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Peter Capaldi
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Synopsis


Smile
Smile
 In the far future, at the edge of the galaxy, there is a gleaming, perfect city. This brand-new human settlement is said to hold the secret of human happiness - but the only smiles The Doctor and Bill can find are on a pile of grinning skulls.

 Something is alive in the walls, and the Emojibots are watching from the shadows, as The Doctor and Bill try to unravel a terrifying mystery…

Source: Radio Times


General Information

Season: Thirty Six (New Series 10)
Production Code: 10-2
Story Number: 265 (New Series: 109)
Episode Number:829 (New Series: 133)
Number of Episodes: 1
Percentage of Episodes Held:100%
Production Dates: June - July 2016
Broadcast Date: 22 April 2017
Colour Status: HD Colour
Studio: BBC Wales (Roath Lock Studios, Cardiff)
Location: City of Arts and Sciences, Valencia, Spain
Writer:Frank Cottrell-Boyce
Director:Lawrence Gough
Producer:Peter Bennett
Executive Producers:Brian Minchin and Steven Moffat
Assistant Directors:Lauren Pate and Rhun Llewelyn
Script Executive:Lindsey Alford
Script Supervisor:Nicki Coles
Script Editors:Nick Lambon and Emma Genders (Assistant)
Editors:Will Oswald, Becky Trotman (Assistant) and David Davies (Assistant)
Head of Production:Gordon Ronald
Production Executive:Tracie Simpson
Production Manager:Medyr Llewelyn
Production Assistants:Jamie Shaw and Virginia Bonet
Post Production Supervisor:Samantha Price
Production Designer:Michael Pickwoad
Director of Photography:Ashley Rowe
Casting Director:Andy Pryor CDG
Line Producer:Steffan Morris
Costume Designer:Hayley Nebauer
Make-Up Designer:Barbara Southcott
Cameramen:Dan Patounas (Assistant), Drew Marsden (Assistant), Gethin Williams (Assistant) and Mark McQuoid (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
Prosthetics:Millennium FX
Special Creature Effects:Millennium FX
Stunt Co-ordinator:Dani Biernat
Title Sequence:Billy Hanshaw
Title Music:Ron Grainer and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Arranged by Murray Gold
Music Conducted and Orchestrated By: Alastair King
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: 2The Companions: Matt Lucas (Nardole) and Pearl Mackie (Bill Potts) Guest Cast: Ralph Little (Steadfast) Additional Cast: Kiran L. Dadlani (Kezzia), Mina Anwar (Goodthing), Kaizer Akhtar (Praiseworthy), Kalungi Ssebandeke (Nate), Kiran Shah (Emojibot 1), Craig Garner (Emojibot 2)Setting: Gliese 581 D (Far Future) Villain:Vardy

The Episodes

No. Episodes Broadcast
(UK)
Duration Viewers
(Millions)
In Archive
829Smile22 April 201745'43"6.0Yes

Total Duration 46 Minutes


Audience Appreciation

Average Viewers (Millions) 6.0
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2017)66.20%  (Position = 11 out of 12)


Archives


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



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Notes


This story has been written by award winning screenwriter Frank Cottrell-Boyce. This is his second Doctor Who story - his previous being the 2014 story "In the Forest of the Night".

This story has been directed by Lawrence Gough - his second story of this season.

Ralf Little, who plays the part of Steadfast, is no stranger to Doctor Who as he voiced the part of Guy Fawkes in the 2011 adventure "The Gunpowder Plot" - the fifth and final episode of Doctor Who: The Adventure Games.

Mina Anwar, who plays the part of Goodthing, is also a well-known face in the Doctor Who universe. She starred as Gita Chandra in four series of The Sarah Jane Adventures.

Other familiar names on the credits include Kiran Shah who plays an Emojibot - having previously featured in the 2014 story "Listen" - and Kaizer Akhtar as Praiseworthy.

The read-through for this story and the previous story, "The Pilot", took place on the 14th June 2016. Filming for both stories took place in the first production block which began in Cardiff on the 20th June 2016 and concluded on the 28th July 2016.

The story was partly recorded in Valencia in Spain - as the cast and crew spent a week working in the city, on the Spanish south-eastern coast, from the 25th July 2016 - and features some stunning locations, including Valencia's futuristic City of Arts and Sciences complex. The buildings were designed by architect Santiago Calatrava, and have previously been used as a location for scenes from the 2015 George Clooney film Tomorrowland.

Travelling companion, Bill Potts, is still learning about The Doctor and in this story she discovers that he has two hearts! This aspect of his anatomy was first revealed in the 1970 Third Doctor story "Spearhead From Space" when a medic ran tests on the unconscious Time Lord and came across the anomaly, initially believing it to be a hoax! The Doctor confirms that his binary vascular system though gives him high blood pressure.

The Doctor is heard telling Bill to ‘Stay away from my browser history!’ echoing his plea to Osgood in the 2015 story "The Zygon Invasion/The Zygon Inversion" where he requested ‘Don’t look at my browser history!’.

Bill again calls The Doctor ‘a penguin with its arse on fire’ when she sees him run. (see "The Pilot").

Nardole reminds The Doctor that he can't go off-world because he promised (see "The Pilot").

The Doctor is heard calling Nardole ‘Mum’, indicating that he acts like his boss.

The Vardy can eat other species, leaving behind just bones and skulls. They can cloak themselves as walls and buildings, by interlinking with each other. They are able to detach themselves when needed. They are now the indigenous species on the planet. The Doctor describes them as being the ‘worker bees of the Third Industrial Revolution’. They have identified grief as the enemy of happiness.

The Vardy are named after Andrew Vardy, a professor of swarm robotics at the Memorial University of Newfoundland. Andrew Vardy once worked on a short story with Frank Cottrell-Boyce based on his robotics research.

The Doctor has previously encountered nanorobots, that have caused trouble for humans, in the 2005 Tenth Doctor story "The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances".

The Doctor has previously met tiny creatures, that can turn a living human into a skeleton in seconds, in the 2008 Tenth Doctor story "Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead".

The Emojibots are an interface of the Vardy.

The Emojibots speak Emoji. Emoji used by them include: a smiling face, a skull (a symbol of death), a crying face, a light bulb (symbolising a new idea forming), a

puzzled face, a question mark (indicating confusion) and thumbs up (indicating approval). Emojis date back to the late 1990s and the word itself comes from the Japanese (meaning ‘picture’) and moji (meaning ‘character’ or ‘letter’).

Stories in which servants have turned against their masters have already been seen in "The Robots of Death", "Voyage of the Damned" and "The Beast Below", as well the Ood race.

Bill is heard asking why the chairs in the TARDIS are so far from the console and whether The Doctor has ‘stretchy arms’ like Mister Fantastic. She also asks him if she has to wear a seatbelt during flight and if there is a steering wheel.

Bill is heard questioning The Doctor on the police box exterior, and deduces that he likes it because of the sign - which reads ‘Advice & assistance obtainable immediately. Officer & cars respond to all calls’.

The Doctor states that you have to negotiate with the TARDIS and that the time machine takes him where they need to go, rather than where they want to travel to (see the 2011 Eleventh Doctor story "The Doctor's Wife").

The Doctor confesses that he stole the TARDIS (see the 2013 Eleventh Doctor story "The Name of The Doctor").

The Doctor says the TARDIS has broadband and suggests that Bill watch some movies or something to pass the time while he returned to the colony.

The planet The Doctor and Bill visit is called Gliese 581 D and the colony’s spaceship, that The Doctor and Bill find on the planet, is called the Erehwon. The company that owns it is called United Earth.

The name of the spaceship is based on the work Erewhon: or, Over the Range by Samuel Butler; the story is of a man that finds a seemingly idealistic society but then turns away when he discovers there are harsh penalties for even slight offenses.

The Doctor discovers that the Erewhon has a Fleishman Cold Fusion Engine and the engine has a Kelvin Calorimeter. The name Fleishman could be a reference to British chemist Martin Fleischmann (1927-2012) who, along with his colleague, Stanley Pons, declared in 1989 that they had produced fusion at room temperature. This process was soon after dubbed ‘cold fusion’. It’s worth noting, however, that the name as it appears on the apparatus The Doctor reconfigures is spelt ‘Fleishman’ and not ‘Fleischmann’.

There is a bust of Queen Nefertiti in the colony’s spaceship (see the 2012 Eleventh Doctor story "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship").

Bill is heard to say that she is in a ‘proper spaceship’. The Tenth Doctor was previously offended when Donna Noble said something similar in the 2008 story "Planet of the Ood").

We’ve seen The Doctor visiting many Earth colonies including settlements on Pluto (in the 1977 Fourth Doctor story "The Sun Makers"), Frontios (in the 1984 Fifth Doctor story "Frontois") and the planet Uxarieus in the appropriately titled 1971 Third Doctor story "Colony in Space".

The idea of humanity engaged on a hazardous journey through space, to find a new home, has been the basis for many previous Doctor Who stories, ranging from the 1975 Fourth Doctor story "The Ark in Space" to the 2007 Tenth Doctor story "Utopia". The concept was first explored in the 1966 First Doctor story "The Ark", where the TARDIS travelled to the distant future, landing on a vast spaceship that’s on a 700-year mission, transporting Earth’s surviving plant and animal life (including mankind) to the planet Refusis II.

On realising the danger they are in The Doctor tries to leave Bill in the TARDIS, to keep her out of danger, in the same way as the Ninth Doctor did with Rose Tyler in the 2005 story "Bad Wolf/The Parting of the Ways" and the Eleventh Doctor did with Clara Oswald in the 2013 story "The Time of The Doctor".

The Doctor and Bill are heard to mention Aberdeen and Wiltshire as potential future destinations. Wiltshire was the setting of the 1971 Third Doctor story "The Dæmons" and Aberdeen was the place where the Fourth Doctor left Sarah Jane Smith at the end of 1976 story "The Hand of Fear", believing it was South Croydon.

The Doctor is heard reciting the line ‘I'm happy, hope you're happy too’ from the David Bowie song Ashes to Ashes. Reference is also made to the song Any Old Iron made famous by Harry Champion.

The Doctor is heard to say that the colonists will come expecting the ‘Garden of Eden’.

The Doctor and Bill receive sound implants on arrival at the colony. The Doctor calls them ‘thingamabobs’. All inhabitants and visitors are also given mood badges. The Doctor says that smiling psychologically has an effect on the mood.

The Doctor and Bill are served squares of algae jelly. According to Bill, it smells of fish. The Doctor reveals that he does not like fish.

The Doctor is heard saying that he knew an emperor made of algae that fancied him.

Because Bill is only served one jelly, while The Doctor is given two, she asks whether they have food sexism even in the future.

The Doctor explains that because space is curved, the Earth is in any direction you choose to look in.

Bill is heard to ask The Doctor why he is Scottish.

The Doctor says that Scotland demands independence every planet they go to such as when they wanted a separate spaceship from Starship UK in the 2010 Eleventh Doctor story "The Beast Below". In real world current events, at the time of this story's release, Scotland was again seeking independence from the United Kingdom, as a result of Brexit.

The archives, that Bill discovers in the colony’s spaceship, shows the entire human history. It includes tribal people ("An Unearthly Child"), Vincent van Gogh's self-portrait ("Vincent and The Doctor") and Stonehenge ("The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang").

The Doctor previously visited a human colony, in the 1988 Seventh Doctor story "The Happiness Patrol", in which unhappy people were also killed.

Bill and The Doctor use the ‘turn it off and on again’ joke when he resets the Emojibots.

Like in the 2015 Christmas special "The Husbands of River Song" The Doctor again avoids giving a long explanation by saying ‘a thing happened’.

The Doctor mentions how Vikings used to turn boats upside down and use them as houses. He met Vikings in the 1965 First Doctor story "The Time Meddler" and the 2015 story "The Girl Who Died".

Bill suggests the slaughter took place all in one day. The Doctor has experienced events occurring all in one day before (see the 2008 Tenth Doctor story "The Doctor's Daughter").

This story contains an error. When Kezzia states that she is using the Vardy to pollinate the wheat. However, the field used in filming is not a field of wheat, but a field of barley.

At the end of this story, when the TARDIS takes The Doctor and Bill to another location, we see an elephant. Over fifty years earlier, the 1966 First Doctor story "The Ark" was the first Doctor Who story to feature an elephant. In this earlier story it was a baby Indian elephant, named Monica.


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The Plot

WARNING: May Contain SpoilersHide Text
The Doctor and Bill in the TARDIS
The Doctor and Bill in the TARDIS

The Doctor is showing Bill Potts the TARDIS when Nardole abruptly interrupts them. Suspecting that The Doctor is about to take Bill on a trip in his time machine he reminds The Doctor of his oath to stay on Earth and to protect the Vault. Despite Nardole's caution The Doctor sends him off to make some tea. The Doctor then lets Bill choose her first destination for a trip that will last for as long as it takes Nardole to boil the kettle.

The TARDIS takes them to the far future on an off-world Earth colony called Gliese 581 D. They find that the colony is empty except for millions of nanobots called the Vardy that maintain it, along with their robotic avatars that interact with the pair via emoji. The Emojibots give The Doctor and Bill badges. Each disc communicates the holder's expression, also through emoji. The Doctor and Bill try to put the disc on their chests but they automatically fly to their backs so preventing them seeing their own emotions being reported. The Doctor deduces that this is the only way to communicate with the Vardy.

As they look around the colony The Doctor is puzzled by the lack of any human presence and he becomes more sceptical at every turn. The Doctor suspects they have arrived before the full colony spaceship is due, but remains curious as to the absence of any type of pre-colony crew preparing for their arrival.

Nardole
Nardole

When they enter a nursery The Doctor discovers an automated system spraying calcium-based fertiliser onto plants. The Doctor then finds a discarded necklace, which leads him to discover broken human skeletons being crushed to make the fertiliser. He realises that these must be the remains of the human party, sent in advance of the rest of the colonists. He deduces that the Vardy are perversely enforcing their programming that everyone should be kept happy by consuming anyone who experiences sadness, grief or other negative emotions.

An Emojibot then shows The Doctor the teary-eyed emoji on his mood badge, changing into the skull-faced emoji - the sign of death. Realising the danger they are in The Doctor warns Bill to keep smiling as they make their escape back to the safety of the TARDIS.

The TARDIS Arrives
The TARDIS Arrives

Their The Doctor instructs Bill to remain in the TARDIS while he runs back to the city to destroy it and the Vardy before they can kill the incoming colonists expressing a 'childish impulse to blow it up'. In the TARDIS Bill wonders why The Doctor can't just call a 'helpline' to deal with the problem instead, but then notices the reassuring message on the TARDIS' police box door: 'Advice and assistance obtainable immediately' and realises that The Doctor is the person to provide this service.

Back in the city, The Doctor convinces an Emojibot that he is happy, but his happy-faced badge changes to show a light bulb shortly afterwards. The Doctor then realises that Bill has followed him back to the city. He explains to her that the entire city is made out of interlocked Vardy microbots. However, The Doctor believes that the centre of the city houses the spaceship in which the colonists first arrived.

The Doctor soon locates the spaceship and reveals to Bill that he plans to overload its reactor to destroy the Vardy before the arrival of the unsuspecting colonists. However, Bill discovers a young boy who leads her to a large number of hibernation chambers including some humans just awaking. On discovering this The Doctor realises that this is the colony's spaceship.

Looking Around
Looking Around

The pair review the spaceship's logs from the non-hibernating flight crew. They discover that the Vardy were programmed to help construct and operate the colony and make the colonists happy, using the emotion badges and avatars to communicate their emotional state. When one of the flight crew died naturally, it created grief amongst the crew that the avatars were not programmed to register. The Vardy took this as a sign of disease, and killed those who displayed unhappiness. This however, created a 'grief tsunami' which rapidly wiped out the entire flight crew, and will likely wipe out all the waking colonists, who are the last survivors of earth, when they discover what has happened.

On awakening The Doctor informs the colonists on what has happened and the danger they are in. Despite The Doctor's warning the colonists decide that they must leave the spaceship and combat the Vardy to protect their hibernating crew.

Failing to dissuade any fighting, The Doctor solves the problem of the deadly robots by rebooting the system to a point before they saw grief as a disease. The Doctor also advises the Emojibots that they could make a fortune charging the humans rent as an added bonus for keeping them alive.

The Doctor and Bill then return to the TARDIS which returns them to Earth. But instead of taking them back to The Doctor's study they find themselves on the frozen Thames as an elephant looks on...

 
An Emojibot
An Emojibot
Bill Potts
Bill Potts
A Grisly Discovery
A Grisly Discovery
A Sad Emojibot
A Sad Emojibot
 
Discovering the Spaceship
Discovering the Spaceship
Deadly Emojibots
Deadly Emojibots
The Colonists Fight Back
The Colonists Fight Back
The Doctor Negotiating
The Doctor Negotiating




Quote of the Story


 'Between here and my office, before the kettle boils, is everything that ever happened, or ever will. Make your choice.'

The Doctor



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Release Information

FormatTitleRelease Date (UK)Code NumberCover ArtRemarks
Video
DVD
Doctor Who Series 10 Part 1 Box SetJune 2017BBCDVD 4202Photo-montageDVD boxed set containing 6 stories
Video
Blu-Ray
Doctor Who Series 10 Part 1 Box SetJune 2017BBCBD 0394Photo-montageBlu-Ray boxed set containing 6 stories
Video
DVD
The Complete Tenth Series Box SetNovember 2017BBCDVD 4224Photo-montageDVD boxed set containing 12 stories
Video
Blu-Ray
The Complete Tenth Series Box SetNovember 2017BBCBD 0406Photo-montageBlu-Ray boxed set containing 12 stories
Video
Blu-Ray
The Complete Tenth Series Box Set (Limited Edition Steelbook)November 2017BBCBD 0421Photo-montageLimited Edition Blu-Ray Steelbook boxed set containing 12 stories
Video
Blu-Ray
The Complete Tenth Series Box Set (Limited Edition UK Exclusive Steelbook)November 2017BBCBD 0421Photo-montageLimited Edition (UK Exclusive) Blu-Ray Steelbook boxed set containing 12 stories


In Print

No Book Release
Doctor Who Magazine - PreviewIssue 511 (Released: May 2017)
Doctor Who Magazine - ReviewIssue 512 (Released: June 2017)

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Photo Gallery


The Doctor and Companions

 
Peter Capaldi
The Twelfth Doctor

   

Matt Lucas
Nardole
 
Pearl Mackie
Bill Potts
   




On Release

DVD Part 1 Box Set
DVD Part 1 Box Set

BBC
VIDEO
Blu-Ray Part 1 Box Set
Blu-Ray Part 1 Box Set

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

BBC
VIDEO
Complete Series Blu-Ray Limited Edition (UK Exclusive) Steelbook Box Set
Complete Series Blu-Ray Limited Edition (UK Exclusive) Steelbook Box Set

BBC
VIDEO
   


Magazines

Doctor Who Magazine - Preview: Issue 511
Doctor Who Magazine - Preview: Issue 511

Marvel Comics
 
Doctor Who Magazine - Review: Issue 512
Doctor Who Magazine - Review: Issue 512

Marvel Comics
   

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