I did say a little while ago, I was going to start pulling out and reviewing some of the best and brightest episodes of the show. Unluckily life got in the way, as it has a tendency to. I will try from now on to put up at least one a month, hopefully, more. Although ladies and gentleman, I am moving house at the end of the month. So you will be losing my articles for a week or so.
Today, we look at Turn Left. One of the most iconic of the storylines with Donna Noble. Showing once and for all, exactly how important she was in this world and to the Doctor himself. Finally helping her see that she was more than just nothing, a temp who might never make it good. The worthless nothing that her Mother always told her that she was.
It starts pretty simply, innocently almost. Which, I guess should put your hackles up straight away. Donna and the Doctor exploring a random alien fair of some sorts. Donna is offered to be told her fortune, only that isn't the plan of the alien who asks her. She is attacked by a strange creature. Taking her back to the point where she made a very serious choice. One that will change the world forever.
Left or right?
To the job, she wants to try for, or the safer job her mother wants her to attempt. Left takes her to the office job where she gets infected and nearly fed to a giant spider, so she meets the Doctor. Right takes her to a different job, a different life where she and the Doctor have never met.
Doesn't seem too much of an odd choice? Can't have much cosmic backlash? It's just left or right.
Because Donna isn't there, The Doctor doesn't stop when he tries to drown the spider queen. Therefore he also dies. Drowned, no chance of regeneration. The Doctor back then, if you don't remember properly. Has just lost Rose, is lost, broken. Astrid has also just died. He thinks he is better alone, as he only kills those around him. He appears suicidal. Just doesn't care about anything or anyone. Worst of all, he doesn't care about his own safety.
Because the Doctor is dead, no one stops the other London attacks. Cybermen, Daleks, and so on. Destroy London. Leave people homeless, without jobs. Shipped off to outlying towns looking for work. Even though, there isn't any. Donna and her family are shoved into the kitchen of a small house. With nowhere else to stay. Donna grows more and more distressed with everything happening. Then people start being taken away, anyone who may not be 'English'.
On and off during this episode, Donna meets a young blonde girl who she has no idea who is, who knows exactly what is going on. And says little. We know her to be Rose Tyler. Yet here, she is loath to give a name as she shouldn't be there. She created a reality cannon to fire herself back into the world where the man she loves exists. Not bad for a girl who worked in retail and ate chips every night!
After people start getting taken, Donna finally agrees to go with Rose. Who starts to explain to her what has happened. Why people keep seeing something on Donna's back. To resolve the issue, and make her turn left. To get back to the Doctor. The only problem is, this Donna will not survive the transition. She will no longer exist. Without spoiling the ending too much. The last words that Rose says to Donna are, "Bad Wolf."
This is one of the very few episodes of the show where a companion takes the lead role from the Doctor. Who is only briefly included at the start and end. Donna and Rose steal the show, two sassy women. Showing that Princess's may need to be saved, but Queens. They can do that shit themselves. It has almost an 'It's a Wonderful Life' feel, as we take that trip through Donna's life. Her surprise at all this hinged on her, and the Doctor reminding her she is special. Showing you the underlying insecurity of the character. Leaving a highly identifiable role for anyone with insecurity and worthlessness issues. This is very much, one of the episodes I could watch over and over again without getting tired of it.