The Blue Box Blog

Emma Lou's adventures in Doctor Who fandom

Doctor Who: “Closing Time” Review

Posted by emmahyam on September 24, 2011


I’ve got a funny feeling that this episode is going to prove somewhat divisive.

There will be people out there who dismissed this episode before it even aired because of their impression of James Corden, the people who hated “The Lodger” and people who will have watched this and been disappointed that it wasn’t a direct continuation of that episode and do you know what thats a massive shame because this episode was a pure chunk of loveliness albeit with a few… issues

James Corden was brilliant as Craig and it was nice to see him being The Doctors straight man in some really lovely scenes,  the chemistry between Matt Smith and James Corden that obviously exists in real life came through on the screen and that really helped the scenes with just the two of them sing. I’m particularly fond on the scene of the sofa where The Doctor finally confesses to Craig that his death is imminent only to find his friend has fallen asleep. Also how wonderful was Alfie? or Stormageddon as he preferred to be called, it pretty hard to make a tiny baby a character in his own right but somehow this episode managed it, The Doctor’s monologue to little Alfie was wonderful and was a timely reminder to us old hands that The Doctor was once a Dad himself which added to the thread of melancholy that weaved through this episode. Another welcome sight for old fans was the guest appearance of Linda Baron, formally Captain Rack of the classic serial “Enlightenment” who was absolutely wonderful in her role as a shop assistant. I also loved the return of the Cybermats, I forsee a new Doctor Who toy in the offing for Christmas!

Despite all this lovely stuff there were a few problems, The Cybermen felt more than a little show-horned into the script as The Doctor needs a peril  to fight and their ultimate defeat was straight out of the RTD book of deus ex machina monster beating solutions. The River song scenes at the end of the episode also felt tacked on, although a lead in was needed to go into next weeks finale. The plot was more than a little reminiscent of the Tenth Doctor as we see him at the beginning of “The End of Time”, on a final pre-death “grand tour”.  Ultimately there will be plenty of viewers who will dub this episode a waste of time as it didn’t do much with the Cybermen, didn’t advance the overall plot and brought back a hated (by some) side character. On the other hand if you’re like me you really enjoyed this heartwarming tale where The Doctor came to town, beat the baddies, helped a Dad connect with his son and remember why he does what he does.



3 Responses to “Doctor Who: “Closing Time” Review”

  1. Marius said

    I agree with you 100%. Being a Yank I don’t know James Corden from Benny Hill, but I enjoyed him as Craig, and he and the Doctor did form a very nice rapport. I can’t say I’m too thrilled with the current incarnation of the Cybermen, and yeah the ending was incredibly saccharine, but with the exception of the River Song epilogue this was a marvelous ‘The Doctor being The Doctor’ episode, and a welcome break from the Amy and Rory Show.

  2. Like Marius, I don’t have any preconceived notions about James Corden, so I find their relationship quite sweet.

    It was an okay episode, but there was no reason for having such a filler episode so late in the season.

    And why the hell are the Ponds in Colchester?

    7 Deep Thoughts on the latest episode of Doctor Who:

  3. So, I’m behind a bit and just watched this episode. I liked it. While most of it did feel like filler (and my first episode seeing Cybermen), the last few moments were really good. I like how it tied the season premier in a bit, and the end parts with River were rather interesting. Even more than before, this is showing me more and more I need to go back and start watching the Doctor from the beginning.

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