10th Doctor
The Idiot's Lantern

Executive Producers
Julie Gardner
Russell T. Davies

Phil Collinson

Script Editor
Simon Winstone

Written by Mark Gatiss
Directed by Euros Lyn
Incidental Music by Murray Gold

David Tennant (The Doctor), Billie Piper (Rose Tyler), Maureen Lipman (The Wire), Ron Cook (Mr. Magpie), Jamie Foreman (Eddie Connolly), Debra Gillett (Rita Connolly), Rory Jennings (Tommy Connolly), Margaret Jphn (Grandma Connolly), Sam Cox (Detective Inspector Bishop), Ieuan Rhys (Crabtree), Jean Challis (Aunty Betty), Christopher Driscoll (Security Guard), Marie Lewis (Mrs Gallagher).

1953, the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II – but there are rumours of monsters on the streets of London.

Original Broadcast (UK)
The Idiot's Lantern      	May 26th, 2006			7h00pm - 7h45pm
In an ordinary 1950’s household a deliveryman uncovers a brand new state of the art television set to an excited old woman.

That night she sits down in preparation to watch the set as tendrils of red electricity buzz around the device. She concludes that it is not working and gets out of her chair to hit the set in order to try and make it work.

However as she does so the red tendrils of electricity flare up to and begin to break free of the television screen. They pursue her as she retreats back to her chair in terror and make a move towards her face.

Some time later the old woman is gone; leaving only the television set to broadcast a report on the upcoming coverage of the following day’s coronation of Queen Elizabeth II…


It is late at night and a storm is brewing outside Mr Magpie’s electronics shop. He is sitting in the dark writing, whilst a television set stands in the corner, displaying a female newsreader addressing the camera. As she signs off, announcing that programming is over for the day, her image is replaced by the broadcaster logo. Magpie leans away from his work, solemnly announcing he is two hundred pounds overdrawn, he needs a miracle. He tears the page from his book and throws it away, as the national anthem rings out from the television set.

Elsewhere, in another house in the street a family are sitting around the radio. As the grandmother sits and listens, the mother sews and the young son reads a magazine. The father of the family enters, announced as the ‘lord and master’ by the grandmother. He announces to his wife Rita that he is going out and his son turns to show him the magazine. He whines that he has already told him they are not getting a television but when the young man protests that everyone in the street is getting one, he comments that they might get one for the coronation. He turns and leaves, as the grandmother tells her grandson that she has heard that television rots your brains, turns it to soup and makes it pour out of your ears.

The father walks through the rain outside, past Magpie’s shop, which is struck by the aerial with red lightening. Inside Magpie is slumped asleep on the table, as the television sounds bleeping in the background. With a shock of light the screen comes to life and the female announcer appears again, calling to him. He awakens and turns to see her, commenting that he must be dreaming. She tells him he isn’t and so he deduces that he must be going mad. She comforts him, telling him he is fine, and asks him if he is sitting comfortably. “Then we’ll begin”. Rope like tendrils of red light snap forward from the screen and grab his face, as his features begum blurred, sucked away from his head the announcer laughs…

The Idiot's Lantern

Rose steps out from the open TARDIS door, dressed in a large full-length bright pink skirt, commenting that she had presumed that they would be landing in the seventies. The Doctor pops his head around the door, his hair slicked back. He tells her that if they wanted to see Elvis then the time to visit is the late fifties, when he was known as the pelvis and still had a waist. He adds that they should also see him in style and after disappearing inside the ship he emerges riding a small blue moped, wearing a crash helmet. He rides around the courtyard before coming to a halt and asking Rose in an American accent if he is going her way. Mimicking him she asks if there is any other way to go and as the Doctor marvels that she speaks the lingo, she talks of how she used to sit with Jackie and watch Cliff Richard movies every bank holiday. As the Doctor hands her a helmet he sighs that he could have predicted her mother would be a Cliff fan.

They ride away and Rose asks where they are going. The Doctor tells her they are on their way to Ed Sullivan TV Studios to see Elvis perform live. Rose asks if that would be in New York and as the Doctor confirms it, a large red Double Decker crosses their path, rolling past a large red post box. Rose laughs at the Doctor’s mistake and the Doctor defends himself, saying that the area still feels like New York, a London-y New York. As he watches the bus roll on, Rose asks what all of the flags are for and as he follows her gaze they both find the street they are in is decked with red white and blue bunting.

Back in the house, the mother, father and their son sit watching a television set. The father gets up and turns the volume down, marvelling that you would have believed the figures on the television were in the room with you. He tells his son Tommy that he had a point in buying one and then comments that the set should cheer his wife up. She merely comments that nothing is the same, not after what happened to her mother, and what happened to her face. From upstairs a thumping sound is heard. Rita knows she is awake and ponders if she is hungry.

Outside in the street Mr Magpie is over seeing the delivery of one of his television sets, commenting that it is all ready for the great occasion. The Doctor and Rose appear by his side and the Doctor asks what the great occasion is. Magpie, slightly bemused asks if he has been living in the colonies, and tells him it is the coronation. The Doctor again asks what coronation and Magpie again seems bemused. Rose cuts it, telling him sarcastically that it the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. The Doctor jumps to life, asking if it is 1953 and Magpie tells him that it is. Rose looks up at the roof tops and comments how many aerials there are, she had been led to believe that TV sets ere so scarce in the fifties that people had to cram into each others houses. Magpie cuts in, explaining that they wont have to do that with him around, he is selling the sets at only five ponds each.

The Doctor continues his enthusiasm for 1953, rambling on about Technicolor, Everest being climbed and everything off the ration, adopting a posh accent he talks about Britain throwing off the shackles of war and looking forward to a happier brighter future. As Rose laughs a door in the street bursts open and two men step outside, escorting another who has a sack over his head. A women follows them screaming for help, her husband is being taken. The Doctor rushes forward and asks what is going on. One of the men replies, calling it police business.

Tommy and his parents arrive outside to see what is going on and he tells Rose that the abductions have been going on for some time. All over the place people are turning into monsters. The car drives away as Tommy’s father arrives and tells him to get inside the house. He does as he is told, commenting that he must as the Doctor and Rose get back on their moped and drive away, following the car.

Inside the car one of the men talks into a walkie-talkie, ordering operation market stall to begin. As the car drives through a pair of gates a groups of men walk into the rode, going about their business as market traders, as the gates close behind them. The Doctor and Rose arrive to find the road blocked and the car gone. The Doctor asks how it is that the car got away and Rose takes the opportunity to scold his reckless driving, asking if he has passed his test. He ignores her and wonders at the spectacles they have seen; men in back, vanishing police cars. “This is Churchill’s Britain not Stalin’s Russia.”

Rose remembers what the young boy said about monsters and inquires if they should set about asking the neighbours for information. The Doctor tells her that that is what he likes about travelling with her; she helps bring the domestic approach. She thanks him but then asks if he was actually insulting her. However before she can get an answer the Doctor sets the bike in motion and they speed away.

In Magpies shop Magpie approaches the collection of television sets and announces he has done as he was told, it is finished. He places before the sets a small box, with a screen on the front. The woman announcer appears and tells him he has done well. He asks to know if she will leave him soon, if she will leave him. She cheerfully tells him they will see, if he’s a good boy. He winces, telling her that she is hurting him, burning inside him behind his eyes. Even his memories hurt and all he wants is for things to return to normal.

She tells him that Earth is busy, forging ahead to a brand new age. He can never go back and that is his tragedy. She tells him that the time is almost upon them; cometh the hour, cometh the man…or lady.

Tommy is ascending the stairs of his house, as his grandmother continues to thump on the floor above him. He approaches her door with a key ready to unlock it, and begins to talk to her from the hallway, telling her he is going to come out and to stand back. From the stairway his father appears and advances on his son as he prepares to open the door as he apologises to his grandmother, telling her he has to come in. He asks him what he is doing and Tommy turns to face him, telling him that they have to try and help her. He orders him to give him the key and slowly Tommy does as he is told. He tells him he has not finished with him yet.

Downstairs, with his mother present, Tommy stands as his father rants on that he has warned him many times about going upstairs and every time he has disobeyed him. The young man replies, telling him that they cannot just lock the old woman away. His father cuts in, telling him that he is talking. He sternly tells him that he can forget going to college, he will work alongside his father and get his hands dirty for once. From upstairs the thumping starts again and Rita worriedly asks if she will ever stop. Her husband calms her, telling her it is business as usual. He tells her they must decorate the house with special bunting for the coronation, in honour of her majesty. She replies, asking if she could be talking and he explodes, telling her that e is talking. She falls silent and he quips that that is better, a little bit of hush.

The doorbell rings and Eddie answers it, finding the Doctor and Rose on the other side. He asks who they are and the Doctor evaluates the man’s appearance and stature, noting he has been in the war, before bringing out his psychic paper and tells him he represents Queen and Country, checking up on her loyal subjects before the big day. He and Rose nudge their way inside and the Doctor comments on the nice house, before asking Rita’s name, she introduces herself as Mrs Connelly but hr husband cuts in, introducing their visitor.

The Doctor defends Rita before asking why the flag bunting is not flying. Mr Connelly tells Rita it needs to be done he told her to but as she apologises the Doctor cuts in, telling Mr Connolly that he has hands and he can do the job himself. The stubborn man retorts that it is housework, work for a woman. The Doctor asks him what gender the Queen is and he proudly answers ‘female’. The Doctor asks if he would suggest the Queen do housework and he immediately replies she would not. The Time Lord hand shim the flags and tells him to get busy. He begins his work, telling his visitor that he will be proud of him and his family; there will be Union Jacks left, right and centre.

Rose cuts in and tells him that he is not to call the display a Union Jack; it is only addressed as that when flown at sea. What he is holding is a Union Flag. He apologises and she excuses him before telling him to get to it, before turning and smiling to the others in the room.

The Doctor cheerfully tells the others to sit down before asking through gritted smiling teeth how Rose knows about the Union Jack terminology and she replies that Jackie once went out with a sailor, to which the Doctor replies “I bet she did”. He turns to Tommy and introduces himself and Rose before asking his name. He replies and the Time Lord beckons for him to sit down. He does so and they watch television, both commenting how good it is. He calls back to Mr Connolly to keep working, before leaning towards Tommy and Rita and asking what is wrong. Rita asks if he is a Doctor and he confirms it, before she asks if he can help. Mr Connolly cuts in, telling her that there is no need to tell him but the Doctor insists that she does. Rose asks Rita, who is now crying, to explain what is going on so that they can help, but Mr Connolly cuts in, realising he is doing housework. He turns on the Doctor, telling him that he may have fancy qualifications but what goes on under his roof is his own business.

The Doctor cuts in but Mr Connolly shouts at him, telling him that he is talking. The Doctor stands up and yells back, telling him that he is not listening and that he is staring into a whole pit of trouble unless he lets him help. He orders him to tell him what is going on and as he does so the thumping again rings out from upstairs. Mr Connolly tells him that she won’t stop.

Tommy tells him that stories have been ringing around for some time, about people changing and their families hiding them away. Somehow the police began to find out and took those who had changed. The Doctor tells him to show him and soon they are upstairs opening the locked door. Tommy enters into the darkness telling his grandmother that he has brought help. The Doctor and Rose follow and switch on the light, revealing before them the body of the old woman, with her face completely missing.

As a black car pulls up outside the Doctor examines the body with the sonic screwdriver, muttering that there are no electrical impulses left, he face has gone into a complete neural shut down, like her brain has been wiped clean. Tommy asks what they can do, she can’t even be fed. Before the Doctor can answer a thumping noise echoes from downstairs, they have company. The Time Lord quickly asks where the old woman was before she changed and Rite tells him that she never leaves the house. The door flies open and two burly men enter. The Doctor turns to one of them and explains there are three very good, complicated and brilliant reasons why they should listen to him. He tries to begin but he is cut off when one of them punches him, knocking him out. The two men cover the old woman with a blanket and drag her away, as Rita and Tommy protest.

They make their way outside and as the woman is loaded Mr Connolly tells his family to get back inside. Upstairs Rose tries to rouse the Doctor and he springs to life, commenting on the superb right-hook the man who punched him has. He quips that he’ll have to watch out for it as he gets u and makes his way downstairs.

Mr Connolly continues to keep Tommy inside and the Doctor pushes past, telling Rose to follow. She however glances into the living room and finds tendril-like strips of electricity clawing around the television set. She walks in, ignoring the Doctor’s calls as he drives off on the moped and examines the back of the set, finding a sticker with the details of Magpie’s Electronics on it. As Tommy asks his father how the police knew his grandmother had changed, Mr Connolly sees Rose and tells her to get out. She bids farewell to Tommy and Mrs Connolly before turning on the man before him, telling him that only an idiot hangs a Union Flag upside down; shame on him. She smiles and runs out the door.

In the street, the black car once again make sits way through the gates, which are covered by people pretending to sweep the ground. The Doctor arrives and cheerfully comments that they are very good.

Some time later he is walking the streets, looking for another way in. He breaks through a hatch in a wall and creeps inside, finding himself in a warehouse. He creeps around, watching as one of the men from the house pushes the abducted old woman inside a cage. As the man walks off the Doctor approaches he looks inside the cage, which is full of people.

He opens it using the sonic screwdriver and steps inside. He slowly looks around and realises all of the people inside have all lost their faces. They begin to move, walking towards him but before he can do anything a light fills the room. He turns to see another man waiting for him.

In Magpie’s shop, Rose opens the door and enters. Magpie is at the counter and when he sees her apologises and explains he is about to close the shop. She tells him she wants to by a telly, but he explains she will have to come back tomorrow. She ponders that she would’ve thought the shop would be closed for the coronation and he tells her that he will be, but she’ll be able to find somewhere else to watch the big event, before asking her to leave.

She comments that it appears half of the people in London have got a television, and he seems to be practically giving the sets away. He comments that he has his reasons and she asks what they are but before he can answer one of the televisions buzzes to life and the woman presenter appears, claiming to be hungry. Rose asks what it is and he explains it is just a programme. He tells her she must leave and goes to open the door but she tells him she will not go until he has answered her questions.

She asks why his televisions are so cheap and he calls it his duty, to allow as many people as possible to watch the coronation. Britain may be loosing its empire but it can still be proud. He marvels that twenty million people will be watching, and cheerfully quips that twenty million people can’t be wrong. He then tells her she should go home to sleep so she can get up bright and early for the big day.

Again she refuses; she will not leave until she’s seen everything. He tells her that she needs to close but she ignores him. She tells him that ordinary people are being struck down and changed and the only thing that is different is the new television set he has sold them. He tells her he knew he would be found out. He locks the door again and turns to her. She uneasily comments that it is just the two of them before asking if he is going to come clean, asking what is in it for him. He ponders that it might be some peace, from her.

He motions to the woman displayed on the television set and rose looks round, commenting that it’s just a picture on the screen. The woman begins to talk, commenting on what a pretty little girl Rose is. Rose turns to see her, asking if she is talking to her and she explains she is, commenting on how unseasonably cold it is for this time of year. Rose asks who the woman is and she replies, telling her that she is The Wire, and she is hungry. Suddenly the ropes of electricity extend from the screen and cling to her face, pulling it from her body. She calls for Magpie to help her but he remains still, telling her to imagine the twenty million people sitting before their television sets tomorrow, things will never be the same again. He apologises as she again calls for help, whilst the Wire bids children everywhere goodnight.

The Doctor is sitting in a run down office accompanied by the men who abducted the old woman and another man who appears to be their superior. The man asks him to start at the beginning and tell him what he knows. The Doctor thinks for a second and tells him that he knows that you cannot wrap your hand round your elbow and get your fingers to meet. The man tells him not to get clever as the man behind him tests the Doctor’s theory. He explains that the Doctor was seen in Florizel Street and now in the establishment they are currently inside. He must be connected with the strange goings on and here is no denying it. The Doctor begins to talk, using his name Detective Inspector Bishop, which he read from the mans collar, and comments that they police are not doing much to help other than hiding the faceless people away, probably from a higher power who want everything to go well on coronation day.

Inspector Bishop explains that he must help maintain the police forces’ image and the Doctor asks if he does not yearn to do something to help. He admits that he does but they do not have the manpower. This is beyond anything they have ever seen and he doesn’t know what to do, even after twenty years on the force. The Doctor explains that it will not be like that any more and asks him to tell him everything he knows.

Outside the black car arrives, and the men unload another victim covered in a blanket, whilst upstairs the Inspector is talking to the Doctor. He tells him that the bodies began to be found a month ago, with cases spreading out across North London and the only lead being that a lot of cases occurring in Florizel Street. One of the men from the car enters and brings with him the blanket-covered body. The Doctor approaches with silent worry, and as the body is uncovered finds it is Rose. As the two policemen talk the Doctor overhears and asks where she was found. They reply, telling him that she was left on the street. Slowly the Doctor begins to reverberate what went on; her face was stolen and she was thrown out onto the street. As a result this makes things very simple and when he asks if Inspector Bishop knows why he answers that because of this, there is no power on the Earth that can stop him now. He calls for him and the two men leave, as the faceless Rose stands alone. Soon they are leaving the yard as a new day, the big day, dawns.

In the Connolly’s house all of the family are arriving to watch the big occasion on the television. As the guests gather in the living room Mr Connolly turn on Rite in the hallway and tells her that now the Doctor has gone she is left with him. He orders her to smile and she does so, before her husband enters the living room and tells everyone to settle down, the coronation is starting. They all take their seats as one of the aunts comments on how clear the picture is. Mr Connolly leans over and tells her that he had said to Rita that there was no need to specially display her hair; the people inside the television can’t see her.

The others laugh at his joke as the aunt asks Rite where her mother is. She replies, telling her that she’s too ill to make it downstairs. The women then proposes they go up and see her later and Tommy cuts in, telling her that’s a good idea and asks his father bitterly if his aunt can go upstairs to see his grandmother later. His father comments that he’s a proper mother’s boy and after his aunt comments that many things are said about mother’s boys, Mr Connolly agrees that it needs to be beaten out of him.

The doorbell rings and Tommy gets up to answer it. When he opens the door he finds the Doctor waiting. The Time Lord asks to know exactly what was happening in his house when his grandmother changed, but before he can answer Mr Connolly steps outside and demands to know what is going on. Tommy tells him the Doctor is hear to help and the Time Lord begins to address him but he cuts him off, telling him to shut up, the family can deal with the problem themselves.

He turns to Tommy, calling him a little twerp, commenting that he is barely out of the cradle and he would not understand, his father has a position to maintain. People respect him, it matters what people think. Tommy looks into his eyes coldly and asks if that is why he ratted on his grandmother, how else would the police know where to look. It took a coward to tell them where she was. Mr Connolly explodes with anger, telling his son that he did not fight a war so that mouthy scum could call him a coward. Tommy tells him that he was fighting against fascism, fighting so nobody could dictate the lives of others; telling them what to do, who to be friends with, who you could fall in love with, who could live and who had to die. He was fighting so that little twerps like him could do and say what they liked. Yet now he has become like the ones he fought against. He has been informing on others in the street just to protect his precious reputation.

Rita steps out of the house, asking her husband if everything she has heard is true. He tells her that he had to; she was a filthy disgusting thing. Rita retorts that she was her mother. She ponders that he informed on all of their friends. He claims he did the right thing but Rita asks if it was the right thing for everyone or just himself. She turns to Tommy and tells him to go with the Doctor to try and do some good, to get away from the house. She explains there was a monster under their roof but it wasn’t her mother. She walks back inside and slams the door shut in her husband’s face. He turns to see his son leave with the Doctor and Inspector Bishop as inside the house Rita tells the others that the commotion outside was the sound of something ending, and about time to. Nothing will spoil the big day.

In the street preparations are taking place for the street party and the Doctor asks Tommy to explain what happened the night his grandmother changed. He explains that she was sitting watching the television, nothing else and as the Doctor looks around he realises Rose was right when they first landed, it’s odd how this street in particular had so many television sets and he twigs that they must find Mr Magpie.

The Doctor breaks into the shop and rings the bell, ordering Magpie to come and talk to him. There is no reply so he searches the desk, finding the box Magpie presented to the Wire sometime earlier. He examines it and realises it is a portable television, and then finds that the sonic screwdriver has located another power source in the room. He looks over to the series of television sets, which beam to life displaying the stolen faces of the people attacked by their T.V. sets, all calling out for help. Tommy finds the face of his grandmother and as the Doctor looks around he finds the face of Rose, silently calling out to him. He looks at the screen and tells her he is on his way.

Magpie appears from the back of the shop and the Doctor tells him he wants his friend back but that is beyond a back-street electrician and demands to know who is really in charge. Behind him the pictures on the T.V. screens change and the Wire appears before them. As the Doctor approaches her she looks into his brain and notes his intelligence. Magpie mutters that they have brought this on themselves and introduces his new friend. Inspector Bishop marvels at the picture of the woman from the television programmes but the Doctor explains it is something else, using her form. Tommy asks the creature what she is and she again introduces herself as the Wire, and explains she is going to consume him and when she has feasted she will regain the corporeal that her on kind denied her. As she talks her image fades to colour, and Inspector Bishop again marvels at the thought and sight of colour television.

The Doctor comments that the Wire’s own people tried to stop her crimes and she admits that they executed her, but she escaped and fled across the stars. The Doctor points out that she is stuck in television but she fades back to black and white and explains that she will not be stuck for much longer. Tommy asks if the Wire is what took his grandmother and the Time Lord confirms it, explaining the creature feeds off of the electrical activity of the brain but it gorges itself like an overfed pig, taking peoples faces. Inspector Bishop turns to Magpie, pointing out that he let the creature do it. The man admits he did so he could keep his face, and explains that she will free him at the time of manifestation. Tommy asks what that means and the Wire explains it is the appointed time, her crowning glory. The Inspector realises this means the coronation and the Doctor notes that it will be the first time that millions of people will be gathered around a television set.

He turns t the wire and notes that she is not strong enough yet, she cannot conduct her plans from the shop and that is why she needs the portable television, a more powerful object that will turn a transmitter into a receiver. The Wire compliments his cleverness and asks why he cannot just sit back and relax and let the event happen rather than worry and just enjoy the coronation. She than quips they will be glued to the screen. Suddenly, the tendrils of energy fly from the screen and clasp onto the Doctor, Tommy and Inspector Bishop. She joyfully feeds on the three minds, until the Doctor reaches for the sonic screwdriver and she realises he is armed. She withdraws and her victims fall to the floor, only Inspector Bishop is without his face. The Wire calls for Magpie to take the portable television and he does so, before she transfers herself from the large set into the one in his hands. He looks at the screen and tells him to conduct her to her victory. He hurries from the shop and gets into his delivery van. He places the box on the dashboard and rives off as the Wire begs to be fed.

In the Connolly’s house the family sit around like many others will be, commenting on how beautiful the queen looks as she rides in her carriage. Rita comments on how the event helps her to forget all pf her troubles, before asking everyone if they are all right for refreshments.

In the shop the Doctor awakens and rouses Tommy, who asks what has happened. The Doctor claims they must find Magpie and as he walks back onto the street Tommy tells him they don’t know where to start looking, it is too late. The Doctor tells him it is never too late, as a wise man once said…possibly Kylie Minogue. He looks around and comments on how the Wire will be hoping to harvest millions of minds, half the population. He asks Tommy where they are and he replies, telling him they are on Muswell Hill. The Doctor suddenly realises what this means and points to the horizon, on which lies Alexandra Palace, the biggest transmitter in north London. He rushes back into the shop, telling the enquiring Tommy that he is going shopping.

Meanwhile, Magpie is driving his lorry through the streets, the Wire laughing cruelly from within the tiny box. In the shop the Doctor and Tommy are scouring though piles of equipment until Tommy finds what the Doctor is looking for. The Doctor places it on top of a pile of other components and hands them to Tommy, commenting that they need one more thing. He runs out of the shop followed by Tommy whilst outside, Magpie is still speeding his way towards the palace.

Moments later the Doctor exits form the TARDIS with a large wire wrapped around his neck. He takes a component form the pile Tommy is carrying and tells him it is time to go.

In the grounds of Alexandra Palace Magpie arrives in his van, carrying the box whilst millions of people across the nation watch the coronation unfold on television. He makes his way up a flight of stair, towards the transmitter. Tommy and the Doctor are still running through the streets, the Doctor connecting wires and boxes together as they go.

On the television mast Magpie begins to climb but yells to his mistress that he cannot go in. She screeches that the time is at hand, she must be fed. Magpie winces and continues his climb.

The Doctor and Tommy arrive at the palace and as a security guard makes to stop them the Doctor flashes him is psychic paper and the man apologises, asking if the man should be at the coronation, to which he replies they are saving him a seat. As they run through the yard Tommy asks who the man thinks the Doctor is and when the Time Lord looks at the paper he tells him “the king of Belgium apparently”.

As the coronation continues towards Westminster Abbey, the Doctor rushes around a control room within the palace. He device he has made sits on control panel and as he picks up a coil of wire with which to connect it to the mast he tells Tommy to keep it switched on, everything depends on it.

As the coronation continues, the Doctor runs through the grounds of the Palace and makes his way after Magpie, towards the mast, the coil of wire unravelling as he goes. The security guard calls after him to be careful but he does not reply. He makes his way onto the mast and is soon making ground on Magpie, who has reached the top and is now connecting the box to the mast. As energy begins to crackle around the box the Wire laughs victoriously. Below them the Doctor is on his way up, but as Magpie makes the last connection beams of energy shoot out to the television aerials surrounding the palace and the people watching the televisions are grabbed by the ropes of energy that fly from the screen as the Wire begin to feast.

The Doctor continues his climb as Magpie calls out from the mast that it is too late for everyone and the Wire threatens to consume her enemy. The Time Lord looses his footing but manages to grip the mast again and continue, calling out that he will not let Magpie get away with what he is doing. The old man calls out to the Doctor for help, the Wire has taken his soul. The Doctor reaches the top of the mast and the Wire warns that he cannot stop her; soon she will be manifest. Magpie calls to be left in peace and she grants him it. A blast of energy grabs him and vaporises him to nothing as his former mistress laughs.

The Doctor comments that the Wire has over extended herself and between vicious blasts of energy she aims at him grabs the box in which she sits. He begins making connections but as he does so the device in the control room overloads. The Wire mocks him, asking if his plan has gone wrong. The Doctor looks down at the cable trailing below him, as in the control room Tommy replaces the burnt out component with one on a nearby shelf. He once again plugs in the device and immediately the transmitter begins to stop feeding from the television sets. The bolts of energy release the people watching the televisions and retreat back to the Palace, as the Wire yells in disbelief, before her image cuts out from the screen.

In the cage of people captured by the police all is well, their faces have been returned and they are ready to go home. Meanwhile, Tommy sits in the control room waiting. The Doctor enters and explains that he turned the receiver back into a transmitter and trapped the Wire in the device he rigged up. He presses a button o it and it springs apart, revealing a videotape labelled in an alien language. The Doctor has created the video recorder a few decades early. He looks at the tape and sheepishly announces to Tommy that it’s a Betamax tape. Looking up at one of the monitors on the control panel the Doctor watches as the newly crowned Queen Elizabeth II stands on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, waving to her subjects, the national anthem playing in the background.

Some time later the one-faceless people are wandering around in a courtyard. The Doctor arrives with Tommy, who rushes to meet his grandmother and as the Doctor looks around, he finds Rose waiting for him. He strides over to her and they embrace.

In the Connolly house Rita stands holding a suitcase, facing her husband. She tells him the house was never his, it’s in her mother’s name and on her behalf she tells him to get out. She places the suitcase before him and he looks down at it. He picks it up and walks out, closing the front door behind him.

Outside the street party is under way. The Doctor and Rose are walking along, the Doctor eating a slice of cake and Rose pondering that they could join the others in the Mall by Buckingham Palace. The Doctor dismisses it a pompom circumstance, the real history is happening where they are now.

Rose asks if the Wire is trapped for good and the Doctor tells her he hopes so, but just to be on the safe side he plans to use his unrivalled knowledge of transtemporal extopation methods to neutralise the residual electronic pattern. Rose asks what that means and he tells her in layman’s terms: he’ll tape over it. She laughs and tells him to leave it to her, she’s always doing that.

They join Tommy, who is serving drink to others at the party and the Doctor tells him he can keep his scooter, although warns him to keep it in the garage for a few years before he starts using it. Tommy however is paying attention to something else; his father is leaving their house with his suitcase and is making his way down the street. He tells himself ‘rood riddance’ and the Doctor asks him if this is it; a monarch, a new age, a new world; no room for a man like Eddie Connolly. Tommy agrees and states that he deserves it. Rose tells him to go after him, he is his dad but Tommy simply tells her he is an idiot, She admits he must be, after all he is a father. She tells him that he is clever enough to save the world and he shouldn’t stop there. He runs off to join him walking, and takes his case as they make their way along the street.

The Doctor and Rose watch them go, before toasting with glasses of orange juice and drinking from them as the celebrations continue around them.

Source: Dominic Smith

Continuity Notes:
  • While the Doctor examines the blank-faced Rose, Bishop says in the background that this will get Torchwood on their backs.
  • The Doctor climbing the transmitter is reminiscent of the fourth Doctor’s last actions in Logopolis.
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