Doctor Who

The Family of Blood (2)

Season 3, Ep 9, Aired 6/2/07
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  • Episode Description
  • With the Doctor still human, only Martha can help. The watch is still missing, and the Family of Blood will do anything to get their hands on a Time Lord...

  • Cast & Crew
  • Paul Cornell

  • Julie Gardner

  • Russell T. Davies

  • Charles Palmer (III)

  • Jessica Hynes

    Nurse Joan Redfern

  • Fan Reviews (26)
  • pffft

    By gpph, Dec 14, 2013

  • The Family of Blood

    By TrueTvWatcher, Nov 08, 2012

  • “Family of blood” was, at times, excellent. The action – with the young military students being called to action a year earlier than history intended - was amazing. However there is a "But" coming....

    By rickyn2, Jun 03, 2007

  • So-so...

    By histnerd, Sep 08, 2007

  • While extolling the many virtues of Human Nature last week, I speculated that we might be celebrating the arrival of the best Doctor Who story since the series returned if Part Two, The Family Of Blood, was of similar quality. So. Was it? Let's discuss.

    By vbkzlfie, Jul 14, 2008

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (21)

    • Martha: Because I love him to bits, and I hope to God he won't remember me saying that.

    • Martha: I'm training to be a doctor. Not an alien doctor, a proper doctor, a doctor of medicine. Joan: Well, that certainly is nonsense. Women might train to be doctors, but hardly a skivvy and hardly one of your colour. Martha: Oh, d'you think? (holds up hand) Bones of the hand. Carpal bones, proximal row: scaphoid, lunate, triquetral, pisiform. Distal row: trapezium, trapezoid, capitate, hamate. Then the metacarpal bones, extending in three distinct phalanges: proximal, middle, distal. Joan: You read that in a book. Martha: Yes, to pass my exams!

    • Latimer: I just wanted to say goodbye and thank you, because I’ve seen the future and now know what must be done. It’s coming, isn’t it? The biggest war ever. Martha: You don’t have to fight. Latimer: I think we do. Martha: You could get hurt. Latimer: Well, so could you, travelling round with him, but it’s not going to stop you.

    • (After dispatching the Family, the Doctor goes back to see Joan) Joan: You look the same. Goodness, you must forgive my rudeness. I… find it difficult to look at you. Doctor, I must call you Doctor. Where is he, John Smith? The Doctor: He’s in here somewhere. Joan: Like a story. Could you change back? The Doctor: Yes. Joan: Will you? The Doctor: No. Joan: I see. Well, then… He was braver than you in the end, that ordinary man. You chose to change; he chose to die. The Doctor: Come with me. Joan: I’m sorry? The Doctor: Travel with me. Joan: As what? The Doctor: My companion. Joan: But that’s not fair. What must I look like to you, Doctor? I must seem so very small. The Doctor: No. We could start again; I’d like that. You and me, we could try at least, because everything that John Smith is and was, I’m capable of that too. Joan: I can’t. The Doctor: Please come with me. Joan: I can’t. The Doctor: Why not? Joan: John Smith is dead, and you look like him. The Doctor: But he’s here, inside. If you look in my eyes. Joan: Answer me this, just one question, that’s all. If the Doctor had never visited us, never chosen this place on a whim, would anybody here have died? (The Doctor cannot answer her) You can go.

    • Baines: (voice-over) He never raised his voice, that was the worst thing. The fury of the Time Lord, and then we discovered why. Why this Doctor, who had fought with gods and demons, why he’d run away from us and hidden. He was being kind. He wrapped my father in unbreakable chains, forged in the heart of a dwarf star. He tripped my mother into the event horizon of a collapsing galaxy, to be imprisoned there. Forever. He still visits my sister, once a year, every year. I wonder if one day he might forgive her, but there she is, can you see? He trapped her inside a mirror. Every mirror. If ever you look at your reflection and see something move behind you, just for a second, that’s her. That’s always her. As for me, I was suspended in time and the Doctor put me to work, standing over the fields of England as their protector. We wanted to live forever, so the Doctor made sure that we did.

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    Notes (4)

    • International Airdates:
      Turkey: December 26, 2010 on CNBC-e

    • Overnight viewing figures for this episode were 6.6 million, with a final viewing figure of 7.21 million.

    • Joan Redfern is another who has declined the offer of travelling with the Doctor. Others who have also declined the offer are Dr. Grace Holloway in Doctor Who: The Movie (1996), Mikey Smith in World War Three [Season 1, Episode 5](2005) and Donna Noble in The Runaway Bride (2006)

    • Unlike Human Nature, David Tennant is only credited as 'The Doctor' in the end credits of this episode.

    Trivia (6)

    • Unlike previous episodes, there is no scientific explanation of the punishments placed on the family (trapping in a mirror, fixed as a scarecrow).

    • The Family were all rewarded with a form of immortality, but not the form they were seeking. This is not the first time a Timelord has rewarded a quest for immortality with eternal imprisonment. In The Five Doctors, in the original series, Rassilon rewarded anyone that sought immortality with a place as a stone carving on his tomb.

    • Baines: He wrapped my father in unbreakable chains forged in the heart of a dwarf star. The last time that dwarf star alloy was mentioned was in the Fourth Doctor story Warriors' Gate, the slaver ship was constructed from it.

    • The war memorial scene at the end was filmed at Llandaff Cathedral in Cardiff.

    • According to director Charles Palmer, the scene involving the aged John Smith took approximately fifteen minutes to shoot (whilst David Tennant had spent around four hours having the prosthetics fitted).

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    Allusions (7)

    • Hutchinson: Coward! Tim Latimer: Oh, yes, sir, every time. This is similar to the response given by the Ninth Doctor to the Dalek Emperor ("Coward, every time!") in "Parting of the Ways"

    • John Smith: So what am I then? Nothing? I'm just a story? Subtle self-reference: John Smith worries that he is just a story, whereas Doctor Who actually is a story.

    • Joan: Can you change back? The Doctor: Yes. Joan: Will you? The Doctor: No. This is very similar to what the Doctor said to Rose in the Children in Need special of 2005.
      Rose: Can you change back? The Doctor: Do you want me to? Rose: Yeah. The Doctor: Oh. Rose: Can you? The Doctor: No.

    • Rocastle: We need water for the Vickers gun. The Vickers .303 Machine Gun became the standard in the British Army from 1912 to 1960. Being water-cooled, it could fire continuously for long periods. Heat engendered by the rapid fire soon boiled the water and caused a powerful emission of steam, which was condensed by passing it through a tube into a canvas bag of water. By this means the gun could continue to fire without a cloud of steam giving its position away to the enemy.

    • Vicar: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them. This is a quote from Laurence Binyon's poem 'For The Fallen' (1914). Whilst seven stanzas long, the third and fourth stanzas (as can be heard quoted in this episode) are often used at Remembrance Day and Remembrance Sunday services, as well as ANZAC Day, as seen here.

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