Movies - TV
How Catherine Tate's Doctor Who Contract Determined Donna's Fate
Of all the Doctor/companion dynamics during showrunner Russell T Davies' tenure on "Doctor Who," Season 4’s was the most interesting. After two companions in a row where the show flirted with the idea of Ten (David Tennant) falling in love with his companion, they finally gave him Donna (Catherine Tate), a relationship that was purely platonic the entire time.
The two actors had phenomenal chemistry and played off one another very well, which made it all the more devastating when Ten wipes Donna’s memory at the end of the season. Since Donna would never have left Ten’s side willingly, wiping her memory was a necessary choice, but it was mainly due to the fact that Tate only had a one-season contract with the show.
Davies explained his decision to wipe Donna’s memory by stating, "I thought of it purely because we had Catherine Tate for one year only. Turns out she loved it so much, she'd have stayed forever. But when I was planning it, it was a one-year contract. So if you give a companion the time of their life [...] how else do you get them out? It was the only possible exit."
Donna's fate still stings over a decade later, which is why fans of the character should be happy to hear Donna and Ten will be returning for the show's 60th anniversary special, airing next year. Not only that, but Russell T. Davies is returning as showrunner as well.