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Doctor Who: The Empty Child (1)

The time-travelling duo land in London in 1941, at the height of the Blitz, and discover the city's homeless children are being terrorised by a ghostly youngster. To add to the mystery, the Army are guarding a peculiar cylinder - and a dashing officer soon threatens the Doctor's hero status in Rose's eyes.


Episode Info


Episode number: 1x9
Production Number: 109
Airdate: Saturday May 21st, 2005

Director: James Hawes
Writer: Steven Moffat

Alternate Airdates:

Ireland May 21, 2005
AU (aspire TV) Jul 16, 2005
US (BBC America) May 05, 2006
Germany Feb 23, 2008

  • Currently 8.8/10
8.8/10 (13 Votes cast)

Trailer


 
Flash
Guest Stars
Albert ValentineAlbert Valentine
As The Child (Jamie)
Recurring
Florence HoathFlorence Hoath
As Nancy
Recurring
Cheryl FergisonCheryl Fergison
As Mrs Lloyd
Recurring
Damian SamuelsDamian Samuels
As Mr Lloyd
Recurring
John BarrowmanJohn Barrowman
As Jack Harkness
Recurring
Robert HandsRobert Hands
As Algy
Recurring
Joseph TremainJoseph Tremain
As Jim
Recurring
Jordan MurphyJordan Murphy
As Ernie
Recurring
Richard Wilson (1)Richard Wilson (1)
As Dr Constantine
Recurring
Noah JohnsonNoah Johnson
voiced The Empty Child
Recurring
Dian PerryDian Perry
voiced Computer
Recurring
Kate HarveyKate Harvey
As Nightclub Singer
Main Cast
Billie PiperBillie Piper
As Rose Tyler
Christopher EcclestonChristopher Eccleston
As The Ninth Doctor

Recap

The Doctor is following a capsule through the time/space vortex, and informs Rose that it's emitting a distress signal. He locks onto it and it jumps time tracks and heads toward the center of London. They materialize in an alleyway in London and set out to find the capsule, although the Doctor notes they may be several weeks or months behind. As they start searching, they're unaware that someone is watching them. The pair finds a locked door with music behind it. As the Doctor opens the door, Rose hears a child's voice, calling for its mummy. She looks up at the roof and sees a boy wearing a World War II gas mask, and goes off to investigate...

Read the full recap
Episode Notes
Date: January 21, 1941
Location: London, England, UK

The planes seen about to bomb London, and coming right at Rose, look like the Heinkel He 111 German twin engine bomber.

This episode marks the first appearance of Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) on the series.

There is no Bad Wolf reference in this episode, although there is one in "The Doctor Dances".



Music
ArtistSong TitlePlayed When
Glenn MillerMoonlight SerenadeRose and Captain Jack dance


Episode Quotes
The Empty Children: (repeated line) Are you my mummy?

Rose: What's the emergency?
The Doctor: It's mauve.
Rose: Mauve?
The Doctor: Universally recognized color for danger.
Rose: What happened to red?
The Doctor: That's just humans. By everyone else's standards, red's camp. Oh, the misunderstandings! All those "red alerts," all that dancing.

The Doctor: D'you know how long you can knock around space without happening to bump into Earth?
Rose: Five days? Or is that just when we're out of milk?
The Doctor: All the species in all the universe and it has to come out of a cow.

Rose: Not very Spock, is it? Just asking.
The Doctor: Door, music, people. What do you think?
Rose: I think you should do a scan for alien tech. Gimme some Spock! For once, would it kill you?

The Doctor: Excuse me, excuse me. Could I have everyone's attention, just for a mo? Be very quick. Hello! It might seem like a stupid question, but has anything fallen from the sky recently?

The Doctor: You know, one day, just one day maybe, I'm gonna meet somebody who gets the whole 'don't wander off' thing. Nine hundred years of phone box travel, it's the only thing left to surprise me.

The Doctor: (as the TARDIS police box phone rings) Ringing? What's that about? Ringing? You're not even a real phone and you're ringing?

(while being captured in a strange beam by Capt. Jack, which keeps her from falling to her death)
Jack: Oh, and can you switch off your cell phone.
Rose: Wha…?
Jack: No, seriously, it interferes with my instruments.
Rose: You know, no one ever believes that.
Jack: Thank you, that’s much better.
Rose: Oh yeah, that’s a real load off, that is! I’m hanging in the sky in the middle of a German air raid with a Union Jack across my chest, but, hey, my mobile phone’s off!

(As Rose is suspended in a beam above London)
Jack: Ready for you! … Hold tight!
Rose: To what!
Jack: Fair point.

The Doctor: So that's what you do, is it, Nancy?
Nancy: What is?
The Doctor: Soon as the sirens go, you find a big fat family meal still warm on the table, with everyone down in the air raid shelter, and bingo, feeding frenzy for the homeless kids of London town. Puddings for all. As long as the bombs don't get you.
Nancy: Something wrong with that?
The Doctor: Wrong with that? It's brilliant. I'm not sure if it's Marxism in action or a West End musical.

The Doctor: And I'm looking for a blonde in a Union Jack. A specific one, mind you. I didn't just wake up this morning with a craving.

Rose: So, who are you supposed to be then?
Captain Jack Harkness: (handing her his ID papers) Captain Jack Harkness, 133 Squadron, Royal Air Force. American volunteer.
Rose: Liar. This is psychic paper. It tells me whatever you want it to tell me.
Captain Jack Harkness: How do you know?
Rose: Two things. One, I have a friend that uses this all the time.
Captain Jack Harkness: Ah.
Rose: And two, you just handed me a piece of paper telling me you're single and you work out.
Captain Jack Harkness: Tricky thing, psychic paper.
Rose: Yeah. Can't let your mind wander when you're handing it over.
Captain Jack Harkness: (reading the psychic paper) Oh, you sort of have a boyfriend called Mickey Smith, but you consider yourself to be footloose and fancy-free.
Rose: What?
Captain Jack Harkness: Actually the word you use is "available."
Rose: No way.
Captain Jack Harkness: And another one, "very."

Nancy: How did you follow me here?
The Doctor: I'm good at following me. I've got the nose for it.
Nancy: People can't usually follow me unless I want them to.
The Doctor: My nose has special powers.
Nancy: Yeah? Is that why it's...
The Doctor: What?
Nancy: Nothing.
The Doctor: What?
Nancy: Nothing. Do your ears have special powers too?
The Doctor: What are you trying to say?
Nancy: Good night, mister.

Captain Jack Harkness: So… when you say 'your companion', how disappointed should I be?
Rose: Okay. We're standing in mid-air on a space-ship during a German air raid. Do you really think now's a good time to be coming on to me?
Captain Jack Harkness: Perhaps not.
Rose: Ah, it was just a suggestion.

Captain Jack Harkness: It’s 1941. The height of the London Blitz. The height of the German bombing campaign. And something else has fallen on London, a fully-equipped Chula warship. The last one in existence, armed to the teeth. And I know where it is. Because I parked it. If the Agency can name the right price, I can get it for you. But in two hours, a German bomb is gonna fall on it and destroy it forever. That’s your deadline. That’s the deal. Now, shall we discuss payment?

Rose: You used to be a Time Agent. Now you're some kind of freelancer.
Captain Jack Harkness: Oh, that's a little harsh. I like to think of myself as a criminal.

Captain Jack Harkness: So, this companion of yours. Does he handle the business?
Rose: Well… I delegate a lot of that, yeah.
Captain Jack Harkness: Well, maybe we should go find him.
Rose: And how you gonna do that?
Captain Jack Harkness: Easy. I'll just scan for alien tech.
Rose: Finally, a professional.

The Doctor: Amazing.
Nancy: What is?
The Doctor: 1941. Right now, not very far from here the German war machine is rolling up the map of Europe. Country after country, falling like dominoes. Nothing can stop it. Nothing, until one tiny, damp little island says "no". No, not here. A mouse in front of a lion. You're amazing, the lot of you. Don't know what you do to Hitler. You frighten the hell out of me. Off you go, then. Do what you got to do. Save the world.

The Doctor: You’re very sick.
Dr Constantine: Dying, I should think. I just haven’t been able to find the time. Are you a doctor?
The Doctor: I have my moments.

Dr. Constantine: Before the war, I was a father and grandfather. Now I'm neither... but I'm still a doctor.
The Doctor: Yeah. Know the feeling.

Captain Jack Harkness: It's a real pleasure to meet you, Mr Spock.
The Doctor: Mr Spock?
Rose: What was I supposed to say? You don't have a name. Don't you ever get tired of "The Doctor"? Doctor who?
The Doctor: Nine centuries in, I'm coping.

Jack: (to the Doctor) Saw your time travel vehicle. Love the retro look, by the way. Nice panels.

Captain Jack Harkness: (to Rose and the Doctor) Oh, should've known, the way you guys are blending in with the local color. I mean, Flag Girl was bad enough, but u-boat captain?



Cultural References
Jack: Oh, and can you switch off your cell phone.
Rose: Wha…?
Jack: No, seriously, it interferes with my instruments.
Rose: You know, no one really believes that.

A reference to many who feel the FAA’s rule about turning off cell phones and computer equipment on airline departures is merely a joke to help the stewardess and stewards, and not in fact a true problem for the aircraft.



Other Episode Crew

Executive ProducerRussell T. Davies  |  Mal Young  |  Julie Gardner
ProducerPhil Collinson
Associate ProducerHelen Vallis
Production DesignerEdward Thomas
EditorLiana Del Giudice
CastingAndy Pryor
First Assistant DirectorJon Older
Second Assistant DirectorSteff Morris
Costume DesignerLucinda Wright
GripJohn Robinson (3)
Camera OperatorMartin Stephens
Set DecoratorLiz Griffiths (1)
Location ManagerLlyr Morus
Property MasterAdrian Anscombe
Production CoordinatorJess Van Niekerk
Assistant EditorCeres Doyle
Post Production SupervisorMarie Brown (2)
GafferMark Hutchings
On-Line EditorMatthew Clarke (2)  |  Zoe Cassey
Director of PhotographyErnie Vincze
StuntsKim McGarrity
Stunt CoordinatorLee Sheward
Production ManagementTracie Simpson
Special EffectsWill Cohen (3)
Script EditorHelen Raynor
Dubbing MixerTim Ricketts
Sound RecordistIan Richardson (3)
Third Assistant DirectorDan Mumford
Boom OperatorDamian Richardson
Art Department CoordinatorGwenllian Llwyd
Main Title ThemeRon Grainer
Visual Effects SupervisorDavid Houghton
Production AccountantEndaf Emyr Williams
Best BoyPeter Chester
Casting AssociateKirsty Robertson
ColoristJamie Wilkinson
ContinuityNon Eleri Hughes
Focus PullerMark Isaac
Graphic ArtistJenny Bowers
Makeup ArtistSteve Williams (3)  |  Claire Pritchard
Dialogue EditorPaul McFadden
A/production AccountantDebi Griffiths  |  Kath Blackman
Concept ArtistBryan Hitch
Production BuyerCatherine Samuel
Supervising Art DirectorStephen Nicholas
Standby Art DirectorArwel Wyn Jones
Construction ManagerAndrew Smith (3)
Standby PropsPhill Shellard  |  Tristan Howell
Wardrobe SupervisorYolanda Peart-Smith
Sound Special Effects EditorPaul Jefferies
Make-up DesignerDavy Jones (2)
Make-up SupervisorLinda Davie
 
Warning: Doctor Who season 1 episode 9 guide may contain spoilers
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