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Donna’s Parallel World
Here we’ve come to the fourth and final set of ‘Doctor Who’ episodes from Series 4!
For me, this is the best and most exciting collection of ‘Doctor Who’ episodes. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing these last three ‘Doctor Who’ episodes from Series 4 on their original transmission via BBC One. I later re-watched these episodes again via BBC Three repeats on TV, which I enjoyed so much.
This selection includes a gripping one-part story that sets up and leads into the two-part finale that is both thrilling and emotionally heart-breaking at the same time. It also features the largest amount of characters to have featured in the Tenth Doctor era and the new series of ‘Doctor Who’ as a whole.
If you’ve been following the Tenth Doctor’s era of ‘Doctor Who’ without a fault, then this is the fantastic Christmas present for you (in July) and I mean that sincerely. These last three episodes of Series 4 of ‘Doctor Who’ encapsulate why I love the Russell T. Davies era and the David Tennant era.
The first story, ‘Turn Left’, has the Doctor and Donna visiting a Chinese-like market planet in the future called Shan Shen. They enjoy themselves to the full on this planet, before Donna wanders off.
Donna comes across a fortune teller (played by Chipo Chung who played Chantho in ‘Utopia’). Persuaded to take part, Donna enters in the fortune teller’s tent thinking she will get a free reading.
But the fortune teller makes Donna reveal about how she met the Doctor, as she decided to ‘turn left’ at the crossroads. Donna gets a time beetle put onto her back and forced to ‘turn right’ instead.
In this story, we see Donna living a life where she never met the Doctor and has permanent job at a photocopying business. Throughout the episode, we see events happen when Donna was not there.
These are events that happened from Series 3 to 4. They include ‘The Runaway Bride’; ‘Smith and Jones’; ‘Voyage of the Damned’; ‘Partners In Crime’ and ‘The Sontaran Stratagem’/’The Poison Sky’.
These events happen with a different twist and disastrous consequences since Donna wasn’t there to save the Doctor. It’s not all pleasant for Donna as she gets sacked and gets forced to live in Leeds.
It’s a grim story but brilliantly well-thought out by Russell T Davies. He does a great job explaining how things change with ‘meetings never made; children never born; a life never loved’ as Rose says.
Of course, this episode features the welcome return of Billie Piper as Rose Tyler. I was excited and thrilled that Rose came back, since she was the first companion that I had seen from the new series.
Here Rose helps Donna to save her through the world she’s created, as she’s been jumping across parallel universes to get to her. I simply love how Rose interacts with Donna during this TV episode.
But it’s Catherine Tate who steals the show as Donna Noble. Donna is clearly a different person in her parallel world, as she never met the Doctor and becomes absorbed within her own trivial world.
The emphasis of Donna not thinking she’s important and being ‘nothing’ is strong in this story. Her journey is so captivating to watch, as she goes through having a depressing life in the parallel world.
Also in this episode are Jacqueline King as Sylvia, Donna’s mum and Bernard Cribbins as Wilfred Mott, Donna’s granddad. Both share Donna’s life story, when they experience the world’s crumbling.
Just to say, my best mate Stephen lives in that street used for Leeds where Donna and her family lived in. The place is actually in Penarth. How amazing is that?! I think of Leeds whenever I go there.
I loved Donna’s scenes with her granddad in this episode. I enjoyed it when they look through Wilfred’s telescope and see the stars going out. This is Rose’s warning that ‘the darkness is coming’.
The episode’s climax is tremendously thrilling. Donna goes back in time to stop herself turning right and sacrifices herself in the process. Rose whispers in Donna’s ear to send a message to the Doctor.
Soon everything reverts back to normal and the time beetle falls off Donna’s back. The Doctor appears at the end and is still alive David Tennant only appeared at the beginning and end of this. 😀
As Donna tries to recall about the parallel world she created, she remembers Rose Tyler and tells the message given to her for the Doctor. The message is….BAD WOLF! The Doctor is so shocked by this.
The Doctor runs out with Donna to find the street brawled with BAD WOLF everywhere. Even on the TARDIS, it has BAD WOLF written all over it. It can only mean one thing. ‘It’s the end of the universe!’
Wow! This is an exciting episode with a brilliant cliff-hanger. It made me wonder what was going to happen next. When I saw the ‘next time’ trailer, I couldn’t help get excited about what was to come.
The DVD special features on this episode are as follows. On Disc 5 of ‘The Complete Series 4’, there’s a trailer for this episode and a commentary with Catherine Tate, Bernard Cribbins and Jacqueline King. There’s also a deleted scene of ‘Turn Left’ to be found on Disc 4, introduced by Russell T. Davies.
On Disc 6, there’s the ‘Doctor Who Confidential’ episode ‘Here Come the Girls’.
‘Turn Left’ rating – 10/10
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