She looked over twenty-two
A man could drown in eyes so blue
Standing tall and satisfied
Like to try to run but I just might die
Up in Indiana where the tall corn grows
I do a little thinking bout a girl named Rose
Hair blonde as hay and long as a rope
Up in Indiana where the tall corn grows
I do a little thinking bout a girl named Rose
Hell don't care, but Heaven knows
Just give me an hour with a girl named Rose!
It's a three parter. It's the biggest fanwankarama since Divided Loyalties. How am I supposed to review it?
I'll just have to rip off Jared's method...
Finish Download - is it that rare for an story featuring Billie Piper, Freema Agyeman and Catherine Tate? Even before this season we had Army of Ghosts, which featured all three. No one ever thinks of that, do they? And what does Adeola say to her victims? "Just go to the left..."
0:00 - Curiously, I've been able to download Turn Left incredibly quickly, able to see it the day I started downloading rather than two days later. Thus, as the episode unfolds before my spectacled eyes, the TV in the next room shows Billie Piper as Fanny (down, Nigel, down) in Mansfield Park. I consider watching her as a problem child in pretty dresses, a change from her depressed loner Sally Lockhart. Then I say bugger it and click play...
0:02 - The story opens on Shan Shen, a disappointingly small scale alien world. It's basically a street filled with Chinatown cliches and some dodgy CGI that seems to think Howe's Moving Castle is the be all and end all of freaky outer space. Ironic that RTD is the one that comes up with the planet that might as well be Earth. And it's not often I whinge about this, but... bit yellow peril, isn't it? On an alien planet and Chinatown is full of cliched, pigeon-English-speaking vendors, con artists and dark mystics. Since the TARDIS translates languages, do we NEED "choppee choppe best in all Shan Shen pretty lady" type rambles.
0:59 - Chippo Chung sans beetle makeup. Am I wrong to think she was cuter with antennae? Mind you, she's definitely a good actress. No hint she's anything other than cold calculating pure evil. Which does mean Donna looks damn stupid when she falls for the "free palm-reading" business. I mean, it's not like she's ever had a bad experience with soothsayers... hang on!
- before I go any further, I'll muse on OG Theory. This is the theory that spectacularly failed to get Bad Wolf right and instead came up with the infamous Adam Mitchell Is Davros Theory. Now, this has corrupted via Chinese Whispers or Messaline History, so people forget the very sensible and logical starting point: Adam, a self-confessed genius with a head full of anachronistic technology is left in 2012 with a rather nasty grudge against the Doctor and Rose. Since he also has detailed knowledge of the Daleks and a passing acquaintence with knowledge of the future, the idea that the season finale would have the scorned companion reviving the Daleks, withered into a wheelchair and a third eye was, in all honesty, a missed opportunity. If there's one obvious "you shouldn't have done that" plot idea, it was that. The idea being they can use Davros without actually getting the convoluted character, as well as getting the irony of the Doctor noting that Van Statten would like Davros, having hired his successor unwittingly...
- OG Theory for this season finale was just as logical and entertaining. Quite simply, the omnipotent and powerful Trickster from Whatever Happened to Sarah-Jane Smith? fulfills his promise to look up the Doctor, and erases him from time, thus allowing a superhero team up to restore him. What lead to this theory? Footage of Donna living an impossible family life and shouting to someone in long black robes. Who turns out to be Miss Evangalista in River's Run, in a completely irrelevent B-plot that ultimately has sweet FA to do with anything in the same story, let alone the rest of the season. Since that idea is out of the window, we have to ask, did RTD and co miss a trick or have they got a better idea. I better actually watch the damn thing and find out, eh, comrades?
2:32 - "I see the future. Tell me of the past." says the fortune teller when Donna points out a flaw in her act. I'd like to see Richard Dawkins take on Chippo Chung. She's smooth at improvisation, you gotta give her that.
2:43 - Ooh. Flashbacks. I wonder if anyone might mistake it for new material. Gullible idiots, as Kamelion would say.
3:41 - Been watching Planet of Spiders have you, Rusty? Or Babylon Five? Deals with the devil, changing whole histories in single moments, parasitic insectoid monsters, creepy psychics and evil shadowy darkness? Still, you're not ripping me off for a change. Which is nice.
3:45 - Oh, that is clever. Seriously, that is very clever. A title that means so much yet so little. Bonza!
3:50 - Dear fucking Christ, Sylvia, SHUT THE HELL UP! Turns out she's always been this bad. I can't imagine how Donna is so well-adjusted, but it clearly explains why she's so desperate to find a man and get married... I myself would shave my head and take over Chas' role in Chaser stunts if it got that palsied harridan off my back. How fascinating to learn that Sylvia's bitchiness will ruin history as we know it, huh? Seriously, RTD, did you get left with a horrible woman next door as a baby-sitter or something?
4:30 - That claw is so freaking fake it's painful. Maybe if they didn't waste all the CGI on a skyline, they might have had some left over. This Box-of-Gavrok-style back-hugger looks like something from my Mighty Maxx toys...
5:00 - OK, I get the villains can rewrite time and space. But Sylvia doesn't react at all to her daughter suddenly changing her decision. Not even a "about time you listened to me, you shrivelled old sour titted wench" which is as affectionate as I can imagine. Please, RTD. Kill her. We'll all swear it was drammatically justified. It'd certainly balance killing Owen and Tosh. Even Hitler would agree.
5:26 - GOD DAMN IT! "and BILLIE PIPER"?! IT LOOKS BAD! Surely someone's noticed it by now?!
6:00 - Slade's Merry Christmas Everybody... I swear it gets played more in Doctor Who than anything by Murray Gold. Good thing I like it then, huh? Still, given all the party hats, reindeer antlers, Christmas decorations, the illuminated "MERRY CHRISTMAS" banner and Donna saying, "Christmas, huh?", you'd think that maybe, just maybe we've got the idea that this is set around December 25. Enough to put The Stowaway on the jukebox, at any roads...
6:49 - Donna knows a freak-out blonde girl with telepathic abilities. How convenient. Maybe if I rewrite my own timeline, one of those bodacious babes in Chris Hale's harem will be able to spot it in a cryptic enough way for me to notice, huh? Jeez, she's a freak though...
7:09 - More anti-Ken-Livingstone gags. After being blamed for a UFO crash and then exploding in such a way as to blow up the Tate Modern, I think we can cut the guy some slack. And I'll put down the non-post-Doomsday stuff (which I ranted about earlier) down to the whole new history thing...
8:10 - Bloody hell, is that David Troughton in that tank?!
9:11 - So... the Doctor was genuinely suicidal in The Runaway Bride then? And he drowned? Is that what we're supposed to think? Mr "Respiratory Bypass" can't cope with some river water? Not even regenerating? But, if the Doctor dies now, he never visits Malcassero, never releases the Master, the Master isn't there to organize defence against the Rachnoss. Yet the tanks are all there. So, wait, I'm really confused now... I guess I better keep watching. Points for the 'distorted Flavia music', though...
9:20 - Hello, Rosie. My, you look tired... especially as you read letters of 'gentle yet chaste' on the TV over there...
9:44 - Um, Billie, are you wearing false teeth or something? You sound like Duane Dibbley! I can barely understand what you're saying...
10:50 - Ah, RTD finally thinks of the human cost that comes when the Thames be drained...
11:26 - Oh dear. Martha J!! I wonder how many casual viewers are wondering if the vanishing hospital is new amazing material or a continuity reference? Like my parents, for a start.
12:00 - Damn it, I wish I'd been as cool as Donna when I got sacked. I just went into shock...
12:19 - Oliver??!? THAT git was allowed to live by Judoon? No justice. No justice whatsoever. Oh. Wait. That makes sense. Oh, my poor Martha J, why couldn't you have been more selfish...
12:50 - Wilf rocks. Donna doesn't (but that's the point). Yet even at her worst, she's still a saint compared to Sylvia "My Continued Living Proves The Non-Existence of God" Noble.
13:19 - "To be honest, Donna, I've given up on you." Now, I'm sorry, that is just out of fucking line. Sylvia manages in one sentence to be more despicably nasty than John Simms' Master managed in The Year That Never Was. She no longer deserves to live, in my opinion. That has to be the most hurtful thing I've ever heard. You see that line, that is the anti-matter opposite to everything I have ever lived my life by. Sylvia Noble, I never want to see you ever again. Especially since in this reality Donna's been doing what you told her all along! GET FUCKED, SYLVIA! Christ, Alex Drake, where are you when I need you.
13:32 - Holy shit, not Sarah too! And Maria, Clyde and Luke too?!? What a massacre! Chris Boucher wept! (I hope everyone noticed this clear and unambigious SJA reference makes their whole series canonical. Will anything from Torchwood get referenced?)
14:52 - You're fooling no one, Rosie.
15:36 - Nice. Really picking up the 'experienced time traveller' stuff from Army of Ghosts where Rose was quite capable of handling stuff on her own. She's up to something, but heaven knows what...
16:10 - Is that the health clinic place from SJA: Eye of the Gorgon? And Rose is using the trick from School Reunion as well! Oh, Sarah, Sarah, rest of the lyrics I cannot recall...
16:19 - Fuck Sylvia, say what you like Wilf! Honestly, if Sylvia was blasted dead to reveal Ben Chatham and Operation Delta, I'd STILL consider this an improvement.
16:55 - Sweet Jesus! Russell, are you TRYING to make me smash my expensive monitor in an attempt to strangle the bitch!? She makes Wilf sleep on the sofa, lounges around in bed while hurling smug abuse at Donna for ENJOYING CHRISTMAS when she was a KID! I FUCKING HATE YOU SYLVIA!
18:00 - Just WHY are you so desperate to get Donna to watch this, you Insane Mega-Bitch?! Is it SO difficult to shout "Fuck! The Titanic's falling on Buckingham Palace!"
18:21 - Well, that should cheer Mad Larry up. Bye bye Buckingham. Is this the bit where every living thing on Earth perishes, as per Max Capricorn's Master Plan?
18:52 - ARGH! THREADS FLASHBACK!!!
19:22 - It's the Evil Monkey from Chris Griffin's Closet!!
19:23 - You know what I said 31 seconds previous? I get that a lot from hereon in. Still not sure why Earth is still in one piece when it's supposed to be a barren rock...
20:28 - Oh yeah. Don't throw your crap on Donna unless you like washing your own clothes. And good to see that Wilf can cope with the apocalypse better than Sylvia who has been mercifully silent. Just a damn pity Wilf and Donna didn't ditch her and let her be vaporized with all her horrid friends...
20:58 - I like this guy. He does a Drax-like flip on the whole apocalyptic mood. He might even cure my Threads complex. It's the mirror opposite of the scene in the film where the clearly-derranged old man refuses to let any refugees into his hotel and forces them out into the nuclear winter the moment the soldiers aren't looking. I really like this guy.
21:45 - "Nobody lives in the bathroom." Scratch that, I love this guy. Whenever the Doctor does his "humans are brilliant" speech, he's talking about this guy.
20:30 - Mal Loup, do you think she's jinxed? Does she ever report normal things?
20:35 - Oh well. At least we don't have to SEE a certian female villain this time. One for Jared there.
23:02 - Oh, no, nice try RTD, but Sylvia's hurled too much crap for me to feel sorry for. Oh, now she's going on about being a refugee. Boo freaking hoo. You still got a pulse bitch. No wonder Donna lashes out against poor Drax. Frankly, those sea shanties would help me sleep...
24:30 - I definitely love this guy. He should be the new companion. Bohemian Rhapsody! Classic!
25:00 - Ah. I think that might be the syndicated cliffhanger moment... Seriously have no idea how they're going to get out of this. But wasn't Rattigan nuked with London? Did he start before Christmas 08?
25:31 - Oh yeah, Wilf rocks too. I did mention that, right?
25:59 - Yeah, I finally see what Jackie meant in Army of Ghosts. And even though this is very 'newbie friendly', since none of the characters have lived through the events before, I still wonder if it's complicated. This is definitely Blood Heat, that wonderful NA with Tom Wallis...
26:21 - Sigh. Oh well, I survived it the first time...
26:35 - Torchwood 2 is canon! Ianto and Gwen get namechecked!! This has to be the first time the show has been referenced by RTD without mercilessly taking the piss out of them... though I don't know if Tosh and Owen are ignored coz they died in Exit Wounds or not...
27:11 - Billie OPEN YOUR MOUTH! Dear God, I'll need subtitles to work out what she's mumbling...
27:52 - Seriously, you could phrase this a lot better if you want to get Donna to understand.
28:46 - This is all Sylvia's fault. Even if creation weren't at stake.
29:13 - She has REALLY been studying DT's performance. This is like when India Fisher played the Doctor in Natural History of Fear... well, I THINK that's who she played... anyway, that's why she's always talking through her teeth.
29:36 - Please be wrong. Please be lying. Please be wrong.
29:53 - This guy can do no wrong for me. And it strikes me this is part one of three. How am I gonna cope?
30:24 - It is all down to Bernard Cribbens that this scene in any way feels bleak and tragic. Please, Moffat, keep him on as a companion! Puh-lllllllllllllleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease?
31:06 - Jesus Christ, it's actually getting WORSE than Threads... I never ever thought that could happen.
31:52 - Kill her. Kill her now. I want her dead. I want her gone. Kill her. Get Lemon Bloody Cola to be head writer if necessary. Kill her. Now. That Adric died for this bitch soils my soul.
32: 19 - Ah. Donna and Wilf by the telescope. No matter how badly directed, it warms the cockles of me heart.
32:41 - I know what she's going to see. Yeah. This does have the edge over Threads...
34:03 - Oooh! Causal nexus! Bet that means sweet FA to everyone who didn't read the novelization of Logopolis... and the lights are out in the TARDIS. I am reminded of Cloud of Fear... but thankfully not Omega.
34:13 - Oh well, better than Mace, not as good as Bambera and Jesus Christ it should have been the Brigadier. I mean, come on!
34:51 - "No... way!" Yes, way!
35:38 - Now I'm getting flashbacks to Blake and Tarrant in Scorpio's wreckage for some unfathomable reason...
36:11 - Yeah, I can hear them squeeing, too.
36:33 - What is this? Kinda?!?
37:29 - Yeah. Kinda. Definitely. Except of a snake, it's one of those horned beetles... with a dash of weeping angel thrown in. And the Trickster. OG Theory could work.
38:10 - "It's the sort of thing the Doctor would say." Yeah, sums up your performance to a T, Billie. In a good way. You're doing a hell of a better job than Jon "Limited Repertoire" Culshaw anyroads.
38:54 - Again, this is all Sylvia's fault. That's the moral - be bitchy to your kids and the universe ends. Oh, and Catherine Tate ritualistically removes the skins of anyone that accused her of bein unable to act. There are none left after this scene. They gone to join the bumblebees.
39:50 - Oh, very funny. Well, it was when Ford Prefect did it, but not so much here.
40:13 - Oh, so it's Evil of the Daleks mirror magic rather than Kinda mirror magic. Mea culpa. And it works like Day of the Daleks and Terminator. Just so we're all on the same page...
41:17 - Rip off The Wish, why don't you, Russell. You couldn't have, say, Martha as an evil dominatrix leather-clad omnisexual sadist, though, could you? You take everything except the core premise and pour in recycled Threads! You know, if I want, I can watch Buffy on my own bat, I don't need your remakes, pal! You even rip off the violin creaking noise from their pre-credit sequence for the love of Led Zeppelin!
42:30 - Uh oh.
43:44 - Seriously, I so relate.
44:25 - You Have Got To Be Fucking Kidding Me. Paul Cornell is gonna rip you a new one, Rusty!
45:05 - YES, I GET IT! I DON'T NEED THIS!!
45:48 - Sweet Onion Chutney, didn't you get this out of your system with TW: Adam?!
46:02 - "It's one of the Trickster's Brigade." Well, fuck me, we were right all along...
46:26 - "First the library, then this." What?! You mean my abuse against Moffat padding is unwarranted?!
46:40 - Holy crap, this smacks of Faction Paradox... Mad Larry may not survive to blog about it...
47:35 - Utopia inside a minute... DT goes for 'smashing the Doctor's worldview' to beat the record.
47:47 - DT looks like he's going to wet himself. And I'm not much better to be honest.
47:56 - BLOODY HELL!
48:03 - WHAT!?!? This is like Jekyll on acid!
48:04 - WHAT?!?!?!?!?
48:13 - This is not a good sign. Not a good sign at all...
48:18 - Well, someone was definitely watching Logopolis.
48:28 - HOLY FUCKING SWEET NIGEL OF VERKOFF THEY DID NOT JUST DO THAT!!
48:52 - I know that laugh... I'd know that laugh anywhere... it can't be him, surely? Can it?
49:06 - Why is the voiceover guy talking like that?! What is this, they're doing that Dead Ringers think where the guy talks about all the Friends episodes on TV, and starts to grate like a Dalek screaming about "TOTAL FRIENDS SATURATION WILL OCCUR!!"
49:12 - Ruby in the Smoke is on next? ARE YOU TAKING THE PISS?!?
49:23 - How am I supposed to get to sleep? ANSWER ME THAT!!
Next Time: "The Children of Time are moving against us... but everything is falling into place."
"Ladies and gentlemen, we are are war!"
"It can't be..."
"There's nothing I can do."
"Oh my God!"
"What is it? Who are they?"
"What are we going to do?"
"It can't be!"
"I'm sorry... we're dead."
"Doctor, come back!"
"And it's only just beginning."
"Welcome to my new empire, Doctor."