Closing Time was a superb and poetic episode of Doctor Who and I really enjoyed watching. It was fun to see Craig again and meet Alfie. It was interesting to see the Doctor dealing with his recent decision to leave Amy and Rory. I lived Amy's message to the Doctor. The Cyber Men were scary and the entrance to their bunker was ironic as the Doctor points out. I liked how everything played out. The ending was great though sad and a stark reminder of what's to come. I look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!!!
Last year's pre-finale episode was dividing to say the least. The Lodger had its naysayers and its fans, I was more of the latter. While it was never going to crack my top 10 revival episodes, it was still decent fun.
Unfortunately, this isn't nearly as fun. While I'd be hard pressed to say this episode doesn't have moments of brilliance, they're to few and far between. Aspects like the Baby talk and the Doctor working in a shop and Cybermen lurking beneath the earth had loads of potential. But whenever this starts to shine, it's dowsed by either annoying attempts had comic relief. Also, when you're the penultimate episode in a season, its pretty much mandatory for you to set you emotional pins for the finale to bowl over, Closing Time kind of tries its hand at this to fruitless avail.
The Cybermen seem completely underused here, along with the surprising cameo from Amy and Rory feel like they deserve more screen time unlike reoccurring gag in which Val mistakenly thought our two leeds were gay. They literally spent five or so minuets subtly and not so subtly developing this. Which drove me mad, it wasn't all that funny the first time.
There is one redeeming factor that never failed to make me giggle..."Stormageddon!" I don't care who you are, calling a baby Stormageddon is comic gold.
This episode, like most of this series, was strong which was capable of keeping the audience's interest and attention for the duration.
It was not the best Cybermen story, however this was probably due to the fact that the plot was more focused on the Doctor's emotional turmoil as he prepares for his imminent demise. The episode continues the revelation of the effects that his millennia-long life and feeling of exhaustion he feels having to repeatedly saving humanity as well as the guilt he feels over the lives he could not save or the lives he inadvertently risked or ended during his numerous encounters with his various adversaries.
Which brings up the inclusion of the Cybermen and the return of the adorably frightening Cybermat. As stated, this was not the strongest Cybermen story, but their use is most likely to emphasise the Doctor's fatigue of his eternal war with evil, as they are his second-oldest recurring enemies.
The end of the episode, like all of the penultimate episodes of the revived series, left the audience with a cliff-hanger as a part of the wider plot thread, Madame Kovarian along with agents of the Silence religious order recapture "younger"River Song in preparation for her designed destiny. The last scene is with River at the bottom of Lake Silencio as the Impossible Astronaut; the eerie children's song (slightly modified) from "Night Terrors" is creepily used to close the episode. This sets up a strong teaser which will likely be the end of the story arc as well as hopefully deliver a stronger finale than that of the last series.
Thus, this episode may be disappointing to Cybermen "fanatics" like myself, yet they as I did should realise that the episode is more about the Doctor's obligation and devotionto humanity even as he approaches his 'death', rather than his usual conflict with his many antagonists.
Closing Time on paper must have sounded like a good idea. When watching you can't help but think there was so much wasted potential, and that pretty much sums up this episode. Although god knows what they were thinking when they wrote that'tense' scene where Craig comes back from being transformed into a cyberman. A fathers love for a kid can stop him becoming a Cyberman? Give me a break and the Doctor begging the universe for a break? That whole reccuring theme of the curse of the Doctor touching your life(which ran throughout climaxing when you thought Craig was turning into a Cyberman) is getting rather annoying. It's not a bad theme but it was at it's cheesest and most annoying in this episode.
The intro didn't help much either, a women screaming at a Cyberman as she pulls back a curtain? It was a sign of things to come. Craig father crisis was a load of crap too. Frankly not interested. Father kid relationships have been done too much this season, I didn't need another (is it the 5th) serving.
I'm all for a gay joke too, but the ongoing gag of that women thinking the Doctor and Craig were a couple was stupid seemed badly squeezed into the episode and it wasn't funny at all.
And sorry to Smithy fans, his character aint interesting and it isn't acted very well. I dont want to be nasty but he's one character we didnt need to revisit. Well not if this episode is the outcome.
But this episode did get some things right. Naturally the ending rocked it, although with so little meat on the over arching storyline one has to have faith it isn't just words strung together to make a tense cliffhanger. The Doctor scene in the babys bed room was excelently written played and spiced up woth some some passable CGI used as a very clever touch. While this was clearly a budget-lite episode it did pull off some nice CGI touches, there was definatly no dropped in quality with the rest of the season, and production values remainedvery good.
Always nice to see some lore exploration too (Cybermats) and they were done reasonbly well too. The Cybermen came close to havingthier finest hour in thisepisode and it may have worked too if it wasn't for those pesky parental instincts. Geez.
There was nothing wrong with the shop setting either, and whilst not the best idea having they CYberman ship below could have worked well. Buut obviously budgets restaints damaged it (I suspect). The whole concept failed to come to life for me.
The episode strongest point was it's humour mostly via the Doctor. 'Smithy' wasn't all bad either and certainly delivered when it came to the humerous parts in the episode.
We got a lot of Matt Smith and when the writing wasn't rubbish we got moments that could very well be part of some retrospective summary of the eleventh Doctor. Matt Smith certainly did the best with what he was given.
Amy and Rorys cameo in the episode was a great touch as well. God knows what theperfume is about, but itwas probably the best scene in the episode.
And Murray Gold certainly didn't let us down. This episode got a rather unique sountrack with some great tunes harking back to season 4s Donna vibe. It was a notable diversion from the music of this season which wasn't a bad either, but did feel a little too grand for the failed scale of the episode. Regardless it was still some very nice music.
I never normally score Doctor Who this harshly but in comparison to its self this is clearly one of the weakest episodes since the shows return in 2005, and definatly the weakest episode of this Series, or second to the Pirate episode. Normally I'd go on to say, but it's Doctor Who so it's still good, but in this case I can't. It contains every bad habit Doctor Who can have had no original ideas and any promse it gaveit didn't deliver on, much like the episode 'fear her'. Everything is right except the meat and veg of the storyline. But thankfully it isn't a bad story and with so many Question right now for fans, it doesn't help doing another episode a millions miles away from what we want. But thanks for tacking a bit of continuity on the end for us!
I was excited to hear that the cybermen were coming back but sadly we don't see them a whole lot and they on feature heavily in the climax of the story. most of the story is just a lot of running around dealing with cybermats. I thought the climax was good though, I really thought the doctor's friend was going to be cybertised though I did think the doctor got the cybermen a bit too easily at the end. The final five minutes are what really make this episode though, with the doctor sadly going to to face his fate and the final scene where we learn that river is the person who killed the doctor at the beginning of the season, how's the doctor going to get out of this one I wonder, guess we'll have to wait til next week to find out.
I was very disappointed with the approach taken to the return of the character of Craig. Comedy was very much at the forefront of this episode and I admit I laughed out loud once or twice at the Doctor's baby-talk routine. But the overused gay jokes were cringeworthy and lame. John Inman of "Are You Being Served?" was never this crass or unfunny.
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As for Craig overcoming cyber-conversion - pleeeeeeez, don't get me started. It was a phenomenal opportunity wasted. I couldn't believe the boldness of the moment and I was genuinely gobsmacked. It was chilling and heart-stopping and the implications of Craig remaining a Cyberman set my head spinning. Then it was all undone in an unconvincing second. BAH! What a cop out! Had the producers and writers held their nerve it could have made for the most astonishing moment in Doctor Who history. It would have justified the Doctor's concern about his involvement in others' lives being a curse and given him very good reason never to make a social visit ever again. The Cybermen would also have become the greatest and scariest Doctor Who villains ever if they had been allowed this moment of glory. But alas, risk-taking was not on the agenda.
[END OF SPOILERS / RANT]
So why the score of 7? For these 3 reasons: (1) there were some fantastic monologues deleivered by Matt Smith and mostly directed toward Alfie the baby; (2) the Cybermats were a brilliant nod to Cyberman lore and were a threatening rather than comical presence as they could have been; and (3) what can I say about that last 5 minutes? That ending was just mouthwatering. Now I can't wait for the finale.
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