Thoughts on Catherine Tate

Over the past couple of days, the BBC have announced that Catherine Tate would reprise her “Runaway Bride” role and be the new companion on Doctor Who.

I’ll admit that my initial reaction to this was negative.

The more I thought about it, though, the more I realized that my negative reaction was based mostly on the character of ‘Donna’ as portrayed by Tate in the beginning of “the Runaway Bride” (well, and the fact that I was really hoping that the new companion would be Sally Sparrow from “Blink.”).

The thing is, though — thinking about “the Runaway Bride” (which is being shown on the Sci-Fi Channel tomorrow, kicking off their series 3 broadcasts), I realized that Donna was only really loud, brassy and annoying at the beginning. Over the course of the episode, she softened considerably. (Her reaction to seeing the formation of the Earth, for example, was really wonderful to watch). Given that, I think it only fair to wait and see how she’s handled in the new series. She could come off a bit like Tegan redux, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing….and it will also be an interesting dynamic change not having a wide-eyed teenager/twenty-something as the companion.

Plus, Steven Moffat (author of “Empty Child” from 2005, “Girl in the Fireplace” from 2006 and “Blink” from this year) is being given a two-parter to write. So it can’t be ALL bad.

12 Replies to “Thoughts on Catherine Tate”

  1. I would like to think that you’re right and that given the opportunity, they can tone down some of the harshness (the character was going through the madness of a wedding, after all). My hope is that she is not being brought on because of her comedy, but to give her a chance to grow a little as a performer.

    And on the plus side, she spent a year with the Royal Shakespeare Company before going into stand up comedy. I find that more than a little bit heartening.

  2. I’m not happy about it. I REALLY disliked Donna, and I don’t think she improved much throughout the ep.–she was still a harridan at the end. Very much Tegan. I’m all in favor of having a companion who isn’t dewy-eyed about the Doctor, but I’d hoped we’d get a guy for a change (since the only actual male companion we’ve had for the past three years was Jack, who was just as smitten with the Doctor as the women were. I don’t count Adam or Mickey as real companions).

    But we’ll wait and see, I guess, and hope for the best.

  3. don’t think she improved much throughout the ep.–she was still a harridan at the end.

    I’m not so sure about that. She went from broad comedy bellowing and shrieking at everyone to a fairly astute and telling comment about the Doctor — how he needs a companion to “stop him.” (from going all “Angry God” at the bad guys)

    I’ll be interested to see how the writers tackle her initial refusal to join him — that she was afraid of him. Something has to change there, and it will be interesting to see what it is.

  4. “She went from broad comedy bellowing and shrieking at everyone to a fairly astute and telling comment about the Doctor”
    That’s true but misses my point. She’s still a harridan–loud, obnoxious, pushy, shrill. Harridans can be astute at times, but it doesn’t make them any more pleasant.

    I’m not saying I won’t watch the next season or anything, but from my perspective she’s definitely going to have to work (and so will the writers) to overcome the bad impression she created in RB.

    Explaining away her refusal won’t be difficult, though. He’s changed a bit since then. And she probably has as well. No doubt they’ll get thrown together in the first ep., probably because her company is just a Torchwood front anyway.

  5. I wasn’t living in the UK when Tegan was about but my wife was and she said pretty much same thing as you about Donna and her.

    I’m rather looking forward to it.

  6. a fairly astute and telling comment about the Doctor — how he needs a companion to “stop him.” (from going all “Angry God” at the bad guys)

    Only, of course, they totally backed off from that in the last episode, with Space Jesus Doctor. I do take your point, though, and I’m slowly, slowly coming to think that Catherine Tate might not be as hideously annoying as I initially feared.

  7. Actually, I really liked Donna.

    Sally Sparrow would be cool for more stories, though.

    And I’m looking forward to seeing more of Martha across two shows, as well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.