion left, that was it. They were gone, never to be mentioned again. I like that the new series changed that and recognized the impact the Doctor’s companions have had on him.
I mean, this episode takes place immediately after the Doctor has had a heart breaking good bye scene with Rose, so he’s not in a very good space, emotionally. So that moment where Donna picks up Rose’s jacket just kind of twists the knife that is still in the Doctor’s (and my) heart.
Donna: I can't do it!
The Doctor: Trust me.
Donna: Is that what you said to her? Your friend? The one you lost? Did she trust you?
The Doctor: Yes, she did. And she is not dead. She is *so* alive. Now jump!
I like that the Doctor is able to open up the teeniest bit about Rose when talking to Donna. I think that he's not just mourning the loss of Rose, but also the loss of the family he had when she was around. Rose's home became a bit like his home in a way.
Doctor: I spent Christmas Day just over there, the Powell Estate, with this… family. My friend, she had this family. …Still, gone now.
That moment where the Doctor flashes back to holding Rose as he watches a couple dancing is enough to bring back all the pain of Doomsday all over again.
The Doctor is in so much pain after losing Rose. As we see in “Turn Left”, if it weren’t for Donna he just would have let himself die down there. And thus begins series 3, the series of the emotionally stunted emo!Time Lord who occasionally has a death wish. The Doctor likes Donna and so he invites her along, but he’s not ready to have a big happy family again, so when Donna invites him in for Christmas dinner, he runs.
The Doctor: [opening the TARDIS door] Oh, what is it now?
Donna: That friend of yours, what was her name?
The Doctor: [almost broken tone of voice] Her name was Rose.