wondering if maybe I’m not a Doctor Who fan
anymore. Because this was probably Doctor Who at
its least like itself, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
It’s a standard television plot: two
best friends are in love, they can’t quite figure
out how to tell each other, dangerously cool new friend
appears and threatens the budding relationship, and in the
ultimate crisis, they blurt it out and live happily ever
after. Then the dangerously cool new friend destroys a predatory
alien spaceship and zips off in his time machine. You know,
is not a writer known for his great work on New Who either,
of course. “The Shakespeare Code” was pretty
embarrassing. I’ll probably lose all credibility for
saying that “The Unicorn and the Wasp” and “Planet
of the Dead” were not the absolute worst the series
has offered; as goofy as “Unicorn” was, for
instance, I enjoyed it a lot more than “The Doctor’s
Daughter” and that awful Sontaran two-parter. Roberts
has a light touch, and if you like your Who portentous
and conscientiously plausible, he’s not your guy.
Lodger” is really funny, standing out even in a season
of witty scripts. I loved the cold open so much I almost stopped
watching right there, afraid the episode would let me down.
But it kept right on with what you might at a stretch call
“Human Nature”-lite: the Doctor masquerading as
an average bloke.
it sounds stupid, and the more I think about his reasons
for doing this and all the silly stuff he’s doing
and building in his rented room (putting off saving people’s
lives for no discernible reason), the less sense it makes.
the biggest difference these days (and maybe it was ever
thus) between a good Who script and a bad one is
that the former keeps me distracted from the stuff that
doesn’t make sense until after it’s over, and
the latter can’t hide it for an instant.
jumping right in with the Doctor and Amy, how much was left
implied and how well paced it all was as a result. I loved
the Doctor’s trouble remembering the customs of the
era he’s in — how to greet people, how much
money is “a lot,” and so on (yeah, he was stuck
on “present-day” Earth for years in the seventies,
but that was eight hims ago).
the self-referential stuff, about how normal it is for him
to have “girl friends with nothing going on,”
and making fun of those corny melodramatic speeches about
being “the Oncoming Storm.” I loved that he talks
to cats again after supposedly going off them for a while
(after the “Cheetah People” and those cat nuns).
Craig, who was utterly adorable and had more chemistry with
the Doctor than Amy does. In some ways this is the gayest
episode of the season, which is great because I’d
just been thinking how I’d miss that aspect of the
end there were only two things I really didn’t like.
(Well, three, if you count the terrible incidental music.)
One was that the threat turned out to be a little too innocent,
and maybe a little too reminiscent of “The Girl in
other was the football sequence, which was just going too
far. Maybe it was just the incidental music, but this was
far more nauseating than the similar sequence in “Black
Orchid.” Everyone cheers for the Doctor and I think
he even says “I own this game!” but I really
hope not. Ugggghhhhh. Though it wouldn’t have fit
the plot, I frankly wish he’d been rubbish at it.
yeah, sorry, apart from that I loved “The Lodger.”
I almost want to avoid reading the reviews and listening
to the podcasts because I know they’re going to trash
this episode like bullies picking on the fat kid. In a season
that was supposed to be about getting back to monsters and
the apocryphal hiding behind sofas, it’s funny that
my two favorite episodes might end up being this and “Amy’s