Review: Doctor Who Series 6 Ep 12: Closing Time (Spoiler-free review)

Travelling alone, the Doctor makes a brief stop to visit his former landlord Craig – and inevitably becomes embroiled in more alien madness in Colchester…

Not at all what you’d expect to be coming as the penultimate episode of the season, this is one of the funniest episodes of Doctor Who for some time, with humour that will appeal to the adult and children audience alike. Yes, the Doctor acknowledges that he’s on the way to his death, but he’s putting into practice what he said in Let’s Kill Hitler – and indeed acting in something of the same way as he did after hearing the Ood Song at the end of The Waters of Mars. In fact, it’s enough to make you seriously wonder if the production team have  pulled off a real coup and are going to achieve a regeneration without all the attendant hysteria we got at the end of The Stolen Earth, the start of The Next Doctor etc.

No surprises the Cybermen are back, but this is a very different view of them from the way they were portrayed at the start of A Good Man Goes to War… reminiscent, in fact, of the way they were treated in some of the early BBC Past Doctor Books. The ending of the main plot is probably going to upset purists, but it fits perfectly with the themes of Moffat’s tenure as producer, with a wonderful callback to one of his best lines for Eccleston’s Doctor along the way.

There’s a lovely brief cameo by some former companions and the closing scenes are likely to throw the internet into paroxysms, as theories are confirmed and blighted. Couple all this with James Corden hitting the right notes as Craig, and you’ve got yet another great episode. The Wedding of River Song needs Moffat to be at the top of his game to bring this arc to a satisfactory conclusion.  8/10

Paul Simpson

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