First Night (home video)

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


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


Having been apprehended, taken to the 52nd century and incarcerated in the Stormcage Containment Facility to serve twelve thousand consecutive life sentences for killing the Doctor, River is in her cell on her first night, looking through the blue diary the Doctor gave her. She hears the TARDIS.

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

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




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Story notes[[edit]]

  • This is the first of a two-part story, concluded in Last Night.
  • This is the shortest of the Night and the Doctor stories to feature the Doctor, coming in at 2 minutes and 15 seconds. The shortest overall is Up All Night, which is just under 2 minutes.
  • This is also the only Night and the Doctor short to feature scenes both inside and outside of the TARDIS (aside from the view of the exterior side of the door at the end of Good Night).
  • The footage of the TARDIS flying through the solar storm is originally from The Rebel Flesh.
  • This is the first Night and the Doctor story to feature an enemy, the Sontarans, although they are not seen onscreen. Interestingly, the other two to feature villains (Last Night and Up All Night, featuring the Sontarans and the Cybermen, respectively) also have their alien threat unseen.
  • This story pokes fun at the idea of how River shows up seemingly randomly in the Doctor's life.
  • The first River Song is serving her first night of "twelve thousand consecutive life sentences" in Stormcage. From her perspective, this story takes place after The Wedding of River Song (aside from the garden epilogue) and her space-suited self's perspective in The Impossible Astronaut.

Myths and rumours[[edit]]

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Filming locations[[edit]]

Production errors[[edit]]

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  • In regard to River Song's diary, the Doctor tells River, "From now on, there are rules." When he first met her at the end of her life, she explained her refusal to provide "spoilers" because doing so was against the rules ... his rules. (TV: Forest of the Dead)
  • The second River is at least five years, but less than six years, older than the first River, and is still serving her sentence. (HOMEVID: Last Night)

Home video releases[[edit]]

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External links[[edit]]