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David Tennant
Midnight
Tenth Doctor Logo


Synopsis


Double Talking
Double Talking
 The Doctor is trapped, powerless and terrified, on the planet Midnight, as the knocking on the wall begins…

Source: BBC DVD


General Information

Season: Thirty (New Series 4)
Production Code: 4-8
Story Number: 196 (New Series: 40)
Episode Number:748 (New Series: 52)
Number of Episodes: 1
Percentage of Episodes Held:100%
Production Dates: November - December 2007
Broadcast Date: 14 June 2008
Colour Status: Colour
Studio: BBC Wales (Upper Boat, Pontypridd)
Location: Dylan's Health Spa (Celtic Manor Resort, Newport).
Writer:Russell T Davies
Director:Alice Troughton
Producer:Phil Collinson
Executive Producers:Julie Gardner and Russell T Davies
Script Editor:Helen Raynor
Editor:Philip Kloss
Production Executive:Julie Scott
Production Manager:Peter Bennett
Production Designer:Edward Thomas
Director of Photography:Ernie Vincze BSC
Casting Director:Andy Pryor CDG
Costume Designer:Louise Page
Make-Up Designer:Barbara Southcott
Cameramen:Tom Hartley (Assistant), Joe Russell (Operator) and Julian Barber (Operator)
Incidental Music:Murray Gold
Special Sounds (SFX Editor):Paul Jefferies
Sound Recordist:Julian Howarth
Sound Supervisor:Paul McFadden
Sound Editor:Doug Sinclair
Visual Effects:The Mill
Special Effects:Any Effects
Stunt Co-ordinator:Crispin Layfield
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: 2The Companions: Billie Piper (Rose Tyler) and Catherine Tate (Donna Noble) Guest Cast: Lesley Sharp (Sky Silvestry), David Troughton (Professor Hobbes) Additional Cast: Rakie Ayola (Hostess), Ayesha Antoine (Dee Dee Blasco), Lindsey Coulson (Val Cane), Daniel Ryan (Biff Cane), Colin Morgan (Jethro Cane), Tony Bluto (Driver Joe), Duane Henry (Mechanic Claude)Setting: Planet Midnight Villain:Midnight Entity

The Episodes

No. Episodes Broadcast
(UK)
Duration Viewers
(Millions)
In Archive
748Midnight14 June 200843'48"8.1Yes

Total Duration 44 Minutes


Audience Appreciation

Average Viewers (Millions) 8.1
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2008)80.09%  (Position = 4 out of 11)
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2009)79.27% Lower (Position = 43 out of 200)
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2014)80.72% Higher (Position = 44 out of 241)


Archives


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



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Notes


David Troughton, son of the Second Doctor Patrick Troughton, is no stranger to Doctor Who, having appeared as King Peladon in the 1972 Third Doctor story "The Curse of Peladon", 1967's Second Doctor story "The Enemy of the World" (as an uncredited extra in the first, fifth, and sixth episodes), and as Private Moor in 1969, in his father’s last regular story "The War Games". This epic 10 part adventure, was the fiftieth Doctor Who story to be made. Co-incidentally, "Midnight" is the fiftieth episode to start filming since Doctor Who returned in 2005. David Troughton is the second child of an actor who played The Doctor to guest star in this season - the first being Georgia Moffett in "The Doctor's Daughter". He also played the part of the Tinghus in the 2008 Big Finish Productions Doctor Who audio story "Cuddlesome". Despite sharing the same surname David is not directly related to Alice Troughton – who directed this story.

As was the case with her appearances in "Partners in Crime" and "The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky", Billie Piper, as Rose Tyler, receives screen credit behind only David Tennant and Catherine Tate for a very brief performance with no audible dialogue. She can be seen briefly on one of the shuttle's television screens, silently shouting for The Doctor. This echoes her similar appearance on the TARDIS scanner in "The Poison Sky". Rose is also mentioned twice by The Doctor: once by name, and again as a ‘friend who went to a different universe’. Martha Jones is also mentioned.

Lesley Sharp, who plays the part of Sky Silvestry, has starred in two previous Russell T Davies productions - Bob and Rose and The Second Coming. The latter also starred Ninth Doctor Christopher Eccleston.

Colin Morgan, who plays the part of Jethro Cane, previously appeared with Catherine Tate in her 2007 Christmas special. He has also recently been cast in the title role of the BBC production, Merlin.

The majority of this story is set in just one room. This is similar to several other claustrophobic thrillers, such as Hitchcock's' Rope and more recently, Flightplan.

Things went horribly wrong the last time The Doctor went on a holiday and encountered passengers on a 'space bus', - see 1987's "Delta and the Bannermen".

The Doctor mentions the Medusa Cascade, which has been mentioned several times in the show.

'Molto Bene' is Italian for 'Very Good'. We first heard The Doctor say it in 2007's "Human Nature/The Family of Blood".

The female singer who briefly appears on the entertainment system's channels is Italian celebrity Raffaella Carrà, in a performance of her 1978 UK hit single "Do It, Do It Again".

When The Doctor is asked for his real name, he lies and replies with the name "John Smith", a common alias of his, which is not believed. The mystery behind The Doctor's real name is a recurring theme in the show's revival, with specific mentions of the mystery in "The Girl in the Fireplace", "The Shakespeare Code", "The Fires of Pompeii" and "Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead".

This story is one of very few not to feature the TARDIS (except in the title sequence). The last time this happened was in 1975's "Genesis of the Daleks". This is also the third story without a companion in the main narrative, the first being "The Deadly Assassin" and the second being "Time Crash". The reason for this was "Midnight" was filmed at the same time as "Turn Left". Donna Noble therefore has a minimal role in this story (appearing in only the pre-credits sequence and the final scene), while The Doctor has a minimal role in "Turn Left".

Uniquely for Doctor Who, we don't get to see even a glimpse of The Doctor's adversary, nor find out its name.

Interestingly virtually all of "Midnight" was recorded at Upper Boat Studios - an unusual occurance for the revamped show. Even more unusual is that Alice Troughton chose to record this story mainly in story order -- a practise which had not been common in the show since the early Seventies.

This story was originally intended to be broadcast before Steven Moffat's two-part story "Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead". The name of the shuttle bus, Crusader 50, was a reference to the initial plans for it to become the 50th episode of the revived show to be screened.

The end of this story contains a trailer for the next story "Turn Left".

Following on immediately after this story, on BBC3, was the tenth chapter of the fourth series of Doctor Who Confidential, "Look Who's Talking" presented by Anthony Head.



First and Last

The Firsts:

 The first time, in the revived television series, that The Doctor has an adventure alone without the assistance of a companion.

 The first story, in the revived television series, not to feature the TARDIS.

 The first time, in the revived television series, we don't get to see even a glimpse of The Doctor's adversary, nor find out its name.


The Lasts (Subject to Future Stories):

 Helen Raynor's last involvement in the show as Script Editor.


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The Plot

WARNING: May Contain SpoilersHide Text
Midnight
Midnight

The Doctor and Donna Noble spend some leisure time in a leisure complex that has been constructed on the crystalline planet Midnight, which orbits close enough to its sun that the X-tonic radiation exposure would vaporise any living thing to walk unprotected on its surface.

While Donna enjoys some rest and relaxation at a spa, The Doctor decides to take a four-hour shuttle bus ride to a famed Midnight attraction - The Sapphire Waterfall.

He is joined by the Cane family, Val and her husband Biff and their teenage son Jethro, Professor Hobbes, who is investigating the waterfall with his assistant Dee Dee Blasco, and a businesswoman, Sky Silvestry. They are all made welcome by a steward who calls herself 'The Hostess'.

Donna Relaxing
Donna Relaxing

The trip starts smoothly despite the shuttle being rerouted to a new course and the irritating onboard entertainment system which The Doctor soon disables – much to the relief of all those on board – except for 'The Hostess'.

En route though the shuttle mysteriously comes to a stop. The Doctor checks with the shuttle's driver and mechanic and they confirm that there is nothing wrong with the vehicle and so they decide to call for a rescue vehicle. They briefly open the shutter to look outside. But when it starts to closes the mechanic believes he sees a shadow moving towards the bus.

Alternative Entertainment
Alternative Entertainment

After returning to the main cabin The Doctor informs the other passengers that help is on its way and then, impossibly, something begins banging on the exterior, copying the passengers when they knock back. The knocking moves around the shuttle, apparently making its way towards Sky Silvestry and dents the door she is standing by. The lights then temporarily fail and the shuttle is violently rocked. When the lights are restored, the seats near Sky have been ripped off the floor and she is cowering in the corner. An attempt to speak to the cabin crew reveals that their cabin has been ripped away, killing Joe and Claude.

Sky initially remains motionless, but The Doctor manages to persuade her into turning around. Attempts to get her to speak only cause her to repeat what she is told, making it clear that Sky is no longer in control.

What is this strange intelligence that has infested one of the passengers? Why is she repeating everything that is being said and what will happen when she starts to speak in exact unison with the passengers and then before anything is said?

'The Hostess'
'The Hostess'

The Doctor finds himself trapped and fighting a losing battle against a rising tide of panic and paranoia when he becomes, apparently possessed by Sky, and so the centre of the hostility, he finds himself nearly dragged out of the shuttle bus and into the deadly atmosphere.

Will The Doctor manage to convince the other passengers, and the hostess, that it is Sky who is still possessed, and that he is the only one that can save them? Or will one of them realise what is happening and come to his, and the remaining passengers, rescue?

 
Sky Silvestry
Sky Silvestry
The Hostess, Dee Dee and Hobbes
The Hostess, Dee Dee and Hobbes
Professor Hobbes
Professor Hobbes
The Doctor
The Doctor
 
Sky Silvestry
Sky Silvestry
Repeat After Me
Repeat After Me
Double Talking
Double Talking
Ultimate Sacrifice
Ultimate Sacrifice




Quote of the Story


 'He's waited so long... In the dark... And the cold... And the diamonds. Until you came.... Bodies so hot... with blood... and pain.'

Sky Silvestry and The Doctor



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Release Information

FormatTitleRelease Date (UK)Code NumberCover ArtRemarks
Video
DVD
Silence in the Library - Forest of the Dead - MidnightAugust 2008BBCDVD 2607Photo-montage
Video
DVD
The Complete Fourth SeriesNovember 2008BBCDVD 2609Photo-montageBoxed set containing all 11 stories
Audio
CD
Original Television Soundtrack - Series 4October 2008SILCD1275Photo-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 Fourth Series (2014 Re-release)August 2014BBCDVD 3968Photo-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 Fourth Series Box SetAugust 2015BBCBD 0264Photo-montageBlu-Ray boxed set containing 11 stories
Video
Blu-Ray
The Complete Fourth Series Box Set (Limited Edition Steelbook)August 2019BBCBD 0467Photo-montageLimited Edition Blu-Ray Steelbook boxed set containing 11 stories


In Print

No Book Release
Doctor Who Magazine - PreviewIssue 396 (Released: June 2008)
Doctor Who Magazine - ReviewIssue 399 (Released: September 2008)
Doctor Who Magazine - Time TeamIssue 477 (Released: October 2014)
Doctor Who DVD FilesVolume 26 (Released: December 2009)

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Photo Gallery


The Doctor and Companions

 
David Tennant
The Tenth Doctor

   

Billie Piper
Rose Tyler
 
Catherine Tate
Donna Noble
   




On Release

DVD Cover
DVD Cover

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

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

BBC
VIDEO
   


Magazines

Doctor Who Magazine - Preview: Issue 396
Doctor Who Magazine - Preview: Issue 396

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - Review: Issue 399
Doctor Who Magazine - Review: Issue 399

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - Time Team: Issue 477
Doctor Who Magazine - Time Team: Issue 477

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who DVD Files: Volume 26
Doctor Who DVD Files: Volume 26

GE Fabbri
   


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