Closing Time presents the last opportunity for us to really enjoy ourselves before what is bound to be a depressing and likely confusing episode to close the series with next week. I am happy to be proved wrong and find that the series six finale is every bit as genius as the series five one was, but I will own up now and say I’m dreading it.
That is next week, however, and we are talking about this week’s episode, where we saw the return of James Corden.
On paper, I shouldn’t really have liked this episode. The story had very little substance, there was James Corden and there was a baby. None of these things appeal. Matt Smith really did a superb job though, once again thrust into a land where the Doctor has to try and be normal.
Is there anything better than watching the Doctor work in a department store? “Here to help.” The way he managed to get information out of his colleagues, and keep Craig out of trouble by talking their way out of a sticky situation, it was good. There were so many great quotables as the Doctor tried to blend in to a normal life.
- “Oh, you’ve decorated. I don’t like it.”
- “I was on my way, saw a shop, got a job, you’ve got to live in the moment.”
- “I bet you excrete some sort of gas that makes people love you.”
- “It’s a coincidence. It’s what the universe does for fun.”
- “Don’t get angry with me just because I don’t know the names.”
- “Don’t worry, I have an app for that.”
The Doctor’s conversations with the baby, Alfie - or Stormageddon as he prefers to be called - were great, and they made an amusing trio.
I wasn’t 100% sure what purpose the Cybermen served, and it felt as though they were criminally underused for a monster who has such a rich history with the Doctor, but perhaps this will be the base for something bigger in the future.
I wasn’t sure about the woman from the changing room who screamed when she uncovered the Cyberman behind the curtain. Do the general public know what a Cyberman is? Otherwise, wouldn’t she just have jumped a bit? It wasn’t moving, it looked like a model or something to me.
There were just a few mentions of the lack of companion. Craig made sure to say: “He always needs someone, he just can’t admit it.” The Doctor discussed the various merits of saying partner rather than companion, and of course, we had a brief glimpse of Amy and Rory. Famous Amy, no less, signing autographs because she’s now a famous model. Not sure why the pair of them were in a department store in Colchester, but that’s probably not important.
Finally, at the end, we got some setup for the series finale. We appear to have missed about 200 years of the Doctor’s timestream, and the day of his death is said to be tomorrow.The Doctor picked up some blue envelopes and found himself a hat. I love how much he loves hats. I know he’s worn a Fez before, and that was amusing, but he really seemed genuinely grateful and happy when Craig gave him the hat.
We also saw River Song being suited up, in preparation of next week’s showdown. Will it resolve all our questions? Or will it be a letdown? We shall see.