Monday, June 23, 2008

Dr Who: Turn Left

I loved this episode so much I watched it twice...

This was Russell T Davies at his sheer brilliant best. I love parallel universe/time slip/what if? kind of stories, and one of my favourite things about New Dr Who is the way they've played around with Timey Wimey stuff.

The idea that simply by turning right instead of left Donna not only changed the course of her own life, but that of the world's because she never got to meet the Doctor, so wasn't there to save him from drowning when he defeated the Racnos was fabulous. I also liked the way all the companions and people associated with the Doc kept popping off while trying to sort out all the problems that he would have solved in the alternate reality.

I also really liked the parallel with story from series one when Rose tried to save her dad and couldn't. This time around she was unable to save Donna, who's only means of reverting the fateful decision she made was to throw herself under a truck, thereby causing a traffic jam and making her other self turn left as she was supposed to.

Rose herself was something of a revelation. Maybe it's the fact we've got used to her not being around, but boy had I forgotten how good Billie Piper was. She really is an almost impossible act to follow (though against my initial reservations I think Catherine Tate has been pretty good this series, particularly when they stop her shouting) I know there's been some mocking about her speech impediment, but that aside I loved new tough Rose, and the look of pain in her face when she realised she'd come too late to save the Doctor/and Donna asked if they had had a thing going on was a reminder of the power and pathos she brought to the role. The kids are all clamouring for her to come back now, and I can't say I disagree. Shame Billie Piper is so sodding talented she presumably has lots more fish to fry. But hey if she pitches up occasionally from her parallel universe I don't care.

Am absolutely dying to see how it all pans out next and hope that the series finale doesn't end up feeling as much of an anti climax as last year, but retains the power of The Parting of the Ways (my favourite episode from Series One) and Doomsday (which made no 3 cry for weeks afterwards).

Also wondering what the Darkness is and whether I'm right that the ghosts that the Torchwood team see are in fact coming through the Rift from parallel universes (which was how I thought Rose was coming back). My guess is that she will keep appearing and disappearing but that she and the Doctor will never meet properly - or meet and not be able to touch or some such poignant thing. My money is also now on Donna making some big sacrifice to save the Doctor as she knows how important it is to keep him alive, and that Rose already knows this....

And if I've got that all wrong I don't really care anyway because that means RTD has pulled an unexpected rabbit out of the bag, which is much more fun.

Last year I ended up reading far too many spoilers, so I really really don't want to find out what happens next, if only to replicate that moment on Saturday when Donna repeated the words, BAD WOLF.

I so didn't see that coming.

8 comments:

musicobsessive said...

Hi. Nice post. As someone who saw the first episode in 1963, I have always loved Dr Who but admit to being a bit bored of the new series, BUT these last few episodes have been really watchable. You're right, Billie Piper has just reminded me how good she is and it's put Catherine Tate in the shade. Never mind - still can't wait for the next few episodes!

Anonymous said...

Thought Billy rocked. CT does the comedy scenes well, but don't think she can quite master the emotional scenes.

Not quite as good as Midnight, which I am still thinking about 2weeks later, but still great, and the Bad Wolf moment was awesome.

Have to say Last of the Time Lords is still one of my favourite episodes, because of the idea that ideas can change the world. It was a little OTT, but when he said, "you can't control what they think" I was cheering. And when he forgave the Master, I thought that was just fantastic. But I never saw the end of Series 1, so can't compare with that. My jaw did drop in Series 2 when the Daleks emerged from the black sphere, I didn't see that coming...

Roll on Saturday!

Mad Twin

Nic said...

I DID I DID! A thought she'd whispered her name but I though Bad Wolf - and I have no idea why....

I too love these parallel universe sotries - A hates them and thinks they're a cop out. Typical bloke - needs a monster to blast at to be happy...

The idea of a scrifice hadn't occured to me, but would link with the way River Song spoke/reacted when she realised who Donna was in the Library....

And actually, I do think CT is rather good - just every now and again a phrase will come out that reminds me of on of her characters, but they are getting less and less. Get her back to the RSC, say I.

Jane Henry said...

Hello musicobsessive welcome to the blog (anyone with that moniker can come by any day!) My earliest Who memories feature Patrick Troughton and his recorder, but I'm really a Jon Pertwee/Tom Baker girl. Or I was until Mr Tennant arrived on the scene...

MT I disagree with you about CT, I think she does emotion well, but I don't think they always direct her properly, and rely (rather cheaply I think) on the Catherine Tate comedy moment. Don't forget that in this episode we're back to a shallow Donna who's never met the Doctor, so the depth she's gained in this series has all gone.
I did like the end of the last series, but it lacked (for me) the emotional punch of those last scenes with Rose and the Doctor on the beach, and I think the previous two episodes were so strong I felt rather so what at the end. RTD is rather good at building things up and not finishing them properly. I loved The Second Coming but felt the ending was really flat. SO I hope this isn't going to happen here. YOU ABSOLUTELY HAVE to go and watch the end of Series One!!! Because Bad Wolf gets explained and you understand what happens to Jack, and there's a FANTASTIC line that the Doctor says to Rose as he is regenerating about wanting to show her so much etc that made me go cold all over, and when I see it reminds me how much Christopher Eccleston inhabited the role to the point that I wasn't sure how much I'd enjoy Series 2 with DT (shows how wrong you can be!).

Hi Nic - oh clever you. I thought Rose was going to tell Donna her name, never occurred to me that Bad Wolf would come back. I did nearly jump in the air and shout YES!!! but Spouse would have thought I'd gone bonkers if I'd done that ...

Henry North London said...

I have to say I wasnt over awed by turn left

Then again you cant love every program in the series...

it felt a bit like a rehash of old programmes

Im hoping that this weekends episode makes up for it

stu-n said...

You think Rose was trying to save Donna? I got the impression she was deliberately sending her to her death, because that was the only way they could get rid of the beetle-thing and restore the Doctor to the time line. She wasn't happy about it, but she did it anyway. Definite parallels to Father's Day, though — Rose is well aware that sometimes people have to die to resolve these situations.

Jane Henry said...

Hi HenryNorthLondon, I think we'll have to agree to disagree, on this one. I liked the referencing back myself, and I do think new hardnut Rose is really great.

Hi Stu- n thanks for dropping by... ooh, maybe you're right. Obviously after her father's day episode Rose realises you can't change certain things. She is definitely harder then Rose of old, but hmmm. Can I accept she deliberately sent Donna to her death? I thought it was more that there wasn't any choice, but she couldn't tell Donna that exactly as Donna may have said no, so she fudged it till the last possible moment. I also suspect she knows even with the timeline restored Donna maybe for the chop anyway... River Song didn't seem too cheerful about Donna's future prospects did she? The most fun thing at the moment is I really don't know how it's going to end, as I haven't read any spoilers bar the really obvious ones. Roll on Saturday!

jomar said...

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hope you can help answer them here:
http://youwillbeforever.blogspot.com/2008/07/doctor-who-journeys-end-finale-loose.html

Thanks!
Jomar