Doctor Who Review: The Lodger

To lead us into the series-ending two-parter, a rather unusual episode in which the Doctor proves that he is utterly incapable of being normal.

Cast and Crew

Matt Smith as the Doctor
Karen Gillan as Amy Pond
James Corden as Craig
Daisy Haggard as Sophie
Owen Donovan as Steven
Babatunde Aleshe as Sean
Jem Wall as Michael
Karen Seacombe as Sandra
Kamara Bacchus as Clubber

Written by Gareth Roberts

Produced by Tracie Simpson

Directed by Catherine Morshead

Originally aired on the 12th of June 2010 on BBC One/BBC HD in the United Kingdom.


Stuck outside the TARDIS with Amy inside it, the Doctor enlists the help of a man in need of a lodger (and a cat) to find out why the TARDIS can’t materialise, and what’s happening to the people who go upstairs.

High Points

  • The zigzag plotter.
  • The upstairs reveal. What a glorious set.

Low Points

  • Football match.

The Scores

Originality: This was quite a different thing to a normal Doctor Who episode. Five out of six.

Effects: Not a great many effects, but those present were used very effectively. Unfortunately the big climactic effects shot fell a little short. Five out of six.

Story: Interesting and entertaining, if a little cringe-inducing at times. Unfortunately although the concept’s unusual enough, it doesn’t quite grab the imagination. Four out of six.

Acting: The guest cast were excellent. Also, congratulations to Karen Gillan, who had to spend almost the entire episode acting to a disembodied voice. Five out of six.

Emotional response: I wasn’t so interested in whether the Doctor managed to save the TARDIS, as what would happen to Craig and Sophie, which was an interesting twist. Since we can be fairly sure the TARDIS is safe in an episode which isn’t the end of a series (and it’s probably fine then as well), making us care about some supporting characters keeps the emotional engagement. Five out of six.

Production: The flat’s a good, realistic set (if a bit spotlessly clean), and the upstairs set is utterly beautiful. I also particularly liked the camerawork for Craig’s charge into work. Five out of six.

Overall: Very entertaining. Five out of six.

The Lodger receives a grand total of thirty-four out of forty-two.

8 replies on “Doctor Who Review: The Lodger”

  1. Big unanswered question: so the upstairs room was basically a TARDIS-like vehicle. Whose? Can’t be a lot folks capable of building such a thing.

    • Timeships aren’t unheard of; there’s the Chula ship Jack Harkness shows up in, the Daleks, the Time Agents that Jack and John Hart belong to probably have them, and the Family of Blood…

      While, yes, it might be worth double checking, it’s not that unique of an occurrence.

  2. What was wrong with the football match, I liked it. As soon as I saw it, I realized that the rest of the UK was watching the World Cup, so it made sense to lat that influence the Doctor’s plot.

    And did everyone notice the museum ad on the fridge?

    • I can’t escape stupid soccer even when watching my sci-fi! AUGH!
      At least there was an “exterminate” joke in there.

      And yes, I did notice the insistence on that overrated painter, I thought it was cute.

      On the whole this was a pretty good ep!

  3. Did anyone else think this was strikingly similar to The Girl in the Fireplace? Damaged Ship erroneously trying to repair itself, mind-melds, Doctor trapped away from the Tardis…

    I said elsewhere I think that Moffatt’s bag of tricks isn’t as large as we originally thought, they were just different tricks than we were used to.

  4. The flat was really a prototardis, and the Doctor kept a key to the flat.

    When he finds it again, he’s got its protardis key.

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