Doctor Who: Season 1, Episode 9

The Empty Child (5 May 2006)

TV Episode  -   -  Adventure | Drama | Family
9.1
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Reviews: 4 user | 6 critic

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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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
...
...
Kate Harvey ...
Nightclub Singer
Albert Valentine ...
Florence Hoath ...
Cheryl Fergison ...
Damian Samuels ...
...
Robert Hands ...
Algy
Joseph Tremain ...
Jim
Jordan Murphy ...
Ernie
Brandon Miller ...
Alf
...
Noah Johnson ...
The Empty Child (voice)
Dian Perry ...
Computer (voice)
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Storyline

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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5 May 2006 (USA)  »

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| (50 episodes)

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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Captain Jack mocks the Doctor and Rose for their out-of-place outfits ("Flag Girl was bad enough - but U-boat captain?"), he is actually spot on - the Doctor's leather jacket is in fact a vintage 1938 German U-boat commander's jacket. See more »

Goofs

When Rose looks around Jack's ship, right after her "Very...Spock" line the flats of her hands are seen. Here they are completely unharmed. Later, they are burnt. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Referenced in Doctor Who Confidential: Shadow Play (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
Introducing Captain Jack
18 September 2010 | by (Italy) – See all my reviews

After Paul Cornell's Father's Day, it's another great writer's turn to provide his spin on Doctor Who: one Steven Moffat, creator of Coupling, lifelong fan of the original Doc and author of the hilarious Comic Relief spoof version of the show produced in 1999 (you know, the one with Rowan Atkinson as the Ninth Doctor). With such credentials, greatness was to be expected, and The Empty Child is easily the first season's high point, besides the chilling Dalek.

In fact, "chilling" is an adjective that applies quite well to this episode too: summoned by an emergency signal from a damaged time-ship, the Doctor and Rose land in 1914 London, where a mysterious, deformed child spreads terror with his gas mask-shaped face and constant cries for his absent mother. While the Doctor tries to get to the bottom of this spooky enigma, he and Rose also make a rather different acquaintance: that of Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman), a stranded time traveler who loves to enjoy himself with just about anyone...

Marking a distinct tonal shift that goes beyond even the more suspenseful bits of Dalek, The Empty Child is a pretty scary episode - some scenes had to be edited because of the time slot - that might alienate younger viewers, but will no doubt fascinate older ones thanks to its pitch-perfect writing, subtle atmosphere build-up and impeccable reconstruction of war-time London. Moffat also deserves kudos for the introduction of Captain Jack, a character that blatantly panders to a more adult audience (then again, this is Moffat, the king of awkward sexual tension on the small screen) while also providing the sense of fun and excitement that makes Doctor Who such a great ride. And this is just part one of the story...


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