TARDIS Index File

First Night (home video)

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First Night
That Diary Is Important!
Doctor: Eleventh Doctor
Companion(s): River
Main enemy: Sontarans
Main setting: the TARDIS
Key crew
Writer: Steven Moffat
Director: Richard Senior
Release details
Season/series: Series 6 (DVD/Bluray exclusive)
Release date: 22 November 2011
Format: 1x3 minute, mini episode
Confidential: Doctor Who Confidential: The Night's Tale
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Good Night Last Night

First Night was the third of five Night and the Doctor shorts produced exclusively for the Doctor Who: The Complete Sixth Series DVD and Blu-ray box sets. It is the first of a two-part story concluding with Last Night. It was written by showrunner Steven Moffat.

Synopsis Edit

The night River Song is imprisoned in Stormcage for killing the Eleventh Doctor, she receives a visit from her husband to take her out on their first date. Things get complicated when another River arrives.

Plot Edit

Having been apprehended, taken to the 52nd century and incarcerated in the Stormcage Containment Facility to serve twelve thousand consecutive life sentences for killing the Doctor (TV:The Wedding of River Song), River is in her cell on her first night, looking through the blue diary the Doctor gave her (TV: Let's Kill Hitler). She hears the TARDIS.

The Eleventh Doctor appears in a white dinner suit. Her parents are asleep and he is taking her to Calderon Beta, a boring planet apart from a four hundred foot tall tree growing out of a cliff-top in the middle of the sea, where he intends to show her the sky on the starriest night in the entire history of the universe, 21 September 2360. He asks if she's brought the diary. She believes she's not going to have much need for a diary in prison. He reminds her she can easily break out because she is River Song. The book is to help them keep their encounters sorted. He's chosen a dress for her, but there are more in the wardrobe down the corridor.

While she is off looking through the dresses, the Doctor lands the TARDIS and hears laser-gunfire outside. He opens the door as a second River enters, calls him a nostalgic idiot for returning to this spot and collapses into his arms.

Cast Edit

Crew Edit

References Edit

Planets Edit

  • Calderon Beta is described by the Doctor as "Boring. Planet of the Chip Shops". However it is home to a four hundred foot tall tree "growing out of a clifftop on the north side of a mountain in the middle of the sea". At 12:12am on 21 September 2360, you can see more stars in the sky from the top of the tree than in any other point in history. The Doctor notes that "You could read a book by it."


  • The wardrobe is now "first right, second left, just past the Helter Skelter." This is significantly shorter (not to mention easier to remember) than the directions the Ninth Doctor gave Rose Tyler during TV: The Unquiet Dead.

Story notes Edit

  • First of a two-part story, concluded in Last Night.
  • This is the shortest of the Night and the Doctor to feature the Doctor, coming in at 2 minutes and 15 seconds. The shortest overall is Up All Night, which is just under 2 minutes.
  • This is also the only Night and the Doctor short to feature scenes both inside and outside of the TARDIS (aside from the view of the exterior side of the door at the end of Good Night).
  • The footage of the TARDIS flying through the solar storm is originally from The Rebel Flesh.
  • This is the first Night and the Doctor story to feature an enemy, the Sontarans,although they are not seen onscreen. Interestingly, the other two to feature villians (Last Night and Up All Night, featuring the Sontarans and the Cybermen, respectively) also have their alien threat unseen.

Myths and rumours Edit

to be added

Filming locations Edit

Production errors Edit

to be added

Continuity Edit

  • The Doctor is travelling with Amy Pond and Rory Williams, knows that they are River's parents, knows why she is in prison, and knows that she did not actually commit the crime. From his perspective, this story thus occurs sometime during one of Amy and Rory's periods of occasional companionship after the end of The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe and before the start of The Angels Take Manhattan.
  • The first River Song is serving her first night of "twelve thousand consecutive life sentences" in Stormcage. From her perspective, this story takes place after The Wedding of River Song (aside from the garden epilogue) & her space-suited self's perspective in The Impossible Astronaut.
  • Second appearance (in chronological order) of River Song's diary. Here, the Doctor instructs her on its use and purpose. (TV: Silence in the Library, et al.) She had the diary throughout her graduate studies without having been told its purpose. (TV: Let's Kill Hitler)
  • In regard to the diary, the Doctor tells River, "from now on, there are rules". When he first met her at the end of her life, she explained her refusal to provide "spoilers" because doing so was against the rules ... his rules. (TV: Forest of the Dead)
  • The second River is at least five years, but less than six years, older than the first River, and is still serving her sentence. (HOMEVID: Last Night)

Home video releases Edit

to be added

External links Edit

to be added

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