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The Message
The Message
 What will The Doctor find at the end of the universe?

 Ghosts of the past and future crowd into the lives of The Doctor and Clara. A terrified caretaker in a children's home, the last man standing in the universe, and a little boy who doesn't want to join the army.

 What happens when the Time Lord is alone… and what scares him?

Source: BBC Website

General Information

Season: Thirty Four (New Series 8)
Production Code: 8-4
Story Number: 245 (New Series: 89)
Episode Number:804 (New Series: 108)
Number of Episodes: 1
Percentage of Episodes Held:100%
Production Dates: February - March 2014
Broadcast Date: 13 September 2014
Colour Status: HD Colour
Studio: BBC Wales (Roath Lock Studios, Cardiff)
Location: The Rest in Porthcawl (Bridgend); Mimosa Restaurant at Mermaid Quay (Cardiff Bay); Bute Park and Whitchurch (Cardiff)
Writer:Steven Moffat
Director:Douglas MacKinnon
Producer:Peter Bennett
Executive Producers:Brian Minchin, Brian Minchin, Steven Moffat and Steven Moffat
Assistant Directors:Chris Thomas and Gareth Jones
Script Supervisor:Steve Walker
Script Editor:David P Davis
Editors:Selina MacArthur, Carmen Sanchez-Roberts (Assistant) and Katrina Aust (Assistant)
Production Executive:Julie Scott
Production Manager:Simon Morris
Production Assistants:Katie Player and Matthew Jones
Post Production Supervisor:Nerys Davies
Production Designer:Michael Pickwoad
Director of Photography:Suzie Lavelle
Casting Director:Andy Pryor CDG
Line Producer:Tracie Simpson
Costume Designer:Howard Burden
Make-Up Designer:Claire Pritchard-Jones
Cameramen:Cai Thompson (Assistant), Gethin Williams (Assistant), Katy Kardasz (Assistant) and Martin Stephens (Operator)
Incidental Music:Murray Gold
Special Sounds (SFX Editor):Harry Barnes
Sound Recordist:Deian Llyr Humphreys
Visual Effects:BBC Wales VFX and Milk
Special Effects:Real SFX
Stunt Co-ordinator:Crispin Layfield
Stunt Performer:Robert Pavey
Title Sequence:Billy Hanshaw
Title Music:Ron Grainer and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Arranged by Murray Gold
Music Performed By: The BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Music Conducted and Orchestrated By: Ben Foster
Music Mixed By: Jake Jackson
Music Recorded By: Gerry O'Riordan
Number of Doctors: 1
The Doctor: Peter Capaldi (The Twelfth Doctor)
Number of Companions: 1The Companion: Jenna-Louise Coleman (Clara Oswald) Number of Acquaintances: 1The Acquaintance: Samuel Anderson (Danny Pink) Additional Cast: Remi Gooding (Rupert Pink), Robert Goodman (Reg), Kiran Shah (Figure)Setting: London (21st Century); Gloucester (1990s); End of the Universe and Gallifrey Villain:None

The Episodes

No. Episodes Broadcast
Duration Viewers
In Archive
804Listen13 September 201447'48"7.0Yes

Total Duration 48 Minutes

Audience Appreciation

Average Viewers (Millions) 7.0
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2015)78.40%  (Position = 5 out of 12)


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

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"Listen" is the fourth story of Season Thirty Four (New Series 8) and has been written by Steven Moffat and directed by Douglas Mackinnon. It explored the theory proposed by The Doctor due to past experiences, leading to some exploration of his childhood.

This story stars Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman with Samuel Anderson guest starring.

Samuel Anderson appears as both Danny Pink and Orson Pink, but was credited only as 'Danny Pink' both on-screen and in the Radio Times.

This is Samuel Anderson’s second appearance as Danny Pink, a troubled war veteran turned maths teacher and Clara Oswald's love interest. He was first seen in "Into the Dalek". In this story he also portrays his descendant, Orson Pink, Earth’s first time-traveller. Danny Pink's birth name is also revealed to be Rupert, and his reasons for becoming a soldier are explored.

This story co-stars Robert Goodman playing the part of Reg - the man The Doctor chats to at the children’s home. He previously appeared in Gangs of New York, Game of Thrones and Ripper Street.

This is not Robert Goodman’s first Doctor Who appearance. He previously featured in various small roles back in the 1970s and 1980s. He was a Mandrel in the 1979 Fourth Doctor story "Nightmare of Eden", a Citizen in the 1980 Fourth Doctor story "Full Circle", a Time Lord in the 1983 Fifth Doctor story "Arc of Infinity" and a Hyperion III officer in the Season Twenty Three (The Trial of the Timelord) 1986 story "Terror of the Vervoids".

Director Douglas MacKinnon has previously directed the 2008 Tenth Doctor story "The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky", the 2012 Eleventh Doctor story "The Power of Three" and 2013 Eleventh Doctor story "Cold War". He therefore is the first person to have directed stories featuring the Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors during their respective eras. Douglas MacKinnon, also directed "Time Heist" – the next story of this season. In addition Douglas MacKinnon's work, on the second series of the crime thriller Line of Duty, has been highly acclaimed.

The read through for this story took place on the 11th February 2014. Filming began on the 17th February 2014 at The Rest in Porthcawl, Bridgend. Filming continued at the Mimosa restaurant in Mermaid Quay, Cardiff Bay, on the 24th and 25th February 2014. Filming also took place in Bute Park and Whitchurch in Cardiff. Filming was completed on the 24th March 2014.

The Twelfth Doctor uses for the first time his psychic paper when he enters the children's home. The psychic paper was first seen in the 2005 Ninth Doctor story "The End of the World" and later employed on several occasions by the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors.

This is the first time we see The Doctor as a child and it is revealed that in his youth he didn't want the other boys to hear him cry, which is why he sleeps in a barn.

The Gallifreyan adult, who visits the young Doctor in the barn, is heard to be sceptical of him joining the Academy and becoming a Time Lord.

Aside from archive footage, and body/voice doubles, this story marks the first time in years that the First Doctor has appeared in a story, as well as being played by a different actor (he has now been played by three different actors). This story also marks the very first instance The Doctor has been portrayed as a child in the televised series. He is also only the second Time Lord to be shown as a child. The first was The Master.

Clara's encounter with The Doctor as a young boy marks the second time a version of her has met his original incarnation, and the first from his perspective. In the 2013 story "The Name of The Doctor" one of Clara’s splinters, created after she entered The Doctor's time stream, had met the older First Doctor, suggesting which TARDIS to steal as he escaped from Gallifrey with his granddaughter Susan.

The reasons for the War Doctor choosing an abandoned barn for his activation of 'The Moment' in the 2013's Fiftieth Anniversary story "The Day of The Doctor" are revealed. This is the barn shown, in this story, to be The Doctor's childhood home on Gallifrey. Archive footage of John Hurt, from the fiftieth anniversary special, is seen in this story showing the War Doctor approaching the barn.

The Doctor mentions once more about being a father (see "An Unearthly Child", "Fear Her" and "The Doctor's Daughter").

Clara wonders if asking to be brought back in her recent past might break the laws of time. She also asks if it is bad if she meets herself which The Doctor replies that it is potentially catastrophic. We have previously witnessed several individuals encounter themselves thanks to time travel, and often there have been no ramifications, such as when the Third Doctor and Jo Grant met and had a brief conversation with themselves in the 1972 story "Day of the Daleks". However, in the 1983 Fifth Doctor story "Mawdryn Undead", when The Brigadier came into physical contact with another version of himself, a single momentary touch was enough to create a massive discharge of energy. Rose Tyler in "Father's Day" also persuaded The Doctor to take her back in time so that she could witness previous events which again resulted in catastrophic events.

Discounting TARDIS-orchestrated scenarios, Clara is the seventh companion to glimpse or encounter themselves in the past or future after Jo Grant ("Day of the Daleks"), The Brigadier ("Mawdryn Undead"), Peri Brown ("Peri and the Piscon Paradox"), Rose Tyler ("Father's Day"), Amy Pond ("The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood", "The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang " and "Time") and Rory Williams ("The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood " and "Time").

Like Amy Pond in "Time", Clara admires herself. Her remark about how she looks from behind mirrors the Tenth Doctor remarking how rare it was to see the back of his own head (in this case the Fifth Doctor's in "Time Crash"), though Clara's assessment is more positive.

Upon seeing herself, Clara is heard to say: ‘Is that really what my hair looks like from the back?’ - quoting Hermione Granger from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Clara is seen twice connecting herself to the TARDIS telepathic interface - first to retrieve the source of her nightmare and then to pilot the TARDIS.

Clara's words 'one day you're going to come back' and 'fear makes companions of us all' are both phrases The Doctor used in his early travels.

Clara's words 'fear doesn't have to make you cruel or cowardly' echoes what The Doctor told her was the 'promise' related to his name (see "The Day of The Doctor").

The ominous chiming of the Cloister Bell is again heard when Clara is about to operate the TARDIS. It was first heard in the 1981 Fourth Doctor’s final story, "Logopolis", when he described it as ‘a sort of communications device reserved for wild catastrophes and sudden calls to man the battle stations’.

The real name of Danny is Rupert and as a child, in the 1990s, he lived in the West Country Children's Home in Gloucester.

Clara is heard to say that she has never been to Gloucester before.

The Doctor is able to sit on the roof of his TARDIS to meditate in the quiet vacuum of space without suffocating because the TARDIS can extended her air shields (see "The Horns of Nimon", "The Time of Angels", "The Beast Below" and "The Time of The Doctor").

The idea of something scary under the bed has been used in another story written by Steven Moffat - the 2006 Tenth Doctor story "The Girl in the Fireplace". During that story one of the clockwork droids hides under Reinette’s bed. When The Doctor finds it, the robot gets to its feet and stands behind Reinette. The Time Lord then advises the young girl, ‘Don’t look round!’. In this story, when the mysterious figure in Rupert Pink’s bedroom stands behind The Doctor, Clara and Rupert, The Doctor says the exact words to Clara. Moments later, when Rupert asks ‘Has it gone?’, The Doctor again replies ‘Don’t look round!’.

The Doctor, upon awaking in the TARDIS, is heard to say, ‘The Sontarans! Perverting the course of human history!’ repeating his first words as the Fourth Doctor in the 1974/75 story "Robot". In the 1973/74 Third Doctor story "The Time Warrior", the Sontaran Commander Styre is seen giving medieval villains advanced weaponry. The Doctor was appalled at this and is heard to state ‘Human beings must be allowed to develop at their own pace!’.

When Clara sees Orson Pink in his spacesuit she initially mistakes him for The Doctor. This is because Orson Pink’s spacesuit strongly resembles the one used by The Doctor that was first seen in the 2006 Tenth Doctor story "The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit" and, in the 2013 story "Hide", Clara saw The Doctor wearing it - or a similar version of it - when they visited different periods of Earth’s history. She was heard commenting that the spacesuit’s colour was ‘a bit boisterous’.

It is revealed that Colonel Orson Pink is the first recorded human to time travel. Despite the account about Orson Pink being a pioneer of time travel in 22nd century, in the 1977 Fourth Doctor story "The Talons of Weng-Chiang" it was suggested that time travel was still experimental on Earth in the 51st century.

It is hinted that Orson Pink is the great-grandson of Clara Oswald and Danny Pink. The Doctor finds him thanks to a trace left by Clara Oswald in the telepathic circuits of the TARDIS.

The Doctor is heard to refer to the Where's Wally? book series.

The Doctor again is seen using chalk (see "Deep Breath", "Into the Dalek" and "Robot of Sherwood").

The Doctor previously visited the end of the universe in the 2007 Tenth Doctor story "Utopia".

The Doctor uses mind control (see the 1966 First Doctor story "The War Machines") to make Rupert Pink sleep and scramble his memory about their rendezvous, by pressing his fingers against his temples.

Like two previous stories in this season, "Deep Breath" and "Into the Dalek", during the title sequence this story's name is not in capitals, as has been the norm for previous stories in the show.

This story contains a number of errors. Namely: Orson Pink has a Sanctuary Base Six badge on his spacesuit (see "The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit") which was not established for another two thousand years. And it cannot belong to The Doctor as it is in the news footage before he time travels; During moments when the TARDIS is shaking in flight or is being moved, nothing falls over or moves while it does this, such as the candlesticks.

The script for the story was one of five scripts leaked online from a BBC Worldwide server in Miami, where they had been sent in preparation for broadcast in Latin America. Also a rough version of this story was leaked online. The leaked version was black-and-white, and its visual and audio effects and music are preliminary and incomplete. This leak followed similar leaks of the preceding stories "Deep Breath", "Into the Dalek", and "Robot of Sherwood", and the following story "Time Heist". The BBC released a statement urging fans not to spread spoilers from the pirated copy.

First and Last

The Firsts:

 The first time we see The Doctor as a child.

 The first story where the Twelfth Doctor uses his psychic paper.

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The Plot

WARNING: May Contain SpoilersHide Text
The Doctor
The Doctor

In the TARDIS console room The Doctor is talking to himself and postulating why people talk out loud when they are alone? He hypothesizes that it is because people inherently know that they are not alone. He then uses a chalkboard to mark down the evolutionary survival skills noting that there are perfect hunters, perfect defences, but wonders why there is no such creature that is perfect at hiding. Placing down the chalk on an open book he ponders if evolution created a creature where their purpose was to hide, how would you know, detect, or sense it? The Doctor then notices that the chalk he was using is no longer where he had left it and is now on the floor. He then notices on the chalkboard the word 'Listen' has been written.

Meanwhile Clara Oswald is meeting up with fellow Coal Hill School teacher Danny Pink, in a restaurant, for their first date. However, things take a turn for the worst when the subject of his time serving in the army comes up, and they both unintentionally offend the other with their lack of understanding of each other. Because of their growing miss-communications Clara storms out of the restaurant leaving Danny slamming his head against the table after she has left.

On her return home, Clara discovers The Doctor waiting for her. Disregarding her bad mood The Doctor insists he needs her help. Reluctantly she agrees and on entering the TARDIS, The Doctor questions whether every living being has a constant companion, using the example of the dream most children have in which a hand grabs them from under the bed at night. Clara initially dismisses this, but agrees to return to her childhood so they can investigate. The Doctor connects her to the TARDIS telepathic circuits and asks that she concentrates on the time she had the dream. He tells her to not lose concentration and to remember when it was and how it felt so that the TARDIS can lock on to the correct date and location. However, while focusing her mind on this event her phone begins to ring and her mind wanders towards Danny and him waving when she arrived at the restaurant earlier. And so the TARDIS materialises outside a children's home in Gloucester in the mid 1990s, where Clara is shocked to meet a small boy called Rupert Pink - Danny as a child - before he changed his name. In his bedroom Clara discovers Rupert is having trouble sleeping and believes that there is something under the bed. Clara therefore tries to convince the small boy that there is nothing under his bed. They crawl underneath, only for something to sit on the bed above them, despite Rupert claiming that no one else has entered the room while they have been talking.

The Date
The Date

On emerging, they discover a figure underneath Rupert's blankets, and The Doctor, who suddenly appears, demands that they turn away from it and promise that they will not look at it. They do so, and it vanishes out of the door. Alone in the room Clara tries to calm Rupert down while The Doctor continuously makes comments that do not help. She inspires Rupert to be fearless using toy soldiers underneath his bed as 'protection'. She also unintentionally inspires his later name, Danny, and his career choice, when Rupert names the lead soldier Dan. Rupert then asks Clara if she will read him a story to help him sleep to which The Doctor walks forward, places a finger on Rupert's head which renders him unconscious.

Back inside the TARDIS The Doctor asks Clara why they ended up at the children's home as the TARDIS was locked on to her timeline. She insists it was because she got distracted and lies when The Doctor asks if she has any connection to Rupert. Feeling also guilty about the way she left Danny during her date, Clara asks The Doctor for a favour and gets him to drop her back to the moment just after she left the restaurant. Back with Danny they start to strike a bond with each other until Clara accidentally calls Danny 'Rupert' This makes him suspicious, questioning how she knows his former name, and accuses her of deliberately mocking him. He then storms out of the restaurant as a figure in a spacesuit beckons that she follow him into the kitchen where the TARDIS can be seen parked. Originally thinking the suited character to be The Doctor, Clara is shocked when, back inside the TARDIS, he removes his helmet to reveal a man striking a strong resemblance to Danny. The Doctor reveals him to be Orson Pink, one of Earth's first time travellers, having originally come from 100 years in Clara's future.

Danny Pink
Danny Pink

When she inquires how she found him he says that he reactivated the trace memories left over from her subconscious and the TARDIS brought him to the end of the universe where Orson had become stuck on an expedition where, when mankind meant to send a man through time by one week, he got sent to the end of time by mistake and has been stranded there for six months. It is also revealed that Orson possesses the soldier Clara gave a young Rupert (the young Danny) earlier so suggesting that Danny and Clara may be Orson's great grandparents.

Arriving back to the end of time, and to Orson's capsule, The Doctor notices that Orson has locked his capsule even though there is no one left alive in the universe. Orson is adamant about not speaking about it but The Doctor believes that the creatures have survived and now that no one else is left they have no more reason to hide. He agrees to take Orson home on the condition they spend one more evening there (under the pretence that the TARDIS needs time to recharge).

Outside of the TARDIS The Doctor and Clara wait for night to fall. The lighting inside changes and the written words 'Don't open the door' appear on the locked door. The Doctor makes a point stating that the writing is only visible at night and that Orson likely wrote it because while he is terrified of what is outside six months of solitary confinement could lead to temptation to have company. Their discussion is then halted by a shriek outside. When Clara asks why they do not just leave if there is possible danger The Doctor reveals that this is his best chance of seeing what the creatures are that remain out of sight. When the creatures begin to bang on the locked door The Doctor unlocks it. He then demands that Clara get back in the TARDIS but when she refuses to leave him outside alone he threatens that if she does not do as he commands she will never travel with him again. Upset, she goes inside as The Doctor waits for the creatures to enter the spaceship.

The Doctor
The Doctor

Inside the TARDIS Clara and Orson watch on the monitor to see what is taking place outside and as the monitor begins to malfunction they see enough to show that The Doctor is holding on to the console as the air shell has been breached. Realising that The Doctor is about to die Orson steps out of the TARDIS and rescues him. With The Doctor unconscious Clara uses the TARDIS' telepathic connection again to escape the end of the universe and the creatures who are now trying to enter the TARDIS.

Exiting the TARDIS, which has materialised in an unknown location, Clara finds herself in an old barn, where a child is in bed, crying under the covers. Clara approaches the child, but is forced to hide under the bed when two people enter and try and coax the child out of the room. Overhearing their conversation, she realises that the child is in fact The Doctor, and his guardians are trying to force him to be a soldier as they do not believe him to have the potential of becoming a true Time Lord. When they leave, Clara accidentally grabs The Doctor's leg when he tries to get out of bed, and she realises she is the monster under The Doctor's bed. After convincing the young Doctor to return to sleep, she comforts him, and reveals that one day he will return to the barn (this was as the War Doctor as seen in "The Day of The Doctor"). Before Clara returns to the TARDIS she leaves the toy soldier 'Dan' by his bed to remind him that fear makes companions out of everyone.

Inside the TARDIS Clara discovers that The Doctor is awake and wondering where they are. Clara tells him not to investigate but to promise her that they will take off and never look at where they have just travelled to. The Doctor at first refuses but when Clara insists that he does what he is told he eventually obeys her command. Outside the young Doctor sits up from his bed as the TARDIS dematerialises from the barn.

Returning Clara to Earth and Orson to his original time period, The Doctor decides there is no such creature under the bed, and Rupert Pink's 'monster' was in fact another child at the children's home scaring him. Clara, meanwhile, goes to Danny's house, where they apologise for the hurtful things they said to each other earlier and Clara gives him a kiss. The Doctor, seemingly satisfied, underlines the word 'Listen' on the blackboard and the young Doctor sees the toy soldier Dan, the leader who is so powerful he does not need a weapon.

Clara Meets Rupert Pink
Clara Meets Rupert Pink
Orson Pink
Orson Pink
The End of the Universe
The End of the Universe
The Doctor, Clara and Orson Pink
The Doctor, Clara and Orson Pink
Clara and Orson Pink
Clara and Orson Pink
What's Under the Bed?
What's Under the Bed?

Quote of the Story

 'What's that in the mirror? Or the corner of your eye?
What's that footstep following, but never passing by?
Perhaps they're all just waiting, perhaps when we're all dead.
Out they'll come a-slithering from underneath the bed.'

The Doctor

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Release Information

FormatTitleRelease Date (UK)Code NumberCover ArtRemarks
The Complete Eighth Series Box SetNovember 2014BBCDVD 3935Photo-montageDVD boxed set containing 11 stories
The Complete Eighth Series Box SetNovember 2014BBCBD 0272Photo-montageBlu-Ray boxed set containing 11 stories
The Complete Eighth Series Box Set (BBC Shop Exclusive)November 2014BBCDVD 4003Photo-montageDVD boxed set containing 11 stories
The Complete Eighth Series Box Set (BBC Shop Exclusive)November 2014BBCBD 0289Photo-montageBlu-Ray boxed set containing 11 stories
Original Television Soundtrack - Series 8May 2015Photo-montageMusic by Murray Gold

In Print

No Book Release
Doctor Who Magazine - PreviewIssue 477 (Released: October 2014)
Doctor Who Magazine - ReviewIssue 478 (Released: November 2014)

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Photo Gallery

The Doctor and Companion/Acquaintance

Peter Capaldi
The Twelfth Doctor


Jenna-Louise Coleman
Clara Oswald
Samuel Anderson
Danny Pink

On Release

Complete Series DVD Box Set
Complete Series DVD Box Set

Complete Series Blu-Ray Box Set
Complete Series Blu-Ray Box Set

Complete Series DVD Box Set (BBC Shop Exclusive)
Complete Series DVD Box Set (BBC Shop Exclusive)

Complete Series Blu-Ray Box Set (BBC Shop Exclusive)
Complete Series Blu-Ray Box Set (BBC Shop Exclusive)

Original Television Soundtrack Cover
Original Television Soundtrack Cover



Doctor Who Magazine - Preview: Issue 477
Doctor Who Magazine - Preview: Issue 477

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - Review: Issue 478
Doctor Who Magazine - Review: Issue 478

Marvel Comics

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