Sunday, June 22, 2008

Doctor Who: Turn Left

And so it came to pass. Turn Left. An episode of Doctor Who with very little of the Doctor in it. Instead, the lead role went to Catherine Tate. And the content of the episode? A shameless pillaging of the more recent continuity of the programme. Frankly, this episode had "potential disaster" written all over it.

And yet... it really worked. For two reasons. Firstly, the pillaging of the show's history was skillfully done. The episode referenced the events of Army of Ghosts/Doomsday, The Runaway Bride, Smith and Jones, Voyage of the Damned, Partners in Crime, The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky and the whole Bad Wolf story arc from Series One, but did so in an immensely interesting way. Taking the concept of the Doctor dying because he never met Donna, the episode showed the devastation wreaked on the planet had the Doctor not lived to fight on in a number of adventures. Martha, dead. Sarah Jane Smith, dead. The Torchwood team, dead. London destroyed by the spaceship Titanic smashing into planet. Millions of Americans killed to make up the Adipose (making that particular enemy mildly scary for the first time). And the UK descending into a nightmarish dystopia. All because Donna turned left, rather than right, leading to the death of the Doctor.

The second reason was Catherine Tate. Seriously, she can act. She showed just how much Donna has changed during her time with the Doctor, and by returning to the Donna from the start of The Runaway Bride, she showed just how much thought has gone into how Donna has changed and grown as both a character and a performance. Rose Tyler's return should have stolen the show, but this was very much Donna's episode. Hats off to Catherine Tate. And I never thought I would be writing that.

But it wasn't just the episode itself that won me over. There was also the brief (oh so brief!) glimpse of what is to come next week. And it looks to be a bonanza of Doctor Who. The Doctor. Donna. Martha. Rose. UNIT. Sarah Jane Smith. Captain Jack. Torchwood. Daleks. The Judoon. And maybe... just maybe, the creator of the Daleks?

We'll see. But bring it on!

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1 Comments:

At 9:27 pm , Blogger Mark Wadsworth said...

I missed the first few minutes and none of it really made sense. Catherine Tate Show, brilliant, Catherine Tate as Dr Who sidekick? Rubbish. Does Billie Piper turn out to be a goodie or a baddie? Not even that much was clear to me. Ah well.

 

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