207. The Idiot’s Lantern

The Idiots Lantern



It’s 1953, the Coronation year of HM Queen Elizabeth II, and the people of Great Britain huddle round their television sets to witness the great event. But behind the celebrations there are rumours of monsters on the streets, and the tormented Mr Magpie is hiding a strange and alien secret.


Written by Mark Gatiss
Directed by Euros Lyn

The Doctor – David Tennant
Rose Tyler – Billie Piper
The Wire – Maureen Lipman
Rita – Debra Gillett
Tommy – Rory Jennings
Mrs. Gallagher – Marie Lewis
Bishop – Sam Cox
Betty – Jean Challis
Eddie – Jamie Foreman
Mr. Magpie – Ron Cook
Security Guard – Christopher Driscoll


The Doctor: “Hey, you speak the lingo!”
Rose “Yeah well… me, mum, Cliff Richard movies every Bank Holiday Monday.”
The Doctor ” Ah, Cliff! I knew your mother’d be a Cliff fan. ”

Rose: “Digging that New York vibe!”
The Doctor: ” Well… this could still be New York, I mean this looks very New York to me… sort of… Londony New York, mind..”

The Doctor: “Union Flag?”
Rose: “Mum went out with a sailor”
The Doctor: “I bet she did!

The Doctor: “Ah, hell of a right hook! Have to watch out for that!”

Bishop: “Start with everything you know.”
The Doctor: “Well for a start, you can’t wrap your hands around your elbow and make your fingers meet.”

The Doctor: ” Well, the thing is, Detective Inspector Bishop–”
D.I. Bishop: “How do you know my name?”
The Doctor: “It’s… written inside your collar.”

Tommy: “We don’t even know where to start looking – it’s too late.”
The Doctor: “It’s never too late, as a wise person once said. Kylie, I think.”

The Doctor: Sorted. Electrical creature, TV technology, clever alien life form – that’s me by the way. I turned the receiver back into a transmitter and I trapped the Wire in here. I just invented the home video 30 years earlier. Betamax.”

Rose:That thing, is it trapped for good on video?”
The Doctor: “That’s right. But just to be on the safe side though, I’ll use my unrivaled knowledge of trans-temporal extrapolation methods to neutralise the residual electronic pattern.”
Rose: “You’ll what?”
The Doctor: “I’m gonna tape over it.”


This episode takes place in 1953.

‘The Idiots Lantern’ was a British slang term for the ‘television’ during the 1940s and 1950s.

The police discuss the possibility of Torchwood getting involved in the scene where they question the Doctor.

Following the episode, the Who is Doctor Who? website was again updated. This time by a ‘friend’ due to ‘Mickey’s’ absence.