Strange little episode this one. It was written by yet another script-writer for this series, meaning the Doctor’s character was once again different from in all the other episodes in the series. The Lodger episode was also unusual in that the Doctor’s assistant, Amy Pond, was trapped in the tardis for the whole episode, so we pretty much got to see the Doctor working alone.
Basically, the plot revolves round a haunted house idea. As pedestrians pass a particular house, a voice comes out of the intercom at the door and asks for help. The pedestrian goes to the door, it is buzzed open and then the pedestrian disappears up the stairs to the top-floor flat, never to be seen again. Meanwhile, life in the ground-floor flat, where some bloke who’s trying to get himself a girlfriend, carries on as normal. The bloke puts up an ad in the local newsagent for a lodger, and the Doctor turns up as the only applicant. Hey presto, we move into an episode of Men Behaving Badly!!!
We see the Doctor playing football for the local pub team – he’s very good. And we see the Doctor topless when he jumps out of the shower to answer the front door. He is of course caught like this by the bloke’s prospective girlfriend, who begins to fancy the Doctor. I tell you, it’s a weird couple of scenes. It’s definitely a sexing up of the Doctor for female (and some male) fans. And then he’s meant to be cool with lads too cos of the football.
Sheesh. Beyond that, there is a bit of scifi going on. The Doctor has yet more new technology – a mobile phone ear piece he can see through this time (and let’s not forget the monster machine from the Vincent episode). And then there’s the mystery of the alien eating everyone who goes to the upstairs flat. Once again, however, the scifi story takes a complete back seat to the more domestic obsessions of this series. The scifi story is all but entirely incidental. The result is yet another episode that is far too fragmentary, has competing storylines and is entirely schizoid. The viewer ends up thinking ‘Eh? Oh, whatever!’
6 out of 10 for The Lodger episode. Disappointing. Is there any hope? Well, the trailer for the next episode did look very good. It’s around the Pandorica – an evil entity that’s been trapped for eons. Even the Doctor’s scared. It has the feel of a proper gothic space opera – complete with metaphysical puzzle box. Don’t open the box! But hence the ‘crack’ that appeared in Amy’s wall when she was a kid and has been pursuing her through every episode is explained. The Pandorica is breaking free!!!