This Christmas (2006) episode introduced series three with the appearance of Catherine Tate as Donna Noble.
After surviving Doomsday and the Doctor’s pathetic goodbye to Rose on the shores of Bad Wolf Bay.2 (talk about breaking up by email, text or even tweet; is a hologram for better or worse?) the Runaway Bride was a much needed tonic.
Not that I personally will miss Rose Tyler but watching the Serial Monogamist aka ‘The Doctor’ reply to her blubbering confession of love with a smirked (or was it aw shucks embarrassed?) ‘Quite right really…’ left a bad taste even in my mouth.
Very early in their companionship he (well #9) made a point of rejecting Adam Mitchell on the grounds that ‘I only take the best’ (a nod to an absent Rose). Then we sat back and some of us groaned as Gallifrey’s nine hundred year old Gift to Earth-Girls Doctor Woo’d the hopelessly infatuated kid around the universe.
Now, he is no sooner back in the TARDIS with one of Rose’s old jackets as a trophy (don’t serial killers do that sort of thing?) than he is closely scanning a terrified Donna (she didn’t run away she was trawled up) and would before long be slipping a ring on her finger and (a little too symbolically I think) his jacket over her shoulders.
No wonder Donna eyed him suspiciously when he explained Rose’s absence with those three little words every girl loves to hear on her wedding day, ‘I lost her’.
Well, at least he got her to the reception if not to the church on time and stayed around to rescue her from Robot Santas and the Empress of the Racnoss. I suppose, in the end it was just as well that Donna didn’t get to say ‘I do’ before she got to say ‘I won’t’ to the Doctor’s offer that she might like to become another notch on his TARDIS’ door post.
I doubt I am altogether alone in feeling that one of the biggest plusses in the selection of Peter Capaldi as the twelfth Doctor is that (for the foreseeable future) Clara need no longer worry about being anything more than friends with him (or will she?).
Anyway, as this is after all a Blue Box Parable, let me offer some words of Jesus from John’s gospel, that reflect yet again the way his love and care for his disciples so far surpasses the finite and in the end helpless attachment of an aging Time Lord to his companions. Praying, Jesus said to his Father and ours,
“I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word…For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me…Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name–the name you gave me–so that they may be one as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.” John 17:6-12
And this was a promise confirmed when Jesus said to the ones who came to arrest him in Gesthemane,
“I told you that I am he,” Jesus answered. “If you are looking for me, then let these men go.” This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled: “I have not lost one of those you gave me.” John 18:8, 9