Doctor Who (2005– )
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The Idiot's Lantern 

As the coronation of Elizabeth II nears, the streets of London live in fear. Faceless people are stolen from their homes in the night and something evil is lurking in the television.


Euros Lyn


Mark Gatiss




Episode complete credited cast:
David Tennant ... The Doctor
Billie Piper ... Rose Tyler
Maureen Lipman ... The Wire
Ron Cook ... Magpie
Jamie Foreman ... Eddie Connolly
Debra Gillett Debra Gillett ... Rita Connolly
Rory Jennings Rory Jennings ... Tommy Connolly
Margaret John ... Grandma Connolly
Sam Cox Sam Cox ... Detective Inspector Bishop
Ieuan Rhys ... Crabtree
Jean Challis Jean Challis ... Aunty Betty
Christopher Driscoll Christopher Driscoll ... Security Guard
Marie Lewis Marie Lewis ... Mrs. Gallagher


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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Includes the scenes from the actual coronation ceremony of Queen Elizabeth II back in 1953. See more »


During the scene in which The Doctor is climbing the transmitter, there is a shot in which he is viewed from above and is then struck by lightning. In this shot, The Doctor's foot disappears briefly as it leaves the green screen on the ground under the actor. See more »


Magpie: What do you think you're doing?
The Doctor: I want my friend restored, and I think that's beyond a little backstreet electrician, so tell me, who's really in charge here?
The Wire: Yoo-hoo! I think that must be me.
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

Simply amazing
28 May 2006 | by GemsieSee all my reviews

I've been a little disappointed with the last couple of weeks of Doctor Who, the Cybermen story just didn't seem to cut it for me, especially after The Girl in the Fireplace, but The Idiot's Lantern just completely redeemed the series for me. I thought the way that this episode was put together was absolutely amazing, I'm a bit of an obsessive when it comes to 50s culture and music and stuff, and this managed to pull it off brilliantly. Maureen Lipman was fantastically cast as The Wire, she actually seemed to be like a genuine 1950s style television announcer. Mark Gatiss of "League of Gentleman" fame did an absolutely fantastic job of writing this episode, it was brilliantly done, enough to terrify millions of small kids into not watching TV for fear of having their faces sucked off!!! I thought David Tennant was amazing in this episode, as ever. He just seems to get better for me the further this series progresses, and The Idiots Lantern was no exception. His emotional range in this episode was superb, especially in the scene where he starts shouting and bawling at Eddie. Billie Piper was also great last night, I'm not particularly a big fan of hers but she excelled herself last night. Brilliant episode, lets just hope the rest of the series is at the same standard!!!

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Official Sites:

Official site [UK]





Release Date:

10 November 2006 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (50 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital (Dolby 5.1)


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