5. The Midnight Hug
Midnight is such a flawless episode. But that’s not the point! The point is that even though Donna has barely any screentime in this episode, the hug at the end is one of my favourite things. We don’t know how much Donna’s been told; she’s probably been very worried. But she’s intuitive enough to know that what he needs right then is a big hug. In general I think the Doctor and Donna have a very intuitive relationship — Donna knows when to push and when to just offer quiet support and this is a good example of the latter.
4. Unicorn & the Wasp Detox Charades
DOES THIS COUNT AS A FRIENDSHIP MOMENT? IDEC IT IS THE BEST. David Tennant and Catherine Tate being funny is one of my favourite things and this scene is so great because it takes what could potentially be somewhat overblown drama (the Doctor is clearly not going to die halfway into a random episode) and makes it very funny, and anyone who’s ever played charades can relate. “HOW IS HARVEY WALLBANGER ONE WORD?” Best.
3. The Lever Scene in Fires of Pompeii
This scene is such an awesome and important moment for the two of them as friends and partners. They’re two very stubborn people who’ve been butting heads the entire episode over how to deal with this crisis, and yet when it all comes to a head in this moment, Donna is willing to put her hand over his and share this burden with the Doctor. It’s a true gesture of partnership between them and I think it marks Donna out as someone willing to do what needs to be done and as an equal.
2. The Doctor-Donna Scenes in Journey’s End
Half the episode could’ve been just these two Fred-and-George-ing around and I would’ve been satisfied tbh. I’ve always found it a shame we didn’t get another scene with these two in particular. This scene is great because it once again capitalizes on one of my favourite things (David Tennant and Catherine Tate doing comedy) and it’s a big character moment. The way he mimics her mannerisms is hysterical (as is the way she mimics his, but that’s later on) and the scene is very funny, but it also gets to the heart of Donna’s insecurities as the Doctor realizes for the first time just how unaware of her own importance and brilliance Donna really is.
1. Basically All of The Runaway Bride
EVERYTHING IN THIS EPISODE TBH I don’t care that this is before they even knew Donna would come back and therefore before they blossomed fully into a beautiful friendship. Runaway Bride does an excellent job of establishing the base of their relationship and there are so many moments where I’m just like :’D THE START OF A BEAUTIFUL FRIENDSHIP.
In particular I love a couple scenes. The obvious one is the “you can stop now” scene, which as we learn eventually in Turn Left is crucial. The part where they both laugh like idiots at the Segways while Lance stares at them is another one. Of course I love the scene at the very end, where he invites her along, she declines, and he tries (and fails) to act like it’s NBD. Then Donna drops some knowledge and shows how intuitive she really is, first by essentially summing up Ten’s entire arc by saying “sometimes I think you need someone to stop you”, and again by asking the name of the friend he’s obviously mourning. Donna Noble you are the bomb.
The other scene I love and one that I think usually gets forgotten, though, is the scene on the TARDIS just after poor Donna has found out that Lance was using her. Donna’s rightfully upset and crying quietly on the TARDIS because the guy she’s in love with and supposed to be married to has been poisoning her all along and never really had feelings for her. The Doctor is an emotional wreck himself the whole episode and isn’t great with this sort of thing in the first place — but you see him peering around the console at her looking concerned, and then he coaxes her to come look at the creation of the Earth to try and make her feel a bit better. It’s a really sweet gesture coming from someone as emotionally inept as the Doctor is, and the whole scene just makes me want to squish both of them and maybe give them a tub of icecream to share and cry into.