Doctor Who – The Lodger

For those of you who don’t follow the behind the scenes reports, you might have noticed that towards the end of each season of Doctor Who, there’s an episode that doesn’t feature much of the Doctor. This is simply because of the scheduling of production blocks and the scripts are written that way to allow for the Christmas specials to be recorded. These “Doctor-lite” episodes have been around since David Tennant’s first season, and have always had their own feel. A little bit quirky. Always a little light-hearted even when they’re dark. And always focussing more on another character.

What makes “The Lodger” so clever is that it’s choc-full of Doctor, but still feels like a “Doctor-lite” episode. The Doctor becomes a weird and mysterious secondary character, perceived mostly through the eyes of Craig Owens.

James Corden’s performance is spot-on in this episode and it’s nice to see the Doctor through a stranger’s eyes. The plot is well worked-in as well, allowing some real mystery and genuine menace into the proceedings as Craig’s world goes a little bit mad. This was a fun episode, and very funny.

The shame of it is that the script overplayed the Doctor’s weirdness. In some places he acts out of character, going beyond the dramatic-irony laughs to be gained from the audience understanding why the Doctor does what he does. I did like this episode, but it could have been done a bit better in that respect.

That said, the mystery of the room upstairs was done very well, and the trapping of the victims had the perfect amount of menace. And the loose ends left by the episode seem to be about to feed into something bigger than such an unassuming episode would normally foreshadow.

~ by Scary Rob on 6 April, 2011.

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