Saturday, 1 October 2011

The Impossible Countdown - The Lodger

Look, I've been ill.  Very ill.  And busy, something about working... anyway, ummmm, season 6 ends in a few hours so it's about time I try to finish season five.  I've got three lousy episodes ahead but first "The Lodger"

The Lodger.  A great comic strip but, unexpectedly, an even better episode!  I really wasn’t looking forward to this one when it was broadcast.  Swapping Tennant for Smith???  (Well, it’s not like they hadn’t done that already in a load of the early season five episodes)?  Swapping Mickey for James Corden?  Give me a break.

I forgot that Gareth Roberts really should be trusted more.

It’s one of Smith’s best performances of the season and, more importantly, it’s a very solid Doctor Who story.  It would work with pretty much any Doctor, the 7th Doctor being mysterious but friendly, the 4th Doctor coming in and just dominating things. “The Lodger” is a return to the proper days of Doctor Who with modern elements thrown in without them seeming too obvious.  Well, maybe a couple of scenes.  The headbutting, as glorious as it is with the flashback clips, is too over the top.  Far, far too over the top.  Ah well, at least it wasn’t kissing J

The design of the ship is stunning, someone’s given a serious amount of thought to how a TARDISthatisn’taTARDIS might look. There are roundels and a console like thing in the middle with the supports from the McGann movie.  There’s a creepy old man/young girl in homage to a Sapphire and Steel type atmosphere, there’s a Doctorsneakingoff moment that doesn’t work for the Doctor and a surprisingly low key use of time travel that seems to suit the low key nature of the episode (shame that a certain person will end up blowing it in a few episode’s time).  And there’s an ending to the plot that doesn’t quite work.  Why would there seemingly be a random one storey house in the middle of a long line of terraced houses?  The whole look of those final shots doesn’t do it for me.  It looks too obviously photoshopped as a bungalow.  Oh well…

“The Lodger” is one of the redeeming features of season 5. I’m very happy to have seen it… Shame it’s about to not just fall back down to the level of the previous episodes but plummet to new depths of incompetent writing…

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