The Christmas Invasion (TV story)

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The Christmas Invasion was the 2005 Christmas Special of Doctor Who.

It was the show's first Christmas special since its revival and the first Christmas special starring David Tennant as the Doctor.

It was the first episode of Doctor Who to premiere on Christmas Day since "The Feast of Steven", the seventh part of 1966 twelve-part serial The Daleks' Master Plan. However, unlike that episode, The Christmas Invasion was specially commissioned by BBC One to be transmitted outside the programme's normal broadcasting season. It was thus the first in the modern tradition of the "Christmas special", and its sixty-minute running time made it then the longest episode yet produced by BBC Wales.

Narratively, it continued the story of Harriet Jones, started the Torchwood story arc and involved UNIT in its first major appearance in the new series.

More importantly, it was the first full story to feature the Tenth Doctor, played by David Tennant. Its initial pre-titles sequence on the Powell Estate was later used to "bookend" the closing scenes of The End of Time. Its setting was the first and last place on Earth the Tenth Doctor saw.

To coincide with this release, three short stories were released on the U.N.I.T. website. The first was Alien Life, part of the UNIT Press Briefings mini-series, which was set directly in the aftermath of the Sycorax invasion, where UNIT confirms that aliens exist, and the second and third, Guinevere One and Project Rooftop, part of the Operations Board mini-series, was set during and after The Christmas Invasion, respectively, depicting events of the television story from UNIT's perspective.

Synopsis[[edit]]

It's Christmas Eve and high above London, the alien Sycorax are holding the Earth for ransom. The Tenth Doctor must recover from his regeneration in time to save the human race from slavery.

Plot[[edit]]

It is Christmas Eve on Earth. As Jackie prepares presents and Mickey works in the local garage, both of them hear the distinctive sound of the TARDIS' engines. Rushing out into the street of the Powell Estate, they see the TARDIS blink into existence above them, ricochet off a few buildings and a post van, then come to a crashing halt. A freshly-regenerated Doctor stumbles out of the police box doors, greets the two of them by name and wishes them a merry Christmas before collapsing. Rose follows and, in response to Jackie and Mickey's questions, identifies him as the Doctor.

They bring the Doctor to Jackie's flat and dress him in pyjamas belonging to Howard, Jackie's current beau, who has the habit of keeping pieces of fruit in his pocket for snacks. While Rose discusses the Doctor's change of appearance and the fact he has two hearts with Jackie, they do not see a wisp of regeneration energy emerging from the Doctor's mouth, which then floats off into space. On television, Prime Minister Harriet Jones and project director Daniel Llewellyn give a press conference about the Guinevere One space probe, which is about to land on Mars. In space, however, the probe is swallowed up by an rock-like spaceship.

That evening, Rose and Mickey go Christmas shopping but are attacked by a group of masked Santas armed with lethal musical instruments. Managing to escape when the tuba mortar brings a giant Christmas tree down on the Santas, Rose realises that their attackers are after the Doctor. She and Mickey rush home in a taxi. When they reach the flat, Rose notices an unfamiliar Christmas tree in the sitting room, which Jackie says was delivered to the door. As they deduce that none of them purchased the tree, it suddenly comes to life, whirling around with razor-sharp branches while playing a cheerful rendition of "Jingle Bells" as it tries to slice them all to ribbons. The three retreat to the bedroom with the tree in hot pursuit. As Jackie laments the indignity of being "killed by a Christmas tree", Rose places the sonic screwdriver in the still-comatose Doctor's hand and begs him to help her. Reacting instinctively, the Doctor rises just as the tree bursts through the door and disintegrates it with the screwdriver.

He then strides outside the flat to see who was remotely controlling the tree. From ground level, the Santas stare up at the Doctor, but transmat away when he threateningly points the sonic screwdriver at them. The Doctor calls them "pilot fish" before collapsing in pain: he is still regenerating, and the energy leaking from him has attracted the "pilot fish"'s attention. He tells them he is having a neural implosion because they woke him up too soon, but Jackie keeps interrupting with a stream of increasingly unhelpful suggestions until the Doctor tells her to shut up. He grips Rose, warning her that something bigger is coming, then loses consciousness again.

PM Harriet Jones during the Sycorax crisis.

The first signal from Guinevere One arrives on television: a snarling alien face, which is soon broadcast all over the world. Llewellyn is escorted by Major Blake to the Tower of London, which houses an underground facility run by UNIT. There, he meets the Prime Minister and her aide, Alex, who tells him that they're putting out a temporary cover story that students in masks hacked into the television signal. Llewellyn is shaken to realise that extraterrestrial life does indeed exist and that both the British government and the United Nations are aware of this. A technician, Sally Jacobs, explains that the signal did not come from Mars but 5000 miles above the planet's surface, which means that there is a ship, and it is moving rapidly towards Earth.

As Rose and Mickey use his laptop to access the UNIT website and monitor their readings, the aliens send another signal to Earth. They speak in a language that Rose does not understand; normally, the TARDIS would translate it for her, but it seems that with the Doctor unconscious, that function is not working. Rose examines the bedridden Doctor and finds one of his hearts has stopped, meaning he is too injured to be of use and may die if they attempt to wake him again. Back at UNIT, Blake orders the use of translation software. With no sign of the Doctor, Jones asks Blake about Torchwood. She knows that she is not supposed to know about them – not even the United Nations knows — but she wants them to be ready.

The software translates the message: the aliens are called the Sycorax, and they are claiming the planet as their own, demanding surrender or "they" will die. Their word for "human" also appears to be similar to that of "cattle", temporarily baffling UNIT. Jones declines to surrender, replying to the Sycorax with a warning that the planet is armed. As dawn rises over London, the Sycorax enact their first move. With a wave of the leader's hand, blue energy sweeps over a third of the world's population, mesmerising them. The mind-controlled people, Sally Jacobs amongst them, then climb to the highest spots they can find, primarily the roofs of buildings, and stand at the edge, all of them poised to jump.

Checking the UNIT staff's medical records, Llewellyn discovers that all the affected people have A+ blood. The Sycorax found the sample of A+ blood that was sent with other materials on Guinevere One to identify the human race in case of alien contact, and are somehow using that as a control mechanism. Desperate now, Jones gives an emergency broadcast on television, informing the public that the Queen's Christmas speech has been cancelled as the Royal Family are "on the roof", and pleads for the Doctor's help if he is out there. Driven to despair by the Doctor's comatose state, Rose breaks down in tears in Jackie's arms.

Harriet Jones aboard the Sycorax's ship

Just then, the shockwave of the Sycorax ship entering the atmosphere shatters windows all over the city; the gigantic craft takes position above the Houses of Parliament and an under-reconstruction Big Ben as the frightened population watch. Rose, not knowing what else to do, asks Mickey and Jackie to help her move the Doctor to the safety of the TARDIS. Jackie gathers food and other supplies, including a thermos flask of tea.

The Sycorax teleport Jones, Alex, Blake and Llewellyn up to their ship, where the Sycorax leader removes his helmet, revealing a skinless face surrounded by a mantle of bone. His hand hovering over a large glowing button, he demands immediate surrender, or he will order the mind-controlled humans to jump. Llewellyn tries to reason with the Sycorax but is reduced to a pile of bones by the leader's energy whip, as is Blake when he protests. The choice is left to Jones; half of the world will be sold into slavery or a third will die.

As Rose and Mickey move the Doctor into the TARDIS console room, Jackie goes back to get more supplies. Rose, having apparently given up, broods by the console as Mickey tries to use the scanner to tune into what is happening, but the time machine's advanced technology is detected by the Sycorax. Outside, Jackie watches helplessly as the TARDIS is transmatted up. Not realising that they are aboard the Sycorax ship, Rose steps out of the TARDIS and screams when she sees the aliens. Mickey rushes out after her, dropping the flask of tea, which spills and starts dripping through the grilles at the base of the console next to the Doctor's unconscious form. The Doctor breathes in the subsequent fumes as the tea sparks against various components.

Reunited with Harriet Jones, Rose tries to bluff the Sycorax by citing various things and races she has encountered on her travels, commanding them to leave, but is answered with laughter. The Sycorax leader taunts her attempts to pass off second-hand knowledge as authority... but as he gloats, his alien words start being replaced with English. Rose realises that the TARDIS translation ability is working again, and since the Doctor must be conscious for it to be active, that can mean only one thing: the Doctor is awake. On cue, the Doctor emerges from the TARDIS in Howard's dressing gown, smiling as he says, "Did you miss me?"

Easily deactivating the Sycorax leader's energy whip and breaking his staff, the Doctor bluntly tells the alien to wait while he gets more important things out of the way; namely, getting reacquainted with his friends. Disappointed at not being "ginger" (red-haired), and somewhat annoyed at Rose's speed in giving up on him, he tells them that all he needed was a "good cup of tea; a superheated infusion of free radicals and tannin. Just the thing for healing the synapses." As the Sycorax leader demands to know who he is, the Doctor blithely strides across the ship's floor, nattering on cheerfully and still working out what his personality is like in this new incarnation. He walks up to the glowing button, discovers that it is powered by A-positive human blood, and quickly deduces that the Sycorax are using blood control — they're controlling all the humans with A-positive blood. The Doctor tells the leader that in his unstable state, when he sees a large glowing button he just cannot help himself — and to everyone's shock, he pushes it.

However, instead of sending the possessed crowds on Earth to their deaths, it simply releases them from the Sycorax control. The Doctor explains that blood control is like hypnosis: "you can hypnotise someone to cluck like a chicken or sing like Elvis, but you can't hypnotise them to death. Survival instinct's too strong." The Sycorax were bluffing, and the Doctor called them on it. The leader says that they can still conquer Earth by force with an armada, but the Doctor demands that the humans be left alone (quoting part of "The Circle of Life" from The Lion King in the process), challenging the leader to single combat for the planet.

The Doctor goads the leader into the fight by insulting him in his native Sycoraxic. The swordfight ranges from inside the ship to its exterior; in the midst of it, the leader cuts the Doctor's hand off, and it falls to the city below along with his sword. The leader assumes the Doctor will yield as he's been "disarmed". But while his friends are horrified, the Doctor is calm; he notes that he is still within the first fifteen hours of his regeneration cycle. Grinning, he explains that there's enough leftover energy after the change to rectify any anomalies or missing bits; and his hand regrows.

Grabbing a new sword, the Doctor notes "This new hand, it's a fightin' hand!" and reengages the leader in battle, ultimately winning the duel. The Doctor pins the leader to the edge of the ship with his sword, commanding him to leave the planet and never return in exchange for sparing his life. As the Sycorax leader appears to yield and the Doctor walks back to celebrate his victory with Rose, he attempts a final attack whilst the Doctor's back is turned. In response, the Doctor calmly bounces a satsuma he finds in Howard's dressing gown off a control button, opening a section of the ship's wing beneath the leader, sending the alien plunging to his death. With a now-grim expression, the Doctor declares he is a man who doesn't give second chances.

The Doctor sends the other Sycorax on their way with a reminder that the planet Earth is defended, and he and his human friends are transmatted back to London to reunite with Jackie. Jones asks the Doctor if there are more aliens out there, and he confirms that there are thousands; the human race is being noticed more and more and it is something they will have to get used to. As Jones ponders this, visibly troubled, Alex receives a telephone call and quietly informs Jones that Torchwood is ready. Jones appears reluctant, but nevertheless gives the order to fire. The Doctor and his friends watch in shock as five green beams converge into one over London, and the resulting energy burst destroys the Sycorax ship as it heads into space.

The Tenth Doctor asks Alex, "Don't you think she looks tired?"

The Doctor is furious with Jones, but the Prime Minister tries to justify the use of the weapon (engineered from a crashed spaceship ten years previously) as defending the planet. She tells him how Llewellyn and Blake were mercilessly killed in front of her while the Doctor was asleep, making her realise he cannot be there all the time. The Doctor bitterly retorts he should have warned the Sycorax to run, as the real monsters, the humans, are coming. When Jones asks if she should consider the Doctor another alien enemy, the Doctor warns her that he can bring down her government with just six words, which he whispers into Alex's ear: "Don't you think she looks tired?" Alex gives Jones a startled look, and she demands to know what the Doctor just said, growing frantic in her attempts. Everyone else leaves without a word, and Jones can only apologise quietly.

While the Doctor looks through the TARDIS wardrobe for a new outfit to suit his new incarnation, Jackie, Mickey and Rose serve Christmas dinner in the flat. The Doctor joins them to celebrate, having finally settling on a brown pinstripe suit and a long brown coat. On television, Harriet Jones is seen fending off rumours about her ill-health and a pending vote of no confidence in the House of Commons. Outside, what looks like snow is falling over London, accompanied by shooting stars, but the Doctor points out that it is, in fact, ash — the remains of the Sycorax spaceship breaking up in the atmosphere. It is a new start for Earth, however; with so many people seeing the Sycorax ship, there is no covering up the existence of aliens this time.

The Doctor and Rose look forward to new adventures.

But there are new worlds to see and explore. With a now-trusting Rose by his side and eager to continue their travels, the Doctor looks up into the sky to choose a star for their next destination, assuring her that it will be, in the words of his previous incarnation, "fantastic".

Cast[[edit]]

Uncredited cast[[edit]]

Crew[[edit]]

General production staff

Script department

Camera and lighting department

Art department

Costume department

Make-up and prosthetics

Movement

Casting

General post-production staff

Special and visual effects

Sound



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.
          

With The Christmas Invasion came an explosion in the number of people regularly credited on Doctor Who. In particular, the art department got much more specific crediting than had ever been the case in series 1. This trend of expanding the number of art department personnel credited would continue right through to series 5, with each series regularly crediting a few more positions.


Worldbuilding[[edit]]

The Doctor[[edit]]

  • The Doctor has recently regenerated from his ninth incarnation.
  • The leader of the Sycorax slices off the Doctor's hand. However, the Doctor regenerates the hand, as he is still in the first 15 hours of his regeneration cycle.
  • The Doctor assumes he has become rude and expresses dismay that he is not a ginger.
  • Harriet Jones briefly believes the new Doctor is the Ninth Doctor's son, who inherited the title.

Organisations[[edit]]

Galactic law[[edit]]

Biology[[edit]]

  • The Doctor recognises the human blood and its blood type by taste.

Cultural references from the real world[[edit]]

Foods and beverages[[edit]]

  • The chemical components in tea can complete the healing of brain synapses and neurons recovering from the regeneration process.
  • The Doctor finds an apple in the pocket of Howard's bathrobe.
  • The Doctor uses a satsuma (also found in the pocket of Howard's bathrobe) to defeat the Sycorax Leader.
  • Jackie suggests that the Doctor needs a bowl of soup and a ham sandwich.

Medicine[[edit]]

Individuals[[edit]]

  • Luke Parsons is an A positive.
  • Mickey mentions to Rose that he and Jackie have been spending more time together, and that he goes over to her flat every Sunday for dinner where she "yaps and yaps".

Planets[[edit]]

  • Guinevere One was en route to Mars when intercepted by the Sycorax ship.

Species[[edit]]

  • Daleks, Slitheen, and the Gelth are all mentioned by Rose.
  • The weapon fired at the Sycorax was taken from a Jathaa sunglider.

Time Lords[[edit]]

  • While suffering from post regeneration stress, the Doctor says that he is "having a neuron implosion." Later, in reference to the cure for this malady, he mentions synapses.

Torchwood[[edit]]

United Nations Intelligence Taskforce[[edit]]

Technology[[edit]]

  • The Hubble Array is following the course of the Sycorax ship.

Notes[[edit]]

  • This is the first Doctor Who episode clearly labelled as a Christmas special. The seventh episode of The Daleks' Master Plan, titled "The Feast of Steven", was written as a Christmas episode and was first broadcast on 25 December 1965.
  • This is the first episode of the 2005 revival of Doctor Who to air on a Sunday in the UK.
  • David Tennant is credited as "The Doctor", as opposed to Christopher Eccleston who was credited as "Doctor Who". The change in the credit was done at Tennant's request.
    • This occurrence parallels Peter Davison's request for an identical change in credit when he succeeded Tom Baker. Like Tennant, Davison's first episode would begin this new billing.
    • This story was effectively the first since 1989's Survival to credit the role as "The Doctor".
  • The "middle eight" section of the theme tune is restored in this episode and is heard for the first time in the revived series.
  • Before this episode was broadcast, a tie-in website for the Guinevere One project was created and launched by the BBC. The site includes an introduction by Harriet Jones and an interview with the project director, Professor Daniel Llewellyn. The site claims that the probe was developed by the British Rocket Group. The organisation's logo partially appears in this episode, in the televised press conference with Professor Llewellyn. The name of the organisation was first mentioned in Remembrance of the Daleks and is a reference to the British Experimental Rocket Group from the Quatermass science fiction serials of the 1950s. David Tennant had previously starred in the 2005 BBC live remake of The Quatermass Experiment as Doctor Gordon Briscoe, and Quatermass' first line to Briscoe was changed by actor Jason Flemyng during the broadcast from "Good to have you back, Gordon" to "Good to have you back, Doctor" — Tennant's casting as the Doctor was announced two weeks after Quatermass went to air, and his castmates would have been aware of the speculation during rehearsals.
  • Immediately following this episode, Attack of the Graske, an interactive mini-episode starring David Tennant, was made available on the BBC Red Button.
  • Just before the opening credits sequence, Jackie says the line, "Doctor? Doctor who?", continuing a long-running in-joke. Unlike many instances of the joke, however, the line primarily plays as a genuine question, since she has never before met the Tenth Doctor and knows nothing of regeneration.
  • The Tenth Doctor speaks with an accent similar to Rose's but unlike the Ninth Doctor's Northern one. In a radio interview broadcast on 23 December 2005, David Tennant explained that a line of dialogue had been scripted for this episode which explained that the newly regenerated Doctor had imprinted on Rose's accent, "like a chick hatching from an egg", but the line was deleted from the final episode. This concept would later be added back into the novelisation.
  • The opening shot of this episode, in which the Earth and its moon appear, is reused footage from the opening shot of the episode Rose.
  • The song being played by the Santa Claus band which attacks Rose and Mickey is "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen". This song is traditionally associated with the novel A Christmas Carol, written by Charles Dickens, whom the Doctor and Rose met in The Unquiet Dead. The song shares its melody with the "Venusian Lullaby" the Third Doctor sang in The Dæmons and The Curse of Peladon. The carol can be heard again in The Next Doctor.
  • Another song featured in this episode is "Song for Ten", an original composition by Murray Gold sung by Tim Phillips. The next two Christmas specials included an original song on the soundtrack. The Phillips version of the song was very brief, and when the time came to compile a soundtrack album, new lyrics were written for the song (reflecting the events of Doomsday) and it was recorded by Neil Hannon. "Song for Ten" is the first original song commissioned for Doctor Who since the untitled rap song for the Ringmaster heard during the 1988 story The Greatest Show in the Galaxy.
  • One of the outfits considered by the Doctor in the wardrobe is the costume worn by David Tennant in his previous role as Casanova in the eponymous television serial.
  • This marks the first time in the new series that any room in the TARDIS other than the console room is seen on-screen.
    • It is also the only appearance in the first Russell T Davies era of an area of the TARDIS outside of the console room.
  • In a scene filmed for the episode, but deleted before broadcast (though included on the DVD), the Doctor attempts to utter his predecessor's catchphrase, "Fantastic!" but due to his "new teeth" (ref. his comments at the end of The Parting of the Ways) finds it initially impossible to do so. This scene was intended to set up the final scene of the episode in which the new Doctor finally utters the word, "Fantastic!"
  • The Christmas Invasion can be viewed in its entirety on the BBC America website.
  • A signal intrusion incident that occurred in Chicago during an airing of the Fourth Doctor serial Horror of Fang Rock is referenced by Harriet Jones' aide Alex when he says the official story of the Sycorax appearing via the probe is because of "a mask, some sort of prosthetic. Students hijacking the signal."
  • This was the first time a television drama was permitted to film atop the Tower of London.[2]
  • This is the first episode to use music performed by the BBC National Orchestra Of Wales, in contrast to all previous episodes of the revived series which used a computer-created soundtrack.
  • Harriet Jones states that the laser that destroyed the Sycorax was taken from technology of a ship that crashed a decade ago, placing the time of the crash in 1996.
  • Russell T Davies wrote the script with the Ninth Doctor in mind, the idea being that the characteristics of the Tenth Doctor would emerge more through David Tennant's portrayal than from scripted lines.
  • At one stage, the Sycorax were assisted by an ill-fated civil servant called Sir Aubrey. Having destroyed Big Ben in Aliens of London, Russell T Davies considered a scene in which the Sycorax spaceship decimated the newly-rebuilt structure, leading to Sir Aubrey's death beneath the falling rubble. Instead, he decided to demolish a much more modern London landmark: the Gherkin.
  • The TARDIS wardrobe contains a Hogwarts uniform. David Tennant was fresh off his appearance as Barty Crouch Jr. in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
  • The prototype of the Sycorax swords was auctioned on eBay to raise funds for the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity. It raised £920.51.
  • Phil Collinson was fond of Harriet Jones, and he argued against her downbeat fate, which was partly fuelled by the sense of betrayal Russell T Davies felt towards Tony Blair.
  • The Guinevere 1 probe was inspired by the Beagle 2, a British-made spacecraft which landed on the surface of Mars on Christmas Day 2003. Sadly, the malfunction of its solar panels prevented the Beagle 2 from establishing contact with its operators on Earth, and the mission was deemed a failure. Davies also remembered the first pictures sent from Mars by the Viking 1 lander in July 1976, and he wanted the Guinevere 1 to transmit something more exciting than the empty, bleak Martian landscape.
  • Because the United Nations had reacted unfavourably to a UNIT website set up by the BBC to help promote Season One, Russell T Davies decided to refer to UNIT by the acronym only.
  • Two of the blood-controlled children were named after Russell T Davies' nephew and niece, Jonathan and Catrin.
  • Some consideration was given to moving to high-definition recording, but it was ultimately decided to retain the Digital Betacam format used during Series 1.
  • During the four months which had elapsed since filming wrapped on Bad Wolf/The Parting of the Ways, Billie Piper had adopted a noticeably shorter hairstyle, not realising that the events of the special would occur in its immediate aftermath. As a result, it was decided that she would wear hair extensions for the holiday special.
  • Freema Agyeman auditioned for the role of Sally Jacobs, but the production team felt that she was deserving of a more prominent role. She would later play Adeola Oshodi in Army of Ghosts before landing the role of Martha Jones.
  • Peter Davison visited filming at the Brandon Estate.
  • Torrential rain prevented some of the Powell Estate sequences from being completed in London. They were instead taped at Loudoun Square in Cardiff.
  • For the interior of the Sycorax ship, Russell T Davies wanted to avoid a traditional metallic spacecraft. As such, these scenes were recorded at Clearwell Caves in Gloucestershire.
  • Russell T Davies hoped to reprise a shot originally intended for Rose, tracking from outside the TARDIS, through the doors and into the console room to reveal the revived Doctor. Unfortunately, these plans had to be abandoned due to the difficulty of transporting the motion-capture equipment into the caves.
  • The overall pace of the Gloucestershire work was very slow, hampered by both the technological limitations imposed by the environment and Sean Gilder's difficulties with the contact lenses he wore as the Sycorax Leader. This forced an additional day at Clearwell Caves.
  • It was originally thought that the swordfight between the Doctor and the Sycorax Leader on the wing of the spaceship would be performed on the roof of a tall building in Cardiff. However, James Hawes could not find a venue which obscured the surrounding conurbation, and so the sequence was instead filmed against an unobstructed view of the sea at the docks in Barry.
  • Originally, Russell T Davies had hoped to emphasise the global threat of the Sycorax by including scenes of blood-controlled humans near the pyramids and on Sydney Harbour Bridge. However, neither shot could be realised convincingly, and they were both dropped.
  • A deleted scene saw the Tenth Doctor realising that his predecessor's “Fantastic!” catchphrase no longer suited him.
  • The concluding scene initially saw the Doctor and Rose ruminating on how they missed the Ninth Doctor, but the production team felt that the special should be looking to the future in its closing minutes, rather than reflecting on the past.
  • To accompany the scene of the Doctor in the TARDIS wardrobe, Russell T Davies originally wanted to use the 1963 version of "The Bells of St Mary's" by Bob B Soxx & the Blue Jeans. When the rights proved prohibitively expensive, Murray Gold was instead asked to create an original tune. The result was "Song for Ten".

Ratings[[edit]]

  • 9.84 million[3]

Myths[[edit]]

  • Some early reports suggested that the enemy would be the Cybermen. Tabloid newspaper The Sun reported that Shaun Dingwall would return as Rose's father, Pete Tyler, and that this episode would be set on an alternative Earth. However, all of these claims were proven to be incorrect when the episode was broadcast, and appear to refer to Rise of the Cybermen/The Age of Steel. Coincidentally, the Cybermen were later announced as the enemies in the later 2008 Christmas special.
  • After the announcement that Christopher Eccleston would leave after the first series, there were erroneous reports that the regeneration was to take place during the Christmas special, not during The Parting of the Ways. (This may have been an intentional red herring in order to maintain at least some element of surprise for the series finale given that the BBC had accidentally blown Russell T Davies' plan for a surprise regeneration.)

Influences[[edit]]

Filming locations[[edit]]

  • Tredegar House, Newport
  • Brandon Estate, Kennington, London (The Powell Estate)
  • Palace of Westminster, Westminster, London
  • Tower of London, London
  • Landmark Place, Churchill Way, Cardiff
  • Hayes Island, Cardiff
  • Clearwell Caves – Ancient Iron Mines, Coleford, Gloucestershire
  • Barry Docks, Barry Island, Cardiff
  • NCP Tredegar Street (also known as St Davids 2), Cardiff, Wales
  • Wallis House, Great West Road, Brentford
  • Trafalgar Square, London
  • 30 St Mary Axe (also known as "The Gherkin"), London
  • Baltic House, Mount Stuart Square, Cardiff
  • Wharton Street, Cardiff
  • Broadstairs Road, Leckwith, Cardiff
  • Brian Cox Motor Engineering, Bromley Road, Ellwood (Clancy's garage where Mickey is working when the TARDIS arrives in the teaser sequence)
  • Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
  • Unit Q2, Imperial Park, Imperial Way, Newport
  • HTV Wales Studios, Culvershouse Cross, Cardiff
  • BBC Kendal Avenue, Kendal Avenue, Acton
  • BBC Broadcasting House (C2 Studio), Llantrisant Road, Llandaff, Cardiff

Production errors[[edit]]

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.
  • When Mickey calls Rose to check out the military broadcast of the Sycorax ship, you can see for a split-second the video player playing the broadcast, revealing that it was not green-screened, but a video playing on the computer.
  • Although it has been a very short time since the Doctor regenerated, as Rose passes the door of the TARDIS after the Doctor collapses, her hair is visibly longer. (TV: The Parting of the Ways) This exposes the several month break between the wrapping up of Series 1 in March 2005, and the beginning of filming for Series 2 in July, during which time Billie Piper allowed her hair to grow longer.
  • When proclaiming his new form to be "lucky", the Doctor is facing towards the Sycorax ship, but when mentioning being in the first 15 hours of his regenerative cycle, he is facing away from the Sycorax ship. He is facing the ship again when his hand regrows.
  • A lot of the shots between the Doctor winning the challenge and giving his warning to the Sycorax horde have inconsistent lighting. One notable example of this is when the Doctor throws the satsuma, the light is on the right side of his face but is then on the left side of the button the fruit hits when it should be on the right. The green screen of the ship exterior is also darkened on the left side, making this error more prominent.
  • In one of the Tower of London scenes, the Guinevere 1 Space Probe is incorrectly spelt "Guinivere 1" on a computer screen.
  • In the 2017 Series 2 Blu-ray Steelbook, Phil Collinson, the producer of this episode, is incorrectly credited after the title sequence as "Phil Collision".

Continuity[[edit]]

Home video releases[[edit]]

  • A behind-the-scenes preview of this episode was released with the series 1 DVD box set.
  • As with every other episode of season 2, The Christmas Invasion was released on DVD by 2Entertain.
  • This story was released on a vanilla DVD with New Earth.
  • It was also released as part of the Series 2 DVD Box set in November 2006.
  • This story was also released with Issue 7 of the Doctor Who DVD Files.

External links[[edit]]

Footnotes[[edit]]