Is Doctor Who Season 13 Bringing Back A Fan-Favorite Companion?

Catherine Tate Doctor Who BBC America

Doctor Who Season 13 is currently filming, and amid all the rumors that surround the season, yet another big one has sprung up about the return of a key character to the franchise. Months after John Barrowman made his long-awaited return to the franchise, yet another veteran who hasn't been on the show in a long time is rumored to appear. Whether the rumors are true is a different story, though, and the jury is still out whether or not audiences will see Catherine Tate's Donna Noble meet Jodie Whittaker's Doctor.

The original rumor was that Catherine Tate was in Liverpool at the same time that Doctor Who was filming for its upcoming Season 13. Radio Times explained the rumors that Tate was involved only deepened when fans claimed they spoke to the actress who said she was in town to film but said she couldn't say for what due to a Non-Disclosure Agreement. A rep for Tate disputed those claims, though, and denied any of that was true.

I can confirm Catherine is very much not in Liverpool and is not on [the] Doctor Who set.

Now, for some, that would be the end of that rumor. What makes the story interesting, though, beyond fans who claimed they saw Tate, was that The BBC declined to comment when asked about the rumor before that. If the rumor was so far off-base to the point Catherine Tate wasn't in Liverpool to film for Doctor Who, why wouldn't the network just say that? Plus, what about the people who supposedly met her in Liverpool? Was that a lie or legit?

If Catherine Tate did reprise her role as Donna Noble for Doctor Who, it would be the first time she appeared in the series since 2010's "The End Of Time." After she departed from the series, Tate has continued to lend her voice for the show's audio dramas, but obviously, there are many who would like to see her return in Season 13.

Fans may also know it's not so simple to bring Donna Noble back to Doctor Who. Donna obtained a level of intelligence akin to The Doctor in her final episodes, but the overload of information she obtained in her Doctor Donna transformation nearly killed her. The Doctor forcibly erased all her memories of him and their adventures, so Donna has no reason to seek out The Doctor.

Additionally, The Doctor feared that if he/she ever came in contact with Donna again, the memories would come flooding back, and her body would be in jeopardy yet again. Of course, we're not sure if there's some way Jodie Whittaker's Doctor nullifies that or if there's some loophole that Doctor Who can work out to make this collaboration possible. Honestly, it may not need to if Catherine Tate's rep told the truth, though we can only wait and see what happens.

Doctor Who Season 13 is still filming, but American fans can binge the long-running series on HBO Max. There are some exciting things fans can expect in Season 13, and it sounds like John Bishop will be a treat to watch in the new season.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick Joest is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend with his hand in an eclectic mix of television goodness. Star Trek is his main jam, but he also regularly reports on happenings in the world of Star Trek, WWE, Doctor Who, 90 Day Fiancé, Quantum Leap, and Big Brother. He graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Radio and Television. He's great at hosting panels and appearing on podcasts if given the chance as well.