Frustratingly, my brain decided to wake me up at 2 a.m. this morning so I could lie in bed and ponder possible scenarios for this Saturday's "Doctor Who" finale. Really, of all the things I could have been doing, I had to spend an hour or so pondering Donna Noble's significance in the weakly-put-together universe of a man who enjoys 70s disaster films and a fair bit of camp. But there we are.
I am theorizing that Donna turns out to be a time lordess or some such thing. This would be another one of those things where a time lord is hiding in a human form that is totally unaware of being anything else. The Doctor did this last year, as did the Master. If this were the case it would validate all the "Donna is gonna die" stuff, because effectively she does die. Remember the emotional turmoil that John Smith (the Doctor's human form) went through in knowing that he would be giving up his life and the woman he loved and so on to become the doctor.
Here are random reasons I think this:
- Donna was saturated with Huon particles, the things that exist in the heart of the TARDIS
- Donna's godlike status. The Doctor is often referred to in godlike terms, but in this season Donna is also taking that billing -- something that didn't happen with Rose or Martha. Remember the Roman family that decided to worship the Doctor and Donna as gods. Remember the Ood talking of how "the DoctorDonna" would be remembered for all time.
- The coincidences of the Doctor running into Donna or her family multiple times
- The fortune teller proclaiming: "What will you become?!" before running away in fear
- Donna is sitting in the Shadow Proclamation and hears a steady beat -- a second heart?
- Donna's habit of being, albeit unwittingly, just as clever as the Doctor.
- Donna constantly refers to herself as "just a temp." A temporary human, perhaps?
Reasons I think Donna might become the Doctor:
- The crazy Dalek refers to the Doctor as the three-fold man, suggesting a multiple-doctor finale. I think Donna could be one of them.
- The Ood referred to the Doctor and Donna as a single entity: "the DoctorDonna." OK, they're aliens, perhaps their English isn't so good. But it's an interesting mistake to make for a race of beings that are telepathic. Perhaps they saw/sensed something.
- The names Doctor and Donna sound similar
- In the trailer for Journey's End Donna is the only one in the TARDIS.
- In one quick shot of all hell breaking loose on the TARDIS, you see Donna's leather jacket hung on one of the foundations -- flung there in the way that the Doctor always flings his coat when running into the TARDIS.
- In Donna's alternate universe, the Doctor dies and his sonic screwdriver falls from his hand. This shot was held for a strangely long time, in that "here's a clue" sort of way. Perhaps she picked up the sonic screwdriver and, thanks to the strangeness of flux universes, now has it on her.
Reasons I think Donna might become the Master:
- In the alternate universe in which she never saved the Doctor, all kinds of bad things happened, but conspicuously absent was any mention of the Master.
- That beat Donna hears could be the war drums that the Master hears.
- In the episode when the Master failed to regenerate, his body was ceremonially burned and a ring fell from the funeral pyre. Donna may somehow have that ring and it may be similar to the watches that held the Doctor's and the Master's true identities when they were human.
- The crazy Dalek refers to a Dark Lord returning. We assume this is a reference to the Doctor, but why would a Dalek refer to him as a Dark Lord? They also hate the Master and surely that would be a more appropriate name for him.
- The Master ran away in the Time War when faced with the Daleks' Cruciform. Now, suddenly that is being rebuilt. Who best to deal with it?
- Donna hates it when people underestimate her -- a trait one would expect from the Master, whose greatest weakness is his own vanity.
Other random thoughts:
- There is a consistent theme of maternity. Sarah Jane Smith is maternal toward her son, Captain Jack is maternal toward his Torchwood team (kissing them on the forehead when they think the end is nigh), Rose's mother returns in this episode and was always central to her life, when Martha Jones teleports she goes to her mother's house. But Donna's mother is not maternal in any way. The Doctor does not have a mother.
- The Doctor does have a gun-toting daughter out there somewhere.
- With his little wrist-watch thingy, Captain Jack can move through time again, right?
- I'm pretty sure that whatever the case, Donna dies. Catherine Tate isn't contracted beyond this season and there's no mention of her being in the Christmas special filming.
- David Tennant is in that filming, so this regenerating nonsense is a ruse.
- Almost certainly whatever actually happens will be hugely disappointing. Remember that last year the whole thing was resolved by having Martha get the world to believe in fairies (the Master was somehow defeated by having the whole world say the Doctor's name at once -- insufferably reminiscent of when we are all expected to clap to bring Tinkerbell back to life).
Cripes I'm a loser.