Closing Time

STORYLINE

A London department store's lights flicker off and on as a sales clerk is getting ready to close shop. Someone still seems to be trying on clothes in the changing rooms, however, and she politely encourages them to finish up so she can close. Unfortunately for her, she is instead pulled into the changing room by a Cyberman.

Craig Owens is seeing Sophie off, who is leaving for a bit of R & R. He assures her that he can cope by himself, and she doesn't need to call any family members to help him while she is gone. It seems the pair are new parents, and this will be the first time he is with the baby alone.

He finally convinces her to leave, only to have an immediate knocking at the door. To his surprise, the Doctor has shown up to pay him a visit. Although the Doctor is just saying some goodbyes before his fateful death at Lake Silencio, Craig believes that Sophie has enlisted the Time Lord to help him care for the baby.

Craig admits that he really could use some help, he doesn't know how to stop little Alfie, or as he prefers to be called, Stormageddon, the Dark Lord of All, from crying. The Doctor, however, has just popped in for a quick visit and really doesn't have time to stay. He really is not interested in the strange flickering lights or in the odd readings he gets from his sonic scans. He really has to be going.

The next thing we know, he is in the department store. He has apparently gotten himself a job there, complete with name tag and everything. Craig and Alfie run into the Doctor again at the store, and now Craig knows for sure that something is up. It seems several people have mysteriously disappeared.

Craig doesn't want to leave, as the Doctor escorts him to the elevators. Unfortunately, instead of dropping to the floor below, the Doctor and Craig are teleported to the Cyberman lair. Before the Cybermen can grab them, however, the Doctor reverses the teleport and takes them back to the store.

After shutting down the teleport, the Doctor must find some answers. Why are the Cybermen in a department store? How can he track them back to their ship? A salesclerk informs him of an odd little silver rat thingy that she has seen skittering around. Turns out it is a Cybermat, and the Doctor manages to track it down and capture it. Too bad for George, however, because the Doctor is busy with the Cybermat when a cyberman abducts the poor security guard.

Craig and the Doctor decide to take the Cybermat and return to Craig's place. They soon realize that the Cybermat has been playing possum and waiting for its chance to surprise them. They manage to fight the little creature off again, but Craig is exhausted and falls asleep on the couch.

The Doctor decides to leave Craig sleeping and returns to the department store to face the Cybermen. After finding their secret passageway in the changing room area, the Doctor follows it back to the cyber lair. Apparently, their ship barely survived a crash landing, and the Cybermen have been scraping by trying to scrounge enough material to rebuild themselves and their ship. Before the Doctor can react, he is caught between two Cybermen.

Meanwhile, Craig has woken and found the Doctor gone. He rushes to the store, leaves Alfie with a salesclerk, and follows the Doctor through the changing room passageway. Unfortunately for him, his bar code scanner gun has no affect on the Cybermen, and they grab him to toss him in the conversion machine.

As the Doctor watches helplessly, Craig is slowly being converted into a cyber creature. The Cybermen believe that he will become their new Cyberleader. All looks lost until Alfie, sensing his father is in danger, begins crying. The sound of his crying carries over the Cyberman intercom to where Craig can hear it. Craig's fatherly instincts kick in and he begins to fight back against the conversion process, using his love for his son as motivation. This emotional response causes feedback through the Cybermen that they can't handle. As the Doctor and Craig shake themselves loose, and teleport out of the lair, a massive explosion destroys the ship and the Cybermen within.

The Doctor restores Craig's life back to normal before returning to the TARDIS and his date with destiny at Lake Silencio.

Meanwhile, Madame Kovarian has tracked down River Song and forces her back into an astronaut suit. It is time for her to kill the Doctor. She soon finds herself beneath the waters waiting for her fateful moment.

REVIEW

What have Craig and Sophie been up to since we last saw them in The Lodger? Well, in Closing Time we get to find out. Throw in a few Cybermen, a baby, and the Doctor in a department store and we get a nice change of pace episode before the series finale.

Read Review...