9 / 10. The Empty Child / The Doctor Dances

Series 1 - 2005

Writer: Stevan Moffat
Produced by: Phil Collinson
Director: James Hawes


The Doctor sends the TARDIS after an object that is on its way to Earth, setting off a mauve emergency. The object is jumping time tracks, and the TARDIS materialises around a month after the object lands.

Roses suggests that in order to find the object, the Doctor should search for 'alien-tech'. The Doctor suggests that there can't be many objects falling from the sky, and that they should ask. Whilst the Doctor goes off to ask, Rose spots a child on top of a building, and goes up to help. She tries to climb a rope, but the rope is attached to a barrage balloon that becomes detached. Still holding onto the rope Rose starts to float across London in the middle of an air raid. The Union Flag on her t-shirt is not the wisest fashion choice.

The Doctor goes into a nightclub to ask if anything has fallen from the sky within the last month. Everyone laughs, and the Doctor realises why when the air raid siren sounds. The Doctor goes back to the TARDIS to look for Rose, and is astonished when the TARDIS phone rings. A girl urges him not to answer it, but he does so anyway.

Rose, still floating over London, loses grip on the rope and falls. She is rescues by a tractor beam emanating from an invisible ship. Inside she meet Captain Jack Harkness who, under the impression that the Doctor and Rose are time agents, tells Rose about the last Chula warship that he has parked in London. He says they can buy it from him, but they will have to be quick as a German bomb will drop on it in two hours.

The Doctor goes looking for the girl that told him not to answer the telephone. He finds her helping a group of children living rough. When the air raid sounded, everyone made their way to the bunker, leaving houses wide open. The girl, Nancy, finds one with a fresh meal on the table. Nancy passes the plate round to all the children, and the Doctor is there. The children are scared at first, but soon accept him. The Doctor tries to ask about the telephone, but Nancy does not want to talk about it. A boy, Jamie, wearing a gas mask, appears at the door to the house. Nancy tells the Doctor not to let him in, and not to touch him.

Needing to find out more, the Doctor follows Nancy again. The Doctor asks who she lost, and Nancy tells him about her brother, Jamie, who was killed around the time the object landed. She tells the Doctor to visit 'the Doctor' if he wants more information about what is happening. The Doctor goes into Albion Hospital to see Doctor Constantine, and sees many more people who look like the boy. Doctor Constantine is infected as well, and the Doctor watches his face mutate into a gas mask.

Captain Jack finds the Doctor by searching for alien tech. When Jamie gets close to Nancy, all the patients come alive and close in to the Doctor, Captain Jack and Rose. The Doctor realises he is still dealing with a child, and orders it to go to its room. All patients are connected to Jamie. When Jamie receives the instruction, he returns to the hospital, and the patients return to their beds.

The Doctor realises that Jamie's bed is in fact the hospital. The Doctor, Rose and Captain Jack manage to escape, and the Doctor examines the object that had fallen. Captain Jack admitted to being a conman, and explained that it was an ambulance, and that it was empty. This was not his fault.

But the ambulance had been filled with nano genes. When the ambulance had landed, some had escaped. They had found the dead Jamie, and brought him back to life. The nano genes had never seen human DNA before, so assumed that the gas mask was part of the human body, and that Jamie was how advanced all humans were. Jamie, and all the patients, were slowly making their way to the ambulance when it became threatened.

Jamie still keeps asking if Nancy is his mother. The Doctor realises, much to Nancy's shame, that she is, and urges her to admit it. Nancy tells Jamie she is his mother, and hugs him. The nano genes notice the parent DNA, and begin to re-write Jamie's DNA. The Doctor is able to send these nano genes to repair all the other infected people. For once, everyone lives.

During this, Captain Jack had returned to his ship, and used the tractor beam to stop the German bomb falling on the ambulance. He takes it into space, but is unable to jettison it. He realises that he has a few minutes before it explodes. At the end of his ship is a blue police box with the door open...

Regular Cast

  • Rose Tyler: Billie Piper
  • Captain Jack Harkness: John Barrowman
  • The Child (Jamie): Albert Valentine

Guest Cast

  • Nightclub Singer: Kate Harvey (1)
  • Nancy: Florence Hoath
  • Mrs. Lloyd: Cheryl Fergison
  • Mr. Lloyd: Damien Samuels
  • Algy: Robert Hands
  • Jim: Joseph Termain
  • Ernie: Jordan Murphy
  • Alf: Brandon Miller (1)
  • Doctor Constantine: Richard Wilson
  • Voice of the Empty Child: Noah Johnson
  • Computer Voice: Dian Perry
  • Timothy Lloyd: Luke Perry (2)
  • Jenkins: Martin Hodgson (2)
  • Mrs. Harcourt: Vilma Hollingbury (2)
  • Double for the Empty Child: Luke Perry
  • Pianist: John Martin
  • Drummer: Frazer Lawson
  • Double Bass player: Colin Lewis
  • Tenor Saz player: Eric Clarke
  • Barman: Paul Newbolt
  • Drinkers: Jeff Jones,. John Jenner, John Ninnis, Paulo Scaglioni, Phil May, Saul Murphy, Steve Lloyd, Paul Battenbough, Barrie Wharmby, Richard Crutchley, Matthew John Walker, Emma Dwyer, Helen Irving, Lynne Beddoe, Marianne Hemming, Sheila Jones, Steve Ann Beddoe, Zoe Marie Morris
  • Stunt double for Rose: Kim McGarrity
  • Urchin: David Pursey
  • Children: Laura Flook, Levi Cavelli, Jessica Grey, Ryan Conway, Chris Conway
  • Soldiers: Jason Weeks, Philip Rattray, Leighton Habberfield, Alan White, Paul Burke, Nigel Ash
  • Doctors: Alan Sula, Roderick Mair
  • Nurses: Pat Crimmins, Rachel Chambers
  • Porter: Dai Murphy
  • Patients: Slim David, Phil Sutton, Nerys Jones, Anthony Davies, John Lewis, Chris Jones, Lee Griffiths, Gwylim Jones, Ellen Jenkins, Clive Taylor, Victoria George, Sharon Little, Patricia Atsila, Hilary Morris, Dennis Williams, Pat Ward
  • Twins: Lowri Izzard, Mari Izzard
  • Gas Mask Creature: Chris Jones
  • Double for Doctor Constantine: Mike Smith
  • Stunt Double for Captain Jack: Tony Lucken
  • Stunt Double for the Doctor: James Edgell
  • Additional dialogue recording: Vernon Keeble-Watson, Jane Hunt, Paul Ganney, Wendi Sheard, Nicholas Wilkes, Hannah Welch

Original broadcast on the BBC

Channel Title Date Viewers Rating
BBC 1 9. The Empty Child Saturday, May 21, 2005 6:30 PM - 7:15 PM 7.1M
BBC 1 10. The Doctor Dances Saturday, May 28, 2005 7:00 PM - 7:45 PM 6.9M

Click here to show repeat broadcasts on the BBC


  • Model Unit Stage, Kendal Avenue, London
  • Unit Q2, Newport

Outside Locations

  • Alley off Womanby Street, Cardiff
  • Bargoed Street, Grangetown
  • Cardiff Royal Infirmary, Cardiff
  • Headlands School, St. Augustine's Road, Penarth
  • RAF St. Athan
  • Vale of Glamorgan Railway Ltd., Plymouth Road, Barry Island