Skip to main contentSkip to footer

Doctor Who ultimate recap: everything to know about David Tennant’s Doctor and Donna Noble

Here’s where the Doctor and Donna’s story left off 13 years ago, ahead of the 60th anniversary special

Are you ready for the Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Specials?
Emmy Griffiths
Emmy GriffithsTV & Film Editor
Share this:

Doctor Who’s 60th anniversary specials are right around the corner – and see David Tennant’s incarnation of the Doctor reunited with Donna Noble (played by Catherine Tate) for the first time in over a decade. As such, we can’t blame even the biggest Whovian for needing a refresher on just what happened to the Doctor and Donna – here’s everything you need to know ahead of The Star Beast…

The Doctor and Donna Noble first met in the Christmas special The Runaway Bride when she materialises in the TARDIS. After the devastating events of Doomsday, where the Doctor says goodbye to Rose Tyler after she becomes trapped in an alternate universe, Donna immediately brought some comedy into the show as they have to work out how and why she is there. After saving the day, Donna declines becoming the Doctor’s companion, leading him to team up with Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman).

WATCH: The Doctor is back with Donna Noble!

However, the character returns in season four after realising that she made a mistake turning the Doctor’s travel invitation down. She has been investigating aliens on Earth in the hopes of running into him again, and they eventually reunite and go on adventures together.

Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Specials© Zoe McConnell and Alistair Heap
Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Specials

However, the Doctor becomes increasingly curious about the amount of coincidences surrounding Donna, which is eventually explained in the season four two-part finale The Stolen Earth and Journey’s End.

Donna accidentally gains Time Lord knowledge and saves the world after touching the Doctor’s severed hand, giving her too much knowledge which would eventually lead to her death. In a devastating ending to her storyline, the Doctor is forced to erase all of Donna’s memories of her time with him to save her life, causing her to revert back to her former self before meeting him. She briefly returns in The End of Time, where the Doctor gives her a winning lottery ticket as a wedding gift as she marries her fiancé, Shaun.

Speaking about The One Show recently, David explained: “If she remembers anything about the Doctor, her brain will melt and she will die. It’s quite a tricky place to start!”

While we don’t know much about Donna in the anniversary episode, we do that she is still married and the mother to a teenage girl, Rose, when she and the Doctor run into one another again. We can’t wait to find out more!

Team HELLO!'s top Netflix recommendations

Simone Ashley reprises her role as Kate Sharma© Netflix
Simone Ashley and Jonathan Bailey in Bridgerton
  • Stranger Things
  • Bodies
  • The Crown
  • Bridgerton 
  • Queen Charlotte
  • Selling Sunset
  • Squid Game 
  • Sex Education 
  • Firefly Lane 
  • Blue Eye Samurai
  • Virgin River
  • Sweet Magnolias 

Early reviewers have taken to X, formerly known as Twitter, to discuss the episode, with one person writing: “Happy to report that I really enjoyed #TheStarBeast! The first #DoctorWho 60th special is at its best when The Doctor and Donna are bouncing off of one another's energy, following their long-awaited reunion and it's very clear just how much fun David Tennant and Catherine Tate are having - their core chemistry has not changed one bit... Also worth noting is that Miriam Margolyes is superb as The Meep - a truly hilarious and mischievous portrayal.”

Another person added: “I was lucky enough to get to review the first #DoctorWho 60th anniversary special, “The Star Beast,” and I absolutely loved it. The return of David Tennant, Catherine Tate, & RTD is worth the wait. Fans of Donna and the Doctor are in for a real treat.”