TARDIS Index File

The Eleventh Hour (TV story)

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The Eleventh Hour
Doctor: Eleventh Doctor
Companion(s): Amy
Featuring: Rory
Main enemy: Prisoner Zero, Atraxi
Main setting: Leadworth, 1996, 2008 and 2010
Key crew
Writer: Steven Moffat
Director: Adam Smith
Producer: Tracie Simpson
Release details
Story number: 203
Season/series: 5 (Doctor Who)
Premiere broadcast: 3 April 2010
Premiere network: BBC One
Format: 1x 65 minute episode
Production code: 5.1
Confidential: [[confidential::Call Me the Doctor|Call Me the Doctor]]
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Doctor Who television stories
The End of Time The Beast Below
Production order
Victory of the Daleks The Hungry Earth

The Eleventh Hour was the first episode of the fifth series of BBC Wales Doctor Who. It featured the debut of Karen Gillan as new companion Amy Pond and Arthur Darvill as recurring character and future companion Rory Williams.

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 Steven 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.

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.[1][2]


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 from the regeneration/crash and the sonic screwdriver destroyed, can the Doctor capture the rogue alien before its jailers burn Earth alive?


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 falls 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; he diverts the TARDIS just enough to miss the clock's spire, using the sonic screwdriver to do so. 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 grapling hook flies out, hooking onto a wheelbarrel. The 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. The Doctor has a momentary spasm, causing him to fall to the ground. 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.

Inside, Amelia prepares several foods for the Doctor, who rejects all of them before finally settling on fish fingers and custard; the duo bonds over this meal. During their conversation, the Doctor discovers Amelia is originally from Scotland, is orphaned, and 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 scary crack in her wall.

Amelia takes the Doctor up to her room to examine the crack in the wall; she also offers him a
DW Eleventh Hour Atraxi eye through crack

The other side of the crack revealed

n apple with a smiley face carved into it, like her mother used to make for her. 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, however, 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 he is missing something out of the corner of his eye. Before he can discover it, however, the Cloister Bell chimes.

He rushes outside with Amelia, telling her that the engines are in danger of phasing out of existence. Amelia wonders how a box can have engines and the Doctor tells her the TARDIS is a time machine. She asks to come with him, but the Doctor tells her it's too dangerous now (repairs haven't started yet), and he'll do so after taking a five minute trip into the future to begin repairs. Yelling "Geronimo!", the Doctor jumps back into the TARDIS and it dematerialises before Amelia. Excited, Amelia returns to her bedroom to collect her things, not noticing the door at the end of the corridor -- the thing the Doctor was missing -- has opened.

The Doctor returns to her garden in the daylight, realising that he has taken longer than promised. He rushes back into the house, having figured out what he was missing and knowing that Amelia's life is in danger. He is searching for a way to open the door at the end of the corridor as he yells that Prisoner Zero is there with them. He suspects someone is behind him and turns around, only to be whacked on the head with a cricket bat.

Elsewhere, at the town hospital, nurse Rory Williams informs his supervisor that the coma patients have been calling out for her. She dismisses the idea, drawling that they are comatose. As she berates him, the patients repeatedly cry out, "Doctor," much to her shock and horror.

The Doctor awakes to find that he has been handcuffed to a radiator; he is confronted by a young woman dressed in a police uniform. This woman angrily informs him when he asks that Amelia Pond hasn't lived in the house for six months, and that she lives there now. The Doctor orders her 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. Ignoring the Doctor's warnings, she enters the sixth room. 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 as it could have rolled under the door when she hit him. The sonic is there, but is stuck in a puddle of goo on the table. Picking it up, she turns and finds herself face to face with Prizoner Zero, a serpentine alien multiform. She runs back to the Doctor, closing the door behind her. The Doctor locks the door with the sonic and tries to free himself, but the sonic is damaged from the goo. 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 informs the alien that the young woman called for backup on her police radio, but she nervously reveals that it is a fake; she isn't a policewoman, but a kissogram, and subsequently whips her police hat off to reveal long red hair. The prison guard is heard transmitting from outside, repeating the same message over and over: "The human residence is surrounded. Prisoner Zero will vacate the human residence, or the human residence will be incinerated." The Doctor finally succeeds in freeing himself, and he and the woman run to the TARDIS; however, the doors won't open, as the ship is still repairing itself and is shut off until it's finished. Suddenly, he notices the shed in the backyard, remembering he wrecked it when he previously crash-landed in the backyard. Licking it, he realises this "new" shed is already old, 12 years old. He turns to the woman, demanding to know why she told him six months when it had really been twelve years; she angrily demands to know why he told her five minutes. 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.

Back at the local hospital, Rory and his supervisor 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 proferring his phone with the suggestion that the pictures on it can prove his theory. She impatiently orders him to take some time off.

In town, Amelia tells the Doctor that she was sent to four psychiatrists over the last twelve years; she bit them when they told her the Doctor wasn't real. However, her rage is temporarily disregarded as they realise that the Atraxi message is broadcasting over all of the town's electronics, including cell phones, iPods, and the speaker of an ice cream van. The
Doctor sees the Atraxi are not focused on 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 -- he's got a new face.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 broadcasted all over the world in every language. The human residence is not just Amelia's town, but the entire Earth! The Doctor deduces the Atraxi will need twenty minutes, prompting Amelia to ask what for. The Doctor says "the end of the world" (again). While the Doctor begins thinking of a plan, everyone else watches the Atraxi message replay on the televison in disbelief.

Above the Earth, the squad of Atraxi ships continue transmitting the message around the world as they
DW Eleventh Hour Atraxi in orbit

The Atraxi scout Earth for their missing prisoner

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 them on their own as they keep resending the message.

Back on Earth, Jeff and his grandmother realise who the Doctor is, saying his name; the Doctor is shocked people he hasn't met yet (from his perspective) know him. However, they then go on to say he's "the Raggedy Doctor," from cartoons that Amelia drew as a child; additionally, Amelia tells the Doctor that she is now calling herself Amy, because her name was "a bit fairytale," which he had previously told her he liked.

The Doctor and Amy head to the town square, and the Doctor is annoyed to discover that Leadworth, the town where Amelia lives, has no technology to help him (he is also annoyed that they do, however, seem to have a duck pond with no ducks); suddenly, he convulses and falls to the ground, protesting that it is "too early" and he's "not ready yet." The sky suddenly goes dark; the Atraxi have surrounded Earth in a force field before boiling it. 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 help him or run home and say goodbye to her loved ones. Amy instead chooses to slam the Doctor up against a nearby car and lock his tie in the door, trapping him. She demands to know who he is and the Doctor hands her the carved apple that she gave him when she was seven. He explains that he's a time traveller and everything he told her is true; the apple is the exact same one, proving the Doctor is telling the truth. She releases the Doctor's tie and they run across the park to confront Rory.

Amy introduces Rory as her "sort of" boyfriend, but the Doctor is not interested in this; he takes Rory's cell phone and demands to know why he was taking a picture of the man and dog rather than the sun, like everyone else in the park. Rory tells the Doctor that the man can't be in the park because he's in a hospital in a coma; this isn't news to the Doctor, however, who knows a coma patient fulfills a multiform's requirement for a living, but dormant, mind. The Doctor confronts Prisoner Zero as an Atraxi spaceship flies close to the surface of the planet. He reveals they are scanning for non-terrestrial technology, and nothing says non-terrestrial like the sonic screwdriver, which he subsequently activates at full power to break nearby lamp lights and activate car alarms. However, the sonic is damaged and the strain of the task causes it to burn out completely.
File:Mark VI sonic - The Eleventh Hour.png

Prisoner Zero escapes into a sewer as the Atraxi depart. The Doctor sends Amy and Rory to the hospital to clear out the coma ward; however, when they arrive, they learn that Prisoner Zero has beaten them there and is killing all of the conscious people in the ward. Meanwhile, 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 uses Rory's phone to write a virus that will turn every digital display in the world to "zero" at the same time; he uploads this virus to the web via the laptop and encourages them to spread it across the world. He also gives Patrick Moore's number to Mrs Angelo.

Amy and Rory use her policewoman uniform to sneak past hospital security and enter the coma ward. They meet a mother and her daughters, who claim to have survived Prisoner Zero's attack on the ward by hiding in the bathroom. Amy phones the Doctor, who has commandeered a fire engine to make it to the hospital, and informs him 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. The alien concedes it has trouble with multiple mouths, and baring razor-sharp teeth, chases Amy and Rory back into the coma ward.

The Doctor arrives in the nick of time, ramming the truck's ladder into the window so that he can climb in. He asks Prisoner Zero to surrender and remove its disguise; Prisoner Zero refuses, knowing the Atraxi would kill it. The Doctor 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.


Prisoner Zero, defeated by the Doctor

However, Prisoner Zero surprises the Doctor by utilising a link it had formed with Amy over the twelve years it spent living in her house; it takes a new, unknown form -- that of Amy holding the Doctor's hand. The Doctor uses his powers of telepathy to encourage the unconscious Amy to dream of Prisoner Zero's true form, thereby forcing it to change back. The Atraxi catch it in a paralyzing light and teleport it away. Before departing, Prisoner Zero snarls, "Silence will fall."

With the threat ended, Amy awakes, but the Doctor calls the Atraxi back -- they have breached the rules of the Shadow Proclamation by threatening to incinerate a Level 5 planet. Tired of wearing the ragged remains of his previous incarnation's outfit, the Doctor decides to change his clothes in the hospital locker room. Despite Rory's protests, the Doctor steals the clothes and changes into his new look.

Greeting the Atraxi waiting for him on the roof, the Doctor tells them Earth has not violated any of their laws and is not a threat to them. However, he then asks if the Earh is protected, claiming there have been so many others that threatened it. But the real question 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 introduces himself and tells them to to run; they flee in terror.

As the Doctor observes their departure, he realises that the TARDIS key is glowing; the TARDIS has recovered and awaits him. He dashes off to see the new design, 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 and Rory return 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 materialising outside. Racing into the garden, she is shocked the Doctor has come back again. Even more shocking is that he kept the clothes he stole. She then angrily informs him that all of the events surrounding Prisoner Zero and the Atr
File:Tardis Int.png
axi 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 opens the doors of the TARDIS and allows her to step inside. 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; he is 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.



General production staff

Script department

Camera and lighting department

Art department

Costume department

Make-up and prosthetics



General post-production staff

Special and visual effects


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 Prizoner Zero.


The Doctor

  • The Doctor says, "What? What?? What?!?" and "Wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey" much like his previous incarnation.
  • The Doctor opens the TARDIS doors with a snap of his fingers for the first time since Forest of the Dead. According to River Song in the same episode, he will begin to do so regularly at some point in the future.
  • When Jeff states, "You can't just hack in on a call like that," the Doctor responds with, "Can't I?" This is the same response and manner as the Fourth Doctor's to Sarah Jane's and the Brigadier's protests shortly after he had regenerated.
  • Perhaps due to his new appearance, the Doctor finds it necessary to prove to the online conference that he has the credentials to solve the current problem, despite the fact the name "the Doctor" would have been well-known in these circles at this time. (TV: The Christmas Invasion and other events)
  • The Doctor mentions "cowboys," a phrase used by his previous incarnation in TV: The Girl in the Fireplace.
  • The Doctor drives a fire engine.
  • The Doctor calls the TARDIS, "you sexy thing" and "dear". The later episode TV: The Doctor's Wife will expand on this, establishing that the TARDIS is not only aware of the Doctor's feelings, but reciprocates them; she also adopts the name "Sexy" based on the Doctor calling her that. It's unclear whether the Doctor's referring to the TARDIS as "sexy" originated in this episode, or had been expressed off-screen in past incarnations.
  • One of the jackets taken from the hospital for the Doctor to try on is a dark maroon similar in style to one of the Third Doctor's jackets (see also Production Errors below).
  • When trying several foods, the Doctor is offered carrots but rejects them immediately. This is a reference to his sixth incarnation and then-companion Mel trying to get him on a diet of carrot juice, much to his chagrin. (TV : The Trial of a Time Lord)

Food and Beverages

Galactic Law

Earth locations

  • Gloucester is thirty minutes away from Leadworth.

Science and Maths

  • 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 Jordrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics, NASA, and the Tokyo Space Centre as three of "the big boys", as well as Sir Patrick Moore (playing himself). Unmentioned by the Doctor but shown on the screen are the ESA (European Space Agency) and CSIRO (Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation).

Music and Songs

  • 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 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.

Theories and concepts

  • Prisoner Zero mentions that the Pandorica will open and that "Silence will fall".

Story notes

  • The working title for this episode was The Doctor Returns.
  • 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 were established by behind-the-scenes footage of clapperboards. (WC: Doctor Who Video Explorer)
  • According to Russell T Davies in Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale, Moffat informed him in January 2008 that he had 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 included a sequence showing all previous ten incarnations of the Doctor. The vision of the Tenth Doctor is from TV: The Family of Blood.
  • 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 the first on-screen use of 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 (young Amy) 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.
  • The TARDIS scene in which the characters are viewed through the central column as they talk to each other mirrors those seen in the film.
  • Prisoner Zero states that "the Pandorica will open", and repeats, "Silence will fall".
  • In the final scene, the Doctor is standing next to a monitor in the TARDIS that shows a waveform. The waveform appears to be the same shape as the crack in Amy's wall.
  • To write the virus, the Doctor uses Rory's BlackBerry Storm (confirmed by Engadget-4/04/10).
  • The monitor in the new TARDIS console has a Magpie Electricals logo on it.
  • Like the Eleventh Doctor, the Tenth Doctor also had a distaste for certain foods, particularly pears. (TV: Human Nature/The Family of Blood)
  • 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. [3] 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 TV 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 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%. [4]
  • 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 and finally for Gaiman's story The Doctor's Wife. Production staff had to make up excuses in response to questions as to why the set was left standing. It has since been removed.
  • This episode contains a number of parallels with the story of Peter Pan. Both feature a little girl receiving a "magical" visitor who promises to take her to far-away places. In JM Barrie's original novel, Peter leaves Wendy when she is a child, promising to return every spring, but he does not come back until Wendy has grown much older, while he remains the same age. Here, the Doctor promises to return for Amy in five minutes but does not come back for 12 (and then 14) years. In both cases the girl looks to her visitor as a way to escape an unhappy childhood. Perhaps most tellingly, the Doctor tells Amy that her growing up is something he'll "fix," echoing Peter's vow to "never grow up."
  • This story also contains a number of parallels with Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (especially the latter's beginning). Both stories have aliens intent on destroying the Earth. Both have the focus shifted from local destruction (that of a house) to global destruction. In both stories, the alien threat is communicated by overriding communications on all electronic broadcast devices. And finally, both stories have a benevolent alien leaving the planet with a human companion who is still dressed in his/her nightclothes.
  • Annette Crosbie is best known for portraying Margaret Meldrew, the long suffering wife of Victor Meldrew, in the British sitcom One Foot in the Grave. Victor Meldrew was portrayed by Richard Wilson, who has also appeared in Doctor Who as Dr. Constantine in The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances.
  • 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 mentions 'Wibbly-Wobbly, Timey-Wimey', as he did in TV: Blink and TV: Time Crash. 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.
  • Arthur Cox (Mr Henderson) previously played Cully in TV: The Dominators. As of 2012, he holds the record for the longest gap between appearances (42 years) in the history of Doctor Who.


  • 8.4 million - First viewing in the UK (36.9% audience share)
  • 10.08 million viewers - Final BARB figure[5]

Filming locations

  • The White House, Llandaff, Cardiff
  • Old Cemetery, Rhymney, Gwent
  • The Vicarage, Rhymney, Gwent
  • Abertillery Hospital, Aberbeeg, Abertillery
  • The Cathedral Green, Llandaff, Cardiff

Production errors

If you'd like to talk about narrative problems with this story — like plot holes and things that seem to contradict other stories — please go to this episode's discontinuity discussion.
  • In the opening scene, there are several errors.
    • When the Eleventh Doctor is hanging from the TARDIS across London, every wide shot shown depicts the TARDIS rotating, but whenever a close-up of the Doctor is shown, the background does not rotate.
    • 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 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-stabilizing, 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 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.
  • 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 giving away 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 that have appeared on the planet, they show a clip of Cybus Cybermen breaking through a window, yet that scene took place on Pete's World. The Atraxi from this universe couldn't have monitored something from the Earth of another universe.


  • The Doctor asks, "Do I have a face that no one listens to? Again?"; this is a reference to the fact that the Doctor's companions never seem to listen to him.
  • The majority of this episode takes place in 2008, with the final scene set on 25 June, 2010. Amy is twenty-one at this time (established in Flesh and Stone).
  • This story continues the events seen at the end of TV: The End of Time with the TARDIS crashing towards Earth.
  • Perception filters have previously been mentioned/seen in reference to 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", first used by the Tenth Doctor in TV: Blink and again by both the Tenth and Fifth Doctors in TV: Time Crash.
  • The Doctor opens the TARDIS by clicking his fingers as he first did in TV: Forest of the Dead.
  • The Shadow Proclamation is again invoked in the first story of a new incarnation of the Doctor, as it had been in Rose and The Christmas Invasion.
  • Creatures appearing in the projected image included the Cybus 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 use of clips from The Time Warrior and The Sea Devils marks the first time "monster clips" from the 1963-89 series had been used in the revival.
  • Images of all ten prior incarnations of the Doctor are also projected.
  • 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 earache by not having anyone to talk to.
  • 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 was previously destroyed in TV: Smith and Jones, a story which was also the first episode of a new series and also introduced a new companion, as well as in TV: The Visitation.
  • The Doctor intending to return in five minutes and accidentally taking twelve years is similar to the first time he takes Rose home in TV: Aliens of London; however instead of taking twelve hours, it was twelve months.
  • 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." These are the same lines used in TV: The Curse of Fatal Death (also written by Moffat) with regards to the universe.
  • After witnessing the destruction of the Sycorax at the hands of Torchwood in The Christmas Invasion, the Doctor tells Harriet Jones that he "...told them this world was protected. I should have told them to run." This time, he does both (in fact, he calls the Atraxi back to do so).
  • The TARDIS' doors open outwards for the first time since Episode 1 of TV: The Ice Warriors.
  • Assuming that Amy is able to see the Atraxi projection of the Doctor's past incarnations, this makes her the first ongoing companion of the revival to see all the Doctor's past lives; while Jackson Lake in TV: The Next Doctor saw a similar projection, he was only a one-off companion.
  • The Doctor is knocked unconscious by Amy's cricket bat. In the novelisation for TV: The Power of the Daleks, it was stated that were the Doctor rendered unconscious soon after regeneration the cycle might have started again. Fortunately, the Eleventh Doctor appears to avoid this complication; it may be that when the Doctor leaves in 1996 and returns in 2008, more than fifteen hours of subjective time have passed and he doesn't have to worry about triggering another regeneration.
  • 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 TARDIS previously "regenerated" in The Company of Friends.
  • The Doctor's rejection of carrots may be a callback to his sixth and seventh incarnation's dislike of 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 says in TV: Flesh and Stone. Angel Bob's words were, "The Doctor in the TARDIS hasn't noticed."
  • 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.
  • At the end of the episode, when Amy visits the TARDIS, she suddenly looks scared by something unseen right after she plays with a lever. The camera focuses on her scared expression, but when she turns to the Doctor she simply asks "Why me?" This supports the theory of the Silence appearing in Series 5. A similar scene occurs later in the series while Amy is trapped in the TARDIS (TV: The Lodger).
  • 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.

DVD/Blu-ray-exclusive scene

The 2010 DVD and Blu-ray release of the Complete Series 5 included an additional scene from The Eleventh Hour. Contrary to many reviews and video-sharing site repostings of the scene, it is not a deleted scene, but rather a scene shot specifically for the DVD/Blu-ray release some time during the later stages of Series 5 production. The comedic scene links the events of The Eleventh Hour with those of The Beast Below as Amy endlessly hammers the Doctor with questions about the logistics of the TARDIS, as well as mocking his decision to wear a bow tie, even at one point wondering if it might be a "cry for help". The Doctor reiterates, "Bow ties are cool".

The scene ends with the Doctor playfully pushing Amy out into the air bubble surrounding the TARDIS, which leads directly into the first scene of The Beast Below in which Amy is seen floating above the TARDIS, the Doctor holding her by the ankle (although this is not clear to those viewing the scene without the benefit of knowing how The Beast Below begins).

International broadcasts

The Eleventh Hour received its international broadcast debut on 17 April 2010 when both BBC America in the US and Space in Canada broadcast it, followed by ABC1 in Australia on 18 April.

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.[2] 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.[6] 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

Doctor Who Series 5, Volume 1 (DVD)

Series 5: Volume 1 DVD cover

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. [7] 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.

External links


Facts about "The Eleventh Hour (TV story)"RDF feed
1ADJohn Bennett (assistant director) +
2ADJames DeHaviland +
3ADHeddi Joy Taylor Welch +
Assistant cameraTom Hartley + and Jon Vidgen +
Assistant editorCat Gregory +
Assistant production accountantCarole Wakefield +
Assistant production managerClaire Thomas +
Associate designerJames North +
Best boyPete Chester +
BoomDafydd Parry +
Camera operatorJoe Russell +
Casting associateAndy Brierley + and Alice Purser +
Casting directorAndy Pryor +
Concept artistRichard Shaun Williams + and Peter McKinstry +
Construction chargehandScott Fisher +
Construction managerMatthew Hywel-Davies +
ContinuityNon Eleri Hughes +
Costume assistantSara Morgan + and Maria Franchi +
Costume designerRay Holman +
Costume supervisorBobbie Peach +
DOPOwen McPolin +
DirectorAdam Smith (director) +
DoctorEleventh Doctor +
Dressing propsMartin Broadbent + and Rhys Jones +
Dubbing mixerTim Ricketts +
EditorJames Pearson +
ElectricianBen Griffiths +, Steve Slocombe +, Bob Milton + and Alan Tippets +
Executive producerSteven Moffat +, Piers Wenger + and Beth Willis +
Focus pullerSteve Rees + and Matthew Poynter +
Foley editorHelen Dickson +
GafferMark Hutchings +
Graphic artistJackson Pope +
GraphicsBBC Wales Graphics +
GripJohn Robinson +
Has imageFile:11amy.jpg +
Line producerPatrick Schweitzer +
Location managerGareth Skelding + and Paul Davies +
Make-up artistAbi Brotherton + and Morag Smith +
Make-up designerBarbara Southcott +
Make-up supervisorPam Mullins +
MusicMurray Gold +
Online conformMatthew Clarke + and Mark Bright +
Post-production co-ordinatorMarie Brown +
Post-production supervisorChris Blatchford + and Samantha Hall +
Practical electricianAlbert James +
ProducerTracie Simpson +
Production accountantCeri Tothill +
Production buyerBen Morris +
Production co-ordinatorJess van Niekerk +
Production designerEdward Thomas +
Production executiveJulie Scott +
Production managerHolly Pullinger +
Production runnerSian Warrilow +
Props buyerSue Jackson Potter +
Props chargehandMatt Wild +
Props makerPenny Howarth + and Nicholas Robatto +
Props masterPaul Aitken +
RunnerNicola Eynon Price + and Laura Jenkins +
Scenic artistJohn Pinkerton + and John Whalley +
Script editorLindsey Alford +
Set decoratorKeith Dunne +
Set designerRhys Jarman +
Sound effects editorPaul Jefferies +
Sound maintenance engineerJeff Welch +
Sound recordistBryn Thomas +
Standby art directorCiaran Thompson +
Standby carpenterWill Pope +
Standby painterEllen Woods +
Standby propsPhill Shellard + and Tom Evans +
Standby riggerKeith Freeman +
Storyboard artistJames Iles +
Stunt co-ordinatorCrispin Layfield +
Supervising art directorStephen Nicholas +
Supervising sound editorPaul McFadden +
ThanksTemple Clark +, Alastair Siddoons +, BBC National Orchestra of Wales + and Nikki Wilson +
ThemeRon Grainer +
TitlesFramestore +
Unit managerRhys Griffiths +
VFXThe Mill +
VFX editorCeres Doyle +
WriterSteven Moffat +

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