Doctor Who - "Closing Time"

Image from here

I'm sorry, I'm sorry.  I missed out on reviewing the previous episode - I'm still gradually getting back into the swing of writing (and tweeting).  I intended to write about 'The God Complex' anyway, but the impact of last weeks 'Closing Time' has washed away most of my thoughts on the episode.  I'll leave 'The God Complex' with nothing more than, it was pretty good - though I don't believe Rory and Amy are gone from the series at this point.

'Closing Time'.  What to say. what to say?  Well Rob Buckley has quite adeptly pointed out that the episode felt like a Rusty era story.  I found it funny without devolving into comedy, touching, filled with emotional depth and wrapped up with a bit of a rubbish conclusion.

However, despite the ridiculous nature of the Cybermen's defeat ('I blew them up with love'), this was without a doubt the best episode of the second half of this series and the only episode that comes close to 'The Doctor's Wife' making it the second shining diamond in a series that has been, rather inconsistent.

I did not and I still do not like the River Song aspect of this season, I want to be taken to mystical places and made to feel a range of emotions by Doctor Who.  I'm tired of the Sword of Damocles hanging over the Doctor's head and while this very sword made for some powerful writing and acting in 'Closing Time' I do feel very worn thin by the whole experience.

I'm still reeling from the end of Tennant's time as the Doctor, I loved the Tenth Doctor, along with the Seventh and Eleventh he's my favourite Doctor and watching him gradually lose sight of what made him who he is, the loss of a human companion to provide him with balance and the gradual slip into callous, event changing godhood (The Waters of Mars) was a thing to behold.  The thing is, although it was two years ago now, it's still fresh and threatening the Doctor's existence is just too much for me - I'm wrung dry on it and I just want it to get over with and move on.  The Tenth Doctor passed very recently, the Ninth lasted no time at all and the impending end of The Doctor's regenerations faces the Thirteenth Doctor so really I'm at a point where The Doctor is the last character I want to see facing death... again.

Moving aside from the River Song denouement and returning to the rest of 'Closing Time' what we have is a great little piece about one man facing his death while another faces fatherhood.  It's the sequel to 'The Lodger' and while it's executed differently the things which made 'The Lodger' so great are still present in 'Closing Time'  James Cordon is wonderfully lovable as Craig and has a real buddy rapport with Matt Smith's Doctor, his performance throughout the episode - as a father, a concerned friend and as an ordinary man is something that I relished.  There were plenty of emotional points that just evoked a raw response from me on a deep level.  I think you could say I connected with the episode.

Now yes, the 'blew up the Cybermen with love' thing was exceptionally cheesy, however once I got over the initial wince at the sheer amount of stilton, black bomber and cheddar stuffed into the line I did appreciate the moment as a whole and I can see the "science" behind it - the Doctor's attempt to reinterpret the events into techno-babble before giving up and agreeing with Craig was a nice way of disarming my outrage.

In all, 'Closing Time' had me feeling, it had me close to tears at times and it was good old Doctor Who of the kind I love and enjoy.  I'm hoping for another Craig and the Doctor episode next series.  (I'd especially like to see Craig's reaction to a regenerated Doctor).


1 comment so far.

  1. Lisa Rullsenberg 30 September 2011 at 10:51
    I love reading positive reviews --- whilst an excoriating attack can be hilarious it does tend to leave an aftertaste of bitterness. Sometimes, I just want to remember that I LOVE and ENJOY watching TV.

    Thanks! I like the "sheer amount of stilton, black bomber and cheddar" - and especially liked your acceptance of the Doctor's acceptance of Craig's sentimental explanation. Lovely stuff!

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