New Series Episodes 77 & 78:
Space / Time

Plot

Amy distracts Rory while he's helping the Doctor repair the TARDIS, causing the time machine to materialise inside itself. Time and space start to behave in mysterious ways, and the three travellers realise that they may be trapped within the ship for all eternity.

Production

Since 1988, the BBC had been broadcasting the Red Nose Day telethon on behalf of the charity Comic Relief. Founded by comedian Lenny Henry and writer Richard Curtis (who had scripted Season Thirty-One's Vincent And The Doctor), Comic Relief had originally been created to combat famine in Africa, and subsequently expanded its remit to assist many different communities of disadvantaged peoples.

Red Nose Day had occurred biennially since 1989, with Doctor Who playing a major role in three editions. Although the programme was no longer in production in 1999, future executive producer Steven Moffat wrote a four-part Doctor Who comedy serial entitled The Curse Of Fatal Death for that year's Red Nose Day. This (presumably) out-of-continuity satire featured incarnations of the Doctor played by luminaries Rowan Atkinson, Richard E Grant, Jim Broadbent, Hugh Grant and Joanna Lumley. Only slightly more authentic was a special 2009 edition of The Sarah Jane Adventures entitled From Raxacoricofallapatorius With Love. In between, the 2007 Red Nose Day featured a reunion of the stars of the 2006 Doctor Who Christmas special, The Runaway Bride. Here, Donna Noble actress Catherine Tate reprised her Lauren Cooper character from The Catherine Tate Show, opposite David Tennant as a suspiciously familiar substitute teacher.

The minisodes would depict what happened in the TARDIS in-between adventures

In 2010, short scenes were planned which would appear as special features on the DVD release for the 2011 Doctor Who season. The general thrust of these minisodes would be to depict what happened in the TARDIS in-between adventures. Since these programmes were being made under the auspices of BBC Worldwide -- the commercial arm of the BBC -- regular Doctor Who producer Sanne Wohlenberg was joined by additional content producer Annabella Hurst-Brown.

As part of this work, it was agreed that a brief two-part tale would be filmed which could air as part of the 2011 Red Nose Day. As with the DVD-only mini-episodes Bad Night and Good Night being made at the same time, the Comic Relief story -- entitled Space / Time -- was written by showrunner Steven Moffat. Moffat conceived the comedy sketch as taking place in the immediate aftermath of The Impossible Astronaut / Day Of The Moon, the opening story of Season Thirty-Two, despite the fact that it would be broadcast more than a month before the new season premiered.

Space / Time was filmed on August 10th, 2010 on the TARDIS console room set at Upper Boat Studios. The director was Richard Senior, a lifelong Doctor Who fan who had gotten his start in the entertainment industry as a runner for television and film productions, including the movies The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy and Batman Begins. The bulk of Senior's career had been spent making trailers, previews and other promotional material, including a number of items for Doctor Who. Aware that Senior was interested in eventually directing full television productions, Doctor Who's then-executive producers, Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner, had allowed him to shadow directors during recording of the second season of The Sarah Jane Adventures. Senior's work in promos eventually led him to direct Space / Time and the other scenes for BBC Worldwide, as well as material for the Doctor Who Live touring show and The Doctor Who Experience standing exhibition.

Sources
  • Doctor Who News.
  • Doctor Who Magazine #443, 8th February 2012, “Junior Senior!” by Benjamin Cook, Panini UK Ltd.
  • Doctor Who Magazine Special Edition #29, 14th December 2011, “Comic Relief 2011: Space & Time” by Andrew Pixley, Panini Publishing Ltd.

Original Transmission
1: Space
Date 18th Mar 2011
Time 7.18pm
Duration 3'20"
Viewers (more) 10.3m (3rd)
· BBC1/HD 10.3m
(full Comic Relief broadcast)
Appreciation 83%
2: Time
Date 18th Mar 2011
Time 7.27pm
Duration 2'54"
Viewers (more) 10.3m (3rd)
· BBC1/HD 10.3m
(full Comic Relief broadcast)
Appreciation 83%


Cast
The Doctor
Matt Smith
Amy Pond
Karen Gillan
Rory
Arthur Darvill


Crew
Written by
Steven Moffat
Directed by
Richard Senior
Produced by
Sanne Wohlenberg
Annabella Hurst-Brown

Updated 5th July 2014