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A Beetle Backpack, the Death of the Doctor and the Return of Rose. Could this be any more epic?!

The Doctor has taken Donna on a trip to see Space China, sampling the wares and talking to the locals, when Donna goes and gets herself a Time Beetle and unknowingly ruins the world, nay, the universe.

Rewind to the Christmas of The Runaway Bride. The Doctor doesn’t survive the Racnoss spider lady, and every successive alien invasion gradually depletes Earth’s heroic defences.

Now Rose Tyler, returned from her parallel universe, must convince alternate timeline Donna to aid her in fixing the world and saving the whole of Britain from having to live in Leeds.

Watch this short teaser for our Turn Left review. It’s muy caliente!

What do you think of this comparison shot?
Planet of Spiders (Third Doctor) vs. Turn Left (Tenth Doctor)



Here's what we think of N053 Turn Left

We rate Doctor Who stories on a scale from 0.0 to 5.0. For context, very few are excellent enough to merit a 5.0 in our minds, and we'd take a 0.0 Doctor Who story over a lot of other, non-Whovian stuff out there.

Leon | @ponken


Drew | @drewbackwhen


Marie | @hammashandjelly


Here's what we think of N053 Turn Left

We rate Doctor Who stories on a scale from 0.0 to 5.0. For context, very few are excellent enough to merit a 5.0 in our minds, and we'd take a 0.0 Doctor Who story over a lot of other, non-Whovian stuff out there.

Leon | @ponken


Drew | @drewbackwhen


Marie | @hammashandjelly


Here's what you think 3 Responses to “N053 Turn Left”
  1. Tracey | @yecartniatnuof

    Hey guys, I’m still Tracey, yes I am!

    I mostly didn’t remember this one. After re-watching I figured out why. It’s because I didn’t like it very much. Too much of a downer. But I like interacting with you guys so let’s get to my short list of thoughts.

    My first thought is -that’s a very Asian planet they’re visiting.

    Rose shows up and talks like she’s been punched in the lip. Something is off with her accent. Or she finally doing it right? Sorry guys, I can’t recognize British accents.

    The bees are gone. Why is this show always talking about bees? Does this ever pay off or are they calling back to the Zarbi? Future episode So Long And Thanks For All The Flowers??

    I kinda like the Bohemian Rhapsody sing along. I was involved in one of those recently (no joke!) and I can absolutely recommend it as good fun.

    The ending did not really work for me. The music was weird, and the pacing was odd, and Rose is basically sending Donna on a suicide mission without telling her directly. I do like Tate’s acting through all this madness, however.

    Alright, let’s perk things up with a rating.

    (Not a )Rating: My daughter asked me this question and I think you all should answer it.
    Would you rather:
    be cranberry juice
    have no bones

  2. Matt Thomas

    Hi guys, love the show.
    Probably missed the recording of your Midnight review so skipping to Turn Left. After the inventive and blissfully Donna-lite episode last week, we double down on some of RTD’s tropiest tropes while also getting a uniquely dark and compelling vision of a world without the Doctor. Human misery? Check. Stoic working class heroes? Check. 10=Better-than-Jesus imagery? You betcha. The presence of Rose and the offscreen pairings of various extended Who castmembers with series 3+4 baddies works well to set up the finale and that cliffhanger is tremendous.

    Special commendation to Billie Pipers’ new teeth and accent – “OMG I just got back from THE BEST gap yaaahh on placement at Torchwood in daddy’s universe. chudered erverywhaaare”

    Also, UNIT soldiers shooting at smoking exhaust pipes….. I just…..what? Shoot the engine surely!?

    “Go an’ feed t’wippet!”


  3. Paul Agnew

    Long time listener, first time reviewer.

    ‘Turn Left’ is truly remarkable, though it may not seem to be at first glance. Russell ‘The Davies’ invites viewers on a wild trip through the old ‘What If’ concept. We all make choices every day, some simple, others far more critical. We’ve seen this time and again in fiction, even in Doctor Who. In fact, it’s a nice coincidence to hear you review two similar stories within the space of a week, as both ‘Inferno’ and ‘Turn Left’ dealt with a Doctor-less world on the, eheh, edge of disgrussion. The unavoidable parallels will crop up, but can ‘Turn Left’ offer something new and exciting enough to not only stand on its own, but be a worthy exchange for 50 minutes of our precious time?

    In short, you bet it can. And not just because it suffers from a sad lack of disco werewolves.

    A cosmos without the Doctor scarcely bares thinking of, and ‘Turn Left’ delivers that to viewers in spades. While the gradual destruction of Earth without our hero can be interpreted as dismissing humanity’s strengths and overall loss of hope, it also conveys a message that sometimes the sheer scope of potential problems are beyond even our abilities (with hindsight on our side, the loss of Earth’s defenders can be all the more harder to watch, such as poor Ianto’s fate later on, and especially after the passing of Elizabeth Sladen.). Nevertheless, it’s okay to receive outside help, whether it be from a friend, family member, reality-bending blonde, or even a simple temp from Chiswick.

    Speaking of which, we come to the true (and rather unwilling) star of the story. While the Seventh Doctor may consider himself to be ‘far more than just another Time Lord’, this episode proves that Donna Noble is far more than just another temp from Chiswick. It’s a testament to Catherine Tate, who delivers her strongest performance thus far. We get to see her truly remarkable acting talents often overshadowed by the usual complaints of being too over-the-top. She’s smart, funny, clever, sassy, optimistic, outrageous, and willing to do whatever it takes to save her world. All while retaining the necessary human characteristics to make her believable and empathetic.

    Viewers are used to the Doctor putting his life on the line to save Earth (it’s kind of a contractual obligation for each story. If he doesn’t, demand your money back), but what happens when the companion goes to the same lengths? It’s easy to dismiss that they’ll be fine, but companions have died in the past. While Donna’s “death” was overridden, that doesn’t make it any less heartbreaking to see a companion literally throw herself to her death for the sake of the future. An act that was truly, well, noble.

    Simply put, Donna is arguably the greatest thing to happen to Doctor Who since Jackie Tyler. Should it ever happen, she’s surely a strong contender for first actress to portray a female Doctor (if Twelve can borrow the face of someone he saved, surely his guilt over Donna could yield similar results). It would certainly place a new twist on this season’s DoctorDonna subplot.

    **And now, after their success with the Cybermen, Dalek Sec, Judoon Captain and good ol’ Granny Connolly, Character are proud to present the Rose Tyler Voice Changer Helmet. Relive the adventures of Bad Wolf Bay and every second tourist landmark in Cardiff with this realistic helmet with lifelike hair and lips perfect for your next cosplay event. It even has two settings: ‘Classic’ Rose from her first season, and ‘Season 4’ Rose with authentic lisp modulator. In stores now!**

    How could I possibly forget Sylvia? It’s hard to watch someone so feisty slowly slide into a state of depression, though I can’t blame her for giving up while her entire world crumbles apart. Top acting from Jacqueline King right there. And Wilf? Best companion that never was (except for his brief adventure with Peter Cushing of course). His endless spirit and enthusiasm continues to make the character a sorely missed member of the current crew. In particular Wilf’s reaction to the rounding up of non-British residents, a masterful inclusion suggested by Bernard Cribbins after living through similar events in the past. It still holds relevance today. Perhaps even moreso after the recent ‘America First’ regime brought in by a certain orange Slitheen masquerading as ruler of the Free World.

    On the production side, Graeme Harper displays yet again why he’s one of the show’s greatest finds. Having been working for the series on and off since ‘Power of the Daleks’ in 1966, his directive talents haven’t faltered with age. Like Cribbins, he’s another member of the Who crew that should come back someday.

    As for the Doctor, well, there’s not much to say given he spent most of this episode playing word games on a broken down space bus. Not the first time his role has been minimal of course, but this episode juuuuust squeezes in front of ‘Mission to the Unknown’ as arguably the greatest ‘Doctor-Lite’ story ever. No offence to a certain Angel-based episode from the previous season. ;)

    Rating: Sometimes a story will come along to challenge a traditional ratings system. Particular episodes include ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’, ‘Genesis of the Daleks’, ‘Pyramids of Mars’, ‘The Robots of Death’, ‘The Caves of Androzani’, and a certain two-part season finale (the latter three also directed by Harper) that’s literally, excuse the pun, right around the corner. While not perfect for a variety of reasons (whether it be a poor costume, shaky sets or dodgy CSO, none of which were intended and simply products of their time and budget), the sheer audacious storytelling and captivating acting manage to toss aside the negatives.

    As a result, ‘Turn Left’ joins the above examples. It’s dark yet optimistic, brutal yet honest, funny yet heartbreaking, cheap yet fulfilling, but above all never stops being amazing. Everyone involved should be praised for creating a story that exceeds beyond any shortcomings to create a truly bona fide classic and success on all fronts.

    A solid 5 Time Beetles.

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