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Christopher Eccleston
The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances
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Synopsis


The Empty Child
The Empty Child
 London, 1941, at the height of the Blitz. The army guards a mysterious cylinder and homeless children, living on bombsites, are terrorised by an unearthly child.

 Rose meets the dashing Jack Harkness and wonders if she has found a hero even better than The Doctor?

 The Child’s plague spreads throughout Wartime London with its zombie army on the march. The Doctor and Rose form an alliance with Captain Jack, but find themselves trapped in an abandoned hospital. The answer lies at the bombsite, but time is running out…

Source: BBC DVD


General Information

Season: Twenty Seven (New Series 1)
Production Code: 1-9/10
Story Number: 164 (New Series: 8)
Episode Numbers:705 - 706 (New Series: 9 - 10)
Number of Episodes: 2
Percentage of Episodes Held:100%
Working Titles:"World War II" and "Captain Jax"
Production Dates: December 2004 - February 2005
Broadcast Started: 21 May 2005
Broadcast Finished: 28 May 2005
Colour Status: Colour
Studio: BBC Wales (Unit Q2, Newport)
Location: Cardiff Royal Infirmary, Womanby Street (Cardiff), Headlands School (Penarth), RAF St Athan, Vale of Glamorgan Railway (Vale of Glamorgan) and Newport.
Writer:Steven Moffat
Director:James Hawes
Producer:Phil Collinson
Executive Producers:Julie Gardner, Mal Young and Russell T Davies
Associate Producer:Helen Vallis
Script Editor:Helen Raynor
Editor:Liana Del Giudice
Production Manager:Tracie Simpson
Production Designer:Edward Thomas
Director of Photography:Ernie Vincze BSC
Casting Director:Andy Pryor CDG
Costume Designer:Lucinda Wright
Make-Up Designer:Davy Jones
Cameraman:Martin Stephens (Operator)
Incidental Music:Murray Gold
Special Sounds (SFX Editor):Paul Jefferies
Sound Recordist:Ian Richardson
Visual Effects:The Mill
Special Effects:Any Effects
Prosthetics:Millennium Effects
Stunt Co-ordinator:Lee Sheward
Stunt Performer:Kim McGarrity
Title Music:Ron Grainer and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Arranged by Murray Gold
Number of Doctors: 1
The Doctor: Christopher Eccleston (The Ninth Doctor)
Number of Companions: 2The Companions: Billie Piper (Rose Tyler) and John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness) (Joins) Guest Cast: Richard Wilson (Dr Constantine) Additional Cast: Kate Harvey (Nightclub Singer), Albert Valentine (The Child), Florence Hoath (Nancy), Cheryl Ferguson (Mrs Lloyd), Damian Samuels (Mr Lloyd), Robert Hands (Algy), Joseph Tremain (Jim), Jordan Murphy (Ernie), Brandon Miller (Alf), Noal Johnson (Voice of The Empty Child), Dian Ferry (Computer Voice), Luke Perry (Timothy Lloyd), Martin Hodgson (Jenkins) and Vilma Hollingberry (Mrs. Harcourt)Setting: London (1941) Villain:Empty Child

The Episodes

No. Episodes Broadcast
(UK)
Duration Viewers
(Millions)
In Archive
705The Empty Child21 May 200542'39"7.1Yes
706The Doctor Dances28 May 200542'04"6.9Yes

Total Duration 1 Hour 25 Minutes


Audience Appreciation

Average Viewers (Millions) 7.0
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2005)91.08%  (Position = 1 out of 10)
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2009)89.86% Lower (Position = 5 out of 200)
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2014)89.48% Lower (Position = 7 out of 241)


Archives


 Both episodes exist and are held in the BBC's Film and Videotape Library.



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Notes


This story marks the first appearance of former Time Agent and conman Captain Jack Harkness as played by John Barrowman. The character's real name is never reavelled - 'Jack Harkness' is an alias he adopted from a doomed World War II pilot. Captain Jack Harkness has featured in eight subsequent Doctor Who stories, and has starred as the leading role in the spin-off series Torchwood. In the 1977 Tom Baker story "The Talons of Weng-Chiang" war criminal Magnus Greel referred to being pursued by Time Agents. Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood introduced to another Time Agent, Captain John Hart.

Albion Hospital also features in the story "Aliens of London/World War Three". Scenes at the hospital were filmed at the Cardiff Royal Infirmary.

The Doctor jokingly repeats this classic catchphrase from this story in the Season Thirty (New Series 4) story "The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky", when he puts on a gas mask

There are conflicting stories regarding the sound of Dr Constantine's skull cracking when he morphs into a Gas Mask Zombie. It's claimed that the sound was removed before broadcast for being too horrific (if it was added at all). It was added especially for the version on the DVD box set.

The German bomb that Captain Jack Harkness rides has the words ‘Schlechter Wolf’ written on it. This broadly translates as ‘Bad Wolf’.

Interestingly in keeping with other Steven Moffat's other stories, nobody completely dies in this story. Moffat's characters usually get resurrected or go on to 'live' in virtual worlds.

Two Glenn Miller tracks, "In the Mood" and "Moonlight Serenade", feature in this story.

The Nanogenes in the story were originally called ‘Nanites’, until it was felt that this sounded to similar to technology referred to in shows such as Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Before the title sequence in episode two there is a brief recap of the main events that took place in the first episode.

Before the end credits at the end of episode one there is a trailer for the second episode of this story. The previous two parter ("Aliens of London/World War Three") had the trailer for the second episode before the end credits. The ending of episode two includes a trailer for the next story "Boom Town".

Following on immediately after both episodes, on BBC3, were the ninth and tenth chapters of Doctor Who Confidential "Special Effects" looked into the sound of the aliens and alien worlds. While "Weird Science" looked into the making of the aliens in the revived show.

This story won the 2006 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form. And the scene where the Child encounters The Doctor, Rose Tyler, and Captain Jack Harkness in the hospital was voted television's ‘Golden Moment of 2005’ by viewers of the BBC's 2005 TV Moments show.

This story was also voted, by readers of the Doctor Who Magazine as the best television story broadcast in 2005.



First and Last

The Firsts:

 The introduction of semi-regular companion Captain Jack Harkness played by John Barrowman.

 The first Doctor Who story to be written by Steven Moffat.

 The first Doctor Who story to be directed by James Hawes.


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The Plot

WARNING: May Contain SpoilersHide Text
Above St Paul's
Above St Paul's

London during the Blitz is not a safe place to be. But something has fallen to Earth, something more dangerous than a bomb and The Doctor and Rose Tyler arrive hot on its heels.

There’s something chasing the children across the bombsites - it looks like a boy, but it isn’t. It should have died, but it didn’t. Why aren’t the fatally wounded dying?

But The Doctor and Rose are not the only time travellers in London as Rose soon finds out when, at the height of the Blitz, she finds herself hanging on for her life on the rope of a barrage balloon right in the middle of air raid. Luckily for her she is spotted by the dashing Captain Jack Harkness who just happens to have an invisible spaceship tethered to Big Ben…

The Children
The Children

But what’s he doing in 1941? And, more importantly, who’ll have the last dance...?

With a zombie army on the march as a plague spreads through wartime London it is up to The Doctor to find out what is happening. What is the connection between Nancy and her “brother” who should have died in an air raid? Why is she and the ex-evacuee children so scared of touching him. Why is he so desperate to find his “Mummy” and what is the connection between him and all the patients at a nearby hospital.

Zombie Attack
Zombie Attack

There The Doctor meets Doctor Constantine, who is able to reveal details of the strange plague before he to succumbs to its effects. Trapped within a house Nancy comes face-to-face with her “brother” and at the same time The Doctor, Rose and Captain Jack Harkness are being menaced by gas-mask-wearing zombies.

It’s a race against time to escape from the hospital, learn the secrets of what really crashed at the bomb site and to find the little boy’s Mummy – and all before the zombies gain access to the bomb site which, if The Doctor’s history is correct, is to be the target of another German bomb. Luckily he has Captain Jack Harkness to help him especially as it was Jack who brought the plague ridden capsule to war stricken London in the first place.

 
Captain Jack Harkness
Captain Jack Harkness
Jack and Rose Dance
Jack and Rose Dance
Doctor Constantine
Doctor Constantine
Nancy
Nancy
 
The Empty Child
The Empty Child
Rose Tyler
Rose Tyler
Captain Jack Harkness
Captain Jack Harkness
The Doctor and Rose
The Doctor and Rose




Quote of the Story


 'Harmless? Your species, as we know it, is gonna be extinct any second now and you tell me harmless? Is this some new kinda harmless, hasn’t got to me yet? Did I miss a memo? Harmless?'

The Doctor



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Release Information

FormatTitleRelease Date (UK)Code NumberCover ArtRemarks
Video
DVD
The Long Game - Father's Day - The Empty Child - The Doctor DancesAugust 2005BBCDVD 1757Photo-montage
Video
DVD
The Complete First SeriesNovember 2005BBCDVD 1770Photo-montageTARDIS Boxed Set containing all 10 stories
Video
DVD
Series 1 - 4 Box SetOctober 2009BBCDVD 3058Boxed set containing all 43 stories on 23 Discs
Video
Blu-Ray
The Complete Series 1-7 Box Set (Limited Edition)December 2013BBCBD 0242Photo-montageLimited Edition Blu-Ray boxed set containing all Series 1-7 stories at full 1080p high definition
Video
DVD
The Complete First Series (2014 Re-release)August 2014BBCDVD 3965Photo-montageBoxed set containing all 10 stories
Video
Blu-Ray
The Complete First Series Box SetAugust 2015BBCBD 0261Photo-montageBlu-Ray boxed set containing 10 stories
Video
DVD
The Complete First Series Box Set (Limited Edition Steelbook)March 2017Photo-montageLimited Edition DVD Steelbook boxed set containing 10 stories (Amazon Exclusive)
Video
Blu-Ray
The Complete First Series Box Set (Limited Edition Steelbook)March 2017Photo-montageLimited Edition Blu-Ray Steelbook boxed set containing 10 stories (Amazon Exclusive)


In Print

No Book Release
Doctor Who Magazine - PreviewIssue 356 (Released: May 2005)
Doctor Who Magazine - After ImageIssue 359 (Released: August 2005)
Doctor Who Magazine - Time TeamIssue 438 (Released: September 2011)
Doctor Who Magazine - The Fact of FictionIssue 480 (Released: December 2014)
Doctor Who DVD FilesVolume 5 (Released: March 2009)

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Photo Gallery


The Doctor and Companions

 
Christopher Eccleston
The Ninth Doctor

   

Billie Piper
Rose Tyler
 
John Barrowman
Captain Jack Harkness
   




On Release

DVD Cover
DVD Cover

BBC
VIDEO
Complete Series DVD Box Set
Complete Series DVD Box Set

BBC
VIDEO
Series 1-4 DVD Box Set
Series 1-4 DVD Box Set

BBC
VIDEO
Complete Series 1-7 Ltd Edition Blu-Ray Box Set
Complete Series 1-7 Ltd Edition Blu-Ray Box Set

BBC
VIDEO
   
Complete Series DVD Box Set<BR>(2014 Re-release)
Complete Series DVD Box Set
(2014 Re-release)

BBC
VIDEO
Complete Series Blu-Ray Box Set
Complete Series Blu-Ray Box Set

BBC
VIDEO
Complete Series DVD Limited Edition Steelbook Box Set
Complete Series DVD Limited Edition Steelbook Box Set

BBC
VIDEO
Complete Series Blu-Ray Limited Edition Steelbook Box Set
Complete Series Blu-Ray Limited Edition Steelbook Box Set

BBC
VIDEO
   



Magazines

Doctor Who Magazine - Preview: Issue 356
Doctor Who Magazine - Preview: Issue 356

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - After Image: Issue 359
Doctor Who Magazine - After Image: Issue 359

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - Time Team: Issue 438
Doctor Who Magazine - Time Team: Issue 438

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - The Fact of Fiction: Issue 480
Doctor Who Magazine - The Fact of Fiction: Issue 480

Marvel Comics
   
Doctor Who DVD Files: Volume 5
Doctor Who DVD Files: Volume 5

GE Fabbri


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