At the end of Last of the Time Lords, a ship crashes through the side of the TARDIS, mid flight, and a life ring bearing the name 'Titanic' is thrown towards the Doctor - what on Earth is going on?
Jessica Martin, who provides the voice of the Queen, also appeared on the classic series, playing Mags in The Greatest Show In The Galaxy.
The statement by the Doctor that once the TARDIS is set adrift, it's programmed to lock onto the nearest centre of gravity seems to contradict the actions in the classic episode Four to Doomsday when the Fifth Doctor was required to step outside the Urbankan ship and use the inertia from a thrown cricket ball to propel himself to the TARDIS as it is floating away. Given that there were no planets within range the TARDIS should have locked back on to the ship.
For this episode's American premier on the Sci-Fi channel, the scene in which Mr. Copper reveals his dubious past was cut out, presumably for time's sake. However, this causes a major goof for the American viewer at the end of episode when Copper mentions that he expects to be arrested once the police find out who he really is.
ASTRID is an anagram of TARDIS
The Doctor states that he is 903 years old. This contradicts previous statements about the Doctor's age, as the Seventh Doctor states his age as 953 in the original series episode Time and the Rani. Though that itself is consistent with The Leisure Hive in which he admits to rounding down to hide his true age.
The meteors that strike the Titanic had fiery tails. The Titanic was outside the Earth's atmosphere, so there would be no friction to heat up the meteors to cause the fiery tails. This suggests, along with their capacity for changing course, that they weren't meteors at all.
The Doctor: Take me to your leader. (pause) I've always wanted to say that.
The Doctor seems to be suffering from slight memory loss, because he has already said that twice, once to a guard in the classic episode The Face of Evil, and again to the police in The Aliens of London before they escort him to Downing Street.
Bernard Cribbins appears as the news vendor in the deserted London street. He previously appeared in the Dr Who Feature Film: Daleks - Invasion of Earth 2150 AD, making him the only actor to appear in both the new TV series and one of the films.
Before the asteroids collide with the ship, a red alert is given on the radar display. This appears to contradict The Empty Child where the Doctor stated that the universal colour for danger is mauve, red being considered too camp. However, since the ship was modelled after an Earth ship and traditions, it would also make sense they used red alerts on purpose - perhaps a little ironic joke from Max Capricorn.
The Doctor: Yeah, one of these days, it might snow for real.
In the previous Christmas episodes, the 'snow' was caused by ash from the Sycorax spaceship in 'The Christmas Invasion', and the Doctor uses "basic atmospheric excitation" supplied by the TARDIS in 'The Runaway Bride'.
It is also a reference to the fact that despite the tradition to depict Christmas in the UK as covered in snow, for most of Britain a White Christmas is quite rare. The beginning of January generally sees the start of the snowy season for most of the UK. White Christmases were more frequent in the 18th and 19th centuries, even more so before the change of calendar in 1752 which effectively brought Christmas day back by 12 days. Ironically the last official White Christmas in the UK was in 2004, the year before the first New Doctor Who Christmas special.
When the Doctor is talking to Astrid about how he got on the Titanic, he tells her there was an accident and he hadn't put the shields up on the TARDIS. In the Children In Need scene Time Crash, the Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison) warns the Tenth Doctor not to forget to put the shields back up as he disappears. The Titanic crashes into the TARDIS before he has the chance to.
BBC newsreader Jason Mohammed appears as himself to do the Christmas Day news report of the Queen staying in Buckingham Palace. Jason has previously appeared in the show as a newsreader in The Christmas Invasion as well as in The Sarah Jane Adventures story Whatever Happened To Sarah Jane?
This is not the first episode of Doctor Who which features Queen Elizabeth II. The classic Seventh Doctor serial Silver Nemesis (1988) is set in Windsor and professional lookalike Mary Reynolds plays the Queen, who narrowly avoids bumping into the Doctor and Ace.
Bernard Cribbins (Wilfred Mott) previously appeared in the 1966 film Daleks - Invasion Earth 2150 AD, based on the 6-part episode The Dalek Invasion of Earth shown in 1964. He also appeared in the Big Finish Productions audio play Horror of Glam Rock. He turned up on set with a suitcase full of Christmas props, complete with holly from his own garden seen in the episode. He was that popular on set he has been invited back for a part in season 4.
By the Doctor's estimates, £1 million is worth 50 million credits. By the same conversion, Foon Van Hoff spent £100 on phoning in to win tickets to the 'Titanic' cruise.
When the Doctor and Astrid come to Earth and talk to Wilfred, references are made to the previous Christmas episodes The Christmas Invasion and The Runaway Bride.
In this episode, the Doctor meets somebody called Alonso (Midshipman Frame). This is something which he has been waiting for since he began using the phrase "Allons-y" in the 2006 episode Army of Ghosts, to allow him to say "Allons-y Alonso."
Foon: Have a buffalo wing. They must be enormous, these buffalo...so many wings!
The Doctor: Right, Foon, Astrid, Banakaffalatta... can I just call you Banna?
Banakaffalatta: No. Banakaffalatta.
Mr. Copper: So Great Britain is part of Europea and just across the British Channel you've got Great France and Great Germany?
The Doctor: No, no it's just France and Germany, only Britain is Great.
Mr. Copper: And they're all at war with the continent of Hamerica.
The Doctor: No, well, not yet. Ah, you could argue that one.
The Doctor: Where are you going?
Mr. Copper: I've no idea.
The Doctor: No, me neither.
Mr. Copper: But Doctor… I won't forget her.
Mr. Copper: So I suppose you'll be off?
The Doctor: The open sky.
Mr. Copper: And… what about me?
The Doctor: I travel alone. It's best that way.
Mr. Copper: What am I supposed to do?
The Doctor: Give me that credit card.
Mr. Copper: (hands the Doctor the card) It's just petty cash, spending money. It's all done by computer. I didn't really know the currency, so I thought a million might cover it
The Doctor: A million? Pounds?
Mr. Copper: Enough for trinkets?
The Doctor: Mr. Copper, a million pounds is worth fifty million credits.
Mr. Copper: How much?
The Doctor: (pause whilst thinking) Fifty million and fifty-six.
Mr. Copper: I… I've got money.
The Doctor: Yes, you have. (hands the card back)
Mr. Copper: Oh, my word. Oh, my boy. Oh, my goodness me! I… Yah-hah!
The Doctor: It's all yours. Planet Earth. Now, that's a retirement plan. Just you… be careful though.
Mr. Copper: I will, I will, oh, I will!
The Doctor: No interfering. I don't want any trouble. Just… have a nice life.
Mr. Copper: I can have a house. A proper house with a garden and a door… oh, Doctor, I will make you proud!
Mr. Copper: (on Earth, as snow falls) You know, between you and me, I don't think this snow is real. I think it's the ballast from the Titanic salvage entering the atmosphere.
The Doctor: Yeah, one of these days, it might snow for real.
Mr. Copper: (about Rickston) Of all the people to survive, he is not the one you would have chosen, is he? But if you could choose, Doctor, if you could decide who lives and who dies, that would make you a monster.
Mr. Copper: (about the molecular version of Astrid) She's just atoms, Doctor. An echo with the ghost of consciousness. She's stardust.
The Doctor: Astrid Peth, citizen of Stow, the woman who looked at the stars and dreamt of travelling… there is an old tradition. (The Doctor kisses Astrid) Now you can travel forever. (He points the sonic screwdriver at a window, which opens) You're not falling, Astrid… you're flying.
(Astrid's molecules fly out of the window)
Max Capricorn: (to the Doctor) A shame we couldn't work together. You're rather good. All that banter yet not a word wasted. Time for me to retire. The Titanic is falling, the sky will burn. Let the Christmas inferno commence!
The Doctor: Business is failing then you wreck the ship, so that makes things even worse. Oh, yes. No. Yes! The business isn't failing, it's failed. Past tense.
Max Capricorn: My own board voted me out. Stabbed me in the back.
The Doctor: If you had a back. So… you scupper the ship, wipe out any survivors just in case anyone's rumbled you, and the board find their shares halved in value. Oh, but that's not enough. No, because if a Max Capricorn ship hits the Earth, it destroys an entire planet. Outrage back home, scandal! The business is wiped out.
Max Capricorn: And… the whole board thrown in jail for mass murder.
The Doctor: While you sit there, safe inside the impact chamber.
Max Capricorn: I have men waiting to retrieve me from the ruins and enough off-world accounts to retire me to the beaches of Penhaxico 2 where the ladies- so I'm told- are very fond of… metal.
The Doctor: So that's the plan. A retirement plan. Two thousand people on this ship, six billion underneath us, all of them slaughtered and why? Because Max Capricorn is a loser.
Max Capricorn: I never lose!
The Doctor: You can't even sink the 'Titanic'!
Max Capricorn: Oh, but I can, Doctor! I can cancel the engines from here.
(The Doctor overrides a group of Host in order to ask questions)
The Doctor: That gives me three questions. Three questions to save my life. Am I right?
Host: Information: correct.
The Doctor: No! That wasn't one of them! I didn't mean it, that's not fair. Can I start again?
Host: Information: no.
The Doctor: No! No, no, no, that wasn't a question either! Blimey. One question left. So… you've been given orders to kill all the survivors. But survivors must therefore be passengers or staff. But not me. I'm not a passenger, I'm not staff. Go on, scan me. You must have bio-records. No such person on board. I don't exist. Therefore you can't kill me. Therefore I'm a stowaway, and stowaways should be arrested and taken to the nearest figure of authority. I reckon the nearest figure of authority is on Deck 31. Final question: am I right?
Host: Information: correct.
The Doctor: Brilliant. Take me to your leader. (pause) I've always wanted to say that.
Astrid: I'm sort of… unemployed now, so I was thinking… that blue box is kinda small, but I could squeeze in? Like a stowaway?
The Doctor: It's not always safe.
Astrid: So you need someone to take care of you. I've got no one back on Stow, no family, just me. What d'you think? Can I come with you?
The Doctor: Yeah, I'd like that.
(The Doctor overrides a Host to in order to ask questions)
Host: Information: state request.
The Doctor: Good. Right. You've been ordered to kill the survivors, but why?
Host: Information: no witnesses.
The Doctor: But this ship's going to fall on the Earth and kill everyone. The human race has nothing to do with the Titanic so that contravenes your orders, yes?
Host: Information: incorrect.
The Doctor: But why do you want to destroy the Earth?
Host: Information: it is the plan
The Doctor: What plan?
Host: Information: protocol grants you only three questions. These three questions have been used.
The Doctor: Well, you could have warned me!
Host: Information: now you will die.
(Bannakaffalatta uses an electo-magnetic pulse to defeat the Hosts then falls over)
Astrid: He's used all his power.
Bannakaffalatta: Did good?
Astrid: You saved our lives.
Bannakaffalatta: Bannakaffalatta happy.
Astrid: We can recharge you, get you to a power-point, plug you in.
Bannakaffalatta: Too late.
Astrid: No, but… you've got to get me that drink, remember?
Bannakaffalatta: Pretty girl.
Mr. Copper: (as the Doctor seals the door against the Hosts) You're leaving us trapped, wouldn't you say?
The Doctor: Never say 'trapped', just 'inconveniently circumstanced'.
The Doctor: Mr. Copper. This degree in Earthonomics. Where's it from?
Mr. Copper: Honestly?
The Doctor: Just between us.
Mr. Copper: Mrs. Golightly's Happy Travelling University and Dry Cleaners.
Astrid: You… you lied to the company? To get the job?
Mr. Copper: I wasted my life on Stow. I was a travelling salesman, always on the road, and I reached retirement with nothing to show for it. Not even a home. And Earth sounded so exotic.
The Doctor: Hm. I suppose it is, yeah.
Astrid: How come you know it so well?
The Doctor: I was sort of… a few years ago, I was sort of made… well, sort of… homeless and… there was the Earth.
Astrid: This Christmas thing. What's it all about?
The Doctor: Long story. I should know, I was there. I got the last room.
(Astrid finds Bannakaffalatta lying on the floor)
Astrid: Bannakaffalatta, what's wrong?
Astrid: What is it?
Bannakaffalatta: Can't say.
Astrid: Are you hurt?
Astrid: Of what?
Bannakaffalatta: Poor Bannakaffalatta. (lifts his shirt to reveal robotic parts on his chest)
Astrid: You're a cyborg.
Bannakaffalatta: Had accident, long ago. Secret.
Astrid: No, but everything's changed now. Cyborgs are getting equal rights. They passed a law back on Stow, you can even get married.
Bannakaffalatta: Marry… you?
Astrid: (smiles) Well, you can buy me a drink first. Come on, let's recharge you. (presses buttons on his chest) Just stay there for a bit.
Bannakaffalatta: Tell no one.
Astrid: I promise.
The Doctor: What's going on up there?
Astrid: I think Bannakaffalatta and I just got engaged.
Rickston: This whole thing could come crashing down any minute!
The Doctor: Oh, Rickston, I forgot. Did you get that message?
Rickston: No. What message?
The Doctor: Shut up!
Mr. Copper: (as they travel through the ruined Titanic) This is very much in the spirit of Christmas. It's a festival of violence. They say that human beings only survive depending on whether they've been good or bad. It's barbaric.
The Doctor: Actually, that's not true. Christmas is a time of peace and thanksgiving and… What am I on about? My Christmases are always like this.
Engineer: (pinned beneath wreckage) Don't just stand there! Get this thing off me! Host, that's an order. Help me! That is your job, isn't it?
Host: Information: we now have only one function.
Engineer: And what's that?
Host: Information: to kill.
(The Doctor and Astrid talk to a newspaper seller called Wilfred about the empty streets)
The Doctor: Where's everybody gone?
Wilfred: Oh-ho. Scared.
The Doctor: Right. Yes. Scared of what?
Wilfred: Where have you been living? London at Christmas. Not safe, is it?
The Doctor: Why?
Wilfred: Well, it's them up above, isn't it? Look, Christmas before last, we had that big bloody spaceship, everyone standing on the roof. Then last year, that Christmas star, electrocuting all over the place, draining the Thames…
Astrid: This place is amazing!
Wilfred: This year, God knows what, so everybody's scarpered, gone to the country. All except me and Her Majesty.
(The Doctor and Astrid teleport to Earth from the Titanic and find the streets deserted)
The Doctor: It should be full. It should be busy. Something's wrong.
Astrid: But it's beautiful!
The Doctor: Really? Do you think so? It's just a street. The Pyramids are beautiful and New Zealand…
Astrid: It's a different planet. I'm standing on a different planet! There's concrete and shops. Alien shops. Real alien shops! Look, no stars in the sky. (She sniffs) And it smells. It stinks! Oh, this is amazing! Thank you!
Mr. Copper: I am Mr. Copper, the ship's historian, and I shall be taking you to Old London Town in the country of UK, ruled over by Good King Wenceslas. Now, human beings worshipped the great god Santa, a creature with fearsome claws, and his wife Mary and every Christmas Eve, the people of UK go to war with the country of Turkey. They then eat the turkey people for Christmas dinner, like savages.
The Doctor: Excuse me, sorry. Sorry. Where did you get all this from?
Mr. Copper: Well, I have a first-class degree in Earthonomics.
Astrid: I used to watch the ships heading out to the stars and always dreamt of… it sounds daft.
The Doctor: You dreamt of another sky. New sun, new air, new life. A whole universe teeming with life. Why stand still when there's all that life out there?
Astrid: So…you travel a lot?
The Doctor: All the time, just for fun. Well, that's the plan. Never quite works.
Astrid: Must be rich though.
The Doctor: Haven't got a penny. (pause) Stowaway.
Astrid: You're kidding!
The Doctor: Seriously.
The Doctor: Oh, yes.
Astrid: How'd you get on board?
The Doctor: Accident. I've got this sort of… ship thing. I was rebuilding her, left the defences down, bumped into the Titanic. Here I am. Bit of a party, I thought, why not.
Astrid: I should report you.
The Doctor: Go on then.
Astrid: (after a pause) I'll get you a drink. On the house.
The Doctor: Titanic. Who thought of the name?
Host: Information: it was chosen as the most famous vessel of the planet Earth.
The Doctor: Did they tell you why it was famous?
(as the surviving group begins to break down in panic)
The Doctor: First things first -- One. We are going to climb through this ship. B... Two. We are going to reach the bridge. Three. ...or C... We are going to save the Titanic. And, coming in a very low Four, or D, or that little IV in brackets they use in footnotes, Wine... Well, then, follow me!
Rickston: Hang on a minute! Who put you in charge? And who the hell are you, any way?
The Doctor: I'm The Doctor. I'm a Time Lord. I'm from the planet Gallifrey in the constellation of Kasterborous. I'm Nine Hundred and Three Years Old and I'm the man who's going to save your lives and all six billion people on the planet below. (long pause -- the others each look him over with greater appreciation) You have a problem with that?
The Doctor: In that case... Allons-y!
Rickston: You there. Has anyone checked the external shielding?
Host: Information: You are all going to die.
Astrid: You look pretty good for nine hundred and three.
The Doctor: You should see me in the mornings.
The Doctor: What's your first name?
Midshipman Frame: Alonso.
The Doctor: (Astonished) You're kidding me!
Midshipman Frame: What?
The Doctor: Thats something else I've always wanted to say. Allons-y Alonso!
Geoffrey Palmer (Captain Hardaker) has previously starred in two classic Doctor Who serials- the 1970 Jon Pertwee story Doctor Who And The Silurians (as Masters) and the 1972 Jon Pertwee story The Mutants (as The Administrator). His son, Charles Palmer, directed the new series episodes Smith and Jones, The Shakespeare Code, Human Nature, and The Family of Blood.
Clive Swift (Mr. Copper) has also appeared in a classic Doctor Who serial: he played Mr. Jobel in the 1985 Colin Baker story Revelation Of The Daleks.
At the BAFTA Cymru 2008 Awards this episode won Best Director of Photography (drama) for Ernie Vincze, Best sound: BBC Wales Sound Team for Doctor Who, Best Director (drama) for James Strong and for Best Drama Series for Phil Collinson.
Debbie Chazen's father, Arnold Chazen, played a scientist in the 1967 story Patrick Troughton The Moonbase.
United States: April 18, 2008
Australia: July 29, 2008 on ABC
New Zealand: July 6, 2008 on Prime
Turkey: January 30, 2011 on CNBC-e
In distant shots of Max moving in his machine a dummy head is used as there were health and safety concerns about the machine toppling whilst moving. The dummy head was actually one of Mark Gatiss as it was a head cast the effects crew had on hand from an earlier episode The Lazarus Experiment.
At the end of Last of the Time Lords the Titanic is shown to tear through the fabric of the TARDIS. In the later mini episode Time Crash (for Children in Need), the collision was shown to have dislodged the wall panels rather than tear them. This is because when Last of the Time Lords, was written Russell T. Davies only had a vague idea of what was to happen next, by the time Time Crash was filmed the Christmas Special was well into production and they had decided upon the mechanical repositioning of the panels to repair the TARDIS, thus they used Time Crash to "rewrite" the collision. The Time Crash episode has been officially released on DVD (R2) on the same disk as Voyage of the Damned.
Composer Murray Gold and arranger Ben Foster make cameo appearances as members of the band in this episode as the guitarist (Gold) and pianist (Foster).
Mr Copper's first name, not revealed in the episode, is Bayldon. His name can be seen on the close-up of the London Credit Bank credit card on the BBC site. The name Bayldon is likely to be in reference to Geoffrey Bayldon, a Shakespearean actor who turned down the role of the First Doctor in 1963. He went on to a guest appearance in The Creature from the Pit and to voice The Doctor in a number of Big Finish audio plays.
As well as all the onscreen references to Douglas Adams there is also an off-screen reference in the fact that this is the 42nd full length episode of the new series.
According to an interview with David Tennant in Doctor Who Magazine, the street the passengers teleport down to in order to do some Christmas shopping was Donovan Street named after Jason Donovan, Kylie Minogue's former co-star in Neighbours.
In reality the street scene was filmed on Working Street in Cardiff, first seen in the new series when the Autons burst out into a supposedly busy London shopping street.
Besides when shown travelling through a straw in Smith and Jones, this episode is the first since the revival of the show in 2005 to show blood, when it appears on the Midshipman's hand after he is shot.
This episode was watched by 13.8m, according to official figures, and was the second most watched programme on Christmas Day. This is the highest viewing figure the updated version of the show has had.
This is the first time that Gallifrey is mentioned as being located in the constellation of Kasterborous since the revival of the series.
In memory of Verity Lambert OBE 1935-2007
Verity Ann Lambert, OBE was an English television and film producer. She was the founding producer of Doctor Who.
This episode has a new opening mix of the main theme tune, at least the second time a new mix has been has been introduced since the new series began, co-incidentally also on a Christmas special (end credits theme changed from The Christmas Invasion).
The Doctor: Unsinkable, that's me.
"The Unsinkable Molly Brown" was a socialite, famed for being one of the survivors of the sinking of the original 'Titanic' (She was played by Kathy Bates in the 1997 Titanic movie).
Foon: Have a buffalo wing. They must be enormous, these buffalo...so many wings!
A dig at American singer Jessica Simpson, who was asked on her show Newlyweds, 'Jessica, you want some buffalo wings?'. She replied 'Sorry I don't eat buffalo.'
The Doctor: Long story. I should know, I was there. I got the last room.
This refers to the Christian gospel story of the birth of Jesus, in which Mary and Joseph slept in a stable in Bethlehem on the night of his birth.
Luke 2:7 And she brought forth her first-born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn
Host: All designation are chosen by Mr Max Capricorn, president of Max, Max, Max, Max.
The Host stuttering over the name Max is in reference to the 1980's virtual presenter Max Headroom. It is a forewarning of the holographic nature of Max Capricorn's public image.
The Doctor: Evening, Passenger 57, terrible memory.
The Doctor introduces himself to the Host as passenger 57, a reference to the action/disaster film of the same name staring Wesley Snipes
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