When the TARDIS lands in Colchester, it dematerializes into the Time Vortex without the Doctor (Matt Smith), but with companion Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) trapped inside. The Doctor tracks the time disturbance to an upstairs flat in a two-story house. He takes a room for rent there offered by Craig Owens (James Corden). He notices localised time-loops that coincide with noises from upstairs.
The Doctor tries to adapt to human life. He gets to know Craig, an unambitious office worker stuck in a platonic relationship with his co-worker Sophie (Daisy Haggard). The Doctor encourages her to follow her dream of travelling overseas to help animals. Craig, upset about this, orders the Doctor to leave, so the Doctor reveals his history and why he is there.
Sophie arrives, unnoticed, during the argument and is lured upstairs. They follow her, though the building never had an upstairs flat. Inside is an alien spaceship with a primitive time engine, which crashed to Earth some time ago. The ship has been drawing in people to find a replacement pilot, but humans are incompatible, and they all died. The Doctor convinces Craig to touch the controls because his love for Sophie prevents him from desiring to leave. When he does, it triggers Craig’s and Sophie’s love and breaks the ship’s hold. They all escape as it implodes. Back aboard the TARDIS, the Doctor asks Amy to write a note, and looking for a pen she finds her engagement ring from Rory, who had vanished from memory in the crack of space-time.
The story was based on a comic book written by scriptwriter Gareth Roberts. It received fairly good reviews, particularly James Corden. It was considered an amusing, but somewhat lightweight story. In-jokes refer to the Stingray and Thunderbirds series and the holographic Doctor in Star Trek: Voyager. Matt Smith, who had been a footballer until an injury forced him to try acting, made use of his skills in a scene on a football pitch. He and James Corden were close friends. Craig and the spaceship were both stuck in a rut. The relationship between Craig and Sophie is rather sweet, and perhaps the best thing about the story