Donna Noble, later Donna Temple-Noble, was a companion to the Tenth Doctor. Despite her humble beginnings, she was described by both Rose Tyler and the Tenth Doctor as being the most important woman in all of creation, due to the fact that she saved the whole of reality from the Daleks and Davros. To survive the side effects of her transformation into the “DoctorDonna”, her memories of her time with the Doctor were forcibly erased and she was returned to Earth. She later married Shaun Temple, and became Donna Temple-Noble.
Donna’s first encounter with the Doctor was bewildering for both: the Doctor was shocked into speechlessness by her sudden appearance in his TARDIS; Donna was furious with him for “kidnapping” her and twice slapped him in the face when he was overexcited in the face of her missed wedding and imminent danger or death. (TV: Doomsday, The Runaway Bride) Though Donna’s sharp tongue and hair-trigger temper kept the Doctor at arm’s length for most of their first adventure, quieter moments showed a more level-headed and perceptive woman. (TV: The Runaway Bride) Although she sometimes appeared unintelligent and persistently referred to herself as “only a temp”, she was actually quite smart: she mastered the Dewey Decimal System in two days of work at a library. (TV: The Doctor’s Daughter) When she joined the Doctor in his journeys, her quick and sometimes dry wit often came out, syncing with his own. (TV: Partners in Crime et al.)
Donna’s fiery temper hid a deep well of compassion. She reached out to Agatha Christie, trying to share her own story of failed marriage. (TV: The Unicorn and the Wasp) She helped free the Ood from mass slavery. (TV: Planet of the Ood) When the Doctor was forced to make the terrible choice of destroying Pompeii to save the world, something Donna had tried and failed to get him to stop as it was a fixed point in time, Donna took some of the burden on herself by helping him push the lever to trigger the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. (TV: The Fires of Pompeii)
Though most companions were, to some degree, the Doctor’s conscience, Donna adopted this role more openly and forcefully than her predecessors. She pleaded with the Doctor to save the inhabitants ofPompeii — if not all of them, then a single family — and got her way with Caecilius’ family. (TV: The Fires of Pompeii) Donna insisted that the Doctor acknowledge Jenny as his daughter, no matter how she was created or what job she was trained for. (TV: The Doctor’s Daughter)
Likewise, travelling with the Doctor made Donna a better person. He tempered her sharp tongue and brought out a more clever, compassionate aspect of her personality. She acknowledged that in the past, she had been selfish, always putting herself first. Travelling with the Doctor changed that: she started looking out for others, automatically helping where she might not have before. In some instances, she became almost motherly towards the Doctor, telling him to take care, reprimanding him when his actions were found wanting, automatically fixing his tie, etc. He even once stated that “she Donna takes care of me!” (PROSE: Beautiful Chaos, TV: The Fires of Pompeii, The Doctor’s Daughter, The Sontaran Stratagem)
When the Doctor’s former companion, Martha Jones, recalled the Doctor to Earth, she and Donna became fast friends; neither was jealous of one another, and both were willing to share experiences. The Doctor found this disconcerting. (TV: The Sontaran Stratagem) Her relationship with Rose Tyler was initially abrasive in the alternate timeline (TV: Turn Left) but friendly in the real universe. She also enjoyed an attraction to Captain Jack Harkness, which at one point involved her pushing Sarah Jane Smith out of the way to get a hug from him. (TV: Journey’s End)
Unlike Rose and Martha, Donna was intent on maintaining a platonic relationship with the Doctor, reacting with disgust when she misinterpreted his comment, “I just want a mate”, (friend) as, “I just want to mate”, (breed). (TV: Partners in Crime) Both the Doctor and Donna also corrected many people who thought they were married, saying things like, “We’re so not married. Never”. (TV: The Fires of Pompeii,Planet of the Ood, The Doctor’s Daughter, The Unicorn and the Wasp) She did kiss him, but only to give him a shock as part of his cure for cyanide poisoning. (TV: The Unicorn and the Wasp) She was very supportive of the Doctor, at one point forcing him to admit that despite the potential collapse of universes, Rose’s return was still a good thing. (TV: The Stolen Earth) She also supported the Doctor when the time came to leave the Meta-Crisis Doctor and Rose behind on Pete’s World. Dalek Caan referred to Donna as “the most faithful companion”. Just before her memories were wiped, she tearfully echoed Rose’s earlier desire to travel with the Doctor “forever”. (TV: Journey’s End) The Doctor reciprocated Donna’s feelings, referring to her as his best friend. (TV: The End of Time)
The Meta-Crisis Doctor, working from his original template’s memories, recognized that Donna’s brash attitude arose from her belief that she was unimportant; she was “shouting at the world, ’cause she thought no one’s listening.” The original Doctor attributed this to her mother never telling Donna she was important to her, and told Sylvia to tell her that more often. (TV: Journey’s End)