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27 May 2006

Viewing Figure: 6.8M


In 1953 an alien identify hides herself inside TV sets and begins to steal peoples faces when they watch TV


David Tennant (The Doctor), Billie Piper (Rose Tyler), Maureen Lipman (The Wire), Ron Cook (Magpie), Jamie Foreman (Eddie Connolly)

Debra Gillett (Rita Connolly), Rory Jennings (Tommy Connolly), Margaret John (Grandma Connolly), Sam Cox (Detective Inspector Bishop)

Ieuan Rhys (Crabtree), Jean Challis (Aunt Betty), Christopher Driscoll (Security Guard), Marie Lewis (Mrs Gallagher)

Uncredited Cast

John Jenner (Mr Gallagher), Dorn Kynaston (Bishop's Driver), Gareth Long, Trevor Payne (Market Workers), Dominic Mancienne

Richard Mancienne, Debbie Reid, Natasha Mottee, Vincent Warltire, Damien Mantoulan, Dayve Dean, Chris Richards, James McLeod

Richard Knott, Stuart Dorrance, Gregg Bennett, Adam Chilvers, Lynsey Muir, Wendy Hobbs, Anita Rice, Anna Rudolph

Suzanne Burgess, Dianne Dawson, Karen Dorrance, Catherine Olding (Faceless Crowd), Lara Phillipart, Conner Edwards (Children)


Mark Gatiss (Writer), Phil Collinson (Producer), Euros Lyn (Director), Peter Bennett (1st Assistant Director)

Steffan Morris (2nd Assistant Director), Lynsey Hill (3rd Assistant Director), Gareth Lloyd (Location Manager), Rhys Griffiths (Unit Manager)

Jess van Niekerk (Production Co-ordinator), Claire Roberts (Production/Script Secretary), Sarah Davies (Production Runner)

Debi Griffiths, Kath Blackman (A/Production Accountants), Non Eleri Hughes (Continuity), Simon Winstone (Script Editor)

Steve Rees (Focus Puller), John Robinson (Grip), Jeff Welch (Boom Operator), Mark Hutchings (Gaffer), Peter Chester (Best Boy)

Dave Forman (Stunt Co-ordinator), Gordon Seed, Steve Griffin, Rocky Taylor, Ray De-Haan, Sarah Franzi (Stunt Performers)

Stephen Nicholas (Supervising Art Director), Jonathan Marquand Allison (Art Dept Production Manager), Lee Gammon (Standby Art Director)

James North (A/Supervising Art Director), Al Roberts, Peter McKinstry (Design Assistants), Phil Shellard, Matthew North (Standby Props)

Dave Morison (Set Decorator), Adrian Anscombe (Property Master), Joelle Rumbelow (Production Buyer), Paul Aitken (Assistant Prop Master)

Phil Lyons (Props Chargehand) , Stuart Wooddisse (Prop Storeman), Mark Cordory (Specialist Prop Maker), Penny Howarth (Prop Maker)

Matthew Hywel-Davies (Construction Manager), Allen Jones (Constrction Chargehand), Shaun Williams (Storyboard Artist)

BBC Wales Graphics (Graphics), Anna Lau (Costume Supervisor), Lindsay Bonaccorsi, Kirsty Wilkinson (Costume Assistants)

Anwen Davies, Steve Smith, Moria Thompson (Make-Up Artists), Rob Mayor (Prosthetics Supervisor)

Jo Glover, Martin Rezard (Prosphetics Technicians), Ben Ashmore (Special Effects Co-ordinator)

Paul Kelly, Mike Crowley (Special Effects Supervisor), Danny Hargreaves, Richard Magrin (Special Effects Technicians)

Andy Brierley (Casting Associate), Ceres Doyles (Assistant Editor), Chris Blatchford, Samantha Hall (Post Production Supervisors)

Marie Brown (Post Production Co-ordinator), Matthew Clarke (On Line Editor), Mick Vincent (Colourist), Bronwyn Edwards

Simon Holden, Joseph Courtis, Sara Bennett, Michael Harrison, Russell Horth, Sandra Roach, Melissa, Butler-Adams (2D Artists)

Serena Cacciato, Nick Webber, Chris Tucker, Chris Petts (3D Artist), Ilyas Kaduji (Digital Matte Painter)

Kim Phelan (Visual Effects Co-ordinator), Tim Ricketts (Dubbing Mixer), Paul McFadden, Doug Sinclair (Sound Editors)

Paul Jefferies (Sound FX Editor), Richard Pugsley (Finance Manager), with thanks to the BBC National Orchestra of Wales

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

Simon Fraser (Sound Recordist), Louise Page (Costume Designer), Sheelagh Wells (Make-Up Designer), Murray Gold (Music)

The Mill (Visual Effects), Will Cohen (Visual FX Producer), Dave Houghton (Visual FX Supervisor), Any Effects (Special Effects)

Neill Gorton and Millennium FX (Porspethics), Crispin Green (Editor), Edward Thomas (Production Designer)

Rory Taylor (Director of Photography), Marcus Prince (Production Manager), Russell T Davies, Julie Gardner (Executive Producers)  

Uncredited Crew

Nick Britz, Naomi Harvey (3rd Assistant Director), Gareth Skelding (Location Manager), Manie Paxton (Continuity), Terry Bartlett

Anna James, Mari Yamanura (Focus Puller), Dai Hopkins, Clive Baldwin (Grip), Slogger (Best Boy), Marnie Ormiston (Costume Supervisor)

Angela Jones (Costume Assistant), Sara Griffiths, Vicki Owen, Jane Beard (Make-Up Artists), Steve Lewis (Director of Photography)


Filming Locations

  • Alexandra Palace, Wood Green, London

  • Florentia Street, Cathays, Cardiff

  • Blenheim Road, Penylan, Cardiff

  • UNIT Q2, Imperial Way, Newport

  • Cardiff Royal Infirmary, Longcross Street, Cardiff

  • Cardiff Royal Infirmary Newport Road, Cardiff

  • Veritair Aviation Limited, Cardiff Heliport, Cardiff Bay, Cardiff

  • South Dock, Newport Dock, Newport


  • Magpie [disintegrated by The Wire]

Production Days

  • 15 Days between Monday 23 January - Thursday 23 February 2006

Production Errors

  1. Whilst climbing the transmitter, The Doctor's right foot disappears for a moment 

  2. The Doctor and Rose wear helmets and sunglasses causing the crew to be reflected ​​​​

Working Titles

  • 1950s

  • Mr Sandman (story idea)

  • Sonic Boom (storyline) 



The story is not that inspiring but Gatiss much like Moffat shows promise and talent as a writer. 1950s ideology and society are explored as well as the hopes and dreams the country can look forward after years of hardship just prior to the story’s setting. The script is sort of science-fiction meets period drama meets soap opera with the filming location being reminiscent of Coronation Street. The Connolly family are a little bland but Jamie Foreman shines.  The Faceless People are basic but effective and the Wire is one the strongest female villain ever seen in the show all thanks to the brilliant Maureen Lipman. Some admirable camera shots – dutch angles for ominous scenes and the Wire’s POV shots are best described as surreal. The Idiot’s Lantern is a sweet adventure and nothing more. ***​

Number of Production Days: 5

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