Review of Doctor Who ‘Closing Time’
After taking leave of Amy and Rory last week, the Doctor continued on his farewell tour by re-visiting Craig Owens (James Corden). The last time we saw Craig was in ‘The Lodger’. Since then Craig and Sophie (Daisy Haggard) have moved to Colchester and have had a baby called Alfie, who prefers to be known as Stormageddon: Dark Lord of All (“Stormy” for short).
The Doctor isn’t seen much with children as his companions are usually adults, so this was an interesting change of pace. The way in which the Doctor interacted with the children in the toy shop and Alfie was enjoyable, particularly when he translates Alfie’s critique of Craig’s parenting skills.
Compared to the dark and depressing note that the ‘The God Complex’ ended on, the humour levels surged this week. There were some great comic moments and there was a brilliant chemistry between the Doctor and Craig. Corden’s performance in ‘The Lodger’ was average however, in ‘Closing Time’ he excelled himself. He played it well as a young father who is uncertain of himself.
Craig’s lack of confidence was mirrored by the Doctor’s own lack of self-belief and so they helped each other. The Doctor believes in Craig and that he can be a good father, while Craig believes in the Doctor to save the day. In some ways it felt that the Doctor’s faith in himself was at least partially restored but he was still aware of just how dangerous his lifestyle can be.
Despite the more uplifting tone this week, right at the end of the episode, things became sinister as the series came closer to the end and the Doctor’s death. Even though Melody/River’s timeline was altered so that she grew up with her parents and she saw that the Doctor is good, she is still ultimately forced to do Kovarian’s bidding. The final scenes of the episode were classic Doctor Who: terrifying yet fascinating to behold.
‘Closing Time’ was a lovely story which focused on human issues. Like ‘Night Terrors’, it was based on earth with a parent-child relationship at its core, while the Cybermen seemed merely incidental to the plot. The script was very tight and witty, never failing to miss a beat with the comedy. Corden and Smith were a dynamic duo, bouncing off each other – the former with his one-liners and the latter with his quirkiness.
Next week’s teaser revealed just how eventful things are going to get. There was a Viking of sorts, The Silence are back, Churchill is going to be there and a Dalek, even though they were supposed to be retired for a year according to Steven Moffat. There was also a game of chess. Could this be significant, with the Doctor playing for his life? And will The Silence fall again when the question is asked?
Image credit: BBCTagged in: doctor who, James Corden, sci fi, tv&radio
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