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Old 26-11-2012, 10:02
daveyboy7472
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One amazing RTD Episode is followed by another as it was Catherine Tate's turn to do a solo stint. I think the fact that she had a show of her own as leading lady certainly helped her in this and I couldn't really see either of her two predecessor's carry an episode as effectively as this though I'm sure they were capable.

Despite it being too similar to Planet Of The Spiders in the Classic Series, the whole something on your back theme still worked. I'm never sure what the fortune tellers motivation is exactly here but it doesn't matter as we are introduced to a parallel word where she Turned Right instead of left and as a consequence didn't meet The Doctor.

Where this Doctor-Lite episode triumphs over the previous two is that even though The Doctor isn't in it much to the end, there is still a Doctor essence about the episode. I loved all the references to the episodes between The Runaway Bride and now, even the ones Donna wasn't in, plus the mentions of the Torchwood and SJA teams. It was great seeing what would have happened if The Doctor hadn't been around to save the Earth in these stories.

There were a great mix of funny scenes, such as Donna getting the sack and giving it loads of large, to emotional ones like when the Home Owner in Leeds is transported to the camps. Wilf is also very good here, adapting brilliantly to every situation he is put in, liked how he suddenly appeared in the group singing after Donna had told them all off!

Throughout it becomes more apparent people are noticing something on her back and final confirmation that she has comes from Rose. I like the gradual build up of the relationship between the pair before Donna goes backs and tries to stop herself Turning Right. Those last few scenes were superb as Donna has to make the ultimate sacrifice to put things right. All in all it was a brilliant performance from Catherine Tate, the best of the Series for me though she was superb in the Finale as well.

As for Rose, watching this yesterday I noticed something I hadn't before and that was just how flat she sounded in this. I love Billie Piper as Rose but found something really odd in her performance, something that wasn't even in the finale. I don't know if it was because The Doctor was missing and she had no-one to bounce off, whether she had to say her dialogue that way to be mysterious or whether she genuinely underperformed but something wasn't right about her in this. Whether Rose was needed for this episode is questionable but in one way I'm glad she did as we wouldn't have had the brilliant conclusion to the episode we had as she whispered those words into Donna's ear.

Those last five minutes where The Doctor was back on the scene were superb, I loved it. It looks initially as if Donna was just a victim from a creature belonging to the Trickster, but it soon becomes more than that. The Doctor speculates about how everything revolves around Donna and then she reveals what the 'Blonde' girl had said to her: Bad Wolf! The Doctor realises very quickly it was Rose.

Cue pacy music and a very dramatic end to the episode as The Doctor sees everything around him says Bad Wolf and rushes back to the TARDIS proclaiming the whole universe is in danger. That is followed by my favourite trailer ever. I loved seeing who was in the next episode and it is the most excited I have ever been by a forthcoming story.

Great stuff.

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Old 26-11-2012, 10:10
chuffnobbler
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Another excellent story.

This is Jacqueline King's strongest script and allows us to see a glimpse of the woman underneath the nagging wife/mother/daughter role. Sylvia's decline is very moving.
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Old 26-11-2012, 10:12
davrosdodebird
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Everything you say and more, Davey this episode is so effective in asking the question 'what if?' and then realising it brilliantly.

Best moment of the episode is when Donna realises what she has to do and steps out in front of the truck 'please'
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Old 26-11-2012, 10:29
Granny McSmith
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Any episode that ends with the Cloister Bell ringing is a good one!

This was exceptional.

The whole thing was well put together, taking the audience deeper and deeper into a catastrophic world without the Doctor, then the status quo being restored, (and wasn't it wonderful to see the Doctor again, alive and well!) only to find that the real catastrophe has yet to happen.

But apart from the story itself, the performances were just great - it wasn't just a world without the Doctor story, it was a story of a family losing everything and how they try to survive. Wonderfully played by Catherine Tate, Bernard Cribbins, Jacueline King, and everyone else involved.

I thought Rose was OK, too.
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Old 26-11-2012, 10:34
MrMarple
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CT's best performance by a country mile.
Absolutely heartbreaking.
Was this really the same Donna from 'TRB'?
Her 'journey' was a masterclass in character development.
Turn Left is definitely in my Top 5 of all DW episodes.
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Old 26-11-2012, 10:44
TRT1968
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This was a very strong story, with deeply moving scenes and welcome revisitations to old stories with new twists in a kind of Back to the Future 2 way. Exquisite performances by Catherine Tate too, the utter revulsion at seeing the beetle was palpable.

And of course we got treated to the very beautiful and talented Chipo Chung, although all too briefly.

What an ending, too! The TARDIS translating everything to read BAD WOLF.
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Old 26-11-2012, 13:30
sovietusername
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I think it's a little over rated this one. Oh, there's pleanty of good stuff. Catherine Tate is brilliant and, though she's not really my favourite companion, it's good to see Rose properly after all the hints and teasings throughout the series. All the stuff in the aborted timeline after the crash if the Titanic is brilliant. All the end of the world stuff is realized well, with the Nobles reduced to refugees and immigrants being sent to concentration camps. Whats so bad about Leeds though? The thing is, even though theres loads of RTD scripts, especially in series 4 and the Specials, which, have so much wrong with them (in my op), there's always still something to like, and the fact that this one does have quite a bit to like in it, still makes it a really entertaining episode.

It's bloody grim though! Catherine Tate puts in a really good performance here (Billie Piper, not so much, whats up with her vioce here) and you feel so sorry for her, especially where her mum puts her down etc. But Bernard Cribbins is really, as is the Italian guy. The thing with Labour camps is alwful. "It's happening again" (well, it never really stopped happening, still goes on in N Korea) always sends a chill down my spine and is the best scene in this episode. If you ask me, the idea of that happening, on British soil no less, is far worse than any alien invasion etc.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvgYSTYZTzA

I also like how Rose is all Doctor-ish, like he's rubbed off on here. And I like the resolution. The cliffhanger at the end is particualrly good, almost as exctiing as the cliffhangers to the next episode, or to series 3's Utopia, though not quite.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMWu75ze9MA


You see, it is a good episode. There's some really good ideas here and overall, I do like it. But where it fails, is it's over-relaince on continuity. Firstly, I cant help but feel a casual viewer would feel a bit alienated as the whole thing depends on the stuff thats been going on throughout series 3 and 4, if you've not seem then then your a little lost. But, thats not really a major setback. It's as a fan that I'm a little irritated by all the continuity stuff, simply cos, like at then end of the series finale, there's to little explanation of how this world works. A causual viewr probably would be fine with this. As a fan it irritates me. So, this world was created by the death of the Doctor in the Runaway Bride, but what about all the stuff that happened after that, but in our past? What happened then? Who stopped the Carrionites or the Cult of Skaro? What happened with the Pyrovilles in Pompeii? Also wasnt the Titanic meant to destroy the Earth when it crashed, rather than just London? I know these are just little things, but what irritates is it wouldnt have needed much explanation, maybe just Rose or the Doctor saying in passing how the beetle could have altered time to keep this reality stable, to ensure Donna lived to turn right, or maybe it was a paradox? I know it's only a small flaw, except, for the fans etc, it could be quite a big plot hole, and I just think it shows RTD might have been a bit hasty or careless in his priority to quickly move on to the action.

But overall, it's a good story, there's just a few big polt holes and continuity errors that irritate me as a fan. There's a difference between a story being good, and a story being told well, and I dont this is explained or developed enough? Perhaps it would have benefited from being a 2 parter? Except of course, this was only ever meant to be the one off Doctor-lite story, which does limit it a bit in my op.
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Old 26-11-2012, 13:39
Mulett
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CT's best performance by a country mile.
Absolutely heartbreaking.
Was this really the same Donna from 'TRB'?
Her 'journey' was a masterclass in character development.
Turn Left is definitely in my Top 5 of all DW episodes.
This, basically. Brilliant episode.
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Old 26-11-2012, 22:44
AdelaideGirl
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I love a good what if story and this is top quality - mainly because Catherene Tate is so good. I love the grimness because it had a touch of reality.

I'm really not sure about the return of Rose - having given her such a wonderful goodbye in doomsday this really seemed to cheapen it. I'm not wild about Rose being unable to build a new life without the doctor and having to smash through the universe to get back to him. Part of the doctor experience is finding your own strength, learning how to face anything and live life to the full. Not madly chasing after some man who will leave you at some time anyway, regardless of the consequences.
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Old 26-11-2012, 23:37
DavetheScot
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A really good story. It's interesting being taken through the events of Series 3 and 4 (plus of course Voyage of the Damned) as they would have been without the Doctor. (And congratulations to them for remembering that Harold Saxon would have been one bullet Earth dodged, as the Doctor was responsible for bringing him to Earth)

Catherine Tate and Bernard Cribbins both have their best story with this one.

I think the return of Rose was a mistake, as it mars the poignancy at the end of Doomsday. I agree that she seemed to be struggling to get back into the part.
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Old 26-11-2012, 23:44
Ed Sizzers
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An awful story based on an awful premise with a fantastic, but ultimately pointless cliffhanger, that led into an awful end to the season.

Basically. It's awful.
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Old 26-11-2012, 23:56
krikkiter68
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A wonderful episode, my second favourite after Human Nature. I find it very haunting - particularly the 'labour camps' scene, followed by that extreme close-up of the broken Sylvia's face. It's a vision of the world where all hope is gradually extinguished, like the stars - and in the main it's the threats from the 'non-serious' stories that destroy civilization. That nuclear cloud on the horizon, after the Starship Titanic crashes...*shudders*

Catherine is absolutely superb here, both in the lighter scenes (poor Cliff! ), and in the dark scenes, as Donna comes to terms with the awful task she has to perform. Jacqueline Hill and Bernard Cribbins are wonderful as well. A fabulous cliffhanger, too.
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Old 27-11-2012, 00:09
davrosdodebird
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An awful story based on an awful premise with a fantastic, but ultimately pointless cliffhanger, that led into an awful end to the season.

Basically. It's awful.
Awful premise? As in What if the Doctor wasnt there to save us?

Geez, I'd hate to know what you think a good premis is. Troll.
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Old 27-11-2012, 13:28
Revenga
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My favourite Doctor Who episode. Love it for all the reasons mentioned above. Brilliant dramatic build-up, incredible performances from CT and BC (and the Italian guy!), Rose is back and cool (though yes, Billie hasn't got the voice quite right here).

Dialogue is brilliantly written and then there's a great cliffhanger. Beautiful.
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Old 27-11-2012, 14:00
Ed Sizzers
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Awful premise? As in What if the Doctor wasnt there to save us?

Geez, I'd hate to know what you think a good premis is. Troll.
The vast majority of new who stories are based on very good ideas. Turn Left isn't.
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Old 27-11-2012, 15:12
daveyboy7472
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The vast majority of new who stories are based on very good ideas. Turn Left isn't.
You're entitled to your opinion but I totally disagree.

The what if idea is not one that has been restricted to Doctor Who. I've seen it used in Buffy, and other shows and films as well.

I think with a show like Doctor Who, it should be open to as many ideas as possible. We've had the parallel world idea a few times now, this was a neat twist on it by having a world where The Doctor was killed and thus unable to save the world after the point of The Runaway Bride. If it creates good drama, I don't see why the idea shouldn't be used and imo it did work.

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Old 27-11-2012, 15:23
Sue_Aitch
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I do love Turn Left. Probably as there is the big reset button do Donna "does a Rory" - that is dies in an alternate reality and gets back to the Doctor (or Amy and the Doctor in Rory's case.)
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Old 28-11-2012, 00:22
DavetheScot
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You're entitled to your opinion but I totally disagree.

The what if idea is not one that has been restricted to Doctor Who. I've seen it used in Buffy, and other shows and films as well.

I think with a show like Doctor Who, it should be open to as many ideas as possible. We've had the parallel world idea a few times now, this was a neat twist on it by having a world where The Doctor was killed and thus unable to save the world after the point of The Runaway Bride. If it creates good drama, I don't see why the idea shouldn't be used and imo it did work.

I suppose you could say Turn Left has a certain debt to It's A Wonderful Life - seeing a universe without the Doctor.
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Old 28-11-2012, 08:37
Mulett
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I think it is, by far, the cleverest and most effective of all the 'Doctor lite' episodes - what better way to film an episode (essentially) without your lead actor than a story showing the consequences of that character's death.

Blink was wonderful, of course, but this takes the absence of the Doctor to a new level. I think it was one of the most powerful pieces of telly I had seen in years - and still is.
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Old 28-11-2012, 10:21
John_Strange
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After an episode where we see the Doctor (mis)functioning without a companion we have a story where a companion never gets the chance to be changed by association with the Doctor and teh world stumbles on without its guardian Timelord. Like Donna, we become witness to events and for much of the episode we feel utterly out of control. For once, Donna's family dynamic feels utterly real, Cribbins is again utterly wonderful - there is such dignity and compassion in his performance; his age lends a sense of experience and decency despite the things he witnesses, which you often see in aged ex-soldiers. In many ways, the compassion and empathy demonstrated by his character are teh features which evolve in Donna as the series progresses. Here, he is almost a stand-in Doctor (although denied the Timelord power) he has an unspoken understanding of events and outrage at the treatment of people who he builds friendships with.

And in the end, Donna becomes the companion through finding in herself the strength to sacrifice her own life - helped by the intervention by an angelic messenger in Rose - she dies so that the Doctor and us may live. Indeed, she becomes the time traveller, her own messenger from another path.

A harrowing episode, utterly superb, and then the kick into the Bad Wolf cliffhanger. We've now had two stories where protagonists are out of control of events, one where the Doctor witnesses a sacrifice and one where Donna makes a sacrifice. Death and loss stalks them both - tie for an ending.
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Old 28-11-2012, 10:42
gslam2
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The best modern Who story.
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Old 28-11-2012, 13:21
Listentome
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I have to say I like reading all the admiration for this episode. However, I am still a little puzzled as to why it gets such praise. Don't get me wrong, I think it is good, but that's all, just good. It still feels like a filler episode to me and its actually one of the episodes I skip when I rewatch series 4.

I think it comes down to the fact I don't enjoy series 4 on a whole. I don't dislike Donna at all, I'm just indifferent to her. I actually can't bear all that "there's something on your back" stuff. So given Turn Left is focused on Donna, and also the presence of Rose (who I enjoyed in series 1 and most of 2 but was glad had left) just doesn't draw me in.

Sorry to be a party pooper.
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Old 28-11-2012, 16:43
RingoJ739K
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One of my favourite Dr Who episodes! A really good and strong story with very emotional scenes and some funny scenes. This was also Catherine Tate's best performance as Donna! She was brilliant in this! I love this episode for all the reasons that everyone else has mentioned here!
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:10
Abomination
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The character of Donna Noble kept turning corners between her introduction and her exit... I think she was more developed and more successfully developed than any companion before or after her to date. Turn Left was perhaps the biggest turning point for her...what the hell happened to our obnoxious runaway bride?!

If Series 4 was ever anything, it was a testament to the strengths and will of the Doctor's companions. As such, Turn Left would have been better I think if Martha had been in on the action... the ultimate set up makes it feel like Donna's story, with Rose's surprisingly low key return raining in on that parade (given Donna has already played second fiddle to Martha's return, Jenny AND River to date, not to mention being virtually absent from Midnight). I would have loved to have seen Donna, Martha and Rose unite at the end of this episode somehow...it was an overall shame that the 'Children of Time' element of this ending didn't involve the three main characters a lot more than it did.

Back to Turn Left though, and it's the second of the four offerings on RTD's wonderful home stretch. Like Midnight before it, and The Stolen Earth after it, this is a blinding and phenomenal episode. But whilst the previous episode relied on scares, this one turns to shock. In turn we see Sarah Jane and Luke, Martha and The Torchwood team meet their makers. Throw in Rose's (again) surprisingly low key return and this is an episode that wanted to turn everything on its head. The "What If" scenario in question that the episode uses as its plot is inevitably filled with plot holes, but these are pretty much commonplace in a show revolving around time travel... they just have to be accepted.

The opening scenes of Shan Shen are brilliant, and are again a nice little element that makes the series feel bigger - we see Shan Shen rather than just hear of it, just as we briefly see India in The Unicorn and the Wasp, or we see Manhattan in The Stolen Earth - they may not be much, but these brief scenes, in truth filmed all over Cardiff, are what would have been left to script exposition in Series 1-3. We quickly leave Shan Shen behind with Donna in the mysterious company of Chantho...uh, the Fortune Teller
A lot of theories went out about this secret episode before it was aired, but the 'Turn Left' reference wasn't an extension of the ATMOS devices plot as people had suspected, it was a far simpler "What If" concept. From this point, we simply saw the episode act as something like a documentary... we not only saw the major invasions of the past few years play out slightly differently, we also saw Donna's character development crafted into a 45 minute statement.

Catherine Tate was on top form here... she was marvellous. The only reason this wasn't her best performance, is because she has so bloody many of them. But she was a brilliant double act with Bernard Cribbins as always who was even a little down-trodden here (when Wilf gets down... you know things are bad!), and even with the Rose "Creashoon Lisp" Tyler. It's wonderful to see the companion successfully front the show, and I don't think Rose, Martha or Amy could have done so quite so successfully. If it wasn't for the fact that like Midnight, it relies on the initial viewing to succeed, then this would be one of the most rewatchable episodes of the entire RTD era.

The episodes biggest shocks came in the form of its plot developments. Having the guts to essentially nuke London, and then go on to introduce the "Labour Camps" plot... it was subtly the darkest that Doctor Who has probably dared to venture. It does make the episode stand out. Fortunately, it does land back in the sci-fi reality with quite the nostalgic send off... we have Cloister bells, Trickster mentions and the whole Bad Wolf scene of Shan Shen was wonderfully rompy. The Time Beetle itself was a bit of a let down, and it's a shame we didn't encounter the actual Trickster... he still really deserves a place in Doctor Who, having been denied the fifth series finale of SJA. It wasn't a perfect episode, but Turn Left was a wonderful episode by the very fact that it did some very not-wonderful things to our characters. That, and Tate was amazing.
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:56
GDK
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Yes. A very dark world indeed without the Doctor. I liked the way this story revisited earlier stories and showed the consequences of his absence.

Despite the big events like nuking London and the authoritarian government that resulted, most dramatic moment for me was the "reveal" of the darkened and (almost) lifeless TARDIS. It was at that moment that you really felt the Doctor was gone from that reality.
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