"The Runaway Bride" is one of many Christmas specials of Doctor Who. It stars David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor and Catherine Tate as Donna Noble. It was aired December 25, 2006 and is set in London on December 24, 2007, following the events of the Battle of Canary Wharf that year with a brief side-step back in time to the formation of the Earth 4.6 billion years earlier.


The Doctor, still desolate after saying his last goodbyes to Rose Tyler, is surprised to find Donna Noble suddenly materialise on the TARDIS. Donna angrily accuses him of abducting her from her wedding ceremony and demands to be returned to the church in Chiswick. The Doctor does so, but they find themselves near Oxford Street instead. Donna takes off to find a taxi to return her to the church, while the Doctor spots the robotic scavengers disguised as Santas from the previous year's Christmas. He avoids their attack and looks for Donna, finding her in a taxi manned by another Santa. The Doctor uses the TARDIS to fly alongside the taxi and rescue Donna, but the activities have put a strain on the time machine, and the Doctor is forced to let it recover. The Doctor, curious as to the scavengers' interest in Donna, gives her a ring to mask herself from them, and escorts her back to her wedding's reception.

The Doctor meets Donna's groom, Lance, whom she had met and fallen in love with while working with him at the firm of H.C. Clements. He reviews the video footage of Donna's disappearance and recognizes that she had managed to absorb a great deal of Huon particles which would have been drawn towards the TARDIS in conjunction with the stress Donna was under due to her wedding. Too late, the Doctor realises the ring he gave Donna cannot mask the Huon particle signature, and soon the reception hall is attacked by more scavengers. The Doctor is able to use the music sound system to disrupt the attack and trace the control signal to a star-shaped ship in orbit around Earth, but quickly loses track of it.

On learning that H.C. Clements is owned by the Torchwood Institute, which was believed to be dissolved after the Battle of Canary Wharf, the Doctor asks Lance to take him to their headquarters; Donna insists on joining them. The Doctor discovers a secret basement leading to a long tunnel under the Thames Barrier. At a room at the end of a tunnel, they find machinery creating Huon particles, and a pit that seems to lead straight to the core of the Earth. They are surprised by the sudden appearance of the Empress of the Racnoss, a spider-like species the Doctor believed had been wiped out eons ago by the Time Lords. She shows them that she has taken control of the company and used the Torchwood technology to create the pit. Lance reveals that he has been working with the Empress, and was responsible for dosing Donna's coffee with Huon particles, and now plans to throw her into the pit. The Doctor and a heartbroken Donna escape; the Empress decides to use Lance for these purposes and starts force-feeding him the Huon particles.

Curious as to the Empress's goal, the Doctor takes Donna back to the restored TARDIS and travels back to the creation of the Earth. They find that a Racnoss ship formed the core of the developing planet, and the Doctor surmises that the Empress is attempting to revive her species by using the Huon particles to awaken the ancient Racnoss, with Lance's body becoming a food source for them. Returning to the present, the Doctor and Donna return to the pit to face the Empress, but Donna becomes trapped in her web while the Doctor is held at gunpoint by one of the scavengers. As the Racnoss are awakened and begin ascending the pit, the Empress brings her ship closer to Earth and begins firing upon the populace. The Doctor offers the Empress to take her and her kind to a planet where they will not harm anyone but she refuses. The Doctor then reveals himself as a Time Lord, and asserts he cannot let the Racnoss thrive, and destroys one of the walls of the room, flooding it and the pit with water from the River Thames. Though the Doctor has freed Donna, he stays to watch the Empress suffer, but Donna convinces him that they must leave. As they escape in the TARDIS, the Empress teleports back to her ship; however, this move proves futile, as the ship is destroyed soon afterwards by human forces under Harold Saxon's orders.

The Doctor returns Donna home: however, she is desolate, having lost her job and her fiancé the same evening. She declines an invitation to join him in the TARDIS, but suggests he find someone else to calm him down, as she did earlier in battle. The Doctor tells her briefly about Rose, and then disappears back into the TARDIS.

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