Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Doctor Who, Series 6 - Episode 12 - Closing Time


With the date of his death fast approaching - from his perspective, at least - The Doctor takes one final trip in the TARDIS to check up on old-friends and companions. His last stop is the home of Craig Owens - The Doctor's former roomate - who is still together with long-time crush Sophie and all alone with their baby for the first time. The Doctor only plans to stay for a long enough to say hello... but then he notices something strange. What follows is an investigation into a nearby department store, where the lights are flickering, people are disappearing and strange silver rat creatures roam the shop floors virtually unnoticed.


* Craig's one of the best characters to come out of the time of The 11th Doctor and it's good to see him again. More, it's good to see that things with him and Sophie did work out.

* The Doctor's scenes talking with Alfie - sorry, Stormageddon - Dark Lord Of All - are quite funny and it's nice to see that his ability to talk to babies wasn't a one-off gag.

* Is there a stipulation that every episode must feature at least one scene of Matt Smith being charming while dealing with a group of children? I don't know... but the brief scenes where he's playing in the toy department and his farewell to the children in the street before going to face his death are magical.


* It's never fully explained just how The Doctor has managed to integrate himself into the staff of the store. At first I thought his name-tag was made of the same stuff as psychic paper, making people see whatever they wanted to see but it looks more like The Doctor was using the same psychic whammy he used to calm down Little Stormageddon.

* It doesn't really matter in the end what the trick is, save that one wonders why The Doctor hasn't used it in the past when he needed to blend in somewhere or convince someone of his bona fides. Perhaps he picked it up between this episode and the last (he could have traveled for a longer time than indicated after dropping off Rory & Amy) but it would have been nice if he'd said "New trick I learned after I last saw you, Craig..."

* Granting that The Sonic Screwdriver is the biggest McGuffin in the universe, it's hard to believe it can turn a baby mobile into a miniature planetarium projector with the push of one button. I don't think there's an App for that.

* Even with their new and improved appearance, The Cybermats are still crap monsters.

* Even The Doctor seems embarrassed by how he ultimately defeats The Cybermen with Love.


It's cute and it doesn't take itself too seriously but this is still strictly an average episode. The only thing that makes it work is the charisma of Matt Smith and James Corden, who turn in a pair of amazing performances. It is to their credit that they make the random bits of comedy and pathos far greater than the rather weak plot based around yet another Cyberman invasion.

No comments:

Post a Comment