The Lodger was a one-part comic story in the pages of DWM 368. It featured the Tenth Doctor and Mickey Smith and served as the basis for writer Gareth Roberts' later Eleventh Doctor television story of the same name.
It was further notable for giving readers a glimpse into Mickey's post-Christmas Invasion life. This was useful for contemporaneous readers. Since DWM 368 came out at the start of the broadcast of series 2, rumours abounded about Mickey actually joining the TARDIS crew. This story served as a reminder of Mickey's past with the Doctor and Rose and foreshadowed some of the tensions between the Doctor and Mickey that played out over the course of the second series.
The Doctor lands the TARDIS in present-day London, but before Rose Tyler can emerge, the TARDIS dematerialises because the Doctor forgot to lock the time settings. The TARDIS jumps a time track and moves ahead several days. Left stranded in London while he waits for Rose to catch up — only a few seconds will have passed for her — the Doctor needs somewhere to stay. After an aborted attempt at visiting Jackie Tyler (who is occupied with one of her suitors), the Doctor decides to crash at Mickey Smith's flat, where he proceeds to be a less-than-welcome houseguest. Meanwhile, a Bandrigan fleet approaches Earth with plans to destroy it.
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- Gina expresses a desire to follow in the footsteps of singer KT Tunstall.
- The Doctor drinks a Pepsi at Mickey's flat.
- Mickey is shown sticking the sonic screwdriver into his mouth. Sticking a sonic screwdriver into one's mouth results in tooth extraction, but the screwdriver is capable of putting them back in.
- The Bandrigan threat is only minor, and only their vessels are seen (on Mickey's television) before the Doctor masks the Earth from their sensors, tricking them into leaving.
- The Doctor is a skilled football player.
- The Doctor is savvy enough with video games to find a way to win a shoot-em-up without resorting to digital violence. He also adjusts Mickey's TV so that it picks up TV programmes from a decade in the future, as well as images of an alien fleet in space.
- Mickey attempts to get the Doctor to use the alias John "from Southampton". This is the second DWM story in a row in which a single-name alias is suggested for the Doctor (although he rejects this one). Coincidentally, the Doctor's most common alias is John Smith.
- This story takes place immediately after an unchronicled encounter with "some angry Lombards".
- The story takes place over the course of four days, for the Doctor and Mickey; for Rose, only a few seconds pass.
- This story appears to take place not long after TV: The Christmas Invasion and well before TV: School Reunion. Mickey makes reference to the Doctor's recent regeneration and is still seething with the jealousy he displayed in his early appearances (but has dropped by the time of School Reunion, when he becomes an official companion). Despite the conflict between them, Mickey ends the story reunited with Rose (if temporarily) and impressed by the Doctor.
- Mickey mentions the events of TV: Rose, in particular his abduction by the Nestene Consciousness.
- The TARDIS appears to land in the exact same location as in TV: Aliens of London.
- The Doctor offers to take Rose to Oxyveguramosa. (PROSE: The Ultimate Foe)
- The Doctor once again plays video games with Mickey, and shows off his remarkable skills with them. (PROSE: Winner Takes All)
Comparison with televised version
The televised version of The Lodger obviously features a different roommate, Craig Owens; a different girlfriend, Sophie; and a markedly different threat. Yet a number of the beats in the eight-page comic make their way into the televised story.
- In both stories, the 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 — which is to say not much — 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 roomie.
- 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 footie 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 is, like the rest of the team, 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.