I wrote the first part of The Doctor and Donna do Disney in the park on a lovely sunny day that would have been perfect if I hadn’t sprained my ankle on the way and was in a certain amount of pain by the time I reached the picnic tables. At the time of writing it, Season Four of Doctor Who was still only halfway through. There were rumours about how Donna was going to be written out, but no more than that.

But I knew that didn’t matter, anyway. The Tenth Doctor in these stories isn’t in the same universe where all of that happened. He is in Nine’s universe, where things happened differently, but a lot of people exist that he knows – like Jo and Sarah Jane, for two. It was perfectly reasonable that he might meet Donna Noble.

Incidentally, this is the first time since writing these Ten stories that he actually has a companion who has been with him on television. Wyn, Jasmin, Alex, Susan and Miche, Marcus, Stella, Jamie, are all my own creations. The Ten series is perfectly popular, and I don’t think it has been hindered by the non-TV companions, but with Wyn and Stella moving on I had nobody else lined up, and I am quite sure there are plenty of Donna fans who would like to have new stories about her.

This Donna is not quite as thick as she was in Runaway Bride. She has a unique and skewed way of working things out, but she does see the bigger picture that the other Donna missed, and she has The Doctor’s measure from the start.

I never really meant for this to be a particularly action packed story. What I mostly wanted was for The Doctor to show Donna that there was so much more to the world, and to the universe, than she had ever imagined. What she mostly gets out of the experience is that The Doctor is a kind, nice man and she could do worse.

Having him invite her to join him as a secretary was a change from the usual way people join The Doctor as companions, either accidentally, or with a casual invitation. A formal employer/employee basis seemed to me a fun way to start their relationship, although I don’t intend for her to do a lot of secretarial work for him. What would The Doctor even do with a secretary?