Stars: Matt Smith, James Corden, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill, Alex Kingston, Frances Barber, Daisy Haggard, Seroca Davis, Holli Dempsey, Chris Obi, Lynda Baron, Paul Kasey, Nicholas Briggs
Writer: Gareth Roberts
Director: Steve Hughes
Network: BBC America, airs Saturday nights
Original Telecast: September 24, 2011
I will freely admit that I was less than enamored with the latest DOCTOR WHO offering, “Closing Time.” First of all this episode sees the return of Craig (James Corden) from last year’s “The Lodger” which was one of my LEAST favorite episode of that series. I seem to remember that Corden is friends with Matt Smith in real life, and I would hazard a guess that might be part of the reason for his return. In any case, the character of Craig was something of an uninspired mess last time around, and even though he’s a father seems to still be a bit of an uninspired mess now. The Doctor (Matt Smith) crosses paths with Craig as part of his latest farewell tour (I swear to God there is a Cher joke in there somewhere) before he goes off to die at Lake Silencio. The two then get embroiled in a wacky adventure with some “down on their luck” Cybermen and a lesson about faith in yourself and your ability to love others is learned. (OK so that was kind of simplistic)
My first question with this episode, since The Doctor gets the Stetson hat and the note cards from Craig that he used in the first episode of this series, does that mean we just jumped about 200 years down the line since last episode? The Doctor told his group at the start of the season that he was a couple of hundred years older than the last time they saw him, so either he was lying or we literally just jumped 200 years in one episode.
I didn’t like the character of Craig last time around and I really could care less that he came back and had bred a child. He seemed like such a *meh* character and he still seemed like milk toast in this episode until they started to seal him up in a Cyberleader helmet. I thought this episode reeked of 1960’s or 1980’s DOCTOR WHO vibes from the Cybermen that had crashed lurking in the underground, to the reappearance of the Cybermat (which was a BIG YAY for me), and finally having love be the thing that defeats the Cybermen’s plans. Really? Really? Love is going to make all of the Cybermen’s heads just pop like ticks on a hotplate? It is a bit to simple for me and far too cheesy.
Speaking of, are those Cyberman suits one size fits most? Craig is not a small man, and yet when he was being converted it seemed that the final product was going to end up being exactly the same size as the surrounding Cybermen. Which also begs the question, if the entire human is being used and converted, why are all the Cybermen roughly the same size, height, etc.?
The Cybermat was ridiculous and fun and I love the addition of real teeth. It was a harkening back to other WHO stories, and I always love nods to other time periods and Doctors
How did Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) become Mary Jane Watson from SPIDER-MAN 2 (and yes I’m talking about the blatant rip-off of the MJ billboards) ? Suddenly Amy gets a modeling contract and is the face of a new perfume that just happens to have a tag line involving a girl who is tired of waiting? Where the hell did that unrealistic leap come from? I find it pretty hard to believe that she goes from being a singing telegram girl to a model and the new face of Emma Rose.
So then after the main body of this episode we return to the River Song (Alex Kingston) storyline just in time to have her grabbed by The Silence, put in the astronaut suit, and dumped in the lake. I realize that this episode has to tie to the finale, but that was a really ham-handed transition. It literally felt like the ending was just tacked on at the last minute to remind us that, “oh yeah we have to still resolve the River story.” Bad editing and really clumsy storytelling for a change from a series that is consistently been quite streamlined. Next up, the sixth series comes to and end and I for one am very curious as to how everything is really, finally going to pan out!
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Article: TV Review: DOCTOR WHO – Series 6 – “Closing Time” – Review #2