“Um… can I help… you?” Craig asked carefully as he tried to balance the wiggling baby in his arms. “Yes, your Craig Owens, correct?” you asked and he nodded slowly. You took in a sudden breath of air and Craig frowned. “He’s been here” you said before barging your way into the house. “Sorry, you can’t be here, who are you?” he yelled after you as you ran though the house picking things up here and there. “The Doctor he’s been here?” you said spinning round and nearly crashing into Craig and the baby. “Yeah… hang on… how do you know about the Doctor?” he asked and your eyes widened. Hot on his trail maybe today you would catch up with him. “Its a long story, where is he?” “He um… left about four hours ago” you groaned and fell down on the sofa in the centre of the room and ran your hands through your hair. “Are you alright?” “No Craig… I’m… I’m not sure if I am” he moved to sit next to you. “I’m sorry, I um… I’ll go, I shouldn’t have butted in like this-“ you made to leave but Craig grabbed your arm “Wait! Please, if its about the doctor, I want to help. Please explain” he begged. You looked back at him with wide sad eyes before nodding. If the Doctor was going to run from you, he could have another half an hour head start.
“You know the Doctor well-“ “Yes” Craig answered like it was a question and you flickered a smile “I was there… “ tears where welling in your eyes “I know that you know everything about him. We are” you paused thinking about it before shaking you head. “We were” you corrected “so close… and recently he’s been distant, bad times are coming for him and he’s scared for the first time. He was scared that” a sigh escaped your lips as you fell back on the sofa “he’s scared that something will happen to me. So he left me. But-“ “Oh my god” Craig interrupted “are you in love with him?” he asked and a light laugh escaped your lips and the tears began to fall. “But I can’t be sure that he is with me anymore. Fear of loosing people has driven him away, even his closest of friends. But he can’t be, shouldn’t be, alone. So I need to find him, but he always manages to stay one step ahead of me.”
You wiped the tears away and looked over at Craig who’s mouth was opening and closing like a goldfish. “What?” you asked and Craig shook his head. “The Doctor has a girlfriend?” he asked and you cocked you head to one side. “I suppose. Is that a problem?” you asked and he shook his head again. “No no, I just… didn’t expect it thats all” you chuckled and shrugged “Tell me about it, I expected it less than anyone else, trust me. Do you know where he might have gone?” you asked any trace of hope gone. “He was going to some alinement thing in Exedor or something” “Oh… he missed it…” you whispered “Exedor, it was supposed to be a date… Exedor…” There was a long pause and a cold shiver ran down your spine. “Sorry, I’ll go- thank you for your help, Craig” and you stood up, leaving through the front door.
“Wait! I never got your name?!” Craig called after you as you reached the gate at the bottom of the path to the street. You glanced back over your shoulder, hair flying over your right shoulder as you did so. A sad smile flickered across your face for a moment. “It’s okay, you don’t need to remember me. “
I picked a random Doctor Who episode to rewatch and ended up picking Closing Time.
I’ve always liked this episode, but rewatching it… I don’t think I’ve ever understood just how much I liked this episode until now. It has so many wonderful things in it.
It’s a Cyberman story that, like all the best Cyberman stories, isn’t about the Cybermen.
I really like James Corden as Craig, he’s a definitive aspect of Matt Smith’s era.
I also really like that Craig seems to be bisexual. When Eleven tries to kiss him (in order to prevent him from realising they’ve been teleported onto the Cyberman ship), his reason for not going for it is “I’m taken” because he’s with Sophie. He doesn’t actually seem at all opposed to the idea of the Doctor kissing him (likewise I love that Eleven is ready to full-on snog a man so he won’t panic that his life is in danger - the Doctor ain’t straight, lads), he’s simply taken.
Umm… LYNDA BARON.
AUNTIE MABEL IS IN THIS EPISODE.
AUNTIE MABEL sprang out of my childhood and was nothing but warm and encouraging about the idea of Doctor Who and Craig being a gay couple.
Eleven speaking baby is an endearingly comical highlight of Series 6, every time.
Stormaggeddon, Dark Lord of All.
Modern Cybermats! They’re a brilliant mixture of silly, ridiculous, and a wee bit horrifying.
That scene where Eleven holds Alfie and talks to him about the stars and the all the wonderful things he’s got to look forward to in life - Matt Smith always does killer speeches, but this is a nicely subdued one that always makes me feel good.
The episode centring around two men looking after a baby on an ordinary day subtly plays with gender norms quite well, too. Eleven buys Craig a papoose to wear and these things are presented as totally normal for men (I work in a primary school with a number of male teachers who are fathers and they often talk about their experiences out in public and how our facilities and attitudes when it comes to caregiving for babies is still considered to be a thing women do - things like nappy-changing facilities being in toilets for women but not men, for instance - so these basic things being normalised is a small yet important detail in the episode).
Amy and Rory’s cameo is a ridiculously coincidental moment, but it’s really emotional to see Eleven back away so they won’t see him because he knows he needs to stay out of their lives - even after 200 years have passed for him and he’s been waving to them throughout history.
The Power of Love™ ending that is just so quintessentially Doctor Who.
Craig literally manages to fight back against the Cybermen and prevent them from converting him because he hears Alfie crying and honestly that is just wonderful to watch.
The writing isn’t pretentious about it either. Eleven tries to explain Craig’s actions with scientific technobabble and Craig says he “blew them up with love”.
Doctor Who owns its cheesy resolutions like that and it’s fab because in what way is a technobabble explanation better? Blowing up the Cybermen with love means something, no matter how simplistic and sentimental a narrative it is.
The scene with River at the end.
Just Alex Kingston’s incredible acting, really, and how you can tell where we are in River’s timeline from her performance.
Holy fuck the Silence. They’re so creepy, and one of my favourite monsters in the show. I love any episode where they appear.
The horror factor of the last scene and how River is overpowered makes her reclamation of agency and Amy killing Kovarian in the next episode both really satisfying to watch and sets the stage for some really interesting developments in Series 7.
THE CLIFFHANGER leading straight into The Impossible Astronaut, the reveal, at last, that it was indeed River in the astronaut suit.
Like… yeah, this is a really bloody good episode that hits all the right beats for me.