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Doctor Who Recap Season 5, Episode 11: “The Lodger”

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Doctor Who Recap: Season 5, Episode 11: “The Lodger”

BBC

Doctor Who Recap: Season 5, Episode 11: “The Lodger”

Over the last five seasons of Doctor Who, the week or two just before the big finale has tended to be where the oddball, envelope-pushing episodes turn up. Format-stretching exercises (like “Love & Monsters” and “Turn Left”), cheap budget-savers (“Fear Her,” “Boom Town”), and episodes that do without one or both of the regular cast (see “Blink” or “Midnight”) have all appeared here. “The Lodger” fits right in with this off-kilter tradition, presenting Doctor Who as domestic sitcom. Its setting is something of a throwback to the previous era of Russell T Davies—the sort of mundane, present-day world which formed the bedrock of those years, and which this season seems to have deliberately avoided until now.

Doctor Who Recap Season 5, Episode 7: “Amy’s Choice”

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Doctor Who Recap: Season 5, Episode 7: “Amy’s Choice”

BBC

Doctor Who Recap: Season 5, Episode 7: “Amy’s Choice”

“Hold on tight. This is going to be a tricky one.” With those words, the delightfully twisty “Amy’s Choice” kicks off a high-concept mindbender of an episode which also provides a crucial turning point in the journey our three regular characters—the Doctor (Matt Smith), Amy (Karen Gillan), and Rory (Arthur Darvill)—are taking over the course of this season. After the problems some earlier stories (e.g. “Victory of the Daleks” and “The Vampires of Venice”) have had with fitting into the 45-minute running time of a single episode, “Amy’s Choice” is an object lesson in how to get it right. Like a well crafted prose short story, it sets up a self-contained situation for our heroes, follows the logic of that situation through to its end, and leaves the characters definitely changed from where they were at the start.