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Catherine Tate: “Doctor Who Baffles Me — It’s a Complicated Show”

Is Catherine Tate, who plays Donna Noble, a fan of Doctor Who? Well, it’s complicated.

Ask her and she’ll say she’s not. In fact, that’s exactly what happened:

“No, full ­disclosure, I’m not. I won’t say I’m not a fan; that sounds horribly ­disingenuous… I’m trying to say I don’t understand it. It’s probably not childish enough for me. I feel my comprehension is a bit too low-brow for sci-fi. It just baffles me. It’s a complicated show.

“I can’t say I could let you know what was going on. I feel I really disappoint fans all the time, especially in America. You do panels and Q&As and they’re desperate to know what the meaning was in episode three, line six. I’m like, ‘I couldn’t tell you, love. I’m sorry but I just don’t know.’”

Nonetheless, Donna is very close to her heart, as she explains:

“I love playing the character, but I feel like she is like me, of the Earth.

“This is how much I watch it. I had no idea they carried on when David and I left. No, I’m joking, of course.”


I do think she exaggerates this side of her, though; at the very least, she’s being somewhat disingenuous anyway as she’s certainly not too “low-brow” for Doctor Who. No one is — the programme is aimed at everyone.

Still, it’s fair enough that someone who acts in the show isn’t consumed as much by it as the average Doctor Who fan. We have to remember that it is, at the end of the day, a job for her, albeit one that is nonetheless very important to her. And the next time we see Donna will be important for us too: it’ll be Doctor Who‘s 60th anniversary, in November!

Philip Bates

Editor and co-founder of the Doctor Who Companion. When he’s not watching television, reading books ‘n’ Marvel comics, listening to The Killers, and obsessing over script ideas, Philip Bates pretends to be a freelance writer. He enjoys collecting everything. Writer of The Black Archive: The Pandorica Opens/ The Big Bang, The Silver Archive: The Stone Tape, and 100 Objects of Doctor Who.

Catherine Tate: “Doctor Who Baffles Me — It’s a Complicated Show”

by Philip Bates time to read: 1 min
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