Doctor Who: RTD's 3-Word Tease Doesn't Bode Well For Donna Noble
If you're a fan of Catherine Tate's Donna Noble, you're not going to like a three-word tease from Doctor Who showrunner Russell T. Davies.
Over the past few weeks, we've been getting a lot of intel on the new series of adventures currently being filmed with new Doctor Ncuti Gatwa and new companion Millie Gibson (Ruby Sunday). But before we get to that, showrunner Russell T. Davies has the 60th Anniversary of the BBC & Disney+'s Doctor Who to unveil. Previously, we learned quite a bit about the special event from the episodes' directors, Chanya Button, Tom Kingsley & Rachel Talalay. And then there was that very cool "Network Error " from over the weekend that dropped another tease for the return of David Tennant (as the Fourteenth Doctor?), as well as Catherine Tate as Donna Noble. And it's Donna who's the subject of today's update, which is brief but pretty ominous.
In an Instagram post from the official Doctor Who Instagram account, Donna's past adventures with the Doctor were being honored – with the question, "What does the future hold?" Well, Davies decided to take his shot and offer a three-word tease that does not bode well for one of our favorite companions: "Oh. Terrible things" (with the sad, kinda in-mourning emoji face being an extra kick to the "feels").
Set up to be a "transmission break" on the BBC, a surprise teaser for the anniversary event that aired on BBC One had some interesting on-screen text to decipher as well as some interesting audio (with Donna asking, "Why did this face come back?" and Tennant's Doctor sharing, "Cryptic, I hate that!" when played backwards).
Button, Kingsley & Talalay on Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Episodes
The trio shared their reactions to first reading Davies's scripts. "Each special has a really different flavour. It feels like Russell [T. Davies] flexing his muscles and showing all the different things 'Doctor Who' can do," Kingsley shared – a sentiment shared by all three directors. Here's a look at some of the highlights:
Kingsley Discusses "Absolute Nightmare" Episode, Teases "Aliens" & "The Thing" Comparison: "I opened mine and just tore through it. Even as a reading experience, it was so exciting. But I kind of got to the end of it and thought, 'Well, I pity whoever has to direct that cos it's an absolute nightmare!' I was planning to email my agent the next day and say, "It's amazing, but… no way." But when I woke up the next morning, I was still thinking about it, and I started to figure out: 'Well, how could you actually do this?' Because a lot of my episode is quite weird. Even at the readthrough, Rachel, your episode went down so well, and I was really jealous of you getting to direct it. Because there are so many complicated stage directions in mine, the reaction in the room was a bit like, 'Um, sorry, what?' Which made me think it was going to be a disaster. But of course, when you come to film it, it's actually really cool. It's got a lot of similarities with two of my favourite films, 'Aliens' and 'The Thing.' It's a little bit of the DNA of those mixed in with 'Doctor Who.'"
Talalay Read All Three & Outlines Some Key Differences Between Them: "I read all three, and my first reaction was, 'Wow!' The first one is classic family 'Who.' It's bringing back that world that Russell left [in 2010] with David and Catherine. And then after that, it becomes much more expansive, with Russell really throwing his massive imagination at it while also being thoughtful about setting up the next series.
Talalay's Episode Allowed Director a Chance to Embrace "The Stuff That Scares You": "My episode features lots of people in lots of scenes. There's soldiers, there's battles, and I thought, 'I haven't always succeeded in doing the action stuff, with loads of extras, that well in the past. This is really scary for me.' So I was determined to do that part really, really well. It's all about embracing the stuff that scares you."
Button's Episode "Was Just the Most Expansive Thing" That the Director Has Ever Read: "It was just the most expansive thing I've ever read. Every page I turned, it was a different world and a different idea and a different sort of bonkers and inspiring adventure. It was just the ultimate luxury to read it and go, 'This is a writer at the very peak of his abilities, completely unbound and confident in what he's putting on the page.' Which, as a director, is really empowering. It's challenging, in the most positive way possible, for someone to go: 'Here's a big idea; let's see how you do it.'"