Review of "Turn Left"
Written by Russell T. Davies, Directed by Graeme Harper                                                                                    21 June 2008

Rose and Donna meet in the alternate timeline.

by Monika Lewis

"Turn Left" depicts a dystopic version of Earth, showing how the Doctor is needed to defend the planet against alien invasions by his absence in this parallel universe.  A fortune teller on an alien planet changes Donna's past, so that she makes one choice differently. Donna turned right instead of left when driving her car with her mother and took a new job before "The Runaway Bride."  As a result, she was never taken aboard the TARDIS and the Doctor was left to face the Empress of the Racnoss on his own.  He didn't know when to stop flooding the base and died along with the Racnoss.  This also shows why the Doctor needs companions to help him, as Donna said in "The Runaway Bride," "Because sometimes, I think you need someone to stop you."  "Turn Left" depicts familiar events from the past two seasons with a different outcome, such as the hospital on the moon in "Smith and Jones," the Titanic spaceship crash in "Voyage of the Damned" and the Adipose taking over in "Partners in Crime."  The Doctor's companions in the other timeline perished trying to save the world. 

Fortunately for the world, Rose Tyler has been traveling between the dimensions, helping Donna to recover the right timeline for the Earth.  Rose tells Donna to retrieve her winnings for the raffle, to get out of London before the Titanic crash causes a nuclear explosion in the city on Christmas.  Finally, after several visits, Donna goes with Rose to the UNIT base where they have reconstructed a time machine from the TARDIS and allows Donna to travel back in time and make herself turn left instead of right, though it means sacrificing herself from the other timeline.  Before Rose leaves, she tells Donna two words: "Bad Wolf."

Though the other timeline has been erased, Donna remembers Rose's words and defeats the fortune teller's attempt to take over her mind, for some unknown purpose.  Although the Doctor is safe, there is still something very wrong with the universe, since the stars are going out and "Bad Wolf" is written everywhere, including replacing the Police Box lettering on the TARDIS.  This is like in Series One's "Parting of the Ways" when Rose looked into the heart of the TARDIS.  She gained control over time and space and wrote "Bad Wolf" all over to send a message to herself in the past, to go back and save the Doctor from the Daleks.  The Doctor absorbed the energy from her, causing him to regenerate into his tenth incarnation.  The mystery in this episode is what could do this now.  Is it Rose or some other powerful being?  The inside of the ship has gone all red, like the Master's Paradox Machine in "Last of the Time Lords" and the Cloister Bell is sounding.  Now all the Doctor's companions and allies must come together to save the universe, including Donna Noble, Mickey Smith, Jackie Tyler, Sarah Jane Smith, Captain Jack Harkness and his team members Ianto Jones and Gwen Cooper, Martha Jones, and Rose Tyler (picture of the Doctor and his team available at the BBC's Doctor Who website.)  It's all got something to do with the Daleks and their evil creator, Davros.  So tune in next time for the start of two epic episodes, "The Stolen Earth" and "Journey's End"!

 

9/10