It’s been a very bumpy and busy ride this season for Doctor Who. There were highs and there were downs and there was break in the middle of it all, but we’re now down to the final episode that will air this Saturday. And the events in this week’s “Closing Time” are preparing us for the season finale.
But let’s not worry about next week, yet, shall we? Let’s talk about “Closing Time.” The Doctor, having left Amy and Rory behind, drops in on Craig from “The Lodger,” only to discover that Craig is now a new daddy. Of course, strange things are afoot at a nearby department store and although The Doctor had just wanted a short visit, he sticks around to investigate.
And he discovers Cybermen! And it’s up to The Doctor and Craig to defeat the Cybermen and save earth.
That’s a short summary, but all in all, that sums it up nicely. There’s also a bit at the end where we are set up to see River Song being prepared to kill the Doctor, but that’s only a small portion of the episode.
I enjoy the episodes that don’t feature Amy and Rory. It’s nice to see The Doctor starring in his own show and it’s always a nice reminder of just how brilliant Matt Smith is in the role. At times, he is Patrick Troughton or David Tennant or Sylvester McCoy or even William Hartnell. And at other times, he is all of the above plus some. In fact, during this episode, I’m pretty sure I caught a glimpse of Paul McGann’s Doctor. He is awkward and clever and oftentimes, extremely funny. If I could see more episodes like this, the ones that let Matt shine, I would probably have a new favorite Doctor. He’s that good.
And yes, I laughed through the first half of this episode. We discover that The Doctor speaks baby and the conversations between the unintelligable babie Alfie (or Stormageddon, as the Doctor calls him) is a riot. There is also a running gag about The Doctor and Craig being a couple that is also quite amusing. And I loved the irony of The Doctor’s name badge when he’s hired on by the department store: “The Doctor. Here to Help.” How appropriate is that?
But once the Cybermen started putting in an appearance, my laughter stopped. They frighten me. The Cybermen, to me, are the stuff of nightmares. Maybe it’s because they violently rip the humanity out of those they convert, or maybe I still have nightmares from “Rise of the Cybermen” when we see those swirling blades descending upon people and hear them screaming. But just hearing that sound made during the conversion process freaks me out.
So when Craig gets strapped to a conversion device in this episode, I lose my mind. I literally screamed. Fortunately, for us, Craig’s love for Alfie/Stormageddon conquers all, even the Cybermen.
We are reminded, also, that once again The Doctor shouldn’t be left alone. He always needs someone, but he won’t admit it (Craig’s words).
There was a small scene with Amy and Rory in this episode, but I’m going to pretend this was a Amory (my word for the couple) free hour.
Finally, we get the grand set-up for next week’s episode that leads us back to the grand story that this season has been trying to tell us. The eyepatch lady finds River Song and she is strapped into the astronaut suit and trapped at the bottom of Lake Silencio, awaiting her time to kill The Doctor. How will it all play out?
Well, obviously, we know Matt Smith has signed on for at least another season (as as Karen Gillian and Arthur Darvill), so The Doctor won’t die. But I am rather curious as how he’ll get out of it.