Nobody talks about the hug between Donna and Ten at the end. Why does nobody talk about the hug between Donna and Ten?
Idk why nobody talks about this hug cause it’s one of the best hugs of the entire series. I think I’ve meta’d about this before but I don’t care cause I really want to talk about it.
We got Donna Noble, who was chilling out, maxing, relaxing all cool and sunbathing right next to that great shiny pool. She was drinking her drink and basking in the xtonic sunlight, probably laughing to herself when she finds out that the bus broke down because of course it would happen to the Doctor, of course.
But when she sees the Doctor walking towards her, oh how she sobers up immediately. (This is assuming they probably didn’t tell her about the deaths–or maybe they did and in that case she got really really concerned.) I bet she could see him from the other end of the room, noticing that he’s not walking with that normal, slightly pompous strut with his hands in his pockets. His head isn’t held high, but nor is he looking down. It’s almost as if he’s not even looking at her, it’s like he’s just…drifting.
As he gets closer, she can just see it on his face. She can see how beaten, how miserable, how vulnerable he is right now. Honestly, look at his face, I’m surprised he didn’t start crying (perhaps he did and we didn’t see it.)
But can you imagine how the Doctor is feeling right now? He was inches away from death, which is something that typically happens on their adventures anyway but this time, he was forced to repeat the order for his own death. He lost all control of his body, his voice, possibly even his mind. The Doctor was completely stripped of everything except his clothing and was left to get murdered by the human race (the race he has lived with and adores and holds on such a high pedestal) by a creature that he just wanted to help. He had even put himself in front of this creature, a creature he knows absolutely nothing about and the creature repaid him by taking control of him and attacking him and maybe some other things to him depending on what you want to believe.
I could imagine the Doctor hanging back, waiting for all the other passengers to leave the bus before he shakily stands up and grabs his coat, avoiding eye contact with everyone and possibly bowing his head. He probably rushed out, breathing heavily as he nearly ran to go find Donna. Maybe he stopped in a hallway to catch his breath, echoes swirling in his head from the events on the bus. He probably still felt Biff lifting his body up like a rag doll; the Professor’s hands wrapped around his ankles; Val screaming to throw him out as if he were the most disgusting, worthless thing in the universe; hearing Jethro and Dee Dee’s sobbing–oh how he wanted to scream and sob, too; and finally the entity inhabiting Sky’s body controlling him like a puppet. I have this image of a Doctor leaning against the wall, eyes closed still whispering “it’s gone, it’s gone, it’s gone” until he felt like he was in his body again, speaking his own words.
Any being belonging to the human race was probably the last thing he wanted to see as he walked into the pool room. But there was Donna, citizen of an Earth that was millions of light years away and in another century. This woman of the Earth that he had met by accident, but brought her along with him on purpose. A woman that helps him save the day or the planet or the people. A woman that isn’t afraid to call him out on his bullshit. A woman who may not think she’s anything special but she is so, so important. A woman who has become his best friend in the entire universe.
The Doctor isn’t afraid to show Donna how vulnerable he is, how hurt he is. So when Donna wraps her arms around him, because he’s her best friend and she wants to comfort him, oh how he grabs on to her as if he was about to fall into a dark, soundless void.
The way they hug each other so tightly, not in a romantic way at all—purely platonic—and I’m sure the hug lasted a long time before they finally let go. He didn’t even need to say a word, Donna understood how he was feeling immediately and that is one of my favorite parts of their relationship, that deep understanding they have with each other.
I do wonder how the hug broke off though. I think the Doctor was the first to let go, maybe sighing from exhaustion with a slight shudder, tears starting to puddle in his eyes. Donna probably kept a hand on his shoulder as they walked to a table. She probably softly asked “what happened?” and the Doctor buried his face in his hands, taking a deep breath before he finally caught back onto his words–his own words and telling her what had gone wrong.