Full Frontal Doctor Who? Ten Thoughts About "The Lodger"

Okay, spoilers. Big spoilers. Massive spoilers for the new episode of Doctor Who just airing in the UK. And at the very end of the article,  something that may offend people who have a problem looking at very very blurry penises.

1. Starting To Look Like His Sofa

Full Frontal Doctor Who? Ten Thoughts About "The Lodger"
People have a problem with James Corden. It's partly his own fault, he co-wrote and co-starred in the utterly joyous sitromcom Gavin & Stacey, that was both very good and then very popular. He then co-wrote and co-starred in the atrocious sketch show Horne & Corden, which was the worst of the worst, added to that being at every party, every premiere, being ubiquitous, the lot. And a result everyone seems to have turned against him. But I've met the fellow, wrote and directed a series of radio commercials for HMV starring the man, and found him a pleasant, clever, talented, humble and generous guy. And so he is in this.

2. The Naked Doctor

Full Frontal Doctor Who? Ten Thoughts About "The Lodger" Tararaboomdeeay! Singing the same song the Third Doctor sang in the shower in Spearhead From Space back in 1970? Okay that is geeky. As, it seems, am I. Anyway, yes, naked Doctor. A lot of naked Doctor. And a sonic toothbrush. And… well, look I'm sorry, but I was taking screencaps of that scene when the Doctor rushes out of his bedroom and drops his towel and well… it's all a bit of a blur… but did they intend this, well, flash frame to be quite so visible? Did I just get some kind of world exclusive here? Fifteen minutes ten seconds in, doc cock watchers… and the full screencap at the end of this piece. You have been warned. Though I think for a certain section of Doctor Who fandom, this is the reason for their entire existence….

3. Doctor Who's Watching?

Full Frontal Doctor Who? Ten Thoughts About "The Lodger"Despite this brazen attempt at Doctor nudity, this will probably be the lowest watched episode on Doctor Who, possibly ever, because it was scheduled opposite England's first match in the World Cup against the USA. Which is rather unfortunate, because this episode had football in it. Proper football, the Doctor getting down and dirty. That football fans would have liked. That didn't end in a rather disappointing draw. And a crowd chanting "Doctor! Doctor! Doctor!" Ah, they can catch it on Sky+ or the iPlayer or the BBC3 repeat. Matt Smith was on the way to becoming a professional footballer when he was injured, sidelining him into acting…

4. What If Doctor Who Was A Flatshare Sitcom

Full Frontal Doctor Who? Ten Thoughts About "The Lodger"Showrunner Steven Moffat used to write sitcoms. And this episode was the most sitcommy to date, I mean even the wallpaper looks like the his Coupling titles. But it is Gareth Roberts, who has written Doctor Who in many media before, including episodes The Unicorn And The Wasp, The Shakespeare Code and Planet Of The Dead, as well as a stack of Sarah Jane Adventures (including the Trickster episodes) who steps up and makes the dialogue the snappiest flatshare sitcom back and forths you've heard, beating out "fish custard" by a mile.  Just a few, tiny examples.

"They call me the doctor. I don't know why. I call me the Doctor too. Still don't know why…"

"I've got one of those faces, people can't stop blurting out their plans when I'm around"

"Has anyone ever told you that you're a bit weird?" "They never really stop."

"Hello Mr Jorgennson, can you hold, I have to eat a biscuit"

"It's a statement on modern society. oooh, ain't modern society awful"

"Oh I will. I'll shout. Perhaps, yes, something like, 'I WAS NOT EXPECTING THIS!'"

And the Oncoming Storm bit too… who'd have thought that Steven Moffat wouldn't be writing the funniest lines this series? And that it would be the guy who wrote The Unicorn And The Wasp? And that some of those lines would be spoken by James Corden? Gareth Roberts, this is your moment. Shine, sir, shine.

5. And It Was Based On A Comic Book.

Comic strip actually, Garth Roberts originally write The Lodger for Doctor Who Magazine. Issue #368 if you want to go hunting on eBay. Here's a brief look at how it originally looked…
Full Frontal Doctor Who? Ten Thoughts About "The Lodger"Full Frontal Doctor Who? Ten Thoughts About "The Lodger"

Look at that, he even does the toothbrush/sonic screwdriver gag, but the other way round.

6. The Doctor Can Talk Cat

Full Frontal Doctor Who? Ten Thoughts About "The Lodger"

"I need to recruit a spy". That's the TARDIS for you, even when it's phasing in and out of reality, it's still translating for everyone.

7. Exposition With A Headbutt

Full Frontal Doctor Who? Ten Thoughts About "The Lodger"How to save two or three scenes worth of dialogue. Just headbutt the guy and tell him everything you need to know. Twice. You know, I remember when the headbutt was so frowned upon by censors that it could get the most innocent of child friendly action adventuring movies an 15 certificate in the UK if they didn't cut it out. Now The Doctor does it as a way to communicate. Imitable behaviour in the playgrounds come Monday? Those who weren't watching the football of course. Not to mention the freakiness of that painting on the wall. To quote Steven Moffat's Press Gang, "Sex and violence. I love children's television"

8. They Did What Now?

Full Frontal Doctor Who? Ten Thoughts About "The Lodger"

Someone trying to build a TARDIS? That assumes the form of a non-existent second floor? That looks a bit like the Doctor Who TV Movie TARDIS interior? But… who built it? And why? And where is it going? It doesn't matter, nothing matters because here comes…

9.  The Power of Love!

Full Frontal Doctor Who? Ten Thoughts About "The Lodger"

Ah I've missed the power of love ending, such a Russell T Davies trope, glad to see it coming back with such gusto! Quick, quick, skip over the techno-gobbledygook and hit in with Amy discovering a little something, and let's have a peek at a crack, before we leave one of the better written Doctor Who episodes to date and go straight onto the trailer for next week's two parter finale…

10. The Autons Are Back?

Daleks, Cybermen, Slitheen, Sontarans… and the Nestene Consciousness? Say, maybe we could get them to soak up the BP spill?

Full Frontal Doctor Who? Ten Thoughts About "The Lodger"

Seriously, I thought this was a stormingly good bit of telly, a great Doctor Who episode, and with lots of lines that will be on a wardrobe of T-shirts any second now. And you know, I can hear my neighbour getting up to something right now…

Okay, You've Waited Long Enough.

That blurry picture in full

Full Frontal Doctor Who? Ten Thoughts About "The Lodger"

Cocktor Who for the Sun headline anyone? Or how about Doctor Who: The Todger.

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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