Doctor Who (2005– )
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The Empty Child 

When a spaceship crashes in the middle of the London Blitz the Doctor, Rose and the enigmatic Captain Jack Harkness find themselves investigating a plague of physical injuries and a little boy in a gas mask.


James Hawes


Steven Moffat




Episode complete credited cast:
Christopher Eccleston ... Doctor Who
Billie Piper ... Rose Tyler
Kate Harvey Kate Harvey ... Nightclub Singer
Albert Valentine Albert Valentine ... The Child
Florence Hoath Florence Hoath ... Nancy
Cheryl Fergison Cheryl Fergison ... Mrs. Lloyd
Damian Samuels ... Mr. Lloyd
John Barrowman ... Jack Harkness
Robert Hands Robert Hands ... Algy
Joseph Tremain ... Jim
Jordan Murphy Jordan Murphy ... Ernie
Brandon Miller Brandon Miller ... Alf
Richard Wilson ... Dr. Constantine
Noah Johnson Noah Johnson ... The Empty Child (voice)
Dian Perry Dian Perry ... Computer (voice)


Rose and the Doctor find themselves in 1941 London when the TARDIS receives an emergency signal from another time-traveling vehicle. While the Doctor tries to determine where the object may have landed, Rose goes off in search of a child she can hear calling for help. When she gets herself into a precarious situation, she's rescued by the rather handsome RAF Captain Jack Harkness, who owns a time machine of his own. The Doctor meanwhile meets Nancy who has an interesting way of arranging meals for homeless children. They are also being chased by the child Rose heard calling. The Doctor determines that human DNA is being rewritten but it's not obvious why or by who. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

5 May 2006 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (50 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital (Dolby 5.1)


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Did You Know?


The TARDIS telephone rang at least one other time. In the original series, in season 3, the scene that bridges Doctor Who: The Hall of Dolls (1966) and Doctor Who: The Dancing Floor (1966), the Celestial Toymaker calls Steven and Dodo on the TARDIS phone. See more »


When Rose looks around Jack's ship, right after her "Very...Spock" line the flats of her hands are seen. Here they are completely unharmed. Later, they are burnt. See more »


[first lines]
Rose Tyler: What's the emergency?
The Doctor: It's mauve.
Rose Tyler: Mauve?
The Doctor: Universally recognised colour for danger.
Rose Tyler: What happened to red?
The Doctor: That's just humans. By everyone else's standards, red's camp. Oh, the misunderstandings! All those red alerts, all that dancing.
See more »


Referenced in Doctor Who Confidential: Shadow Play (2008) See more »


Doctor Who Theme
Written by Ron Grainer
Arranged by Murray Gold
Performed by BBC National Orchestra of Wales
See more »

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User Reviews

13 November 2018 | by Otter_See all my reviews

So begins the start of Moffat's great standalones. Shame about his showrunning, and his sexism does peek through with Jack objectifying Rose, but that's a review for another time.

The Empty Child is a great episode with great characters. I absolutely loved Nancy and what she did for the homeless kids of London, it was very clever and touching. Even now, in 2018, I actually didn't think the CGI of the transformation was that bad - in fact, it was a bit horrific to watch.

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