Following 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)
written 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)
Notes: 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.
LogBook entry & review by Earl Green […]