164) THE EMPTY CHILD/THE DOCTOR DANCES

21 - 28 May 2005

Viewing Figures: 7.11/6.86M

Plot

Arriving in London 1941 at the height of the Blitz a terrifying child wearing a gas mask roams the streets of London

Cast

Christopher Eccleston (The Doctor), Billie Piper (Rose Tyler), Katy Harvey (Nightclub Singer), Albert Valentine (The Child)

Florence Hoath (Nancy), Cheryl Fergison (Mrs Lloyd), Damian Samuels (Mr Lloyd), John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness)

Robert Hands (Algy), Joseph Tremain (Jim), Jordan Murphy (Ernie), Brandon Miller (Alf), Richard Wilson (Dr Constantine)

Luke Perry (Timothy Lloyd), Martin Hodgson (Jenkins), Vilma Hollingbery (Mrs Harcourt), Noah Johnson (Voice of Empty Child)

Dian Perry (Computer Voice)

Uncredited Cast

Paul Newbolt (Waiter), Jeff Jones, John Jenner, John Ninnis, Paul Scaglioni, Phil May, Saul Murphy, Steve Lloyd, Paul Battenbough

Barrie Wharmby, Richard Crutchley, Matthew John Walker, Emma Dwyer, Helen Irving, Lynne Beddoe, Marianne Hemming

Sheila Jones, Stevie Ann Beddoe, Zoe Marie Morris (Drinkers), Laura Flook, Levi Cavelli, Jessica Grey, Ryan Conway, Chris Conway

David Pursey (Kids), Alan Sula, Roderick Mair (Doctors)

Crew

Steven Moffat (Writer), Phil Collinson (Producer), James Hawes (Director), Jon Older (1st Assistant Director)

Steffan Morris (2nd Assistant Director), Dan Mumford (3rd Assistant Director), Llyr Mous (Location Manager)

Justin Gyphion (Unit Manager), Jess van Niekerk (Production Co-ordinator), Debi Griffiths, Kath Blackman (A/Production Accountants)

Non Eleri Hughes (Continuity), Helen Raynor (Script Editor), Martin Stephens (Camera Operator), Mark Isaac (Focus Puller)

John Robinson (Grip), Damian Richardson (Boom Operator), Mark Hutchings (Gaffer), Peter Chester (Best Boy)

Lee Sheward (Stunt Co-ordinator), Kim McGarrity (Stunt Performer), Gwenllian Llwyd (Art Department Co-ordinator)

Bryan Hitch (Concept Artist), Catherine Samuel (Production Buyer), Liz Griffiths (Set Decorator)

Stephen Nicholas (Supervising Art Director), Arwel Jones (Standby Art Director), Adrian Anscombe (Property Master)

Andrew Smith (Construction Manager), Phill Shellard, Trystan Howell (Standby Props), Jenny Bowers (Graphic Artist) 

Yolanda Peart-Smith (Wardrobe Supervising), Linda Davie (Make-Up Supervisor), Claire Pritchard, Steve Williams (Make-Up Artists)

Kirsty Robertson (Casting Associate), Ceres Doyle, Jamie Adams (Assistant Editors), Marie Brown (Post Production Supervisor)

David Bowman, Alberto Montanes, Astrid Busser-Casas, Jennifer Herbert, Simon C Holden, Sara Bennett, Michael Harison

Brownyn Edwards (2D VFX Artists), Andy Howell, Matt McKinney, Jean-Claude Deguara, Paul Burton, Chris Petts

Nicolas Hernandez, Nick Webber, Mark Wallman (3D VFX Artists), Alexander Fort (Digital Matte Painter)

Matthew Clarke, Zoe Cassey (On Line Editors), Jamie Wilkinson (Colourist), Tim Ricketts (Dubbing Mixer)

Paul McFadden (Dialogue Editor), Paul Jefferies (Sound FX Editor), Richard Pugsley (Finance Manager)

Ron Grainer (Original Theme Music), Andy Pryor CDG (Casting Director), Endaf Emyr Williams (Sound Recordist)

Lucinda Wright (Costume Designer), Davy Jones (Make-Up Designer), Murray Gold (Music), Any Effects (Special Effects)

The Mill (Visual Effects), Millennium Effects (Prosthetics), Will Cohen (Visual FX Producer), Dave Houghton (Visual FX Supervisor)

Liana del Giudice (Editor), Edward Thomas (Production Designer), Ernie Vincze BSC (Director of Photography)

Tracie Simpson (Production Manager), Helen Vallis (Associate Producer), Russell T Davies, Julie Gardner, Mal Young (Executive Producers)

Uncredited Crew

Dan Mumford (1st Assistant Director), Dafydd Parry, Nick Britz, Anna Evans (3rd Assistant Director), Clive Evans (Location Manager)

Pam Humphries (Continuity), Joss Lowe, Julian Morson, Paul Lang (Camera Operators), Terry Bartlett, Steve Wallace (Focus Pullers)

Dai Hopkins (Grip), Peter Eusebe, Rhydian Yeoman (Boom Operators), Paul Heasman (Stunt Co-ordinator), Rhydian Yeoman

John Rodda, Phil Edwards (Sound Recordists), Peter Thornton, Geoff Harrison, John Daly (Director of Photography)

Broadcast

Filming Locations

  • UNIT Q2, Imperial Way, Newport

  • Cardiff Royal Infirmary, Cardiff

  • Alley off Womanby Street, Cardiff

  • Headlands School, St Augustine's Road, Penarth

  • RAF St Athan Aircraft Hangar

  • Vale of Glamorgan Railway Ltd, Plymouth Road, Barry Island

  • Bargoed Street, Grangetown,Cardiff

  • Glamorgan House, College Road, Cardiff

Deaths

  • [death fails to follow The Doctor this time] 

Production Days

  • 31 days between Friday 14 December 2004 - Friday 25 February 2005

Production Errors

  1. Who The Doctor open the Tardis telephone in 'The Empty Child' it is clearly blue but the inside of the Tardis doors and the phone compartment are clearly white

  2. The German translation of "Bad Wolf" is actually incorrect. The translation reads "Schlechter Wolf, however the 'bad' is ambiguous. When translated to German bad can mean "Schlecht" and "Bose". So the correct, accurate translation is "Boser Wolf"​​

Working Titles

  • Captain Jax

  • The Empty Boy

  • World War II

Verdict

While a real fan favourite of the revived series, this two-parter doesn't hold up to other Steve Moffat scripts later on. It doesn't mean that the story is terribly written or the acting is a bit tedious or that the monsters are weak. The two-parter has a lot going for it. The only problem is a few plot elements are bit repetitive no it's not the line 'Are you, my Mummy?' The element that shines throughout is the night-time filming. The dark alleyways, gloomy hospital corridors, sinister and silent hospital wards and the eerie bombsight scenes all make for a frightening tale about a Gas-Mask Zombie roaming all across London. The scripts are also strong with some flirtatious moments, adult humour and references to other major Sci-Fi shows. The dialogue at times is compelling, engaging and energetic.  The repetitiveness of the serial occurs when something happens in the background which the main characters don't notice. Firstly there is the scene in 'The Child's' bedroom at the hospital. The tape recorder - which includes a track of 'The Child' asking 'Are you my, Mummy?' eventually runs out. The Doctor eventually realises that something is wrong when The Child's voice continues to ask 'Are you my Mummy?. The characters turn around and realise the danger they are in - spooky and brilliantly written. The same trick occurs when Jim stops typing at a typewriter, but the typewriter continues to type by itself. The other children don't notice this until Nancy brings it to their attention. For a third time, Nancy can be heard singing in the background and only after a short period does The Doctor bring this to everyone else's attention. The same trick used over and over again will at first be ingenious, but after a time it does get a bit old. Despite the repetitiveness of some elements, the cast are pretty strong as are the characters. Captain Jack Harkness at first may seem a little cheesy and corny, but the character does eventually grow and blossom into a character who is worthy of being a companion of The Doctor. The resolution to this story is incredibly hidden from the viewer's eye. There will never be another moment where The Doctor is so desperate and calm and heroic to stop the crisis unfolding around him. Some line deliveries are a bit off but The Doctor line 'Just this once! Everybody lives!!' is the most powerful statement ever on the history of the show. While a fan favourite for many it just falls short of having that magical spark pushing into the next boundary. ****