Doctor Who (2005– )
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The Empty Child 

Rose and the Doctor find themselves in 1941 London when the TARDIS receives an emergency signal from another time-traveling vehicle. While the Doctor tries to determine where the object may... See full summary »




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Episode complete credited cast:
Kate Harvey ...
Nightclub Singer
Albert Valentine ...
Florence Hoath ...
Cheryl Fergison ...
Robert Hands ...
Jordan Murphy ...
Brandon Miller ...
Noah Johnson ...
The Empty Child (voice)
Dian Perry ...
Computer (voice)


Rose and the Doctor find themselves in 1941 London when the TARDIS receives an emergency signal from another time-traveling vehicle. While the Doctor tries to determine where the object may have landed, Rose goes off in search of a child she can hear calling for help. When she gets herself into a precarious situation, she's rescued by the rather handsome RAF Captain Jack Harkness, who owns a time machine of his own. The Doctor meanwhile meets Nancy who has an interesting way of arranging meals for homeless children. They are also being chased by the child Rose heard calling. The Doctor determines that human DNA is being rewritten but it's not obvious why or by who. Written by garykmcd

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TV-PG | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

5 May 2006 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (50 episodes)

Sound Mix:

(Dolby 5.1)


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Did You Know?


It was director James Hawes' idea to cast Richard Wilson. See more »


When Rose and Jack are on the top of his ship the time on Big Ben is 9:30. The time never changes, despite the scene lasting several minutes. See more »


[first lines]
Rose Tyler: What's the emergency?
The Doctor: It's mauve.
Rose Tyler: Mauve?
The Doctor: Universally recognised colour for danger.
Rose Tyler: What happened to red?
The Doctor: That's just humans. By everyone else's standards, red's camp. Oh, the misunderstandings! All those red alerts, all that dancing.
See more »


Featured in Doctor Who Confidential: Time Trouble (2005) See more »


It Had To Be You
Written by Isham Jones
Lyrics by Gus Kahn
Performed by Kate Harvey
See more »

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User Reviews

Mum's the word in the midst of the blitz.
6 February 2014 | by (Edinburgh.) – See all my reviews

The Doctor and Rose start this episode chasing something, because they're not sure what it is and chasing something hurtling through space and time is exciting. That chase leads to them landing in wartime Britain. Which isn't the safest place to be, of course. It's even more unsafe at this time because there's something that looks like a child wandering around, desperately trying to find a mummy.

Written by Steven Moffat, who would fully take over the reins from Russell T. Davies further down the line, this is a fantastic two-parter that mixes fun and scares to perfect effect. Basically, it does what Doctor Who can do best.

It also introduces the character of Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman), someone with bags of charisma and good humour, to help offset the darker aspects of the episode. Piper has fun playing off Barrowman, with the two of them flirting and laughing for most of the episode, while Eccleston keeps busy by doing some of his best stuff, once again wavering between moments of seriousness and affected flippancy.

Florence Hoath does well enough as Nancy, a young woman helping hungry kids fill their bellies during air raids, and Richard Wilson has a couple of great moments as Dr. Constantine, a man risking his own safety to help his patients.

And it has perhaps the one thing that I hadn't even realised I'd missed most since Doctor Who returned to television screens . . . . . . . a wonderful cliffhanger.

Yep, this episode is one of the best of this season, and the concluding part of the tale doesn't disappoint either. But that's to be reviewed elsewhere.

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