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Doctor Who - Turn Left

episode 4.11

UK 2008
produced by
Susie Liggat, Phil Collinson (executive), Russell T. Davies (executive), Julie Gardner (executive) for BBC Wales/BBC
directed by Graeme Harper
starring Catherine Tate, Billie Piper, Bernard Cribbins, Jacqueline King, Chipo Chung, Joseph Long, David Tennant, Noma Dumezweni, Bhasker Patel, Clive Standen, Suzann McLean, Natalie Walter, Neil Clench, Marcia Lecky, Catherine York, Ben Righton, Loraine Velez, Jason Mohammed, Sanchia McCormack, Lawrence Stevenson, Terri-Ann Brumby, Lachele Carl, Paul Richard Biggin
written by Russell T.Davies, music by Murray Gold

tv-series
Doctor Who, Doctor Who (David Tennant), Doctor Who (new series), Donna Noble, Rose Tyler

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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At a fortune teller (Chipo Chung), Donna (Catherine Tate) is attacked by some parasite that lives on alternative time ... and suddenly, she is pushed back in time to a spot before she has even met the Doctor (David Tennant), and makes a decision that makes sure she never will ... which costs the good Doctor his life (during the events of The Runaway Bride). From here on the story explores the effects of all of the Doctor's earthbound adventures hadn't the Doctor been there, starting with the disappearance of a hospital (see Smith and Jones) the crash of the Titanic II into London (see Voyage of the Damned) and so on ... resulting in the fact that without Donna at the Doctor's side, the world would be a much worse place. But thank God Rose (Billie Piper) is on hand to try to save the world in the Doctor's spirit - which she isn't too good at, but hey, that's a pretty tall order to begin with - and set the timeline right again, with Donna actually meeting the Doctor ... but to do that, Donna has to go back in time and give her own life - give her own life to be pretty much reborn as the Doctor's companion ...

 

The concept of this episode - a what would happen if-story - is of course very interesting, but unfortunately, the episode as such is less so, the whole narrative lacks any actual build-up and instead seems to hurry from one reference point to the next. That veteran Doctor Who director Graeme Harper never really tries to capture the very grim atmosphere of the story at hand doesn't help one bit either, of course, neither does the fact that there are many leaps in reason if you start questioning the on-screen gongs-on. On the plus side of course Billie Piper gives a pretty good performance (even her lisp in her first few scenes sonds rather weird), and Catherine Tate's naive yet energetic character has never been captured quite as beautifully. If only the rest of the episode would live up to this ...

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Tales to Chill
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD