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Doctor Who: Planet of the Dead

The Doctor meets Lady Christina de Souza, a young, athletic resourceful thief eager to keep one step ahead of just about anyone who tries to catch her. When the two hitch a fateful ride on a double-decker bus, they and several other passengers are transported to a distant alien planet where terrifying insect-like aliens and Christina's dark secrets may prove an emotional drain on the Doctor in his bid to return everyone home...


Episode Info


Episode number: 4x0
Airdate: Saturday April 11th, 2009
Special Airtime: 06:45 pm
Special Runtime: 60 Minutes


Alternate Airdates:

US (BBC America) Jul 26, 2009

  • Currently 8.9/10
8.9/10 (22 Votes cast)
Guest Stars
Noma Dumezweni
As Capt. Magambo (Capt. Erisa Magambo)
Recurring
Ellen Thomas (1)
As Carmen
Recurring
Paul Kasey
As Sorvin
Recurring
Ruari Mears
As Praygat
Recurring
Michelle Ryan
As Christina (Lady Christina de Souza)
Lee Evans (1)
As Malcolm (Prof. Malcolm Taylor)
Adam James
As DI McMillan
Glenn Doherty
As Sgt. Dennison
Victoria Alcock
As Angela (Angela Whittaker)
David Ames
As Nathan
Daniel Kaluuya
As Barclay
Keith Parry
As Bus Driver
James Layton
As Sgt. Ian Jenner
Main Cast
David Tennant
As The Tenth Doctor

Recap

At the International Gallery in London, security guards watch over a rare jeweled cup. They establish a laser barrier and organize around it. They are unaware that a female thief is dropping in from the ceiling to grab the cup and then ascend. A guard turns to find the cat toy that she's replaced it with. The thief, Lady Christina de Souza flees through the museum as the alarms go off and the lights come up. She gets outside and discovers that the police, led by DI McMillan, have already captured her getaway driver. Christina gets to the streets but the police close in. She finally leaps onto a double-decker bus and offers the driver diamond earrings as bus fare. He accepts and they leave. As the bus departs, the Doctor boards the bus and sits down next to Christina and offers her a chocolate Easter egg...

Read the full recap
Episode Notes
This is the first episode of the series to air in High Definition.



Episode Quotes
The Doctor: (using a sensor) Oh, we've got excitation! And I'm definitely picking up something strange.
Christina: Yeah, I know the feeling.

The Doctor: Call it a hunch, but I think we've gone a little bit further than Brixton.

Christina: And what's your name?
The Doctor: I'm the Doctor.
Christina: Name, not rank.
The Doctor: The Doctor.
Christina: Surname?
The Doctor: The Doctor.
Christina: You're called "The Doctor"?
The Doctor: Yes, I am.
Christina: That's not a name, that's a psychological condition.

The Doctor: Far away. Chops and gravy. Watching TV. Mike and Suzanne, and poor old Tina.
Barclay: Hey!
The Doctor: Just think of them. 'Cause that planet out there, all three suns and wormholes and alien sand, that planet is nothing. You hear me? Nothing, compared to all those things waiting for you. Good and home and people. Hold on to that. 'Cause we're gonna get there, I promise. I'm gonna get you home.

Capt. Magambo: It's the Doctor.
Malcolm: Do you mean "The Doctor" Doctor?
Capt. Magambo: I know, we all want to meet him one day, but we all know what that day will bring.

The Doctor: Oh, this is beautiful! Intact, it must've been magnificent! A proper, streamlined, deep-spacer!
Christina: Oh, I'll remember that as I'm being slowly tortured. At least I'm bleeding on the floor of a well-designed spaceship.

The Doctor: I'm the Doctor, by the way, and this is Christina, the honourable Lady Christina, at least I hope she's honourable.

Christina: That Lordship of yours. The lord of where, exactly?
The Doctor: Of Time. I come from a race of people called Time Lords.
Christina: You're an alien?
The Doctor: Yeah. But you don't have to kiss me either.
Christina: You look human.
The Doctor: You look Time Lord.

Christina: Those things are going to turn the entire Earth into a desert. So why exactly are you smiling?
The Doctor: Worse it gets, the more I love it!
Christina: Me, too.

The Doctor: The spaceship's a write-off. but the 200's small enough.
Christina: How does a crystal drive a bus?
The Doctor: In a super-clever, outer-spacey way. Just trust me.

Christina: The aristocracy survives for a reason. We're ready for anything.

The Doctor: Gold!
Christina: Oh, no you don't!
The Doctor: Christina, what is it worth now?
Barclay: Hey! Hey, use this! (holds up watch)
The Doctor: I said gold.
Barclay: It is gold!
The Doctor: Well, they saw you coming.

Christina: But you were right, it's not about the money. I only steal things for the adventure, and today with you, I want more days like this. I want every day to be like this. We're made for each other, you said so yourself. The perfect team. Why not?
The Doctor: People have travelled with me and I've lost them. Lost them all. Never again.

Carmen: Doctor, you take care now.
The Doctor: You too. Chops and gravy, lovely.
Carmen: No, but you be careful, because your song is ending, sir.
The Doctor: What do you mean?
Carmen: It is returning. It is returning through the dark. And then, Doctor... Oh, but then... he will knock four times.

Christina: We could've been so good together.
The Doctor: Christina, we were.



Cultural References
Malcolm: A wavelength parcel at 10 kiloHertz operating in four dimensions equals one Malcolm.
The Doctor: You named a unit of measurement after yourself?
Malcolm: Well, it didn't do Mr. Watt any 'arm. Furthermore, 100 Malcolms equals a Bernard.
The Doctor: And who's that, your dad?
Malcolm: Don't be ridiculous. That's Quatermass.

James Watt was a Scottish inventor and mechanical engineer whose improvements to the steam engine were fundamental to the development of the Industrial Revolution. One of the key measurements, the fundamental unit of power, was named in recognition of his contributions to science, technology, and humanity.
Professor Bernard Quatermass is a science fiction character developed initially for the BBC, and used in several TV serials in the 1950s, as well as subsequent films and TV series. Notable among these films is "Five Million Years To Earth" aka "Quatermass and the Pit".



Analysis
The character Lady Christina interacts very well with the Doctor, and seems to have all the characteristics of a great companion -- she is quick witted, resourceful, highly adaptable, talented, loves adventure and excitement, and, when she gets an inkling of where The Doctor could take her, she is eager to join him. The Doctor fully realizes this, and himself defacto states that she would be a natural companion for him, yet, when she asks him to take her along, he refuses, an echo of what has happened with the loss of both Rose and with Donna. The Doctor is realizing that he "goes through" companions, and, instead of accepting this as a part of his fate, he's attempting to block that steady acquisition and loss out of his life by going it alone. This will no doubt become an issue (and, judging by the prophecy of Carmen at the end, not too far in the future -- no doubt the events that will result in the "death" and regeneration of David Tennant's Doctor), since companions are an inseparable part of who and what The Doctor is, it isn't "right and proper" that he travel without them.

As was shown in the beginning with Rose, they push back the brooding darkness that his experiences force upon him. They keep him grounded in that essential mutual quality that is connective of both Human and Timelord, and inspires his own optimism and faith in the future of humanity. That he will also have a companion in the future is suggested by the "future companion", Professor River Song, in the fourth season dual episode Silence in the Library and Forest of the Dead, both written by Stephen Moffat, who will take over the helm as series director from Russell T. Davies starting with season five in 2010.

That the Doctor needs companions is also suggested by the fourth season episode, Turn Left, in which it is clear that, without Donna's presence, the Doctor would have died, and all humanity would have been destroyed when he wasn't there to save them. The general suggestion of that episode is that, in addition to the humanizing element, they also make him stop savoring the "Wonder of the Universe" that keeps him always going long enough to realize when he needs to Get Out and Save His Own Butt.



Other Episode Crew

Executive ProducerRussell T. Davies  |  Julie Gardner
ProducerTracie Simpson
Associate ProducerDebbi Slater
Production DesignerEdward Thomas
EditorMike Jones (4)
First Assistant DirectorJohn Bennett (2)
Second Assistant DirectorJames Dahaviland
MusicMurray Gold
Costume DesignerLouise Page
Make-upPam Mullins  |  Steve Smith (8)  |  Morag Smith
GripJohn Robinson (3)
Camera OperatorJoe Russell  |  James Leigh
Set DecoratorJulian Luxton
Location ManagerGareth Skelding
Property MasterPaul Aitken (2)
Production CoordinatorJess Van Niekerk
Assistant EditorLee Bhogal
Post Production SupervisorSamantha Hall  |  Chris Blatchford
Supervising Sound EditorPaul McFadden
GafferMark Hutchings
Director of PhotographyRory Taylor
Stunt CoordinatorLee Sheward
Production SecretaryKevin Myers
Post Production CoordinatorMarie Brown (2)
Production ManagementSteff Morris
Script EditorLindsey Alford
Dubbing MixerTim Ricketts
Sound RecordistJulian Howarth
ChoreographerAlisa Berk
Third Assistant DirectorSarah Davies
Costume SupervisorLindsay Bonaccorsi
Boom OperatorJeff Welch  |  Bryn Thomas
Art Department CoordinatorAmy Pope
Main Title ThemeRon Grainer
Production AccountantAdam Olley
Best BoyPeter Chester
Casting AssociateAndy Brierley
Production ExecutiveJulie Scott (2)
Unit ManagerGeraint Williams
ColoristMick Vincent
Assistant Costume DesignerRose Goodhart
ContinuityLlinos Wyn Jones
Focus PullerJames Southcott  |  Steve Rees
Casting DirectorAndy Pryor
Dialogue EditorMatthew Cox
Supervising Art DirectorStephen Nicholas
Standby Art DirectorNick Murray (2)
Construction ManagerMatthew Hywel-Davies
Standby PropsJackson Pope  |  Phill Shellard
Floor RunnerNicola Brown (2)
Associate DesignerJames North
Sound Special Effects EditorPaul Jefferies
Make-up DesignerBarbara Southcott
Costume AssistantBarbara Harrington  |  Louise Martin
 
Warning: Doctor Who season 4 episode 0 guide may contain spoilers
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