“The Lodger” was one of the surprise hits of Season 31 and so it’s not too surprising that James Corden was asked to reprise his character in this season.
In retrospect, it might not have been a good idea.
“Closing Time” sees the Doctor, nearing the encounter with the Impossible Astronaut as seen in the season opener, take a trip to Colchester to meet up with his mate who I have now managed to completely forget the name of. They investigate some mysterious activity at a department store and encounter Cybermen, where the guy learns the power of love.
I wasn’t too impressed with this episode – while there were a lot of good elements in it, they didn’t really gel into a coherent whole. Matt Smith was excellent, but James Corden lacked a certain something. The plot seemed pasted on for the humour, when the humour should have been integrated into the storyline (see “The Empty Child” as a demonstration of how to do this properly). The best bit was the ending, despite feeling a bit tacked on.
All in all, this was a poor episode made average by Matt Smith and quite frankly the worst one of this half of the season.
Suppose we’ll find out how Amy Pond became famous next week.