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The Lodger was the eleventh episode of series 5 of Doctor Who.

Based on a comic strip of the same name, it was the third instance, after Human Nature and Dalek, of a story from another medium being directly adapted for television. It was also a companion-lite story, somewhat like Midnight. This adventure provided the first hints of the Silence's presence on Earth, though they were not seen until the following season. The audience is also introduced to a new problem for the TARDIS; it cannot land somewhere where there has been numerous time loops until the source creating them has been "removed".

The Lodger introduced the recurring character Craig Owens and his girlfriend Sophie. Craig especially would play an integral part in the following series. The actor portraying his character, James Corden, was also a close friend of Matt Smith. They engaged in several humorous shenanigans on set, as seen in Doctor Who Confidential and in the extras for the series 5 releases.

The episode also gave Matt Smith the opportunity to play football; he had considered becoming a professional footballer before he went into acting.


A mysterious force blocks the TARDIS — with Amy inside it — from landing, keeping it stuck in a materialisation loop. It's up to the Doctor to work out what that force is, lest Amy be lost forever along with his home/motor. As he investigates, the Doctor learns of a house on Aickman Road, with a staircase which people walk up but never come back down. To solve this mystery, the Doctor must pass himself off as a normal human and share a flat with Craig Owens.


The TARDIS materialises in a park in Colchester. The Doctor pops his head out and realises they have not arrived at the Fifth Moon of Sinda Callista, apologising to Amy for the mistake; he notes he can see a Ryman's near by. Before he can pull his head back in to set the proper course, a jolt pushes the Doctor outside as the door closes and the TARDIS dematerialises, with a screaming Amy still inside. The Doctor is left on his back, looking completely shocked and calling for Amy.

Later, a student named Steven enters a house to help an elderly gentleman calling to him for assistance in the top floor flat. In the flat below, Craig Owens and his friend, Sophie, discuss their usual plans for the evening - "pizza, booze, telly". Sophie points out that a rot stain on the ceiling is growing before receiving a call from her friend Melina, who is upset over a recent break-up. Sophie asks Craig if he minds her skipping out on their plans, but he has no qualms with it. She packs up her things while subtly trying to have Craig ask her to stay, but Craig points out that they're only having pizza. Unknown to Craig, Sophie glances back, sad, before she leaves.

Once Sophie has gone, Craig berates himself for being a coward; he's in love with Sophie but hasn't worked up the courage to tell her. He gets himself hyped up, determined to tell Sophie his feelings for her the next time they meet. Hearing the doorbell ring, he notices that Sophie forgot her keys to his flat. Picking them up, he rushes to the door, opening it and saying "I love you". However, it's not Sophie at the door; it's the Doctor, who replies "Oh, that's good to know, cause I'm your new lodger".


Craig meets the Doctor.

The Doctor takes Sophie's keys, thinking they are for him, but Craig takes them back and explains that he is not sure if he wants the Doctor there. Believing the problem may be about rent, the Doctor hands him a paper bag with some money in it — three thousand pounds; he tells Craig he cannot tell if the amount is too much. The Doctor introduces himself, greeting Craig with cheek kissing, thinking it's how humans greet each other these days. Stepping into the entrance hallway, the Doctor wonders who lives in the upstairs flat. Craig explains that he doesn't really know but they tend to keep to themselves and stay quiet. At that point, a loud bang comes from upstairs; "Usually," Craig then adds.

Proceeding into Craig's flat, the Doctor notices the rot stain on the ceiling and warns Craig to keep away from it, accidentally calling himself "the Rotmeister" because he's an expert in rot. Saying that he'll take the room, the Doctor is reminded by Craig that he hasn't even seen it yet. Craig shows the Doctor the room, telling him that it was previously used by Mark, the building's owner and friend of Craig's, until a month ago, when an uncle Mark had never heard of died and left a large sum of money in his will to him. The Doctor finds this "very convenient". Using the psychic paper, the Doctor presents credentials and references to convince Craig that his title is legitimate. To Craig's surprise, the Doctor has a reference from the Archbishop of Canterbury; the Doctor explains that he's his "special favourite".

Van Gogh The Lodger

The Doctor notices Sophie's picture.

To ease Craig's uncertainty, the Doctor prepares omelettes for the two of them, using a strange array of ingredients. He notices a picture of Sophie and Craig taped to the refrigerator and wonders who she is. Craig explains that they work together at a call centre. He quickly segues into a narrative about his job and how he could make their work more efficient, though his bosses won't listen to him because he is merely a phone drone. He absently wonders why he's telling the Doctor all about his life when they've only just met. The Doctor half-jokes that he has a face people never stop blurting their plans out to. When Craig wonders where the Doctor's luggage is, the Doctor assures him that it will materialise if all goes according to plan, confusing Craig even further.

Meanwhile, the TARDIS has attempted another landing at the park but fails. Inside the console room, Amy screams and grips the console as the equipment backfires and sends up sparks. She yells at the time machine, demanding to know why it won't land. The TARDIS vanishes again, stuck in a materialisation loop.

After enjoying the omelettes, Craig wonders where the Doctor learned how to cook. The Doctor says Paris in the 18th century, but realises that isn't recent and attempts to correct himself by first saying the 17th century, then the 20th century, adding that he isn't "used to doing it in the right order". Craig asks if the Doctor has ever been told he's a bit weird, to which the Doctor responds by telling him people never really stop. Craig explains he doesn't like travelling, prompting the Doctor to explain it's obvious by the state of Craig's sofa; he's starting to look like it. Amused, Craig decides that even through the Doctor is weird, he can cook, which is all he needs to know, and he gives the Doctor a set of keys. Craig then explains that if either of them needs time alone with a girlfriend or -after giving the Doctor a look over- a boyfriend, they would respect each other's privacy and stay out of the flat for the night. The Doctor, not knowing what exactly Craig means, agrees to shout "I was not expecting this!"

That night, the Doctor contacts Amy through an earpiece. He asks her what she knows about what normal human men do, finding her answers - drinking and playing football - easy to do, but boring. Amy holds the phone to the TARDIS engine, letting the Doctor know it's stuck in a materialisation loop to try landing, and he gravely explains that whatever is preventing it from landing is big — scary big. To stay incognito, he must avoid using alien tech like the sonic screwdriver, or risk alerting whoever lives on the second floor. He can only use the earpiece because anyone else hearing their conversation will think he's saying complete gibberish, due to a built-in scrambler.

Meanwhile, outside the building, a young woman is lured into the upstairs flat by a man who calls for help.

Inside Craig's flat, Craig overhears the Doctor through the wall, only hearing silly sentences formed of random words. He speaks to Sophie over the phone, who warns him to be careful of the Doctor. She suggests he might be a drug dealer because of the large sum of cash he had. Suddenly, the young woman in the upstairs flat screams, and everyone apart from the Doctor and Amy — time travellers — become stuck in a time loop, where their actions are repeated over and over again. The TARDIS shakes more violently and the Doctor orders Amy to use the zigzag plotter on the console. With everything now stabilised, the Doctor goes out and collects parts for a scanner, returning late at night with a cart full of junk.

The next day, the Doctor showers while Craig impatiently waits in the hallway for his turn. Hearing a loud bang from the floor above, Craig goes upstairs to check on the lodger. An old man answers the door, telling Craig that he needs no help, sending him back downstairs. The Doctor realises Craig went to investigate the loud bang and hurries to save him. Falling out of the shower, he scrambles to grab his sonic screwdriver.

Lodger 1

The Doctor discovers he has mistaken a toothbrush for his sonic screwdriver.

With his towel wrapped around him, the Doctor rushes to the hall, pointing the device; however, he discovers that he grabbed Craig's electric toothbrush. Putting the silly moment behind them, the Doctor wonders about the upstairs lodger. Craig explains that nothing was wrong and goes back into his flat. The Doctor heads up the stairs to check for any abnormalities but is stopped by Sophie, who has come to visit Craig.

During Sophie's visit, the Doctor picks up on Craig and Sophie's feelings for each other and wonders how there got to be so many humans if they're always like this — unable to express their feelings to each other. A phone call distracts Craig, while Sophie is left embarrassed. Before the Doctor can return to his bedroom to get dressed, Craig invites him to fill an open spot on his pub league football team, the King's Arms, which the Doctor agrees to after, initially mistaking a pub league for a drinking competition. While the Doctor dresses in a spare football outfit, he tells Amy over the earpiece that if he stayed in the flat all the time, the "man" upstairs would get suspicious of him. Amy congratulates him on doing something normal. However, the Doctor is confused as to what the sport actually is, asking if it's "the one with the sticks".

Walking to the match, the Doctor is questioned again by Craig about what his name is, but no avail. Unlike Craig, Sophie is okay with not knowing the Doctor's name. At the match, the Doctor meets Craig's fellow football teammate, Sean, who asks him where he's strongest; the Doctor responds "arms". Craig then explains that Sean means where on the football field is the Doctor best at playing. Not knowing, the Doctor decides to find out by trying. As the match starts, he makes several kicks straight into the goal, showing incredible skill and talent, growing to love the game, and earning cheers from the bystanders, who chant his name. By the end of the game, the Doctor has earned the admiration of the entire team, making Craig jealous.


Craig becomes jealous of the Doctor.

While the team celebrates their win, Sean says that with the Doctor, they'll annihilate the other teams. The Doctor mistakes this for actual killing and begins to give a speech, but then realises his mistake and offers his assistance in football whenever they need it. Just then, everyone apart from the Doctor becomes stuck in another time loop as an older woman is lured into the flat above Craig's. The TARDIS simultaneously begins to shake violently, but the zigzag plotter does not work this time. The Doctor informs Amy that unless he discovers what is causing the time loops, she and the TARDIS could be thrown off into the time vortex without any hope for return.

Later at the flat, Craig knocks on the Doctor's room, surprised to see him open it holding a traffic cone. Craig tells the Doctor that Sophie is coming over and asks the Doctor to keep out of the way for the evening. The Doctor insists that Craig will hardly know he's there, but is quickly distracted by a bang from upstairs. The Doctor slams the door in Craig's face before he can respond, returning to the scanner that he is constructing. Craig overhears the Doctor's exclamations, but leaves him to return to his plans with Sophie.

As Craig and Sophie enjoy some wine by candle-light, she notices that the rot on the ceiling has gotten much larger since the previous day. Craig ignores her concern and begins a prepared speech about his feelings for her. However, right as it seems Sophie has caught on and they are about to kiss, they surprised by the Doctor, who has appeared behind the sofa. He asks them where the "on switch" is on a regular screwdriver. Craig tries sending the Doctor away by asking if he had something to do elsewhere, but the Doctor says he has nothing planned. Sophie then invites the Doctor to join them for some wine, much to Craig's frustration.

While the Doctor continues inspecting a variety of electrical wires for the scanner, Sophie tells him of her dreams to go to Africa and work with animals. The Doctor uses reverse psychology to make Sophie admit she doesn't want to keep working in the call centre, thereby inspiring her to look at care programs to send her abroad. As Craig walks Sophie out, they talk about her dream and what could be keeping her here. Both unable to express their love, Sophie leaves. Unbeknownst to them, the "person" upstairs has overheard them and light crackles from behind the door.

Meanwhile, the Doctor returns to his room and finishes the scanner, but the readings for the second story appear normal. Over the earpiece, the Doctor orders Amy to look up the building schematics while he recruits a spy.

In the kitchen, Craig is cleaning up and decides to investigate the rot. He momentarily hesitates, but after remembering the Doctor's oddness has caused him nothing but headaches, he ignores the Doctor's previous warning and touches it. He instantly pulls his hand back in pain but then dismisses it and continues cleaning.

The next morning, the Doctor has prepared breakfast for Craig but finds him in a near-death state in his bedroom. The Doctor examines Craig's hand to find that he's been poisoned by the rot. He hits Craig's chest to make him breathe, mixes a remedy to reverse the enzyme decay, and encourages him to get some rest. Craig protests, as he has a business meeting to attend, but soon falls asleep.

Craig's Boss Michael

The Doctor is given permission to terminate a client.

Waking mid-afternoon, Craig is horrified that he's late and rushes off to work. There, he finds the Doctor has rudely terminated one of Craig's clients, with the approval of his boss. Craig asks why the Doctor is there, to which his boss explains that the Doctor went to the planning meeting as Craig's representative; thanks to him, they are now more efficient. Sophie brings the Doctor some tea and tells Craig that she is going to start working with animals as a volunteer, but Craig — blinded by anger — insists he is fine, disappointing her. Craig is told to return home by the Doctor as he looks pale. Craig storms off in response, and upon returning home, takes a spare key to the Doctor's room, unlocking it and discovering the scanner the Doctor has constructed.

The Doctor returns home at the end of the day and happens upon the cat that he sent upstairs. He learns from the cat that there are many people up there who have never come back down. Craig, who is playing darts, overhears the Doctor and looks out the peephole to see him speaking to the cat. This being the final straw with all his oddness, Craig opens the door and asks the Doctor to leave, babbling about how the Doctor's popularity has overshadowed him and driven Sophie away, even showing he knows about the odd device, which the Doctor tries to pass off as art. The Doctor tells Craig that he cannot see himself living anywhere else except this flat, just like him, calling a better town a dump to reinforce his statement. However, Craig remains insistent that the Doctor should leave. Seeing that diplomacy cannot work, the Doctor grabs Craig by the collar and headbutts him. Craig sees memories of the Doctor's past via telepathic contact. Craig is shocked to learn that the Doctor is a time-travelling alien, to which the Doctor calls himself the "eleventh". He then adds specifics with another headbutt, informing Craig about the current situation. Craig then babbles about the Doctor using the non-technological technology of Lammasteen to build his scanner to keep it hidden. Writhing in pain, the Doctor covers Craig's mouth, yelling for him to shut up. Once his headache passes, he shows Craig a note that was left to him by Amy, though he admits that "his" Amy hasn't written it... yet.

Meanwhile, Sophie has come to the flat to speak to Craig, but is drawn upstairs by a little girl asking for help.

In his room, the Doctor calls Amy to ask if she has found the schematics to the flat; Craig can understand the Doctor's conversation now that he has some of the Doctor's knowledge. The Doctor goes on the explain the time loop is caused by people getting burned up in the upstairs flat, which is causing the rot in Craig's ceiling. However, a new time loop then starts; Craig momentarily is stuck repeating his shock about the Doctor's comment, but snaps out of the time loop thanks to his knowledge about it. They rush out of the flat, finding Sophie's keys in the lock to the flat and realising she was lured upstairs. About to enter, they are contacted by Amy, who explains the building schematics don't have an upstairs.

Opening the door, Craig and the Doctor discover that the flat is actually a spaceship. Sophie comes out of the shadows, screaming as an invisible force pulls her towards the control console. The Doctor manages to deactivate it. A hologram materialises inside the room, explaining that it is functioning as an auto-pilot. Posing as a rescue worker, the Doctor learns that the spaceship has crashed and that the crew are dead, so the hologram is now testing humans in search of a suitable replacement. Realising that the Doctor is an alien, the hologram begins pulling him to the console, thinking he is the correct pilot. Amy suggests that perhaps the Doctor could fly the ship safely, but the Doctor explains that he is too much for the ship and if he were to touch the console, the resulting explosion would destroy the entire solar system.


The spaceship revealed on the roof of Craig's flat.

The Doctor remembers Craig's previous encounter with the "lodger", and deduces that Craig was told he wasn't needed because Craig possesses no desire to leave; Sophie, on the other hand, was pinpointed by the hologram as suitable as soon as she expressed some desire to travel to Africa. The Doctor encourages Craig to touch the console and focus on the reason he doesn't want to leave — Sophie. Craig confesses his love to Sophie and begs her to stay. She calls him an idiot and tells him that she loves him, too, before slamming her hand on top of his. The pair kiss, cementing their desire to stay with each other. This shuts the ship down but also causes it to implode. The trio narrowly escapes into the street, where they see the spaceship appear in place of the false second floor before vanishing into oblivion. Craig is confused as to why the passers-by did not notice the top of the flat vanish. The Doctor explains a perception filter tricked their memories.

Later, Craig and Sophie snog happily, deciding that they could do anything together with their lives. They proceed to continue snogging as the Doctor sneaks in to return his spare keys to the flat. However, when the Doctor turns to leave, he is stopped by Craig. The Doctor promises the couple that he will come back, but Craig dismisses this, knowing it's not true because he's seen the Doctor's thoughts. Nevertheless, Craig still gives the Doctor a set of keys to the flat as a gift. Glad to have met a human friend who understands him, the Doctor accepts the keys.

Crack Behind Craig's Fridge

A crack begins to open in Craig's flat.

Reunited with Amy back in the TARDIS, the Doctor orders her to write the note to his past self, which will eventually direct him to the flat. While searching the Doctor's jacket pocket for a pen, she discovers the jewellery box containing her engagement ring. Stunned, she opens the case and examines it.

In Craig's flat, a crack appears in the wall. It widens and light spills out.

In the TARDIS, Amy stares ahead with a very confused and scared look on her face.


Uncredited cast[]


General production staff

Script department

Camera and lighting department

Art department

Costume department

Make-up and prosthetics


General post-production staff

Special and visual effects


Not every person who worked on this adventure was credited. The absence of a credit for a position doesn't necessarily mean the job wasn't required. The information above is based solely on observations of the actual end credits of the episodes as broadcast, and does not relay information from IMDB or other sources.




  • The Doctor gets information from a cat.
  • Sophie once saw an orangutan sanctuary on TV.



Foods and beverages[]

  • The Doctor makes himself and Craig an omelette with cheese, ham, mayonnaise, Solesta and other ingredients.
  • The Doctor does not appear to enjoy wine, as after drinking some, he spits it back into the glass.
  • The Doctor uses tea and other ingredients, some even pulled out of the trash, to cure Craig after he is poisoned by the rot on his wall.
  • Craig has a leaflet for Jubilee Pizza in his flat.


  • Craig was offered a job in London, which he turned down.


  • After gaining the Doctor's knowledge, Craig realises that his scanning device is based on the "non-technological" technology of the Lammasteen.
  • According to the Doctor, the ship is an attempt by someone to build a TARDIS. However, it is too weak to link with a Time Lord but too strong for a human.


Story notes[]

  • This episode was mistakenly entitled Reality Check.
  • The working titles for the episode were Mrs. Meglos, Something at the Top of the Stairs and Don't Go Up The Stairs. (REF: The Brilliant Book 2011)
  • The "Next Time" trailer for the episode only features clips from the pre-titles sequence.
  • Gareth Roberts originally wanted Meglos to be the main villain, as the plot involved someone manipulating time. Steven Moffat was amused by the idea of bringing back an obscure villain (the Doctor would even admit to having forgotten their previous encounter) and because the alien would be disguised as a little old lady, the episode became facetiously known as Mrs Meglos. This was abandoned for two reasons - The End of Time introduced the cactus-like Vinvocci and Amy's Choice also featured extraterrestrials masquerading as senior citizens. When it was realised that more money was available for the episode than had been anticipated, Moffat suggested that Meglos should be replaced with the grander notion of a malfunctioning time machine and its metamorphosing Avatar.
  • This is an Amy-lite episode, similar to the Donna-lite episode TV: Midnight and in the vein of the Doctor and Rose-lite episode TV: Love & Monsters and the Martha (and Doctor)-lite episode TV: Blink. However, Amy features throughout this story, while 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 face.
  • The Doctor wears a football kit, playing for Craig's pub team, the King's Arms. He wears a jersey with 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 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 omelettes.
  • When the Doctor introduces himself to the time ship's Avatar, he claims to be "Captain Troy Handsome of International Rescue," which is a reference to both Captain Troy Tempest from Stingray and International Rescue from Thunderbirds, both series created by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson.
  • The Doctor says "Please state the nature of your emergency", which was the catchphrase of The Doctor on Star Trek: Voyager.
  • The flat's address on Aickman Road was an homage to Robert Aickman, the author of numerous supernatural “strange stories” found in collections such as Cold Hand in Mine.
  • 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, caused him to focus on acting instead. However, 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.[4]
  • The 2010 FIFA World Cup England vs USA match kicked off just as the episode finished, on a rival channel (ITV), the timing noted by Gareth Roberts as a "happy accident".[4]
  • The Doctor wears only a blue bath towel for one scene. Matt Smith appears similarly in 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. [5]
  • In interviews given in April 2011, Neil Gaiman revealed that The Doctor's Wife was originally intended to be the eleventh episode of this season. When this proved to be not possible (for technical and budgetary reasons) the Neil Gaiman story was pushed back to Series 6 Episode 4, and this was commissioned instead.
  • The Doctor's bow tie is blue for this episode, despite the 2010 setting. The Doctor wears a red tie in episodes of Series 5 grounded in the present and future (TV: The Eleventh Hour, The Beast Below, The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone, The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood, The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang), but he wears a blue tie in those set in the past (Victory of the Daleks, The Vampires of Venice, Vincent and the Doctor). The only other exception in Series 5 is the episode Amy's Choice, where the Doctor wears a blue tie in the Upper Leadworth dream but a red tie in both the cold TARDIS dream and the epilogue concluding the two dream narratives. This may be due to the fact that the Doctor had originally planned to go to the Fifth Moon of Sinda Callista.
  • On Craig's fridge, an advert can be seen for a Van Gogh exhibit, but not the one visited by Amy and the Doctor in the previous episode, since that one was in Paris.
  • When Gareth Roberts began writing for the episode, he knew the series' overarching plot but was not aware who was to be cast as the Eleventh Doctor. He based the Doctor's lines on those written in Steven Moffat's completed scripts and further characterization was added by Matt Smith's reading of the lines.
  • There was originally a fourth victim of the Avatar, a middle-aged man named Martin who would leave behind a holiday magazine which would later serve as an additional clue that the Avatar is targetting people who want to get away.
  • The script originally lifted scenes from the original comic strip, such as the Doctor beating Craig in a first-person-shooter videogame by making peace with their intended targets, and the Doctor annoying the participants in a pub quiz by getting every answer right (the latter sequence was dropped to reduce the number of locations). Having been conceived to take Mickey's place, Craig initially retained a lot of the mistrust of the Doctor which had been part of Mickey's character when the comic was published. This trait was dropped when Gareth Roberts realised that it no longer had a justification.
  • Gareth Roberts originally pitched the idea for Series 2. Rose and Jackie Tyler would be the ones trapped in the future with the TARDIS, and stuck in the present day, the Doctor would be forced to live with Mickey Smith until his scheme to plant instructions for Rose in old nursery rhymes helped her pilot the TARDIS back to him. Roberts ultimately decided to use the flat-sharing core of this narrative for a comic strip. Steven Moffat subsequently suggested to Russell T Davies that it might be worthy of developing for television, but by this stage, the Tylers were being written out of the show.
  • Another character present in early drafts was a woman who regularly appeared outside Craig's house, commenting on the action.
  • At one stage, the climax saw Craig rescue Sophie while the Doctor shut down the rogue time machine; it was Steven Moffat who suggested combining these two elements.
  • The Doctor was originally going to indicate that the time ship had crashed into Craig's building, killing its crew.
  • This episode formed Block Seven of season five alongside Amy's Choice.
  • The design of the rogue time machine drew upon ideas which concept artist Matthew Savage had developed the previous spring. They were originally intended for the new TARDIS console room, which was introduced in The Eleventh Hour.
  • An unused scene saw the Doctor get on a bus with an obnoxious man playing loud music and subsequently humiliate him by changing the song to “Save All Your Kisses for Me” by Brotherhood of Man, humiliating the man into running off in tears.
  • The reason the ship kept killing every human is that it needed bio-electricity; which Silents could supplement with their ability to siphon it from their environments.

Comparison with comic version[]

The Lodger is also a comic strip story by Gareth Roberts, who also wrote this episode. Roberts has confirmed this story is an adaptation 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 TV story involves "something at the top of the stairs".[4] However, a number of the beats in the eight-page comic do make their way into the televised story.

  • In both stories, the Doctor's TARDIS jumps a time track and the Doctor is forced to wait several days for it to arrive, precipitating his need for lodging. In the comic's case, it's because the Tenth Doctor has been careless. In the television story, the TARDIS-like thing on the top of the Aickman Road house is actively preventing its landing. In both cases, the companion is sidelined from the narrative because she is trapped inside the travelling TARDIS.
  • Though they take up about the same percentage of the story, Amy and Rose have totally different parts to play. Rose shows up only at the very end of the story and is oblivious to the fact that there's been a problem with the TARDIS at all. Amy is seen in brief interludes throughout the television story and her life is actively imperilled by the out-of-control TARDIS.
  • Like Craig, Mickey is uncertain about what to do about his romantic life. Mickey's main motivation throughout the story is to try to get some sort of functional relationship with a woman — though he seems far more capable at getting a date with Gina than Craig was with Sophie.
  • Like the Eleventh Doctor, the Tenth Doctor tries to prove his normalcy by cooking an omelette for his new roommate.
  • The Doctor's sonic screwdriver goes into the toothbrush holder in both bathrooms. Mickey picks it up and accidentally sonics out his teeth, while the Eleventh Doctor accidentally picks up Craig's toothbrush and tries to sonic the door atop the stairs with it.
  • While the Eleventh Doctor is busy building a weird device in the privacy of his bedroom, the Tenth Doctor spends his days trying to improve the tech in Mickey's flat. He makes it so that Mickey is receiving TV programmes from the future and otherwise maximises Mickey's kit.
  • Both Doctors play some local football; both totally dominate the competition; both leave their roommates feeling glum about their own skills.
  • The two Doctors have different attitudes towards their respective football matches. Craig asks a bewildered Eleventh Doctor to play, whereas the Tenth Doctor actively volunteers for Mickey's squad. Indeed, the Tenth Doctor is far more confident in his knowledge of the game and his abilities. This obviously fits into DWM continuity, as the Eighth Doctor was shown to be a football enthusiast in another Gareth Roberts story, Doctor Who and the Nightmare Game. It also jibes with Aliens of London, where the Ninth Doctor tells Mickey that the TARDIS can pick up football matches on its scanner. In contrast, the Eleventh Doctor suggests to Amy and Craig that he has no idea what football is.
  • Like Craig, Mickey tries to convince the Doctor not to introduce himself to the football team as "the Doctor". Like the Eleventh Doctor, the Tenth Doctor does so anyway and the players have no problem with the name.
  • Mickey's football side is considerably more relaxed than Craig's. Whereas the Eleventh Doctor is given a proper uniform with a big number "11" on it, the Tenth Doctor, like the rest of the team, is dressed in nothing special.
  • The Tenth Doctor is far more socially adept than the Eleventh. He spends time at a pub after the match, where he helps his team beat a trivia machine. In one frame, he's also seen smiling and having a pint. This contrasts with the Eleventh Doctor's awkwardness — which later episodes suggest may have been an act — and his apparent disdain for wine.
  • Whereas the Eleventh Doctor tries to encourage Craig and Sophie to get together, he actively breaks up Mickey and Gina, saying that Mickey "would never have gone through with it". Otherwise, the scene of Mickey's date with Gina is very similar to that of Craig's with Sophie. In both, the roommate is surprised to find the Doctor home and sternly tells the Doctor to stay in his room. Then the Doctor comes into the living room just looking for "some wire". He's invited to stay by both dates, who offer him a drink. He enchants both dates, urging them to do something extraordinary with their lives. Both Gina and Sophie seem prepared to apply for careers that will take them far away from Mickey and Craig.
  • Both stories are resolved by an affirmation of love. The televised story has Craig declaring his love for Sophie as the reason he doesn't want to leave — thus ending the threat of what we later come to know as the Silents' TARDIS. The comic story ends with the Doctor playing Cupid between Rose and Mickey. Realising that he's cramped Mickey's style of late, he invents a problem on the finally-arrived TARDIS so Mickey and Rose can have some alone time together.


  • Official viewing overnight figures was 5.98 million viewers.
  • Official UK final viewing rates were 6.44 million viewers.[6]


  • Either the Timoreen, the Ha'rik, or the Skarkish will appear – primarily because these were all listed as "new aliens" to appear in Series 5. None of them appeared
  • This episode will be the one that features the Blue Peter Competition TARDIS console. The design itself did not appear, but another ship console design did.
  • As this episode is before the finale, it most likely will have a foreshadowing (like in TV: Fear Her and TV: The Waters of Mars) or link right into the finale (like TV: Utopia and TV: Turn Left). This was proved true.
  • It is likely that this episode will lead directly into the next as Claudio played by Marcus O'Donovan is listed to appear in both this episode and the following one, TV: The Pandorica Opens. The episode did not directly lead to the next, but it did have something very related to the next episode. (However, Claudio did not appear in this episode).
  • Amy will remember, or begin to remember, Rory by the end of the episode. Although she never remembered him enough to say it, she did find her wedding ring in the Doctor's coat.

Filming locations[]

  • 79 Westville Road, Cardiff (Craig Owens' house)
  • Mill Gardens, Westville Road, Cardiff (where the TARDIS tries - and fails - to materialise)
  • Victoria Park, Canton, Cardiff (where the Doctor plays football)

Production errors[]

If you'd like to talk about narrative problems with this story — like plot holes and things that seem to contradict other stories — please go to this episode's discontinuity discussion.
  • A cameraman's reflection can be seen in the painting hanging on the hallway wall when it is shown during a conversation later in the episode.
  • When Sophie looks up the stairs towards the girl, the door behind her seems to open itself. The shot then changes to show Sophie looking up at the camera as if it was upstairs. When the shot changes back to behind Sophie, the door appears to open again.
  • When the electric currents go on the Doctor's chest they move to his hand and in the next shot, it's going from his chest to his hand again.


Home video releases[]


Series 5 Volume 4 DVD Cover

DVD & Blu-ray releases[]

  • Series 5, Volume Four was released on DVD and Blu-Ray in region 2/B on 6 September 2010 and region 4/B on 7 October 2010. The volume features Vincent and the Doctor, The Lodger, The Pandorica Opens and The Big Bang, and the featurette The Monster Diaries.
  • The episode was later released in the Complete Fifth Series boxset on both DVD and Blu-ray, in region 1/A on 9 November 2010, in region 2/B on 8 November 2010 and in region 4/B on 2 December 2010. This set was itself included in the Series 1-7 box set released in 2013 and as part of The Complete Matt Smith Years in November 2014.
  • A DVD-only release of Series 5, Part Two, containing the latter seven episodes of the series, was released in region 1 on 26 July 2016.

Digital releases[]

  • In the United Kingdom, this story is available on BBC iPlayer. It was previously available on Netflix.
  • In the US, this episode along with the rest of modern Doctor Who can be streamed on Amazon Prime.

See also[]

  • The Lodger, a comic strip that this episode is based on.

External links[]