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New Who 4.11, Turn Left

Excellent! Sliding Doors for Doctor Who. A great idea, very convincingly executed, and very cleverly used as a way of both bringing Rose back into the series, and hinting at Donna's importance in the finale.

I cheered, of course, when Leeds was featured in the story, even if in a very negative way ("It's Leeds - or nothing!"). According to big_daz, though, the street which they showed wasn't actually Leeds at all, as the houses were the wrong design - and I think he's probably right about that.

Donna proved once again how awesome she is, although actually I think what I really liked was not so much her heroic self-sacrifice, or even her gritty determination to keep going as the world fell apart around her (and wasn't the hopeless, grey, alternate version of her Mum brilliant, too?), but the 'framing scenes' on Shan Shen at the beginning and end of the episode. Just like their equivalents in Midnight, they gave us quiet, understated insights into the dynamic that has developed now between Donna and the Doctor - their unselfconscious enjoyment of each other's company, their willingness to allow each other to go off and follow their own interests, and their readiness to comfort and support each other when it's needed. Of course, being shown all this is just more evidence that this happy partnership is about to be rent apart in the final episodes - but I'm enjoying it while it lasts.

And RTD - two corking stories in a row now (though they still don't quite out-strip Fires of Pompeii for me). I'm sure he'll pull out his usual Total Bollocks Overdrive and deus ex machina ending over the next couple of episodes. But I think these are enough to say he's gone out with a bang.

Whew - I'm all up to date at last. As you were.

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
paulgregory
Jun. 27th, 2008 11:04 pm (UTC)
I guess it makes sense that you prefer the Donna of the Doctor's world to the Donna that was much less aware how awesome she is.

"Leeds" street is of course probably filmed in South Wales - but what is the giveaway in house design? Use of slate or something? This notion fascinates me.

Anyway. I finally watched the entirety of Sarah Jane Adventures this week - what do you think of the Trickster connection between this and Whatever Happened To Sarah Jane?
big_daz
Jun. 28th, 2008 09:09 am (UTC)
I certainly think they did their homework and found a street of red brick, slate-roofed terrace houses, but the design wasn't like any street in Leeds.

If it'd been stone terraces, or black or yellow brick, then they'd have failed miserably as everythings red brick here (stone is more to the west of Leeds and brickwork in any colour than red is a rarity round here).

It probably helps that Phil Collinson is from Leeds- he'd have know what sort of filming location to look for in S Wales.
strange_complex
Jun. 28th, 2008 09:33 am (UTC)
Yeah, Daz is right. I did some Googling, and found some pictures to show you the difference. First, the street in Turn Left (pics from Time-and-Space):

Terrace, Turn Left Street, Turn Left


Then, a couple of actual back-to-backs from Leeds, stolen from estate agents' websites:

Back to back, Clark Ave Leeds Back to back, Florence Ave Leeds


That design, with the front door in the centre, is very standard all over the city.

Also, the sets for the insides of the houses on Turn Left were all wrong. They simply weren't back-to-backs inside. The ground floor went back too far (right to the kitchen where Donna's family were sleeping), and the staircase was in the wrong place.

Still, like big_daz says, they tried - and I appreciated that!

As for the link to SJA with the Trickster's brigade - I'm not sure there's anything particularly profound about it. I guess it's just another way of establishing that the two series take place in the same Universe.
paulgregory
Jun. 28th, 2008 02:25 pm (UTC)
(I assume we're all agreed that when we say "wrong" in this context, we mean "establish a point of difference between the Whoniverse and our own", and the things they get "right" ground the series in a broadly recognisable setting).

Front door in the centre on a redbrick terrace! No wonder the Whoniverse Leeds has houses that go back too far; 'our' Leeds appears to have wider houses - which would possibly be more easily dividable between umpteen families, and in turn add to the logic of choosing Leeds in the first place.
strange_complex
Jun. 28th, 2008 04:09 pm (UTC)
Yes, but Leeds back-to-backs in 'our' Universe are literally only one room deep from the front door. They're like flats, but with the rooms stacked vertically on top of one another, rather than horizontally. So not so great for multiple families.
kernowgirl
Jun. 28th, 2008 02:10 am (UTC)
I've not read the actual entry, so maybe there aren't spoilers, but can you please keep all Dr Who stuff behind a cut! We're still some episodes behind you!
strange_complex
Jun. 28th, 2008 09:19 am (UTC)
There aren't any significant spoilers, unless you count the fact that the episode features scenes in 'Leeds'. I've only talked about the plot in very generalising terms. That's why I didn't cut it.
myfirstkitchen
Jun. 28th, 2008 10:23 am (UTC)
They filmed the "Leeds" bit in Penarth (ah, the joys of the podcast again).
strange_complex
Jun. 28th, 2008 10:46 am (UTC)
Ah, thanks for that. I figured it would be something of the sort.
weepingcross
Jun. 28th, 2008 06:09 pm (UTC)
I felt very much in two minds about this story. On the one hand I thought every aspect of the execution was wonderful (mortified as I am to discover the woeful inadequacies of my knowledge of late-19th/early 20th-century urban vernacular architecture), and yet at the end I thought, 45 minutes to establish Rose sending the Dr a message: how very uneconomical!
strange_complex
Jun. 28th, 2008 07:17 pm (UTC)
Ack, but there has to be some kind of calm before the storm - something that really gets us excited about how important the Doctor is before the Grand Finale. I mean, you could say almost any individual episode before the last couple of the season isn't a very economical way of getting towards the climax - but we've got to have them!
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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