Tag Archives: Dr. Who

Turning Right

I have certainly been slack about posting reviews of Doctor Who this year. I’m really not sure why that is – I suppose my muse just isn’t speaking to me.

Still, my muse was positively shouting at me during the recent episode of Doctor Who entitled “Turn Left”. So, while this still isn’t a review of that episode, it’s just an opportunity to vent a bit about the details.

As such, this contains spoilers.

The main point of complaint I wish to point out is timey whimey, although it’s not called that in this Russell T. Davies episode. The basic premise is that, through a single decision, Donna’s life could have been completely different, and that the Doctor would be dead without her. He would have been killed underground on Christmas during “The Runaway Bride”

OK, fair enough, he was acting the chump when giving his little “Time Lord” speech, and Donna did break him out of his reverie, possibly saving his life.

But… would he have been there at all if Donna hadn’t been the Runaway Bride in the first place? Even allowing that someone else would have been targeted to be the victim in that mad plot, and, perhaps they might have been transported into the Doctor’s TARDIS, but would time have played out exactly the same, brining the Doctor to that same point? Once again, when you start playing around with the notion of “little changes can make big differences” you have to let the chips fall where they must.

Perhaps, we can argue, without the Doctor, Sarah Jane would have been investigating the hospital where Martha was working, but that rather implies that Sarah communicates rather more regularly with the Doctor than we’ve been lead to believe. Why wouldn’t she have been there anyway if it wasn’t somehow coordinated with him in advance?

Fortunately, we can say that the Master would still be living as kindly Professor Yana had Martha not helped the Doctor with the Chameleon Arch, and then not subsequently gone into the far future and made the connection. The Saxon fiasco would not have been repeated.

The Titanic still would have been a problem, though, but, and my memory is a bit fuzzy on this, wasn’t it explicitly stated in Voyage of the Damned, that the destruction of the engines of the ship when it crashed into Earth would result in the destruction of all life on Earth? I suppose people living in London might be a bit London-centric in their world view, but I’d say the annihilation of London is orders of magnitude less than the destruction of all life on the planet.

Let’s let the fat creatures slide. They could have been anywhere rotund.

ATMOS, on the other hand, couldn’t have been just anywhere. It was clear from the Sontaran Strategem, that the ATMOS device wasn’t just Sontaran technology, Rat Boy from the Ratagan Academy was instrumental in its development. He, along with the rest of his academy and all their cool technology, including the atmosphere device the Doctor used to save the day, went up with London, ergo, no ATMOS. Should the Sontarans have introduced ATMOS anyway, there’s no logical reason to have available the atmosphere converter that Captain Jack used in the alternate timeline, which was strictly for the Ratagan terraforming project.

Finally, I just want to point out, once again, the grossly simplistic worldview that RTD seems to project whenever he wants to portray the world we live in. Particularly, RTD really likes to portray governments and government officials as irresponsible, nuclear weapon-toting, swaggering, basically immoral people waiting for the slightest opportunity to let their lesser nature shine out. Now, if he had the balls to call George W. Bush by name as that, then that would be his right, and certainly he might have a good case to make defending it.

But to routinely extend that to every government interaction we see in the new series is a tired, old cliche, at best, and a complete cop out as a plot device. There’s no nuance of subtly there. So, if things took such a turn for the worse in the UK as presented in Turn Left, would the provisional government really start up the gas chambers again? Really, Russ, have you got some opinions on immigration policy you’d like to share with us?

I’m just shocked that they didn’t have a gay couple in that crowded flat in Leeds, too, so he could write them off to the gas chambers, and beat over the head just ever so much more with his other axe.

Am I behind?

Yes, I am. Four episodes of Doctor Who behind on the reviews… guess I’d better get to it.

It’s just… I don’t know… It’s just that this season really isn’t inspiring me much.

Fine… in honor of Dan Vettori getting his name up on the honours board at Lords for a 5-wicket test, and Jacob Oram getting his name up there for a century, I guess the least I can do is step up and review Doctor Who…