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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Doctor Who Review - Episode 6x12: Closing Time

Dialogue Triumphs

The Doctor: “Oh, you’ve redecorated! I don’t like it.”

Craig: “It’s a different house. We’ve moved.”

The Doctor: “Yes, that’s it!”


The Doctor: “Craig, mind Yappie!”

Craig: “What?”

The Doctor: “Yappie! The robot dog… not as much fun as I remember.”

Dialogue Disasters

The Doctor: “Whoever you are, get off this planet!”


The Doctor: “Yes, he likes Alphie, but personally he prefers to be called Stormageddon, Dark Lord of All.”

Craig: “Sorry, what?”

The Doctor: “That’s what he calls himself.”

Craig: “How do you know that?”

The Doctor: “I speak Baby.”


Craig: “The Cybermen… I blew them up. I blew them up with love.”

Double Entendres/Sexy Talk

The Doctor: “Just keep looking at me, Craig, right at me, just keep looking.”

Craig: “Why?”

The Doctor: “Because… because… because I love you.”

Craig: “You love me?”

The Doctor: “Yes, Craig, it’s you, it’s always been you.”

Craig: “Me?”

The Doctor: “Is that so surprising?”

Craig: “Doctor, are you going to kiss me?”

The Doctor: “Yes, Craig, yes I am. Would you like that? I’m a bit out of practice, but I’ve had some wonderful feedback.”

The Review

The Doctor stops by to visit his old roommate, Craig (from last season’s hilarious episode, “The Lodger”), who is now married and a father. Craig immediately suspects that there is more to the Doctor’s visit than meets the eye, and his suspicions are confirmed when he discovers the Doctor investigating a series of disappearances surrounding a nearby department store. Together, Craig and the Doctor find out that a group of Cybermen have been slowly converting the staff of department store in order to help repair their ship, which had crashed and been lying dormant underground for years. Now the pair must figure out a way to stop the Cybermen from taking over the world… or at the very least this department store.

As mentioned before, this episode is a follow-up to last year’s surprisingly delightful, “The Lodger”. However, I found this episode to be severely lacking in the natural charm that made the “The Lodger” so enjoyable. The Doctor’s goofy interactions with Craig worked so well because the Doctor was totally out of his element. This time around, everything feels so forced, as if the writer is trying to recreate the magic of “The Lodger” without really understanding what made that episode so good. Strange, considering Gareth Roberts did write “The Lodger”. I don’t know, this episode just feels so much more madcap and silly than the last one, and not necessarily in a good way. A lot of the humor fell flat, or was just painfully awkward to watch (such as the Doctor's faux "seduction" of Craig in order to distract him from an approaching Cyberman, which made no sense, and was just... weird). Although, I will admit, I was a little nervous for Craig when he nearly gets “assimilated” into the Cybermen collective.

There’s just not very much to like about this episode. The plot is pretty average, and I have never cared for the Cybermen, old or new. Besides, it’s pretty clear that the Cybermen story is just a backdrop to set the stage for Craig and the Doctor having another zany adventure together. It was nice to see the return of the “Cyber-Mats” from the old series (little cybernetic worm things that Cybermen use as reconnaissance/saboteurs). I can see what the point of the episode was supposed to be – one last stop for the Doctor to make before confronting his demise, and one last stop for wacky fun before the series goes back into heavy drama. Nevertheless, it was executed somewhat clumsily for my liking.

Next time... The Wedding of River Song:

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