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New Series Episode 103:


The Doctor and Clara travel to Caliburn House in 1974. The owner of the estate, Alec Palmer, is investigating the Witch of the Well, a ghost which has stalked the halls of Caliburn House for centuries -- and whose legend dates back to before the mansion was even constructed. To assist him, he has recruited an empathic telepath named Emma Grayling, who can sense the ghost's immense loneliness. The Doctor discovers that the Witch of the Well is a mystery which transcends time and space -- and that the ghost is not the only thing haunting Caliburn House.


Neil Cross was a lifelong Doctor Who fan who began his writing career as a novelist, publishing the crime drama Mr In-Between in 1998. Cross soon moved into television as a contributor to the espionage thriller Spooks. Around this time, he contacted Doctor Who executive producer Russell T Davies to declare his interest in writing for the programme. Davies was keen to commission a script from Cross, but scheduling difficulties prevented this, especially as Cross began developing his crime drama Luther.

However, Cross was a friend of Caroline Skinner, who joined Davies' successor, Steven Moffat, as executive producer of Doctor Who in 2011. Skinner encouraged Moffat to contact Cross, and this time it became clear that the writer would be able to provide a script for the second stage of Doctor Who's thirty-third season. This block of eight episodes would be made immediately after the five episodes destined to air in the fall of 2012, but would be held over until the spring of 2013.

Neil Cross was eager to write a spooky story of the sort predominant during Tom Baker's years

Cross had grown up a fan of Doctor Who as made in the Seventies and early Eighties, when the Doctor was played by Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker and Peter Davison. He was eager to write a spooky story of the sort which had been predominant during Baker's early years in the role. Cross also fondly remembered the work of Nigel Kneale, creator of the Quatermass serials, and in particular thought of Kneale's 1972 ghost story The Stone Tape. This led him to devise a haunted house adventure in which he hoped Bernard Quatermass himself might feature; however, when it became clear that rights issues would preclude this crossover, Cross created Alec Palmer instead.

Cross' first version of the episode was entitled “Phantoms Of The Hex” and was completed in April 2012. The Hex was the otherworldly dimension in which Hila was trapped, and it was the prison of the Lost Lord, an ancient Time Lord also called the Revenant of Anathenon who had become snared in the Hex so long ago that he was now just a bogeyman of Gallifreyan legend. The Lost Lord sought to tempt the Doctor into the Hex and feed on him, enabling him to return to the normal universe where he would begin absorbing all of time.

By May, the Lost Lord element of the tale was discarded, to be replaced by the more straightforward Crooked Man. (The Hex terminology would survive until recording, before being lost in editing.) However, Moffat became concerned that the Crooked Man was now too shallow a concept. He worked with Cross to develop the idea of the two Crooked Men and the love which bound them, reinforcing themes already present in the storyline. Around this time, the story became known as “The Hider In The House”.

To Cross' surprise, Moffat also encouraged him to expand the scale of the script. Cross had set the entire adventure in and around Caliburn House (taken from the name for King Arthur's sword in the writings of Geoffrey of Monmouth, which later evolved to become Excalibur). Even the scenes in the Crooked Man's realm were confined to Caliburn House, thereby minimising budgetary requirements. It was Moffat who suggested that much of this material could be relocated to an eerie wood.

Steven Moffat intended that the new companion would be a Victorian-era governess named Beryl

At this point, “The Hider In The House” was intended to be the fifth of the eight episodes comprising the 2013 run; it would later be pushed back to sixth before finally being broadcast fourth. Narratively, these stories would be distinguished from those airing in Fall 2012 by the inclusion of a new companion, with Amy and Rory having been written out in The Angels Take Manhattan, the last story of the autumn schedule. Originally, Moffat intended that this character -- to be introduced in The Snowmen, the 2012 Christmas special -- would be a Victorian-era governess named Beryl. He began developing Beryl in the autumn of 2011, and some of the writers working on the latter part of Season Thirty-Three began incorporating her into their scripts.

However, by late January 2012, the production team reversed course and decided that the new companion -- now named Clara -- should continue the modern trend of hailing from contemporary Britain. Nonetheless, Moffat was mindful that the Doctor would need to have a compelling reason to take Clara aboard the TARDIS, given the tragic circumstances surrounding the departures of recent companions Donna, Amy and Rory. To this end, he began to conceive of a complex puzzle which would surround Clara, an element of which would be the appearance of lookalike characters in other times and places. The role of Beryl in The Snowmen would now be filled by one of these echoes, while another was inserted into the script for the season premiere, Asylum Of The Daleks. Clara would still debut in The Snowmen but only in a coda at the end of the episode; her first full story would be The Bells Of St John, the initial adventure of the 2013 run.

Clara's first recorded adventure, however, would be “The Hider In The House”, which had been designated as the sole episode comprising Block Four of the recording schedule for Season Thirty-Three. The director would be Jamie Payne, whose credits included Primeval, the remake of Survivors, Ashes To Ashes and Call The Midwife (which starred Jessica Rayne, now cast as Emma Grayling). Jenna-Louise Coleman had already won the role of Clara, as she had been needed to play Oswin -- the first of Clara's echoes -- for Asylum Of The Daleks at the end of April. Coleman was uneasy about diving straight into the middle of Clara's adventures with the Doctor before filming her introduction (a circumstance created in part by the lateness of the script for The Snowmen) but Moffat and Payne both worked to assuage her concerns.

Matt Smith became the first Doctor Who star to participate in the Olympic torch relay

Recording on “The Hider In The House” began on May 22nd, the first of two consecutive days at the Manor of Plas Llanmihangel near Cowbridge in the Vale of Glamorgan. Now a bed-and-breakfast establishment, Plas Llanmihangel dated from at least 1166; it provided the dining room of Caliburn House. On the 24th, 25th and 28th, Tyntesfield House in Wraxall, Bristol offered the great hall, stairs, kitchen and various corridors. Over the intervening weekend, on May 26th, Matt Smith became the first Doctor Who star to participate in the Olympic torch relay, during the build-up to the 2012 Summer Games in London.

On May 29th, some of the material in the Crooked Man's woods was filmed at Gethin Woodland Area near Merthyr Tydfil. More of these scenes were completed the next day at Margam Country Park in Margam, which was also the exterior and grounds of Caliburn House as well as the primeval jungle; recording continued there on May 31st. On June 1st and 4th, cast and crew shifted to Hensol Castle in Hensol for sequences in the music room and the dark room, before returning to Gethin Woodland Area on the 5th.

Effects shots were filmed outside Doctor Who's studio home at Roath Lock on June 19th. However, the TARDIS scenes for “The Hider In The House” could not be taped there until September 22nd, because the new console room set -- which would debut on screen in The Snowmen -- was not yet finished. Additional inserts were subsequently completed at Roath Lock on October 18th and November 27th. Early in 2013, the episode's title was truncated to Hide.

  • Doctor Who News.
  • Doctor Who Magazine Special Edition #37, Autumn 2014, “Hide” by Andrew Pixley, Panini UK Ltd.

Original Transmission
Date 20th Apr 2013
Time 6.44pm
Duration 44'45"
Viewers (more) 6.6m (18th)
· BBC1/HD 6.6m
· iPlayer 1.9m
Appreciation 85%

The Doctor
Matt Smith
Jenna-Louise Coleman
Alec Palmer
Dougray Scott
Emma Grayling
Jessica Raine
Kemi-Bo Jacobs
The Crooked Man
Aidan Cook

Written by
Neil Cross
Directed by
Jamie Payne
Produced by
Marcus Wilson

Stunt Coordinators
Crispin Layfield
Gordon Seed
First Assistant Director
John Bennet
Second Assistant Director
James DeHaviland
Third Assistant Director
Heddi-Joy Taylor-Welch
Assistant Director
Danielle Richards
Location Manager
Nicky James
Unit Manager
Geraint Williams
Location Assistant
Iestyn Hampson-Jones
Production Manager
Phillipa Cole
Production Coordinator
Claire Hildred
Asst Production Coordinator
Gabriella Ricci
Production Secretary
Sandra Cosfeld
Production Assistants
Rachel Vipond
Samantha Price
Asst Production Accountants
Rhys Evans
Justine Wooff
Assistant Script Editor
John Phillips
Script Supervisor
Steve Walker
Camera Operator
Joe Russell
Focus Pullers
James Scott
Julius Ogden
Gary Norman
Camera Assistants
Meg de Koning
Sam Smithard
Evelina Norgren
Assistant Grip
Owen Charnley
Sound Maintenance Engineers
Ross Adams
Chris Goding
Mark Hutchings
Best Boy
Stephen Slocombe
Bob Milton
Gareth Sheldon
Steve Guy
Supervising Art Director
Paul Spriggs
Set Decorator
Adrian Anscombe
Production Buyers
Charlie Lynam
Adrian Greenwood
Art Director
Amy Pickwoad
Standby Art Director
Helen Atherton
Asst Art Director
Richard Hardy
Art Department Coordinator
Donna Shakesheff
Prop Master
Paul Smith
Prop Chargehand
Ian Griffin
Austin J Curtis
Standby Props
Rob Brandon
Dressing Props
Jayne Davies
Mike Elkins
Paul Barnett
Graphic Designer
Chris Lees
Graphic Artist
Christina Tom
Petty Cash Buyer
Florence Tasker
Standby Carpenter
Will Pope
Standby Rigger
Bryan Griffiths
Practical Electrician
Christian Davies
Props Makers
Penny Howarth
Alan Hardy
Jamie Thomas
Props Driver
Gareth Fox
Construction Manager
Terry Horle
Construction Chargehand
Dean Tucker
Scenic Artist
John Pinkerton
Assistant Costume Designer
Fraser Purfit
Costume Supervisor
Carly Griffith
Costume Assistants
Katarina Cappellazzi
Gemma Evans
Make-Up Artists
Sara Angharad
Julie Fox Pritchard
Casting Associate
Alice Purser
Assistant Editor
Becky Trotman
VFX Editor
Joel Skinner
Dubbing Mixer
Tim Ricketts
ADR Editor
Matthew Cox
Dialogue Editor
Darran Clement
Sound Effects Editor
Paul Jefferies
Foley Editor
Jamie Talbutt
Peter Anderson Studio
Online Editor
Geraint Pari Huws
Mick Vincent
Original Theme Music
Ron Grainer
Casting Director
Andy Pryor CDG
Production Executive
Julie Scott
Post Production Supervisor
Nerys Davies
Production Accountant
Jeff Dunn
Sound Recordist
Deian Llŷr Humphreys
Costume Designer
Howard Burden
Make-Up Designer
Barbara Southcott
Murray Gold
Visual Effects
The Mill
Special Effects
Real SFX
Millennium FX
Nick Arthurs
Production Designer
Michael Pickwoad
Director Of Photography
Mike Southon BSC
Script Producer
Denise Paul
Line Producer
Diana Barton
Executive Producers
Steven Moffat
Caroline Skinner

Working Titles
Phantoms Of The Hex
The Hider In The House

Updated 2nd June 2015