Doctor Who: Tin Dog Podcast
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TDP 223: The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
224 – "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe"
Doctor Who episode

    Matt Smith (Eleventh Doctor)

Writer     Steven Moffat
Director     Farren Blackburn[1]
Executive producer(s)    

    Steven Moffat
    Piers Wenger
    Caroline Skinner

Series     Specials (2011)
Length     60 min
Originally broadcast     25 December 2011[3]
← Preceded by     Followed by →
"The Wedding of River Song"     Series 7

"The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe" is an episode of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, in which the Doctor visits Earth and an alien forest. The episode was shown in the United Kingdom on Christmas Day on BBC One,[4] BBC America in the United States[5] Space in Canada,[6] and on ABC1 in Australia.[7] It is the seventh Christmas special since the show's revival in 2005.

The episode features Claire Skinner, Bill Bailey, Arabella Weir and Alexander Armstrong. A sneak preview was aired on 18 November 2011 for Children in Need.[8]

    1 Plot
        1.1 Prequel
        1.2 Episode
        1.3 Continuity
    2 Production
        2.1 Cast notes
    3 References
    4 External links

[edit] Plot
[edit] Prequel

On 6 December, a prequel to the episode was released online.[9] The Doctor is seen on a spaceship holding a red button which, when he lets go, will cause the space ship to explode. While holding the button, he has phoned the TARDIS to speak to Amy Pond asking her to rescue him, although he does not have his co-ordinates. Amy cannot fly the TARDIS, and she is not on the TARDIS. The Doctor wishes Amy a Merry Christmas before letting go of the button, and the spaceship explodes.[10]
[edit] Episode

During the Christmas season of 1938, the Doctor finds himself on a damaged alien spacecraft in Earth's orbit. He escapes the exploding ship and the fall to Earth by rapidly donning an impact space suit, though in his haste, the helmet is put on backwards. On crashing to Earth, he is found by Madge Arwell, wife of Reg and mother of two children, Lily and Cyril. She helps the Doctor, stuck and unable to see while in the impact suit, to his TARDIS, and the Doctor promises to repay her for her kindness.

Three years later, during World War II, Reg is reported killed in action when the Lancaster Bomber he was piloting disappeared over the English Channel. Madge is told this via telegraph just before Christmas, but decides not to tell her children, hoping to keep their spirits up through the holiday. Madge and the children evacuate London to a relative's house in Dorset, where they are greeted by the Doctor, calling himself "the Caretaker"; Madge does not recognise him from their previous encounter.

The Doctor has prepared the house specially for the children and the holiday; though the children are pleased, Madge privately explains about Reg's death to the Doctor and insists he not overindulge the children. During the first night, Cyril is lured into opening a large glowing present under the Christmas tree, revealing a time portal to a snow-covered forest. The Doctor shortly discovers Cyril's absence and follows him with Lily; the two eventually track Cyril down to a strange lighthouse-like structure. Madge, finding her children missing, soon follows them into the forest, but is met by three miners in space suits from the planet Androzani Major.

At the lighthouse, Cyril is met by a humanoid creature made of wood; it places a simple band of metal around his head like a crown. Lily and the Doctor arrive, followed by another wood creature, but find that they have rejected Cyril as he is "weak", as is the Doctor. The Doctor concludes that the life forces of the trees in the forest are trying to escape through a living creature, the crown acting as an interface. Meanwhile, Madge, holding the miners at gunpoint, is taken back to their excavation walker and told that the forest of the planet they are on is scheduled to be melted by acid rain within minutes, killing anything within it. The miners are teleported away safely before the rain starts after helping Madge to locate where her children are.

Madge, using the little knowledge she knows of flying a plane from Reg, directs the walker to the lighthouse and safely reunites with her children as the acid rain starts. The wood creatures identify her as "strong", and the Doctor realises they consider her the "mothership", able to carry the life force safely. Donning the band, Madge absorbs the life force of the forest, allowing her to direct the top of the lighthouse as an escape pod away from the acid rain and into the time vortex. To get them home, the Doctor directs her to think of memories of home, allowing Madge to revisit her fond memories of Reg, shown on screens within the pod. She realises that she will have to recall the moment of Reg's death, but the Doctor forces her to continue to do so; Lily and Cyril come to learn the truth as they witness his last moments aboard the Lancaster bomber.

Soon, the escape pod safely leaves the time vortex, landing just outside the house in Dorset, and the life force of the forest have converted themselves to ethereal beings within the time vortex. The Doctor steps outside while Madge starts to explain Reg's death to Lily and Cyril, but he returns to interrupt her and to tell her to come outside. There stands Reg and his Lancaster; he had followed the bright light of the escape pod into the time vortex and came out safely along with the pod at Dorset. The family has a tearful reunion as the Doctor watches.

As Madge and her family turns to celebrate Christmas, the Doctor attempts to slip away, but Madge catches him, and as she sees the TARDIS realises that he is the man in the space suit from three years back. She insists on him staying for Christmas dinner, but when the Doctor reveals he has other friends out there that believe he is dead, Madge convinces him to go to see them at Christmas. The Doctor offers Madge his help if she ever needs it again.

Later, the Doctor arrives outside Amy and Rory's home, two years since he left them there. Amy pretends to be angry at him for leaving them the way he did, but explains that River Song told them about his faked death, and Rory reveals that they have been setting a place for him at their Christmas dinner table every year. Having remarked earlier in the episode how "humany-wumany" it is to cry because of happiness, the Doctor finds himself shedding a tear of happiness in reaction to Rory's remark, and grins in wonder, and then steps inside to join them for dinner.
[edit] Continuity

    The three tree harvesters are from Androzani Major in the year 5345, a planet already featured in the serial The Caves of Androzani.
    The Doctor also mentions the Forest of Cheem, which appeared in the Ninth Doctor episode The End of the World. He also mentioned that one of them fancied him, which was Jabe Ceth Ceth Jafe, who sacrificed her life for him.
    Amy Pond tells the Doctor that two years have passed since Lake Silencio ("The Impossible Astronaut"/"The Wedding of River Song").

[edit] Production
The Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre's preserved Lancaster bomber Just Jane, used in the programme

The BBC announced in September 2011 that production had started for the special and filming was due to be complete by mid October 2011.[11] However, filming was disrupted on 30 September due to a 24-hour protest at BBC Wales because of compulsory redundancies.[12] The story is partly inspired by The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (from The Chronicles of Narnia) by C. S. Lewis.[13] C. S. Lewis died the day before the very first episode of classic Doctor Who aired. Filming of some scenes involving Alexander Armstrong took place in and around the Lancaster bomber 'Just Jane' at the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre on 3 October 2011.[14] External footage of the lighthouse building took place in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire.[15]
[edit] Cast notes

Alexander Armstrong previously appeared in Doctor Who episodes "The Stolen Earth" and "Journey's End" as the voice of Mr Smith, an alien computer, his character from The Sarah Jane Adventures.

Arabella Weir previously appeared as an alternate incarnation of the Third Doctor in the Doctor Who Unbound audio drama Exile.[16]

Claire Skinner is placed in the opening titles instead of Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill, whose appearance in the episode was not reported before broadcast. Gillan and Darvill are, however, credited above Skinner in the episode's end credits.
[edit] References

    ^ Golder, Dave (21 September 2011). "UPDATE: Doctor Who Christmas Special Director Revealed". SFX. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
    ^ "Steven Moffat on the New Exec". BBC. 21 July 2011. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
    ^ Seale, Jack (29 November 2011). "Christmas TV: scheduling confirmed for Doctor Who, Strictly and Downton". Radio Times. Immediate Media. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
    ^ "Doctor Who: Christmas Day at 7:00pm". BBC. 29 November 2011. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
    ^ "Doctor Who Christmas Special" (Press release). BBC America. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
    ^ "Doctor Who: The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe - December 25th at 9pm ET!". Space. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
    ^ Golder, Dave (27 October 2011). "Doctor Who Christmas Special Clip During Children in Need". SFX. Retrieved 29 October 2011.
    ^ "Adventure Calendar 2011". BBC. 1 December 2011. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
    ^ "The Prequel to The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe" (Video). BBC. 6 December 2011. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
    ^ "Christmas Special: The Stars! The Story!". BBC. 20 September 2011. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
    ^ Jeffery, Morgan (30 September 2011). "'Doctor Who' Christmas special filming disrupted by BBC Wales strike". Digital Spy. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
    ^ "Doctor Who Christmas special cast to include Bill Bailey and Claire Skinner". Metro. 21 September 2011. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
    ^ "Doctor Who Christmas Special role for Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre". Skegness Standard. Retrieved 30 November 2011.
    ^ who "Look what's landed for Dr Who Xmas special!". The Forester. 22 September 2011. Retrieved 26 December 2011.
    ^ "Doctor Who Unbound — Exile". Big Finish. Retrieved 25 October 2011.

Direct download: TDP_223_Doctor_Widow_Wardrobe.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 12:50pm UTC

TDP 222: Yule/Christmas Special

A secret meeting at the bbc... recorded for you...

the true future about doctor Who Confidential

Direct download: TDP_Xmas_Special_2011.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 9:13am UTC

TDP 221: Sarah Jane Smith  @ Big Finish 1.4 Ghoat Town

2 November, 2001. A worried scientist, working alone in his laboratory, has finally isolated the perfect pitch, but he’s beginning to become concerned about the purpose of “Project CIA.” His doubts have come too late, however, as a familiar figure enters the lab and a struggle ensues. Some time later, Yolande Benstead is woken by a hammering at her door; a bedraggled, terrified figure has stumbled to her home through the storm, and he has no idea who he is...

(drn: 56'42")

Following the recent sarin gas incident, Sarah and Josh have decided they need a holiday, and thus they’re off to Romania to look up an old friend of Sarah’s. As Josh tries to overcome his fear of flight, Sarah admits to him that she’s finally taken the step of selling her aunt’s house and market garden in Moreton Harwood. Juno Baker sorted out the details, the money has been deposited into her “Marie Samuels” account, and her belongings are waiting to be unpacked in her new flat, which used to belong to the late Claudia Coster. But all that can wait; now she and Josh are on their way to a small town in Romania, where Yolande Benstead retired when her brand of journalism became too controversial for her nervous editors. As it happens, the village is currently hosting an international peace conference, and Sarah wants to see this historic event first-hand.

Sarah and Josh take a taxi to Yolande’s home, a creepy Carpathian chateau which Josh compares to something out of Scooby-Doo. Yolande is delighted to see Sarah again, and after Josh and Sarah get unpacked and settle in, dinner is served and Sarah and Yolande catch up. There are no televisions in the house; Yolande is too far out to get a good signal, and she keeps abreast of the news via the papers and an old wireless in one of the bedrooms. She lives alone apart from her servant “Dmitri”, who turned up on her doorstep six months ago with no memory. Yolande has tried to help him remember who he is, but she fears tat he’s experienced something so traumatic that he may never remember what happened to him. She feels sure, however, that he is completely harmless.

Sarah and Josh retire for the night in separate rooms, but Josh tells Sarah to give him a shout if anything spooky happens. Sarah scoffs and retires to her room, which comes complete with a stuffed grizzly bear and the old wireless set which Yolande mentioned. However, her sleep is broken when the clock strikes three by an eerie, low-pitched hum, and by the terrifying shrieks and wails of a spectral apparition. Josh arrives to find Sarah screaming hysterically, and as she recovers, she claims to have seen a ghost...

The next day dawns bright and sunny, but Sarah is still shaken and can’t believe she actually saw a ghost. She tries to snap out of her mood by going for a walk around the village with the grumbling Josh. Meanwhile, Yolande speaks with Dmitri and tries again to find out who he is, but he seems particularly agitated today and insists that he can remember nothing. All he knows is that something unbearable happened to him -- and last night he hears a sound which he believes he’s heard before.

Josh and Sarah split up upon reaching the village; Sarah wants to explore the town, but Josh just wants a pint after the exhausting three-mile hike. Sarah finds her way to a local museum, where she meets another expatriate Brit, Christian Ian Abbotly. Abbotly won’t or can’t tell her what he does for a living, leading her to conclude he’s involved with the peace conference in some way, but he does offer her his business card and invite her to share a cup of coffee. While Sarah spends a pleasant afternoon in Abbotly’s company, Josh catches a taxi back to the house and finds Dmitri helping Yolande with the gardening. He also tries to find out what Dmitri knows about last night’s strange events, but gets no further than Yolande; however, he does get the strong impression that Dmitri is hiding something, perhaps even from himself.

That night, Yolande invites two more friends to dinner: Jack McElroy, the American delegate to the peace conference, and his young wife Candy. The five of them spend a very pleasant evening together, and it’s well past midnight by the time Jack and Candy take their leave. Candy is devoted to her husband, and Sarah considers him a very lucky man. But that night his luck runs out. As the clock strikes three, Sarah sees the same apparitions she did the previous night, but this time they’re not quite as terrifying as before... but in the McElroy’s home, Candy is literally frightened to death while preparing for bed. The next day, Sarah and Josh learn of Candy’s death. Jack is in a state of shock, and Sarah, furious, vows to learn the truth.

Sarah and Josh return to Yolande’s home, where Yolande is trying to calm the agitated Dmitri; last night, he actually managed to write something down on a piece of paper, until the sounds came and frightened the memory out of him again. Yolande finally admits to Sarah that things like this have been going on for months, but she’s wary of investigating; even after spending six years in the village, she is still regarded as an outsider, and if she calls in the police because she’s seen a ghost, she’ll never be accepted. This is the real reason she invited Sarah to stay with her.

Sarah and Josh return to the village to investigate, and while there Josh meets Abbotly. He doesn’t get along with the smug ex-pat and retreats to the bar, but Sarah accepts Abbotly’s invitation to dinner. Abbotly excuses himself as Josh returns with further information; it seems that quite a few delegates have seen apparitions similar to those which killed Candy, and the conference is being disrupted as a result. Is the entire village haunted?

Sarah decides to get positive proof one way or the other, and has Josh wire up her bedroom with audio and video recording equipment. Yolande is reluctant to risk Sarah’s life, but allows her to try this experiment anyway. That night at 3 a.m. the apparitions return, and this time Josh and Yolande see them as well when they burst into Sarah’s room to rescue her. Thunder rolls as they flee to safety, while elsewhere in the house, the terrified Dmitri is confronted by a very familiar figure. Yolande hears something like a muffled thunderclap and investigates, to find that Dmitri has been shot and killed.

The next day, Josh finds that the video equipment has burned out; they’ll need to rent another player to find out what’s been recorded. In the meantime, Sarah has another lead; Dmitri’s murder definitely implies he’s involved with whatever’s happening, and before he died he wrote down the name of a university department. Josh and Sarah drive to the university, where they finally learn Dmitri’s true identity; he was once known as Doctor Mikhail Berberova, and he was a professor in the physics department. Sarah and Josh question the department head, Professor Vodancski, who is shocked to learn of Berberova’s death. Berberova was doing brilliant work in the field of sonics until he vanished two years ago, apparently resigning his position to work on a top-secret project which he referred to in his notes as “Project CIA”.

Josh can’t quite believe what he’s become involved with, but for Sarah the pieces are starting to fit together. When she and Josh return and play back the video from last night, Sarah isn’t surprised to find that there’s nothing unusual on the tape; the spectres which so terrified her, Josh and Yolande simply weren’t there. Ordering Josh and Yolande to call the police if anything happens to her, Sarah prepares to keep a dinner date -- but first she and Josh pay one more visit to Jack McElroy to see if Sarah’s suspicions are justified. In the room where Candy died, Sarah finds an old radio receiver, just like the wireless set in her own guest room.

Sarah visits Abbotly at his home, and questions him about the peace conference, claiming that she’s heard it’s not going as smoothly as hoped. Abbotly evades her questions and leaves to fetch some more wine, and as soon as he’s gone Sarah searches the room -- and finds a tape with Berberova’s voice, a record of his notes and his personal doubts about Project CIA. Abbotly catches Sarah listening to the tape and holds her at gunpoint, admitting that he’s been using Berberova’s work to disrupt the peace conference but refusing to tell her who he’s working for. As Sarah suspected, Berberova had isolated certain low-frequency electromagnetic fields which affected people’s perceptions, creating the illusion of supernatural visitations and generating fear within their minds. Once his work was complete, Abbotly turned the ghost-wave on him, and eventually murdered him to keep him silent. He now prepares to shoot Sarah, but at the last moment Josh arrives, overpowers him and seizes the gun. Like Sarah, he worked out the truth when he realised that “CIA” stood for “Christian Ian Abbotly.” Sarah survived despite the old radio receiver in her room because Yolande’s house was too far out to receive a strong signal. With Jack’s guidance, the delegates agree to resume the conference after some time off; Abbotly’s mysterious employers have failed to disrupt the cause of international peace.

Direct download: TDP_221_SJS_1_4_GHOSTTOWN.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 9:02pm UTC

TDP 220: Sarah Jane Smith  @ Big Finish 1.3 Test of Nerve
Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith); Jeremy James (Josh Townsend); Sadie Miller (Natalie Redfern); Robin Bowerman (Harris); Caroline Burns-Cook (Claudia Coster); Juliet Warner (Ellie Martin); Mark Donovan (DI Morrison); Roy Skelton (James Carver); Alistair Lock (Newsreader)
David Bishop
23 February 2002
Gary Russell
5 September 2002
Davy Darlington
No. of Discs:
Sound Design:
Davy Darlington
59' 12"
Cover Art: Lee Binding
Production Code:
Sarah Jane Smith receives a mysterious gift with a cryptic message. The London Underground will suffer an horrific terrorist attack during rush hour unless Sarah can find and stop those responsible. As rush hour draws closer, the terrifying reality of the threat becomes all too apparent. One friend is murdered and another abducted. Sarah must be willing to sacrifice everyone and everything she holds dear to save the city. This is one deadline she cannot miss!
Direct download: TDP_220_SJS_1_3_TEST_NERVE.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 4:00am UTC

TDP 219: Smith Yr 2 Box Set Review

info to follow

Direct download: TDP_219_Smith_Yr2_Box_Set_Review.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am UTC

TDP 218: Confidetial Update

Doctor Who Confidential Still Canselled

Direct download: TDP_218_Confidential_Update_1.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 10:52pm UTC