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David Tennant
The Runaway Bride
Tenth Doctor Logo


Synopsis


The Empress of Racnoss
The Empress of Racnoss
 Killer Santas, exploding baubles, an alien spaceship shaped like a giant star - Christmas with The Doctor is anything but a silent night…

Source: BBC DVD


General Information

Season: Twenty Nine (New Series 3)
Production Code: 3-X
Story Number: 178 (New Series: 22)
Episode Number:724 (New Series: 28)
Number of Episodes: 1
Percentage of Episodes Held:100%
Production Dates: July - August 2006
Broadcast Date: 25 December 2006
Colour Status: Colour
Studio: BBC Wales (Upper Boat, Pontypridd)
Location: Thames Flood Barrier, Chiswick flyover & IPC Building (London), Cardiff Bay, Cardiff Millennium Centre, Pontypool and Newport Docks.
Writer:Russell T Davies
Director:Euros Lyn
Producer:Phil Collinson
Executive Producers:Julie Gardner and Russell T Davies
Script Editor:Simon Winstone
Editor:John Richards
Production Executive:Julie Scott
Production Manager:Tracie Simpson
Production Designer:Edward Thomas
Director of Photography:Rory Taylor
Casting Director:Andy Pryor CDG
Costume Designer:Louise Page
Make-Up Designer:Barbara Southcott
Cameraman:Siân Elin Palfrey (2nd Camera)
Incidental Music:Murray Gold
Special Sounds (SFX Editor):Paul Jefferies
Sound Recordist:Julian Howarth
Sound Supervisor:Paul McFadden
Visual Effects:The Mill
Special Effects:Any Effects
Prosthetics:Millennium FX
Stunt Co-ordinator:David Forman
Stunt Performers:Gary Hoptrough, George Cottle, Nina Armstrong, Richard Hammett, Rob Hunt and Tina Amskell
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: Catherine Tate (Donna Noble) (Departs) Additional Cast: Sarah Parish (Empress), Don Gilet (Lance Bennett) Howard Attfield (Geoff Noble), Jacqueline King (Sylvia Noble), Trevor Georges (Vicar), Glen Wilson (Taxi Driver), Krystal Archer (Nerys), Rhodri Meilir (Rhodri), Zafirah Boateng (Little Girl), Paul Kasey (Robot Santa)Setting: London (2007) Villain: The Empress of Racnoss

The Episodes

No. Episodes Broadcast
(UK)
Duration Viewers
(Millions)
In Archive
724The Runaway Bride25 December 200659'59"9.4Yes

Total Duration 60 Minutes


Audience Appreciation

Average Viewers (Millions) 9.4
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2007)68.10%  (Position = 8 out of 10)
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2009)68.08% Lower (Position = 115 out of 200)
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2014)67.70% Lower (Position = 153 out of 241)


Archives


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



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Notes


Comedy actress Catherine Tate plays the part of The Runaway Bride - Donna Noble.

Sarah Parish, who plays the part of The Empress, previously co-starred with David Tennant in the BBC One dramas Blackpool (2004) and Recovery (2007).

This story includes brief flashback glimpses of Billie Piper as Rose Tyler, the return of the 'pilot fish' robots disguised as Santas from "The Christmas Invasion" as well as the Torchwood Institute.

This story was the first Doctor Who story to be filmed at the new Upper Boat studios in Pontypridd. The studio is also the home of Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures. Previous Doctor Who stories were filmed at Unit Q2 in Newport.

The scene with the ATM included mocked-up money. On the £10 bills has the face of David Tennant as The Doctor along with line 'I promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum of ten satsumas'. The £20 bills has producer Phil Collinson accompanied by a misquote of the beloved 'being grown up' line from "Robot".

This is the first time that The Doctor's home planet, Gallifrey, has been referred to by name since the show's revival in 2005. The first time the name was ever revealed was in 1973 in the Third Doctor story "The Time Warrior".

This is the first time an ancient form of energy known as Huon particles are referenced. These are an element of the heart of the TARDIS. Other substances and energies associated with the TARDIS include mercury ("The Daleks"), Artron enery ("The Deadly Assasin") and Zeiton 7 ("Vengeance on Varos").

Listen out in the scene when the tank commander recieves his orders to shoot down the Empress's ship. These come from a certain Mr Saxon - the first time this character is spoken about onscreen. Eagle-eyed viewers, however, will have spotted that Saxon was previously referenced in a newspaper headline in "Love & Monsters".

At the story's conclusion the TARDIS is seen to takes off vertically, like a rocket, rather than dematerilise. This hasn't happened since the 1968 Second Doctor story "Fury From the Deep". On that occassion, we only got to see the take-off from inside the TARDIS.

Following the precedent set with "Song For Ten" in "The Christmas Invasion", composer Murray Gold wrote a new original song for this special, "Love Don't Roam". The song was performed by Neil Hannon, frontman of the Divine Comedy. The Divine Comedy have also provided music for comedies Father Ted and The IT Crowd.

Like "The Christmas Invasion", this Christmas special was televised on Christmas Day as the lynchpin of the BBC's holiday line-up.

The end of this story contains clips of some of the stories due in Season Twenty Nine (New Series 3).

A special 60 minute chapter of Doctor Who Confidential, called "Music and Monsters" was broadcast on the Christmas Day. As well as covering the creation of the "Doctor Who: A Celebration" concert it contained behind the scenes footage from the making of "The Runaway Bride". It was presented by Anthony Head.



First and Last

The Firsts:

 Though not technically part of Season Twenty Nine (New Series 3) this is the first real story of this season.

 Catherine Tate's first full story as Donna Noble - though she would not be officially classed as a companion until the beginning of Season Thirty (New Series 4).

 The first appearance of Jacqueline King, in the role of Sylvia Noble, before becoming a regular supporting character at the beginning of Season Thirty (New Series 4).

 The first time that The Doctor's home planet, Gallifrey, has been referred to by name since the show's revival in 2005.

 The first time an ancient form of energy known as Huon particles (an element at the heart of the TARDIS) are referenced

 The first time The Master's alter-ego, Mr Saxon, is spoken about onscreen.

 The first time the TARDIS is seen to take off vertically, like a rocket, rather than dematerilise since the Second Doctor 1968 story "Fury from the Deep".

 The first Doctor Who story to be recorded at BBC Wales Upper Boat Studios in Pontypridd.

 Barbara Southcott's first involvement in the show as Makeup Artist.


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The Plot

WARNING: May Contain SpoilersHide Text
Donna Noble's Wedding
Donna Noble's Wedding

Donna Noble is about to become married to the man she loves, Lance Bennett – but as she walks down the aisle she's enveloped by glowing energy and whisked away leaving a stunned congregation of family and friends in the church.

Meanwhile, in his TARDIS, The Doctor is equally stunned at Donna’s appearance in his time machine. After an initial argument, Donna finally begins to realise that The Doctor is not responsible for her abrupt departure from her own wedding but is equally oblivious as to what has happened.

The Doctor attempts to take Donna back to Earth in time for her wedding. But when their taxi driver realises they have no money to pay the find themselves back on the pavement. It is when The Doctor goes off to obtain some money from a cash dispenser that he spots the same Santa Claus band, who turned out to be 'pilot fish' robots, he saw the previous Christmas and realises something very strange is going on.

Being Whisked Away
Being Whisked Away

Donna meanwhile has managed to borrow some money and enters another taxi... which unbeknown to her has been commandeered by one of the 'pilot fish' robots still in his Santa disguise. The Doctor is too late to stop Donna and so, back in his TARDIS, he makes a daring rescue, hovering over the motorway he gets her to make a leap of faith from the speeding taxi into the TARDIS. And so he finally manages to take Donna to the wedding reception which it seems is taking place without her.

However, it is not long before The Doctor realises that the 'pilot fish' robots have caught up with Donna again and after almost killing everyone at the party The Doctor, Donna and Lance manage to escape. It is then that The Doctor realises that Donna has somehow been infected with Huon energy - an ancient type of energy particle.

A Startled Donna
A Startled Donna

The Doctor, decides to visit the company where Donna and Lance work - H C Clements – where, in a subbasement, they find a long corridor that eventually leads to a Torchwood science base beneath the river Thames. There they find someone has been experimenting with Huon energy in liquid form. The Doctor realises that whoever infected Donna has a plan – but it was sidetracked when the energy within her was attracted to the TARDIS.

The Doctor soon discovers that the plan has been orchestrated by the Empress of Racnoss - an ancient spider-like being that has arrived in orbit around the Earth in a giant web ship. When she realises that The Doctor and Donna are inside Torchwood she transports herself into the base. The Empress it seems is the last of her kind except for millions of hatchlings inside an ancient Racnoss ship, bearing , inside the Earth's core – it having reached there when the Earth was created millions of years ago.

The Empress has come here to the Torchwood project after having had a 4000-mile-long cavern drilled underneath the base, reaching to the centre of the Earth. She is about to awaken the Racnoss hatchlings and also unleashes a terrible wave of destruction from her web ship.

The Doctor
The Doctor

Realising he has no choice but to stop the onslaught, The Doctor is forced to use The Empress' own weapons to puncture the walls of the Torchwood base, causing an enormous flood that drains the Thames and which pours into the shaft to the centre of the Earth, destroying the Empress and her now-awakened hatchlings. With the Empress distracted an army tank then destroys the web ship.

With the threat over it is just a matter for The Doctor to return Donna to her family – or will she decide to stay with The Doctor now that Rose Tyler is no longer with him?

 
Leaving the TARDIS
Leaving the TARDIS
A 'Pilot Fish' Robot
A 'Pilot Fish' Robot
High Speed Rescue
High Speed Rescue
The Doctor and Donna
The Doctor and Donna
 
The Empress of Racnoss
The Empress of Racnoss
The Empress of Racnoss
The Empress of Racnoss
Empress' Web Ship
Empress' Web Ship
Saying Goodbye
Saying Goodbye




Quote of the Story


 'I am not from Mars. My home planet is far away and long since gone. But it's name lives on: Gallifrey!'

The Doctor



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Release Information

FormatTitleRelease Date (UK)Code NumberCover ArtRemarks
Video
DVD
The Runaway BrideApril 2007BBCDVD 2380Photo-montage
Video
DVD
The Complete Third Series (Standard Version)November 2007BBCDVD 2579Photo-montageBoxed set containing all 11 stories
Video
DVD
The Complete Third Series (Amazon Version)November 2007BBCDVD 2579Photo-montageBoxed set containing all 11 stories
Video
DVD
The Complete Third Series (Woolworths Version)November 2007BBCDVD 2579Photo-montageBoxed set containing all 11 stories
Audio
CD
Original Television Soundtrack - Series 3November 2007SILCD1250Photo-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
Audio
CD
The 50th Anniversary CollectionDecember 2013Photo-montageOriginal Television Soundtracks
Video
DVD
The Complete Third Series (2014 Re-release)August 2014BBCDVD 3967Photo-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 Third Series Box SetAugust 2015BBCBD 0263Photo-montageBlu-Ray boxed set containing 11 stories
Video
DVD
The Christmas Specials Box Set (Limited Edition)October 2015BBCDVD 4059Photo-montageBoxed set containing 10 Christmas stories
Video
Blu-Ray
The Christmas Specials Box Set (Limited Edition)October 2015BBCBD 0314Photo-montageBlu-Ray boxed set containing 10 Christmas stories
Video
Blu-Ray
The Complete Third Series Box Set (Limited Edition Steelbook)May 2018Photo-montageLimited Edition Blu-Ray Steelbook boxed set containing 11 stories
Video
Blu-Ray
Time Lord Victorious - Road To The Dark TimesNovember 2020Photo-montageBlu-Ray set containing 7 stories containing legends of the Dark Times, the Dalek Empire and the Time Lord Victorious.


In Print

No Book Release
Doctor Who Magazine - PreviewIssue 377 (Released: January 2007)
Doctor Who Magazine - After ImageIssue 379 (Released: February 2007)
Doctor Who Magazine - Time TeamIssue 455 (Released: January 2013)
Doctor Who Magazine - The Fact of FictionIssue 507 (Released: January 2017)
Doctor Who DVD FilesVolume 14 (Released: July 2009)

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Photo Gallery


The Doctor and Companion

 
David Tennant
The Tenth Doctor

   

 
Catherine Tate
Donna Noble
 
   




On Release

DVD Cover
DVD Cover

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

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

BBC
VIDEO
DVD Box Set<BR>(Woolworths Version)
DVD Box Set
(Woolworths 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
The 50th Anniversary Collection Cover
The 50th Anniversary Collection Cover

BBC
AUDIO
   
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
DVD Christmas Stories Box Set
DVD Christmas Stories Box Set

BBC
VIDEO
   
Blu-Ray Christmas Stories Box Set
Blu-Ray Christmas Stories Box Set

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

BBC
VIDEO
Time Lord Victorious Blu-Ray Cover
Time Lord Victorious Blu-Ray Cover

BBC
VIDEO



Magazines

Doctor Who Magazine - Preview: Issue 377
Doctor Who Magazine - Preview: Issue 377

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - After Image: Issue 379
Doctor Who Magazine - After Image: Issue 379

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - Time Team: Issue 455
Doctor Who Magazine - Time Team: Issue 455

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - The Fact of Fiction: Issue 507
Doctor Who Magazine - The Fact of Fiction: Issue 507

Marvel Comics
   
Doctor Who DVD Files: Volume 14
Doctor Who DVD Files: Volume 14

GE Fabbri


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