Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

1. Up All Night

What the heck is this deleted scene doing masquerading as a minisode?

No Doctor, no companions, no TARDIS, no story, no aliens, no new information. Just the guest-characters from Closing Time in a scene set just before the start of that episode. Even the title bears no relevance to it.

What happened - did they label the wrong video-file?

No, this is the unreleased prequel isn't it?

As a trailer, the only thing really wrong with it is the awful incessant music drowning the whole thing into submission. Certainly not something I want to pay to see, or hear.

Please bill this as what it is, it doesn't stand a chance otherwise.

2. Closing Time

"Hello Craig - I'm back!"

Oh, all right then.

Let's face it - last season's The Lodger just wasn't anything special. The plot was thin, the science-fiction content entirely there to service the emotional journey, and the Doctor was… well, weird.

But it didn't offend. In fact, it didn't really do much of anything. The Lodger was a real non-episode.

So - they chose that story to make a sequel to, and you know what? Closing Time hits all the same scores.

It's a comedy again. It's Amy's episode off again. There are Diet-Cybermen invading London, uh, I mean Colchester, uh, I mean a shop in Colchester, but as before the aliens are only really there as a means to bring out hapless Craig's feelings.

Speaking of the Diet-Cybermen, are these the same ones as in The Next Doctor? How come they have Cybermats like the original full-sugar versions, and why did the Doctor suddenly refer to them in The Almost People? I hope he's not going to rewind through his life again next week.

Anyway the two flatmates' reprised double-act does pretty well here, even despite the constant millstone of a baby, probably because it is so incidental to their tasks. In fact, the eleventh Doctor seems to spend rather a lot of his time around minors, and it has to be said that he always shines at this. The Doctor's gentleness is just as watchable as his barminess, and you have to wonder just how much Matt Smith is improvising.

But hey, according to The Impossible Astronaut, for the character it has been 200 years since just the start of this series, and it's a shame that more isn't made of the Doctor's touching 'farewell tour'. Did he similarly drop in on the Brigadier? Sarah Jane? His granddaughter Susan? Oh that's right I forgot she's dead. (killed off with all the other Gallifreyans in The End Of The World)

And did I hear right? Did little Alfie actually refer to him as 'Doctor Who' at the end? Good call!

The ending segues rather nicely into a cliffhanger for next week's season finale. At present it all looks like a horrible tangle of events to find motivations for. Eg. how the Doctor knows he dies tomorrow in his timestream, why he's going along with it, why River kills the Doctor against her own wishes, why River forgets killing the Doctor, why in a spacesuit from a lake, why the Silence don't just shoot the Doctor themselves while he's looking the other way (stoopid Silence)…

I'm not expecting a season finale that makes much sense, but I am hoping to enjoy it.

Much like last season's one.

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