I hate Russell T. Davies. When he isn’t churning out absurdly contrived episodes of Doctor Who he’s throwing out the most frustrating cliffhangers and upcoming teasers for which we have to wait a whole week to see what happens next. The ending of an episode of 24 is nothing compared to the multi-part storylines in Doctor Who.
While on a distant planet inspired by Far Eastern culture, Donna is urged into a fortune-teller’s booth where she finds herself recalling the events that lead her to meet The Doctor. It all began at a junction near her house. Turn left, she meets The Doctor; turn right, apocalypse.
Donna is inexplicably transported back to that moment, and she turns right. Oh dear. After a good start with a promotion and Christmas with the girls, she finds herself standing on the sidelines of the events that have unfolded in the past three series.
When the star-like spaceship of the Racnoss is destroyed, a body is wheeled into an ambulance, the face covered. Donna watches as the trolley is accidentally jolted. An arm drops out from under the cover, and a sonic screwdriver falls inconspicuously to the floor. The Doctor is dead.
Of course Donna does not know him, but someone comes running up behind her who certainly does know him. It’s Rose.
She of the blonde hair and broad smile is back, having travelled through lots of parallel universes to find Donna. All that universe jumping must have affected her speech, as she mumbles her way through the whole episode. Donna may have a reputation for shouting, but at least we can understand her.
Rose refuses to tell Donna her name, but is more than happy to tell her that she is the most important person in the universe. Donna is sceptical to say the least, but takes Rose’s advice to accept first prize at her work’s raffle, despite being previously fired.
While Donna, her mother and grandfather are staying at a fancy hotel in the countryside over the following Christmas, the Titanic crashes into Buckingham Palace, and the City of London is destroyed. To Donna’s disgust she and her family are relocated to Leeds, where they share a tiny terraced house with two other families, one of them especially large.
Fed up with cramped conditions and strangers looking at something invisible on her back, Donna goes to Rose; she is ready to do what she must. Taken to a UNIT facility, Donna once again meets the Tardis, and Rose tells her that she has to go back to the junction and turn left.
She is successful, and finds herself back in the fortune-teller’s booth. The Doctor enters, and Donna tells him the two words Rose told her to say to him.
Unfortunately there is not enough Doctor in this episode, but it’s one that has to be seen to lead up to the two-part conclusion; which looks set to be the most ambitious, emotional roller coaster of a finale of the new series yet.