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.

Premise

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.