Quantcast
subscriber help

artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

‘Doctor Who’ blogging: “The Lodger”

(all spoilers! don’t read till you’ve seen the episode! this is a love fest only — all complaints and bitching must come from a place of love / previous: “Vincent and the Doctor”)
I’m not necessarily convinced this season of Doctor Who has all been a dream/nightmare/coma fever of the Doctor’s, as someone accused of me last week, but if I did want to get convinced of that, this episode would go a long way toward helping it.

Because this episode is like a journey through the Doctor’s psyche. The opening imagery of the TARDIS dematerializing before the Doctor’s eyes? Losing the TARDIS like that must surely be a particular nightmare of his. All the everyday domestic stuff that we can assume the Doctor does but we never (or rarely) see him do — preparing food, showering — has a dreamlike quality to it, up to and including his participation in the football match:

He doesn’t know the game, but he’s that good at it? (Peter Davison’s Doctor was apparently a good cricket player, if Tegan’s reaction to his playing is anything to go by, but it seems that he at least knew the game beforehand.) It’s almost like those dreams in which running is exhilarating, even if you’re not a runner. (At least, I have dreams like that.)

And then there are the downright oddities:

= the Doctor communicating psychically with the cat (we’ve never seen him do anything like that before… but this does get him some information that he would already know if the whole scenario were his own invention)

= the Doctor headbutting Craig (we know from past instances of the Doctor communicating psychically — including with the cat right here — that such violence is not necessary)

= the Doctor saying things such as, “They call me the Doctor. Dunno why?” (of course he knows why he’s called the Doctor… unless he’s confused about who he is, which a regeneration crisis could cause)

= the Doctor acting as a matchmaker for Craig and Sophie (since when has he been so clued in to human romantic behavior? or cared?)

And that’s all nothing compared to the overarching problem here of the flat that doesn’t exist on the floor that doesn’t exist at No. 79 Aickman Road. Obviously the Doctor did not plan to be here in Colchester — he thought they were going to the fifth moon of somewhere or other — and of course he would never have expected to get blasted out of the TARDIS and separated from it. So how does he all of a sudden have a communication device that lets him talk to Amy on the TARDIS? That would be an enormously useful gadget to have, but we’ve never seen anything like that before. Where did the Doctor get the bag full of money? Did he sonic an ATM again?

I suppose we could presume — if we were to assume that this is all “real” — that the Doctor was just wandering around trying not to panic when he accidentally stumbled across Amy’s note

directing him toward Aickman Road, which only seems accidental because later they’d pop back and put that note somewhere where he’d see it, and that’s how he discovers the nonexistent flat with the alien tech that is interfering with the TARDIS.

Except… the Doctor doesn’t get any traces of high technology from upstairs with his doodad juryrigged from junk.

Is the reason the flat doesn’t exist because it’s all in the Doctor’s head? Why does he say that what’s in that upstairs flat is “someone’s attempt to build a TARDIS”? I mean, he doesn’t say “time machine” — he says “TARDIS.” Because perhaps it’s a dream version of the Doctor’s attempt to rebuild his own TARDIS? Last week commenter Pat Mustard argued against my “it’s all a dream” theory with this:

“Just a small point against this theory – we know the new Tardis set is the one they’re going to stick with; so if the Doctor’s unconscious & all this is in his head, how does he know what new format/style the Tardis has regenerated itself into?

If — assuming this whole season is occuring in the Doctor’s head in the moments after his regeneration, when the TARDIS, too is still in flux — then the TARDIS could either take its new look from the Doctor’s imagination, or the Doctor could direct the new look, so that the “real” TARDIS ends up looking just like the “dream” one.

Why does this upstairs-almost-TARDIS let Sophie go? Because the Doctor told it to. Why does the upstairs-almost-TARDIS say that the “correct pilot has been found”? Because that’s the Doctor — it’s his TARDIS. Why does the upstairs-almost-TARDIS just disappear even though the Doctor wouldn’t serve as that pilot? Because it never existed in the first place, except as a figment of the Doctor’s imagination.

And here’s where the real “journey through the Doctor’s psyche” stuff comes in. Supposedly, according to the Doctor, the upstairs-almost-TARDIS needs a homebody like Craig — “Mr Sofa,” the Doctor calls him — to disable it. Here’s the Doctor, wandering forever, who can never be a homebody again even if he wanted to, what with Gallifrey destroyed. But maybe the Doctor has another option? Profess a love that’s been suppressed and “kiss the girl” to save everything? Could the Doctor be about to accept what River Song represents and finally get some sort of new lease on life through her?

None of that, of course, would have to mean that Doctor Who turns into a romance next season — I agree that would be boring — and it doesn’t have to be a reset button that’s a cheat, either. It could merely be an opportunity for the Doctor to set off on new adventures without being as haunted by the past as he’s been.

One thing is for certain: the crack in the universe was present at No. 79a Aickman Road the whole time, right behind the fridge:

And when Amy finds her engagement ring in the Doctor’s pocket

the crack opens wide:

I’ve said before that I think Amy may end up being not just a victim of the crack but she may herself be the crack. Now we see that her perception, her memories alter the crack itself.

I could be wrong about all this. I’ll be even more delighted to be surprised to be wrong about this then I would be to be right about it. But so far, it all fits.

Random thoughts on “The Lodger”:

• Great. First I had new reason to worry about cracks in the wall. Now I have to be terrified of water stains on the ceiling:

Thank you, Doctor Who, for feeding me new nightmare fodder.

• I never thought we’d see the Doctor hauling around a shopping cart filled with junk

like some homeless guy hoarding all his treasures…

• Didn’t ET build something like this?

• Craig’s flat is crammed full of interesting stuff. Like a Stay Puft marshmallow man:

And a flyer for a Van Gogh exhibition:

• We haven’t seen the Doctor in the shower since Jon Pertwee in “Spearhead from Space”:

And we never see the Doctor this naked:

No, really, we don’t:

I keep hearing Donna Noble’s horrified “You’re naked!”

• Bathroom humor:

• Really, Doctor? Drinking from the carton?

He might be taking this “ordinary bloke” thing too far. Don’t be a guy. The world is full of guys. Be a man.

• Great quotes:

“Less of a young professional, more of an ancient amateur.” –the Doctor, describing himself

“I’ve got one of those faces: people never stop blurting out their plans when I’m around.” –the Doctor

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

“How long you gonna be in there?” –Craig, to the Doctor, who’s hogging the shower
“Sorry. I like a good soak.” –the Doctor

“Can you hold? I have to eat a biscuit.” –the Doctor on the phone

“Six billion people? Watching you two at work, I’m starting to wonder where they all come from.” –the Doctor, to Craig and Sophie

“Hello, I’m Captain Troy Handsome of International Rescue. Please state the nature of your emergency.” –the Doctor (which indicates, I think, that he’s not clueless about Earth pop culture)

(next: Episode 12: “The Pandorica Opens”)


MPAA: not rated

viewed at home on a small screen

official site | IMDb
  • Keith

    Awesome review as usual. Thanks, MaryAnn for all your effort.

    I was thinking about the preview for next week. There is more evidence of the dream meme there too. Seems all the significant Doctor enemies are being drawn to this thing that is about to open. What could be more of a draw to these things combined than the Doctor himself? All the things that are probably most on the Doctor’s mind converging as the regeneration cycle completes.

    Can’t see them pulling out anything other than something like this. I’m anxious to find out hhow this plays out. Either people like MaryAnn and myself are going to be really shocked at what they do, or all the people that don’t want to accept this view of regeneration from the inside are going to be shocked. Only two more weeks to find out.

  • Alli

    Thanks for making my brain hurt more than it already does. =)

    Like I said in the non-spoilery post, I did enjoy the episode, but I have a lot of questions. I burst out laughing when he tried to cover his bare chest after the shower scene. I enjoyed Matt’s performance as a whole as well. But I have a lot of questions about the ending. If all of this is in fact in the Doctor’s head, then all the unanswered questions about the end would make some sense (sort of). But let’s say it’s not in his head. Let’s say someone or something was trying to build a TARDIS on Earth. Who was it? Why did they need a hologram to get people to test it for them? Why are they building one in the first place? Are they trying to run from the crack too (or stop it)? Who, besides the Time-Lords, has the ability to build a TARDIS? When the Doctor told Sophie and Craig to run, he said it was because the Tardis was imploding. Did it really implode, or did it just disappear? If not, we have a second TARDIS floating out there (“The Doctor in the Tardis doesn’t know”).

    Can anyone with more Doctor Who knowledge than myself tell me whether the TARDIS is just a machine built by the Time Lords? Or is it a living, breathing organism? If it’s just a machine, someone was building one on Earth. If the TARDIS is an organism, then perhaps this TARDIS was trying to find a pilot on its own. We do know that the Doctor’s TARDIS has a mind of it own (end up in Wales instead of Rio, 12 years instead of 5 minutes, etc). At the very least, the Doctor thinks he’s in control, but I don’t think he is.

    Side note: Amy had to fly the TARDIS in this episode. Do you think River learns how to fly the TARDIS from Amy?

  • Lisa

    I love Say Anything.

    the Dr’s a Voyager fan?

    ^Thanks for screenshots. Much obliged.

    I hope when they explain it, I understand it.

    Why have a Van Gogh flyer when you’ve never been to Paris? Did the crack make him forget?

    Why is everthing down the back of the fridge!

    Loved the DT shot!

    You make a good point about the episode being a paradox but then again, the Dr’s Daughter was one that didn’t make any sense either.

    Ten gave Sally Sparrow and her boyfriend a look, as if he knew what they were up to but Eleven seems even more out of touch with humans.

  • Lisa

    Don’t think she was flying exactly just maintaining.

    Tardises (?) are grown, I think.

    Will be handy when his own blows up. Or not.

  • Magess

    It really does seem to be going more and more the dream direction. And I’m not sure how I feel about that.

    This was possibly the one episode that was totally an Eleven episode. I just couldn’t see Ten doing any of this, needing advice on how to be a bloke or running around playing football. There’s something, well, juvenile about his level of social skills, I thought.

  • Overflight

    TARDISes are sentient. Nine flat out stated it in “Boom Town”. According to the Doctor Who wiki, there are even Expanded Universe works where they show that the most advanced known TARDIS models actually look human, talk and can even reproduce:

    http://tardis.wikia.com/wiki/Marie

  • Keith

    I’m not going to be disappointed if the whole season is a regeneration created dream. If it is, it’s Moffat’s attempt to give us the most intimate view yet of what is going on in the Doctor’s head during one of the most mysterious aspects of his character.

    I think the crack is the light of reality trying to break into the Doctor’s unconscious dream world. It erases anything it touches, because what it touches doesn’t really exist except as a fantasy.

    Since we know Amy Pond will be the companion next season, I suspect the TARDIS did crash in Amy’s backyard. The Doctor has either made some sort of psychic link with her or just factored her into his dream world because she’s trying to help this unconscious person she’s found in her backyard.

    The whole show is dreamed up by people like RTD, Moffat and their crews. How is the whole season being a sort of dream induced metaseason any more artificial than it would be otherwise? Have we all not been entertained all these episodes? Can we really claim it is any less/more real if it turns out this way?

    As I mentioned, we’ll know soon enough.

  • Alli

    So, essentially, the TARDIS is a living, breathing thing? So that TARDIS on the “second floor” could have traveled there on its own, and could have been looking for a pilot by itself. Then why did the Doctor say someone was trying to replicate a TARDIS? Sigh… I’m right back to where I was.

  • bronxbee

    if one goes strictly by the show, a TARDIS is an engineered transdimensional machine, connected to the black hole energy that powers it, with a certain amount of sentience built in, and the controls are (variously) isomorphic, or meant to be used by six people. i do not believe that they are “grown.” but they do connect on a deep level with the operating Time Lord..

  • Lisa

    re Final scene – did anyone else think Amy was going “Oh Shit! I just wanted a shag!”

  • Keith

    There was a scene cut from Journey’s End where the Doctor and the DoctorDonna gave a piece of the TARDIS to the other Doctor and Rose so they could grown their own TARDIS and get around in the alternate universe (there is a brief moment in the aired episode where the cloned Doctor can be seen holding the coral like piece). This is discussed here: http://tardis.wikia.com/wiki/Journey's_End

    In the context of the Lodger episode, I think people are taking the Doctor calling the machine sitting on the house a “TARDIS” too literally. It was an alien built machine intended to perform a similar function to a TARDIS. Somehow, the original crew was killed and it landed on Earth. An emergency AI program activated and was doing its best to cope with the situation. Unlike the Doctor’s TARDIS it couldn’t do any travelling without a living pilot. The machine’s AI was apparently rather limited and would have killed everyone on Earth trying to find a pilot until it was stopped by the Doctor.

  • Bobby

    MaryAnn,

    I like your angle about the Doctor’s psyche, but this would be correct only on a metaphorical, poetic level — not a literal level.

    Headbutting? Not knowing why he is called the Doctor? These are the liberties of the writer of the story — Doctor Who is a nearly 50 year old invention of multiple creatives — you won’t find a consistent world to escape into here.

    This episode doesn’t have all those things below the surface. Everything is explained except for who the alien was and how they could try to build a Tardis — and that is incidental to the plot, which is all about Craig and Sophie coming together. They borrowed lots of elements from Scarroth the Jaggoroth in City of Death — the attempt at time travel, the resulting time loops, even the design of the ship — and this all means nothing. It’s just literary license.

    Do you need someone to clear things like this up for you, or would you rather just go on inventing all those connections where none exist?

    Best,
    B

  • MaryAnn

    Yes, Bobby, please clear up things like this for me. I’m only a *Doctor Who* neophyte and clearly have no idea what I’m talking about. “Scarroth the Jaggoroth”? “City of Death”? What can such things mean?!

  • As usual, your Whovian skills of analysis are formidable.

    I believe this can’t be a dream, but maybe not for reasons of continuity and story as much as for professionalism. Even several decades later, the “Who Shot J.R.?” story (which ended the storyline with the “it’s all a dream” coda) is considered one of the most heinous uses of Deus Ex Machina in the history of television. When a major TV show goes in this direction, it becomes everyone’s pariah. The public never trusts it again.

    Something else I’d like to point out is that Matt Smith said a few things in a PR gathering in NYC (with Steve Moffat and Karen Gillan). Matt revealed that whatever the over-arching bad guy is for this season was in the first episode, and that we just “have to find it”. What he means by this, I couldn’t say any more than anyone else… but it weights my predications away from the “dream world” idea somewhat.

    I think your observations about Amy not just being a victim of the crack are very keen. While I don’t know if I’m ready to commit to the opinion that she’s the crack itself, I do know the Doctor is quite certain that it’s all about her (as per the ending of Flesh and Stone). Moffat is a rat for not telling us how the Doctor has put this together and connects it to her wedding, but there definitely doesn’t seem like there’s a lot of grey area in his feelings about it.

    Your observations about this episode are keen and interesting as they always are. I can’t wait to see what you say about The Pandorica Opens! I wish I could have all of you over to my house to watch it together.

  • Do you need someone to clear things like this up for you, or would you rather just go on inventing all those connections where none exist?

    I’m not sure you’re going in the right direction on this one. Though some of Maryann’s analysis or predictions will, in the end, be incorrect (while some will probably be right), she’s heeding a valuable lesson from this show’s track record: EVERYTHING you see or hear is potentially a clue to the outcome. She may not be correct in all her fun-filled conjecture, but she’s got the right idea: Notice everything, explore the possible connections, try to notice all you can. That’s one of the many reasons this show is so much fun; it rewards you for considering all the story potential contained therein.

  • Lisa

    I didn’t like the head butt thing. The Dr could get out of trouble all the time by doing that! but then he goes I’m never doing that again yeah right! Cheap tricks!

  • Do you need someone to clear things like this up for you, or would you rather just go on inventing all those connections where none exist?

    I’m tempted to say something but I really don’t want another lecture on “tone” arguments.;-)

  • MaryAnn

    Matt revealed that whatever the over-arching bad guy is for this season was in the first episode, and that we just “have to find it”. What he means by this, I couldn’t say any more than anyone else… but it weights my predications away from the “dream world” idea somewhat.

    Unless the Doctor himself is the “villain” for dreaming it all!

  • I loved this episode.

    Those who noticed that the the Angel coming out of the television in the previous episode was like Ring (Ringu) may have also noticed that the evil damp patch on the ceiling was like Honogurai mizu no soko kara (Dark Water.) It seems that the writers have been enjoying a dose of J-horror lately…

    I thought the headbutt was exceedingly funny and kind of enjoyed the meta-joke of “I’ll never do that again”. There are so many instances of this season pointing out the sillier parts of Doctor Who writing (for instance it being pointed out that the two perils they faced in Amy’s Choice were ridiculous).

    Plus…NO SONIC SCREWDRIVER. Fantastic!

  • Those who noticed that the the Angel coming out of the television in the previous episode was like Ring (Ringu) may have also noticed that the evil damp patch on the ceiling was like Honogurai mizu no soko kara (Dark Water.)

    Good catch!

    I also agree that the headbutt – while a little heavy on “WTF?” – was great because it was meant as a comedic moment, and they got that.

  • Max

    International Rescue! I loved it! Thunderbirds is the only other show with an opening sequence that can compete…and 11 kind of looks like Scott Tracy.

  • Mo

    Wow… um. I really loved the episode but that review broke my brain a little.

    I still think we’re dealing with flattened time loops like in “The Timetraveller’s Wife” (the book) this season. I predict that the timeline as we know it will shift somewhat in the final episode due to one final loop changing some things but most events will remain intact, and that the Doctor will create many of the problems by trying to fix them. I don’t doubt that dreams have been a theme that will fit in somewhere, just not as *the* main plot. That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it, may the best theory win. ;) (Or better yet, may the cooler one no one has thought of win.) So I’m not quite sure what to make of this review because it’s in such a different headspace than I watched in.

    …Of course if whatever is in the Pandorica actually is an intergalactic trickster character like the next time trailer said, then all bets are off. It’s kind of brilliant, actually- the one way all the threads: dreams, fairytales, timeloops, and continuity could all be part of the same thing- with the same being screwing with everything and blurring all the lines of reality together like tricksters do. A great big joker card for the writers to throw anything in with. *Eeee* I just got chills. Next week is going to be so freaking cool!

  • Lisa

    No sonic screwdriver (and didn’t it annoy you when he used it to zap the Silurians’ guns?) but there was a sonic toothbrush – well it does make a noise!

    The head butt thing, while funny, is just an example of the writing this year. It’s funny but makes no internal sense whatsoever. It’s hard to keep to 50 years of history, ok, but if it really doesn’t matter what came before, then you might as well give him the power of flight. Y’know, like R2 in the Star Wars prequels. It’s just a cheap writing trick for a cheap joke.

    They keep describing this year as a fairy tale, as in a told story(?), but I’d rather it wasn’t a dream world. Yeah it’s all fiction but Kathy Bates explains it best in Misery when she describes feeling cheated by the cliffhanger in an old fashioned b/w serial.

  • MaryAnn

    may the cooler one no one has thought of win

    Agreed.

    The head butt thing, while funny,

    I didn’t even think it was funny.

  • Ken

    Notice everything, explore the possible connections, try to notice all you can.

    “Notice everything; what’s wrong with this picture?” is exactly what the Doctor tells Amy in The Beast Below.

    One of my favorite bits in this story was the reveal that it matters where you are in relation to the TARDIS console console when you activate certain instruments. It explains the Doctor’s penchant for seemingly dancing around the console room as he flies the TARDIS.

  • I didn’t even think it was funny.

    Obviously, no two people are always going to find the same thing to be funny, but I think the head-bonk gave Craig (James Corden) a chance to do his finger-pointing, falsetto-voiced “You’re a…!!! From… !!! You’ve got a… TAR-… !!!” line. The head-bonking, though inexplicable in terms of canon, punctuated it.

    And I did, in fact, find that funny. :)

  • Lisa

    also see head butting James Corden!

  • MaryAnn

    the head-bonk gave Craig (James Corden) a chance to do his finger-pointing, falsetto-voiced “You’re a…!!! From… !!! You’ve got a… TAR-… !!!” line

    He could have done that without the head butt.

  • He could have done that without the head butt.

    I thought it was fine for comedic/levity purposes, though I share your confusion over why it had to happen.

    Also, I’ve noticed the writers never get tired of showing the Doctor’s previous faces whenever they possibly can.

    Can’t really defend it any more than that, or I’m going to start sounding like I think it’s a Terms of Endearment-level moment or something.

  • The head-butt was necessary because the Mind Meld was copyrighted by a Spock Melvin cha’Sarek.

  • Joanne

    Unless the Doctor himself is the “villain” for dreaming it all!

    Actually, my bet is that this isn’t too far off. In the “Next Time” trailer at the end of “The Lodger” the Doctor refers to “the most feared being in the cosmos” a “trickster” or a “warrior” soaked in blood. What is that if not a description of himself? Is the Pandorica actually linked to the Doctor? Is Moffat going to kill off all the old enemies River Song refers to in that trailer for good, so his next series is really the true reinvention? I wouldn’t be surprised.

    Just throwing that out there …

  • Janus

    So if we’re supposed to be “noticing everything” and observing closely….does nobody else find that the portrait hanging outside Craig’s flat (seen between Craig and Sophie when she’s leaving after the Doctor crashes their planned evening alone)….somewhat too obvious to just be a random prop?

    It rather jumped out at me. Who is it? And if it’s not significant or someone important….why have such an odd, obvious-looking, creepy portrait in your hallway unless it means something?

    And one more thing….I am a bit hung-up on this mention of the Doctor being a vegetarian in Amy’s Choice. Is he? Or is that just some sort of self-mockery in the form of the Dream Lord? If he is a veg, then how come he’s eating Fish Custard and ham in his omelet?

    Silly questions, perhaps, but they’ve been nagging me.

  • Mo

    A word of warning for people who keep an eye on Who-related news and are usually ambivalent about spoilers:

    There’s one spoiler that just popped up that you really DO NOT want to see. It’s bigger than the typical set pics of Stonehenge or the like and you’ll regret it if you see. It’s at i09, and though they give some pretty thorough spoiler warnings, the warnings really aren’t strong enough. AVOID IT!

  • Lisa

    I like that site – thanks for the warning.

    I thought the head butt was amusing but pointless.

    James Corden – v – Claudius smack down. This is very odd and uncomfortable.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/theatreblog/2010/jun/11/patrick-stewart-james-corden-spat

  • MaryAnn

    Actually, my bet is that this isn’t too far off. In the “Next Time” trailer at the end of “The Lodger” the Doctor refers to “the most feared being in the cosmos” a “trickster” or a “warrior” soaked in blood. What is that if not a description of himself?

    That’s *exactly* what I thought.

  • Pat Mustard

    Matt revealed that whatever the over-arching bad guy is for this season was in the first episode, and that we just “have to find it”

    SPOILER

    Simples: He said who it was; the over-arching bad guy:
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >

    It’s the beans.

    They are EVIL.

    Bad, BAD beans.

    The Pandorica’s actually a jumbo-size case of Heinz.

  • Pat Mustard

    the Doctor refers to “the most feared being in the cosmos” a “trickster” or a “warrior” soaked in blood

    Would the Doctor ever refer to himself (even in his imagination and to himself) as ‘a warrior’ though..?

    does nobody else find that the portrait hanging outside Craig’s flat (seen between Craig and Sophie when she’s leaving after the Doctor crashes their planned evening alone)….somewhat too obvious to just be a random prop?

    I wondered about that..seemed a little too carefully placed exactly between them.

  • The dream idea actually does hold together remarkably well. I’m curious whether The Doctor and Amy (and yes, maybe even Rory!) are still held in thrall of the Dream Lord! After all, those dreams were shared, too.

    And another bit of confirmatory dialog that came right after “Ancient Amateur”:

    “Frankly, I’m an absolute dream!”

    which also ties in beautifully with:

    “The Pandorica? But that’s a fairy tale!”
    “Aren’t we all?”

  • Would the Doctor ever refer to himself (even in his imagination and to himself) as ‘a warrior’ though..?

    If this is indeed the Doctor dreaming and looking at himself, afraid of what he might be and what he can’t face, perhaps coming face to face with the aspects of his personality which he doesn’t want to acknowledge… then perhaps the warrior he’s most scared of is himself.

  • Would the Doctor ever refer to himself (even in his imagination and to himself) as ‘a warrior’ though..?

    If this is indeed the Doctor dreaming and looking at himself, afraid of what he might be and what he can’t face, perhaps coming face to face with the aspects of his personality which he doesn’t want to acknowledge… then perhaps the warrior he’s most scared of is himself.

  • Fabian

    I’m surpised nobody picked up on “i’m the oncoming storm”.

    How awesome would it be if the pandorica was a new, better tardis that the doctor will use after his current type 40 explodes? it would also explain all those enemies, a virtually unguarded advanced tardis? who wouldn’t want that?

  • Ken

    …after his current type 40 explodes…

    That assumed that what the Doctor pulled out of the crack was a piece of the TARDIS. Sometimes a police box is just a police box.

  • Bassygalore

    There’s one spoiler that just popped up that you really DO NOT want to see. It’s bigger than the typical set pics of Stonehenge or the like and you’ll regret it if you see. It’s at i09, and though they give some pretty thorough spoiler warnings, the warnings really aren’t strong enough. AVOID IT!

    Gah! I’m one of those people who will push the red button if I’m told not to and this is a big, red button. Must resist looking…

    I took the head bonking as a very ‘guy thing’. With Madame de Pompadour, he put his hands on her head and that’s a very intimate thing that, umm, could be construed as a bit weird by Craig if the Doctor were to do that to him. Also, it’s like a quick download to Craig’s head instead of an intimate look.

    I have some random thoughts that support Mary Ann’s theory but I haven’t tied them together very well.

    I too think the Doctor’s having a regeneration crisis/crisis of conscience.

    Pretty much every creature this season has pointed out how he’s destroyed yet another species; it seems his reputation of destruction precedes him. Rory alluded something to the effect that people blindly follow him (can’t remember the exact quote in Vampires in Venice) and Davros (‘Journey’s End’) pointed out to the Doctor how many people have died in his name and how he’s made weapons out of the humans. He destroyed his own people once and had to do it again right before he regenerated. He altered the events in WoM (*every* crew member was suppose to die in the explosion, but that didn’t happen because of his meddling). He seems to feel guilty that Rory was erased and Amy has no memory of him; like it’s his fault. Is this who he is? Someone who brings destruction in his wake?

    And then Doctor seems very ‘domesticated’ this season. He’s cooking, he’s eating, he’s showering, he’s trying to fit in with the humans, he’s experiencing time in order (at least in this episode). What if he’s conconcted these scenarios to ‘try out’ what it’s like to be human. Though he’s been a pseudo human before and while he wanted to stay and be John Smith forever (to run away from himself and forget all the bad things), he was forced to come back to reality and be the Doctor. He has his duties to save the World after all…

    In Amy’s Choice, the Doctor created two false scenarios in which Amy was to make a conscience choice between staying on Earth with Rory to live a normal life or go flying off with the Doctor into the unknown. She chose the normal life; it’s safe. If given the choice, which would HE rather?

    Another thought, there was a TARDIS on the floor of a building that doesn’t even really exist. It lured people in, it created a time flux and was only stopped by someone who wanted to stay in a fixed place; someone who didn’t want to leave. The Doctor couldn’t touch it though it claimed him to be the pilot.

    Is this who he thinks he is or who he wants to be? Someone who runs away from time and his ‘time lordness’ to live a mundane existence? Is he kidding himself to think that could even happen? Only a bit of him is human and from my point of view, that seems to be the bit that craves companionship with humans and has this strong connection to Earth. Did the other Time Lords understand why he consorted with Humans? If he feels he’s mucked up being a Time Lord (the whole not interferring bit), why not try being a Human?

    He was asked why they call him the Doctor and he says doesn’t he know. Does he not know who he is? Does he not go around fixing things or is it that he just fixes things after he breaks them?

    Maybe one side of the crack is the part of the Doctor’s conscience that is the Time Lord bit and the other part is the Human bit. He’s having a crisis and maybe Amy is the bit that connects the two…

    Just the bits and bobs floating around in my head.

  • Kassia

    There’s one spoiler that just popped up that you really DO NOT want to see. It’s bigger than the typical set pics of Stonehenge or the like and you’ll regret it if you see. It’s at i09, and though they give some pretty thorough spoiler warnings, the warnings really aren’t strong enough. AVOID IT!

    Can’t… resist…

    Too late.

    And holy shit is it ever spoilery!

    STAY AWAYYYY

  • Bassygalore

    Yep, I couldn’t resist looking either…. *hangs head in shame*

  • Alli

    Hey, can we stop posting spoilers on here for the finale even with a spoiler tag? Thanks.

  • Hey, can we stop posting spoilers on here for the finale even with a spoiler tag? Thanks.

    This whole thing is spoilers: “all spoilers! don’t read till you’ve seen the episode!”

    I haven’t seen any spoilers in this thread aside from The Lodger.

  • Tammy

    I had to google for the i09 spoiler (what, no ‘do not click here’ links, people?), just to see what it was.

    Yup, it was what I thought it was.

    Of course, seeing how they get to that point will be utterly thrilling! 8-D

  • Just so you know: If any of you actually reveal the spoilers from io9 either by directly saying it or hinting at it so much that I involuntarily figure it out, I’ll eat a revolver.

    You don’t want that on your conscience.

  • Fabian

    i’ve just found a quite intresting analysis of ‘flesh and stone’ which seems to suggest that at one point:
    ” A future Doctor could be visiting his own time-line to leave a very important message to Amy. What did he tell her when she was seven? That’s the key.”

    http://doctorwhotv.co.uk/opening-pandorica-4993.htm

  • Ken

    Yup, it was what I thought it was.

    Fortunately, I don’t remember reading any specific suggestions as to what you thought it might be. Even so, even a comment as vague as that can spoil things for people (I remember being able to figure out what was going on in The Sixth Sense just from someone saying there was a twist with the ending.), so PLEASE, for anyone who has read that article, refrain from talking about it at all here, for those of us who don’t want things spoiled.

  • Fabian

    i also think that amy finding her engagement ring is very significant, possibly even causing the cracks (by remembering rory or something along those lines), which cause the pandorica to open, because in flesh and stone, the doctor dated the explosion to amy’s ‘wedding day’…

  • Ken

    “A future Doctor could be visiting his own time-line to leave a very important message to Amy. What did he tell her when she was seven? That’s the key.”

    That’s been discussed to some length on this site. It seems to me since so much emphasis has been placed on memory and forgetting this season, that the actual message is not as important as Amy recalling the memory itself. Although the actual message that the Doctor gives Amy may have been crafted to help her remember it.

  • Yes, I gotta say here kids: you’re straying way too close to spoiler territory. We spoil OLD episodes here, not upcoming ones (except what’s in the “Next Time” bits).

    Please take the spoiler-talk elsewhere. For instance the thing you’re talking about probably has its own comments section. All you’re doing by talking about it here is rubbing our noses in it.

    Thanks! :D

  • Alli

    This whole thing is spoilers: “all spoilers! don’t read till you’ve seen the episode!”

    I haven’t seen any spoilers in this thread aside from The Lodger.

    Sorry, I saw Pat Mustard’s spoiler tag about the last 2 episodes (I scrolled past his post when I saw it, so I didn’t read it), and I was worried people were posting spoilers concerning the finale from other websites, especially the io9 article.

  • Lisa

    if we on this side of the Atlantic can keep schtum, so can you lot who’ve read the spoilers!

  • dr mallard

    just a thought about the ring.

    Is this view too obvious?

    While Amy is looking in the Doctor’s pockets for a pen she finds an engagement ring. “Has he got this for me?!” says her shocked look.

    We may know he didnt, The Crack (not present) may know or react, but Amy doesnt.

  • SPOILERS for this episode and The Sarah Jane Adventures:

    So I’m guessing Craig and Sophie don’t turn out to be Amy’s parents? Because that would have been a neat twist if they did. And of course, that would explain why the Tardis refused to let Amy out at that particular location in time and space. (After all, if it is sentient, it probably remembers all that mess that occurred on the “Father’s Day” episode and said to itself, “There’s no way I want to go through that again.”)

    Then again Moffat could be working up to a special “big finale” episode in which Amy Pond inadvertently knocks on the door of her parents’ honeymoon suite and interrupts her own conception. But somehow I doubt that’s going to happen.

    Then again Sarah Jane Smith got to meet her parents on a very special episode of her series. It would be a big shame if Amy never got the same opportunity. (Preferably without interrupting her own conception or becoming her own grandma or some other cruel twist of fate.)

    And didn’t Sarah Jane have an alien trickster character in her series too? No, I’m not referring to the Doctor. Perhaps I should call it another alien trickster character…

  • Pat Mustard

    Sorry, I saw Pat Mustard’s spoiler tag about the last 2 episodes (I scrolled past his post when I saw it, so I didn’t read it)

    Don’t worry, it’s only a little joke, not really a spoiler (I hope)..

  • Kassia

    So I’m guessing Craig and Sophie don’t turn out to be Amy’s parents? Because that would have been a neat twist if they did.

    Um, wtf. Where did you come up with that theory?! Out of all of the theories I’ve read, that one has to take the cake for being the most random.

  • Kassia

    While Amy is looking in the Doctor’s pockets for a pen she finds an engagement ring. “Has he got this for me?!” says her shocked look.

    YEAH! That’s what I thought her reaction was for at first. I saw her take the ring out and I thought, oh shit, we’re going down a Martha/random making-out-with-the-Doctor thing again. It was only after I read people’s reactions to the episode that I realized that she could have been reacting to remembering Rory.

  • We saw a time-machine malfunction creating odd little time loops.

    When the Doctor meets Amy, his own time-machine is malfunctioning in just about the worst way.

    Two parts of space and time that should never have touched, pressed together…

    What if the date on Rory’s hospital ID is correct, and he and Amy *are* the two parts? The universe is scheduled to go foom on their wedding day. The closer and more involved they get with each-other, the worse the cracks seem to be.

    When Rory and Amy were together in the Silurian tunnels, the crack was the widest one we’ve clearly seen. And maybe it tried to resolve the paradox by eating the poor lad.

    The crack in Craig’s flat after that is a thin one again. When Amy looks at the ring, the crack in the flat noticeably widens.

    Maybe Amy and Rory *are* the paradox that is breaking everything up.

  • Luna

    Excellent review. I just wanted to point out two possible explanations for your “odddities” that you say make it a dream:

    = the Doctor saying things such as, “They call me the Doctor. Dunno why?” (of course he knows why he’s called the Doctor… unless he’s confused about who he is, which a regeneration crisis could cause)

    = the Doctor acting as a matchmaker for Craig and Sophie (since when has he been so clued in to human romantic behavior? or cared?)

    The Doctor is trying to be a normal guy. If he explained why “they” really call him the Doctor, he would not be succeeding in his mission for ordinary-ness at all. Also, he has proved in other episodes that he knows that he is the Doctor, simply by doing what the Doctor does. The whole matchmaking thing could potentially be explained by this as well, that since he is paying more attention in trying to be a normal guy, he notices the stuff going on with Craig and Sophie and tries to “fix” it, as he is wont to do.

    Also, this is a Gareth Roberts episode. He writes an enjoyable episode, but they are not the most airtight in the world. They usually have some “cracks” if you will.

  • Um, wtf. Where did you come up with that theory?! Out of all of the theories I’ve read, that one has to take the cake for being the most random.

    Well, it’s still early yet. No doubt there will be even odder theories to come.

    As for my thought-process:

    1. Craig lives in an apartment house similar to Amy’s.

    2. Craig has a problem with an upstairs tenant similar to Amy’s problem with Prisoner Zero.

    3. Craig has a crack in his apartment similar to the crack in Amy’s home.

    4. Craig and Sophie obviously seemed intent on a serious relationship at the end of this episode.

    5. Serious relationships in the real world often lead to marriage and/or children. (Yes, MaryAnn, it doesn’t always lead to marriage and/or children but judging from the experiences of various acquaintances, it often does.)

    6. We have yet to see a picture of Amy’s parents anywhere so there’s no logical reason why they can’t be Craig and Sophie.

    7. The Tardis seemed to be seriously intent on keeping Amy from meeting Craig and Sophie. Almost as if something serious would happen if the three of them were to meet…

    8. The show focused a lot of time on a couple of characters who would otherwise seem not much more important than the couple Nine tries to rescue in “Father’s Day.”

    Of course, all this could be wrong…

  • VT

    Did anyone else notice that the red and blue glass border on the door to the upstairs is quite similar to the one to the door of Amy’s house? Significant?

  • Bassygalore

    What if…just what if the Doctor is trapped inside a little girl’s imagination. It’s not the Doctor’s dream, but little Amelia’s imagination.

    Two worlds that should not touch – reality and fantasy (imagination). You have a little girl who doesn’t belong, has no family around to speak of and has nothing but her imagination to keep her company. She draws pictures of this man, in a blue box, she makes little dolls, etc. As she grows up, she’s told that it’s not real. But he is real.

    She’s told he’s not real by her psychologist, but she insists and Rory pretends to be the Doctor for her. I’m sure she was also told that Daleks and the Cybermen were not real either. If she chooses to forget, then the don’t exist anymore, they’ve been erased from her memory.

    It seems that everytime something triggers her memory of something real, the crack widens (the separation of reality from fantasy).

    We have River with a book of the Doctor’s story. The Pandorica’s just a fairy tale. Things that don’t make sense, like the Doctor not knowing why he’s called the Doctor. I thought it was because he’s having an identity crisis, but what if it’s because Amy wrote a story wherein she imagine the Doctor as a normal person and she doesn’t know why the Doctor is called that, he just is. She pulls in bits like the look of her apartment (real bits) into this story. What if she was scared that she would be trapped in the TARDIS not knowing how to fly it and the Doctor is the only one who could (the correct pilot).

    At the end of The Hungry Earth, Rory says he can’t die because he saw them together on the hill. What if in Amy’s imagination, she doesn’t want that reality (getting married) so he’s pulled out. Erased from her memory, but he left behind the ring. The thing that makes her remember and brings her back to reality. When she sees the ring the crack opens wide, because reality and fantasy are being separated. They are no longer getting mixed up.

  • Bassygalore

    Also note – it is similar to Silence in the Library and Forest of the Dead, which was written by Moffat and includes River Song….

  • Maxwell

    I don’t know if its been said before but can people stop saying “build a tardis” you cant build a tardis you can only grow them. Please feel to correct me and qoute if i am wrong

  • Steve

    I just watched episode 12 and was convinced these last few episodes are a dream. Thinking back to the Dream Master episode, There were 2 dreams, one assumed to be Rory’s one, assumed to be the Dr’s. Maybe the Dr’s dream of crashing into a cold world was Amy’s dream and the final episode’s are the Dr’s dream. They did say that he would face a terrible danger (or something like that). It seemed a bit too easy to escape the Dream Master’s trap. Maybe they didn’t……?

  • Jamie

    The head-butting may not have been necessary when it comes to psychically communicating on some level, but he was just having a chat with the cat, as for Craig, he was in a rush to convince him and didn’t have a lot of time to deliver a huge speech about who he is and then try to convince the guy it is all true, so I think he decided it was the fastest way to get the information to him in an instant.

  • Kary

    Nice insight and review. I love the idea of the Lodger TARDIS somehow being the Doctor trying to build one. Maybe it will all tie in.

  • Revsis

    MaryAnn, you wrote:

    Here’s the Doctor, wandering forever, who can never be a homebody again even if he wanted to, what with Gallifrey destroyed. But maybe the Doctor has another option?

    And I finally understood the bow-tie.

    John Smith, from Human Nature/Family of Blood. It’s a nod to him.

    In fact, isn’t this kinder, gentler, wiser and oh-so-soft-spoken Doctor at least partly an exploration of that sweet, doomed character who still “is in here somewhere”.

    I think the Doctor cared very much that Joan loved John but she despised the Doctor.

    I think the idea of Home haunts him on several levels.

  • Lisa

    that’s genius^.

    I don’t think she hated him, she just didn’t want any part of his world. The one she loved wasn’t there any more. I love their last scene – he’s practically begging her to go with him (well for the Dr) and she dismissess him, knowing that he can never love her. She’s dealing with the second loss of someone she was in love with. Her husband died in a war, didn’t he? She doesn’t want the monsters and the angels, she wants John Smith. I think that’s great what you said because I always thought there was a remembrance of what she meant to him. A distant part of him was awed by what he could feel.

  • Revsis

    Thanks for the kind words, Lisa.

    I liked your phrase, “a distant part of him was awed by what he could feel”. That’s why he wanted Rose to have 10.5. Although I suspect that at some point poor old 10.5 might end up repeating that heart-breaking speech, “Would you rather have him? Am I not enough?”

    But you know, I really do think that Joan despised him. She didn’t fully understand his reasons for “hiding out” in their village, and she put it down to heartless capriciousness, involving simple people and children in a conflict that had nothing to do with them — using them as pawns.

    Which, when you think about it, is what she felt about the army’s use of her first husband — and what a lot of people felt about WWI — and continue to feel about war.

    The heart-breaking thing was that he didn’t argue with her . . . when she told him to go, he just accepted her judgment and walked away, carrying that burden.

    But I think that’s part of how he got from Nine’s dismissing of humans as stupid apes who don’t pay attention — to Ten in Planet of the Dead saying that there is nothing more important than getting home for chops and gravy with the people you love — to Eleven, who is so careful with people, never uses people as pawns,but who might get used as one himself . . .

  • aquila6

    The bit with the Doctor pulling out what he thought was his sonic screwdriver only to find it was Craig’s toothbrush reminded me of a similar bit in the old Japanese series Ultraman. In one episode, the Science Patrol are interrupted while eating and they rush out of their cafeteria to see what’s up — Shin Hayata reaches into his pocket for the Beta Capsule so that he can press its red button and change into Ultraman, but what’s in his pocket turns out to be the spoon he was using to eat his soup.

  • Mimi

    Okay, I stopped reading halfway down when the Big Spoiler talk started making me too nervous, so apologies if this has been said already– but didn’t the premise here remind people of “The Girl in the Fireplace”? A damaged vessel, its automated repair system ruthlessly destroying innocent victims as it tries to fix itself?

    I’m not sure I buy the dream theory, but it might fit in–the way bits of old memories show up in your dreams, the situation with the clockwork monsters could be popping up again in the Doctor’s mind.

    Also, I’m sorry, I must say it: the words “oncoming storm” kinda turn me on.

    Oh, how I can’t wait for next week.

  • Mimi

    And– the whole ep, I was thinking, “Aww, Smithy and Miss Steele are in love!” …British TV is a small world!

  • ohiopokey

    several things: The head butt opened Craig’s eyes to The Doctor’s world. Doesn’t that make him look into the vortex with its catastrophic affect? Or does it make him a partial Time Lord for a moment? Also interesting that after the mind meld, The Doctor outlines his face and says, “Eleven”

    Talking to the cat would be no different from him communicating with other species. But the translations come from the Tardis, which was gone.

    The communication thing in his ear? Really? He couldn’t have been prepared if he saw the note after he was expelled from the Tardis. Unless he rigged it up when he told Amy to write the note.

    Number 10 had given Martha a cell phone. Would have been very satisfying way to communicate in this case.

    I think Amy sees Rory out of the corner of her eye. When she waves back to her earlier self and thinks for a moment that she saw something else, too.

    I really do want to get a blog going (as I queried you in an email)

Pin It on Pinterest