Friday, 18 June 2010


Doctor Who - The Lodger (Series Five, Episode Eleven). Stranded in Colchester with Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) left alone in the TARDIS, the Doctor (Matt Smith) goes undercover and rent a room to Craig Owens (James Corden). Craig is a shy call centre worker who's in love with his colleague Sophie (Daisy Haggard) and have no idea of the strange things which happen in his house.

Filmed in the same episode block as Amy's choice, The Lodger shares with episode seven its director Catherine Morshead. It is written by Gareth Roberts, who based the story on his own 2007 namesake Doctor Who Magazine comic strip. And like Amy's choice it's an excuse to deal with what remained of the budget after the two-parter Silurian adventure or the big finale.

It guest stars the ubiquitous and cringy comedian, actor, writer and TV personality James Corden (Gavin and Stacey) - who started his World Cup chat show on ITV1 the same night! But to the credit of Corden he's a better actor than funnyman or everything else, and the role of the nice bloke didn't require Patrick Stewart's acting skills.

The episode itself looked like a flashforward of series six if the Beeb does more production budget cuts. The next step would be to stick Eleven on Earth with a day job at UNIT like Jon Pertwee. And it's up to poor Matt Smith to carry virtually everything on his shoulders as it seems that the script adapts to Karen Gillan's availability or to production schedule, or to God knows what.

The football scene was exasperating, The Lodger lost your humble servant right in the middle of the match. I don't care that Smith started as a professional footballer. Tom Baker was working on a construction site before Who, imagine the fourth Doctor as Bob the Builder. And the crack gimmick is more contrived than ever.

Next time: The Pandorica Band Aid 2010 concert.

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