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12 July 2008 @ 11:46 am
Unpopular Opinion Alert: Donna in 'Journey's End' = Perfect  
I'm putting any and all thoughts behind the cut even though it's been a week, because it was a week ago on BBC one, but it will be a bit of time before it airs on the Sci-Fi network. (How anyone can wait that long is beyond me, but there ya go ...)

Why, how could I possibly think that the conclusion of Donna's story -- her memories ripped from her mind against her will, back to who she was before she met the Doctor, looking right through him, etc. -- was perfect? Very easily. It was all laid out there going back to "The Runaway Bride."

No one truly believed in Donna and thought she was more than the dim, selfish, self-absorbed twit that we met in TRB. Yes, Wilf loved her and believed that she could be something more, but it was more an intangible idea and it was obvious that even as Donna loved that Wilf saw her like that way, she believed that he was daft to think she was anything but who she was. She simply didn't believe it in him because she didn't believe it in herself because no one else did.

Then comes the Doctor, who takes her with him, who believes in her, who tells her how unbelivably brilliant she is on a regular basis, and she's growing into it, she's sorta believing it ... but not really. Why? Because people in her "real life" (aka Mum!) don't believe in her and she's lived her whole life believing in NOT believing in herself. Which TenII picked up on almost right away: She is loud and brassy, obnoxious and pushy because it's her armor, her defense over her own immense lack of self-esteem. The Doctor helped her believe that she could be something more, but he wasn't able to make her believe fully in herself, because her mother doesn't.

Now we get to "Turn Left." Donna, same dim, brassy, self-absorbed twit -- but still awesome, in my book -- from "The Runaway Bride." Then this strange blonde shows up, and crazy, horrible things start happening and there's a moment, small, but telling, when in the midst of all of this she tells her mother that things will get better, and her mother doesn't shut her down. There's a moment where we can almost believe that Sylvia believes that Donna will certainly try and just maybe succeed. Meanwhile, the blonde keeps popping up and propping up Donna. She tells her she's brilliant, she tells her how important she is, how amazing she is. How this amazing, wonderful man believes that Donna is amazing and wonderful and utterly brilliant. And in the end, Donna -- in a completely different set of circumstances, but amazing ones none-the-less, pushed by someone having faith in her -- becomes the amazing, brilliant Donna we know and love who is willing to sacrifice all to do the right thing. Without the Doctor, just with someone believing in her. She did it.

Then we come to "Journey's End," and as I said the set-up has all been there. Yes, the Doctor took her memories away of him and their travels and all that she did. But with one sentence he gave her the ONE thing she needs to become OUR Donna; someone propping her up, having faith in her. And this time, it will come from the ONE person who's NEVER believed in her before: Her mother.

    The Doctor: And for one moment... one shining moment... she was the most important woman in the whole wide universe.
    Sylvia: She still is. She's my daughter.
    The Doctor: Then maybe you should tell her that once in a while.
If the Doctor couldn't completely convince Donna to have faith in herself, but could get her so far on the path, and if a stranger could convince her to begin that journey in a separate timeline, how complete will that journey be for Donna when it's her MOTHER who convinces her that she can do more ... that she IS more? Enough so that most of that vulnerability, that lack of self-esteem is finally gone, once and for all.

When she has Wilf, and so importantly, Sylvia truly, fully, verbally believing in her, the core of the brilliance that is Donna Noble will rise to the surface once again. She just needs a little faith ... and this time, she'll get it from the one person from whom she's always so desired that belief.

So ... perfect.
 
 
 
chalcidice: goodbyechalcidice on July 12th, 2008 04:20 pm (UTC)
How you can take such a horrible ending of the series, in my opinion, and string it into something more deep and complex is beyond me. I am truly amazed. I don't know if you have swayed my dislike for the ending of this series of Who. But it does give another perspective on the entire matter.

I am still hoping by some miracle that Donna will return, I know it's not going to happen any time soon, but she could give us fans a major shocker if she appeared in one of the specials next year. Maybe not as a companion but just popping into the storyline. Yes, I know it's not going to happen. But I just hate how Donna was ripped away from the life she wanted, it's so very Rose-like, so I am hoping for her return, even if it causes her to be consumed. That's right I am THAT selfish!

Back onto your post, I did love that the Doctor told Sylvia that maybe, she should be voicing her opinion about Donna being great. That if maybe she were a little more supportive Donna would feel like she is capable of greatness and could achieve greatness. I think we all read into that line as the Doctor telling Sylvia off for not being the "best" mother when it comes to her daughters self confidence.

Rambling again. But I did like your take on the Donna losing her memory stuff :D
Arabian: Rose and Donnaarabian on July 12th, 2008 06:33 pm (UTC)
I think I can see this so clearly because it comes from personal experience a bit. I had a complicated relationship with my mother, similar to the surface of what we saw with Donna and Sylvia, and so I know how much it means when your mom believes in you. And that's all Donna needs.

I think the best thing for the specials that would help a lot of viewers would be to have happen in one of the specials:

(A) Rose and 10.5 in Pete's World. I'm hoping that is one of the potential plans because why else would they scrap the TOTALLY AWESOME that is Ten giving 10.5 a bit of the TARDIS to grow his own from the script? Why? So I'm hoping that we'll see Rose (possibly pregnant, knowing Billie Piper's condition) and 10.5 taking their first trip into this universe in their TARDIS.

(B) In one of the other specials in THIS universe have Donna and the brilliance she's become again somehow come to the Doctor's attention. I'd like a cameo by Catherine Tate, but even him just hearing about it and wearing that oh, so proud smile would do wonders for those heartbroken about the ending.

Oh, reading your post makes me so sad that you thought it was horrible. It really does. I had issues (as you know), but those issues were with how Tennant played the Doctor in some scenes, and how Rusty didn't show enough pain in Ten over leaving Rose behind. The conclusion itself, I had no issue with, just some of the execution. But Donna's story I thought was perfection. Considering Catherine Tate was only around for one series, and considering that Donna wouldn't have left any other way but death, just perfection.
wendymr: Donna awesomewendymr on July 16th, 2008 11:22 pm (UTC)
I had a complicated relationship with my mother, similar to the surface of what we saw with Donna and Sylvia, and so I know how much it means when your mom believes in you.

So did I - and that's why I disagree with you entirely over the likelihood of Donna ever getting that reassurance from her mother. Emotionally abusive people - which is what Sylvia is - do not change their behaviour. Think about that scene. Yes, Sylvia defended Donna, but then she would. The Doctor is an outsider. She can criticise her daughter all she wants, but anyone outside the family can't. It's not their place. It's none of their damned business.

Then the Doctor tells her that she should tell Donna that some time. Not long after, Sylvia tells him, very curtly, that he should be going. That says to me that he crossed a line with her by telling her what to do - by daring to criticise her. She won't listen to a word he says. His opinion is irrelevant to her, because she knows how to behave towards her own daughter, thank you very much.

I know that kind of mother-daughter relationship, because I've seen it several times in my own family, and I've seen it in other family dynamics. Sylvia won't encourage Donna to do better. She won't boost her self-confidence. Why should she? She's had 40 years of putting Donna down at every turn, telling Donna she's useless, no brains, never achieved anything, never managed to keep a man, the one time she got a man to the altar she mucked it up... and so on and so on. She never saw Donna do the brilliant stuff the Doctor did, and anything she did see she wrote off as either someone else doing it or it all being 'their fault' for interfering.

And, while I'd love to believe that Wilf will be a catalyst for Donna to become again what we know she can be, I can't see that either, for the same reasons: he's been part of Donna's family dynamic for 40 years, and if he hasn't managed to do anything about it in that time he never will. He's as much under Sylvia's thumb as Donna is.

So I think it was a horrible ending for Donna. No, it's not as bad as her dying, and I would have hated that more. I just wish she'd been given some dignity. A job offer on Earth she couldn't refuse, plus Lee reappearing? It could have been tied with some reason, related to the Time Lord intelligence in her head, why she couldn't stay with the Doctor, just to add logic to her decision. Far, far better than turning her back into the brainless, loud, shallow person she was in TRB. That was just awful, given everything we saw her become, and I can't accept your reasoning that it was brilliant. :(

Edited at 2008-07-16 11:24 pm (UTC)
Arabian: Donna Noblearabian on July 16th, 2008 11:58 pm (UTC)
As I wrote in response below, the reason I think it WILL be different this time is because Sylvia had proof that Donna WAS this amazing, brilliant person. And I don't agree that Sylvia is emotionally abusive; I know she's hard on Donna, but it always came across more to me as disappointment that Donna never achieved anything which to me read more a thought based on that Donna HADN'T achieved anything. She was a temp, and then when PiC came around, she was essentially living off her mother (and had been since the Doctor left) seemingly unable to get a job.

Sylvia didn't know that Donna was trying to find the Doctor, she just knew that Donna had spent a year "trying to find a job" and was still failing miserably. Sylvia just needed to KNOW that Donna had it in her, which DONNA hadn't shown her at this point. Now that Sylvia DOES know it, she will push Donna the right way.

Edited at 2008-07-17 12:39 am (UTC)
wendymr: Donna awesomewendymr on July 17th, 2008 01:21 am (UTC)
But when did Sylvia actually SEE Donna be brilliant? She didn't actually see anything. She wasn't there at crucial moments, and she's also the type of woman - and, again, I know the type - who sees only what she wants to see. In her world-view, Donna is useless, worthless, has never amounted to anything and will never amount to anything, and she's seen nothing to change that view. Even if she had seen just one example, I'd argue that she'd explain it away as Donna just being in the right place at the right time, or it being something anyone could do - oh, and she'd also be standing there haranguing Donna for getting in people's way and making herself out to be important when she's just a useless unemployed temp. Sorry, but that's how Sylvia is shown to us in the episodes, and she's incapable of seeing her daughter through other people's eyes.

And, with everything I saw of Sylvia, and the understanding I have from my work of issues around abuse, I have no hesitation in calling her emotionally abusive. She's a bully. She undermines Donna, destroys her confidence, saps any ounce of ambition that Donna might have had. I see conditioned responses in Donna's reaction to her, too, that tell me she's heard it all before. It's not as vivid as Donna ducking any time her mother's hand comes near her might be (yes, that's another conditioned response, one to physical abuse, and I'm very familiar with that one too), but there are still clear signs of it in Donna. Bullying behaviour is ingrained, and bullies rarely, if ever, change their behaviour - and not without some kind of intervention, such as therapy.

So, no, I just can't believe for one second that Sylvia has remotely changed her opinion of Donna, or that her behaviour will change :(
Arabian: Donna Noblearabian on July 17th, 2008 02:09 am (UTC)
We'll just have to agree to disagree then. As I said to afrocurl, when there is no concrete answer in canon and I can make it make logical sense in my brain then I'll happily accept the happy alternative. We just do see Sylvia differently and if I saw her the way you did, I would agree with your point of view.
chalcidice: sadchalcidice on July 18th, 2008 05:59 pm (UTC)
I think I have gotten over Donna's ending. I am now happy they didn't kill her. When the series ended I thought it would have been better then kill the character than take away her year with the Doctor. But giving it time I can appreciate the ending.

I would love to get some specials with Rose and 10.5. I think it would be nice to have a true conclusion about their life, but I don't see that happening. I think may of the Who fans will feel that RTD is just continuing his shipping for Rose/Doctor. But it would be nice to see where Rose and 10.5's relationship goes, what kind of life they are having and so forth. I was always the kid who wanted to know what happened after "Happily Ever Afer".
WeHo M.: DW - Does not bode wellafrocurl on July 12th, 2008 04:41 pm (UTC)
Much as I'd love to believe that Donna can be better with Sylvia and Wilf's help (new wiped mind and all), I don't think Sylvia will change that much. She'll still be the overbearing mother who nags and offers no positive encouragement.

Given that Donna had that positive encouragement with the Doctor, it's still sad and pitiful.

I'm fairly determined to ask RTD about it at Comic-Con (and well, warn everyone in the room I want to talk about the finale since it won't have even started to air by the time the panel takes place.)
Arabian: Dr Who (Ten)arabian on July 12th, 2008 06:35 pm (UTC)
I guess for me, if I can see a happy outcome, one that is plausible when it's likely we won't get a canon answer, I go with the happy outcome. I just think that it was too deliberate for Sylvia to show a slight softening in "Turn Left," then defend Donna -- not getting what Wilf was saying, just automatically defending Donna -- when Wilf said she was better with the Doctor. And then having it flat-out told to her "tell her that some time then." It was just too deliberate. We saw a Donna blossom under the Doctor's encouragement. And then in a separate timeline, we saw Donna blossom and become closer to our Donna under Rose's encouragement. And considering all that Donna did -- and that Sylvia now knows, the Doctor's comment was the wake-up call. Donna CAN be and WAS so much more, and now that Sylvia knows completely that her daughter has that potential in her, instead of batting her down, she will lift her up.

Given that Donna had that positive encouragement with the Doctor, it's still sad and pitiful.

But as shown in the scene when 10.5 saw the vulnerability and lack of self-esteem still there, it was made clear that despite all the Doctor had done, she still had no true faith in herself. The same Donna who was questioning her brilliance in "Journey's End" sounded very much like the Donna who had never met the Doctor in "Turn Left."

Getting positive encouragement from her mother -- which I HAVE to believe she will, otherwise what was the point of the small scene in "Turn Left," what was the point of the Doctor saying that to Sylvia, something that came across as cruel under the circumstances -- will be the thing that makes Donna believe in her brilliance. I have to believe that and I think that is what Rusty wanted us to believe.
wendymr: Donna companionwendymr on July 16th, 2008 11:27 pm (UTC)
I just think that it was too deliberate for Sylvia to show a slight softening in "Turn Left

When did Sylvia soften in Turn Left? What sticks out for me is that horrible, horrible scene where Donna says she was always a disappointment to her mum, and Sylvia agrees. Cruel, emotionally abusive and so painful to watch.

I can't believe that a woman like Sylvia - who is a type I've seen several times - will ever change her behaviour. In her world-view, she's doing nothing wrong. The problem is all with other people, and she will not alter in that perception - people like that just don't.
Arabian: Donna Noblearabian on July 17th, 2008 12:05 am (UTC)
Maybe I'm remembering the scene wrong, but there was a moment in the room where they're in bed and Donna says something about going out and getting a job, she will ... and Sylvia doesn't berate her. It was a small scene, but I was expecting another salvo thrown at her, and it didn't happen.

I just don't see Sylvia as harshly as do you. Looking at not the awesomeness we KNOW of Donna, I look at what Sylvia had. A woman in her late 30's/early 40's who was still a temp, stalked a man into marrying her, then spent a year on the dole without a job, living with her mother and apparently not caring that this was her life. And then when she was off with the Doctor, again, Sylvia had no clue what Donna was doing.

I think on TL in the car, Sylvia wasn't TRYING to be cruel. She was being realistic. Donna DID want to meet and marry some rich guy, and Sylvia was saying 'here, this is a permanent job, it will give you steady employment, go for it.' Could she be more encouraging? Yeah, but again, based on the little that Donna had accomplished -- and seemingly didn't care that she had accomplished that little, Sylvia's frustration turned to disappointment (how it read to me) makes sense.

So once she knows that Donna finally became this amazing person that Sylvia probably envisioned when she was a child with all of her hopes and dreams, she'll push it, she'll realize that she helped (with the Doctor's word fresh in her mind) push Donna down. Knowing what Donna is capable of, and Wilf knowing indubitably what she is capable of, they'll both have a different point of view of Donna.
wendymr: Donna companionwendymr on July 17th, 2008 01:25 am (UTC)
That scene you reference is the one where Sylvia is unbelievably cruel. Donna says something along the lines of 'I know I'm a disappointment to you' and her mother agrees with her. And it's all about how horrible this situation is for Sylvia, nothing about how bad it is for Donna.

So once she knows that Donna finally became this amazing person that Sylvia probably envisioned when she was a child with all of her hopes and dreams

I know I'm labouring the point, but she doesn't know it, and if anyone tries to tell her she's not going to believe it, because it runs completely counter to her own mindset. She never actually SAW anything that Donna did, so she doesn't have the evidence of her own eyes. She's not going to believe the Doctor - she loathed and distrusted him from the beginning, and is more likely to blame him for things going wrong than thank him for saving everyone. Plus, as I said earlier, he criticised her, so that automatically makes him persona non grata.
Arabian: Donna Noblearabian on July 17th, 2008 02:12 am (UTC)
But she does because of all that happened with the Earth moving, and the Daleks and all of that. Sylvia may not have SEEN what Donna did, but she'll hear about it from Wilf and enough has happened and she was just told (and saw Donna come in a different person than she was last time she saw her to know that the crazy explanation fits) that she'll have that proof.

As for the TL scene, I haven't watched the ep since it aired, so I likely am remembering it wrong. But I just swear there was one small moment in TL that worked for me, and if it wasn't that, it must have been something else. When I get to it in rewatch, I'll remember.

Anyway, as I said above, I think we'll just have to agree to disagree on this one.
moondancing_chic: (Dr Who) David & Catherine - Team Tardismyth_moondancer on July 16th, 2008 02:27 pm (UTC)
I agree with almost everything you said in this post - I think Donna's exit was (painfully) perfect for that character, and I particularly loved the way the series had been building up to this kind of ending for some time. Very cleverly done by the writers, I thought.

I completely think the conclusion you came to was the one we were supposed to draw, about Donna Mother's now bolstering her daughter's self-worth instead of the Doctor. I think some people are wrongly assuming that Donna needs to travel (specifically with the Doctor) in order to go on to achieve great things in life, but at the risk of sounding like a hippie therapist(!), Donna doesn't need to be "saving the universe" in order to live a good life, and have a meaningful impact on others. For most of us, gaining approval from our parents is a huge motivator in our lives - why should this be any different for Donna? She has shown she has exceptional qualities - those are still there within her. Having her memory wiped & leaving the Doctor was unlikely to be something she chose for herself, no, but plenty of times in our lives big decisions are taken out of our hands. It's what we make of what we can control that is important. I think that this can also be taken as part of the message, if you like, from Donna's story arc.

I do, however, also agree with one of your previous commenter's about the fact that Sylvia, Donna's Mother, on past form would seem unlikely to be able to sustain this faith/supportive attitude towards her daughter in the long-term. Perhaps at some point in the future this will lead us back into Donna's world..? I don't think we've seen the last of the character for good, but I also don't think Catherine will come back to the show on a permanent basis. It's amusing to me that so many fans were pretty negative about her full-time inclusion into the show at the beginning of S4 (I remember reading "she will ruin Doctor Who!!" on facebook), and now most of those same fans are lamenting her character leaving as though it was a death :P Much like Donna herself, Catherine Tate surprised many people, I think. The BBC are probably already engraving those B.A.F.T.A's, I'm sure.

Many, many thanks for your much more positive take on Donna's exit - nice to read such a well-constructed viewpoint for a change!
Arabian: Donna Noblearabian on July 16th, 2008 06:03 pm (UTC)
I see where you're getting at with Sylvia returning to form, but for me I think it will be different and lasting this time is because now Sylvia KNOWS, indubitably, that Donna IS capable of greatness. She didn't think so before. Now? She knows just how brilliant Donna can be. And THAT'S why I think she'll keep pushing her the right way this time and not revert to form.

I knew nothing of Tate other than what she looked like from a few bad promo pics and I was 'eh, I don't think so.' I can't imagine what people thought based on her previous known stuff, but dang, did she prove every doubter wrong. AWESOMENESS personified.

Thanks for replying. :)
moondancing_chic: (Dr Who) David & Catherine - Team Tardismyth_moondancer on July 17th, 2008 07:33 pm (UTC)
Really hope you're proved right on the Sylvia front. I hate waiting around for characters to bugger things up constantly, though I suppose angst provides better viewing figures for the writers :P

And I loved 'The Catherine Tate Show' before she got the role in 'Dr Who', so I did know of her, although TBH that didn't exactly provide much detail about what she would be like in 'DW' (other than I knew she could play a wide range of characters with accuracy...) I think she's certainly proved herself now, though...
Arabian: Donna Noblearabian on July 18th, 2008 02:23 am (UTC)
Well, I don't know that we'll ever get follow-through, but I'm still hoping for some sign, something that shows that Donna did become awesome and the Doctor finds out. Somehow. If we don't get follow-through, I'll just assume my happy ending for Donna happened.

I'm also tempted to find some of her show just because I love her so very, very, very much on Who. Astounding, this woman is.
Fey Spiritfey_spirit on August 1st, 2008 05:30 pm (UTC)
You know I hate to say this, but even if you're right and Sylvia does see more potential in Donna now that could prove to be even worse for Donna. Because now she'll expect more - drive her harder. And because Donna isn't at the place yet where she did those wonderful things she might very well break under the weight of Sylvia's new expectations.
Aimee: count-fireworksaimeekitty on July 21st, 2008 06:43 am (UTC)
I think you have a really great point there!
even with out it though, I think they've shown such strength in Donna that I have hope for her reaching some sort of potential on her own. I loved how the built up the tragedy of it, it was beautifully sad for both Donna and the Doctor. But I'm with you, I think, in time, she'll become awesome Donna, on her own, of her own account.
isn't that part of the message of the series? that simple human beings have such wonderful potential. I think Donna was one of the best examples of that in the show, even m ore so than Rose (who was just a shopgirl!).
while the show keeps kicking the doctor when he's down (which is wonderfully angsty) it still has such a beautiful core of hope, hope in humanity, really.
Arabian: Donna Noblearabian on July 21st, 2008 12:46 pm (UTC)
even with out it though, I think they've shown such strength in Donna that I have hope for her reaching some sort of potential on her own.

I like to believe so as well. I really think the entire point of "Turn Left" was to show that Donna DID have that potential to be that awesome even without the Doctor, she just needed someone to truly believe in her. And I think the Doctor's line to Sylvia was the key to point out that now Sylvia GETS IT!

while the show keeps kicking the doctor when he's down (which is wonderfully angsty) it still has such a beautiful core of hope, hope in humanity, really.

Agreed; we identify and love the Doctor so much, but after all, he IS an alien. The humans are the ones who are MADE better because of him.
Fey Spiritfey_spirit on August 1st, 2008 05:33 pm (UTC)
And in turn the Doctor is made better by them... it's a wonderful little cycle they've got going there.
Fey Spiritfey_spirit on August 1st, 2008 05:32 pm (UTC)
You know I love this idea! Donna finds her way back to fabulous on her own, and then runs into the Doctor again on her own terms...
bellavarukabellavaruka on July 23rd, 2008 11:40 pm (UTC)
Doctor Who who?
OKay, I gotta ask. I've never seen Doctor Who. Any of it. I hear about it constanly through my flist, however. What is it, why is it "all that" and if I wanted to get into it, where oh where would I start since it has so many beginnings/doctors/etc.?
Arabian: Dr Who (Rose/10/9)arabian on July 23rd, 2008 11:54 pm (UTC)
Re: Doctor Who who?
I would suggest starting with New Who. The first season (13 episodes)started in 2005 has Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor, the 2nd series to current has David Tennant as the Doctor.

It's technically a British, sci-fi children's show, but I think it's a BIT much for a children's show. When it first came on in the 60/70s it was more kid-friendly. That's roughly all I knew when I started watching it. I got hooked after about the fifth episode or so, but I enjoyed it before then.

Well, I didn't know the Tennant part and was devasasted when Chris Eccleson left. The Doctor is a Timelord and when he "dies" he regenerates -- he has 13 regenerations, we're on 10 -- his entire DNA is rewritten, thus the explanation of a new actor taking over the role. I'm letting you know because if you do watch it and love Eccleston as the Doctor, I want you forewarned. I was SHOCKED and so upset, I didn't watch the next season until two years later.

If you have Netflix, the first season is available to watch instantly, and the following seasons are available to rent.

Why is it all that? I don't know; it just is. Great acting, great writing, great concept, it's fun, silly, campy, cheesy, yet dark, haunting, beautiful, fascinating. I just really, really love it.

Edited at 2008-07-23 11:55 pm (UTC)
Fey Spiritfey_spirit on August 1st, 2008 05:35 pm (UTC)
Re: Doctor Who who?
Do we know for sure whether he has 2 or 3 left now? Did the last regen count even though he kept his own body and personality?
Arabian: Donna Noblearabian on August 2nd, 2008 02:58 am (UTC)
Re: Doctor Who who?
Well, that's a loaded question. Technically, he didn't use a regeneration -- that's what I got from the Doctor-explanation and the DWC (although, David Tennant doesn't seem to be sure, it seemed like the others involved do). However, I've also heard that the BBC is keeping it somewhat vague that because he's the last Time Lord that should somehow enable him to have more than the standard 13 regenerations.

So, in other words, who knows? I guess it depends on how long the show lasts.
eolivet on August 7th, 2008 03:13 pm (UTC)
I've been so hesitant to reply here, just because there are so many other posters saying so many good things...

But I have to say, after reading this post, I love your interpretation, because I believe RTD would love it. I don't believe he set out to give Donna a tragic, awful ending. There was always some hope in how he left his Companions (sure, Jack "came back to life" after the TARDIS had left in PotW, but he was alive!) There was a reason the Doctor said he was "John Smith" -- if RTD really wanted to prove Donna's memory was gone, Ten would've said "the Doctor," and Donna would've given a blank look. She didn't. I believe that was deliberate -- a sliver of hope.

So, I can absolutely believe he wanted viewers to think that maybe Donna's mom will appreciate her more now -- or he wouldn't have put that dialogue in. RTD may be haphazard in his plotting, but his characterization is always very deliberate. I believe he knew he wrote Donna a sad, gut-wrenching ending, but not a hopeless one. :)

Great analysis. :D
blackcat_1 on August 16th, 2008 07:21 pm (UTC)
Hmm...
Some very interesting and valid points there. I could see that even with her memory being wiped, she still had the potential for greatness, but you have coherently set out a pathway by which this could be possible.
Arabian: Dr Who (10) - Kissarabian on August 16th, 2008 07:36 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I just think that with the casting constraints and the character progression up to that point that RTD had to work with, he did the absolute best he could for Donna (as well as the Doctor and Rose, but that's a different post).