Monday, October 10, 2011

Doctor Who episode review - Closing Time

Now the Doctor is on his own he decides to visit his old roommate Craig Owens(played by James Corden). Craig is now living with his girlfriend Sophie and has a baby. Just as the Doctor is on his way to leave he notices something isn't quite right. Weary as Craig is about getting involved he decides to help the Doctor out on this adventure.

I don't really care much for James Corden, but I liked him in "the Lodger" and it was nice to see Craig back. His worry that something bad was going to happen when the Doctor showed up on his doorstep played nicely on the reason why he left Amy and Rory behind at the end of "The God Complex".

The story itself was decent, nothing too complicated for a change. It was funny and had me sat on the edge of my seat. One thing that really annoyed me though was the baby-speak thing. I guess it's just one of those things, I never like it when they make out like the baby is making wise-cracking remarks about the adults around him.
The best part about this episode was the interaction between the Doctor and Craig. They play off each other really well. Like when Val, the perfume counter lady, mistakes them for a couple. The relish on the Doctors face while playing up to it seems even more comical because of Craig's akward denial. These silly asides made this episode more lighthearted than the show has been for a long while and offered a nice and well-needed breather before the no doubt dramatic finale.

The cybermen weren't as scary as they have been in other episodes, but I did like how Craig managed to escape the suit. Maybe it's cheesy, but the thought of being able to overpower these emotionless husks with the human instinct to protect and love your baby seems like as good a way as any. The ending with River Song seemed a little like an afterthought, even if it was a fairly important plot point. Now she is getting ready for the destiny Madame Kovarian had trained her for.
They've been doing that quite a bit this season, these little cliff-hangers at the end of an episode that often didn't have anything to do with the story beforehand. It doesn't really work for me. I either get so taken with the last five minutes that I forget what happened before, or I forget about the ending because it seemed so irrelevant that it only warranted a few minutes of screen time.

All in all "Closing Time" was a very entertaining episode with the right mix of adventure, silliness and emotional scenes. One of the most fun of the season.

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