Award winning comedian Tate will reprise her role as Donna, the runaway bride from last year's Christmas special, despite turning down the Doctor's invitation to travel with him at the end of that adventure.
*slams head into desk repeatedly*
Ahem. Okay, with that done, I can now proceed to outline my opinion in a coherent manner.
I am not and never have been convinced of Catherine Tate's acting ability. She can quite commendably put on different voices, adopt different gaits, wear prosthetics and wigs, and arrange her facial features into a variety of expressions - but she cannot embody a character. To one extent or another, she is always Catherine Tate.
On the other hand, David Tennant seems to effortlessly become an entirely different person in each role that he takes on. You only have to look at his performance in The Family of Blood - as the Doctor, as John Smith, and as the Doctor pretending to be John Smith - to see he has that ability to embody a character. No matter who he's playing, it's never David Tennant on screen, but the Doctor or Casanova or Peter Carlisle or Alan Hamilton or Brendan Block or...
But Catherine Tate is Catherine Tate. And, for me, that breaks the fourth wall. Now, this was alright for a Christmas special - you're stuffed full of food and a bit of silliness is really all you're after. But for a thirteen episode primetime family drama series...?
I will say, however, that Donna is exactly the sort of character that's needed right now. I am much more confident about Martha's return now than I was before - as long as Donna and Martha get on (and they'd better do; the TARDIS is not a place for catfights), I think Donna will kick the Doctor's butt into giving Martha the recognition she deserves. And, in fact, into doing many things that at this point he really really needs to do before we all go off him.
Donna and Martha will certainly be an interesting pair to watch. Ooh boy. What an arse-kicking, face-slapping double act! I can imagine them getting up to all kinds of things, in between whipping the Doctor and being snarky about stuff.
But still, I would rather have had a Donna-a-like than Donna herself.
PS: Proper well-thought-out reaction post to Last of the Time Lords should be coming some time within the next couple of days. Still just getting over the shock and collating my thoughts at this point, but I should be done soon.
PPS: As a confession, I must say that I have never found The Catherine Tate Show particularly funny, so I quite possibly have some bias against her. But, apart from the fourth-wall-breaking-ness, I enjoyed The Runaway Bride - so if they can inject Catherine Tate with some acting ability before series four starts, I will be like HOH YES AWESOME when it airs.