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Can the upcoming Doctor Who special change Donna Noble's tragic ending?

Donna is back, but it's not all fun and games.

Catherine Tate as Donna Noble in Doctor Who Anniversary Trailer
Image credit: BBC

It's been 15 years since Donna Noble took her last flight in the TARDIS in Doctor Who series 4 finale 'Journey's End,' and that episode still stands as one of the most tragic endings for a companion in Doctor Who history. Though fans probably hoped for a more lighthearted anniversary when it was announced that both Catherine Tate and David Tennant were returning for the show's 60th anniversary, this weekend's official trailer shows that Doctor Who will not be skirting past the tragic aspects of Donna and the Doctor's parting.

For those who haven't seen Doctor Who series 4 or need a quick refresher, Donna Noble was the tenth doctor's (that's David Tennant) third companion. They traveled the universe and timelines as best buds, but in the course of saving all matter in every universe, Donna gets a brainload of Time Lord knowledge. Unfortunately, as a human, that amount of information will kill her, and the Doctor has to wipe her memory of all of her time with the Doctor to save her life. Particularly for Donna, who had hated her regular life and found true purpose traveling with the Doctor, this ending was a particular kind of gut punch.

Now Donna is back, but being back puts her in mortal danger. In the trailer, the Doctor says that if she remembers her time with the Doctor, she will die. And yet, it seems like fate is still drawing the old friends together, as a spaceship crashes right in front of her. We know, from clips from the trailer, that Donna does end up getting her memories back, and she even talks to the Doctor about the TARDIS, but at what cost? Another clip in the trailer shows the Doctor telling her, "I don't know if I can save your life this time."

Will Donna's new parting from the Doctor be a bit happier this time? Or wil it be even more tragic? We'll have to tune in this November to see.

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Doctor Who's anniversary specials will debut on Disney+ in November.

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