Doctor Who: Turn Left

chris

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Have you ever wondered how different your life would have been if you'd done "this" rather than "that"? Was there some crucial point in your life, some nexus, where if you'd turned right rather than left everything would have changed? That was true for Donna in this week's episode - the scene setter for the series 4 final two-parter. In her case the change was a change for the better, but not for the human race.

Donna gets her chance to change her past by visiting a strangely behaved fortune teller on the planet Shan Shen. She clearly does not have Donna's best interests at heart, but convinces her she should have turned right, not left, on her way to a crucial job interview.

That one change meant she never met the Doctor, so she wasn't with him on the Empress of the Racnoss's mother ship and couldn't persuade him to leave. So he died there. "It must have happened too quickly for him to regenerate," says a UNIT man (probably the only slightly dodgy part of this whole story).

How many times has the Doctor saved the people of the Earth? In this series alone! Well, now he's not there. Here. He wasn't there to stop the Titanic crashing into Buck House, or to prevent the Adipose converting everyone to little blobs, or the Sontarans turning the sky to poison (although thankfully the Torchwood team stepped in to save the day on that occasion). He wasn't there to stop the Judoon from killing all but one of the occupants of the hospital they transported to the moon, and the survivor wasn't Martha Jones.

The effects of all this not being there are quite devastating on the world. The nuclear fallout from the Titanic crash makes 7 million people in the UK homeless. Fortunately for Donna, Rose traverses the inter-dimensional void to give her a few clues on how best to avoid the worst of the fallout (in every sense of the word). The family Noble decamp to Leeds where Rose warns Donna that she will eventually have to die to put things right. Fortunately there's just enough juice left in the dying TARDIS to shunt Donna back to that fateful right turn so she can persuade herself to turn left (again) as she should have done in the first place. Or, indeed, as she DID in the first place.

Unfortunately the TARDIS, and the transport gubbins Rose and UNIT have cobbled together, are predictably flaky, and land Donna half a mile from where she needs to be. In the end, the only way she can stop otherDonna from turning right is to throw herself in front of a passing van, and cause a traffic jam. Works though. Donna turns left, the universe unwinds, or collapses, or whatever it is universes do when they're not needed any more, and Donna finds herself back with the fortune teller and a dead beetle.

So, apart from the dodgy explanation for being able to kill the Doctor off - he's lasted 903 years; I don't see why the galactic spider queen could have rendered him unable to regenerate - and the rather poorly explained beetle that everyone thought they could see but couldn't quite, I thought this worked pretty well. I loved the idea, having spent many a happy afternoon pondering similar eventualities and consequences myself, and bringing together so many strands from previous stories was a nice touch. And Rose is back!! Squeeeee! Don't know what was wrong with her mouth though. Has Billie Piper had a new set of teeth? It was almost like she'd been to the dentist and had herself numbed. The bees got a quick mention again, I see (as another of the strange side-effects of a dead doctor - no bumblebees).

But all is not well, of course. The stars are still going out. They're going out in all the universes. And whoever is doing it clearly wanted - no, needed - the Doctor out of the way. Did they manage to kill him off in all the other universes too? Did Rose get to all the other Donnas and convince them to fall on their swords? The answers are waiting for us next week, in what is shaping up to be the most breathtaking series finale of them all, and featuring the enemy voted the one most fans wanted to see making a return. It's no secret: Davros is back!



Source: tvscoop
 
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