Fat Friends

Am I Bovvered?


I suppose in many ways we shouldn’t be too surprised by Partners in Crime, it follows a pattern of season openers over the past few years.  We’ve had Cat nurses, Intern companions, and now an alien midwife; we’ve had relatively non-threatening (misunderstood?) female villains, with this year’s silent security heavies mirroring last year’s silent biker types; we’ve got the usual family business, with the obligatory harridan mother; vertical shenanigans with tall buildings/lifts/stairwells/cleaners’ hoists etc.  It’s always window dressing for the main event, new Doctor, new companion, new look, new direction, new meme.  Sarah Lancashire did an adequate job channelling Supernanny, but really all eyes were resting, nervously, on Catherine Tate.


‘Ginga’ companions have had a bit of a chequered history (despite some staunch support): Mel, BBC Books’ “Ginger Whinger” Compassion, and now Donna.  Apart from hair colour and fan dissatisfaction, they have a few things in common, they tend to be forthright, opinionated, straight talking, and occasionally shrill.  Even before her return there was quite a bit of fan angst after her hijinx last Christmas.  She was too much a caricature, too silly, too unbelievable, too thick, too unlikeable, too unlikely, and just too much!  And she still is!  But perhaps in a good way.  There is thankfully no Doctor-love angst, and Donna’s simple and direct style may be just the thing to crack the more dark and moody aspects of the Doctor’s nature, while she isn’t the companion to win the Doctor’s heart, she may be the one with a chance of understanding what makes him tick, and this will counterpoint the dark and moody road ahead… Because Donna’s story is going to end in tears.  Not essentially in terms of fan reaction, but because that’s how Rusty works.  Tragedy, tears of a clown, the dramatic impact of killing of the comedy relief.  Given his past form her “100 years” comment could only be foreshadowing something.


Similarly the business end of this episode is the bookending that seems to have been missed by many.  While the Doctor and Donna continually missing each other got a bit tiresome relatively quickly, there was a brilliant payoff (even if it was only in mime), but it was also reflected by the surprise cameo at the end.  Looking for the Doctor, and just missing him, and probably continuing to do so for the rest of the season to come.



3 Responses to “Fat Friends”

  1. andypulzar Says:

    Surely Turlough would also quality as a ginga companion, wouldn’t he? He’s certainly my favourite (for fairly obvious reasons). And he had one of the best early story arc’s of any companion IMHO.

    Surprisingly, two episodes in I don’t hate Donna completely yet. To be honest I was expecting to, but she’s improved a little from the Christmas Special. A little… being a very small amount. I don’t like her yet either… so we’ll see what happens.

  2. Peter A Says:

    Andy’s right, Dave – and it pains me to say Turlough was a stroppy one and all as well.

    I really enjoyed this episode though – probably the best first episode since Smith and Jones. Some very funny moments (I’ll not forget the sound of that van stopping for a while), and the ‘mime’ scene was just lovely – RTD can write comedy at least.

    Bernard Cribbins is godlike!

  3. the_other_dave Says:

    Would you believe I had Turlough on the list in the drafts, but cut him out at the last minute because I thought people would complain that I called him shrill…

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