Saturday, June 21, 2008

Review: Doctor Who, Episode 4.11, "Turn Left"

Departing showrunner Russell T Davies goes from strength to strength as a writer as the fourth season nears its end. Paired with last week's episode ("Midnight"), these are the best back to back episodes he's written since the end of the second season. Coming to the end of his final full season as showrunner, we're beginning to see a summation of his entire run.

If last week's episode could be compared to The Twilight Zone, this one plays out more like the Whoniverse version of It's a Wonderful Life. Well done all around, with kudos to veteran director Graeme Harper (the only person to direct episodes of both Classic Who and New Who) and actress Catherine Tate, whose performance as companion Donna is highly effective.

Judging from the preview, the final two episodes of this three-part season finale is going to be huge. I can't wait to see how it all unfolds.

Warning: spoilers below, please highlight the white space with your mouse to read them.

I know some people aren't happy with how Donna returns to being a harridan in this episode, but I think it works particularly well in demonstrating how the influence of the Doctor has changed her for the better as a person. We see her here as she would have been if she'd never met him.

Rose is back! w00t! Some fans might not be pleased, but Rose is one of my all-time favorite companions.

Bad Wolf! Everywhere! That gets the Doctor's attention.

Uh oh, the TARDIS' cloister bell sounds at the end. Big trouble is coming.

It looks like the season finale will be a Doctor Who/Torchwood/Sarah Jane Adventures crossover! I can sum up my feelings in one word: squee!

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