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David Tennant
The Idiot's Lantern
Tenth Doctor Logo


Synopsis


The Wire
The Wire
 1953, the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II - but there are rumours of monsters on the streets of London.

Source: BBC DVD


General Information

Season: Twenty Eight (New Series 2)
Production Code: 2-7
Story Number: 173 (New Series: 17)
Episode Number:717 (New Series: 21)
Number of Episodes: 1
Percentage of Episodes Held:100%
Working Titles:"Mr Sandman", "Sonic Doom" and "The One-Eyed Monster"
Production Dates: January - February 2006
Broadcast Date: 27 May 2006
Colour Status: Colour
Studio: BBC Wales (Unit Q2, Newport) and Enfys Television Studios (Cardiff)
Location: Florentia Street (Cathays, Cardiff), Blenheim Road (Pen-y-lan, Cardiff), Cardiff Royal Infirmary, Cardiff Heliport (Cardiff Bay) and Newport Docks.
Writer:Mark Gatiss
Director:Euros Lyn
Producer:Phil Collinson
Executive Producers:Julie Gardner and Russell T Davies
Script Editor:Simon Winstone
Editor:Crispin Green
Production Manager:Marcus Prince
Production Designer:Edward Thomas
Director of Photography:Rory Taylor
Casting Director:Andy Pryor CDG
Costume Designer:Louise Page
Make-Up Designer:Sheelagh Wells
Incidental Music:Murray Gold
Special Sounds (SFX Editor):Paul Jefferies
Sound Recordist:Simon Fraser
Sound Editors:Doug Sinclair and Paul McFadden
Visual Effects:The Mill
Special Effects:Any Effects
Prosthetics:Millennium Effects and Neill Gorton
Stunt Co-ordinator:Dave Forman
Stunt Performers:Gordon Seed, Ray De-Haan, Rocky Taylor, Sarah Franzl and Steve Griffin
Title Music:Ron Grainer and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Arranged by Murray Gold
Music Performed By: The BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Number of Doctors: 1
The Doctor: David Tennant (The Tenth Doctor)
Number of Companions: 1The Companion: Billie Piper (Rose Tyler) Guest Cast: Maureen Lipman (The Wire) Additional Cast: Ron Cook (Magpie), Jamie Foreman (Eddie Connolly), Debra Gillett (Rita Connolly), Rory Jennings (Tommy Connolly), Margaret John (Grandma Connolly), Sam Cox (Detective Inspector Bishop), Ieuan Rhys (Crabtree), Jean Challis (Aunty Betty), Christopher Driscoll (Security Guard), Marie Lewis (Mrs Gallagher)Setting: London (1953) Villain:The Wire

The Episodes

No. Episodes Broadcast
(UK)
Duration Viewers
(Millions)
In Archive
717The Idiot's Lantern27 May 200645'08"6.8Yes

Total Duration 45 Minutes


Audience Appreciation

Average Viewers (Millions) 6.8
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2006)68.47%  (Position = 8 out of 11)
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2009)63.84% Lower (Position = 138 out of 200)
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2014)60.56% Lower (Position = 195 out of 241)


Archives


 This story exists and is held in the BBC's Film and Videotape Library.



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Notes


Margaret John, who plays Grandma Connolly, previously played Megan Jones in the 1968 Second Doctor story "Fury From the Deep".

This is the second adventure to be scripted by The League of Gentlemen's Mark Gatiss - The first being "The Unquiet Dead" for the revived show's inaugural season. Mark is only one of three people who have both written for and acted in Doctor Who. The other two are Victor Pemberton and Glyn Jones.

This story takes place in the 1950's, It has been praised for its great attention to period detail.

'Goodnight children, everywhere', spoken by The Wire as she feeds on Rose Tyler, was the catchphrase of Derek McCulloch presenter of the kids' show Children's Hour.

Florizel Street, as featured in this story, was originally the working title for long running ITV soap opera Coronation Street.

The Magpie logo has since been used in three other stories: on the P.A. speakers at the wedding reception in "The Runaway Bride" (but sadly not seen on camera), Martha Jones's television set in "The Sound of Drums/Last of the Time Lords" and the microphone stand used by the ship's band on the 'Titanic' in "Voyage of the Damned".

This is the first time we've seen The Doctor on a scooter, although he did ride a motorcycle in the 1972 story "The Dæmons", the 1987 story "Delta and the Bannermen" and in the 1989 story "Survival".

The Doctor makes reference to legendary singer Kylie Minogue. Kylie subsequently played companion Astrid Peth in "Voyage of the Damned".

The original script referenced The Doctor's fear of transmitter towers, because he 'fell off one once'. This was a reference to the Fourth Doctor's falling to his 'death' from the Pharos Project transmitter at the end of "Logopolis". In this earlier story the fall caused him to regenerate into the Fifth Doctor.

The 55 second TARDISode for this story depicted Tommy's grandmother being attacked by the Wire. This was filmed on the 16th February 2006 at the Doctor Who studio space of Unit Q2 in Newport. As with all the other TARDISode's - all of which were written by Gareth Roberts - it could be downloaded from the BBC Doctor Who website or via a mobile phone a week before the broadcast of the main story.

The ending of this story contains a trailer for the first episode of the next story - "The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit".

Following on immediately after this story, on BBC3, was the seventh chapter of the second series of Doctor Who Confidential, "The Writer's Tale" presented by Mark Gatiss.



First and Last

The Firsts:

 The first time we see The Doctor on a scooter.


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The Plot

WARNING: May Contain SpoilersHide Text
Dressed for the Period
Dressed for the Period

With the intention to see Elvis Presley perform in New York The Doctor and Rose Tyler arrive in the TARDIS in a London terraced street in 1953 at the time of Queen Elizabeth II's coronation. They are startled to see two men rush a man, covered by a blanket, into a car and drive away. In hot pursuit on a scooter they lose them.

They also witness Tommy Connolly, a local boy who claims that this has been happening all over their street, being chastised by his father - all because he's 'respected' in this part of town and wants no part of whatever's going on.

The Doctor uses his psychic paper to convince the Connolly's that he's a government official so that he can question Tommy and his mother about the disappearances... and learns about something even stranger that has affected Grandma - something that has completely removed her face.

Going for a Ride
Going for a Ride

The Doctor goes investigating and runs into Detective Inspector Bishop who has been looking into the strange ailment that has robbed people of their faces. Meanwhile, Rose does her own investigating and ends up in Magpie's shop because everything that's happened seems to be linked to people who bought television sets from him.

However, Rose is in for a shock when a strange creature on a television screen begins to talk to her, and soon, Rose's face has been removed from her body... and she's inside the television…

The Doctor and Rose
The Doctor and Rose

The Doctor and Bishop also make their way to the Magpie shop, where The Doctor discovers the truth about what's happened to Rose, and confronts the evil image, called The Wire, on the television screens. He discovers that The Wire is an alien who escaped execution by transforming itself into pure energy, and who has come to Earth to reconstitute itself... but it needs a massive amount of human energy in order to do so, which will be provided by the many television sets the reluctant Magpie has issued.

But The Doctor is too late to stop Magpie and The Wire from using a portable device to turn the Alexandra Palace broadcast tower into a receiver, which The Wire can use to consume as many souls as it wants as everyone sits down to watch the Coronation.

As The Doctor climbs the tower, pursuing Magpie so that he can stop The Wire it seems that he is too late. And so it is up to Tommy to follow the instructions The Doctor gave him to attempt to trap The Wire and to return those affected by it back to normal - including Rose.

 
Mr Magpie
Mr Magpie
The Wire
The Wire
Tommy Connolly and Rose
Tommy Connolly and Rose
The Connolly Family
The Connolly Family
 
Grandma
Grandma
Rose is Absorbed
Rose is Absorbed
Rose, Trapped
Rose, Trapped
The Doctor, Rose and Tommy
The Doctor, Rose and Tommy




Quote of the Story


 'They just took her face and left her in the street. And as a result, that makes things simple, very, very simple. You know why? Because now, Detective-Inspector Bishop, THERE IS NO POWER ON THIS EARTH THAT CAN STOP ME! Come on!'

The Doctor



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Release Information

FormatTitleRelease Date (UK)Code NumberCover ArtRemarks
Video
DVD
Rise of the Cybermen - The Age of Steel - The Idiot's LanternJuly 2006BBCDVD 1962Photo-montage
Video
DVD
The Complete Second SeriesNovember 2006BBCDVD 2122Photo-montageBoxed set containing all 11 stories
Video
DVD
The Complete Second Series (Amazon Version)November 2006BBCDVD 2122Photo-montageLimited Edition 'Cyberman Head' box set containing all 11 stories
Audio
CD
Original Television SoundtrackDecember 2006SILCD1224Photo-montageMusic by Murray Gold
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 Second Series (2014 Re-release)August 2014BBCDVD 3966Photo-montageBoxed set containing all 11 stories
Video
DVD
The Complete David Tennant Years Box SetNovember 2014BBCDVD 4000Photo-montageBoxed set containing all 37 stories on 26 Discs
Video
Blu-Ray
The Complete Second Series Box SetAugust 2015BBCBD 0262Photo-montageBlu-Ray boxed set containing 11 stories
Video
DVD
The Complete Second Series Box Set (Limited Edition Steelbook)July 2017Photo-montageLimited Edition DVD Steelbook boxed set containing 10 stories (Amazon Exclusive)
Video
Blu-Ray
The Complete Second Series Box Set (Limited Edition Steelbook)July 2017Photo-montageLimited Edition Blu-Ray Steelbook boxed set containing 10 stories (Amazon Exclusive)


In Print

No Book Release
Doctor Who Magazine - PreviewIssue 370 (Released: June 2006)
Doctor Who Magazine - ArticleIssue 371 (Released: July 2006)
Doctor Who Magazine - After ImageIssue 372 (Released: August 2006)
Doctor Who Magazine - Time TeamIssue 448 (Released: June 2012)
Doctor Who DVD FilesVolume 11 (Released: June 2009)

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Photo Gallery


The Doctor and Companion

 
David Tennant
The Tenth Doctor

   

 
Billie Piper
Rose Tyler
 
   




On Release

DVD Cover
DVD Cover

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

BBC
VIDEO
DVD Box Set<BR>(Amazon Version)
DVD Box Set
(Amazon Version)

BBC
VIDEO
Original Television Soundtrack Cover
Original Television Soundtrack Cover

BBC
AUDIO
   
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 David Tennant Years DVD Box Set
Complete David Tennant Years DVD Box Set

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 370
Doctor Who Magazine - Preview: Issue 370

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - Article: Issue 371
Doctor Who Magazine - Article: Issue 371

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - After Image: Issue 372
Doctor Who Magazine - After Image: Issue 372

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - Time Team: Issue 448
Doctor Who Magazine - Time Team: Issue 448

Marvel Comics
   
Doctor Who DVD Files: Volume 11
Doctor Who DVD Files: Volume 11

GE Fabbri


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