Friday, January 22, 2016

NuWho Reviews: Midnight, Turn Left, The Stolen Earth, and Journey's End

Midnight

NOPE. NOPE NOPE NOPE. NOPE. NOPE NOPE NOPITY NOPE NOPE.

NOPE.

Davies picks up where Moffat left off in scaring the ever-loving crap out of the audience.

The Doctor and Donna arrive on Planet Midnight for some R&R. While Donna decides to visit a spa, the Doctor visits the sapphire waterfall. He gets on the shuttle with a few other quirky passengers.

The Doctor disables the TVs (just missing a distraught Rose on one) and decides to get to know the passengers. You have: the Conventional Family with Rebellious Son! The Slightly Drunken Lonely Lady! The Professor and his Beleaguered Assistant! And the Hostess, who Doesn't Even Have A Name In The Credits.

The shuttle suddenly stops. The Doctor psychic papers his way into the cockpit, where the mechanic claims to have seen something running across the landscape (which doesn't support life at all).

You know what this means?


Before long, something is banging on the hull, and the cockpit is torn away. The banging ends right near Sky, who afterward seems catatonic. Until she starts repeating everything everyone says. Someone mentions possession, and Merlin makes her say 666, because teenagers. It doesn't take long for everyone to plot murder, while the Doctor tries to keep everyone sane. Unfortunately, they become suspicious of him, especially after Sky starts repeating only him, and also because he calls himself clever.

False modesty is just how society rolls.

It gets worse as Sky starts sentences before the Doctor, who starts repeating them. Sky begins goading the other passengers, whose tensions start cracking as Professor Hobbes insults his assistant and Jethro fights his parents about their decision to toss the Doctor out the airlock.

Meanwhile, the Doctor can't do anything at all, and is sitting there, paralyzed and crying, which makes it about a thousand times worse to watch.

LOOK AT HIS FACE. LOOK AT IT.

The hostess and Professor Hobbes' assistant DeeDee suspect that Sky is still possessed as she starts using the Doctor's previous phrases. The hostess takes matters into her own hand and drags Sky out an airlock with her, killing them both.

Afterward, while waiting for rescue, no one speaks. Everyone looks utterly horrified at what they became during that time. Everyone's dark side is showcased for everyone to see: the Doctor's egotism, the professor's coldness to DeeDee, and the Kanes' dismissal of their son. Even worse, no one can remember the name of the hostess who just sacrificed herself for them.

And worst of all? THAT THING IS STILL OUT THERE.




Turn Left

The Doctor and Donna are exploring a marketplace when Donna runs into an uncomfortable racial stereotype in the form of a Not!Chinese Fortune Teller who may or may not be a regenerated Chantho. The fortune teller asks Donna about a turning point in her life, which was the decision to take a temp job, which led her to meeting up with the Doctor for the first time. The fortune teller encourages Donna to "mentally" turn right instead. Unfortunately, this makes Donna turn right IRL.

Donna gets a different job. People tell her about having something on her back a lot, which is one of those things Dale did to me to freak me out one day. She doesn't meet the Doctor, and the result is that he is killed the night he fights the Spider Babies, because Donna isn't there to remind him that Doomsday is over, and they can overcome that trauma together.

You can heal, Doctor. Just like the fandom didn't.

The Doctor's death has a domino effect: Sarah Jane and Martha were the ones who tried to fight the Plasmavore, and they died on the moon. The Titanic crashes, destroying a good chunk of England and practically turning it into a Third World country (with Rose appearing to warn Donna away in time). The Adipose plan comes off as Miss Foster planned in America, and millions more are killed. Jack Harkness and the rest of Torchwood die fighting the Sontarans.

During the crisis, Donna's family is forced to live in cramped quarters with another family. Just as she finally becomes attached to them and starts seeing some light in the situation, the family is carted away. Wilfred points out that the same thing happened during World War II as well, successfully Godwinning all of England.

Wilf would then go on to audition for the role of "Guy who Godwins Loki in The Avengers". He was rejected, but that was because they thought his Christmas hat was a little too on the nose.

Rose appears, and asks Donna to come with her, but warns her it will result in her death. Donna, frightened, refuses. Rose promises to return in three weeks.

Three weeks later, Donna and Wilf are looking through a telescope, and see that the stars are disappearing. Donna finally leaves with Rose.

See, the walls of reality are collapsing, and only the Doctor can stop it. So Donna must go back in time, using the last of a dying TARDIS' energy, to make the right choice. Also she has a giant beetle on her back.

Sarah Jane did it, now everyone else has to do it too.

When Donna arrives on the fateful day, she is too far away to speak to herself. So she throws herself in front of a truck, causing a traffic jam that influences her past self to turn left.

Then Donna wakes up in the fortune teller's shop, and mutters about Donna becoming something. (Presumably not Batmantis.) The Doctor is puzzled too. The Trickster (some villain from the Sarah Jane Adventures, which I have yet to watch) works by influencing people's lives, but instead the universe shaped itself around Donna instead. Then the Doctor learns that it was "Bad Wolf" who helped Donna, and hears the cloister bell ringing as they reach the TARDIS. This can only mean a season finale!

This just goes to showcase more of Donna. She has so much potential, but staying stuck with her family, particularly her severe, mildly abusive mother, would slowly drain her. Yet even after that, she still had such a sense of compassion that she was able to sacrifice herself for literally everyone else.

Also Wilf's Christmas hat.




The Stolen Earth

Last time, on Doctor Who, Donna was awesome and the TARDIS cloister bell was ringing, though there wasn't any annoying children to shout "BUT DOCTOR THE CLOISTER BELL" over and over.

Our heroes arrive on Earth, just as it too disappears. They decide to visit The Shadow Proclamation (finally!), where they discover that twenty seven other planets have gone missing (including those mentioned in the past episodes). Those planets would organize into a pattern when placed near each other. After Donna mentions the disappearance of bees on Earth, the Doctor figures out that the planets have been taken to the Medusa Cascade, an inter-universal rift. This is the causing the walls of the universe to collapse. Also, the Shadow Proclamation is very sorry for what is going to happen to Donna.

as we all are

Meanwhile, on Earth, everyone is freaked out by the fact that the Earth has, in fact, moved. Luckily, Rose has arrived, complete with Really Big Lightning Gun.


Richard Dawkins talks about the view of the very close planets in the sky, and also brags about stealing the Fourth Doctor's wife.

As everyone tries to figure out what those spaceships are, a single word is transmitted to them: EXTERMINATE.

Yep, those wacky Daleks are back again, and so is Davros, who somehow survived the Rice Pudding Quip. Along with him is Dalek Caan, who is a bit crazy and prophetic, and shall henceforth be known as "Giggles". When the Daleks start marching (rolling? hovering?) through the streets, Wilf tells Sylvia to stay in the house, because aliens always come after the women first.

Martha does mysterious things for UNIT, Jack can't get hold of anyone, and Wilf tries to defeat the Daleks with paintballs.

For the record, the Dalek's vision is not impaired.

Luckily, Harriet Jones, Former Prime Minister, has managed to find a way to get the Doctor in contact with everyone (except Rose). Donna flirts with Jack, Jack flirts with Sarah Jane, and it's a rather happy little reunion!

This is the story/about a man called Doctor...

Until the Daleks kill Harriet Jones, Formerly Alive Former Prime Minister. And then Davros joins Facebook and friends everyone, and it's just awkward. Plus, Daleks start cornering all our heroes! Luckily, the Doctor is ready with a quick quip, and Davros is ready for the Doctor to inevitably arrive on Earth.

Meanwhile, Jack uses his vortex manipulator, Martha goes to activate the Osterhagen Key, which is not the same thing as a Copenhagen Corridor, and Rose chases down the TARDIS.

We have a lovely run for one another! In slow-mo!

Unfortunately Bob the Hero Dalek (who would go on to become best friends with TR8R from the new Star Wars) is the first Dalek to actually manage to properly shoot the Doctor. The first of the two-parter closes as the Doctor begins regenerating...




Journey's End

Torchwood manages to survive the Daleks via technology, Mickey and Jackie arrive from the alternate universe, also with large lightning guns, to save Sarah Jane. Meanwhile, the Doctor...redirects his regeneration energy into his old hand and continues to be David Tennant. He was just too pretty to die

Rose is rather relieved that the Doctor didn't, like, turn into someone old, or something. But it doesn't matter, because the Daleks transport the TARDIS and the rest of our heroes to the Crucible, Davros' ship.

Meanwhile, Martha goes to Germany, where Daleks speak very bad German, and everyone getting freaked out at the mention of the Osterhagen key.

While our heroes step out of the TARDIS, Donna swears she hears a heartbeat, and gets locked inside. The TARDIS is flushed into the core of the ship, because the Supreme Dalek is a jerk, and Donna touches the hand in a jar, because there's seriously something weird about a hand in a jar. The jar bursts and...a new Doctor grows from the hand, with extra Donna sass!


Handy dematerializes the TARDIS just in time.

Meanwhile, Jack plays possum while the Doctor and Rose get to listen to Davros' monologue. And oh, what a monologue! He rants! He raves! He rehashes his old speech from Genesis! He chews up all the scenery, and leaves none that even Brian Blessed could eat! Giggles makes some vague prophecies and, of course, giggles. Y'see, Davros has built a reality bomb, which would, you know, destroy all reality except for the Daleks. However, Martha calls and threatens to use the Osterhagen key, a device that will destroy Earth. Sarah Jane threatens to destroy the Crucible with a Warpstar. Davros taunts the Doctor about turning his friends into weapons and how bad that is, helpfully forgetting that he's trying to, you know, destroy reality and everyone with it, leaving our heroes with little in the way of a choice.

Unfortunately, everyone is just teleported, which is kind of like cheating. But just as Davros is prepared to set us up the bomb, Handy and Donna arrive! Davros, not one to go out without a Star Wars reference, shoots them with lightning.

And sass.

Thus triggering the Time Lord DNA that had been transferred into Donna when she touched the hand. She quickly explains the mechanics of it all while everyone stares, since Donna...wasn't the brightest crayon in the box, technically speaking. She is now DoctorDonna. The Ood giggle in their palms.

Giggles does so too. Turns out, all his prophecies had been about Davros getting his butt kicked. Dalek Caan was driven so crazy he became sane. At least, sane compared to the fandom.

Handy likes the prophecy so much that he triggers an explosion in the Crucible that will TOTALLY KILL DAVROS AND THE DALEKS AND THEY WON'T EVER COME BACK EVER.

The Doctor is unhappy, because genocide, and he shouts at Handy and tells Sylvia not to touch the controls.

Our heroes part, with Mickey deciding to stay in his original universe and hang out with Martha and Jack, and the Doctor taking Rose and Jackie back to the parallel universe, where he discovers that Jackie will not be naming their son after him. He tells Handy to stay there and pretends he can't tell Rose how he feels, leaving the two to make out for copious amounts of time.

This is the best illustration I've seen.

OH, DON'T WORRY, THERE ARE MORE FEELS TO COME.

Donna behaves erratically, and finally says she is hurting. The Time Lord knowledge is overwhelming her. The Doctor does the only thing he can to do save her. He completely wipes her mind of all her experiences with him.


LOOK AT HER FACE. LOOK AT IT.

He returns her home, lecturing Sylvia thoroughly about her dismissal of Donna, and leaving her in the care of her family, while she reverts back to her old, crass self. The thing is, there's hope. Donna was always compassionate deep down. Her behavior was a reaction to being treated as though she meant nothing. With her mother presumably trying to be better, she will manage to improve.

Then we get left with the last shot of the Doctor in the rain, which is used on message boards everywhere to express regret and sadness at things like world tragedies and the discontinuation of favorite snack foods.

For the record, I am deeply disappointed Dalek Caan has never returned, because who doesn't want a giggling prophetic Dalek around, amirite?


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