Doctor Who: Closing Time – Dork Review

Doctor Who: Closing TimeBefore the eagerly awaited finale, Doctor Who needs a break, so James Corden pops in to reprise his character from last year’s pre-climax comedy episode. However, this year they are faced with a terrifying new nemesis: Stormageddon.

The Cybermen are also in it. So, is the Doctor’s 2011 Essex holiday as funny as before?

The Lodger II – Lodge Harder

To be honest, I could cut and paste heavily from my review of The Lodger, last year’s Craig Owens episode: light relief, cultural mix-ups, Corden good in his part, Matt Smith also excellent at this sort of thing. So I suppose the real question is: did they do enough new to justify going back to the Owens well?

I think they did, actually. There are two pivotal differences here: firstly, the enemy isn’t a complete non-entity. This is still the sitcom episode, so the Cybermen are often played for laughs rather than pants-wetting terror, but there’s momentum to the threat. That won’t be much compensation to Cyberman fans who want to see them become top-level villains; sorry, guys.

Secondly, a role-reversal. Yes, the Doctor helps Craig again, but this time the big guy gets to return the favour. It’s genuinely sweet, and I also like the chance to see Matt Smith playing off a companion other than the long-running Ponds.

And yes, they whipped that “I speak baby” joke from A Good Man Goes To War until it cried, but I don’t care, it was funny.

The Last Five Minutes

And then we hit the final minutes, and the inevitable pre-amble for next week’s mega-ending. After some strong standalone episodes, I’m wary of returning to the quagmire of River Song /Silence continuity, but much like the Doctor and his death, we have to face it eventually.

At least we only had one scene of the Ponds and they didn’t say anything, so we reviewers can’t moan that they didn’t mention the damn baby. I was also expecting a reference to the apparent Silence spaceship from The Lodger, since Craig was back, but it seems that was yet another feint.

For now, much like last year, this was a fun diversion, with added drama as our two heroes mature towards their destiny. If they could persuade James Corden to come back for a longer stint on the TARDIS, in Catherine Tate style, I’d actually be pleased to hear it. File that under “Things I Never Expected To Type”.

So, did you think this episode lived up to The Lodger? What lunacy are you expecting next week? Watch it on iPlayer if necessary, and let us know below.

More Doctor Who on Dork Adore | Doctor Who: The God Complex – Dork Review

Nick Bryan

Nick learned to read and write at an early age. This has developed into an unhealthy need to either write stories or consume them for later dissection. He reviews film and TV on Dork Adore and The Digital Fix, lives in London and enjoys a nice white beer.

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Comments

    • says

      Clearly they’ve decided they only wanted a one-part finale, and to have some kind of clear space in time between the Doc leaving the Ponds in God Complex and meeting his fate next episode. With those two requirements in mind, it was always going to a quiet one-off. I thought it was very good for what it was.

      • Anonymous says

        for what it was, it was fine, but they should have left out the Ponds and created a new villain. In both cases, the episode messed with continuity.

        • says

          There was always going to be one or two scenes of Ponds. They’re clearly still important so the viewers shouldn’t forget them. I quite liked the model thing in a silly way – it seemed a nice joke on the fact that, yes, the people playing the “average person” roles in TV shows are normally above-averagely attractive, but everyone pretends not to notice.
          And the placement of the kid getting the autograph seemed very deliberate, just to make it clear that she’s a classy, parent-acceptable model, not a sleazy drug-addled one.

      • says

        Yeah, he’s very good at this stuff. And after two episodes in which they’ve made moderate attempts to make us cry, I was good with a few laughs before the finale. In which I expect them to take a few more plucks at the heartstrings.

          • says

            I did try to come up with some coherent predictions, but I’m coming up short really. All I’ve got is “The Doctor probably won’t really die for good”.

          • Anonymous says

            lol. I just had the same realization. Except that all the continuity “errors” in the last few episodes have some grand master plan.
            Any ideas on the question?

          • says

            Apparently I can’t go any deeper with replies, so back here again… hmm, yeah. The question. If he wants to tie back to River’s first episode, it could have to do with the Doctor’s real name. Aside from that, I’m not sure.

      • says

        Yeah, he’s very good at this stuff. And after two episodes in which they’ve made moderate attempts to make us cry, I was good with a few laughs before the finale. In which I expect them to take a few more plucks at the heartstrings.

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