News that Catherine Tate is to be the next “permanent” Doctor Who companion has been causing a fair bit of furore in both the UK national press and the Bloggosphere.
The general response has been a resounding, “Oi, Russell T. Davis – NO!” though whether Russell, Doctor Who’s head writer/writer in charge (or whatever he wants to call himself), will actually listen is a matter of some debate.
I suspect he won’t which leaves us with the worrying prospect of Catherine Tate appearing in all 13 episodes of season 4.
A number of Doctor Who stalwarts have already voiced their concerns most eloquently – TimeWarden being once of them – and it’s not my intention to repeat what has already been said but nevertheless I feel the need to cast my hat into the ring.
I don’t hate Catherine Tate in the slightest. I love her comedy shows and think her a competent actress. I’ll even admit to finding something very attractive about her though she always seems intent on taking a bad photograph. (Karen and I are convinced she has issues regarding her looks but that’s a subject for another post...)
What I didn’t like was the character that Catherine played in last year’s Christmas special, The Runaway Bride. “Donna Noble” was just too shrewish and too fish-wifey to be an effective long-term companion. She grated. She jarred. She was a one-trick pony. Does the Doctor really need a stereotypical, constantly nagging female companion on his travels?
What next? Bernard Manning style mother-in-law jokes?
The trouble with Donna Noble is that her creator has confused volume with depth. The character is irritatingly two-tone and two-dimensional to say the least. And that’s hardly fair on Catherine Tate’s abilities.
But maybe I’m being unfair. Maybe a fantastic back story is even now being composed? Maybe scintillating scripts are even now being prepared and salivated over by Russell T and his crew?
The trouble is I suspect that Russell T has utterly no sense of quality control. He was swooning over the season 3 finale last Saturday for example and, to be frank, “Last Of The Timelords” was complete and utter cack. Ineffably risible.
It doesn’t bode well for the fourth season at all.
The problem is I can see Catherine Tate being turned into a convenient scapegoat and I think – if all does go belly up (though hopefully it’ll remain paws down) – the real blame will actually lie elsewhere...
But is Russell T Davis bovered?