In a season of Doctor Who that's been undeniably uneven, last night's slight, derivative The LodgerÂ represented an unfortunate dip in quality. From the cliched roommates who can't admit their romantic loveÂ subplot to a main story arc that felt like it had been cobbled together from a half-dozen superior Who episodes, the hour proved to be a less-than-scintillating run-up to the season finale (part one of which airs next week). Worst of all, it wasted the copious charms of guest star James Corden (Gavin and Stacey's uproarious SmithyÂ).
Things started off rather peculiarly, with the TARDIS taking off without The Doctor, leaving only Amy on board. A mere 11 episodes in to the new companion's adventures, it seemed unrealistic that she'd have such mastery of the time machine's control panel, although I suppose her intermittent but unconvincing screams were supposed to signal some sort of discomfort with her solo flight. Honestly, there didn't seem to be much need for Amy in this episode; perhaps the writers should've taken a cue from the riveting MidnightÂ episode, which proved that it's okay for a companion to sit on the sidelines (and off camera) every so often.
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