Doctor Who, series 6.12: “Closing Time” by Gareth Roberts


**Warning! Here there be spoilers! DO NOT read ahead if you have not watched through Series 6, episode 12 of Doctor Who. If you have, or don’t care, read on, but don’t get mad…**

Gareth Roberts‘ “Closing Time” is the penultimate episode of the sixth series of Doctor Who. While it isn’t the first of two parts, as “The Pandorica Opens” was, it presents a not-so-calm before the storm, reminiscent of David Tennant‘s final specials in some ways.

In the last few days of his life, the Doctor pays a farewell visit to his old friend Craig, and encounters a mystery. People are going missing, a silver rat scuttles in the shadows of a department store, and somewhere close by the Cybermen are waiting.

The Doctor knows he’s about to die. Having left Rory and Amy at the end of “The God Complex,” he travels about and decides to call in on his former roommate Craig Owens (played by James Corden, whom I accidentally stumbled upon as the writer/costar of Gavin & Stacey–a really great show!). As expected, the Doctor runs into some trouble: the Cybermen, who crashed many years before and have been biding their time until they could generate enough power to make their ascent to dominate and convert all humanity into Cybermen! I choose to believe that they’re remnants of Cybermen from “The Next Doctor, personally.

While I’m not the biggest fan of Cyberman–I can’t stand them in “The Next Doctor”–they really weren’t the focus of this episode. Matt Smith is really doing a great job channeling his inner 900-year-old man at the end of his life. There are quite a few scenes where he reminisces about who he is and what he’s done, still realizing his many mistakes. That’s where Craig comes in: to remind the Doctor not merely of the bad things that have gone along with his adventures, but of the good as well. He refuses to abandon the Doctor, claiming that the safest place is by his side.

Matt Smith does it all here: acting with a baby and selling it (not always an easy thing to do). He does not just inundate us with brooding over his impending death; there’s really a good balance of humor and poignancy. We’re reminded that he speaks baby (who, translated by the Doctor, gets some of the best lines in the episode). Furthermore, we have James Corden’s Craig Owens: he’s another companion-to-be, though I’d assume that’s out of the question, what with a child to take care of and everything–and we’ve seen what the TARDIS does with babies on board.

The final sequence sees River Song having just received her Doctorate from The Luna University, where she’s approached by Madame Kovarian and members of The Silence. They’ve arrived to initiate the River Song time bomb, where she’ll kill the Doctor at Lake Silencio, dressed as The Impossible Astronaut.

Tick tock goes the clock

And all the years they fly.

Tick tock and all too soon

Your love will surely die.

Tick tock goes the clock

He cradled her, he rocked her.

Tick tock goes the clock

‘Til River kills the Doctor.

Next week is the finale, and it looks absolutely packed with everything Moffat can cram in–much like “A Good Man Goes to War” and “The Big Bang.” I can’t even start to make a guess at this one, because Moffat and company will just do the opposite.

“Silence will fall when the question is asked.”

Here’s the trailer:

And the prequel:

Previous Episode: “The God Complex

Next Episode: “The Wedding of River Song

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3 thoughts on “Doctor Who, series 6.12: “Closing Time” by Gareth Roberts

  1. Pingback: Doctor Who, series 6.13: “The Wedding of River Song” by Steven Moffat « Elementary, My Dear Reader

  2. Pingback: Doctor Who, series 6.11: “The God Complex” by Toby Whithouse « Elementary, My Dear Reader

  3. Pingback: Doctor Who, series 7.0, “The Doctor, the Widow, and the Wardrobe” by Steven Moffat « Elementary, My Dear Reader

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