Doctor Who (series 5)


Doctor Who (series 5)
Doctor Who series 5
Doctor Who Series 5.png
DVD box set cover
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of episodes 13
Broadcast
Original channel BBC One
BBC HD
Original run 3 April 2010 (2010-04-03)[1] – 26 June 2010 (2010-06-26)[2]
Home video release
DVD release
Region 1 9 November 2010 (2010-11-09)[3]
Region 2 8 November 2010 (2010-11-08)
Region 4 2 December 2010 (2010-12-02)
Blu-ray Disc release
Region A 9 November 2010 (2010-11-09)
Region B 8 November 2010 (2010-11-08)
Series chronology
← Previous
2008–10 Specials
Next →
Series 6
List of Doctor Who serials

The fifth series of British science fiction television series Doctor Who began on 3 April 2010 with "The Eleventh Hour" and ended with "The Big Bang" on 26 June 2010. The series started production on 20 July 2009 and concluded on 20 March 2010. The series was led by head writer and executive producer Steven Moffat, who took over after the departure of Russell T Davies. The series comprises 13 episodes, six of which Moffat wrote. Piers Wenger and Beth Willis served with Moffat as executive producers, while Tracie Simpson and Peter Bennett served as producers. Referred to by Doctor Who Magazine as Series Thirty-One, the series was produced as Series One, although BBC Programme listings, iPlayer, DVDs and Blu-rays refer to it as Series 5.

This is the first series to feature Matt Smith as the eleventh incarnation of the Doctor, an alien who travels through time and space in his TARDIS, which appears to be a British police box on the outside. It introduces Karen Gillan as the Doctor's companion Amy Pond. Arthur Darvill appears as Amy's fiancé Rory Williams, who is in six episodes and travels with the Doctor and Amy. Alex Kingston returns as River Song, a mysterious woman from the Doctor's future who in this series summons the Doctor on two occasions. The series contains a main story arc concerning a pattern of cracks in the universe which appear over several episodes, sometimes going unnoticed by the characters. It is discovered that they have the power to erase things from existance, and this happens to Rory, causing Amy to forget him. In the series finale it is revealed that the cracks were caused by the TARDIS exploding and the Doctor is forced to reboot the universe to the state which it was without the cracks.

Contents

List of episodes

All viewing figures taken by BARB. The table includes total ratings, with BBC One ratings and simulcast BBC HD ratings in brackets.

Story No. Episode Title Directed by Written by UK viewers[4]
(million)
AI Original air date Production
code
203 1 "The Eleventh Hour" Adam Smith Steven Moffat 10.085 86[5] 3 April 2010 (2010-04-03) 1.1
The failing TARDIS crashlands outside the house of seven-year-old Amelia Pond (Caitlin Blackwood), who welcomes newly regenerated Eleventh Doctor into her house to investigate the crack in her bedroom wall. He must use the TARDIS to regulate its engines, and promises he will return in five minutes which Amelia waits for. However, the TARDIS takes him twelve years into the future, where he joins the adult "Amy" Pond and her boyfriend Rory Williams in capturing the shapeshifting alien known as Prisoner Zero who has escaped from the crack in Amy's wall and the failure of which will lead to the destruction of Earth by the glactic police force known as the Atraxi. After the Earth is saved, the Doctor tests the newly remodelled TARDIS and accidentally returns for Amy two years later in her timeline, the night before her wedding to Rory, and where she joins him for the promised travels of space and time. 
204 2 "The Beast Below" Andrew Gunn Steven Moffat 8.422 86[6] 10 April 2010 (2010-04-10) 1.2
The Doctor takes Amy to the distant future, where they explore the Starship UK, a spaceship holding the population of Britain (with the exception of Scotland) after they fled Earth due to dangerous solar flares. They discover that the ship is guided by a Star Whale, who is being tortured out of fear that when let to make its own decisions it will abandon them. Believing that the future cannot go on this way, the Doctor prepares to render Star Whale brain-dead so it will continue to operate the ship but not feel it; however, Amy discovers that it is willing to serve the ship as it could not stand the children crying because of the solar flares. 
205 3 "Victory of the Daleks" Andrew Gunn Mark Gatiss 8.205 84[7] 17 April 2010 (2010-04-17) 1.3
The Doctor and Amy respond to a call from Winston Churchill (Ian McNeice) and visit him during the London Blitz, where he has employed "Ironsides", a scientific creation of Professor Bracewell (Bill Paterson) but which the Doctor recognises as his arch-enemies the Daleks. The Daleks reveal their plan to detonate a device built around Bracewell, who is revealed to be an android, and destroy planet Earth. As the device begins to activate, the Doctor and Amy convince Bracewell that he is human, which deactivates the device. 
206a 4 "The Time of Angels" Adam Smith Steven Moffat 8.590 87[8] 24 April 2010 (2010-04-24) 1.4
River Song (Alex Kingston), a woman from the Doctor's future, summons the Doctor and Amy to help her and Father Octavain (Iain Glen) and his group of militarized clerics destroy the last Weeping Angel in the site of the crashed ship Byzantium on the planet Alfava Metraxis. However, it is revealed that all statues in the stone labyrinth where the ship has crashed are Angels and are becoming more powerful from the radiation leaking from the ship. As the Angels surround the group and several clerics are revealed to be dead, the Doctor destroys the gravity globe that had been causing the labyrinth not to be affected by gravity. 
206b 5 "Flesh and Stone" Adam Smith Steven Moffat 8.495 86[9] 1 May 2010 (2010-05-01) 1.5
In continuation from "The Time of Angels", the group finds themselves thirty feet above at the opening of the Byzantium, which they enter to try escaping from the Weeping Angels. A crack very similar to the one in Amy's bedroom appears in the interior of the ship, which the Doctor discovers erases persons and objects from existance and was caused by an explosion on 26 June 2010. Meanwhile, it is discovered that a projection of an Angel had entered Amy's eye after she had looked into an Angel's eye in the previous episode, and the Doctor intructs her to keep her eyes closed. As the gravity fails, the Weeping Angels fall into the crack, erasing them from history and from Amy's eye, and the Doctor takes Amy to her house on her request. He resists her attempt to seduce him and discovers that the day of Amy and Rory's wedding is 26 June 2010. 
207 6 "The Vampires of Venice" Jonny Campbell Toby Whithouse 7.680 86[10] 8 May 2010 (2010-05-08) 1.6
The Doctor takes Amy and Rory to 16th century Venice as a romantic date, where they meet a man named Guido (Lucian Msamati) whose daughter Isabella (Alisha Bailey) was entered into the House of Calvierri, a school for girls. Guido is distressed because Isabella did not recognize him on the street and bore vampire-like fangs. The Doctor, Amy and Rory investigate the school, where they discover that the city's patron, Rosanna Calvierri (Helen McCrory), is a race of vampiric fish from another planet and has sealed off Venice in attempt to overtake it and make it a place for her race to live after they fled their planet because of the cracks in the universe. She transforms the girls admitted to her school into her race and has ten thousand of her children waiting in the water. Despite the Doctor's reasoning, she activates a storm which will flood Venice, but the Doctor deactivates the device and she sacrifices herself. As they leave, Amy asks Rory to stay and travel with her. 
208 7 "Amy's Choice" Catherine Morshead Simon Nye 7.548 84[11] 15 May 2010 (2010-05-15) 1.7
The Doctor, Amy and Rory find themselves travelling between two realities; in one, Amy and Rory are happily married but are being pursued by elderly people possessed by aliens, while in another they are in a powerless TARDIS that will slowly crash into a cold star which will freeze them to death. A man known as the Dream Lord (Toby Jones) says that he has put them in this trap and they must decide which is real and which is fake and die in the false one to wake up in the real reality and escape the trap. When Rory dies in the future reality, Amy decides that it must be fake because she does not want a life without Rory. At the conclusion it is revealed that psychic pollen had entered the TARDIS and caused the dream state, and the Dream Lord is revealed to be a psychic manifestation of the Doctor's dark side and self-loathing. 
209a 8 "The Hungry Earth" Ashley Way Chris Chibnall 6.493 86[12] 22 May 2010 (2010-05-22) 1.8
The Doctor, Amy and Rory arrive in Wales in 2020, where Dr. Nasreen Chaudhry (Meera Syal) and Tony Mack (Robert Pugh) are drilling into the Earth for a mining experiment. Mack's son-in-law, Mo (Alun Raglan), had previously been dragged below the ground, which then happens to Amy. The Doctor discovers that reptilian humanoids the Silurians have been disturbed by the drilling project and reach the surface, where they kidnap Mo's son Elliot (Samuel Davies). Rory and the Doctor capture one known as Alaya (Neve McIntosh); the Doctor instructs Rory, Tony, and Mo's wife Ambrose (Nia Roberts) to leave Alaya alone as anything done to her may been seen as an act of war. As a Silurian is about to vivisect Amy as he had done to Mo, the Doctor takes Nasreen on the TARDIS below where they discover an immense Silurian civilisation. 
209b 9 "Cold Blood" Ashley Way Chris Chibnall 7.487 85[13] 29 May 2010 (2010-05-29) 1.9
Amy and Mo escape and discover Elliot is being held in an observation chamber. The Doctor is captured and ordered to execution by Alaya's sister Restac (Neve McIntosh), but Amy and Mo interrupt the trial. They contact Rory, Tony, and Ambrose to inform them they are sending a transport up for they and Alaya, the completion of which will leave them all free to return to the surface. However, Ambrose had killed Alaya out of revenge and they return her body to her people. A deal is made that the Silurians will hibernate for a thousand years as humanity was not ready to share the planet with them. Tony and Nasreen decide to stay and hibernate as well. As they leave with Elliot, they find a crack in the cavern which the Doctor reaches into to investigate and pulls out what is later revealed to be a piece of the TARDIS. Before they leave, Restac shoots Rory and he dies and is consumed by the crack, erasing him from existace and Amy's memory altogether. 
210 10 "Vincent and the Doctor" Jonny Campbell Richard Curtis 6.761 86[14] 5 June 2010 (2010-06-05) 1.10
When visiting a museum, the Doctor finds a creature in the window of a church in Vincent van Gogh's The Church at Auvers, and the Doctor takes Amy back to meet Vincent (Tony Curran) and defeat the evil creature. Welcoming them, van Gogh works with the Doctor to find the Krafyis, a lost and blind alien whom only van Gogh can see. Van Gogh kills the creature, though he empathises with its pain. Before leaving, the Doctor and Amy take van Gogh to the present where he discovers that people will admire him, but Amy is devastated to learn that he still committed suicide. 
211 11 "The Lodger" Catherine Morshead Gareth Roberts 6.441 87[15] 12 June 2010 (2010-06-12) 1.11
The TARDIS dematerialises with Amy still inside, leaving the Doctor stranded in present-day Colchester. He tracks the disturbance that caused the TARDIS to behave that way to the second floor of a flat, where people have been persuaded to go up to but have never come down. The Doctor rents part of the downstairs apartment occupied by Craig Owens (James Corden), a man who wishes to confess his love for his close friend Sophie (Daisy Haggard). When Sophie is lured up to the second floor, the Doctor and Craig enter it and discover that it is really a TARDIS-like spaceship disguised by perception filter and has been luring passerby to find a suitable pilot. The fact that Craig does not want to leave counteracts the ship's protocols, and this breaks the ship's hold on the house and allows the TARDIS to land. On the TARDIS, Amy discovers her engagement ring from Rory. 
212a 12 "The Pandorica Opens" Toby Haynes Steven Moffat 7.574 88[16] 19 June 2010 (2010-06-19) 1.12
River Song summons the Doctor and Amy to 102 A.D. where she shows them a painting by Vincent van Gogh that depics the TARDIS exploding and contains the co-ordinents of Stonehenge. Underneath Stonehenge, they discover a prison box called the Pandorica, which is fabled to contain the most powerful and feared being in the universe. However, it is revealed that the Pandorica is empty and an Alliance of the Doctor's enemies arrive to put him in the Pandorica as the deadly cracks in the universe were linked to the TARDIS. The trap, which was constructed from Amy's memories, also contains an Auton version of Rory, who shoots Amy. Meanwhile, the TARDIS took River outside Amy's house on 26 June 2010 and explodes, causing the cracks to widen and the universe to begin erasing. 
212b 13 "The Big Bang" Toby Haynes Steven Moffat 6.696 89[17] 26 June 2010 (2010-06-26) 1.13
The Doctor from the future gives Rory his sonic screwdriver and Rory uses it to get him out of the Pandorica; they place the dead Amy in the Pandorica, which will force her to stay alive once her DNA is given in the form of seven-year-old Amelia in 1996 who places her hand on the Pandorica by way of instructions left by the Doctor. As the universe is collapsing, the Doctor rescues River from the time loop in the exploding TARDIS and realises that if he flew the Pandorica, which contains a restoration field, collided with the exploding TARDIS it would restore the universe as it should have been, though this process erases him from history and closes the cracks. However, Amy is able to bring him back at she and Rory's wedding due to something the Doctor told her as he was being erased, and the newly wedded couple continue to travel with him. 

Supplemental episodes

Two additional scenes were specially filmed for "The Complete Fifth Series" boxset which reveal what occurred between selected regular episodes. The first instalment is set between "The Eleventh Hour" and "The Beast Below", while the second is set between "Flesh and Stone" and "The Vampires of Venice".

Title Directed by Written by UK viewers
(million)
Original air date Production
code
Meanwhile in the TARDIS 1 Euros Lyn Steven Moffat N/A 8 November 2010 (2010-11-08) (home video release)
On board the TARDIS for the first time, Amy asks the Doctor several questions about the TARDIS and the Doctor himself. He reveals they are in space, leading directly into "The Beast Below". 
Meanwhile in the TARDIS 2 Euros Lyn Steven Moffat N/A 8 November 2010 (2010-11-08) (home video release)
The Doctor rejects Amy's advances and Amy access records of his previous companions. The Doctor then decides it is time to take her back to Rory, leading directly into "The Vampires of Venice" 

Casting

Matt Smith (left) was cast as the Eleventh Doctor, while Karen Gillan (right) was cast as his companion Amy Pond.

The series introduced a new incarnation of the Doctor, the Eleventh, played by Matt Smith. This followed the departure of David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor, who left the role to help ease the transition from Davies to Moffat's showrunning.[18] Moffat was looking to cast a middle-aged actor, who was "young enough to run but old enough to look wise".[19] However, Smith, who was only 26 when cast, was the third person to audition and the production team knew "[they] had their man".[20] Smith's agent had called him and suggested that he try out for the role.[21] Moffat later stated that Smith did not appear to be youthful at all.[19] The producers were cautious about casting Smith because they felt that a 26-year-old actor could not play the Doctor adequately; BBC Head of Drama and executive producer Piers Wenger shared the sentiment, but noted that Smith was capable enough to play the role.[22][23] Smith's casting in the role was revealed during an episode of Doctor Who's companion show Doctor Who Confidential, during which he described the role as "a wonderful privilege and challenge that I hope I will thrive on".[22][23]

Karen Gillan was cast as Amy Pond,[24] the Doctor's companion.[25] Andy Pryor, the casting director, suggested Gillan to Moffat after her performance in the fourth series episode "The Fires of Pompeii", in which she played a soothsayer, but Moffat originally thought she was "short and dumpy".[20] Later, however, he stated that she was "exactly right for the role" but she portrayed the character differently than how Moffat originally wrote.[19] Gillan auditioned for the role in both her natural Scottish accent and an English one, and it was not until after she was cast that it was decided Amy would be Scottish.[26][27] Gillan commented that she felt the Scottish accent better suited the character.[28] For the first and last episodes, a young version of Amy, known as "Amelia", was played by Gillan's real-life 10-year-old cousin Caitlin Blackwood. Although the two actresses did not meet until the set of the show, Gillan recommended Blackwood for the role, although Blackwood had to undergo rigorous auditions first.[29][30]

Alex Kingston, who played the character River Song in the fourth series episodes "Silence in the Library" and "Forest of the Dead", reprised her role in the two-part stories "The Time of Angels"/"Flesh and Stone" and "The Pandorica Opens"/"The Big Bang".[31] Kingston did not expect the return, but Moffat always intended for River to return to the series.[32] Arthur Darvill also appeared in six episodes as Rory Williams, Amy Pond's fiancé, and was also a companion in five of those episodes.[33] Darvill had previously worked with Smith on a play called Swimming with Sharks.[34] For his audition, Darvill received two scenes from the first episode and one from the sixth, but beyond the fact Rory was Amy's boyfriend he was not infomed of details of the character.[35] Moffat stated that what stood out about Darvill's audition was "just how funny" he was.[36] Darvill felt "privileged" to be part of the show, and was pleased with Rory's storyline.[37]

Notable guest stars included James Corden,[38] Annette Crosbie,[38] Tony Curran,[38] Iain Glen[38] Daisy Haggard,[38] Terrence Hardiman,[38] Toby Jones,[38] Helen McCrory,[38] Neve McIntosh,[38] Ian McNeice,[38] Stephen Moore,[38] Bill Nighy,[39] Sophie Okonedo,[38] Bill Paterson,[38] Meera Syal,[38] and Nina Wadia.[38]

Production

Crew and series numbering

Doctor Who was renewed for a fifth series in September 2007.[40] Russell T Davies was succeeded by Steven Moffat as executive producer and head writer,[41] and Julie Gardner was replaced as executive producer by Piers Wenger,[42] who had previously replaced Gardner as Head of Drama for BBC Wales.[43] Beth Willis also serves as an executive producer,[44] and the series is produced by Tracie Simpson and Peter Bennett.[44] However, Murray Gold stayed on as composer for the new series.[45]

When Doctor Who was relaunched in 2005, the new series was marketed as series 1, although it had been on BBC television for 26 years from 1963 to 1989. When this series was confirmed by the BBC in September 2007, it was referred to as 'series five',[46] following on from series 4 in 2008. In August 2009 Doctor Who Magazine announced that this series was to be produced and marketed as 'Series One'.[47] The January 2010 edition featured an interview with Steven Moffat, in which he called Series One "exciting", Series Thirty-One "awe-inspiring" and Series Five "boring and a lie". In the same issue, he jokingly referred to the season as "series Fnarg", an ongoing joke in subsequent issues.[48] The March edition, referring to it as Series Thirty-One, confirmed production codes in the range 1.1 to 1.13.[49] BBC Programme listings[50] the BBC iPlayer[51] and DVDs[52] refer to it as "Series 5".

Costumes

During the first episode, the Eleventh Doctor still wears his previous incarnation's costume, but costume designer Ray Holman stated that the costume was broken down and distressed. Over the course of the first episode, the Eleventh Doctor would find his own identity and pick out his own costume.[53] Smith tried on a wide variety of things to find one he would feel comfortable and confident in and would identify the Doctor.[53][54] Smith brought in braces (suspenders) and a tweed jacket;[54] Holman believed that the tweed jacked was "a bit old for him" but showed that he was a "professor and student at the same time" and gave him "that quality that the Doctor’s still learning, but also has some authority.[53] Smith suggested a bow tie, which Holman and others did not approve of, but once Smith had put it on they decided they had the costume.[53] The men's clothing store Topman reported that their bow tie sales had rise 94% for the month of April 2010, connected to when the series begun airing.[55]

Gillan had a lot of input into Amy's costume, as well as her hair and make-up.[27] In the first episode, Holman stated that Amy's identity was not clear and she wore her own clothes later on.[53] Gillan thought that Amy had inner confidence to wear clothes that showed "a bit of skin from time to time".[27] She believed that Amy's fondness for short skirts reflected what young women typically wear at her age.[56] Executive producer Piers Wenger also noted that Amy's '70s flying jacket, which she wears "quite a lot", reflected Gillan was a "born adventurer" and Amy developed a love for travel and adventure.[53]

Writing

With the changes to the show, Moffat wanted to reassure the audience that "nothing has really been lost" and it was the same show and the same character of the Doctor.[57] The story arc of the cracks in the universe was inspired by a crack in the bedroom wall of Moffat's son.[58] Moffat wanted to make sure the show appealed to even young children; if they could not follow the plot, there would be "big pictures" to entertain them.[59] Moffat believed that Doctor Who was fundamentally for children but it was something everybody loved, comparing it to Star Wars and Toy Story. He considered the "most popular form of entertainment" to be a children's story. Of the series, he said they "pushed the fairytale side of it" as Doctor Who "now has to be the most fantastical of the fantasy shows" to be more vibrant and "bonkers" than any other fantastical show.[60]

Showrunner Steven Moffat (pictured) wrote six episodes for the series.

Moffat wrote six episodes for the series.[20] The rest were penned by guest writers, as Moffat believed that Doctor Who benefited from different voices.[61] However, he stated that the concepts of the episodes were mostly supplied by him, as he had a "pretty good idea" of what would happen in each episode slot.[61] However, Matthew Graham was not able to write an episode as he was slated to because he did not believe he would have enough time. Moffat later contacted him and asked him to write a two-part episode for the next series, which became "The Rebel Flesh"/"The Almost People".[62]

With the first two episodes, Moffat intended to introduce the Eleventh Doctor and have him establish his new identity[53] while the second was intended to show the Doctor's need for a companion and Amy's importance to him.[63] For the third episode, he asked Mark Gatiss to write an episode concerning "Churchill versus the Daleks".[64] Moffat wanted to incorporate the popular Daleks into the new series[65] and was also considering redesigning them.[66] Gatiss and Moffat as well as the production team worked together to created Daleks that were big and more colourful, similar to the Daleks found in the films of the 60s.[67]

For the fourth and fifth episode, Moffat planned a two-part sequel to his 2007 episode "Blink", which featured the Weeping Angels.[68][69] These two episodes, "The Time of Angels" and "Flesh and Stone", were intended to be a more action-oriented than "Blink", and also showed the Angels had a plan rather than scavenging.[69] He also decided to flesh out the Angels as villains themselves and show more of what they can do.[70] "Flesh and Stone" ends with Amy attempting to seduce the Doctor; Moffat belived this was consistant with the character that had been built up from the first episode.[58]

Whithouse originally planned to write a different episode, but Moffat and Wenger thought it was too similar to other episodes in the series and Whithouse wrote "The Vampires of Venice" instead, while his original episode was pushed to the next series.[71][72] Instead, Whithouse was asked to write "a big bold romantic episode" that would be a "sort of reboot episode" and a "good jumping off point" for new viewers to Doctor Who. Moffat figured that in the middle of the series a viewer could "start watching it again" and that it should be "something romantic and funny".[61] For the next episode, Moffat asked comedy writer Simon Nye to write an episode that challenged the relationship between Amy and the Doctor. The episode, titled "Amy's Choice", was intended to be Amy's decision between excitement with the Doctor or life with Rory.[73] The scene in which Rory dies in the false reality was intended to be when Amy realised her feelings for him.[36] Nye wanted to stress that Amy really did love Rory and he was not "just a cypher boyfriend or fiancé".[73]

Moffat contacted Chris Chibnall to write a two-part episode involving the Silurians, villans who had not appeared in the show for over 25 years. As the Silurians were not as well-known as other monsters, Moffat instructed Chibnall to reintroduce them. The Silurians featured were intended to be a different branch than those previously seen and bore a different design, which used expensive facial prosthetics and eliminated their third eye. The redesign was intended to showcase the actors' features and make each Silurian individualistic.[74]

Richard Curtis, who had previously worked with Moffat in the 1999 Comic Relief special Doctor Who and the Curse of Fatal Death, was contacted by Moffat to return the favour and write an episode.[75] Curtis had the idea of an episode about van Gogh for "a long while" and was interested in the fact that van Gogh never knew he was famous. Gillan noted that there was a different approach and style to the episode, and it was more character-driven.[76] Curtis openly asked Moffat to criticise "everything and anything" about the script, and said that Moffat was very honest.[76] Curtis commented that it was "fun" to work within boundaries rather than doing it all by himself.[75]

Neil Gaiman had written an episode, but it was pushed to the next series due to budget constraints and was replaced with "The Lodger" instead.[77] "The Lodger" was adapted from a comic strip of the same name writer Gareth Roberts had done for Doctor Who Magazine, although he said most of it started "from scratch"[78] The story was inspired by wishing to see the Doctor in normal, every-day human circumstances, as well as Roberts' enjoyment of stories set on Earth rather than in space.[78][79] Roberts was interested in doing a television version of the story, but he never mentioned it. However, Moffat was a fan of the comic story and immidiately asked to adapt it into an episode when he became showrunner.[78][79]

The finale ends with the wedding of Amy and Rory. Moffat stated that he had always intended for them to get married "from the off".[57] The finale also left many questions that would be answered with the next series, concerning the identity of River Song and "The Silence" which appeared to cause the TARDIS to explode.[80]

Filming

The redesigned Doctor Who title card for series 5, featuring a new logo, the first major change since the series' reboot.

The series introduced a new logo, which was announced in October 2009. According to the BBC, it is the eleventh version of the logo to be shown in the series.[81] Moffat stated that the insigna of "DW" in the shape of the TARDIS was "something really new".[82] Moffat wanted a new version of the the theme tune, and composer Murray Gold wanted it to "sound a bit reckless". The new variation, composed by Gold, incorporated a new melody played by electronic trumpets and a faster tempo.[83][84] The new theme angered fans, with the BBC receiving 70 complaints as of 18 April 2010.[83] In response, a Doctor Who spokesman stated,

"The arranger has made alterations to the music four times since 2005, so change is nothing new. It is important for the regeneration of the show to keep revisiting the score while always retaining the haunting and ground-breaking essence of the original."[83]
Doctor Who filming, with Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor, and Karen Gillan as Amy Pond

A new TARDIS prop was used, featuring the St John's Ambulance logo that had been used in the early days of the show as well as in the Peter Cushing films of the early 60s, which Moffat was a fan of.[85] Moffat said it was one thing he "really wanted to do" and it was for "no other reason than that [he] thought it was prettier" and he wanted the St. John's Ambulance sticker on the front.[60]

A new set of the interior of the TARDIS was also designed, which Moffat estimated was three times bigger than the previous set. Moffat did not decide to create the new interior specifically for the new Doctor, but the brief to the set designer was to create a design that would suit Smith's Doctor. Piers Wenger said that it took "quite a long time to get the design right" and they were careful not to make it too futuristic-looking, as "futuristic" meant nothing to the Doctor.[86] In the first episode the sonic screwdriver is destroyed, and a new version, featuring a green light and metal claws, was created.[87] Smith liked to keep the prop with him at all times "twirling it around and flicking it" which resulted in him breaking four of them.[88] The noise made by the screwdriver was added in post-production using a synthesizer.[89]

All of the directors of the series were new to Doctor Who. Moffatt commented that he wanted to "shake things up" and it was "never too early to get rid of the safety net."[90] Adam Smith directed the first episode as well as the fourth and fifth.[91] Ashley Way and Andrew Gunn each directed two episodes.[92][93]

Production blocks were arranged as follows:

Block Episode Title Director Writer Producer Code Filmed
1 "The Time of Angels"
"Flesh and Stone"
Adam Smith Steven Moffat Tracie Simpson 1.4
1.5
July/August 2009 (with November pick-ups)
2 "The Beast Below"
"Victory of the Daleks"
Andrew Gunn Steven Moffat
Mark Gatiss
Peter Bennett 1.2
1.3
August/September 2009 (with select November interiors)
3 "The Eleventh Hour" Adam Smith Steven Moffat Tracie Simpson 1.1 September/October 2009 (with select November interiors)
4 "The Hungry Earth"
"Cold Blood"
Ashley Way Chris Chibnall Peter Bennett 1.8
1.9
October/November 2009
5 "The Vampires of Venice"
"Vincent and the Doctor"
Jonny Campbell Toby Whithouse
Richard Curtis
Tracie Simpson
Patrick Schweitzer
1.6
1.10
November/December 2009/January 2010
6 The Big Bang" Toby Haynes Steven Moffat Peter Bennett 1.12
1.13
January/February 2010
7 "The Lodger"
"Amy's Choice"
Catherine Morshead Gareth Roberts
Simon Nye
Tracie Simpson
Patrick Schweitzer
1.11
1.7
February/March 2010

Trailers

A trailer shown on television and released online shortly after the broadcast of the second part of The End of Time on 1 January 2010 shows clips from the next series, including the Eleventh Doctor punching a man and firing a handgun, redesigned (as of 2009) Daleks, the Weeping Angels, the tenth Doctor's Sonic Screwdriver exploding, a reptilian species and vampiric humanoids in Renaissance dress.[94]

A second teaser trailer was released online on 20 February 2010.[95] It shows the Doctor and Amy falling through the Time Vortex, passing a Dalek and a Weeping Angel on the way down, culminating with the reptilian face glimpsed in the first trailer bursting out of the ground. This trailer confirmed that the new series will commence transmission at Easter. A 3D version was shown in cinemas with Alice in Wonderland.[96] A version was shown on BBC Two during the evening of 21 February giving a transmission date of 3 April, but the BBC subsequently stated that the exact date was still to be confirmed.[97]

A new trailer shown at the press screening of episode one was released online on 19 March 2010. The trailer showed Weeping Angels, a Cyberman with his left arm missing, a Dalek, barrage balloons, horses, Stonehenge, battling spaceships, and various shots of the new TARDIS interior.[98]

Broadcast

International broadcast

The series was shown in Australia on the ABC's iView service, launching at midnight on 16 April 2010[99] before airing on ABC1 on 18 April 2010. In New Zealand, this series began airing on Prime from 2 May 2010. It began airing in the United States on 17 April 2010 on BBC America[100] and in Canada on the same date on Space.[101]

Blu-ray and DVD release

On 7 June 2010, the first volume of Series 5 was released on DVD and Blu-ray format, containing the episodes "The Eleventh Hour", "The Beast Below" and "Victory of the Daleks".[52][102] The second volume of the series was released on 5 July on DVD and Blu-ray, containing the episodes "The Time of Angels", "Flesh and Stone" and "The Vampires of Venice".[103][104] "Amy's Choice", "The Hungry Earth", and "Cold Blood" followed on the third volume, which was released in DVD and Blu-ray on 2 August 2010.[105][106] The fourth and final volume, containing "Vincent and the Doctor", "The Lodger", "The Pandorica Opens" and "The Big Bang" was released on DVD and Blu-ray on 6 September.[107] [108] A complete collection of the series' episodes was released on DVD and Blu-ray in Region 2 on 8 November 2010.[109][110]

Reception

Ratings

Final consolidated viewing figures showed that the premiere, "The Eleventh Hour", was watched by 10.08 million viewers, the highest-watched premiere since "Rose" and the eighth highest figure for an episode of Doctor Who since it was revived in 2005.[111] In the US, the first episode set a record for BBC America, with an average of 1.2 million viewers and 0.9 in the adults aged 25-54 demographic, a record for the network.[112] Within one week of broadcast, "The Eleventh Hour" received 1.27 million hits on BBC's online iPlayer service, the record for most requests in a week.[113]

Based on overnight ratings, the series was reported as averaging six million viewers, a drop of 1.2 million from the previous series. However, managers at the BBC claimed that that overall viewing numbers had not declined as more people watched it online or after recording it.[114] Stephen Bray of Den of Geek decided to "put things straight" and figured that, with final ratings taken into account of the first eleven episodes of the series (the final two ratings not having been released when the article was published), the series averaged 7.8 million viewers, beating the average of all the episodes of the second series (7.5 million), the third series (7.7 million) and the first eleven episodes of the fourth series (7.7 million).[115]

Reviews

Matt Wales of IGN gave the entire series a "great" rating of 8.5 out of 10, saying that it "mightn't have been perfect" but rebooted the show "with a burst of creative energy" and "got bold, exciting, witty, smart, home-grown event television back on the small screen". He praised Smith for "[dazzling] with a performance that painted the Doctor as thoroughly alien" and the "effortless" character development of the Doctor, but was more critical of the character of Amy Pond. He thought that she was "throughly watchable" with Gillan's acting abilities and chemistry with Smith, but criticised the character for being "frequently painted in largely two-dimensional strokes that made for a brash, sometimes irritating turn" and the series as a whole for lacking "heart to ground the elaborate sci-fi trimmings". Of the story, he praised Moffat's story arc and narrative complexities, as well as the episodes of "The Eleventh Hour", "The Time of Angels"/"Flesh and Stone", "Amy's Choice", and "The Pandorica Opens"/"The Big Bang". However, he found "Victory of the Daleks", "The Vampires of Venice" and "The Lodger" weak and "The Beast Below" too ambitious.[116]

Zap2it's Sam McPherson gave the series an A and thought it was the show's strongest series since its revival in 2005. He praised Smith and Gillan, though he noted that Amy did not have much character development, as well as Darvill, who he thought "might just be one of the best actors on television currently". As for the monsters, he said that the Atraxi from the first episode were the "only really terrible ones" and "looked horrible", while the Daleks and Silurians were "not-that-threatening". He considered the best to be the Star Whale, as it was "a fantastic parallel to the Doctor"; the Weeping Angels for being as solid as they had been in their original episode and for continuing to evolve; and the Dream Lord from "Amy's Choice". However, he noted that most of the episodes took place on Earth or spaceships, and wished to see the Doctor, Amy and Rory "branch out more in the future".[117]

In a review of the first six episodes, Dan Martin of The Guardian thought that they were strong and it was "generally funnier [and] appears to have rewritten the rule that said Doctor Who had to out-epic itself every year". However, he was critical of the emotion which had previously inhibited the series and did not yet empathise with Amy.[118] When reviewing the first eleven episodes, he noted that the series had been put at a high expectation due to the quality of Moffat's previous Doctor Who episodes, which may have caused disappointment to those who expected "dark, adult versions of Who every week" as Moffat took more of a fairy-tale approach and his dialogue was "less soapy and more spiky" than that of Davies. Revisiting previous issues, he noted that there was less emotion but "when someone did die...it ploughed heavy into the heart" and Amy was "a revelation", though she sometimes "felt a little one-note".[119]

The A.V. Club ranked Doctor Who the 25th best show of 2010, saying that it "lacked a truely weak episode" and highlighting "The Time of Angels"/"Flesh and Stone", "Vincent and the Doctor", and "The Lodger" as the best episodes.".[120] Digital Spy ranked the programme the third best of 2010, commenting that it "gave us some terrific episodes - the beautifully tragic 'Vincent and the Doctor', the wonderfully-paced opener and the well-imagined finale...but also the multi-colored monstrosity 'Victory of the Daleks'. Overall, a decent enough start for the new team, but with such a strong pedigree, we couldn't help but feel a little underwhelmed."[121]

Awards and nominations

"Vincent and the Doctor" and "The Pandorica Opens"/"The Big Bang" were nominated for the 2011 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form), with the award going to the latter. This was the fifth Hugo Award for Doctor Who and the fourth for Moffat, after "The Empty Child"/"The Doctor Dances", "The Girl in the Fireplace", and "Blink".[122] Smith was nominated for Leading Actor in the television division of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards, becoming the first actor portraying the Doctor to gain a BAFTA nomination.[123][124]

Soundtrack

A 2-disc soundtrack containing 63 tracks of the score from this series (from "The Eleventh Hour" to "The Big Bang"), as composed by Murray Gold, was released on 8 November 2010 by Silva Screen Records. It was the second "double album" following the previous release; Gold stated that the previous "double album" had been popular and Silvia Screen allowed another one. The tracks are presented in episode order, which Gold said "should give a sense of roaming through this gigantic scope".[84]

Tie-in media

Books

In the BBC Doctor Who New Series Adventures line, a range of spin-off novels that begun in 2005 with the Ninth Doctor and revitilisation of the television series, six novels were released corresponding to the series. On 22 April 2010 the first three, Apollo 23 by Justin Richards, Night of the Humans by David Llewellyn, and The Forgotten Army by Brian Minchin were released, featuring the Eleventh Doctor and Amy.[125][126][127] On 8 July 2010 three more novels were released, Nuclear Time by Oli Smith, The Glamour Chase by Gary Russell, and The King's Dragon by Una McCormack, each featuring the Doctor and Amy with Rory.[128][129][130]

Science fiction writer Michael Moorcock, who had watched Doctor Who since the beginning, also wrote a novel.[131] Entitled The Coming of the Terraphiles, the novel was an extended 345 pages and was released 14 October 2010.[132] BBC Books also released The Brilliant Book of Doctor Who 2011, a guide to the series that featured behind-the-scenes information.[133] The book was made available in the UK on 30 September 2010.[134]

Video Games

In March 2010, it was reported that Nintendo had signed a £10 million contract for Doctor Who games for Wii and DS. The games were marketed to Nintendo as the brand was known for being family-oriented and the Wii in particular was something families played together. The BBC also was certain to monitor the games and make sure they did not contain anything too violent.[135] Doctor Who: Evacuation Earth was released for the DS and featured the Daleks, whereas Doctor Who: Return to Earth featured the Cybermen and was released for the Wii. Both games featured the Eleventh Doctor and Amy Pond, voiced by Smith and Gillan respectfully.[136] Evacuation Earth was released 12 November 2010,[137] while Return to Earth followed on 19 November.[138] Additionally, Wii remotes and DS styluses modeled after the sonic screwdriver were released to accompany the games.[139]

"Children don't just watch Doctor Who – they join in. They make up games, invent their monsters, create their own stories. Now, there’s something else – now they can be the Doctor in brand new episodes. Doctor Who: The Adventure Games will offer fans a unique opportunity to enter his world, face his challenges and grapple with his deadliest foes. By developing these games alongside the new TV series, we've been able to weave exciting narrative strands with the very finest game design to create a new kind of Doctor Who, which can be enjoyed by the whole family."

Steven Moffat[140]

In April 2010, the BBC announced The Adventure Games, four interactive episodes available free-to-download on the BBC Doctor Who website featuring the Doctor and Amy voiced by Smith and Gillan. Piers Wenger referred to them as four extra episodes in the series and everything included was part of the Doctor Who universe.[141] The game was developed by Charles Cecil and Sheffield-based game company Sumo, while the games were written by Phil Ford and James Moran and overseen by Moffat and the producers of the show.[142] Cecil was contacted by BBC Wales Editor of Interactive Iain Tweedale, who asked him about developing a Doctor Who game.[143] Smith and Gillan's movements and actions were captured by rotoscoping.[142]

As the Doctor was a pacifist and did not use the guns commonly found in video games, The Adventure Games untilised a more strategy and puzzle-based gameplay. Much of the first game was based around stealth, exploration, and puzzle-solving. The Doctor was also equipped with his sonic screwdriver, but as this was often used as skeleton key the game employes the solving of puzzles to advance instead of simply using the screwdriver.[144]

The first installment, "City of the Daleks", was originally scheduled to be released 5 June 2010,[145] but was made available two days earlier.[146] The BBC explained the early release as a testing procedure, and final tweaks were expected to be made prior to official release.[147] Within the first twelve days of avaliability, the game was downloaded over 500,000 times, and the traffic on the site had increased as a result.[148] The second game, "Blood of the Cybermen", was released on 26 June, after the airing of the series finale.[149] This was followed by the third game, "TARDIS", on 27 August[150] and "Shadows of the Vashta Nerada" on 22 December.[151]

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