Red Scharlach (redscharlach) wrote,
Red Scharlach

First date: upstairs inside

With the sound of vuvuzelas echoing in the televisual distance, it's time for my brain to pull together a few lines on this week's Doctor Who.

So here are a few thoughts about The Lodger:

  • Well, at the end of the day, I thought it was a game of two halves, Ron. Although my expectations were pretty much rock bottom, I have to admit that I found the first half fairly entertaining. This was due almost entirely to the sterling efforts of Mr Matt Smith and his all-embracing enthusiastic silliness in the face of standard sitcom set-uppery.

    Among the little pleasures were:
    • "Less of a young professional, more of an ancient amateur."
    • The Rotmeister - would that make him last of the Grime Lords, and nemesis of the Mouldmistress?
    • Being the Archbishop of Canterbury's "special favourite" - well, it's better than being the special favourite of the baby-eating Bishop of Bath and Wells, isn't it?
    • The gratuitous footie scene: cheesy as heck and yet somehow heartwarming, if only to see what that hair looks like in full flight.

  • And if those things were not enough, we also get Unexpected Mostly Naked Eleven! And with effortless ease, the Smithster sails well beyond the unambitious markers set by Messrs Eccleston and Tennant to garner what is certainly an all-comers record for most Doctorial shirtlessness in Nu-Who history, AND simultaneously flicks a damp towel at one of his illustrious predecessors with some Pertwee-inspired shower-curtain slapstick. Blimey. I confess: although I'm sure Matt's a sweetie, he doesn't usually do it for me and I doubt Sophie would have called him handsome if she'd first seen him fully clothed. Nonetheless, fair play to him: from the neck down, the boy's got game.

  • In the second half, however, my interest level started to flag. Oh look, more random people are getting eaten by the alien thingy upstairs. Oh look, Craig and Sophie are trudging towards their predictable happy ending. Oh look, Amy's still yelling in the TARDIS and wondering if she'll have more to do next week. Oh look, the entire plot is the fault of the world's cheapest alien hologram (a.k.a. some people standing still with the lights out). Oh well.

  • Those who are vaguely up-to-date with British celebrity doings may have heard that James Corden hasn't been enamouring himself to the nation this week, and especially not to Sir Patrick Stewart. Not being a fan of JC at the best of times, I was somewhat fearful of what he was going to bring to this episode, but he was actually a pleasant surprise, mainly because he was playing a sweet-natured fictional bloke, rather than the tedious attention-seeking twit persona that he seems to favour in real-life. True, his romance with Sophie was mostly unengaging, consisting as it did of me examining my fingernails until they got over their comedy misunderstandings and embraced the monkeys of possibility (or something), but he and Matt Smith had unexpectedly good chemistry together. No, not THAT sort of chemistry... or maybe it was? Craig did seem to be casting a few adoring looks Doctor-wards by the end...

  • I reckon that the Doctor must be a big fan of Theo Paphitis from Dragon's Den. It would explain both why he can recognize a branch of Ryman's on sight AND why he thinks brandishing huge wads of banknotes is normal human behaviour.

  • So the Doctor can suddenly have in-depth chats with cats? Cats of the normal kind, rather than the Nuns of the Year 5 Billion kind? Call me illogically picky, but I feel this is a plot handwave too far (and yes, I am saying this about an episode that featured the Ridiculous Headbutt Mindmeld of Exposition). Still, at least it was a lovely fluffy cat that I wished to squish and cuddle and take away from the nasty things upstairs.

  • Overall: mostly fluff that I'll have forgotten by tomorrow, but nonetheless, nowhere near as bad as it could have been. At least Gallifrey managed to field a more successful Eleven than England did tonight (hem hem).

  • Next week: cracks, Romans and River Song! Lend me your Pandorica! The end of the series is increasingly nigh. Gosh, I'd better get cracking with those new mini-icons I promised, hadn't I...
Tags: doctor who
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