The First Doctor The Second Doctor The Third Doctor The Fourth Doctor The Fifth Doctor The Sixth Doctor The Seventh Doctor The Eighth Doctor The Ninth Doctor The Tenth Doctor The Eleventh Doctor The Twelfth Doctor
New Series Episode 14:
Children In Need Special (2005)

Plot

Rose confronts the stranger who claims to be the Doctor. But even as the man tries to convince her of his true identity, something appears to have gone badly wrong with the change he's just experienced.

Production

Prior to the start of the new Doctor Who series, the programme had twice contributed material to the BBC's annual Children In Need charity telethon, running since 1980. In 1983, the twentieth-anniversary special The Five Doctors had formed part of the appeal, while a decade later, the dubiously-canonical Dimensions In Time had celebrated thirty years of Doctor Who while raising money for disadvantaged youths.

When approached about Doctor Who becoming part of the Children In Need proceedings for its 2005 edition, an initially reluctant Russell T Davies had a change of heart when Julie Gardner, the show's other executive producer, touted the model of The Five Doctors, which had smoothly transitioned between the original series' twentieth and twenty-first seasons, as opposed to the comic tendencies of Dimensions In Time and many other Children In Need contributions. At Gardner's instigation, Davies fashioned a short script which picked up from the end of The Parting Of The Ways -- in which Christopher Eccleston's Doctor had regenerated into a new incarnation played by David Tennant -- and cliffhangered into the forthcoming holiday special, The Christmas Invasion. This mini-episode would therefore be the first broadcast Doctor Who material headlined by Tennant, although the actor had already filmed one-third of his inaugural season at this stage.

The Children In Need sequence was intentionally untitled, with Davies sarcastically referring to it as “Pudsey Cutaway” (after Pudsey, the Children In Need mascot introduced in 1985, and the alternative “Dalek Cutaway” title for the single-episode story Mission To The Unknown). The BBC formally announced its existence on October 25th.

The mini-episode was recorded in its entirety on November 3rd, 2005. Only Tennant and Billie Piper appeared in the segment, which was recorded on the TARDIS set in the usual Doctor Who studio space at Unit Q2 in Newport. Location filming for the season's third production block (consisting of Rise Of The Cybermen / The Age Of Steel and Army Of Ghosts / Doomsday) had already begun at this point; however, the Children In Need special was directed by Euros Lyn, who had just completed work on Block Two (Tooth And Claw and The Girl In The Fireplace). Two weeks later, on November 18th, the Doctor Who sequence helped Children In Need raise 17.2 million pounds.

Sources

Original Transmission
Date 18th Nov 2005
Time 9.08pm
Duration 7'14"
Viewers (more) 10.8m (18th)
· BBC1 10.8m


Cast
The Doctor
David Tennant
Rose Tyler
Billie Piper


Crew
Written by
Russell T Davies
Directed by
Euros Lyn
Produced by
Phil Collinson


Media
DVD Release
Doctor Who: The Complete Second Series (2006; boxed set)
Buy: Canada · UK · USA
Doctor Who: Series 1-4 Box Set (2009; boxed set)
Buy: UK
Doctor Who: The David Tennant Years (2011; boxed set)
Buy: Canada · USA

Updated 14th August 2011