‘Doctor Who’ – ‘Closing Time’: Partners in parenting

Senior Television Writer
09.24.11 41 Comments


A quick review of tonight’s “Doctor Who” coming up just as soon as I excrete a gas that makes people love me…

At first, I took “Closing Time” to be a light-hearted one-off before the fireworks and tears that will presumably be coming with next week’s season finale. After all, it reunited the Doctor with Craig, his goofy flamate from last season’s “The Lodger,” had a lot of jokes about the Doctor speaking baby, the Doctor getting a job in a department store, and his new co-workers assuming that the Doctor and Craig were a gay couple.

But somewhere along the way, the episode turned into a sweet, at times moving story of fatherhood – how a man can go from not knowing what to do with the crying/peeing/pooping alien thing in his arms to knowing that he cares more about protecting that baby than anything else in his life(*) – and a sort of counterpoint to the last few weeks’ worth of Doctor-as-vain-bastard stories, as Craig defended the Doctor’s need for companionship. And if the Moffat era was going to bring back the Cybermen again, I’m glad it was in this kind of context, in which they were boogeymen whom the episode didn’t need to waste time explaining, and never really the focus of anything.

(*) I especially like that the episode more or less said that Craig had the proper instincts all along, and that they didn’t just magically come out when the Cybermen tried to turn Craig into their leader. After the Doctor crashes through the glass door to save Craig’s life, his first impulse is to worry about where little Stormageddon/Alfie is, not about his own near-murder. He’s like Dorothy in Oz; he just doesn’t realize he already has the power.

Nice job all around, and an interesting glimpse of what Rory and Amy’s life became after the Doctor said his farewell to them. (And a tip of the hat to Karen Gillan’s modeling career.)

Very curious to see how/if Moffat pulls off the conclusion to the Impossible Astronaut saga, but this was an entertaining prelude to that

What did everybody else think?

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