Doctor Who Review: Closing Time

As we move into the final part of the series, the Doctor proves that it’s impossible for him to play a simple social call without stumbling on an alien invasion.

Cast and Crew

Matt Smith as The Doctor
Karen Gillen as Amy Pond
Arthur Darvill as Rory
James Corden as Craig Owens
Daisy Haggard as Sophie
Alex Kingston as River Song
Frances Barber as Madame Kovarian
Seroca Davies as Shona
Holli Dempsey as Kelly
Chris Obi as George
Lynda Baron as Val
Paul Kasey as Cyberman
Nicholas Briggs as the voice of the Cybermen

Written by Gareth Roberts

Produced by Denise Paul

Directed by Steve Hughes

Originally shown on the 25th of September 2011


The Doctor drops in on a former housemate for a social call. He’s not very good at social calls, or indeed going anywhere that there isn’t a crisis going on.

High Points

  • Oh yes, the Doctor speaks baby.
  • Classic pre-credits surprise, very well done.
  • Parenthood is just your children giving you marks? That seems about right actually.
  • Bits of the series arc are now slotting together like clockwork. Tick tock.

Low Points

  • The situation with Alfie starts to feel a tad contrived as the episode progresses.


Originality: This is new ground for the programme, reconnecting with old companions to sort things out or whatever other reasons the Doctor might have. As such it feels nice and fresh, although the situation with the Cybermen is not all that distinct from several other stories in the past. Four out of six.

Effects: Mostly excellent, with one exception I won’t mention as it’s a big fat spoiler. Five out of six.

Story: Five out of six.

Acting: Pretty uniformly great. Five out of six.

Emotional Response: Five out of six.

Production: The locations are absolutely perfect, and really this is a superbly put together episode. Five out of six.

Overall: A big happy five out of six.

In total, Closing Time receives thirty-four out of forty-two.

22 replies on “Doctor Who Review: Closing Time”

  1. I’m assuming this one is a To Be Continued, and since I’m out of town next weekend I’m just going to wait until I get back and watch both! I’m getting My Doctor Who fix this week by watching the Doctor Who Special episode of Never Mind the Buzzcocks!

    • Wow!
      Yeah, TBC is about right. It’s season finale next week..
      How ya gonna survive not knowing what happens?!?!?


    • Actually, three-quarters of the ep is more-or-less a standalone adventure, with gestures to the forthcoming finale. After the Doctor and partner companion Save the Day, it switches to story arc.

    • Eh…. it moved some set pieces into place, then had a heavy handed tease at the end that had nothing to do with the plot of this week’s episode. No more a cliffhanger than just watching the preview for the next episode is, IMO.

  2. Here’s a quote to refresh the memory (so to speak), from one Doctor to another: “Your molecular memory can survive this though. It may not be the end.”

  3. Thank you Kiersten – I was going to give it another day before I asked the question, but you beat me to it. And there is much, much, much to discuss, as I’m sure you’ll agree.

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