Doctor Who

Episode Christmas Special

The Christmas Invasion

Aired Saturday 8:00 PM Dec 25, 2005 on BBC America



  • Trivia

    • The Doctor says the fruit he's throwing is a satsuma. It's actually a clementine.

    • The Sycorax ship's arrival sets off a sonic boom sufficient to shatter windows. However, it doesn't knock anyone off of the roofs, it doesn't set off any car alarms, it doesn't knock off any (suspiciously green in December) leaves from the trees, or generate a tidal surge from the Thames.

    • When morning comes and the A-Positives are standing on the Tower of London, in the next shot it's not yet sunrise in Paris. Paris is an hour ahead of London.

    • It's not clear how the Doctor's words "Doesn't she look tired?" set off Harriet's removal. He says it to only one person, her aide Adam. Yet in a matter of hours, it's all over the news. First, it's not clear why Adam, who is presumably loyal to Harriet, would repeat the words to anyone. Second, the words and their consequences are all over the news, on Christmas Day, when there has just been an alien invasion and thousands of people walking up to roofs to kill themselves. And that after Harriet apparently saved the world from the aliens.

    • It's never explained who delivered the lethal Christmas Tree. The Sycorax aren't on Earth yet and don't know about the Doctor. If it's the "pilot fishes," Jackie makes no comment about how they looked like Santas. And if it were the pilot fishes, why would they drop off a tree and leave, instead of going inside and capturing the Doctor with minimal resistance? Plus... the tree is a killing machine. It's established that the pilot fishes want the Doctor alive as a power source. However, the tree is trying to kill him.

    • The Doctor: Cos' quite by chance, I'm still within the first 15 hours of my regeneration cycle. Which means I've got just enough residual cellular energy to do this. [holds out arm and hand regrows].

      Though the "15 hours" revelation was a new piece of the Doctor Who legend, this is not the first time we have seen evidence that a Time Lord body does not "Set" immediately after a regeneration. In the original series "Destiny of the Daleks" Romana is seen regenerating, changing her looks several times before settling on the appearance of Princess Astra.

    • A deleted scene for this episode shows the Doctor congratulating Harriet Jones for her victory in the election, attempting to say "Fantastic", a word commonly said by the 9th Doctor, from whom he had just regenerated, but failing, apparently due to the shape of his new teeth, as stated at the end of "The Parting of the Ways". However, since this scene was deleted, he ends up saying it at the end of this episode, and in "The Girl in the Fireplace", both times as a reference to the 9th Doctor.

    • The opening cut in the wall of Jackie's apartment by the tree appears to be far too smooth, and looks more like it was made by a cookie cutter mould than by a rough edged Christmas tree.

    • In the opening teaser the TARDIS appears, slams into and damages two buildings, then hits the front of a moving red van before skidding into some trash cans and stopping. Oddly, after this has happened, people are seen in the background calmly standing around and nobody gets out of the van nor does anyone attempt to see if the person in the van is all right.

    • There is an interesting confluence of "fact" and "fiction" in this episode. The Doctor makes a reference to himself in a dressing gown as very much like Arthur Dent, the lead character of Douglas Adams's The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy series. Adams served as a writer and script editor on the original Doctor Who series where he inserted a side joke into the script for the first episode of Destiny Of The Daleks involving Oolon Caluphid, a character from the Guide. The Doctor is reading Caluphid's Origins Of The Universe.

    • When the Doctor is trying to figure out what to wear, he holds up against himself David Tennant's costume from Casanova.

    • At the end of this episode it is implied that Harriet Jones is finished as Prime Minister. This is despite the fact that the Ninth Doctor told Rose in World War Three that Harriet served three consecutive terms as Prime Minister. That would mean she would have been in office for up to fifteen years. Yet in this episode it is apparent that not a lot of time have passed since Jackie and Mickey last saw Rose in Parting of the Ways. Has the Doctor altered history?

      Another thing is that Harriet told the Doctor that she won in a landslide yet she seems in danger of losing a no confidence vote mentioned in the news bulletin. If Harriet has such a big majority in Parliament this would mean for her to lose the vote, a mass defection from her own ranks would have to vote against her. In reality a mass defection of Government MPs bringing down their own government is very unlikely.

      The commentary for the episode on the BBC website, however, gives the impression that her career does not survive.

    • This is the first episode of the new series of Doctor Who to show any part of the TARDIS other than the central control chamber.

    • The wardrobe room where the Doctor chooses his outfit includes every previous Doctor's' outfit in it, according to the commentary track on the BBC website.

    • Several scenes were filmed in Cardiff city centre during summer 2005. These include scenes of people standing on the rooftops under the Sycorax control and the scene where Mickey and Rose are attacked by the robotic Santas.

    • When Rose addresses the Sycorax and tells them to leave, she mentions several adversaries that she and the Ninth Doctor faced: the Slitheen (seen in Aliens Of London, World War Three and Boom Town), the Gelth (in The Unquiet Dead), the Jagrafess (in The Long Game) and the Daleks (in Dalek, Bad Wolf and The Parting Of The Ways).

  • Quotes

    • Sycorax Leader: You stand as this world's champion?
      The Doctor: Thank you. I've no idea who I am, but you've just summed me up.

    • The Doctor: That was murder!
      Harriet Jones: That was defense.

    • Sycorax Leader: (via translator) "The yellow girl, she has the clever blue box. Therefore she speaks for your planet."
      Harriet Jones: But, she can't!
      Rose: Yeah, I can.
      Mickey: Don't you dare.
      Rose: Someone's got to be the Doctor.
      Harriet Jones: They'll kill you!
      Rose: It never stopped him. (Rose very nervously addresses the assembled Sycorax) I, um...I address the Sycorax... according to... article fifteen of the Shadow Proclamation. I command you to leave this world with all the authority of... the Slitheen Parliament of Raxicoricofallapatorius and, um... the Gelth Confederacy... as, uh, sanctioned... by the Mighty Jagrafess and... ooh, the Daleks! Now, leave this planet in peace!

    • The Doctor: My head, argh, I'm having a neuron implosion. I need...
      Jackie: What do you need?
      The Doctor: I need...
      Jackie: Just say! Tell me, tell me, tell me.
      The Doctor: I need..
      Jackie: Painkillers? Aspirin?
      The Doctor: I need...
      Jackie: Codeine, paracetamol? Oh, I don't know, Pepto-Bismol?
      The Doctor: I need...
      Jackie: Liquid paraffin? Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E!
      The Doctor: I need...
      Jackie: Is it food? Something simple. Bowl of soup? Nice bowl of soup? Soup and a sandwich? Oh, soup and a little ham sandwich?
      The Doctor: I need you to shut up.
      Jackie: Oh, he hasn't changed that much, has he!?!

    • Jackie: I'm gonna be killed by a Christmas tree!!!

    • The Doctor: (in pain) We haven't got much time. If there's pilot fish then... why is there an apple in my dressing gown?
      Jackie: Oh, that's Howard's, sorry.
      The Doctor: He keeps apples in his dressing gown?
      Jackie: He gets hungry...
      The Doctor: What, he gets hungry in his sleep?
      Jackie: Sometimes.
      (The Doctor groans and doubles over in pain)

    • The Doctor: How am I gonna react when I see this... A great big threatening button. A great big threatening button which must not be pressed under any circumstances. Am I right?

    • The Doctor: This new hand, it's a fightin' hand!

    • The Doctor: See, that's the thing, I'm the Doctor, but beyond that, I... I just don't know. I literally do not know who I am. So I'm testing. Am I funny? Am I sarcastic? Sexy? (winks at Rose) A right old misery? Life and soul? Right-handed, left-handed, a gambler, a fighter, a coward, a traitor, a liar, a nervous wreck? I mean, judging by the evidence, I've certainly got a gob!

    • The Doctor: Now, first things first. Be honest. How do I look?
      Rose: Umm... different.
      The Doctor: Good different or bad different?
      Rose: Just... different.
      The Doctor: Am I... ginger?
      Rose: No, you're just sort of brown.
      The Doctor: Oh, I wanted to be ginger. I've never been ginger! And you, Rose Tyler, fat lot of good you were. You gave up on me. Oh, that's rude. Is that the sort of man I am now? Am I rude? Rude and not ginger.

    • Doctor: Ah! Blood control! I haven't seen blood control for years!

    • Danny Llewellyn: But if they're not from the surface, then they might not be from Mars itself. Maybe they're not actual Martians.
      Major Blake: Of course not. Martians look completely different.

    • The Doctor: By the ancient rites of combat I forbid you to scavenge here for the rest of time. And when you go back to the stars and tell others of this planet... When you tell them of its riches, its people, its potential... When you talk of Earth, then make sure that you tell them this... It is defended!

    • The Doctor: From the day they arrive on this planet ... blinking step into the sun, there is more to see than can ever be seen, more to do than, no hold on... (Pause) ... Sorry, that's The Lion King...

    • Major Blake: I'm getting demands from Washington, ma'am. The President's insisting that he takes control of the situation.
      Harriet Jones: You can tell the President- and please use these exact words- he's not my boss and he's certainly not turning this into a war.

    • Harriet Jones: Tell them to fire!

    • Harriet Jones: (in a live television broadcast) Did we ask about the Royal Family? (After listening to someone) ...oh. They are on the roof.

    • Newsreader: Off the record, government sources are calling this, our longest night.

    • Mickey: Tea. Like we're having a picnic while the world comes to an end. It's very British!

    • The Doctor: Don't you think she looks tired?

    • The Doctor: (opens the door of the TARDIS) Did you miss me?

    • Rose: Both working.
      Jackie: What do you mean, both?
      Rose: Well, he's got two hearts.
      Jackie: Oh, don't be stupid.
      Rose: He has.
      Jackie: Anything else he's got two of?

    • Harriet Jones: And then tell them; this planet is armed and we do not surrender.

    • Rose: Mum, look in the sky. There is a great big alien invasion and I don't know what to do, alright?

    • The Doctor: No second chances. I'm that sort of man.

    • Harriet Jones: What about Torchwood?
      Major Blake: Still working on it. Bear in mind they just lost a third of their staff.
      Harriet Jones: But do they have what we need?
      Major Blake: Yes, ma'am.
      Harriet Jones: Well, tell them to hurry up.

    • Jackie: What do you mean that's the Doctor? Doctor Who?

    • Harriet Jones: Doctor? Are you out there? We need you. I don't know what to do ... Help us, Doctor, please, help us.

  • Notes

    • This Christmas episode was filmed in July and 500 supporting artists were hired to play the British public.

    • A teaser trailer aired on the BBC website from December 2nd 2005.

    • A special preview of this episode was available to watch on the Doctor Who Season One boxset in the form of "Backstage at Christmas"

    • Featured Music: Merry Christmas Everybody (Slade)

    • With the filming of this episode Doctor Who became the first television drama to be granted permission to film atop the Tower of London.

    • Whilst the Ninth Doctor spoke with a Northern accent, the Tenth Doctor's is distinctly an Estuary English one. In an interview on BBC Radio One in December 2005, David Tennant said that a line had been scripted for The Christmas Invasion explaining that the newly regenerated Doctor had imprinted on Rose's accent, "like a chick hatching from an egg," but that it was cut from the final programme.

    • The Doctor's hand that the Sycorax leader cuts off is featured frequently in the Doctor Who spinoff, Torchwood. The hand also has importance in the final episodes of series three and four.

    • The prototype of the Sycorax swords was auctioned on eBay to raise funds for the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity. It raised £920.51

    • The Clearwell caves played the inside of the Sycorax spaceship, while the outside was played by a slag heap in Barry Island.

    • It took 22 days to film this episode with 28 cameras and soundtapes.

    • When the Sycorax ship was flying over London, a shot of the Houses of Parliament is seen and Big Ben has a construction tower on it. This shows the re-building of Big Ben, after the events of Aliens of London, where the clock was destroyed.

      In the Doctor Who Magazine Series Two Companion, Russell T Davies said that he originally planned for Harriet Jones to re-open Big Ben, only for it to be destroyed again! However, this never materialised in the script due to budget issues.

    • International Airdates:
      Australia: July 8, 2006 on ABC
      US: September 29, 2006, on SciFi
      Turkey: July 18, 2009 on CNBC-e

    • The opening of this episode - where we see the Moon and then zoom into a suburban area outside London - is the exact same opening shot of the first episode in the new series, Rose, and in Army of Ghosts.

    • The name "Torchwood" is a reference to an event that occurred during filming of the first season. In order to prevent theft of the tapes by fans, during the shipping and editing process the series was codenamed "Torchwood", an anagram of "Doctor Who". This is also the name of an upcoming spinoff featuring the character Captain Jack

    • During transmission, the official BBC Doctor Who website carried a message from Prime Minister Harriet Jones reading: "Switch this website off for Britain."

    • The Doctor now calls Mickey by his correct name, unlike his ninth incarnation, where he repeatedly called Mickey 'Ricky'.

    • An average of 9.4 million viewers watched this episode on its original Christmas Day broadcast.

    • The Welsh newsreader (Jason Mohammed) is actually a regular newsreader on BBC Wales news.

    • At the end of this episode, BBC show a montage of short clips for Season 2 of the new Doctor Who.

    • The first full trailer of this episode aired on BBC television from Sunday 11th December 2005 - although the Doctor was not featured at all!

  • Allusions

    • The Doctor: And Harriet Jones MP for Flydale North! Blimey, it's like 'This Is Your Life'!

      This Is Your Life was a television series originally aired in the United States from 1952 to 1961, and again in 1972 on NBC. A version of it continued to air in the United Kingdom on BBC1 from 1955 to 2003, and another version is still running in Australia. The format of the show was simple: the host would surprise someone (usually a celebrity or public figure, occasionally an ordinary citizen) and, consulting his "red book," conduct a biography of the subject in a television studio. The subject would be presented with family members and old friends, reunited with old acquaintances, and often shed a tear when a personal tragedy was recounted.

    • Newsreader: Off the record, Government sources are calling this, our longest night.

      This is a play on the term The Longest Day, which has become synonymous with the D-Day landings at Normandy in June 1944. The origin of the term comes from a quote by Erwin Rommel: "...the first 24 hours of the invasion will be decisive...the fate of Germany depends on the outcome...for the Allies, as well as Germany, it will be the longest day."

    • The Doctor: Sorry, that's The Lion King.

      The Lion King is a 1994 animated feature film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Considered to many as the best Disney film of all time, it is the 32nd animated feature in the Disney animated feature series, and the third highest-grossing animated feature film ever released in the United States. The lyrics The Doctor quoted are from the theme song 'Circle of Life'.

    • AMNN Logo

      When news of the Sycorax invasion spreads across the world, we are shown a portion of an AMNN news broadcast. In the background one sees the AMNN logo, which bears a passing resemblance to the logo for CNN, an American-based 24-hour news network.

    • Sycorax
      The alien villains of this episode are named after the much talked about (but never seen) witch from Shakespeare's "The Tempest".

    • The Doctor: Ahh, not bad for a man in his Jim-Jams. Very Arthur Dent, now there was a nice man.
      A reference to Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy's universe trekking Arthur Dent, written by former Doctor Who writer and script editor Douglas Adams. In which Arthur was awoken by bulldozers attempting to demolish his house and as a consequence ends up hitchhiking around the universe in his dressing gown and pyjamas.