Tracking a space vehicle that’s capable of limited time travel as it plummets toward Earth, the Doctor and Rose are unaware at first that they’ve arrived in Britain during the Blitz. The Doctor begins looking for the crashed spacecraft, while Rose, trying to reach a child she sees dangerously close to the edge of a tall building, puts herself in danger and is rescued by the handsome Captain Jack Harkness. Supposedly an American advisor to the Royal Air Force, Jack reveals himself to be a rogue former “time agent,” and assumes from such things as Rose’s cell phone that she is too. In the meantime, the Doctor has also encountered the mysterious child Rose saw earlier, wandering around London even in the midst of bombing raids and asking for his mother. He seems to be following a group of homeless children led by a young woman named Nancy, who fears the child and tells the Doctor to keep his distance from him. The Doctor discovers that the child isn’t the only person in London asking for his mother. A plague has begun creeping through the population, especially close to the crash site of the spacecraft, disfiguring its victims with wounds identical to the little boy’s and literally molding the flesh of their faces into the shape of a gas mask – just like the one the child wears. The Doctor catches up with Rose and Jack and discovers that Jack is responsible for bringing the alien ship – a Chula combat ambulance vessel – to Earth, and is thus responsible for the spreading plague.
written by Steven Moffat
directed by James Hawes
music by Murray Gold
Guest Cast: Albert Valentine (The Child), Kate Harvey (Night Club Singer), Florence Hoath (Nancy), Cheryl Fergison (Mrs. Lloyd), Damian Samuels (Mr. Lloyd), John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness), Robert Hands (Algy), Joseph Tremain (Jim), Jordan Murphy (Ernie), Brandon Miller (Alf), Richard Wilson (Dr. Constantine), Zoe Thorne (voice of the Empty Child), Dian Perry (Computer voice)
Note: Along with The Doctor Dances, The Empty Child won the Best Dramatic Presentation (Shortform) Hugo Award in 2006.
Reviews by Philip R. Frey & Earl Green
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