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Matt Smith
The Vampires of Venice
Eleventh Doctor Logo


Synopsis


A Satunynian
A Satunynian
 In Venice, even danger is beautiful. The House of Calvierri has the whole city under its protection, but something is very wrong.

 There are blood-drained corpses in the street, something lurks in the canal, and the Calvierri girls are the loveliest in town, except when you glance in the mirror…

Source: Radio Times


General Information

Season: Thirty One (New Series 5)
Production Code: 5-6
Story Number: 207 (New Series: 51)
Episode Number:762 (New Series: 66)
Number of Episodes: 1
Percentage of Episodes Held:100%
Alternative Titles:"Vampires in Venice"
Production Dates: December 2009 - Early 2010 (Block 5)
Broadcast Date: 08 May 2010
Colour Status: HD Colour
Studio: BBC Wales (Upper Boat, Pontypridd)
Location: Trogir (Croatia), Venice (Italy), Donat's Castle (Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales), Caephilly Castle and Llancaiach Fawr (Caerphilly, South East Wales).
Writer:Toby Whithouse
Director:Jonny Campbell
Producers:Patrick Schweitzer and Tracie Simpson
Executive Producers:Beth Willis, Piers Wenger and Steven Moffat
Script Editor:Brian Minchin
Editor:Jamie Pearson
Production Executive:Julie Scott
Production Manager:Holly Pullinger
Production Designer:Edward Thomas
Director of Photography:Tony Slater Ling
Casting Director:Andy Pryor CDG
Line Producer:Patrick Schweitzer
Costume Designer:Ray Holman
Make-Up Designer:Barbara Southcott
Cameramen:Jon Vidgen (Assistant), Tom Hartley (Assistant), Ian Adrian (Operator) and Matthew Poynter (Operator)
Incidental Music:Murray Gold
Special Sounds (SFX Editor):Paul Jefferies
Sound Recordist:Bryn Thomas
Sound Supervisor:Paul McFadden
Visual Effects:The Mill
Special Effects:Real SFX
Stunt Co-ordinator:Crispin Layfield
Stunt Performer:Gordon Seed
Title Sequence:Frame Store
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: Matt Smith (The Eleventh Doctor)
Number of Companions: 2The Companions: Karen Gillan (Amy Pond) and Arthur Darvill (Rory Williams) (Joins) Additional Cast: Helen McCrory (Rosanna), Lucian Msamati (Guido), Alisha Bailey (Isabella), Alex Price (Francesco), Gabriella Wilde (Vampire Girl), Hannah Steele (Vampire Girl), Elizabeth Croft (Vampire Girl), Sonila Vieshta (Vampire Girl), Gabriela Motaraz (Vampire Girl), Michael Percival (Inspector), Simon Gregor (Steward)Setting: Venice, Earth (1580) and Leadworth, Earth (25th June 2010) Villains:Francesco, Rosanna Calvierri and Saturnynians

The Episodes

No. Episodes Broadcast
(UK)
Duration Viewers
(Millions)
In Archive
762The Vampires of Venice08 May 201048'11"BBC One: 7.3
BBC HD: 0.4
Total: 7.7
Yes

Total Duration 48 Minutes


Audience Appreciation

Average Viewers (Millions) 7.7 (BBC One: 7.3   BBC HD: 0.4)
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2010)70.30%  (Position = 8 out of 10)
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2014)64.76% Lower (Position = 167 out of 241)


Archives


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



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Notes


This story is narratively tied to the final scene of the previous story "The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone", greatly furthered The Doctor-Rory-Amy romantic triangle subplot and ended with Rory Williams, Amy Pond's boyfriend, apparently joining The Doctor and Amy in the TARDIS.

"The Vampires of Venice" is the first Doctor Who story to be directed by Jonny Campbell - who previously directed episodes of BBC One’s Judge John Deed in 2001, Spooks in 2004 and Ashes to Ashes in 2008. He also directed Channel 4’s Shameless in 2004 and the movie Alien Autopsy in 2006.

This is also the first story to be co-produced by Patrick Schweitzer and the second story written by Toby Whithouse – the creator of Being Human. Toby Whithouse previously wrote the 2006 Tenth Doctor story "School Reunion".

Arthur Darvill returns to the show as Amy Pond's boyfriend, Rory Williams.

Rosanna is played by Helen McCrory who won the BAFTA Cymru Award for her role in Streetlife in 1995. She also played Casanova's mother in Casanova, in 2007, and starred as the eponymous lead in Frankenstein, a modern update of Mary Shelly's famous story. Incidentally, this dramatisation also featured Julian Bleach as the 'Monster'. Shortly after he played the part of Davros in "The Stolen Earth/Journey's End".

The read through for this story took place on 23rd November 2009, exactly 46 years after the very first episode of Doctor Who was transmitted.

This story is predominantly set in Venice, in the sixteenth century, but location filming actually took place in Trogir, a small medieval town in Croatia, in November 2009 – thus making this the first Doctor Who story to be filmed in a former Communist country and the third story, since the show was revived in 2005, to include major filming outside the UK.

This was followed by location filming in December 2009 at St Donat's Castle in the Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales. Notable areas of the castle used for filming include the Dining Hall and the dungeon bathrooms.

The 1979 Fourth Doctor story "City of Death" was the first Doctor Who story which involved overseas filming – in the case of this earlier story in the streets of Paris, France. Subsequent stories that have involved shooting abroad include the Fifth Doctor stories: "Arc of Infinity" (Amsterdam, Holland) and "Planet of Fire" (Lanzarote) , the Second and Sixth Doctor story "The Two Doctors" (Seville, Spain), the 1996 television movie "Doctor Who: The Movie" (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) and the Tenth Doctor stories: "Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks" (New York City, USA), "The Fires of Pompeii" (Cinecittà Studios, Rome,Italy) and "Planet of the Dead" (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates).

This isn't the first time The Doctor has visited Italy. The TARDIS has landed there in the 1965 First Doctor story "The Romans", the 1976 Fourth Doctor story "The Masque of Mandragora" and the 2008 Tenth Doctor story "The Fires of Pompeii".

According to The Doctor, vampire stories exist on many planets and their legends derive from enemies of the Time Lords known as Great Vampires. The Fourth Doctor previously encountered vampires of a different kind in the 1980 story "State of Decay". The Doctor has also faced vampire-like creatures in the 1989 Seventh Doctor story "The Curse of Fenric" and the 2007 Tenth Doctor story "Smith and Jones".

The Doctor compares the vampires to the famous escapologist, Harry Houdini who is renowned for tricks such as freeing himself from handcuffs, straitjackets and heavy chains. In the 1974 Third Doctor story "The Planet of the Spiders" The Doctor revealed he was trained in the art of escapology by Houdini, something he later confirms in the 1975 Fourth Doctor story "Revenge of the Cybermen". He is also referenced by The Doctor in the 2009 animated story "Dreamland".

The Doctor also mentions Casanova, the famously eighteenth century charismatic writer and traveller. Giacomo Girolamo Casanova de Seingalt. Numerous myths and legends have sprung up around Casanova and he has been depicted on screen many times. Perhaps the best portrayal was in Russell T Davies' BBC version of his life where he was played by David Tennant before he became the Tenth Doctor...

When The Doctor shows the vampires his identification, he shows a library card instead of psychic paper as used by the Tenth Doctor. The photo on it shows the First Doctor, played by William Hartnell. The Eleventh Doctor did use the psychic paper in "The Eleventh Hour".

It is revealed that the Vampires in this story are not real vampires, but are of alien origin. They are fish-like alien creatures, called Saturnynians, who use Perception Filters to hide themselves to other people. The perception filter is shown to have a self preservation loophole, making the teeth visible when the brain detects a threat.

The name of the species, Saturnynians, is not actually spoken in this story.

Rosanna Calvierri is also heard to mention ‘the fall of silence’, a continuing theme first mentioned in "The Eleventh Hour".

The relationship between Rosanna Calvierri and her son, and their plan to convert people to become their species, is similar to that of the Family of Blood who shared a close bond and took over individuals to go unnoticed.

In the preview trailer for this season, a clip of one of the vampires is seen leaping for Rory, without any change. In the actual story, the vampire changes to his alien form. Differences like this have happened many times from trailer to the broadcast story.

A 90-second clip from this story was shown during Matt Smith's appearance on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross on 26th March 2010.

Although "The Vampires of Venice" is the first Doctor Who story title to contain the word ‘vampires’ the working title for the 1971 Third Doctor story "The Claws of Axos" was "The Vampires from Space".

There was some initial confusion over the title of this story, with some media sources (including Matt Smith in a television interview) using the title "Vampires in Venice".

The accompanying Doctor Who Confidential is entitled "Death in Venice", a reference to the Thomas Mann novel of that name. It was made into a BAFTA-winning film starring Dirk Bogarde in 1971.

Following on immediately after this story, on BBC3, was the sixth chapter of the fifth series of Doctor Who Confidential. Titled "Death in Venice" which looked into the making of this story and filming in Croatia. It was presented by Alex Price.



First and Last

The Firsts:

 The first trip in the TARDIS for Rory Williams, played by Arthur Darvill, and also his first story as an official companion.

 The first Doctor Who story to be written by Toby Whitehouse.

 The first Doctor Who story to be produced by Patrick Schweitzer.

 The first Doctor Who story to be directed by Jonny Campbell.


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The Plot

WARNING: May Contain SpoilersHide Text
A Trip To Venice
A Trip To Venice

Following Amy Pond's attempts to seduce him (see the end of "The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone"), The Doctor gatecrashes her fiancé, Rory's stag party and tells him of what has happened. Knowing full well that travelling with him has a habit of destroying his companions' lives and relationships on Earth, The Doctor decides to take Amy and Rory on a romantic trip to get their relationship back on track.

The TARDIS lands in the city of Venice in 1580, but The Doctor and his two travelling companions quickly discover that all is not well, as according to the citizens, plague is running rampant, and the city has been placed under quarantine at the order of the city's patron, Signora Rosanna Calvierri.

The Doctor heads to the Calvierri's palazzo, where he discovers that Rosanna Calvierri runs a school for the betterment of young ladies, which is highly sought after. However, as The Doctor watches, he sees a Venetian carpenter called Guido, who had entered his daughter, Isabella into the school several days before, trying to remove his daughter from the school. After Guido is turned away by the guards, The Doctor goes after him and learns that something evil is happening in the school, for his daughter didn't recognise him, and the girl who turned him away had behaved like an animal with long vampire-like teeth…

Isabella and Guido
Isabella and Guido

Meanwhile, Amy and Rory, desperately trying to get along and to enjoy their time in Sixteenth Century Venice, hear a scream, and go to investigate. They find Rosanna Calvierri's son, Francesco, drinking blood from the neck of a flower girl who he has just attacked. As Rory tends to the girl, Amy chases after Francesco, only to lose him when he turns into an alley that opens onto a canal.

The Doctor, with Guido's help, sneaks into the school, but he is ambushed by five beautiful girls. Upon noticing the girls have no reflections, and seeing their teeth are curved fangs, The Doctor quickly makes an escape and tells Amy, Rory and Guido that there are vampires in Venice.

Rosanna Calvierri
Rosanna Calvierri

Needing a way into the school, Amy suggests that she pose as a destitute girl to gain entrance to the school, then open a way for The Doctor and the others to enter. Despite his distaste for the idea, The Doctor reluctantly agrees. However, Amy is caught shortly after opening a trap door for the others and is taken to a chamber by Rosanna, Francesco and another girl to be transformed. Unaware of Amy’s capture The Doctor and Rory sneak into the school. Their they find a desiccated female corpse. The Doctor theorise that not all the girls survive the process of being turned into vampires. Worried about Amy being missing Rory angrily tells The Doctor that the greatest danger he poses to his companions is the fact he drives his companions to put themselves at risk trying to impress him.

The Doctor and Rory's presence in the school is discovered by the Calvierri Girls, while trying to escape they eventually find themselves trapped by Rosanna and Francesco. Fortunately Amy is rescued by Isabella and while they try to escape they come across The Doctor and Rory. Their sudden arrival in the corridor provides a distraction allowing them all to escape from Calvierri's palazzo. Isabella, however, is caught just as the others reach safety. Having been partially transformed she is affected by the sunlight and is then dragged back into the school. Her final fate is to be thrown into the canal, where something alive in the water drags her under.

The Doctor goes back to the school and confronts Rosanna Calvierri. He identifies her as a Saturnynian, a race of aquatic beings. The vampire traits displayed are a result of the natural teeth of the species, their natural aversion to sunlight (being deep-sea creatures) and a perception filter they wear to give themselves human appearance by manipulating brain waves which is rendered redundant when seen in a mirror, hence no reflection. Rosanna explains that her people's planet was lost when her race ‘ran from the silence’ through a crack in the universe that sealed behind them, leaving the Saturnynians trapped on Sixteenth Century Earth and in Venice.

Francesco Calvierri
Francesco Calvierri

As they question each other The Doctor is forced to identify himself as from Gallifrey. On learning this Rosanna Calvierri proposes an alliance, but The Doctor refuses. The Doctor is then escorted out of the school. As he departs Rosanna announces that the storm is coming. She also orders her girls to kill The Doctor and his companions.

At Guido's house, The Doctor realises that the Saturnynians are planning to make Venice habitable for their species by sinking the city. The purpose of Rosanna's school was to lure girls to the school that could be converted into female Saturnynians, since only males survived the fall through time. At that moment, the Calvierri girls attack the house, but Guido buys The Doctor, Amy and Rory enough time to escape by detonating barrels of gunpowder he had stolen from his workplace at the Arsenal, sacrificing himself but killing the Calvierri girls who have fully transformed into female Saturnynians. The Doctor then instructs Amy and Rory to return to the safety of the TARDIS. Reluctant at first they agree. But on there way they are confronted by Francesco who starts to attack Amy. She is saved by Rory who inadvertently annoys Francesco by insulting his mother. A fight then takes place between Francesco and Rory. However, Rory is soon overpowered and is about to be killed by Francesco, who has transformed into a Saturnynian, when Amy is able to use a mirror to reflect sunlight onto Francesco causing the creature to explode.

At the same time, Rosanna Calvierri activates a device that triggers an immense storm over Venice even though The Doctor tells her that all the female Satunynians she has created are dead. Realising that the storm will trigger earthquakes and tsunamis which will sink the city The Doctor, with the help of Amy and Rory who after their encounter with Francesco have rejoined him, The Doctor climbs to the top of a tower to deactivate the device so saving Venice. Defeated, Rosanna throws herself into the water to join her doomed offspring, but not before tormenting The Doctor with the knowledge he is now responsible for the extinction of two species: hers, and his own.

With everything returning to normal, The Doctor invites Rory to continue travelling him and Amy in the TARDIS, but as The Doctor and Rory are about to enter the TARDIS, everything falls silent. Unnerved, The Doctor remembers Rosanna Calvierri's words: ‘We saw silence, and the end of all things...’.

 
The Doctor and Amy
The Doctor and Amy
Vampire Attack
Vampire Attack
The Calvierri Girls
The Calvierri Girls
The Doctor
The Doctor
 
A Destitute Amy
A Destitute Amy
Amy is Bitten
Amy is Bitten
A Satunynian
A Satunynian
Amy and Rory
Amy and Rory




Quote of the Story


 'Her planet dies, so they flee through a crack in space and time, and end up here, then she closes up the city and, one by one, changes people into creatures like her to start a new gene pool. Got it! Then what? They come from the sea; they can't survive forever on land, so what's she going to do? Unless she's going to do something to the environment to make it habitable…'

The Doctor



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Release Information

FormatTitleRelease Date (UK)Code NumberCover ArtRemarks
Video
DVD
The Time of Angels - Flesh and Stone - The Vampires of VeniceJuly 2010BBCDVD 3214Photo-montage
Video
Blu-Ray
The Time of Angels - Flesh and Stone - The Vampires of VeniceJuly 2010BBCBD 0083Photo-montage
Video
DVD
The Complete Fifth Series Box SetNovember 2010BBCDVD 3285Photo-montageDVD boxed set containing all 10 stories
Video
Blu-Ray
The Complete Fifth Series Box SetNovember 2010BBCBD 0115Photo-montageBlu-Ray boxed set containing all 10 stories
Video
DVD
The Complete Fifth Series Box Set (Limited Edition)November 2010BBCDVD 3344Photo-montageLimited Edition DVD boxed set containing all 10 stories
Video
Blu-Ray
The Complete Fifth Series Box Set (Limited Edition)November 2010BBCBD 0130Photo-montageLimited Edition Blu-Ray boxed set containing all 10 stories
Audio
CD
Original Television Soundtrack - Series 5November 2010Photo-montageMusic by Murray Gold
Audio
CD
The Essential CompanionNovember 2010Photo-montageDocumentary
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 Fifth Series (2014 Re-release)August 2014BBCDVD 3969Photo-montageBoxed set containing all 10 stories
Video
Blu-Ray
The Complete Fifth Series Box Set (Limited Edition Steelbook)February 2020Photo-montageLimited Edition Blu-Ray Steelbook boxed set containing 10 stories


In Print

No Book Release
Doctor Who Magazine - PreviewIssue 421 (Released: May 2010)
Doctor Who Magazine - ReviewIssue 422 (Released: June 2010)
Doctor Who Magazine - Time TeamIssue 499 (Released: June 2016)
Doctor Who Magazine - The Fact of FictionIssue 527 (Released: August 2018)
Doctor Who Magazine - ArticleIssue 549 (Released: April 2020)
Doctor Who DVD FilesVolume 76 (Released: November 2011)

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Photo Gallery


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Matt Smith
The Eleventh Doctor

   

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Amy Pond
 
Arthur Darvill
Rory Williams
   




On Release

DVD Cover
DVD Cover

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Blu-Ray Cover
Blu-Ray Cover

BBC
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Complete Series DVD Box Set
Complete Series DVD Box Set

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

BBC
VIDEO
   
Ltd Edition DVD Box Set
Ltd Edition DVD Box Set

BBC
VIDEO
Ltd Edition Blu-Ray Box Set
Ltd Edition Blu-Ray Box Set

BBC
VIDEO
Original Television Soundtrack Cover
Original Television Soundtrack Cover

BBC
AUDIO
The Essential Companion Cover
The Essential Companion Cover

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

BBC
VIDEO



Magazines

Doctor Who Magazine - Preview: Issue 421
Doctor Who Magazine - Preview: Issue 421

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - Review: Issue 422
Doctor Who Magazine - Review: Issue 422

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - Time Team: Issue 499
Doctor Who Magazine - Time Team: Issue 499

Marvel Comics
   
Doctor Who Magazine - The Fact of Fiction: Issue 527
Doctor Who Magazine - The Fact of Fiction: Issue 527

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - Article: Issue 549
Doctor Who Magazine - Article: Issue 549

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who DVD Files: Volume 76
Doctor Who DVD Files: Volume 76

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