Doctor Who

Season 5 Episode 11

The Lodger

Aired Saturday 8:00 PM Jun 12, 2010 on BBC America

Episode Fan Reviews (14)

Write A Review
out of 10
346 votes
  • About time!

    I have to be honest, the Matt Smith run on as the Dr has been less than stellar and I have only periodically watched episodes, especially after ravenously devouring The Eccleston & Tennant years. (Though the last season of Tennant's run had a similar boring vibe to Matt Smith's) The Lodger has semi restored my faith with a fun quirky story, excellent pacing and story progression. Finally a glimmer of hope for a show which had become a bore to watch, and lets Matt's star shine.
  • I officially cannot understand you.

    When the dialogue gets so fast, the actors' UK accents blur their words for me and I can't understand what they're saying. My theory is that since Moffat took over, the storylines have become more complicated, requiring rushed explanations--and probably Moffat favors snappy, blink-and-you-miss-it wit to begin with.

    Because the words blur, I miss a good chunk of the character development and ultimately can't make sense of the plot. So I sit here with Wernicke's aphasia, either zoning out or trying to ignore the fact that I can't understand. And it makes me feel frustrated and guilty, like my lazy, American, couch-based mind is getting less and less flexible as I age. I kind of associate that guilt with Doctor Who.

    Anyway, I haven't tested my Moffat-dialogue theory by watching older episodes; I'm pretty disincentivized to watch the show right now. Sorry, Doctor. You seem as cool as ever. I just can't hack it.
  • The Lodger

    The Lodger was a fantastic and very awesome episode of Doctor Who. I really enjoyed watching because the story was well written, the characters were intriguing and there was a lot of mystery. It was fun watching The Doctor act as a new flat mate and give Craig a real good run around. I liked the dynamic between Craig and Sophie and it was awesome watching them come together. I liked how every thing played out and look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!!
  • Separated from the Tardis and stranded in modern day UK the Doctor finds himself a place to stay and a mystery to solve while he waits for the Tardis to finally land.

    What a wonderfully brilliant epsidoe.

    This story was a complete change of pace for the DW series. There was no imminent sense of danger to our travellers, in fact this was sort of an undercover holiday for the Doc while he remained incognito; gathering information on the sinister presence upstairs.

    Amy meanwhile is onbaoard the Tradis, learning the nuances of the tempermental time travelling conundrum in a box. I quite enjoyed the scene where amy has to take two small steps to the right to get a control to work. It's reinforcing the new direction of the show which is definately quirky.

    An obvious high-light was the Doc in shorts, playing soccer and i can't forget to mention the scene where a semi-naked Doc tries to fight evil with a toothbrush.

    I think i'm starting to understand where they are taking us - we're meant to remember that that these guys are mystery solvers and they are going to do it in the most unusual ways - Amy's character has been written that she is more a co-conspirator than a companion - and this allows for a 'team' feeling that is often missing in DW due to the nature of the main character.

    Yes, the crack was back. Please dont let this become Davies in its proportions and have this crack follow us for another 12 months. I'm pretty much over the crack already.

    However, i'm loving the plots. This sort of zany sci-fi doesn't really have an equal on TV and that's what keeps me watching.

    Of note is the Van Gogh post-card on the fridge.
  • It really isn't that good...

    ...but I still enjoyed it a lot. Does that make sense?

    Here's the thing, the episode's plot is either completely irrelevant or merely setting up something for the finale. Either way, as far as the single episode is concerned, it's a thin excuse to get the Doctor playing a weird mix of ET and The Odd Couple for largely sitcom laughs.

    But pretty good sitcom laughs, really. James Corden and Daisy Haggard are incredibly cute in their parody of TV unresolved sexual tension. Matt Smith proves once more that the comedic side of the Doctor is his strong suit and even the largely absent Amy (her convenient disappearance reeks of scheduling conflicts) manages to snatch the highlight of the episode when she sneaks in an "eew!" face in the middle of the climactic kiss scene. So yeah, I was amused and entertained, despite the potential of the premise for blandness. But why do I feel bad about that, then?

    I guess because this season has this ongoing plot thing. The previous years had some leeway to do things like this because the overarching story was limited to a scribble in a wall or a poster. This season, time travel runs thick, foreshadowing includes major points and a few reveals and events that only relate to the finale have already taken place. The whole season is a single story and, because of that, dealing with the funny ha-ha episode just before the finale feels like wheel spinning.

    The finale can change this, I guess, but I still feel that this season has been a downgrade since the Davies days. For everything it does well, and there are many things, it doesn't nail the classic feeling of dread and hard sci-fi of the classic series and it doesn't channel the simultaneously self-conscious and dead-serious take on it the previous seasons had. Oh, well, you can't argue with results. Like I said, I had a good time with this one.
  • I stopped watching the previous episode halfway through as I was so bored and desperately hoped this one would be better but unfortunately not. This is no longer Doctor Who in any recognisable format except for the familiar sight of the Tardis.

    It's hard to believe that Steven Moffat could have taken all that was good and great with the previous series of DW and morphed it into something so unrecognisable and sad.
    This episode was yet another tragic example of how far he has gone from what makes DW so great. Ho hum, the Doctor ends up in England in 2010 again. What's the chance of that?
    Then it proceded along at such a slow pace it was like a cheap episode of Eastenders with some sad attempts at humour and Matt Smith reinforcing yet again that he is wrong for the role. Semi naked skinny man falling around a house and playing village football for goodness sake. Just kill him off at the end of the season and replace him with Alex Kingston as the new Doctor - she's beautiful, has amazing presence on screen, can balance gravitas with humour, and it would be a terrific twist.
  • When the TARDIS can't land properly and the Doctor is stuck outside, what does he do? He goes to a flat to be its new lodger. Ha!

    With this episode, the Doctor is shown to be extremely unable to fit in with humans.
    Unlike his last self, who was humanish as his 5th & 8th, the 11th Doctor has the hardest time fitting into human life. As he gets better aquainted with Craig and his love Sophie, the Doctor helps improve his life bit by bit and even saves his life when he was poisoned by the rot on his kitchen ceiling coming from the failed attempt at building a tardis on the upper foor. Like his 5th self being good at cricket, the 11th is a master Soccer player due to the actor Matt Smith once having a promising career for it, but a back injury put him in line for the part of Doctor 11. Meanwhile in the tardis part of the episode, Amy is actually wearing pants! I know, instead of a skirt, she actually wore pants for once.
  • Matt Smith is developing his Doctor pesonal in such a cool way! Funny, fast, intelligent, whippy and deep at the same time.

    OK ... 100 words is hard. But here we go.... I love where the characters are going... the Doctor's depth of caring for two people who are obviously (from the outside) in love ... I think it is a really cool addition to the Doctor's character. This is one of the easiest Doctors to get used to! He has an extraordinary depth that the character needs, and his caring for the wellbeing of two strangers who are obviously (to outsiders who are observant) in love ... this is a really cool twist to the character. And, his actions also help to save the planet ... again. Not to mention FUNNY! This man was MADE to play the Doctor!
  • The world cup England V USA may have been on at the same time but I'd much rather watch the Doctor play football.

    It may well have been a low budget offering this time round but I enjoyed this episode immensely. I liked the way Gareth Roberts (writer) gave us an insight into this current Doctor's quirky character and Matt Smith played it brilliantly which is of course is now becoming a habit with him. It was nice to have an episode where our heroes didn't have to run all the time. In fact, the only running to be seen was when the Doctor played footy which was a highlight of this episode for me. There were shades of the 3rd Doctor within this episode such as the device he constructed in his room. A smaller and similiar idea was done in The Time Monster. All in all a very enjoyable episode that mixed mild horror, drama, comedy and romance to full effect.
  • The Doctor can do anything, even behave like an Average Joe.

    In this episode we find the Doctor trapped in Essex with a flat which doesn't seem to make sense. Personally I found this episode to epitomise the fairy tale aspect of this season (largely due to it's ending) and I find it much preferable to the previous Vincent episode. This time we have a pair of 'friends' who clearly have a bit of a thing for one another giving us the human aspect to bounce off the clearly alien Doctor when he arrives. The interplay between the the Doctor and his new friends gives us the core of the episode with an alien being living in the flat above. The Doctor succeeds quite well at behaving human in a completely barmy manner which he believes is totally normal. Sure the end was a bit melodramatic and silly but I think this fits in with the fairytale theme spanning through the series. Overall it was an enjoyable episode with the end setting us up for next week via Amy's discovery.
  • The Doctor tries to blend-in with his favourite race, again, and finds it much harder without a companion and a fob-watch!

    I have no difficulty in accepting the idea that the TARDIS is sentient and, undoubtedly, drops the Doctor in timespace where there's some sort of problem. We know the Doctor can do this himself, too, but the TARDIS has been just as free-willed since 1963!

    So, it can be no accident the Doctor happens on Corden's Craig and his weird flat: with a strange damp-patch; an electric-arc welding lodger upstairs; and a strangely absent flat owner/partner - I'll have to watch it again!

    There's countless comic moments in this episode. Comedy has become something of a hallmark of this series 5 - more so than previous series and more in the tradition of OldWho. Brilliant one liners, visual gags, misdirection gags - this show beats many of the comedies currently on offer. To boot, it has its fantastical elements interwoven with mystery, Whovian mythology and strands of science.

    I think there might well be a connection with Bracewell (Episode 3 - VOTD), Dalek technolgy, and the mysterious appearance of a TARDIS in this episode. Recall, both were similarly deflected by lurve - an emotion Daleks don't have much of a clue about.

    With Van Goch on the fridge door, a crack lingering behind, and a menacing picture in the hallway - this is Moffat territory and they're not there for no reason at all.

    Roll on to the opening of the Pandorica!
  • The Doctor is thrown from the Tardis which disappears with Amy still inside. Unable to return the Doctor takes lodgings at the home of Craig Owens, where the occupier of the upstairs flat lives a mysterious existence, and those who go up, never come down.

    The Doctor lands in Essex 2010. Amy is stuck in the Tardis. Something is stopping the Tardis from landing and the Doctor knows it is something upstairs in the house where he (now) rents a room with Craig Owens played excellently by James Corden. This is the best episode of the series by a solar system. Comedy as much from Matt Smith as James Corden, football skills from the Doctor, a cat that gives the doctor insight to the mystery upstairs, explanation by head-butt and a mini time travel paradox involving an advertisment to tie up the loose ends. The crack appearing at the end seemed random, but maybe in time, we'll find that's not the case and it is essential to the individual plot of this episode and not just there to remind us about the "crack". The trailer for Episode 12 looked fantastic but that's not to take away the fact that this episode although very different in style and content, was as wonderful a surprise and as brilliant an idea as the excellent Blink. Thoroughly fantastic. I'm off to watch it again!
  • With the TARDIS and Amy vanished, the Doctor moves into a flat to explore a mysterious staircase on which people are disappearing. Nothing special...

    (Firstly a note on my review of last week's episode, 'Vincent and the Doctor'. At the time, I really didn't care for the ep, while other people seemed to have loved it. Well... this is the second time this series that I've changed my mind about an episode. I initially loved 'Victory of the Daleks' for it's promising World War II setting, but on hindsight see it as an over-crowded mess. Whereas with Vincent, I didn't care for it much at the time, but over the week, it's really grown on me. I still don't care for its forced "wackiness", and it really didn't need that closing ballad, but I've also come to find a lot of good in it).

    Anyway, onto 'The Lodger'...

    This story is adapted from a Tenth Doctor and Rose comic strip that appeared in the Doctor Who magazine in 2007. And I haveta say, it really feels like a comic strip to me, with little depth or interest to it.

    I'm all for something different, but this one for the most part doesn't work, and has a definite "filler" air to it.

    I was hoping this series for an episode that concentrated purely on (the wonderful) Amy, but it's not to be; instead, we get this Amy-lite episode that focuses almost solely on the Doctor. The 'baddie' of the episode has some potential, but ultimately fizzles out. And the little girl with the "Can you help me?" cry has blatant feel of the classic "Are you my mummy?" boy from the excellent Series 1 two-parter 'The Empty Child' / 'The Doctor Dances'.

    Guest star James Corden has been in the news this week (an awkward award ceremony appearance with Patrick Stewart). I don't really know much about him, having never got around to watching 'Gavin and Stacey', but he seems in this ep to do his standard "lovable" couch potato role.

    I'm all for the series doing comedy, but after last week's equally as light-hearted 'Vincent and the Doctor', this ep makes it two "comedies" in a row. Personally I think such eps need powerful dramas either side of them to bolster them up, but – as much as I praised earlier episodes in the season and love this series far more than the Russell T. Davies days – I'm sad to say that this end of Series 5 is staring to feel a bit limp. I only hope they pull out all the stops for the two-part finale, with Amy's crack finally getting filled (no crude pun intended!)
  • I thought James Corden's part was great, I liked the story but The Doctor made the episode for me.

    I totally love Matt Smith - the way he's playing this new Doctor is brilliant. Just the way he says things and everything makes me laugh. I loved so many bits was genius getting him to pretend to be human. Bits I loved
    Doctor suggesting 'I wasn't expecting that!' as their code if they were with someone
    Saying football 'was the one with the sticks'
    using the toothbrush as the screw driver
    When he was babbling about football positions...

    Doctor highlights over with...I actually thought the story and James Cordens guest appearance were very enjoyable. So a funny, enjoyable episode which ends on the right note of tension with Amy finding the engagement ring...bring on the finale!