The Eleventh Hour was the first episode of series 5 of Doctor Who. It was written by Steven Moffat, directed by Adam Smith and introduced Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor, Karen Gillan as the new companion Amy Pond and Arthur Darvill as recurring character and future companion Rory Williams.
It further debuted the presence of cracks in the universe, and sparked the beginning of a critical plot thread that trailed deep into the Eleventh Doctor's tenure with three words: "silence will fall". This was compounded by the mention of a Pandorica which was fated to open.
Though not the first episode of the 2010 series filmed, it was the public's first full exposure to a new production ethos, as shaped by new executive producers Moffat, Piers Wenger and Beth Willis. It was also the public's first exposure to director Adam Smith's work on a Doctor Who universe programme. A new title sequence by Framestore debuted with this episode, along with yet another Murray Gold theme arrangement. The theme change, however, garnered significant public backlash in the United Kingdom, forcing the Doctor Who production team to respond to criticism in a long segment on the public comment programme, Points of View.
The episode was extensively previewed before broadcast, with theatrical screenings in several British cities as part of a promotional tour at the end of March 2010, and on the east and west coasts of the United States. The first minute of the episode was released as a special preview on the digital Red Button service a week before its first BBC One broadcast.
After a literally explosive regeneration, the brand new Eleventh Doctor survives a crash-landing to Earth. However, he has little time to recover. With a mysterious crack in a little girl's wall and a missing alien prisoner, the Doctor is in for an adventure. However, with the TARDIS damaged and the sonic screwdriver destroyed, can the Doctor capture the rogue alien before its jailers burn Earth to a crisp?
Suffering major damage after the Tenth Doctor's regeneration, the TARDIS flies wildly over London as it enters the atmosphere. An explosion on the console inside causes the doors to unlock and the new Doctor to fall out, barely hanging onto the edge of the entrance. He tries to pull himself up as the TARDIS momentarily stabilises, though it is still heading downwards. Getting halfway in, he notices the TARDIS is heading straight for Big Ben; using the sonic screwdriver, he diverts the TARDIS just enough to miss the clock tower's spire. Pulling himself back in and locking the doors behind him, the Doctor sighs in relief. However, another explosion throws him as the TARDIS spins madly off into the distance.
In 1996, Amelia Pond prays to Santa Claus in her bedroom; a crack in her wall frightens her, and she wants him to send someone to mend it. Suddenly, a crash outside catches her attention, and running to look, she sees the TARDIS lying sideways in her back garden, having crushed her shed on landing. She thanks Santa, and goes to investigate. The TARDIS doors swing open, and a grappling hook flies out, hooking onto a wheelbarrow. A soaking-wet Doctor struggles to pull himself out. He asks for an apple as they're the only thing he can think of; his regeneration is giving him a craving, which he's never had before. As he starts climbing out, he has a look down into the TARDIS, explaining that he'd had to climb up from the library. When Amelia points out that he's soaking wet, the Doctor explains that the swimming pool is also in the library right now. The Doctor has a momentary spasm, causing him to fall to the ground before breathing out a stream of golden energy. She asks him who he is, but the Doctor doesn't know yet himself; he's "still cooking". Amelia tells him about the crack, and the Doctor introduces himself, informing her to do what he says and not wander off; he promptly walks into a tree and knocks himself down — "Early days. Steering's a bit off".
Inside, the Doctor tries eating an apple but spits out the bite he took, saying it tastes terrible. He then requests yoghurt, but spits it out as well. Amelia is confused, as the Doctor had said it was his favourite. The Doctor explains, "New mouth, new rules". More food follows: bacon, baked beans, bread and butter all being asked for, prepared, tried and thrown out. Searching Amelia's fridge, the Doctor rejects carrots before he finds just what he needs: fish fingers and custard.
While the Doctor tries out his new delicacy, Amelia eats ice cream from the tub. The duo bonds. During their conversation, the Doctor discovers the child's name is Amelia Pond — a great name, according to the Doctor, "like a name in a fairy tale". He asks, based on her accent, if they're in Scotland. Amelia tells him that they're in England, where they had to move to and she doesn't like. When the Doctor notes that he'd have thought Amelia's parents would have been woken up by now, she tells him that she doesn't have a mum or dad but lives with her Aunt Sharon. Upon learning that her aunt is out, the Doctor notes that because Amelia is neither afraid of him nor his strange arrival in her garden, it must be one hell of a scary crack in her wall.
Amelia takes the Doctor up to her room to examine the crack in the wall. She also offers him an apple with a smiley face carved into it, as her mother used to make for her to help her like them. He thanks her and pockets the apple. The Doctor examines the crack, telling Amelia that even if the wall was removed, the crack would still be there; the crack exists in that space, not the wall. Upon inspecting the crack closer, the Doctor is astonished to hear a voice on the other side of the crack transmitting the message, "Prisoner Zero has escaped."
Ascertaining that an alien prison lies on the other side of the crack, he opens it fully with the sonic screwdriver and is faced with the alien guard — which appears to be a giant eyeball — who sends him a message on the psychic paper before the crack shuts once more. The message reads the same thing: "Prisoner Zero has escaped." The Doctor, realising the prisoner has escaped through Amelia's bedroom, rushes out into the corridor to investigate and deduces that he's missing something out of the corner of his eye. Before he can discover it, though, the Cloister Bell chimes.
He rushes outside with Amelia, telling her that the TARDIS' engines are in danger of phasing out of existence. Amelia wonders how a box can have engines, and the Doctor tells her his TARDIS is a time machine. She asks to come with him, but the Doctor says it's too dangerous now, and he'll do so after taking a quick five-minute trip into the future to begin repairs. Yelling "Geronimo!", the Doctor jumps back into the TARDIS and it dematerialises before Amelia. Excited, the little girl returns to her bedroom to collect her things, not noticing that the door at the end of the corridor — the thing the Doctor was missing — has opened...
The TARDIS returns in the daylight, with the materialisation giving off a great deal of smoke; the wheezing sound it gives off is even worse than normal, due to the damage. The Doctor exits in a hurry, yelling to Amelia that he's figured out what he was missing; however, Amelia is no longer outside waiting.
The Doctor runs up to the door, finding it locked; he gets the barely-functioning sonic to open the door. Rushing upstairs to the door he now knows exists, the Doctor yells Prisoner Zero is there with them. Trying to get the sonic working to open the door, the Doctor is unknowingly watched by someone from Amelia's room. Hearing someone approach, the Doctor asks if it's Amelia. However, he is instead greeted by a cricket bat to the face.
Elsewhere, at the town hospital, nurse Rory Williams informs his supervisor, Dr Ramsden, that coma patients have been calling for her. She dismisses this, drawling that they are comatose. As she berates him, the patients repeatedly cry out "Doctor" much to her shock and horror.
Back Amelia's home, the Doctor awakes to see he is handcuffed to a radiator; he is confronted by a young woman in a police uniform, who informs him that he'd better stay still as she just called for backup. The Doctor recalls being hit by a cricket bat, to which the police woman states he was breaking and entering. He then inquires to Amelia's whereabouts, wishing to apologise to her for being late coming back. The police woman informs him that Amelia's been missing for six months and that she lives there now; she calls her sergeant, telling him that she has a suspect that might have information on Amelia Pond.
At the hospital, Rory and Ramsden examine the patients carefully, but they still appear to be in comas. Rory attempts to inform his supervisor of other suspicious circumstances pertaining to the coma patients, even proffering his phone with the suggestion that the pictures on it can prove his theory. She impatiently orders him to take some time off.
Back in Amelia's house, the Doctor orders the woman to count off all of the rooms on the floor; she counts five, but the Doctor quickly informs her that there are, in fact, six — one is hidden by a perception filter. He tells her to look out the corner of her eye. The police woman oddly mutters that she's lived there her whole life and never noticed the door; the Doctor asks to be uncuffed, only to be told that she lost the key. She approaches the door, despite his protests; she enters the room. "Do I have one of those faces people ignore... again?" the Doctor wonders.
The Doctor checks his pockets for the sonic screwdriver, finding it's not with him. He yells for her to check and see if it's in there; it could've rolled under the door when she hit him. The sonic is there, but is stuck in a puddle of goo on the table. She yells to him that it "must have jumped on the table", making the Doctor order her to leave at once. The woman picks up the sonic, but senses something is in the room with her. The Doctor orders her not to try looking at it as it will kill her if she sees it. Despite the warning, the police woman manages to trick Prisoner Zero into revealing himself, seeing it's a serpentine alien multi-form.
The police woman runs back to the Doctor, closing the door behind her. The Doctor locks the door with the screwdriver and tries to free himself, but the thing is damaged from the goo. She asks if the door will hold Prisoner Zero, making the Doctor sarcastically retort, "It's an alien multi-form from outer space; they're all terrified of wood!" Seeing a light coming from under the door, she asks what it's doing. The Doctor doesn't know, but tells her to run and radio for backup. However, the woman reveals herself to be a kissogram, whipping off her police hat to reveal long, red hair. Prisoner Zero breaks through the door, emerging as a man with a dog; both mouths bark, much to the Doctor's amusement as it's having trouble figuring out which mouths are supposed to make the correct sounds. He then wonders where he would have gotten the pattern from as it would need to form a psychic link with someone, which takes months.
The Doctor informs Prisoner Zero that the young woman called for backup on her police radio, but she reminds him that she can't; the Doctor explains in annoyance it was a clever lie to save them. He then tries dissuading Prisoner Zero from violence as they pose no threat without backup. The prison guard is then heard broadcasting a message that Prisoner Zero has been found and will vacate the human residence. The Doctor decides to try one more time, telling Prisoner Zero that he and the woman are safe due to the jailers coming for it. However, the prison guard is heard transmitting over and over: "Prisoner Zero will vacate the human residence, or the human residence will be incinerated."
The Doctor finally succeeds in freeing himself, and they run away while Prisoner Zero is looking around for the source of the broadcast. He tries opening the TARDIS for equipment, only to find the doors have sealed as it's still repairing itself. Suddenly, the Doctor notices the shed in the backyard, remembering he wrecked it when he previously crash-landed in the backyard. Licking it, he learns the "new" shed is 12 years old. He turns to the woman, demanding to know why she told him six months when it's been twelve years; she angrily demands to know, "Why did you say five minutes?!" in a Scottish accent. The Doctor can only ask, "What?" with increasing shock; the woman is Amelia Pond! Grabbing his arm, she pulls him out of the yard and towards town.
In town, the Doctor inquires why Amelia hit him with a cricket bat; she defends her action by explaining that their meeting led her to see four psychiatrists over the last 12 years. She bit them all when they told her he wasn't real. Their argument is cut short when they suddenly realise that the Atraxi message is broadcasting over all of the town's electronics, including mobile phones, iPods, even the speaker of an ice cream van. The Doctor sees the Atraxi are not focused on simply Amelia's house as the "human residence", and immediately runs to the first house he sees with Amelia following.
The house belongs to Amelia's friend Jeff Angelo and his grandmother. The Doctor uses the psychic paper to pass himself off as a television repair man. Mrs Angelo thinks she's met the Doctor before, but the Doctor tells her it's not likely, seeing as he's got a new face on. The Doctor then examines the TV and radio stations around the world with help from his sonic screwdriver, and realises, to his horror, that the warning is being broadcast all over the world in every language. The human residence is not just Amelia's town, but the entire planet! The Doctor deduces that the Atraxi will need twenty minutes, prompting Amelia to ask what for. The Doctor says, "The end of the world". While the Doctor begins thinking of a plan, everyone else watches the Atraxi message replay on the television in disbelief.
Above the Earth, the squad of Atraxi ships continue transmitting the message around the world as they search the planet for Prisoner Zero; incinerating Earth to be rid of the menace is a last resort. However, it would seem they will never be able to find it on their own as they keep re-sending the message.
Back on Earth, Jeff and his grandmother realise how they know the Doctor: he's the "Raggedy Doctor" that Amy used to draw cartoons of as a child. The Doctor is disappointed that, not only does she kiss people for a living, but she also dropped the name Amelia for Amy, citing its fairy tale quality — which the Doctor complimented on their last meeting — as its worst point.
The Doctor and Amy head to the town square, and the Doctor is annoyed to discover that Leadworth, where Amelia lives, has no technology to help him. In the middle of remarking about a duck pond without ducks, the Doctor suddenly convulses and falls to the ground, protesting that it is "too early" and he's "not ready yet". Suddenly, though, everything goes dark. The Atraxi have surrounded Earth in a force field to prepare the planet for boiling. Across the park, the Doctor notices Rory taking pictures of a man with a dog — whom the Doctor knows as Prisoner Zero — as opposed to the obscured sun, like everyone else.
The Doctor gleefully announces he can save the world and offers Amy a choice: she can run home and say goodbye to her loved ones, or help him. Amy opts for a different option entirely: she slams the Doctor up against a nearby car, and locks his tie in the door, trapping him. She demands to know who he is, to which he tells her that she already knows. However, Amy doesn't believe him now since she grew up; disheartened, the Doctor says she should never do that. The Doctor tosses her the carved apple, explaining that he's a time traveller, and everything he told her twelve years ago is true. Amy can tell the apple is the exact same one, proving the Doctor is telling the truth. She releases the Doctor's tie, asking what they have to do; the Doctor tells her "stop that nurse." They run across the park to confront Rory.
Amy introduces Rory as her "sort of" boyfriend, but the Doctor is not interested. He takes Rory's mobile phone and demands to know why he was taking a picture of the man and dog rather than the sun. However, Rory is stunned to see the Doctor is real; Amy forced him to dress up as the Doctor when they were little. Annoyed, the Doctor grabs Rory by the collar, demanding "Man. Dog. Why? Tell me. Now." He then gets an expected response: Rory tells him that the man can't be in the park because he's in a hospital in a coma. As the Doctor explains, a coma patient fulfils a multi-form's requirement for a living, but dormant, mind to form a psychic link with. The Doctor confronts Prisoner Zero as an Atraxi spaceship flies close to the surface of the planet; Rory is shocked to learn Prisoner Zero is real as well.
The Doctor reveals, "They're scanning for non-terrestrial technology, and nothing says non-terrestrial like the sonic screwdriver!" He then begins using the sonic to overload technology all around him; lamps break, car alarms sound, an old woman's mobility scooter goes flying by, a fire engine drives off without occupants, and a telephone box blows up. "I think someone's going to notice, don't you?" However, the sonic is damaged and the strain of the task causes it to burn out completely. With a smirk, Prisoner Zero dissolves into a sewer as the Atraxi depart, making the Doctor rage at the incompetence of these alien jailers.
Amy wonders about Prisoner Zero living in her house for 12 years; the Doctor explains that "multi-forms can live for millennia, twelve years is a pit-stop". Amy wonders why the Atraxi showed up on the same day as the Doctor did. He explains that they saw him through the crack and got a fix on him; they're only late to search for Prisoner Zero because he went 12 years into the future. The Doctor is left to ponder how he can draw Prisoner Zero into the open; he then has an idea, asking the name of her good looking friend - Jeff. Rory is feeling a little insulted. He instructs Amy and Rory to clear out the coma ward at the hospital; Prisoner Zero will likely try to ensure his psychic links are not disrupted by killing the doctors tending to the patients. While Rory is still having trouble believing that the Doctor exists, Amy forces him to comply.
Meanwhile, at the hospital, Dr Ramsden is checking on a convulsing coma patient, wondering if he is aware. Prisoner Zero materialises through the vent above and bares its fangs, preparing to strike...
The Doctor returns to Jeff's home, and uses his laptop to break in on a conference call between some of the most advanced scientific minds in the world; he proves his intellect by producing multiple scientific theories and a joke. He uses Rory's phone to write a "slightly intelligent" virus that will turn every digital display in the world to "zero" at the same time; in other words, it's more of an inconvenience than a threat. He uploads this virus to the web via the laptop and encourages them to spread it across the world using every web program possible. He also gives Patrick Moore's number to Mrs Angelo, and advises Jeff to erase his internet history as he has apparently been visiting some sites of questionable taste.
The Doctor commandeers a fire engine to the hospital, communicating with Amy who's stuck outside the coma ward due to Prisoner Zero's attack and instructing her to use her police woman uniform to get past hospital security. Amy and Rory find the coma ward a mess, but oddly no corpses. They come across a mother and her two daughters, who claim to have survived Prisoner Zero's attack on the ward by hiding in the bathroom. Amy tells the Doctor that Prisoner Zero has beaten them back; he encourages them to get out of the hospital. However, one of the daughters is now talking in her mother's voice — it's Prisoner Zero again.
Admitting that it has trouble with figuring out which voice to use with multiple mouths and baring razor-sharp teeth, the alien chases Amy and Rory back into the coma ward. They use a broom to bar the handles, but Prisoner Zero manages to break in after some effort. Prisoner Zero taunts Amy, telling her that it watched her grow up; it then adds that the Doctor will not be here this time to save her.
Amy receives a text saying "Duck!"; she forces Rory down to the floor with her. At that moment the fire truck's ladder rams through the window; the Doctor climbs in, glad to have a few minutes left before the Ataxi burn them. He asks Prisoner Zero to remove its disguise. Prisoner Zero refuses, knowing the Atraxi would kill it this time anyway, and wants the entire Earth to die in flames with it. The Doctor then suggests it leave the same way it came by creating a crack, however, Prisoner Zero explains it didn't create the crack; the cracks exist in the skin of the universe, and Prisoner Zero is amused the Doctor doesn't know where they come from. It warns him that "the Pandorica will open, silence will fall".
The Doctor decides to set this aside and instead enjoys a victory speech as the virus takes hold of the clock on the wall and changes the counter to zero; this occurs all across the world as a means of getting the Atraxi's attention. The Atraxi trace the virus back to Rory's phone, which holds pictures of all of Prisoner Zero's known human forms, thanks to Rory. The Doctor immediately uploads the photos to the Atraxi, gloating that he did all of this without the help of his TARDIS and sonic screwdriver, and with only two minutes to spare before certain doom— "Who da man?" The Doctor's self-congratulatory slang gets a series of blank stares and the flustered Doctor mumbles, "Oh, it's, I'm never saying that again, fine!"
Prisoner Zero tells the Doctor it will have to just take a new form. Amused, the Doctor tells it that he knows it's a bluff as that kind of link takes months to make; however, Prisoner Zero adds that it's had years to make the link. Prisoner Zero starts glowing and Amy falls unconscious; it formed a backup link with Amy just in case its main disguises were ever found out. The Doctor and Rory tend to Amy before turning to find Prisoner Zero has turned into a copy of the Doctor; "Well that's rubbish. Who's that?" the Doctor asks. Rory tells the Doctor that's what he looks like, being confused as to why he doesn't know; the Doctor retorts "busy day."
The Doctor then asks Prisoner Zero why it's taken his form when the psychic link is with Amy; a little girl's voice tells the Doctor that it's not taking his form. A young Amelia comes out from behind the faux Doctor, holding his hand; it's mimicking both of them. Prisoner Zero laughs that Amy is still little Amelia inside, waiting for her magic Doctor to return; it adds that he's been such a disappointment to her. The Doctor realises that Amy is dreaming about him because she can hear him, and her dream is enabling Prisoner Zero to take on his form. The Doctor uses his powers of telepathy to encourage Amy to instead dream of Prisoner Zero.
Prisoner Zero yells in protest and fear but begins changing form once again. Smirking, the Doctor congratulates the rogue on perfectly imitating its true form. Prisoner Zero hisses in anger, as the Atraxi's searchlight finds it. Writhing, the serpent is frozen by the light. As it slowly fades away, Prisoner Zero hisses its warning again "Silence, Doctor. Silence will fall."
The Atraxi leave, and Amy awakens. Rory wonders if the threat is over, and everything is back to normal; the Doctor pats him on the head. Seeing the Doctor still using his phone, Rory wonders what he's up to; the Doctor is tracing the call back. He apologises in advance for the phone bill, getting the Atraxi back on the line. He tells them that they were not given permission to leave and that their willingness to burn a Level 5 planet to get rid of a single criminal is a violation of Article 57 of the Shadow Proclamation. The Doctor demands they return to the hospital; tossing Rory back his phone, the Doctor says NOW he's done it.
The Doctor walks out of the coma ward, telling Amy that he's heading to the roof; however, he changes his mind, heading into a hospital locker room. He explains that because he's saving the world, he needs a decent shirt - "To hell with the raggedy; time to put on a show!" Despite Rory's protests, the Doctor discards the remains of his predecessor's outfit and begins trying on the clothes in the lockers. The Doctor tells them to turn their backs if they're embarrassed; Rory does so, but Amy watches the Doctor get dressed.
They reach the roof with the Doctor wearing a dress shirt with trousers held up with braces. The Doctor has Rory carrying coats, while a selection of ties hangs off his shoulders. Rory wonders why the Doctor has called the Atraxi back when they were leaving; the Doctor explains that while leaving is good, he intends to make sure they never come back. He calls to the Atraxi waiting for him, it lowers and scans him; it states that the Doctor is not of Earth. The Doctor admits that it's right, but he's put a lot of work into it. The Atraxi asks if the Earth is important, offending the Doctor; he explains that 6 billion people live there. As the Atraxi are scanning the entire planet, he asks it if the humans are a threat; a scan shows that they are not. He then asks if they are guilty of any Atraxi crimes; another scan confirms they are not.
The Doctor then asks his final question: is the Earth protected? He then elaborates: "You're not the first lot to have come here. Oh, there have been so many. And what you've got to ask is, 'What happened to them?'" The Atraxi display holograms of previous aliens that came to Earth and then of the Doctor's previous incarnations. The Doctor emerges from a hologram of his predecessor, now wearing a bow-tie and tweed jacket. With a smile, he coolly says, "Hello, I'm the Doctor. Basically... run." The Atraxi take the hint and flee the Earth in pure terror; the Doctor will be the end of them if they ever threaten this planet without a just cause again.
As the Doctor observes their departure, he realises that the TARDIS key is glowing; the TARDIS has recovered and awaits him. Amy and Rory wonder if the Atraxi will be back again, but then notice that the Doctor has left. The Doctor returns to the TARDIS, which now has a brighter shade of blue and a new St. John sticker on the door. He opens the door, being awestruck by his new console room. He decides to take it on a quick hop to the Moon to run in the replacement engines. Amy returns with Rory to her garden just in time to see the TARDIS dematerialising; she is devastated, believing that the Doctor has left her again.
Amy dreams of her younger self awaiting the Doctor's return in her garden but wakes up at the sound of the TARDIS rematerialising outside. Racing into the garden in her nightie, she is shocked the Doctor has come back again. Even more shocking is that he kept the clothes he stole, including the bow-tie — "Bow-ties are cool." She then angrily informs him that all of the events surrounding Prisoner Zero and the Atraxi happened two years ago; thus, it has been fourteen years since fish fingers and custard, fourteen years since he first promised her a trip. Calling her "the girl who waited", the Doctor muses that she's waited long enough and asks her to join him as a companion.
Amy refuses the Doctor's offer but changes her mind when the Doctor snaps his fingers, opening the doors of the TARDIS. He gestures inside, and she enters. She is in wonder at the TARDIS interior. To the Doctor's delight, a new sonic screwdriver pops up out of the console. Amy asks why the Doctor is offering to take her with him. He says he has become bored travelling alone; he then adds taking to himself gives him an earache. A small image of the crack from her bedroom appears on the scanner, but the Doctor adjusts the scanner and the crack quickly disappears. Amy tells the Doctor that she had come to see him as a madman with a box after all these years, now thinking she was wrong. However, the Doctor tells her that, when travelling with him, there is one very important thing to remember: "I am definitely a madman with a box." Amy then makes the Doctor promise to bring her back to Leadworth by the next morning for "stuff", and they fly off into the Vortex — leaving behind the wedding dress that hangs on Amy's closet door.
- The Doctor - Matt Smith
- Amy Pond - Karen Gillan
- Rory Williams - Arthur Darvill
- Amelia - Caitlin Blackwood
- Dr Ramsden - Nina Wadia
- Barney Collins - Marcello Magni
- Ice cream man - Perry Benson
- Mrs Angelo - Annette Crosbie
- Jeff - Tom Hopper
- Mr Henderson - Arthur Cox
- Mother - Olivia Coleman
- Child 1 - Eden Monteath
- Child 2 - Merin Monteath
- Atraxi voice - David de Keyser
- Prisoner Zero voice - William Wilde
- As himself - Patrick Moore
Uncredited cast Edit
|Executive Producers Steven Moffat, Piers Wenger and Beth Willis|
|Not every person who worked on this adventure was credited. The absence of a credit for a position doesn't necessarily mean the job wasn't required. The information above is based solely on observations of the actual end credits of the episodes as broadcast, and does not relay information from IMDB or other sources.|
Anthony Dickenson was credited as the "Stop Frame Director" during his interview on CON: Call Me the Doctor, but he was not credited in the episode proper. He was responsible for the "Doctor's eye view" sequence on the Leadworth village green, which leads to the Doctor noticing that Rory was taking pictures of Prisoner Zero.
The Doctor Edit
- The Doctor has recently regenerated from his tenth incarnation.
- The Doctor mentions "cowboys," a phrase used by his previous incarnation.
- The Doctor calls the TARDIS "you sexy thing" and "dear".
- The Doctor calls himself a "madman"
Foods and beverages Edit
- The Doctor craves different types of foods whilst still undergoing regeneration. He tries many until he finally decides which one he likes. The Doctor doesn't like apples, yoghurt, bacon, beans or bread and butter. He rejects carrots without even trying them, but does like fish fingers and custard, a combination dubbed "fish custard".
- Amelia eats ice cream.
- Amy sends Mr Henderson to have some coffee.
Galactic Law Edit
Earth locations Edit
- Leadworth is thirty minutes away from Gloucester.
- Leadworth does not have an airport or a nuclear power station. It does have a post office.
- Amy prays to Santa on Easter, to ask him to fix a crack on her wall. She asks him to send a policeman to help fix it.
- Amy's outfits include those of a police woman, a French maid, a nurse and a nun.
- Dr Ramsden learns about the coma patients from Dr Carver.
- Amy has a torch in her room.
- Amelia starts to pack some of her stuff in a suitcase.
- Amy hits the Doctor in the face with a cricket bat.
- Amy and Rory put a brush through the door to stop Prisoner Zero getting through.
- The Doctor uploads the "real" proof of Fermat's theorem, the formula for faster-than-light travel, with "two diagrams and a joke" and an explanation for why electrons have mass as a way to prove to the experts on the secure video conference that they should trust his advice about how to deal with the Atraxi threat.
- The Doctor refers to Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, NASA, and the Tokyo Space Centre as three of "the big boys", as well as Sir Patrick Moore. Unmentioned by the Doctor but shown on the screen are the ESA (European Space Agency) and the CSIRO (Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation).
- The ice cream man mentions that the song playing from the ice-cream truck's speakers was meant to be "Claire de Lune" before the Atraxi had hijacked it.
The Doctor's TARDIS Edit
- The TARDIS has a swimming pool and a library; the swimming pool ended up in the library when it crashed into Amelia Pond's back garden.
- To run the TARDIS in, the Doctor takes a trip to the Moon.
- The Doctor notes there is a perception filter around the door so that it is only visible out of the corner of his and Amy's eyes.
- The Atraxi put a force field around the Earth.
- Using his sonic screwdriver, the Doctor sets off car alarms, has a mobility scooter and fire engine drive themselves and blows up a telephone box.
- The Doctor uses Jeff's laptop to contact the experts talking about the sun going out.
- The Doctor mentions Facebook and Bebo.
Theories and concepts Edit
Story notes Edit
- The working title for this episode was The Doctor Returns.[source needed]
- Matt Smith revealed that there are five things in this story to look out for over the course of the series, the cracks being one of the five things.
- The opening scene, which was released on BBC Red Button, was actually a pick-up. Not originally included in the final shooting script of the episode, it was written months after principal photography had wrapped on the episode. It technically had its own script, subtitled "Opening Sequence". At least two drafts were written, with the second being dated 17 December 2009. The sequence was, in fact, its own production. Unlike the episode proper, its producer was Nikki Wilson, its director was Jonny Campbell, and its director of photography was Tony Slater-Ling. Wilson received a credit of "special thanks" in the end credits. The involvement of Campbell and Slater-Ling was established by behind-the-scenes footage of clapperboards. (WC: Doctor Who Video Explorer)
- During the in-vision DVD commentary for this episode, Steven Moffat says that the Doctor is the type of person who would jump off a tall building, then work out what to do about it on the way down. Moffat would later write an episode in which the Doctor jumps from a window on the upper floors of a castle, then calculates his chances of survival in his head as he falls. (TV: Heaven Sent)
- According to Russell T Davies in Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale, Moffat informed him in January 2008 that he had already begun writing the first episode of Series 5.
- This is the only televised story starring a single incarnation of the Doctor to refer to the number of that incarnation in its title.
- The episode introduces a new Doctor Who theme arrangement, an unprecedented third by Murray Gold (not counting several other closing-credit and non-series arrangements). A new opening titles sequence is also introduced along with a new Doctor Who logo. Other cosmetic changes as of this episode include a new TARDIS interior design, slight modifications to its exterior, and the introduction of a new sonic screwdriver.
- This story reveals that at least some sonic screwdrivers are grown/built by the TARDIS.
- Amy Pond is the first modern Earth companion since the series' revival to not be from London. In the Confidential for this episode, Steven Moffat says that London-set stories had become a cliché and this was an attempt to avoid it.
- Caitlin Blackwood and Karen Gillan are real-life cousins, and Gillan convinced series producers to cast Blackwood in the role; amazingly, they hadn't actually met before Doctor Who. (CON: Call Me the Doctor)
- Prisoner Zero states that "the Pandorica will open", and repeats, "Silence will fall", both phrases that will be heard for the rest of Series 5.
- To write the virus, the Doctor uses Rory's BlackBerry Storm (confirmed by Engadget-4/04/10).
- Lots of speculation began concerning Rory Williams' 1990 badge date and how it conflicted with many things seen and heard on-screen (slim camera-phones, Facebook, Twitter, Bebo, and the very 2000s technology); however, Steven Moffat later confirmed that the badge date was a mistake that went unnoticed until after the episode aired. The year of this story was later confirmed in Flesh and Stone.
- When the Doctor and Amy leave her yard in the TARDIS at the end of the episode, the clock in the TARDIS is shown changing from 11:59am to 12:00pm, despite the fact that it is clearly night outside. This would not usually be notable (this * is* Doctor Who), except that an identical effect is observed on the clock in Amy's bedroom at the end of Flesh and Stone. Also in the same episode, the Doctor confirms that they "had been gone five minutes;" yet the time is the same.
- This is the first time the Doctor doesn't use a mirror to find out what he looked like after a regeneration (as part of one of Prisoner Zero's forms was him).
- The Eleventh Doctor continues a long standing tradition (which has had a few exceptions) of performing a large portion of his first episode in the costume of his previous incarnation, picking out his new costume at the end of the episode.
- This episode aired on the same day as the K9 episode The Korven was first broadcast on Disney XD in Britain. It also aired on the same day that Regeneration was first broadcast on Network Ten in Australia.
- The BBC America broadcast, which was heavily edited down to fit in a 60-minute slot with commercial breaks, left out Prisoner Zero's important "Silence will fall" line, which may have confused some viewers because The Impossible Astronaut uses a flashback to that scene.
- One clothing retailer reported that in the month following the airing of this episode in which the Doctor declared that "bow ties are cool," its bow tie sales increased by 94%.
- The TARDIS control room from the Ninth and Tenth Doctor's era was restored and left standing for eighteen months after it was used in this episode at the request of writer Neil Gaiman. The set was used for the SJA episode The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith which involved the Tenth Doctor and finally for Gaiman's story The Doctor's Wife (which is partially set in this version, which the TARDIS has archived). Production staff had to make up excuses in response to questions as to why the set was left standing. It has since been removed.
- Music from the Tenth Doctor era (e.g. Midnight, Corridors and Fire Escapes, The World Waits) appears numerous times in this episode.
- This story contains minor references to previous episodes written by Steven Moffat. Libraries are mentioned on numerous occasions, a possible reference to the two-parter TV: Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead. The concept of meeting a person at different points of their life — as the Doctor accidentally does with Amy Pond - was a major theme of The Girl in the Fireplace. Similarly, River Song also meets the Doctor at different points in his life — often in the wrong order. The Doctor also says 'Wibbly-Wobbly, Timey-Wimey', as he did in TV: Blink and TV: Time Crash. He texts "DUCK!" to Amy, as he wrote behind Wester Drumlins' wallpaper "OH, AND DUCK! NO, REALLY, DUCK! SPARROW SPARROW DUCK, NOW!" in Blink. The Doctor opens the TARDIS by snapping his fingers as he did in TV: Forest of the Dead. When Amy contradicts him after he tells Prisoner Zero she sent for backup, he refers to the deception as "a clever lie", the same phrase he retorted with after Donna challenged his claim that the two of them were safe from the Vashta Nerada.
- It is implied that, at the end of TV: The Angels Take Manhattan, the Doctor visits young Amelia the day after she waits all night for him, at the suggestion of the note the older Amy left for him; he tells her stories of the adventures they will have some day, but that she will have to wait a long time for him to return. According to Steven Moffat, it was this meeting she was dreaming about at the end of this episode when the Doctor comes back the night before her wedding.
- This was the first televised Doctor Who story to feature two different versions of the TARDIS control room (the next would be TV: The Doctor's Wife).
- The episode might be a reference to the Adventure game The 11th Hour, in which an alien spacecraft crashes at the backyard of a house and the protagonists must stop an interplanetary destruction with the help of the alien.
- The dialogue on the way to overcome the perception filter being to catch it out of the corner of your eye is identical to the Somebody Else's Problem field in the novel Life, the Universe and Everything.
- The St. John Ambulance badge is visible on the exterior of the TARDIS for the first time since TV: The War Machines.
- This is the first episode since Fear Her that there have been non on-screen casualties.
- 8.0 million - First viewing in the UK (36.9% audience share)
- 10.08 million viewers - Final BARB figure
Filming locations Edit
- The White House, Llandaff, Cardiff
- Old Cemetery, Rhymney, Gwent
- The Vicarage, Rhymney, Gwent
- Abertillery Hospital, Aberbeeg, Abertillery
- The Cathedral Green, Llandaff, Cardiff
- St. Cadoc's Hospital, Caerleon, Newport
Production errors Edit
- The Doctor was wearing his predecessor's suit jacket at the end of The End of Time. But at the start, and for the duration of, The Eleventh Hour, the jacket is nowhere to be seen. (A lot of fans were confused by this, but have received no answer as to what happened to the jacket between filming the episodes)
- In the opening scene, there are several errors.
- When the camera initially looks down on the Doctor, the floor is at slightly different levels, but when it cuts to the Doctor pulling himself inside, the floor is all the same level.
- The St. John's Ambulance logo is visible on the CGI wideshots of the TARDIS, yet on the live-action close-up, the doors remain as they have been since 2005.
- When the Doctor is talking to young Amelia in her front yard, the background ambient of the "retro" TARDIS interior theme is heard, but the TARDIS still has the old coral theme, which has a different ambient "hum". (However, these sounds could just be "background" sound effects that aren't present in-universe, as at some points they seem to "punctuate" the Doctor's lines almost perfectly.)
- When the Doctor is eating yoghurt in Amelia's kitchen he gets a smear of it on his chin. However, when the shot goes back to him, the smear is gone.
- On several occasions, editor James Pearson mismatches footage of the same scene-parts, as recorded by different cameras or in different takes.
- When the Doctor leaves Amelia for his TARDIS-stabilising, five-minute hop into the future, Caitlin Blackwood's closeup shows her hair being whipped around by the TARDIS' departure. When Pearson immediately cuts to an over-the-shoulder shot of Blackwood watching the departure, her hair is totally unaffected.
- During the scenes where Amelia first meets the Doctor and those taking place in the kitchen, the Doctor's hair style changes several times, sometimes changing from messy to sleek and then back or vice versa between takes.
- During the Leadworth hospital rooftop scene, the Doctor progressively throws away a variety of neckties as he whittles the options down. The last of these neckties is yellow, which we see in a frontal mid-shot. When Pearson switches to footage taken from the side in a long shot, the tie is not present. When he again switches to the frontal mid-shot, the tie reappears. Later in the same scene, Pearson has a similar problem. The wide shot of the departing Atraxi vessel shows Smith reaching into his coat pocket for the TARDIS key. When Pearson cuts back to a close-up of Smith, he hasn't yet reached into his pocket, and it takes several seconds for him to complete the same action from that angle. The Doctor's hair switches from being swept back to hanging in front of his forehead. Several times when the hair is in front of his forehead, the number and size of strands also changes.
- When the Doctor slaps himself in the forehead exclaiming, "I missed it! I saw it and I missed it!", he ends up with a red mark, but when the camera cuts to the close-up, the red mark has vanished.
- In the final TARDIS scene, the Doctor obtains his new sonic screwdriver, juggles it and pockets it. However, when Amy asks the Doctor, "Why her," when he responds, we can see him still putting it in his pocket.
- When Prisoner Zero takes the form of the mother with two daughters, the older, longer haired girl always appears to the right of the mother. When the Doctor crashes the fire engine's ladder through the window and Prisoner Zero looks on, the two girls have switched places. The footage selected for that scene had the characters looking right, which would have contradicted the fact that the Doctor crashed in from their left. So the image had to be flipped. Some of the clues giving this away are: The brooch and buttons on the woman's jacket move to her right side. There's a red and white scarf in the background that shouldn't be there. The bows in the girls' hair-bands have changed position (and of course the girls themselves have 'swapped').
- When Prisoner Zero walks out of the "extra room" in Amy's house, the doorway that he eventually walks through has its door closed, yet when we flick to Prisoner Zero looking at the Atraxi's voice booming out, we see that the door has magically disappeared and Prisoner Zero walks through.
- During the final scene inside the TARDIS, we see close-up views of the Doctor's hands turning three joysticks and typing on the typewriter. You can clearly see that his tweed jacket has mysteriously changed pattern, becoming the pattern that is not shown again until Victory of the Daleks.
- When the Atraxi is scanning the Doctor, the camera from behind shows his head tilted, but when the camera view switches to in front of the Doctor, his head is straight up.
- When the Atraxi first starts scanning the Doctor, from the camera behind the Doctor, the scanner light is halfway down his body, but when it switches to in front of him, it's just then going by his head.
- During the Doctor's conversation with the Atraxi, Rory is standing behind him holding a selection of jackets. As the Atraxi are reviewing the various incarnations of the Doctor, one of the jackets (a dark reddish brown jacket) can be seen on the ground to Rory's left. When the Doctor says the line, "Hello, I'm the Doctor", the coat is still on the ground, but the scene immediately cuts to a closeup with Rory still holding the jacket in his arms.
- When Amy enters the TARDIS, the rear-bottom panel can just be seen, destroying the illusion of the TARDIS not actually being "bigger on the inside"
- During the final scene, when the Doctor appears to switch off the monitor, it cuts from a close up of the monitor to a wider angled shot of the Doctor standing at the monitor for a single frame, but then cuts for a single from back to the monitor before going back to the shot of the Doctor.
- In the kitchen scene, after the Doctor has taken a bite out of the apple and has spat it out, he puts the bitten fruit back into the fruit bowl that Amelia is holding and it can be seen in the bowl when Amelia is running to the refrigerator to get him yoghurt. When she returns with the yoghurt, the bitten apple is lying beside the bowl on the table. In the same scene, it can be noted that the clock doesn't change time - it remains at around 32 minutes past 9.
- When the Atraxi are showing images of the aliens and other creatures that have appeared on the planet, they show a clip of Cybermen breaking through a window, yet that scene took place on Pete's World. Additionally, Ood are shown, despite never have been seen on Earth at this point, as are Hath, who never appeared on Earth.
- When the Doctor first addresses the Atraxi on the hospital rooftop during the wide shot of both the Doctor and the Atraxi, a bi-directional loop is used to extend the duration of the shot. This is evident when looking at the way the Doctor is moving.
- As the Atraxi is about to flee the rooftop, when seen from behind the Doctor, its crystalline-snowflake "ship" begins spinning clockwise (when viewed from below), but in the next scene (from the side) it is spinning anticlockwise (when viewed from below) as it actually makes its retreat.
- The TARDIS is crashing towards Earth after the Doctor's latest regeneration. (TV: The End of Time)
- Perception filters are also used by the TARDIS keys (TV: The Sound of Drums) and the Torchwood Three lift. (TV: Everything Changes)
- The Doctor uses the phrase, "Wibbly-Wobbly, Timey-Wimey". (TV: Blink, Time Crash)
- The Doctor opens the TARDIS by clicking his fingers. (TV: Forest of the Dead)
- The Shadow Proclamation is again invoked. (TV: Rose, The Christmas Invasion, The Stolen Earth)
- Creatures appearing in the projected image included the Cybermen, (TV: Rise of the Cybermen) the Daleks, (TV: Doomsday) a Pyrovile, (TV: The Fires of Pompeii) the Empress of the Racnoss, (TV: The Runaway Bride) the Ood, (TV: Planet of the Ood) the Hath, (TV: The Doctor's Daughter) the Sontarans, (TV: The Time Warrior) the Sea Devils, (TV: The Sea Devils) the Sycorax, (TV: The Christmas Invasion) a Reaper, (TV: Father's Day) and a Vashta Nerada's victim. (TV: Silence in the Library)
- The Doctor states that he got tired of travelling alone; (TV: Planet of the Dead; The Waters of Mars) he claims he'd been giving himself an earache by talking to himself.
- This is not the first time a newly-regenerated Doctor has taken new clothes from a hospital. The Third and Eighth did the same thing. (TV: Spearhead from Space; Doctor Who)
- Following a regeneration, the Doctor expels golden energy from his mouth. (TV: The Christmas Invasion)
- The Doctor's sonic screwdriver has been destroyed before. (TV: The Visitation, Smith and Jones)
- The Doctor intending to return in five minutes and accidentally taking twelve years is similar to the first time he takes Rose home; however instead of taking twelve hours, it was twelve months. (TV: Aliens of London)
- When the Atraxi note that the Doctor is not from Earth, he responds with, "No, but I've put a lot of work into it." (TV: The War Machines, The Web of Fear, Spearhead from Space, et al.)
- After witnessing the destruction of the Sycorax at the hands of Torchwood, the Doctor tells Harriet Jones that he "told them this world was protected. I should have told them to run." (TV: The Christmas Invasion) This time, he does both, he even calls the Atraxi back to do so.
- The TARDIS' doors open outwards. (TV: The Ice Warriors)
- The Doctor congratulates Prisoner Zero on "the perfect impersonation of yourself"; the Master gave Adric similar congratulations after he created an illusion of himself to fool Nyssa. (TV: Castrovalva)
- The Doctor rejects carrots; his sixth and seventh incarnations disliked carrot juice. (TV: Terror of the Vervoids, The Ultimate Foe, Time and the Rani)
- When the Doctor tells Prisoner Zero to open a crack again to escape from the Atraxi, it says it didn't open the crack. When it finds out he doesn't know what the cracks are, it adopts a young girl's voice and says, "The Doctor in the TARDIS doesn't know. Doesn't know, doesn't know!" This is similar to what Angel Bob later says. Angel Bob's words were, "The Doctor in the TARDIS hasn't noticed." (TV: Flesh and Stone)
- When the Doctor leaves in his new TARDIS, there is lightning or electricity as it leaves, just as there was when it materialised in San Francisco on 30 December 1999. (TV: Doctor Who)
- The Doctor previously used the phrase, "Trust me, I'm the Doctor", when reassuring Leela that blackberries were not poisonous in PROSE: Psi-ence Fiction.
- This isn't the first time the Doctor has fought cracks with malign beings in them. (TV: The Awakening)
- As a test, the Tenth Doctor asked an enhanced school child how to achieve faster-than-light travel. (TV: School Reunion)
- The Doctor says "you've had some cowboys in here" to Amelia in relation to the crack in her wall. The Tenth Doctor made the same remark about Madame de Pompadour's mind. (TV: The Girl in the Fireplace)
- The Doctor refers to Earth as a Level 5 planet. (TV: City of Death, Voyage of the Damned)
- When asked what happened to previous threats to Earth, the Atraxi display images of all previous ten incarnations of the Doctor. (TV: The Pirate Planet, The Family of Blood)
- After the TARDIS repairs itself, it has to go on a short journey to recalibrate. (PROSE: Sanctuary)
- The monitor in the new TARDIS console has a Magpie Electricals logo on it. (TV: The Idiot's Lantern)
- The Doctor nearly falls out of the TARDIS following his regeneration. Shortly after her own regeneration, the Thirteenth Doctor would later actually fall out of the TARDIS. (TV: Twice Upon a Time)
International broadcasts Edit
However, it had several pre-broadcast public screenings in North America prior to its official broadcast launch. On the west coast, it premièred on 3 April at WonderCon in San Francisco. Its east coast debut was on 14 April 2010 at the Village East Cinema in Manhattan. This latter screening was sponsored by BBC America, and was attended by Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Steven Moffat, who fielded questions after the showing. An additional showing occurred on 16 April at the C2E2 convention in Chicago. In addition, there were also press screenings, such as the Canadian one held in Toronto 8 April after which Moffat participated in a Q&A via Skype.
Home video releases Edit
BBC Video - Doctor Who Series Five - Volume One was released on DVD and Blu-Ray on 7 June 2010 (UK only), featuring The Eleventh Hour, The Beast Below, Victory of the Daleks, and the featurette The Monster Diaries.  A full-series box set has been released.
Of note, the "Next Time..." trail at the end of each episode has been excised from this and all future episodes for the DVD/Bluray releases up to A Christmas Carol.
- BBC - Doctor Who: The Eleventh Hour Extras - News & features
- BBC - BBC One Programmes - Doctor Who, Series 5, The Eleventh Hour
- ↑ "Red Button Preview of Eleventh Hour". Doctor Who News Page
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 "Who Preview at WonderCon. Gallifrey News Base.
- ↑ 
- ↑ Doctor Who prompts surge in popularity of bow ties
- ↑ Doctor Who Series opener ratings
- ↑ "Matt Smith and Karen Gillan in New York" Doctor Who News Page. 31 March 2010.
- ↑ Doctor Who News Page - Matt Smith First DVD Release Date, accessed 3rd March 2010