June 28, 2008

Season Four Saturdays: Turn Left

(This is going to be a spoiler-free review...and it's going to be the toughest review I've written so far. Keep reading for details...)

First, my overall review - I'm glad that, this season, Mr. Davies has disproven my "he-only-writes-two-good-scripts-per-year" theory.

I can't really discuss what goes on within the episode without spoilers...but I don't like spoiling episodes. I'm aware there are fan sites that do precisely that - and provide tons of speculation. I personally believe that it's much smarter - and helps make the case more strongly - to allude, to suggest, to tease the happenings in this episode. So, without further adieu, here's my take on "Turn Left."

Structurally, "Turn Left" is similar to last season's "Utopia" - great beginning, slightly muddled middle, and then a killer conclusion, setting the pace for the final two episodes of the season. It also builds on themes introduced early on in this season, picks up a meme that was recently introduced (actually several memes from recent episodes)...and, as Davies has promised, brings it all together, building a new narrative momentum. It also provides a great "recap" of events of the past three years to date.

And, also, it brings back Rose Tyler, which...I thought she was handled quite cleverly. Personally, I thought she was a better Ninth Doctor companion than Tenth. With the Ninth Doctor, this former shop girl brought a humanizing element to the character. With the Tenth, it was more of a "conventional" relationship. (Last night, I caught "The Idiot's Lantern" on Channel 11; although I liked a friendly Doctor/companion relationship, it seemed to verge dangerously into Baker/Ward territory).

But my favorite thing about this episode - Bernard Cribbins. He owns this episode, and quite frankly...I wish we'd seen more of ol' Wilf. Unlike the Tyler or Jones families, the Nobles seem to be one of the least dysfunctional (at least, as portrayed in this series - this episode, well, shows a different side). But much of it is due to (as Frank Miller might write) "the goddamn Bernard Cribbins". Yes, I'm aware he was in the 1960s Who films...but why can't Wilf be a companion? Come on, Moffatt!

But anyway...last season, "Utopia" gave way to "The Sound of Drums"...and fell flat with "The Last of the Time Lords".

I'm really looking forward to this season's end...but please don't be too upset if I'm a little cautious about it.

1 comment:

King Megatrip said...

looking forward to tonight's episode...! Moffatt is taking over the job next year, yes?