Christian Donaldson



First Appearance S01E03
Last Appearance S02E04
Gender Male
Personal Status
Occupation Scientist
Status Deceased
UK Simon McBurney (Series 1)

Michael Maloney (Series 2)

"Are you having a heart attack? ARE YOU HAVING A FUCKING HEART ATTACK?"

Christian Donaldson was a recurring character in series 1 and 2 of Utopia. A formerly distinguished scientist, Donaldson's career was ruined by The Network when he discovered something he shouldn't have about the SARS outbreak. Donaldson was recast in series 2 for unknown reasons.

Background Edit

Donaldson was a promising researcher working for the Marthaler Foundation (an extension of Corvadt) during the SARS outbreak and although Hong Kong had been locked down, he thought "Fuck that, I'm special." and examined the cases. In less than an hour, Donaldson had figured out that the deaths were random cases of respiratory problems. When he filed a report on it, he was discredited, his research was destroyed and he was embroiled in a sex scandal.

At some point, Becky met him after discovering she had Deel's Syndrome and after learning that he knew all about it, at what she described as "a very low ebb", she had sex with him.

Series 1 Edit

Michael Dugdale is sent to Donaldson by William Kaye but is sent away immediately. He follows Donaldson to his lab and is threatened out of fear, suspecting Dugdale of being a Network agent. Once he confirms his identity, Donaldson calms down and asks if he has a sample of the Russian flu vaccine that he can test, but Dugdale states he was unsuccessful in attaining one from Corvadt due to The Assistant and Conran Letts. When asked if there's another way, he sarcastically replies, "Not unless you happen to have one of the corpses in your pocket." which Michael seems to take literally as he sneaks onto Fetlar, where the flu hit and cuts off one of the corpse's fingers.

When Donaldson examines the small piece Dugdale kept after surrendering the remainder to Geoff, he tells Dugdale to return later but attempts to sneak out before then. He then tries to run but is stopped by him and it's discovered that the deaths caused by Russian flu were in fact the result of chemical poisoning. Donaldson reasons that he wanted money from The Network for his silence as compensation for them ruining his career but Dugdale leaves with the research.

He then visits Becky who needs more thoraxin -a drug he invented to suppress the symptoms of deels- from him but only gives her a small amount, promising her more if she gives him the Utopia Manuscript. During another of their meetings, Donaldson tells Becky to bring the manuscript next time as he will be bringing all of his thoraxin and if she gives it to him, he will give her it all. But if she fails to, he'll throw it all in the lake. Becky shows up but refuses to give him the manuscript, putting Donaldson in a slight panic as he has already made a meeting with The Network and has told them he has it. When Becky asks him to do the right thing and give her the thoraxin, he throws it in the lake and leaves.

Series 2 Edit

Christian finds Becky contemplating suicide at the top of a building. He attempts to talk her down and asks for her help but she just yells at him, stating that she doesn't want to help for another month of life. He is able to make her come downstairs with the promise of a year of thoraxin. They go to a book signing by Tony Bradley, whom Donaldson knew from college. He wrote a book containing knowledge that he couldn't have found out alone and Donaldson wants the research to write his own book and "make a shitload of cash." He uses Becky to act attracted to him for long enough to get into his house and threaten him with a gun. Although Tony states that he worked on his own, at that moment, Anton, an old man, exits his basement. When they enter the basement they discover a cell of sorts, Donaldson asking "Are you having sex with this man?". They learn that Anton did all of the research after he walked into one of Tony's classes one day and began writing. Donaldson doesn't feel safe and after tying himself to Tony, brings the others to an abandoned building that he's been hiding out in.

While at the building, the group meets up with Grant and Ian before being attacked by a SWAT team. Donaldson comes closest to death when a soldier begins chasing him and Tony -still tied to him- has a heart attack and dies, bringing him to a halt. He and the others are rescued by Arby and escape to a nearby field where they learn that it is Donaldson that The Network are after before going on the run.

Arby wakes the group and gives them breakfast before questioning Donaldson on why he's been targetted. He realises that it's because his old professor, Dobri Gorski, told him "Jimmy Deesh L is fat man," he couldn't make sense of it and assumed it as drunken ramblings. Arby takes the group to Ben, a member of a hacking collective and an ally. He helps them discover Russian flu, originally though to be fiction used to scare people into taking the vaccine, will actually be released. Arby then tells the group he has things he needs to see to and that he will meet them later.

While waiting at the meeting point, Donaldson antagonises Anton and when Ian and Becky stop him, he instead messes with them, commending Ian for forgiving Becky after what happened with himself and her, and is insulted by Ian who states that their drunken fling meant nothing. Donaldson then states that's not what he meant, telling Ian a warped version of the real story of when Becky refused to help him get the manuscript, which leads to Ian storming off and telling Milner that Philip Carvel is alive.

When Lee arrives at Ben's house long after the group have left Arby appears and offers Donaldson and the others in exchange for Tess and Amanda's safety. After meeting up again, Arby tells the group he and Donaldson will go to get supplies but in fact brings Donaldson to Lee. The duo constantly ignore Donaldson's questions, rarely answering him due to the task at hand, saving Arby's family. After Arby says goodbye to Tess and Amanda, he allows Lee to kill Donaldson, saying goodbye with a casual "Ciao for now".

Even in death, Donaldson still proved to be a thorn in Becky's side. When Carvel tried to reconstruct thoraxin, he discovered it was an addictive opiate used to keep Becky thinking she needed it and as a result she would continue to go to Donaldson for more. When Ian asked why Donaldson would do that to her, Carvel states that "There are bad people in this world, people who want to control others."

Gallery Edit

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