New Series Episode 14:
Children In Need Special (2005)


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.


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.

Russell T Davies facetiously referred to the Children In Need sequence as “Pudsey Cutaway”

The Children In Need sequence was intentionally untitled, with Davies facetiously 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.


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

The Doctor
David Tennant
Rose Tyler
Billie Piper

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

Updated 14th August 2011