The Eleventh Hour
3 April 2010
Matt Smith (The Doctor), Karen Gillan (Amy)
Arthur Darvill (Rory Williams), Caitlin Blackwood (Amelia), Nina Wadia (Dr Ramsden), Marcello Magni (Barney Collins), Perry Benson (Ice Cream Man), Annette Crosbie (Mrs Angelo), Tom Hopper (Jeff), Arthur Cox (Mr Henderson), Olivia Colman (Mother), Eden Monteath (Child 1), Merin Monteath (Child 2), David de Keyser (Atraxi Voice), William Wilde (Prisoner Zero Voice), Patrick Moore (Himself).
|| Peter Bennett
After a literally explosive regeneration, the brand new Eleventh Doctor survives a crash-landing to Earth. However, he has little time to recover. With a mysterious crack in a little girl’s wall and a missing alien prisoner, The Doctor is in for an adventure. However, with the TARDIS damaged from the regeneration/crash and the sonic screwdriver destroyed, can The Doctor capture the rogue alien before its jailers burn Earth alive?
When The Doctor tries to signal the Atraxi ship, his sonic screwdriver is destroyed, having been malfunctioning previously in the previous episode. He acquires a new screwdriverof a new design, with a green light, from the TARDIS console as the episode closes. This episode also marks the first appearance of the new interior and exterior TARDIS designs. The TARDIS exterior features the logo of the St John Ambulance, last seen in 1965
When the Atraxi check whether the Earth is protected, flashbacks from both the revived and classic series are shown, including every previous Doctor and monsters including the Sea Devils, Sontarans, Cybermen, Ood and Daleks. Some of these monsters, such as the Hath, did not actually visit Earth on screen.
The TARDIS cloister bell is heard when the engines are about to overheat. The Doctor opens the TARDIS for Amy by snapping his fingers, a technique River Song recalled from The Doctor’s future in “Forest of the Dead”, also written by M offat.
The episode is full of small hidden references to the adventures of the Tenth Doctor, particularly those episodes written by Steven Moffat. The Doctor interjects the phrase “wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey” when speaking to his sonic screwdriver. This phrase originates from the Tenth Doctor’s explanation of time’s non-linearity in M offat’s previous episode “Blink“. Additionally, while inspecting the crack in Amy’s wall early in the episode, he mentions that she’s “had some cowboys in here”, a line directly lifted from the M offat-written” The Girl in the Fireplace“. Finally, when Amy informs him that she is the little girl he had met previously, The Doctor responds with anotheroriginal Tennant line:”What? What? What?”
The M offat-written “The Girl in the Fireplace” is also recalled in the general story line: The Doctor, who acts as “protector” of the main protagonist, encounters a girl, but disappears multiple times for mere minutes, which turn out to be years in the girl’s/woman’s time. The “eye” at the end of “The Eleventh Hour” recalls the security camera aboard the spaceship in “The Girl in the Fireplace.” Furthermore, each episode’s monsters appear at various times through cracks or holes in time and space, and in each The Doctor is initially assumed to be an imaginary friend.
When The Doctor calls back the Atraxi, he refers to their threat to incinerate the Earth as illegal under the Shadow Proclamation, a space government organisation first mentioned in “Rose” and seen in “The Stolen Earth”. He states thatEarth is a fully established level 5 planet by the Proclamation’s standards.
At the end of the episode, The Doctor and Amy talk in front of a device showing a waveform with the exact same shape as the crack in time and space shownearlier in the episode, and which is also seen in later episodes. The Doctor seems to notice, but turns off the device.
The series finale, “The Big Bang“, revisits two scenes from this episode. The opening scene of young Amelia praying for help to with the crack on her wall is reproduced, though in “The Big Bang” the TARDIS does not arrive. In “The Eleventh Hour”, after The Doctor leaves Amelia, she packs a suitcase and waits outside for his return, in “The Big Bang”, Amelia has fallen asleep waiting, but The Doctor does return and tucks her in bed, telling her a tale to her subconscious to assure her help in the future.