The End Of Time – Part 2

Doctor WhoThe Master has twisted the Immortality Gate into his own weapon, projecting himself as a template onto every human on Earth: every human on Earth is now the Master. The two aliens working undercover in Naismith’s operation are unaffected, and Wilfred is unaffected as well, stuck in the Master’s isolation booth. But the only other human not possessed by the Master is Donna Noble, whose adventures with the Doctor are flooding back into her mind. Wilfred urges her to run, but soon the amount of information crowding her human brain causes her to collapse. The Master interrogates the Doctor, demanding to know the whereabouts of the TARDIS, but this grueling interrogation is soon interrupted by the two aliens, who teleport themselves, the Doctor and Wilfred to their ship in orbit.

An alien artifact arrives on Earth, a piece of the extinct world of Gallifrey, and only then does the Master realize what the drumbeat in his head is: the rhythm of a Time Lord’s hearts. The Master uses this piece of Gallifrey to establish a link, and the entire planet of Gallifrey materializes close enough to Earth that tidal forces begin tearing the smaller planet apart. The Time Lords, desperate to escape their imminent doom in the Time War, have broken free by sending their distress signal – the drumbeat – back in time. They created the Master and made him a madman, all to compel him to provide an escape route for Gallifrey. The Lord President and members of the High Council of the Time Lords arrive on Earth, where the Master demands their obedience and just as quickly discovers that the Lord President is ready to eliminate him: the Master has served his purpose where the Time Lords are concerned. The Doctor cuts Gallifrey’s link to Earth as the Master and the Time Lord President do battle; the planet of the Time Lords disappears again, taking the Master with it.

But it is only after the crisis is averted that the Doctor realizes that the prophecy of his own death has nothing to do with the Time Lords or the Master.

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Russell T. Davies
directed by Euros Lyn
music by Murray Gold

Cast: David Tennant (The Doctor), John Simm (The Master), Bernard Cribbins (Wilfred Mott), Timothy Dalton (Lord President), Catherine Tate (Donna Noble), Jacqueline King (Sylvia Noble), Billie Piper (Rose Tyler), Camille Coduri (Jackie Tyler), John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness), Freema Agyeman (Martha Smith-Jones), Noel Clarke (Mickey Smith), Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith), Jessica Hynes (Verity Newman), June Whitfield (Minnie Hooper), Claire Bloom (The Woman), Thomas Knight (Luke Smith), Russell Tovey (Midshipman Frame), David Harewood (Joshua Naismith), Tracy Ifeachor (Abigail Naismith), Lawry Lewin (Rossiter), Sinead Keenan (Addams), Joe Dixon (The Chancellor), Julie LeGrand (The Partisan), Brid Brennan (The Visionary), Karl Collins (Shaun Temple), Krystal Archer (Nerys), Lachele Carl (Trinity Wells), Paul Kasey (Ood Sigma), Ruari Mears (Elder Ood), Silas Carson (voice of Ood Sigma), Nicholas Briggs (voice of Judoon), Dan Starkey (Sontaran), Matt Smith (The Doctor)

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The Eleventh Hour

Doctor WhoFollowing the Doctor’s regeneration, the TARDIS plummets back to Earth, damaged and out of control. The time machine comes to rest in the 1990s, where the Doctor has to seek the help of the first person he finds – namely, a little girl named Amelia Pond who is home alone. In exchange for her help, the Doctor investigates something that’s been troubling Amelia: a crack in her wall through which she says she can hear voices. It turns out that her fears aren’t unfounded: the Doctor finds something from another dimension behind her wall, but he seals the crack and seems fairly sure he’s solved the problem. He promises to return in five minutes; Amelia packs a bag and sits in her garden, waiting for the TARDIS and the mysterious Doctor to return…

The TARDIS rematerializes in the garden, but it’s been only moments for the Doctor – he’s just realized the significance of the crack in the wall. But 12 years have passed for Amy Pond – and for the being behind her bedroom wall. The Doctor finds a door where no door should be in Amy’s house, containing a being known only as Prisoner Zero, which then escapes. As the Doctor works to find the dangerous escapee, Earth receives a signal from an alien race called the Atraxi: if the people of Earth cannot contain Prisoner Zero, the Atraxi will wipe out all life on the planet, just to make sure the escaped prisoner is dealt with. There are only 20 minutes left to save the world, and the Doctor isn’t exactly in peak condition…

Season 5 Regular Cast: Matt Smith (The Doctor), Karen Gillan (Amy Pond)

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Steven Moffat
directed by Adam Smith
music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: Arthur Darvill (Rory Wiliams), Caitlin Blackwood (Amelia Pond), Nina Wadia (Dr. Ramsden), Marcello Magni (Barney Collins), Perry Benson (Ice Cream Man), Annette Crosbie (Mrs. Angelo), Tom Hopper (Jeff), Arthur Cox (Mr. Henderson), Olivia Coleman (Mother), Eden Monteath (Child 1), Merin Monteath (Child 2), David de Keyser (Atraxi voice), William Wilde (Prisoner Zero voice), Patrick Moore (himself)

The eleventh DoctorNotes: The lightning and thunderclaps in the new opening titles hearken back to the very origins of Doctor Who; the unaired pilot version of An Unearthly Child featured thunderclaps in the theme music, though these were removed before the remount of the series’ first-ever episode. The redesigned TARDIS exterior resembles the police box as seen in the two Peter Cushing Doctor Who movies in the 1960s, while the new set for the TARDIS console room includes elements that recall the early William Hartnell stories (the large metallic light fixture above the console), the Davison/Colin Baker era TARDIS (a sound effect that occurs several times in The Eleventh Hour’s final scenes) and even the TARDIS as seen in the 1996 TV movie (the scanner screen as an old TV hanging above the console). Caitlin Blackwood is a good fit as young Amy because she’s Karen Gillan’s cousin in real life.

A made-for-DVD short, Meanwhile In The TARDIS, bridges the gap between The Eleventh Hour and The Beast Below; it’s a bonus feature on the series 5 DVD box set.

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The Beast Below

Doctor WhoThe Doctor and Amy happen upon an enormous vehicle in deep space in the 29th century: the Starship UK, a spaceborne version of the entire country. But the Doctor instantly senses that something isn’t right: the population of the Starship UK is silently living in fear. Amy discovers that something alive – and alien – is aboard the vessel, but she is then captured by robed monks and shown a history of the ship, a history which she is then asked to protest or forget. The Doctor arrives, and he and Amy discover that the survival of the British people in the future has come at a horrifying price to an innocent life form. But if Amy doesn’t stop the Doctor from taking further action, the price may become even higher.

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Steven Moffat
directed by Andrew Gunn
music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: Sophie Okonedo (Liz 10), Terence Hardiman (Hawthorne), Hannah Sharp (Mandy), Alfie Field (Timmy), Christopher GoodMorgan), David Ajala (Peter), Catrin Richards (Poem Girl), Jonathan Battersby (Winder), Chris Porter (voice of Smilers / Winder), Ian McNeice (Churchill)

The Beast BelowNotes: Oscar-winning actress Sophie Okonedo makes her second Doctor Who “appearance” here; her first was in animated form in the 2003 BBCi webcast Scream Of The Shalka. Though unrelated to this episode, an episode was developed by writer Pat Mills in the 1980s, though never produced, called Song Of The Space Whale; that unused script was itself reworked into one of Big Finish Productions’ “Lost Stories” audio releases as The Song Of Megaptera in May 2010, starring Colin Baker (as it would have on TV).

A made-for-DVD short, Meanwhile In The TARDIS, bridges the gap between The Eleventh Hour and The Beast Below; it’s a bonus feature on the series 5 DVD box set.

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Victory Of The Daleks

Doctor WhoThe Doctor is summoned to wartime London during the Blitz. None other than Winston Churchill himself has called the Doctor for help, but with the TARDIS’ unreliability, it’s taken the Doctor a month to answer that call – and in the meantime, Churchill has turned elsewhere for help in the war effort. Professor Bracewell has designed mobile war machines of immense power, capable of picking off German bombing formations before a single bomb can be dropped. Bracewell and Churchill call them “Ironsides,” but the Doctor knows them all too well as the last remaining Daleks – and he’s puzzled that Amy can’t remember ever having seen a Dalek, even after Earth was invaded by them. But these Daleks insist that they are soldiers, here to protect Britain from the Germans. In order to get them to reveal their true plan, the Doctor will have to do something very dangerous indeed: provoke the Daleks into showing their true, deadly colors.

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Mark Gatiss
directed by Andrew Gunn
music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: Ian McNeice (Churchill), Bill Paterson (Bracewell), Nina de Cosimo (Blanche), Tim Wallers (Childers), Nicholas Pegg (Dalek 1), Barnaby Edwards (Dalek 2), Nicholas Briggs (Dalek voice), Susanah Fielding (Lilian), James Albrecht (Todd), Colin Prockter (Air Raid Warden)

Victory Of The DaleksNotes: This isn’t the first time that the Daleks have pretended to be servants of the human race; they launched a very similar scheme in the future on Vulcan, a human colony planet, in the first Patrick Troughton story, Power Of The Daleks; incidentally, their aim there was also to power up the production line on a new race of Daleks. Churchill says that the Doctor has changed his face “again,” which implies that he’s met at least two of the Doctor’s previous incarnations, though we don’t know which ones. This marks the first new series reference to the Doctor’s TARDIS being a Type 40 model (a statistic dating back to the original series, first mentioned in The Deadly Assassin during Tom Baker’s reign), as well as the first new series reference to the Daleks’ time corridor technology (Resurrection Of The Daleks).

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Time Of The Angels

Doctor WhoAn artifact in a museum catches the Doctor’s eye: a message is written in the Old High Gallifreyan language on its surface, a message in an extinct language meant just for him. The message leads him to a set of coordinates in time and space where he has seconds to rescue River Song after she ejects herself from an airlock aboard the starship Byzantium – a ship she still wants to follow. When the TARDIS next materializes, it’s on an alien planet where the Byzantium has crashed, killing all aboard… all except for a lone Weeping Angel. The Doctor only has moments to bring Amy up to speed on the Angel’s deadly abilities, but it’s already wreaking havoc. And as the Doctor and Amy join River’s expedition to board the Byzantium and destroy the Angel, it soon becomes apparent that it is the expedition that’s outnumbered.

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Steven Moffat
directed by Adam Smith
music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: Alex Kingston (River Song), Simon Dutton (Alistair), Mike Skinner (Security Guard), Iain Glen (Octavian), Mark Springer (Christian), Troy Glasgow (Angelo), David Atkins (Bob), Darren Morfitt (Marco)

Time Of The AngelsNotes: River Song returns in this episode; Silence In The Library and Forest Of The Dead are still in her future, but have already happened for the Doctor (in his tenth incarnation). She has, however, seen pictures of all of the Doctor’s faces. The Weeping Angels make their first appearance since season 3’s Hugo-winning Blink; along with Silence / Forest, Blink was written by Steven Moffat as a freelance writer during Russell T. Davies’ tenure as showrunner. The Old High Gallifreyan language was first mentioned in 1983’s The Five Doctors; all of the Doctor’s incarnations have been fluent in it, and presumably he passed that knowledge along to River Song; even upon its first mention in 1983, it’s implied that the language had fallen into infrequent use even among the Time Lords themselves.

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Flesh And Stone

Doctor WhoSurrounded by an army of statues – decayed Angels who are reawakening and gathering strength from the leaking radiation of the Byzantium’s main drive – the Doctor has to take drastic measures to keep River Song, Amy and the rest of the expedition alive, and the Angels are never far behind. A crack appears in the wall of the Byzantium’s flight deck – the same crack seen in Amy’s childhood bedroom – and the Doctor suspects that something is going horribly wrong with time itself. Amy begins unconsciously counting down from ten aloud, and the Doctor discovers that she has looked into the eyes of a Weeping Angel long enough for the Angels to use Amy’s eyes to monitor the expedition’s movements; this mental link is also killing Amy slowly, and the Doctor has to ask her to close her eyes and keep them closed, cutting the Angels off from the information they need and prolonging her own life. River Song’s part in the expedition is revealed as well: she’s not the expedition’s leader, but a convicted killer (whose victim was the “best man” she’s ever known) taking on a dangerous assignment to win a pardon from her sentence. The expedition soldiers begin vanishing one by one, consumed by the ever-expanding crack, from which Amy instinctively knows they won’t be coming back. The Doctor fights to come up with a solution that will keep his friends and allies alive, and all the while, the army of Angels closes in…

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Steven Moffat
directed by Adam Smith
music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: Alex Kingston (River Song), Iain Glen (Octavian), David Atkins (Bob), Darren Morfitt (Marco), Mark Monero (Pedro), George Russo (Phillip)

Notes: River Song mentions that the Doctor will next see her “when the Pandorica opens” – an event that has already happened in her timeline.

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The Vampires Of Venice

Doctor WhoThe Doctor returns Amy to her own time, and decides to take her and her fiancee Rory on a romantic getaway – namely, Venice in 1580. But almost as soon as the TARDIS brings them there, it’s obvious that something is amiss. Venice is under the thrall of the reclusive House of Calvierri, from whose elite school no pupil ever returns. The father of one girl who has been enrolled in this school is demanding to see proof that his daughter is alive and well, and his demands are met with threats of violence. The Doctor and Amy both see members of the Calvierri inner circle reveal vampire-like teeth, but the despite all the traditional signs of vampires – no reflections in a mirror, sharp teeth, drinking blood – the Doctor thinks these vampires are actually aliens. When he discovers a plan to repopulate a nearly-extinct species by transforming Earth into a suitable environment, the Doctor may be left with no choice but to ensure their extinction to save humanity.

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Toby Whithouse
directed by Jonny Campbell
music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: Arthur Darvill (Rory), Helen McCrory (Rosanna), Lucian Msamati (Guido), Alisha Bailey (Isabella), Alex Price (Francesco), Gabrielle Wilde (Vampire Girl), Hannah Steele (Vampire Girl), Elizabeth Croft (Vampire Girl), Sonila Vieshta (Vampire Girl), Gabrielle Montaraz (Vampire Girl), Michael Percival (Inspector), Simon Gregor (Steward)

The Vampires of VeniceNotes: This episode marks the first appearance of the ninth and tenth Doctors’ psychic paper in the eleventh Doctor’s possession. He also has a library card, under the name of Dr. J. Smith, bearing a photo of his first incarnation. The Doctor has visited Venice in previous incarnation in a variety of audio stories; the fourth Doctor has a fateful encounter with alien insects there in Hornets’ Nest: A Sting In The Tale, while the eighth Doctor visited Venice in the future in The Stones Of Venice. With the exception of a few background shots, none of this episode was actually filmed in Venice itself; a city in Croatia proved to be a more cost-effective location, with a variety of lighting tricks and digital effects evoking the look of Venice. The documentary series Doctor Who Confidential, however, did take Matt Smith and writer Toby Whithouse on location to Venice, stirring up election-year controversy over whether the BBC was making the best use of the funds it gets from the British public via the televison license tax.

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Amy’s Choice

Doctor WhoThe TARDIS lands in upper Leadworth, outside the home of former TARDIS travelers Rory and Amy, who are now expecting their first child. The Doctor is pleased to see them both, they’re both perplexed to see him, and the excitement of the impromptu reunion lulls them all to sleep. They wake up aboard the TARDIS, still traveling together and decidedly not expecting a baby, mystified by what must surely be a dream. A being called the Dream Lord appears, demanding that the three travelers choose between the reality they’ve just seen, and the reality of travel in the TARDIS. The time travelers slip back and forth disconcertingly between the increasingly strange earthbound setting and the Doctor’s timeship, which is growing increasingly cold. The Dream Lord insists that time is running out… and the one person who can decide which scenario is real isn’t the Doctor, but Amy.

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Simon Nye
directed by Catherine Morshead
music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: Toby Jones (Dream Lord), Nick Hobbs (Mr. Nainby), Joan Linder (Mrs. Hamill), Audrey Ardington (Mrs. Poggit)

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The Hungry Earth

Doctor WhoThe Doctor tries yet again to take Rory and Amy on a romantic getaway, but instead of Rio, the TARDIS lands in Wales in 2020, near the site of a project to drill deep through the Earth’s crust. One man has already vanished without a trace from the small drilling operation, and other strange things are happening as well, such as patches of blue grass appearing on the surface. The rig’s owners hope this is a sign of a promising subsurface mineral deposit, but the Doctor can immediately tell it’s something else. When Amy disappears, his suspicions are confirmed: the drill has awakened the Silurians, the bipedal reptiles who roamed Earth before the ascent of humankind… and they’re more than wiling to take hostages to announce their presence prior to reclaiming their world. The Doctor and Nasreen Chaudrhy, the project’s chief researcher, go underground in the TARDIS to recover Amy and the other hostages, while the one Silurian that the Doctor and Rory can capture has plans of her own. Unlike the Doctor’s plan, her strategy doesn’t involve the human race’s better nature.

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Chris Chibnall
directed by Ashley Way
music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: Arthur Darvill (Rory), Neve McIntosh (Alaya), Meera Syal (Nasreen Chaudhry), Robert Pugh (Tony Mack), Nia Roberts (Ambrose), Alun Rglan (Mo), Samuel Davies (Elliot)

Notes: This isn’t the first time that the Doctor has stumbled across industrial activity in Wales that uncovered something nasty: the third Doctor had to shut down Global Chemicals’ operation in 1973’s The Green Death; that incarnation of the Doctor also encountered the Silurians in Doctor Who and the Silurians (1970) and their aquatic relatives in 1972’s The Sea Devils.

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Cold Blood

Doctor WhoSilurian warrior Alaya is counting on her human captors’ animal bloodlust: she expects to be killed, and her resulting martyrdom will remove any objections among her own people to declaring war on humanity. Rory tries his best to keep a lid on the growing tensions between Alaya and the humans, but he can’t guard her every moment, and soon enough Alaya gets her wish. Beneath the Earth’s surface, the Doctor and Nasreen discover that Amy and the other vanished humans are alive and well, and that there are both sympathetic and warlike factions among the Silurians. He tries to get peace talks started between the two dominant species of Earth, but he may not be able to keep the warrior faction’s ambitions quelled when Alaya’s body is returned. Stopping an all-out war now will come at an agonizing cost.

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Chris Chibnall
directed by Ashley Way
music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: Arthur Darvill (Rory), Neve McIntosh (Alaya / Restac), Meera Syal (Nasreen Chaudhry), Robert Pugh (Tony Mack), Nia Roberts (Ambrose), Richard Hope (Malohken), Stephen Moore (Eldane), Alun Raglan (Mo), Samuel Davies (Elliot)

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Vincent And The Doctor

Doctor WhoAt an exhibit of Vincent Van Gogh’s artwork, the Doctor thinks he’s spotted – in a painting – evidence that an alien creature that may have been stalking the Earth in Van Gogh’s time. The next stop for the TARDIS is in Provence, where something has indeed been claiming the lives of numerous people – and Van Gogh, considered a crazy outsider, has been blamed for the deaths. The Doctor and Amy offer to help, but how can the Doctor save any lives when Vincent is the only one to actually see the alien creature? And will helping Vincent fight the beast change the painter’s own future?

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Richard Curtis
directed by Jonny Campbell
music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: Tony Curran (Vincent), Nik Howden (Maurice), Chrissie Cotterill (Mother), Sarah Counsell (Waitress), Morgan Overton (School Child), Andrew Byrne (School Child), Bill Nighy (Dr. Black)

Vincent and the DoctorNotes: Guest star Bill Nighy – whose name was not shown in the end credits of the episode – was, at one time, considered the hot contender for the role of the Doctor when the series’ return was still in pre-production (in fact, one prominent British newspaper announced that Nighy was picked for the role of the ninth Doctor). He has featured in the Harry Potter film series and appeared as Slartibartfast in the 2005 film adaptation of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. Oscar-nominated writer Richard Curtis penned the screenplays for Four Weddings And A Funeral, Notting Hill and Love, Actually; prior to his film career, however, Curtis wrote or co-write every episode of Blackadder, starring Rowan Atkinson, who would play another ninth Doctor in the 1999 Comic Relief spoof The Curse Of Fatal Death (written, coincidentally, by one Steven Moffat). Curtis also founded the Comic Relief charity.

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The Lodger

Doctor WhoThe TARDIS lands on Earth, only the Doctor isn’t expecting it to land there. When he steps out the door, the TARDIS practically ejects him – and then dematerializes with Amy aboard. The Doctor is able to contact Amy and deduces that something is preventing the TARDIS from making a full landing. The Doctor decides to rent a room from an affable bloke named Craig, who spends most of his time trying to overcome his fear of telling his friend Sophie that he has romantic feelings for her. But that’s far from the worst of Craig’s problems: a slowly spreading stain on the ceiling accompanies a recurring series of strange noises from whoever is renting the upstairs room. The Doctor is convinced that whatever is making the noise and the stain is also keeping the TARDIS from landing. As he spends several days at the house, the Doctor impresses Craig’s other friends, meets Sophie, and becomes a constant but still strange fixture in Craig’s life. When Craig decides to throw caution to the wind and investigate the room upstairs, that life may come to a quick and unpleasant end if the Doctor can’t intervene.

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Gareth Roberts
directed by Catherine Morshead
music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: James Corden (Craig), Daisy Haggard (Sophie), Owen Donovan (Steven), Babatunde Aleshe (Sean), Jem Wall (Michael), Karen Seacombe (Sandra), Kamara Bacchus (Clubber)

The LodgerNotes: This episode is based on a comic by the same name that appeared in an issue of Doctor Who Magazine, originally centered around the tenth Doctor and Mickey Smith (with a very brief appearance by Rose) and set shortly after The Christmas Invasion; in that version of the story, of course, the Doctor moved in with Mickey, who would’ve rather been spending more uninterrupted time with Rose. When the Doctor telepathically transfers his knowledge to Craig, his fifth, sixth and seventh incarnations are not shown (whereas it’s the second appearance this season for the second Doctor, and the season’s third visual reference to the first Doctor).

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The Pandorica Opens

Doctor WhoA series of events ripples through time and space upon the completion of Vincent Van Gogh‘s latest painting depicting the fiery destruction of the TARDIS. Many of the Doctor’s friends and allies encounter the painting through time, from Winston Churchill to Liz 10 to, finally, River Song. River draws the Doctor to Earth at the time of the Roman Empire to show him the painting, which she believes is a warning Van Gogh received in a vision. Within the painting itself is a time and a location, leading the Doctor, Amy and River to Stonehenge.

The Doctor finds a chamber beneath Stonehenge, containing a large, cubical object of alien origin: the Pandorica, something which River has mentioned before but the Doctor believed was a myth. But before the Doctor can investigate or open the Pandorica, dozens of alien ships descend into the sky over Stonehenge: many of the Doctor’s enemies have come to call. While he bluffs his would-be captors into leaving, River attempts to move the TARDIS closer to the Pandorica, but the timeship begins behaving erratically and is flung violently through the time vortex. It begins to seem as though the Doctor is destined not to be at the controls of the TARDIS when it suffers the fate forseen by Van Gogh.

The Doctor’s enemies return to Stonehenge, and only then does the Doctor realize the horrifying truth: the Daleks, Cybermen, Sontarans and many more have set aside their differences to conspire against their greatest enemy. With their combined forces against him, the Doctor may be doomed, and the universe along with him.

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Steven Moffat
directed by Toby Haynes
music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: Alex Kingston (River Song), Arthur Darvill (Rory), Tony Curran (Vincent), Bill Paterson (Bracewell), Ian McNeice (Winston Churchill), Sophie Okonedo (Liz Ten), Marcus O’Donovan (Claudio), Clive Wood (Commander), Christopher Ryan (Commander Stark), Ruari Mears (Cyber Leader), Paul Kasey (Judoon), Howard Lee (Doctor Gachet), Barnaby Edwards (Dalek), Simon Fisher Becker (Dorium), Joe Jacobs (Guard), Chrissie Cotterill (Madame Vernet), David Fynn (Marcellus), Nicholas Briggs (Dalek / Cyberman / Judoon voices)

The Pandorica OpensNotes: This marks the first time Daleks, Cybermen and Sontarans have all shared the screen in anything other than a flashback (if one wishes to count flashbacks, however, the first time would have been during the flashbacks experienced by the fourth Doctor at the end of part 4 of Logopolis). Classic Doctor Who aliens name-checked but not seen include Drahvins (Galaxy Four), Zygons (Terror Of The Zygons), and curiously, the Chelonians, a reptilian warrior race introduced in the New Adventures novels published in the 1990s (specifically, in “The Highest Science”). This marks the first time that an element specific to the New Adventures has been acknowledged by the new TV series. The Slitheen are also mentioned, but are not seen.

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The Big Bang

Doctor WhoTrapped in the Pandorica by his enemies, the Doctor is powerless to prevent the universe from ending. The collapse isn’t instantaneous, and Earth is at the epicenter, growing cold and dark as every star in the universe vanishes. Young Amelia Pond remembers the stars, though, despite what everyone tells her as the changes ripple backward through time.

Freed from the Pandorica, the Doctor embarks on an elaborate attempt to manipulate the timeline; while Earth still exists, he can influence its history and make changes to the present. But he’ll need help, and there’s where the problem lies: Amy is dead, River has probably died in the cataclysmic explosion that has ripped the TARDIS apart, and Rory isn’t who anyone thought he was. Time is running out, even for the Time Lord.

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Steven Moffat
directed by Toby Haynes
music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: Alex Kingston (River Song), Arthur Darvill (Rory), Caitlin Blackwood (Amelia), Susan Vidler (Aunt Sharon), Frances Ashman (Christine), Barnaby Edwards (Stone Dalek), William Pretsell (Dave), Halcro Johnston (Mr. Pond), Karen Westwood (Tabetha), Nicholas Briggs (Dalek voice)

Notes: Notes for this episode could spoil major elements of the story, so you’ll find the notes below.

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The Impossible Astronaut

Doctor Who2011: Amy and Rory (having settled into life on Earth following their honeymoon) and River Song (still in her stormcage prison) receive numbered invitations consisting only of a date and a place. The place is the American plains, where the Doctor – presumably the sender of the invitations – awaits. But to their horror, an astronaut – clad in a vintage Apollo spacesuit – emerges from a body of water and shoots the Doctor, triggering his regeneration. The astronaut then shoots the Doctor again, killing him before the regeneration is completed, and returns to the water. An elderly man named Canton Delaware III appears, bearing his own numbered invitation and convenient means for disposing of the Doctor’s body. The Doctor’s stunned companions then discover the Time Lord alive and well, blissfully unaware of what’s just happened – in his own future, of which they can divulge nothing.

1969: A scant trail of clues leads the time travelers to the White House, mere months before the launch of Apollo 11. President Richard Nixon has been receiving strange phone calls, almost always on a phone line that happens to be nearest wherever he is, from a child terrified of a spaceman who has appeared nearby. Despite the Secret Service’s lack of enthusiasm about the four apparently British visitors who have popped into the Oval Office without warning, the Doctor appoints himself the chief investigator of the case of the mysterious phone calls. He deduces the location from which the phone calls must be coming, and with a younger Canton Delaware III aboard the TARDIS, goes to find the child who’s placing the calls.

At the White House, Amy sees a creature – a creature of which she saw only a glimpse in 2011. At the abandoned warehouse from which the calls are being placed, Rory and River both see the creatures as well. There’s only one problem: they’re fully aware of who the Doctor is, and of the fate he will suffer. And anyone who sees them, once they look away, doesn’t remember having seen them. Are these the assassins who have killed the last of the Time Lords?

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Steven Moffat
directed by Toby Haynes
music by Murray Gold

Cast: Matt Smith (The Doctor), Karen Gillan (Amy Pond), Arthur Darvill (Rory), Alex Kingston (River Song), Mark Sheppard (Canton Delaware), William Morgan Sheppard (old Canton Delaware), Marnix van den Broeke (The Silent), Stuart Milligan (President Richard Nixon), Chuk Iwuji (Carl), Mark Griffin (Phil), Sydney Wade (Little Girl), Nancy Baldwin (Joy), Kieran O’Connor (Prison Guard), Adam Napier (Captain Simmons), Henrietta Clemett (Matilda), Paul Critoph (Charles), Emilio Aquino (Busboy)

Notes: The interior of the alien spacecraft was glimpsed last season in The Lodger. The TARDIS has landed as an invisible object before, in 1968’s The Invasion, though the second Doctor was able to find both the time machine and its entrance a bit more gracefully in that story. Guest star William Morgan Sheppard – often credited as W. Morgan Sheppard in the U.S. and as Morgan Sheppard in the U.K. – has guest starred on nearly every genre series under the sun, from several “generations” of Star Trek, Babylon 5, seaQuest and more, to a memorable regular role on Max Headroom in both its British and American incarnations. He is the real father of actor Mark Sheppard, of whose character he portrays a much older version. Mark Sheppard is familiar to followers of such series as Supernatural, Battlestar Galactica, The Middleman, Warehouse 13 and Firefly. Where both the Sheppards were born in the U.K., Stuart Milligan was born in Boston and has portrayed several Presidents of the United States during a career which has seen him do much of his television work in Britain.

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Day Of The Moon

Doctor WhoAmy, Rory and River are on the run after the Doctor is captured by the unknown, skull-faced aliens, who seem to have Canton Delaware under their control. But the Doctor and Canton are secretly working together, and stage the “capture” of the rest of the TARDIS travelers. The only way any of them have been able to remember anything about the aliens on Earth is to mark their own skin each time they see one – but no other information remains until Amy’s cell phone photo of one provides the means to construct a hologram of one of the aliens inside the TARDIS. The Doctor equips each of his friends, including Canton, with recording devices, and is forced to take President Nixon into his confidence about the alien invasion. Even Nixon is hard-pressed to explain the Doctor’s presence when the Time Lord is found rewiring the Apollo 11 capsule. The other time travelers try to discover where the missing girl came from, leading to an abandoned orphanage who doesn’t seem to grasp that it’s no longer 1967. Amy finds the girl – still in a NASA spacesuit – but is taken prisoner by the aliens.

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Steven Moffat
directed by Toby Haynes
music by Murray Gold

Cast: Matt Smith (The Doctor), Karen Gillan (Amy Pond), Arthur Darvill (Rory), Alex Kingston (River Song), Mark Sheppard (Canton Delaware), Marnix van den Broeke (The Silent), Stuart Milligan (President Richard Nixon), Kerry Shale (Dr. Renfrew), Glenn Wrage (Gardener), Jeff Mash (Grant), Sydney Wade (Little Girl), Tommy Campbell (Sergeant), Peter Banks (Dr. Shepherd), Frances Barber (Eye Patch Lady), Ricky Fearon (Tramp), Chuk Iwuji (Carl), Mark Griffin (Phil)

Amy alarmedNotes: Dwarf star alloy is very handy for trapping time travelers; Rorvik and his crew landed a ship with an entire outer hull made of dwarf star alloy – said to be super-dense material – to enslave the time-hopping Tharils in 1981’s Warriors’ Gate, at least until the fourth Doctor and Romana helped to free them. Guest star Frances Barber put in another surreal appearance in a 1989 Red Dwarf episode, the fan favorite Polymorph. Apparently President Nixon’s near-obsessive taping of his Oval Office activities was the Doctor’s suggestion – perhaps future episodes will tell us what the Silence were up to during the missing 18 minutes of the Watergate tapes.

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The Curse Of The Black Spot

Doctor WhoCaptain Henry Avery and his pirate ship crew have fallen upon hard times, haunted by a deadly curse: any man among them who sheds so much as a single drop of blood sees a black spot appear on his hand, and the next time the seafaring Siren appears on the ship, that man will be destroyed by her. Worse yet, a large blue box is found in the hold, containing three stowaways who, despite their insistence that they’re here to help, must be trying to take Avery’s loot after waiting for the Siren to pick off the rest of his crew. Another stowaway is revealed: Avery’s young son, convinced that his father is a fine, upstanding Naval officer and unprepared for the truth. When Rory’s hand is cut and the black spot appears on his hand, the Doctor and Amy are fighting not just to keep the Siren from devouring Avery’s crew, but one of their own as well.

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Steve Thompson
directed by Jeremy Webb
music by Murray Gold

Cast: Matt Smith (The Doctor), Karen Gillan (Amy Pond), Arthur Darvill (Rory), Hugh Bonneville (Captain Henry Avery), Oscar Lloyd (Toby Avery), Lee Ross (The Boatswain), Michael Begley (Mulligan), Tony Lucken (De Florres), Chris Jarman (Dancer), Carl McCrystal (McGrath), Lily Cole (The Siren)

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The Doctor’s Wife

Doctor WhoA telepathic distress call-in-a-box – a technology used only by the Time Lords – tracks down the Doctor’s TARDIS in deep space. Eager to find out if the sender of the distress call is still alive, the Doctor follows the call to its point of origin: an asteroid that exists outside the boundaries of the universe in its own “bubble universe”. But upon making the trip, the TARDIS’ energy – and, according to the Doctor, its soul – is drained, leaving the ship immobile. A very strange couple of humanoids, with a green-eyed Ood servant they refer to as “Nephew”, occupy the living asteroid, while a woman named Idris exhibits wildly unusual behavior near the Doctor. The Doctor sends Amy and Rory back to the TARDIS for their own safety, and soon enough discovers that he’s walked into a trap: the couple inhabiting the asteroid have several Time Lord distress call boxes stowed away, which they’ve used to lure many Gallifreyans to their deaths. The Doctor also finds that Idris’ body is inhabited by another life form: his own TARDIS. The mind of the living asteroid is taking her place as the controlling force in his TARDIS, while the timeship’s actual living essence is trapped in a human body never meant to hold it. Now his companions are trapped in the TARDIS with a malevolent entity, and time is running out to return the TARDIS’ own energy to it.

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Neil Gaiman
directed by Richard Clark
music by Murray Gold

Cast: Matt Smith (The Doctor), Karen Gillan (Amy Pond), Arthur Darvill (Rory), Suranne Jones (Idris), Michael Sheen (voice of House), Paul Kasey (Nephew), Adrian Schiller (Uncle), Elizabeth Berrington (Auntie)

The TARDISNotes: The Time Lord telepathic distress call boxes haven’t been seen since the Doctor himself summoned the Time Lords with one in 1969’s The War Games. This is the first new series episode to show areas of the TARDIS other than the console room or the wardrobe glimpsed in The Christmas Invasion. The “junk TARDIS” console, like the Abzorbaloff before it, was designed by a young Blue Peter competition winner. The Doctor’s Wife was a title that the late producer John Nathan-Turner kept poster on a bulletin board in the Doctor Who production office in the 1980s, credited to writer Robert Holmes. There was never any such story in the planning: it was a ploy to try to discover the identity of a mole in the production office who was leaking advance information to fanzines. The Doctor’s Wife won the Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form, Hugo Award in 2012, beating out two other episodes from this season (The Girl Who Waited and A Good Man Goes To War).

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The Rebel Flesh

Doctor WhoA solar storm brings the TARDIS down on 26th century Earth, at an isolated castle which is now the site of a small team overseeing a large vat of Flesh – an acidic, sentient liquid which can shape itself into Gangers, perfect copies of any of the team members, capable of performing dangerous tasks without endangering the original human technician. The violent solar flare that forced the TARDIS to land will soon impact Earth, and the Doctor tries to offer his help to the castle’s crew. When it arrives, however, the solar storm front impacts Earth more violently than expected, and everyone including the Doctor is knocked out cold before his plan can be put into action. When everyone comes around, something has changed: the Gangers have become aggressive, demanding that their existence is at least as valid and precious as the lives of the humans of whom they are copies. Worse yet, by coming into physical contact with the Flesh, the Doctor has inadvertently provided the template for a new Ganger, one with his intellect and instincts.

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Matthew Graham
directed by Julian Simpson
music by Murray Gold

Cast: Matt Smith (The Doctor), Karen Gillan (Amy Pond), Arthur Darvill (Rory), Mark Bonnar (Jimmy), Marshall Lancaster (Buzzer), Sarah Smart (Jennifer), Raquel Cassidy (Cleaves), Leon Vickers (Dicken), Frances Barber (Eye Patch Lady)

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The Almost People

Doctor WhoTrapped in the castle with a group of hostile Gangers imitating the physical forms and personalities of the humans of whom they’re copies, the Doctor is now faced with a copy of himself, though the Doctor’s Ganger seems benign and helpful no matter how much suspicion he receives from the humans. An evacuation flight is dispatched to the castle, and the race is on to greet it when it lands. The Gangers, fighting for their right to continued existence rather than the inhumane “decommissioning” that usually awaits them, are content simply to wipe out their former masters. Despite the humans harboring much the same sentiment toward the Gangers, the Doctor – and his duplicate – try to maintain the possibility of a peaceful solution. But as the humans – even Amy – continue to ostracize the surplus Doctor, he begins to wonder if he’s on the right side. And the Doctor and Rory make the horrifying discovery that there’s one more Ganger in their midst than they realized.

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Matthew Graham
directed by Julian Simpson
music by Murray Gold

Cast: Matt Smith (The Doctor), Karen Gillan (Amy Pond), Arthur Darvill (Rory), Mark Bonnar (Jimmy), Marshall Lancaster (Buzzer), Sarah Smart (Jennifer), Raquel Cassidy (Cleaves), Leon Vickers (Dicken), Frances Barber (Eye Patch Lady), Edmond Moulton (Adam)

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A Good Man Goes To War

Doctor WhoThe Doctor and Rory hunt tirelessly through time and space to find the real Amy Pond: the Amy who has been aboard the TARDIS since the trip to America has been a Ganger all along. Enlisting the help of unlikely allies – a Sontaran pressed into service as a combat nurse, a Silurian at large in Victorian London, even a fleet of Cybermen – the Doctor gathers an army to help him rescue his kidnapped companion. Held captive by the mysterious Korovian, Amy has already given birth to a daughter, Melody. Fully expecting the Doctor’s arrival, Madame Kovarian has assembled an army of her own, with the deadly headless monks to strike fear into anyone who doubts their duties. Just when the Doctor thinks he’s rescued Amy and her baby without any bloodshed, Kovarian springs her trap: the baby that the Doctor has rescued is a Ganger as well, and Kovarian has Amy’s real baby: a human child with TARDIS-altered DNA that can be traced back to Gallifrey itself, a child Kovarian intends to raise as the perfect weapon to fight the Doctor. Little do the time travelers know that they’ve already met Melody Pond, all grown up.

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Steven Moffat
directed by Peter Hoar
music by Murray Gold

Cast: Matt Smith (The Doctor), Karen Gillan (Amy Pond), Arthur Darvill (Rory), Alex Kingston (River Song), Frances Barber (Madame Kovarian), Charlie Baker (Fat One), Dan Johnston (Thin One), Christina Chong (Lorna Bucket), Joshua Hayes (Lucas), Damian Kell (Dominicus), Neve McIntosh (Madame Vastra), Catrin Stewart (Jenny), Richard Trinder (Captain Harcourt), Annabel Cleare (Eleanor), Henry Wood (Arthur), Dan Starkey (Commander Strax), Simon Fisher-Becker (Dorium Maldovar), Danny Sapani (Colonel Manton), Hugh Bonneville (Henry Avery), Oscar Lloyd (Toby Avery), Nicholas Briggs (voice of the Cybermen)

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Let’s Kill Hitler

Doctor WhoAmy and Rory use decidedly unconventional means to summon the Doctor for a progress report on his search for their daughter Melody, only to be interrupted by Melody herself – or at least one of her future incarnations, who has grown up alongside her own parents as a troubled child. She forces the Doctor and his friends to take her into the TARDIS with no more of a destination in mind than “let’s kill Hitler.” But when the TARDIS arrives in Berlin, 1938, there is already an alien presence among the Third Reich attempting to do away with the Fuhrer – an assassination attempt that the Doctor’s arrival foils. Wounded in the ensuing firefight, Mels regenerates into River Song before her parents’ eyes, but her new incarnation is mentally unstable. The self-proclaimed psychopath poisons the Doctor and continues to wreak havoc across Berlin, oblivious to any ripples she might be leaving in the timeline. Amy and Rory are taken into the custody of the alien police force which has now shifted its attention to River, and they now have two seemingly conflicting objectives: save the Doctor and somehow keep River alive when the authorities catch up with her.

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Steven Moffat
directed by Richard Senior
music by Murray Gold

Cast: Matt Smith (The Doctor), Karen Gillan (Amy Pond), Arthur Darvill (Rory), Alex Kingston (River Song), Nina Toussaint-White (Mels), Caitlin Blackwood (Amelia Pond), Maya Glace-Green (young Mels), Ezekiel Wigglesworth (young Rory), Philip Rham (Zimmerman), Richard Dillane (Carter), Amy Cudden (Anita), Davood Ghadami (Jim), Elia Kenion (Harriet), Albert Welling (Adolf Hitler), Mark Killeen (German Officer), Paul Bentley (Professor Candy), Eva Alexander (Nurse), Tor Clark (Female Teacher)

Notes: The “state of temporal grace” – a long-standing piece of obscure Doctor Who continuity from the Tom Baker years that supposedly prevents weapons from being fired inside the TARDIS – is said to be fictitious here, although it did work at one point; the first time it failed to work was in the Peter Davison story Earthshock (after a Cyberman blasted the TARDIS console), and it’s been consistently failing to work Let's Kill Hitlersince then. Hitler doesn’t recognize the Doctor, who has regenerated four times since the two were uneasy allies during the events of the second New Adventures novel, “Timewyrm: Exodus“; even without the changes in appearance, that book’s alien interference in Hitler’s mental state would account for his inability to remember the TARDIS, so the two adventures don’t necessarily conflict. The River Song we’ve seen so far is at least the third incarnation of Melody Pond. For the first time in Steven Moffat’s tenure as showrunner, we see Rose, Martha and Donna, though they’re familiar publicity photos presented as “holograms” by the TARDIS, which finally settles on the avatar of little Amelia Pond (still played by Karen Gillan’s younger cousin) to interact with the Doctor.

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Night Terrors

Doctor WhoThe Doctor receives an unlikely message – “save me from the monsters” – via his psychic paper, and follows it back to an apartment on present-day Earth, certain that it comes from someone very young. The source of the signal turns out to be a seemingly ordinary Earth boy named George, whose family situation, while loving, isn’t quite ideal. The Doctor convinces George’s father to let him find out what’s causing George’s monster nightmares, but this only reveals that George’s imagined monsters may be very real and very dangerous. Amy and Rory are sucked into the child’s nightmares, where they find other victims who have already fallen victim to the Dolls that stalk the darkest corners of George’s psyche. In the end, it’s not the Doctor, but George’s father, who holds the key to freeing everyone from this nightmare world.

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Mark Gatiss
directed by Richard Clark
music by Murray Gold

Cast: Matt Smith (The Doctor), Karen Gillan (Amy Pond), Arthur Darvill (Rory Williams), Daniel Mays (Alex), Jamie Oram (George), Emma Cunniffe (Claire), Andy Tiernan (Purcell), Leila Night TerrorsHoffman (Mrs. Rossiter), Sophie Cosson (Julie)

Notes: The Doctor’s mention of “Snow White and the Seven Keys To Doomsday” is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the 1974 stage play Doctor Who and the Seven Keys To Doomsday, which starred Trevor Martin as an alternative post-Pertwee Doctor fighting the Daleks; the play was written by ’70s Doctor Who script editor Terrance Dicks, and was more recently revived in audio form by Big Finish Productions.

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The Girl Who Waited

Doctor WhoPromising Amy and Rory a glimpse of the second most popular vacation destination in the universe, the Doctor miscalculates slightly, landing the TARDIS in the right place at the worst possible time: the planet is in the thrall of a global plague, and robotic medics have been mobilized to contain and treat those with the illness. A system of vast temporal engines has been set up to keep the victims alive by altering the speed of their timestreams. Amy is separated from the Doctor and Rory, and worse yet, when they go to rescue her, the Doctor can’t step outside the TARDIS due to the brute-force temporal engineering taking place. Rory has to find Amy himself, and indeed he does: she has aged 36 years since she last saw her fellow TARDIS travelers, and she’s not happy about it. The Doctor devises a plan to go back and undo this timeline, but the older Amy objects strenuously: if Amy Pond is going to resume her travels in the TARDIS, it’ll be Amy in her fifties, not Amy in her twenties. The Doctor leaves it up to Rory to make the agonizing decision.

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Tom MacRae
directed by Nick Hurran
music by Murray Gold

Cast: Matt Smith (The Doctor), Karen Gillan (Amy Pond), Arthur Darvill (Rory Williams), Josie Taylor (Check-In Girl), Imelda Staunton (voice of Interface)

Notes: This episode summons memories of numerous iconic Doctor Who adventures past: the Doctor and his The Girl Who Waitedcompanions were accosted in a blank, all-white space by all-white robots in 1968’s The Mind Robber, while the TARDIS toolbox (a fixture dating back to Tom Baker’s era) was last seen in the 1996 TV movie starring Paul McGann. That movie was also the last time that the TARDIS was seen to have an alarm-clock-style split-flap display was seen roaring backward or forward in time at full speed. The free-standing gateways to other dimensions are slightly reminiscent of the Iconian gateways in Star Trek lore (TNG: Contagion, DS9: To The Death), though anyone who’s ever been to Narnia can attest that Star Trek was hardly the first SF or fantasy epic to use the device.

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The God Complex

Doctor WhoThe TARDIS brings the Doctor, Amy and Rory to a chintzy hotel, but their destination suddenly seems less relaxing when three people – two humans and one alien – burst into the hotel lounge with warnings about the hotel. No one who goes into a room alone comes out the same – those who survive chant “Praise him” and eventually meet a horrible fate. A monster stalks the halls, seeking its next victim and their worship. The surviving hotel guests warn that to go into a room alone invites one’s worst fears to appear all at once, but what nightmares await time travelers who have survived the worst horrors the universe has to offer… and who demands their praise?

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Toby Whithouse
directed by Nick Hurran
music by Murray Gold

Cast: Matt Smith (The Doctor), Karen Gillan (Amy Pond), Arthur Darvill (Rory Williams), Sarah Quintrell (Lucy Hayward), Amara Karan (Rita), Dimitri Leonidas (Howie Spragg), Daniel Pirrie (Joe Buchanan), David Walliams (Gibbis), Dafydd Emyh (P.E. Teacher), Spencer Wilding (The Creature), Rashid Karapiet (Rita’s Father), Caitlin Blackwood (Amelia Pond), Roger Ennals (Gorilla)

Doctor WhoNotes: David Walliams is either making his first or second Doctor Who appearance, depending on how you look at it; he starred alongside writer/actor Mark Gatiss in The Web Of Caves, a spoof of Hartnell-era Who that Walliams co-wrote with Gatiss for BBC2’s Doctor Who Night in 1999. That same year, he and Gatiss also appeared in Gatiss’ first Doctor Who script for Big Finish Productions, Phantasmagoria (the second story produced in Big Finish’s long series of audio plays based on the Doctor’s previous incarnations). With comedy partner Matt Lucas, Walliams is best known as one of the creators and stars of Little Britain.

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Closing Time

Doctor WhoAware that the clock is counting down to his appointment with a killer astronaut in America, the Doctor pays a last visit to his friend Craig, discovering that Craig’s become a dad – and a somewhat befuddled one at that. But no house call from the Doctor ever goes quite as smoothly as planned. Strange power outages have plagued the area, with a local department store at the epicenter of the disturbance. The Doctor does what he has to in order to investigate the store without raising suspicion: he gets a job there. Soon enough, between mentions of a “silver rat” roaming the store and a string of employees going missing, the Doctor discovers that Cybermen are lurking here. The Doctor’s plans for a quiet visit with his friend are further complicated when Craig insists on involving himself in the Doctor’s impending battle with the Cybermen. The lives of the Time Lord’s companions are nearly always in jeopardy, but if the Doctor doesn’t win this time, it could cost a baby his father.

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Gareth Roberts
directed by Steve Hughes
music by Murray Gold

Cast: Matt Smith (The Doctor), Karen Gillan (Amy), Arthur Darvill (Rory), James Corden (Craig Owens), Daisy Haggard (Sophie), Alex Kingston (River Song), Frances Barber (Madame Kovarian), Seroca Davis (Shona), Holli Dempsey (Kelly), Chris Obi (George), Lynda Baron (Val), Paul Kasey (Cyberman), Nicholas Briggs (voice of the Cybermen)

Closing TimeNotes: Craig and Sophie first appeared in the previous season’s The Lodger. Cybermats first appeared in 1967‘s Tomb Of The Cybermen, and were last seen in 1975‘s Revenge Of The Cybermen; they’ve had some dental work done in the intervening years, and arguably need to go back for a second round. Lynda Baron makes her third Doctor Who appearance here: as pirate captain Wrack, she tried to make the fifth Doctor walk the plank in 1983‘s Enlightenment, while her first Doctor Who “appearance” was audio-only, as the unseen vocalist warbling the sung narrative throughout the first Doctor story The Gunfighters in 1966 – which also saw the Doctor wearing a Stetson.

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The Wedding Of River Song

Doctor WhoRather than marching quietly to his date with death, the Doctor goes on a series of missions to find out why the Silence wants him dead. Every piece of information simply leads to another question, until finally he arrives in Utah with Rory, Amy and River – and then his death fails to happen, thwarted by river. But history records the Doctor’s death at that moment, and when it fails to happen, history unravels, overlapping alternate histories with history as the Doctor and his friends know it. Amy, River and Rory now command a fighting force with orders to defend the Doctor from the Silence, and the mysterious Madame Kovarian has been captured – or has she really been pulling the strings all along? The Doctor’s fate is inescapable – but this time, that’s just how he wants it.

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Steven Moffat
directed by Jeremy Webb
music by Murray Gold

Cast: Matt Smith (The Doctor), Karen Gillan (Amy Pond), Arthur Darvill (Rory Williams), Alex Kingston (River Song), Frances Barber (Madame Kovarian), Simon Fisher-Becker (Dorium Maldovar), Ian McNeice (Emperor Winston Churchill), Richard Hope (Dr. Malokeh), Marnix van den Broeke (The Silent), Nicholas Briggs (voice of the Dalek), Simon Callow (Charles Dickens), Sian Williams (herself), Bill Turnbull (himself), Meredith Viera (Newsreader), Niall Grieg Fulton (Gideon Vandaleur), Sean Buckley (Barman), Rondo Haxton (Gantok), Emma Campbell-Jones (Dr. Kent), Katharine Burford (Nurse), Richard Dillane (Carter), William Morgan Sheppard (Canton Delaware)

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Death Is The Only Answer

Doctor WhoAn incident with a mini-time-vortex and a fez alerts the Doctor to a disaster in the making: Albert Einstein is conducting his own experiments in time travel. Even stranger than that is the celebrated scientist’s sudden transformation into an Ood, with a cryptic, ominous warning for the Doctor.

Order the DVDwritten by the children of Oakley Junior School
directed by Jeremy Webb
music by Murray Gold

Cast: Matt Smith (The Doctor), Nickolas Grace (Albert Einstein), Paul Kasey (Ood)

Doctor WhoNotes: Death Is The Only Answer was a short script selected by Steven Moffatt as the winning entry in the “Script to Screen” contest that was part of series six of Doctor Who Confidential, challenging young writers to create a short adventure for the Doctor. The finished mini-episode, running just under four minutes, aired as part of the final episode of the behind-the-scenes series Doctor Who Confidential, which was cancelled shortly before the episode aired. There are no clues as to where this story happens chronologically, or if it can be considered official at all.

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2011 Children In Need Special

Doctor WhoThe Doctor, in trying to draw attention toward a worthy cause, offers the shirt off of his back, as well as a few things he wears on his front. The problem now is how to get back to the TARDIS without anyone seeing that he’s just given up his clothes.

written by Steven Moffat
directed by Richard Senior
music by Murray Gold

Cast: Matt Smith (The Doctor)

Doctor WhoNotes: Written by Steven Moffat and shot at BBC Television Centre in London mere days before air, this brief (exactly two minutes) scene was part of the BBC’s annual Children In Need charity event, of which Doctor Who has been a part for years (Dimensions In Time, the 2005 special scene, Time Crash). This was the first time Doctor Who had been before the cameras at Television Centre since the production of the Sylvester McCoy story Ghost Light wrapped in 1989. Following the short skit was a trailer for the 2011 Christmas episode The Doctor, The Widow And The Wardrobe.

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The Doctor, The Widow And The Wardrobe

Doctor WhoThe Doctor sabotages a gigantic spaceship on a mission to destroy Earth, only barely getting a spacesuit on in time to ride to the planet’s surface amid the ship’s debris. Amazingly, he survives re-entry and the landing, but he has to enlist the help of a woman named Madge Arwell, who believes he’s either a spaceman or an angel.

Three years later, Madge Arwell has completely forgotten the otherworldly visitor. Days before Christmas, she receives a telegram informing her of her husband’s death in an RAF fighter during the war. Worse still, Madge and her children, Cyril and Lily, are evacuated to a country house to avoid the air raids. The Doctor is waiting for them, having renovated the house in his own unique way. Under the tree, a gigantic present awaits, but the Doctor insists that it remain unopened until Christmas. Naturally, Cyril opens it early and climbs in, finding himself in another world. When the Doctor learns of this, he and Lily follow, and the Doctor explains that it literally is another world, one where the trees grow their own organic Christmas ornaments. Huge footprints in the snow reveal that Cyril wasn’t alone here. The Doctor and Lily find Cyril in a domed, castle-like structure where a king and queen carved from sentient wood are sizing the boy up as a host body for the collected consciousness of the forest outside – a forest which will soon be clear-cut by acid rain induced by human harvesters from Androzani Major. But Cyril isn’t up to the task, and to his own surprise, the Doctor is judged unfit for the task as well.

That’s when Madge Arwell shows up, having followed the Doctor and her children to this world through the gift-wrapped gateway. She’s also managed to drive the crew from Androzani off-planet and commandeered their harvester. And the trees decide she is their ideal host, but she already has the weight of the world bearing down on her: she hasn’t told her children that their father has died in the war, until it’s revealed for her by the trees.

Download this episodewritten by Steven Moffat
directed by Farren Blackburn
music by Murray Gold

Doctor WhoCast: Matt Smith (The Doctor), Claire Skinner (Madge Arwell), Maurice Cole (Cyril Arwell), Holly Earl (Lily Arwell), Alexander Armstrong (Reg Arwell), Sam Stockman (Co-Pilot), Bill Bailey (Droxil), Paul Bazely (Ven-Garr), Arabella Weir (Billis), Spencer Wilding (Wooden King), Paul Kasey (Wooden Queen), Karen Gillan (Amy Pond), Arthur Darvill (Rory)

Notes: Androzani Major was the site of murderous political intrigue in 1984‘s The Caves Of Androzani, at the end of which the fifth Doctor was forced to regenerate. This story doesn’t make clear if the forest snowscape is on Androzani Major or not. Actor Alexander Armstrong has a long association with the Doctor Who universe, having provided the voice Doctor Whoof Sarah Jane Smith’s alien computer, Mr. Smith, for the entire run of The Sarah Jane Adventures. The set of Sarah Jane’s attic also makes an appearance here, heavily redressed as the attic of the house where the Arwells are celebrating Christmas. Arabella Weir also has a voice-only Doctor Who connection; she starred as the Doctor in Big Finish’s continuity-busting Doctor Who Unbound story Exile in 2003.

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