A meeting in a London bus with jewel thief Lady Christina takes a turn for the worst for the Doctor when the bus takes a detour to a desert-like planet, where the deadly Swarm awaits.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Glenn Doherty ...
David Ames ...
Reginald Tsiboe ...
Keith Parry ...
Bus Driver
Ruari Mears ...


The Doctor is in present-day London and hops on a number 200 bus that suddenly travels through a wormhole. He and the other passengers find themselves in the middle of the desert which he later determines to be on a planet in a galaxy clear across the universe. Aboard the bus one of the passengers is Lady Christina de Souza, a rather accomplished thief who was on the run after having successfully stolen a very valuable piece from a museum. She's quite enthusiastic and proves to be quite helpful as The Doctor tries to unravel what has happened to them and most importantly, devise a means of returning, given that the bus is firmly stuck in the sand and heavily damaged. Back in London, Captain Erisa Magambo has taken charge of the situation and faces the prospect of having to permanently close the wormhole before the travelers can return. Written by garykmcd

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26 July 2009 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


The 2000 science fiction horror film "Pitch Black" is a major influence behind "Planet of the Dead". See more »


Although the desert planet has three suns, everything has one shadow. See more »


Malcolm: The Doctor! Cor blimey, I can't believe I'm actually speaking to you! I mean, I've read all the files!
The Doctor: Really? What was your favourite? The giant robot?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Credit at the end of "Planet of the Dead": LATER THIS YEAR THE WATERS OF MARS See more »


Featured in Doctor Who Confidential: Desert Storm (2009) See more »


Mr. Sandman
Written by Pat Ballard
Performed by The Chordettes
See more »

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User Reviews

Stop the bus
14 July 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This Dr Who Easter special from 2009 tantalisingly dangles a potential new companion before the viewer in the shape of feisty cat burglar Michelle Ryan's titled bored rich girl character only for the Doc to turn up his nose and continue to fly solo. Beforehand, they share a moderately exciting adventure when after daringly stealing a closely-guarded golden artifact Mission Impossible-style, they find themselves sat together on a red London bus just about to take a trans-dimensional trip to anther world, naturally, where they encounter another world-threatening species, ditto naturally, before saving said world yet again in the nick of time - naturally to the power 3!

Borrowing some ideas from Harry Potter (a flying bus, the Doctor's "parseltongue" type dialogue with the Dead Planet's initial batch of aliens) the story's okay if lacking somewhat in excitement or surprises. There's the odd smattering of humour and a nice frisson between Tennant and Ryanm but Lee Evans as a Doctor-adoring UNIT boffin gets too much screen-time.

With no single antagonist to act as a focal point, the story struggles to really create tension and thrills and by the end relies far too much on CaGen SFX as the flying menace targets earth for occupation in their millions.

Seasonal specials and Dr Who tend to go hand in hand, but this episode failed to really take for me.

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