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16 September 2015 @ 08:35 pm
NuWho Rewatch: Closing Time  
I've actually been back and read my previous review of Closing Time because I was interested in seeing how I reacted to the reappearance of Craig. I wrote "I'm glad I don't know who James Corden is" and that sentiment prevails. I still haven't a clue about Corden beyond the confines of Doctor Who and, given other people's comments about him, have no wish to. I think Craig works really well as a character. Hanging a second story from his "ordinary bloke with an ordinary life" schtick is, perhaps, stretching things a bit. But the character and set-up are likeable enough, and the episode sufficiently undemanding that one can forgive it being a little repetitious thematically.

NLSS child was very concerned about Stormageddon and had to be reassured that he would be fine. That done she particularly enjoyed the Doctor's fish-out-of-water moments with the baby. She didn't recognise Lynda Baron as Val, but then I don't think she was ever that fond of Come Outside (a pre-school kids programme which was mostly like the "through the window" bits of Playschool only without the windows and with the addition of a dog and an aeroplane). There was also a lovely moment early one when the doomed shop assistant was checking the changing room. NLSS child became increasingly agitated until the point where she pulled aside a curtain to reveal a Cyberman at which point NLSS child said "OK, so it's a Cyberman, but it could have been someone changing!"* - such are the anxieties of the pre-teen. Interestingly she was less affected when the Doctor did precisely the same thing only to find a woman changing, I suspect the framing of the moment as comedic made the difference.

Closing Time is a nice little episode with few pretensions. It's not as good as The Lodger who's basic set-up it recycles and is deliberately less significant than many companion-lite episodes. However it has plenty of charm and the wisdom not to pretend to be more than the filler it is.

* Sadly, and this from a child who frequently complains about the prudishness of her own contemporaries in changing rooms.

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/170469.html.
bunnbunn on September 16th, 2015 08:10 pm (UTC)
OK, I have to ask. What's *wrong* with James Corden? He'd always struck me as a reasonably innocuous comic actor but it sounds like you feel there's something awful about him?
louisedennislouisedennis on September 17th, 2015 09:05 am (UTC)
I have no idea what's wrong with him but enough people have said things like "I can't enjoy this episode because of James Corden" so I've been assuming he's a kind of divisive figure. I think I was picturing him as a bit like Ricky Gervais tbh, but I'm literally working on nothing beyond his appearances in Dr Who and people's reactions to them.
bunnbunn on September 17th, 2015 10:19 am (UTC)
Ah! He seems to have a rather laddish persona, perhaps it's that.

Pp said: 'I daren't ask! What if it's another Rolf Harris Scenario and everyone knows but us!!!!'

so I thought I'd check :-D
bookwormsarah: idealistbookwormsarah on September 17th, 2015 07:07 am (UTC)
I first encountered James Corden in Fat Friends, and again in History Boys. I like him so much more in that sort of thing (and in Who) than the presentery stuff, which admittedly I've only seen a few minutes of.
louisedennislouisedennis on September 17th, 2015 09:06 am (UTC)
I must say, I think his character hear is very likeable if a little "stereotypical slightly useless bloke" but it's hard to imagine having strong reactions to him based on this stuff.
bookwormsarahbookwormsarah on September 17th, 2015 10:47 am (UTC)
If you get the chance to see History Boys I thoroughly recommend it.
daniel_saunders: Leekleydaniel_saunders on September 17th, 2015 07:05 pm (UTC)
I can empathize with NLSS child's vicarious embarrassment. I have to say that I tend not to watch The Curse of Fenric so much despite its many virtues because I get too embarrassed in the scene when Ace implies Kathleen is a single mother. I just share both characters' embarrassment too much. (Well, that and the fact I find story's political priorities problematic.)
louisedennis: Doctor Wholouisedennis on September 17th, 2015 07:53 pm (UTC)
It must be said I'm not a fan of The Aztecs (I've read the book and watched one episode) because I find it embarrassing.
daniel_saunders: Leekleydaniel_saunders on September 17th, 2015 11:28 pm (UTC)
What did you find embarrassing, if you don't mind me asking?
louisedennis: Doctor Wholouisedennis on September 18th, 2015 09:02 am (UTC)
I think I feel both Susan and Barbara act with way too little caution and appreciation of the dangerous situation they are in.