Take a day off to celebrate the nation’s birthday and look what happens: comedian Catherine Tate has been announced as David Tennant‘s new sidekick on Doctor Who, a decision that has proven wildly controversial. (The Guardian has TWO major blog posts on it – here and here.)

You see, Tate already appeared on Doctor Who as Donna the Runaway Bride on last year’s Christmas Special. Let’s just say, her character was a bit on the melodramatic side, and she’ll play that same character when she returns to the show in the fourth season. “From what I recall Tate pretty much screeched her way through the whole thing, stripping paint as she went,” says The Guardian’s Jason Deans, adding, “When she stopped shouting and/or screaming at poor old David Tennant, there were one or two tender moments between the pair, made all the more striking by all the shrieking that had gone on before.”

Some fans are reacting like Russell T. Davies committed treason or hid WMD or something. “RTD obviously wants to make sure there’s no show left when he leaves, as the character Tate played in the Runaway Bride has been the very worst thing in the new Who,” says one angry poster. Also angering fans is the decision to send actress Freema Agyeman, who has been a success with critics and viewers alike as Billie Piper‘s replacement, to Torchwood. She’ll return to Doctor Who in the middle of the season. It’s a jarring change for people who have grown attached to Agyeman, especially after just having lost the beloved Piper.

Anyway, anyone who reads this blog knows that I think Catherine Tate is tremendous, and I have no doubt she’ll do great justice to Russell T. Davies’ creation. And c’mon, when has RTD let us down before? And he certainly has had opportunities to do so. Trust in RTD, folks…he will not lead you astray.

In related news: Torchwood‘s John Barrowman makes science sexy as he visits Switzerland’s CERN facility, the world’s largest particle physics laboratory a.k.a. “the coolest place in the Universe.” You can watch his tour on YouTube. Found via The Register.

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By Kevin Wicks
Kevin Wicks is the founding editor of Anglophenia.