Doctor Who: Season 1, Episode 4

Aliens of London (31 Mar. 2006)

TV Episode  -   -  Adventure | Drama | Family
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 2,233 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 8 critic

The Doctor returns Rose to her own time - well, sort of - but her family reunion is ruined when a spaceship crashes in the middle of London. What is the origin of the spaceship, and where has the Prime Minister gone in this time of crisis?


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Title: Aliens of London (31 Mar 2006)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Corey Doabe ...
Spray Painter
Ceris Jones ...
Lachele Carl ...
Fiesta Mei Ling ...
Basil Chung ...
Matt Baker ...
Matt Baker
Andrew Marr ...
Andrew Marr
David Verrey ...


The Doctor and Rose return to present day London where she finds that she hasn't been away for the 12 hours she thought had gone by, but 12 months. Her mother had been searching for her frantically, having filed a report with the police and putting posters with her photo on every lamp post. To their amazement, an alien spacecraft crashes in the Thames and Earth has it's first contact with extra-terrestrial beings. The Prime Minister has vanished however and those in charge are not what they seem to be. Working with the only Member of Parliament who seems to be in London, Rose and the Doctor battle a race of alien beings, the Slitheen, who want to destroy the Earth and sell if off, piece by piece. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

31 March 2006 (USA)  »

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| (50 episodes)


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Did You Know?


This episode was watched by 7.63 million viewers on its original transmission, winning a 35.67% audience share. See more »


When Rose enters the TARDIS after the Doctor returns from the hospital, the Powell Estate is clearly not outside the door; it is simply a black background. See more »


[first lines]
[the TARDIS materializes on the Powell Estate, and the Doctor and Rose step out]
Rose Tyler: How long have I been gone?
The Doctor: Twelve hours.
[They both laugh]
Rose Tyler: Oooh! Right, I won't be long, I'm just gonna see my mum.
The Doctor: What're you going to tell her?
Rose Tyler: I don't know! I've been to the year 5 billion... and only been gone, what, 12 hours?
[the Doctor gives something between a laugh and a snort]
Rose Tyler: No, I'll just tell her I've spent the night at Shareen's. See you later!
See more »


Featured in Doctor Who Confidential: Lords and Masters (2009) See more »


Doctor Who Theme
Written by Ron Grainer
Arranged by Murray Gold
Performed by BBC National Orchestra of Wales
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User Reviews

Government policies seem more alien than usual.
16 January 2014 | by (Edinburgh.) – See all my reviews

What begins as an amusing, and interesting, episode of Doctor Who soon turns into something a bit tiresome. And, worst of all, this is the first part of a two-parter, which means that the whole thing is dragged out for twice the length of time while containing half of the usual watchability factor.

The Doctor drops Rose off at home for a taste of normality once again, but that's all interrupted by a ruddy big alien spaceship that crashes into the middle of London. It turns out that some aliens want to create a spectacle to distract everyone from their main plan.

Also starring the wonderful Penelope Wilton (a delight as Harriet Jones) and featuring a fun performance from Annette Badland, I can't say that this is the worst Doctor Who episode I've ever seen. Far from it, but it's certainly the worst episode from this first season of revamped and repackaged Who, although it's a fun one for younger viewers to enjoy (and that, perhaps, made it a necessary part of this season, reminding everyone of what an all-inclusive family show Doctor Who is).

Russell T. Davies is responsible for the writing, so I'll blame him for the end result. It's a patchy mess, very hit and miss, with some good ideas mired in amongst a number of juvenile moments and ill-conceived ideas.

Ecclestone and Piper are as good as ever, and Camille Coduri and Noel Clarke get to join in with the fun once more, but this won't appeal to anyone beyond the central Doctor Who fanbase, in my opinion.

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