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Ronnie Rowlands541 posts since 15 Jan 2007
This sort of thread has been called for in the other one, so...

I'm presuming the whole idea of this sort of thread is for reviews and opinions so *deep breath* here's my opinion on last saturday's outstanding episode-

The main thing I loved about this story was the way that the story was two-fold. It's not *about* the Doctor, as such, and yet it was all about him, life without him, how things transpire. I thought Catherine Tate gave an absolutely sterling performance. The story is about entirely about her. Usually Doctor-Lite episodes are also without companions but this centered on Donna. She really had her chance to shine. I thought it was a brilliant way of telling us how important the Doctor is, and very thought provoking with the choices and how they affect life, it really made me think about that sort of thing.

Ok, I will admit that the premise was all a bit rushed. They were on another planet, and yet there was oriental writing everywhere, like it was in China. The whole beetle stuff was not very well explained, and the ending was a bit rushed. The Doctor didn't seem to think much about 'Bad Wolf', and yes, it was a bit silly for him to suddenly say "Badwolf? **** end of universe".

The sense of dread and bleakness was very well conveyed. The more dread and bleakness you have in a story set on earth, the more you think about it, and I like stories that make me think. It really showed a believable way that people would react. The optimists making the best of it, but the knowing that they are actually helpless is such a sad thought. They are just sitting around and "letting the army deal with it", but even they don't know what the hell to do. It's scary. Again, it's the making you think. Can you imagine the helplessness of being in that sort of situation?

There was a lot of mystery about it,and I felt that Rose excelled in this episode. She was no longer the whining, moaning thicko who pined for the Doctor, but was now mysterious and clever, she knows everything that Donna does not, and again, Tate, being such a fantastic actress, showed her confusion realistically. How would you react if some strange blond was following you around and knowing everything about you and your future?

My only other criticism is that we didn't know much of the villain. Yes, we know the Trickster was involved. But to have the Doctor meet him and thrash it out with him would have been entertaining. RTD would have had the opportunity to make a more clear explanation of what was happening had he been given the time, but hey, the centerpiece of the story is life without the Doctor. I will admit that the beginning and end were somewhat hasty.

Great performances from everyone involved, (and hey, did anyone notice that the fortune teller was Chantho from Utopia?). Cribben's acting as the italians were taken away was heartbreaking and brilliant to watch, and seeing Donna's mum cave in from her loud, feisty personality really conveyed the effects of the events, the contrast was outstanding.

This story was dark and frightening, exactly how I like my stories.

I challenge anybody try and find me an old school episode with this much realism and bleakness and accurate portrayals of human behavior.
Gavin Scott8,284 posts since 23 Mar 2001
Oooh this is just the type of thread I've been hoping for.

Ronnie, you've summed up my thoughts on Saturday's show. Turn Left was a simply brilliant brilliant piece of television.

Tate was stellar. I knew she was good but she blew me away. She gave me highs and lows I could believe. Loved the way her jaw dropped in the Tardis. I found I was doing it with her and I laughed when she snapped her mouth shut. Clearly there is something special about Donna. Pivotal to the universe, it seems - which gives such a wonderful juxtaposition to the "baffled and mouthy" way she delivers.

Cribbins caused me to shed a tear (and not for the first time this series). The "labour camps" scene was beautifully played - with such dignity. Very moving.
Surprisingly, Jacqueline King as the mother was the best she's been - and way better than I imagined she could be. There was real dimension to her resentment and anguish.

Such a clever story - and such a great vision for the series. If this is what can be done in a "budget" show (or "not quite the budget show" for the pedants) then its a model for other programme makers.

Can't wait for next week - something I've been feeling since the start of the series. Not often I say that about any TV show!
Inflatable Dartboard142 posts since 23 Apr 2008
Ronnie Rowlands posted:
I thought Catherine Tate gave an absolutely sterling performance.


Agreed Smile

Ronnie Rowlands posted:
the premise was all a bit rushed. They were on another planet, and yet there was oriental writing everywhere, like it was in China.


Yeah, that seems very inconsistent with what's been previously established. Donna and us viewers should've seen the signs as English, due to the Tardis' auto-translate function, as usual. In this story, there was no Satan Pit-like special reason as to why that planet's language wouldn't be able to be auto-translated by the Tardis, so it looking like oriental writing doesn't make sense to me either.

Ronnie Rowlands posted:
The whole beetle stuff was not very well explained, and the ending was a bit rushed...

...we know the Trickster was involved. But to have the Doctor meet him and thrash it out with him would have been entertaining.


Indeed. What was in it for the Fortune Teller woman? Seeings as her only purpose seemed to be to find a "meal" for the beetle (as it "feeds" on mucking-around-with-time), it seemed odd that she addressed Donna is such a sinister/threatening way. Surely, she should've come across as nice, to lull Donna into a false sense of security? It made no sense.

Unless she turns up again as part of the coming two-parter, with more explanation as to what she's in it for. Or she could've been the trickster in disguse, or something, I suppose?

Ronnie Rowlands posted:
The sense of dread and bleakness was very well conveyed. It really showed a believable way that people would react. They are just sitting around and "letting the army deal with it"... they don't know what the hell to do. It's scary. Can you imagine the helplessness of being in that sort of situation?


It wasgenuinely brilliant emotional drama.

Ronnie Rowlands posted:
Cribben's acting as the italians were taken away was heartbreaking and brilliant to watch, and seeing Donna's mum cave in from her loud, feisty personality really conveyed the effects of the events, the contrast was outstanding.


Grandpa's line about so-called "Labour Camps" (obviously alluding to Nazi Concentration Camps), and tearfully saying "it's happening again" as those poor Italians were driven off, was devastatingly heartbreaking for me.

Ronnie Rowlands posted:
This story was dark and frightening, exactly how I like my stories.


Me too Smile

Ronnie Rowlands posted:
I challenge anybody try and find me an old school episode with this much realism and bleakness and accurate portrayals of human behavior.


Indeed. Characters were always a bit "one-dimensional" in the classic Series, sadly (nevertheless, I'm a huge fan of the Classic Series, and have many stories on DVD).

I loved the way that Donna not only doesn't ever meet the Doctor in the first place, but even misses seeing most of the "alien invasion" type events from a mere onlookers' perspective either, despite most of the rest of earth's population witnessing it all. She seems to be "blinded" to it all, in the same way that everyone else can't quite see the beetle on her back. Taking "the removal of Donna from events" to SUCH an extreme, was fascinating. I like the way that all Doctor-related persons (such as Martha and Sarah-Jane were referenced, and all killed-off).

Brilliant brilliant episode! Smile
Joe6,043 posts since 9 Oct 2005
pad posted:
But the question is...

Wouldn't the Daleks in Manhatten have taken over the Earth hmm?

There's a million such questions relating to the many Doctor Who stories.
jonniew542 posts since 14 Dec 2003
Agree with everything said about Sat's episode - it was very well written - Catherine Tates acting was top notch. Out of interest, was I the only one who saw "Bad Wolf" coming a mile off? Soon as Rose whispered to Donna, I knew what the two words would be! Still a clever plot development all the same.

Very Happy
Joe Public252 posts since 5 Jan 2003
J0nn13 posted:
Agree with everything said about Sat's episode - it was very well written - Catherine Tates acting was top notch. Out of interest, was I the only one who saw "Bad Wolf" coming a mile off? Soon as Rose whispered to Donna, I knew what the two words would be! Still a clever plot development all the same.

Very Happy


We (me and the kids) thought it was "Rose Tyler"......
pad3,160 posts since 12 Feb 2005
jrothwell97 posted:
pad posted:
But the question is...

Wouldn't the Daleks in Manhatten have taken over the Earth hmm?


Torchwood I? UNIT?


When did they die in Turn Left then...before or after this? Didn't they die before Martha? Which would mean the Daleks would MOST LIKELY have taken over! Wink