Doctor Who (2005– )
7.0/10
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The Idiot's Lantern 

In 1950s London, the police are hunting down strange, mute creatures. The people of Britain gather around their new-fangled "tele-vision" sets to celebrate the new Queen's coronation - but is something affecting the signal?

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Episode complete credited cast:
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Debra Gillett ...
Rory Jennings ...
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Sam Cox ...
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Crabtree
Jean Challis ...
Aunty Betty
Christopher Driscoll ...
Security Guard
Marie Lewis ...
Mrs. Gallagher
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Storyline

It's 1953, the Coronation year of HM Queen Elizabeth II, and the people of Great Britain huddle round their television sets to witness the great event. But behind the celebrations there are rumors of monsters on the streets, and the tormented Mr Magpie is hiding a strange and alien secret. Written by Anonymous

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10 November 2006 (USA)  »

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| (50 episodes)

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(Dolby 5.1)

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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the script there are a lot of references to the strange activity happening around Florizel Street. Florizel Street was the original name for Coronation Street (1960). See more »

Goofs

One of the programs on the new television set is "Animal, Vegetable, Mineral?". In 1953 this quiz show was broadcast on Thursdays. But, it's the eve of the coronation, which makes it Monday the 1st of June. "Animal, vegetable, mineral?" wasn't on that evening. See more »

Quotes

Magpie: You promised me peace!
The Wire: Then peace you shall have.
The Wire: [disintegrates him]
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Connections

References The Ed Sullivan Show: Episode #10.6 (1956) See more »

Soundtracks

God Save the Queen
(uncredited)
Music by Thomas Augustine Arne
Lyrics by Henry Carey
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User Reviews

Visually enthralling
21 June 2007 | by (prejudicemadeplausible.wordpress.com) – See all my reviews

Most people will tell you that a director on a television show cannot really make an impact, since all they do is run on set, take charge of the crew, and finish up the episode in less than a week. Due to this rushed process, television directors, supposedly, are restricted in terms of creativity, but "The Idiot's Lantern" is proof that this isn't necessarily true. Director Euros Lyn, also responsible for great episodes like "The Unquiet Dead" and "Tooth and Claw", makes this episode extremely entertaining with his visual style. "The Idiot's Lantern" might have been a fairly boring episode otherwise, disregarding the witty dialogue, the script wasn't exactly perfect. Inventive, zany cinematography make this episode a pleasure to look at. An inspired portrayal of the Doctor from Tennant and some witty dialogue make up for a pretty weak story and make this episode quite enjoyable. It's hardly the greatest episode, but it's good enough.

Letter Grade: B-


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