8 Fan-Service TV Episodes Everyone Hated

6. Doctor Who - Closing Time

True Blood Jason Eric
BBC Studios

Sometimes it seems that anything post-Tennant has been subject to increased scrutiny, but even hardcore fans that manage to make excuses for every bad episode have to admit at some point that there’s been some absolute stinkers in the years since.

Now I’m not talking about the clearly bad episodes with equally awful villains (I never want to hear the word Pting again- ever), I’m kicking up a fuss about the tendency to bring back fan-favourite villains and tropes just to end up completely soiling them.

With the semi-constant returning presence of either the Daleks or the Cybermen in some form, there’s a list a mile long of episodes that people hated featuring famous villains of past eras. However for the sake of ease we’ll focus on one episode: Closing Time.

It’s taken as gospel that fans love to see well-known characters and actors, especially if their return is sold as something unique and special. Well it turns out that you can’t just shove a well-known comic actor (James Corden), a classic villain (the good old Cybermen) and Matt Smith (undeniably a national treasure) into a bit of TV and expect it to work regardless of all other factors.

Many fans and casual viewers alike felt that the episode made a joke of the Cybermen: throwing out their previous fearsome conversion process and attitude in favour of an easy ending. Common complaints were that they weren’t scary, they weren’t featured enough in an episode supposedly about them and that there was a severe case of Deus Ex Machina when Cordon’s character escapes conversion by the power of love.

Overall, whilst some parts of the episode did appeal to some, there was a lot more anger about how things played out than anyone anticipated.

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