First of all, Catherine Tate is a fucking amazing actress. Since I live in the US, I'm not really familiar with any of her non-Who work. I know people have mixed feelings about her, but as far as I'm concerned based on her portrayal of Donna Noble, she kicks ass. I love her. I love Donna, but I think I love Catherine too.
What really got me, was that the Donna who hadn't met the Doctor was a completely different woman from the one who did. Not quite as shrill as in Runaway Bride, but clearly in some ways a lesser individual with a harder road to hoe to find her inner heroism.
I know some (maybe a lot) is down to the script, but I think the performance made it clear as well.
OK, let's talk Rose. I know I have some hard-core Rose-Haters out there. Let me offer you a big hug. Not because I share the feeling, but because I share the pain of swimming against a Tsunami of love for a character who's very existence makes you nauseated. (We'll get to that shortly.)
I'm not a Doctor/Rose shipper or a Rose/Anyone shipper, unless it's some subversive femslash with Sarah Jane or something, but I also don't hate her and don't think she's a Mary Sue. I don't blame Rose for the Doctor's mopiness and bad treatment of Martha.
Mostly I was just trying to figure out WTF was going on and how they were going to fix it.
I was never concerned that they weren't going to fix it, so while the results of the non-Doctor-ness were painful, I knew it wouldn't be permanent. Russell was very clever in showing how each episode could have gone the other way and made the world worse and worse, although...No Doctor and England immediately goes fascist? Subtle Rusty, very subtle.
Yay for Captain Jack mention, although as I said, what's the good of killing Ianto when I know it's not for real? Sigh. (Sorry Gwen. If I could get rid of Ianto, you'd be collateral damage.)
Speaking of my Ianto!hate. Much as I want Jack back on Dr. Who, I really kind of resent the whole Ianto/Gwen being there as well, simply because I was enjoying not having any ship issues associated with Dr. Who. Everytime I think I'm out, they drag me right back in. Naturally the wankage breaks out two seconds after the end of the promo because the J/I shippers see the shot that looks like Jack with his arm around Ianto and absolutely refuse to see that his other arm is clearly around Gwen. I hate this fucking ship war. I'm willing to say that J/I/G means it's over, why won't they? THREESOMETHREESOMETHREESOME. Get used to it.
The ending:WHOAH.....I totally did not see the BAD WOLF coming. Maybe I should have, but somehow I thought, we'd finished with that. I literally started screaming.
ETA: MAJOR EWWWWWWWWWW for the bug on the back. I do have bug squick issues.
Can't wait for next week. Russell, please do not let me down.