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

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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

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TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Official Sites:

Official site [UK]





Release Date:

10 November 2006 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (50 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital (Dolby 5.1)


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Did You Know?


This is the first episode of the second season where the interior of the Tardis is not seen. See more »


This episode takes place on the day before and the day of Queen Elizabeth II's coronation (1 and 2 June 1953). However, at the start of the show (a scene set some time prior to the main events), the Connolly family are seen listening to an episode of BBC radio comedy series "Take It From Here" - an episode that was first broadcast on 15 June 1953, two weeks after the coronation. See more »


Eddie: Don't mind the wife, she rattles on a bit.
The Doctor: Well maybe she should rattle on a bit more. I'm not convinced you're doing your patriotic duty. Those flags. Why are they not flying?
Eddie: There we are Rita, I told you. Get them up, Queen and country!
Rita: I'm sorry.
Eddie: Get it done. Do it now.
The Doctor: Hold on a minute.
Eddie: Like the gentleman says.
The Doctor: Hold on a minute. You've got hands, Mr Connolly. Two big hands. So why's that your wifes job?
Eddie: Well it's housework, isn't it?
The Doctor: And that's a womans job?
See more »


Featured in Doctor Who Confidential: Welcome to Torchwood (2006) See more »


God Save the Queen
Music by Thomas Augustine Arne
Lyrics by Henry Carey
See more »

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User Reviews

The one where the Doctor saves face
30 May 2006 | by movieman_kevSee all my reviews

The Doctor and Rose hoping to arrive in New York to see Elvis perform instead find themselves in London circa 1953, where they stumble on a plot to take the faces off of various Londoners. It's not as nearly as grotesque as the previous sentence implies, as the aforementioned faces are just kind of erased off via television sets. It all makes sense upon watching the show, I promise. Well if the last 2 episodes reminded me a bit of "Sliders", this one definitely had the feel of "Shapphire and Rose". Of course, enjoying that late, lamented show, I was definitely tickled by this one. Good acting by all (save for a few bit actors), splendid costume and set design, witty banter, and an intriguing plot all combine to make an amusing and highly watchable episode. Even if the bit of social commentary is a bit daft and it's full of plot holes.

My Grade: B-

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