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The Eleventh Doctor interrupts some Pizza, Booze, Telly in this incredibly polarising episode of NewWho

Hapless every-schlub, Craig just-some-bloke is hopelessly flirting with the least perceptive woman of his dreams, the ever-lovely Sophie, and looking for a flatmate when, lo and behold, The Doc arrives on his doorstep.

A localised temporal disturbance in the flat above Craig’s has thrown the TARDIS into an episode of Numberwang and Amy’s in danger of being trapped within the vortex forever, with no one to be perpetually snide to but her own reflection.


As for the comic strip that this episode is based on, it transpires it, too, was written by Gareth Roberts! I found it on this page, but you can flip through the pages here below as well:

Oh, and let’s not forget the eeriest portrait hanging on the wall in Craig’s house…

Here's what we think of N071 The Lodger

We rate Doctor Who stories on a scale from 0.0 to 5.0. For context, very few are excellent enough to merit a 5.0 in our minds, and we'd take a 0.0 Doctor Who story over a lot of other, non-Whovian stuff out there.

Leon | @ponken


Drew | @drewbackwhen


Here's what we think of N071 The Lodger

We rate Doctor Who stories on a scale from 0.0 to 5.0. For context, very few are excellent enough to merit a 5.0 in our minds, and we'd take a 0.0 Doctor Who story over a lot of other, non-Whovian stuff out there.

Leon | @ponken


Drew | @drewbackwhen


Here's what you think 6 Responses to “N071 The Lodger”
  1. The Doctor irritates his flatmate and stuff happens upstairs.

    Things I liked:

    1. The eeriness. Having lived in a flat with unexplained mould, sinister old people living upstairs, and a weirdo flatmate, this really resonated. The people being lured to a crispy death is horrible. I haven’t felt this level of unease since episode one of 7th Doctor classic ‘Survival’. 
    2. Lashings of humour. The 11th Doctor is at his zaniest. I Particularly liked the electric toothbrush scene, and the professor brainstorm contraption in his bedroom. 
    3. The evil Tardis. Looked similar to the time ship in wonderful 4th Doctor Parisian adventure ‘City of Death’ (coincidence?).
    4. Football in Doctor Who! Growing up in an era where preferring science fiction instead of football inevitably led to a beating on the playground, the cross-pollination of Doctor Who and football is a big deal.
    5. James Corden and Daisy Haggard.
    6. Amy finding the ring. The final shot. Nice.

    Things I’m not sure whether I liked or not:

    1. The lack of explanation of who owned the evil Tardis and what happened to them. Reminds me of the Stephen King novel ‘the Tommy Knockers’ where the aliens on a crashed spaceship are long dead but the evil emanating from the ship lives on.
    2. The lack of Amy. Her scenes clearly took 10 minutes to film. Presumably Karen was on holiday.

    Your review of ‘The Hungry Earth’ complained about reusing tropes from previous episodes. This does the same: the ship’s computer attempting repairs by killing humans echos the ‘Girl in the Fireplace’; the perception filter was done in ‘The 11th Hour’; and the ‘love conquers all’ resolution copies the ending of ‘Victory of the Daleks’. The Doctor’s Vulcan mindmeld via headbutt also annoyed me: why doesn’t he just do this to everyone he meets? And why wasn’t there a longer flashback of the 7th Doctor!

    2.8/5 fried corpses. 

  2. Tracey | @yecartniatnuof

    Big reveal:

    In keeping with my tradition of numerical ratings that only include zeros and fives, I will start by rating this one: 5.0!

    Rewatching this I realized it is the perfect episode. The pacing, acting, filming and effects, are all spot on. It is playful in a way that works despite all the death it sees, despite the heavy impending mythology of the crack, and despite the Doctor and Amy remaining apart for pretty much the entire episode.

    The chemistry between Craig and the Doc is really fun; from the peck on both cheeks to the sonic toothbrush moment to the psychic head bash, I love all of it. There’s not a line amiss.

    We get to learn more about who this version of the Doctor is as he lives out his day around humans. He gets to play matchmaker, helping Craig and Sophie finally share their feeling for one another. He gets to build gizmos, which is a thing I used to love watching Tennant do. And is it just me or is Matt Smith naked a lot?

    Double Callback:

    Was it Ponken who (in a previous WBW episode) noticed the opera that the Doctor sings in the shower is the same one he did as Pertwee in his first episode?

    Best quotes and exchanges:

    “Has anyone ever told you that you’re a bit weird?”
    “They never really stop.”

    “You pulled the zigzag plotter? Take two steps to your right and pull it again!”

    “Annihilate? No. No violence d’you understand me, not while I’m around not today not ever I’m The Doctor, the oncoming storm…and you basically meant beat them in a football match didn’t you?”

    “Six billion people? Watching you two at work I’m starting to wonder where they all come from.”

    “I might come back.”
    “No you won’t I’ve been in your head.”

    I know I’m probably over the word limit here, but I should note the end of the episode’s important arc contribution:
    Amy sees the ring and it reminds her of the crack. So she still has a connection to forgotten Rory. Wonder when we can expect that to pan out she said playfully. ;)

  3. Syl | @StarWarsSyl

    Ah, the episode in which we can see a Van Gogh card on the refrigerator, a human who doesn’t notice when there’s eggshells in his omelet, and a boss who likes an unofficial interloper even though he’s losing the company customers.

    I have questions. Why did the rot just disappear— was the damage to the house fake? Are all Time Lords just automatically good at ball games they’ve never played before? If I say a string of really rude things about another person’s lack of potential and then smile at the end, will they light up, say, “See what Syl did there” and bat their eyelashes at me— or is that only for the Rotmeister?

    Also: are all cats spies? If so, please tell me. It may have dramatic implications for my daily life. I have two of them living upstairs in my house. Hopefully I actually have an upstairs, or my listener mini career might end rather abruptly.

    Parts of this episode I enjoyed: Craig. Craig saying Geronimo. The sickbed scene— once the Rotmeister stopped growling, he was quite tender and sweet. And given the Rotmeister’s dread of sitting still, living Craig’s life for a day was quite a gift of love, one he barely afforded Vincent.

    Things I was less keen on: Amy squealing even more than the Courtesan Satine in Moulin Rouge. Another spaceship looking for something it’s lacking. The annoyingly unrealistic Workplace scenes.

    I’m going to give this one a 2.6 out of 5 lodgers offering you a shit-ton of cash in a bag and isn’t a counterfeiter or crime boss.


  4. I take a brief gasp of cool, fresh air (Vincent and the Doctor) before being dragged back down into the steaming sewage.

    So we have James Corden doing his hardest to seem loveable, Matt Smith pretending to be all ‘unaware’ of how humans do things (despite having visited Earth hundreds of times in the past) and Karen Gillan doing her annoyingly unconvincing wailing in the TARDIS. There’s some vague alien threat, but it’s so underdone and barely anything. 

    What utter drudgery…who wants to watch some schlub and his boring life in what should be a science fiction show? James Corden is terrible, every time the camera cuts to his smug face my flesh crawls…ugh. Quite literally the worst guest star the show has ever had.

    The highs:

    The Doctor’s conversation with Sophie about doing something with her life was quite good. That’s about it.

    The lows:

    There’s something I simply don’t like about the Doctor playing football. It’s wrong, stop it.

    Why does tea cure James Corden when he touches an alien substance?!

    So it’s the power of love that stops the spaceship (somehow)? How sickeningly sickening.

    That half house special effect at the end looks technically good, but utterly unconvincing..what a stupid idea.

    The scene where James Corden is kissing the girl…ugh…why is he making that weird humming sound?

    0.0, will never, ever watch this one again

    David. E

  5. Trenton Bless | @trentonbless

    The Lodger, or The Doctor hangs out with James Corden for an hour, is really boring and just really silly. Let’s discuss.

    Now, I do like the scenes where the Doctor just invades James Corden’s life (I know his character has a name, but Corden is really how I see him.). It’s really what the Eleventh Doctor would do in these situations. What I don’t like is the sitcom like comedy. This is Doctor Who, for God’s sake! I mean, this is a problem that the Matt Smith era has and that’s is the comedic elements. When they hit home, it’s fine. But when it’s bad, it’s cringe worthy.

    The villains are a wee bit forgettable, don’t you think? I mean, I can’t seem to remember anything about them except they used a perception filter to hide themselves. Other than that, that’s it.

    This was one of the last episodes filmed, and writer Gareth Roberts was evidently handed the dribble-end of the budget. Of course, Doctor Who can be made effectively for diddly-squat; they did it frequently in days of yore. With The Lodger, sadly, minimal expenditure yields patchy returns.

    In the end, The Lodger just doesn’t do it for me. I suppose it’s down to the budget as this was the last story to be filmed. But if you want to watch a sitcom, go watch a sitcom. If not, give us Doctor Who! Though it has it’s moments, I’m still giving it 2.0/5.

  6. Arthur Fuxake (or Fuxake)

    Loved the comic strip, many thanks for posting it. I hadn’t read this before and found it particularly interesting that they made an episode out of it.
    However, I did much prefer the TV version, especially because Matt Smith’s Doctor was fantastic in it. I’m sure I would have rated this a high 4.something too. Well done also for spotting the freaky portrait, and for all the additional triv about Smith’s trials for Nottingham Forest, etc. You guys really do your homework!

    All the best,


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