REVIEW: Doctor Who – The Lodger

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Once again, this was an episode I was sure I was not going to like after watching the preview. I’m happy to say that I couldn’t have been more wrong. It’s one of the stronger stand-alone episodes of the season and looks to be the last chance to catch your breath before the season finale.

Spoilers next.

The episode is framed with the TARDIS being unable to fully materialize on modern day Earth after essentially spitting The Doctor out and disappearing with Amy still aboard. Separated from the TARDIS and alone on Earth, The Doctor takes up residence in a room for rent with a guy named Craig where people are continually lured up to the second floor by the neighbor and never come out.

Along the way we see as many different people luring victims upstairs as we see victims. Whatever is happening to them is causing time distortions that are blocking the TARDIS from landing. The Doctor can’t risk being found out in his investigation, so he can’t use any advanced technology and has to do his best to fit in. This includes The Doctor recruiting a cat as a spy, working in a call center, and dazzling a pub league soccer team which is a lot of fun and nicely timed with the World Cup Finals this weekend.

In the end it’s revealed that the whole of the second floor is actually someone’s attempt to build a TARDIS with a perception filter and the “tenant” is failsafe software trying to repair the ship and find a suitable pilot. It has been burning through humans in its search, but now that it has found The Doctor it selects him to allow it to escape. The Doctor saves the day by using Craig’s desire to stay right where he is to convince the ship to shut down and self-destruct.

A stranded spaceship with a dead crew and a perception filter that warps time and has been looking for pilot… Could this be The Doctor’s TARDIS? Is this its fate after the explosion at the end of the universe? The Doctor found a fragment of the TARDIS door in the crack and there’s a good chance there’s a connection here. We also see the crack appear on the apartment wall after The Doctor leaves and Amy finds Rory’s engagement ring after asking The Doctor why he can’t find her a man. Everything is building to a head and the preview for next week looks absolutely amazing.

More on Doctor Who 2010:
Vincent and The Doctor / The Pandorica Opens

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