Aliens of London


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Aliens of London

Series 1

Episode 4

First Transmitted

16 April 2005

Final Ratings







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Regular Cast

Christopher Eccleston (The Doctor), Billie Piper (Rose)

Guest Cast

Camille Coduri (Jackie Tyler), Noel Clarke (Mickey Smith), Ceris Jones (Policeman), Jack Tarlton (Reporter), Lachele Carl (Reporter), Fiesta Mei Lung (Ru), Basil Chung (Bau), Matt Baker (As himself), Andrew Marr (As himself), Rupert Vansittart (General Asquith), David Verrey (Joseph Green), Navin Chowdhry (Indra Ganesh), Penelope Wilton (Harriet Jones), Annette Badland (Margaret Blaine), Naoko Mori (Doctor Sato), Eric Potts (Oliver Charles), Corey Doabe (Spray Painter), Jimmy Vee (Space Pig), Steve Spiers (Police Commissioner Strickland), Elizabeth Frost, Paul Kasey, Alan Ruscoe (Slitheen).


Written by Russell T. Davies
Directed by Keith Boak
Produced by Julie Garner and Phil Colinson


The Doctor takes Rose home. But when a spaceship crash-lands in the Thames, London is closed off, and the whole world goes on Red Alert. while The Doctor investigates the alien survivor, Rose discovers that her home is no longer a safe haven. Who are the Slitheen?


  • This episode had the working title Aliens of London Part One (World War Three being Part Two).
  • The episode ends on a cliffhanger, the first since episode episode two of Survival. The story continues in World War Three. This is also the first occasion since Invasion of the Dinosaurs in which the first episode of a serial does not share its title with the second.
  • A poster announcing Rose’s disappearance states that she has not been seen since 6 March 2005. However, the BBC-produced UNIT website indicates that the climactic events of Rose happened on 26 March. The same site also dates this episode at either 26 May or 28 June 2006. If the June date is accepted Boom Town (and also The Parting of the Ways) would have to take place in late December 2006 the same week as The Christmas Invasion (dated to 2006 by the Guinevere One website). On the other hand, if only on-screen evidence is accepted, Aliens of London would take place in March 2006, Boom Town in September, and The Parting of the Ways later in the autumn or early winter.
  • The official police poster is the first reference to the Powell Estate on the television series. In whole, the notice says, Rose Tyler has been missing from her home on the Powell Estate since 6 March 2005. Rose is described as 19 years old, 5 feet 4 inches in height, slim build with shoulder-length blonde hair. Anyone with information regarding Rose should contact 0207 946000. The photograph used is one of Billie Piper herself, rather than one of Piper playing Rose. Several other home-made posters are seen on Jackie’s table, including one with a banner headline saying WHERE IS ROSE?.
  • When The Doctor complains of being slapped by Rose’s mother, Rose laughingly remarks, You’re so gay! This remark has caused some controversy in fan circles, some seeing it as an anti-homosexual slur. Davies, who is gay, wrote in an e-mail response that it was the way people talked and claimed that he was trying to provoke discussion by using the phrase.
  • Another running joke, involving the Slitheen suffering from badflatulence (due to the gas exchange) while in their human disguises, was also slightly controversial in fan circles, with some critics disapproving of the style of humour. It did, however, give rise to one of the most quoted lines uttered by the Ninth Doctor during the season: Would you mind not farting while I’m trying to save the world?
  • The scene where the pig-like alien is breaking thought the metal door with Dr Sato watching in shock is reminiscent of an almost identical moment in the Movie, in which the newly-regenerated Eighth Doctor breaks through the metal door of the morgue, terrifying a hospital worker.
  • The production team had intended to suggest that the murdered Prime Minister in this episode was current real-life incumbent Tony Blair. On the DVD commentary for the following episode, producer Phil Collinson explained that they had hired an actor to play the dead body on the understanding that the man was a Tony Blair lookalike. When the resemblance proved disappointing, they decided to avoid showing the body clearly. The suggestion that the body is Blair’s remains in Harriet’s, line I’m hardly one of the babes, a reference to the large number of female Labour Party MPs who entered the House of Commons in Labour’s 1997 general election victory, dubbed Blair’s Babes by the British media. That Tony Blair was elected in The Doctor Who universe was confirmed in Rise of the Cybermen.
  • The armoured personnel carrier seen outside Number 10 is a Saxon, possibly foreshadowing future events.
  • According to Russell T Davies in Doctor Who Magazine, as well as Doctor Who Confidential, the decision to establish the Bad Wolf meme in the series did not occur until after the spur-of-the-moment decision to have the words bad wolf graffiti-painted on the TARDIS subsequently Bad Wolf references were added to the scripts for most of the other Series 1 episodes, and not with standing a few minor or inferred references in the interim, returned in force in the Series 4 episodes Turn Left and Journey’s End. With the origin of the meme established, the mystery that remains is exactly why the words bad wolf were chosen to be spray-painted on the TARDIS in the first place (as opposed to any other phrase).But then, again, perhaps the Little Pig pilot had something to do with it.
  • Although not clearly seen on screen, one of the UNIT officers killed by the Slitheen at the end is wearing the name tag Frost (the tag is seen more clearly in publicity stills). This may have been a reference to the Doctor Who Magazine comic strip character Muriel Frost, who worked for UNIT.
  • The TARDIS key began as an ordinary-looking Yale key, then changed during the Third Doctor’s last season into a more alien looking one, which was also used for the first two seasons of the Fourth Doctor’s tenure. It then reverted to the Yale key for the rest of the run of the original series. The alien key made one last appearance in the TV Movie, it has now returned to looking like an ordinary key, except that it starts to glow when the TARDIS is arriving.
  • The Doctor repeatedly refers to Mickey Smith as Ricky. In Rise of the Cybermen, it is discovered that Ricky Smith is the alternate version of Mickey in Pete’s World
  • Eric Potts (Oliver Charles) would later play Lothar Ragpole in Nocturne.
  • As is routine for post-2005 Doctor Who, a NEXT TIME trailer for the next episode is shown at the end of the episode
  • trailer

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