The Lodger. The episode where [[The Doctor (Doctor Who)|The Doctor]]goes to live with James Corden and Corden manages to not be nearly as annoying as he’s been for the last three years. But we’ll get to all that in a second.
First off, The Doctor gets booted out of his [[TARDIS (Doctor Who)|TARDIS]] by a puff of air, and it dematerialises with [[Amy Pond|Amy]] ([[Karen Gillan]]) trapped inside. What’s a Time Lord to do when stranded on present-day Earth? Well, settle down for a while and find a flat share. And that’s where we end up with the first episode of Doctor Who to be a sitcom. Doctor In The House, anyone?
Not that I’m complaining. [[The Lodger (Doctor Who episode)|The Lodger]] was by no means as strong as the last few weeks of whimsical or thought provoking episodes. What it did bring to the table was a fantastic culture clash – the Oncoming Storm sharing a flat with an overweight, lovestruck, call center worker. And bizarrely, it worked. The Doctor bluntly telling Craig that he was starting to look like his own sofa. The Doctor playing football. The Doctor excelling at everything and almost becoming a Time Lord version of Single White Female.
Let’s not be sniffy about this. It was frivilous, is was beyond belief. Even for a sci-fi format, the idea that The Doctor could score repeatedly in a football match is ludicrous. But it was a moment of lightweight fun before the season finale begins in earnest. Gotta say, [[Matt Smith]] was in his element as The Doctor, channelling all his quirky comic timing. And as you’ll see from this week’s quotes section, Smith got all the best lines.
And there was a monster of the week. It was a strange presence lurking upstairs in the house, luring passers-by up the stairs and doing things to them. Like a lot of the myserious threats this series, they’ve played to the fears of young children. Dark figure, obscured face, flashing lights and a sinister stain. Yes, I said sinister stain.
I’ll bet all your ears pricked up whenever The Doctor eventually went upstairs and found himself inside a TARDIS. Not his own TARDIS. A completely…other TARDIS, with no crew and a holographic programme trying to find someone compatible to pilot the ship. Disappointingly, those scenes are extremely short and utterly frustrating. After four series’ of “last of the Time Lords”, the definitive Time Lord technology turns up above a flat in Essex. And nobody bloody blinks? Surely The Doctor’s going to be a little bit concerned about this thing turning up?
For the moment, let’s write it off as a “future plot pertinent thingy”. Knowing that the TARDIS is due to explode at the end of the series, we’ve just had another TARDIS dropped in our laps. Phew. So our one isn’t the only one? That’s reassuring, isn’t it? But my head’s spinning from the implications of another TARDIS existing in the universe.
I did find the story a bit deriviative though – didn’t [[The Girl In The Fireplace (Doctor Who episode)|The Girl In The Fireplace]] have a similar situation: a spaceship using human body parts to rebuild itself? In this instance, it was a time machine looking for humans to pilot it.
As the episode concludes, I found my heart sinking slightly at the preview of The Pandorica Opens. River Song? Again? After a run of charmingly intelligent Doctor Who episodes, it’s almost an anti-climax to see Moffat returning with his new old standby. I’m sure it’ll all pan out in the end, but I’m on overblown finale alert – Pandora’s Box is about to open and spill out all the evils of the universe. And River Song will be there, quipping about spoilers and being a general pain in the arse.
I’ll stop being a pessimist now. Here’s to the finale!
- There’s a poster for a Van Gogh exhibition on Craig’s fridge. Coincidence?
- When Craig goes upstairs, there’s a grey-haired man behind the flat door. I was hoping against hope that it was a William Hartnell lookalike. How cool would that have been – to have a timeline crossover with the first Doctor?
- How in the hell does the TARDIS data bank have the layout of this random building? And how the hell does Amy Pond know how to access this strange Gallifreyan technology? Does it have an iPhone app?
- Headbutting as a way of exchanging information. Fast, effective, painful.
- Someone’s attempt to build a TARDIS. WTF? Who would be building a TARDIS, and why, and where are they? Not enough information! Not nearly enough information!
- Perception filters. There’s a growing theory that perception and vision are a standing theme throughout this series. Just noting that yet another perception filter is in effect, masking a new TARDIS.
- Corden says “Geronimo” before touching the other TARDIS console. Whatever happened to that new catchphrase of The Doctor’s?
Quotes from The Lodger
- The Doctor: “Less of a young professional, more of an ancient amateur. But frankly, I’m an absolute dream.”
- The Doctor: “I’m The Doctor. Well, they call me the Doctor. I don’t know why. I call me The Doctor too. Still don’t know why.”
- The Doctor: “I’ll fix it. I’m good at fixing rot. Call me the Rotmeister. No, I’m the Doctor. Don’t call me the Rotmeister.”
- The Doctor: “I’ve got one of those faces. People never stop blurting out their plans while I’m around.”
- The Doctor: “Football’s the one with the sticks, isn’t it?”
- Corden: “Sorry, what’s happening? Are you going to live with monkeys now?”
- Amy: “You said I could be lost forever. Just go upstairs.” The Doctor: “And get myself killed? Then you really are lost.”
- The Doctor: “Hello, Mr Jorgensen? Can you hold, I have to eat a biscuit.”
- Amy: “You can’t be upstairs. It’s a one-storey building. There is no upstairs.”