DOCTOR WHO “Turn Left”: I Heard The Mission…Er, Cloister Bell

Hearing the Cloister Bell will send a chill down your spine every time, even if you have just been in a very Firefly setting and have just gotten to see the wonderful Chipo Chung again. Eli’s coming, folks.

“Turn Left” makes me want to go hug Jimmy Stewart, which might not be as great as I’d like to think, since he’s been dead over a decade. But these kinds of Christmas Carol/It’s A Wonderful Life stories get to me, and this is a bigger one than usual. The loss of the Doctor affects things both great (mushroom cloud over London; 60 million dead in the US) and small (breaking Donna’s mother, sending the fakely exuberant Italian man to a labor camp). Compared to the wonderful but smaller-scale “Love and Monsters” and “Blink,” this Doctor-lite episode is the one that best shows how special and, well, massive he is. With Russell T Davies heading out the door, this scope makes us wonder if we’re heading to a super-gigantic finale, particularly since Davies’ finales tend to get a bit sloppy as they get bigger.

The presence of Trickster technology from The Sarah Jane Advenures raises the question of whether the Who universe may be getting to be a little incestuous, but for the most part we’re excited to see how that will play out in the finale. It’s creepy to see the Doctor’s “death”, but it’s at least equally moving and sad to hear about Martha’s and Sarah Jane’s demise, artfully done to suggest Martha survived and then pulling back on the despairing reveal of Oliver Morgenstern. For all Davies may not keep all the balls in the air for his big finales, he weaves details from previous episodes in impressively. Can’t wait to see how the gang plays together over the next two weeks!

Fo the most part. While some folks will likely think the thing on Donna’s back was less frightening for being so obviously plastic (point taken, but the way it played in her hair was wiggins-giving), our questions revolved more around whether it was made of the same stuff as Rose’s teeth. Here’s hoping the usually compelling Billie Piper eventually found Rose’s voice again. “Bad Wolf” makes for a nice, creepy end, but we’re concerned they’re going to ruin the hell out of “Doomsday” by bringing Rose back. There isn’t a whole lot of need for her in “Turn Left”–yes, someone needs to be there to guide Donna to her final decision, but there will need to be some fancy dancing in the remaining episodes to explain why it needs to be Rose (besides Davies wanting the whole crew around). She can say she’s so sorry and enjoy Donna’s reaction to the TARDIS, but she can’t be the Doctor. Is this trip across the boundaries separating universes really necessary?

Since Donna is so fabulous, it’s nice to see she’s the most important woman in creation but also that she isn’t the person she was in “The Runaway Bride”–she doesn’t miss the lights in the sky because she’s sleeping off a hangover. She has a good job and good friends. In spite of her cold mother, all of the potential she realizes traveling with the Doctor was always in her, and she becomes amazing essentially on her own here. And what will she become? Catherine Tate has been amazing all season, adding new dimensions to the show. This episode is no exception, allowing her to show off both her comedic and dramatic talents. She can claim our stapler any day, but the terror she displays as she faces what’s on her back for the first time will be what stays with us. If they ever decide to leave Doctor Who, we’d pay to watch Tennant, Tate, and Bernard Cribbens just sit around and chat.


One thought on “DOCTOR WHO “Turn Left”: I Heard The Mission…Er, Cloister Bell

  1. Pingback: DOCTOR WHO “The Stolen Earth”: Wait–WHAT?!? « TV BACON

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