12 June 2010
Matt Smith (The Doctor), Karen Gillan (Amy)
James Corden (Craig), Daisy Haggard (Sophie), Owen Donovan (Steven), Babatunde Aleshe (Sean), Jem Wall (Michael), Karen Seacombe (Sandra), Kamara Bacchus (Clubber)
|| Peter Bennett
A mysterious force locks the TARDIS – with Amy inside it – trapped in a materialisation loop, and it’s up to The Doctor to work out what that force is, or Amy could be lost forever. As he investigates, he learns of a house on Aickman road, with a staircase which people walk up but never down. To solve this mystery, The Doctor must pass himself off as a normal human being and share a flat with Craig Owens.
This episode was mistakenly entitled Reality Check and Don’t Go Up The Stairs.”The Lodger” is also a comic strip story by Gareth Roberts. Roberts has confirmed this story is an adaption of the basic premise of the other, however he has stated that they differ quite a lot in that the comic was written for different characters (the Tenth Doctor and Mickey Smith) and focused on the “domestic set-up” While the story involves”something at the top of the stairs”. This isn’t the first adaption on the series, Human Nature being a previous example.
Several previous Doctors appeared in brief flashed when The Doctor knocked heads with Craig.
This is an Amy-lite episode, similar to the Donna-lite episode Midnight and in the vein of The Doctor and Rose-lite episode Love and Monsters and the Martha (and Doctor)-lite episode Blink. However, Amy features throughout this story, when in Midnight, Donna was completely absent, apart from the beginning and the ending.
This is the first time in the new series that The Doctor has definitively stated how many incarnations he has had – he tells Craig he is the eleventh.
The Doctor wears a football kit, playing for Craig’s pub team, the King’s Arms. He wears a jersey with the number 11 on it when playing a football match, both referencing him being the Eleventh Doctor and this being the eleventh episode of Series 5.
The Doctor playing football in the episode is a coincidental reference to the fact that Matt Smith originally wanted to become a professional footballer before a back injury, causing him to focus on acting instead. However writer Gareth Roberts has stated that the football scene was always going to be carried over from the comic story and he began writing it prior to the casting of Smith .
The 2010 FIFA World Cup England vs USA match kicked off just as The Lodger finished, on a rival channel (I), the timing noted by writer Roberts as a”happy accident” .
The Doctor making Craig an omelette may be a reference to Gavin and Stacy, the series which James Corden starred in and wrote, in which the only food Stacy’s mum ever seemed to cook was omeletts.
The Doctor wears only a blue bath towel forone scene, incidentally Matt Smith appears similarly in the show Secret Diary of a Call Girl as one of Billie Piper’s clients. An online stir was caused when many viewers claimed that Smith briefly ‘flashed’ the camera when his towel fell, however the BBC and Smith have denied he was completely naked for that scene .
Gareth Roberts, the writerof this episode, revealed in an interview in Doctor Who Magazine Issue 423 that he had planned to return the classic enemy Meglos in this story, but decided against it after the similar-looking aliens the Vinvocci made an appearence in The End of Time. The magazine also showed anearly draft of the script which showed the meeting of the Eleventh Doctor and Meglos in which Meglos remembered The Doctor but The Doctor didn’t remember Meglos.
The set in the house is remarkably similar to that in Fear Her.
When The Doctor hands Craig the bag of money, he tells him “Don’t spend it all on sweets.” The Ninth Doctor said the same thing to Adam Mitchell when he gave him the credit stick in The Long Game.