Doctor Who (2005– )
15 user 8 critic

The Idiot's Lantern 

As the coronation of Elizabeth II nears, the streets of London live in fear. Faceless people are stolen from their homes in the night and something evil is lurking in the television.


Euros Lyn


Mark Gatiss




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


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 rumors of monsters on the streets, and the tormented Mr Magpie is hiding a strange and alien secret. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official site [UK]





Release Date:

10 November 2006 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (50 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital (Dolby 5.1)


See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This episode takes place from June 1 to June 2, 1953. See more »


When the doctor breaks into Magpie's he shatters the front door glass to get in. When he is shown leaving the glass door is completely intact. See more »


The Doctor: Been burning the candle at both ends? You've overextended yourself, missus! You shouldn't have had a crack at poor old Magpie like that!
[the Wire electrocutes the Doctor through the portable TV]
The Wire: Hahahahaha!
The Doctor: [immediately fine] Rubber soles! Swear by 'em!
See more »


Featured in Great TV Mistakes (2010) See more »


Muffin The Mule
Written by Annette Mills
Performed by Annette Mills
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

If only it were The Faceless ones......
14 August 2015 | by Sleepin_DragonSee all my reviews

Now I tend to be very generous when it comes to my reviews, pains me to say it but I really don't like the Idiot's Lantern. When I read it had Margaret John and Maureen Lipman I thought 'here we go.' Wrong! this is the first nu Who let down.

The positives to start with, the imagery is really good, it looks impressive, the sets and attention to detail excellent, the backdrop of the Coronation is a goody, I love the idea of the celebrations and those gorgeous Street parties. I like the re-styling of Rose and the Doctor, and the Connolly's house looks fantastic. Jamie Foreman is actually good playing Eddie 'the bully' Connolly, Rory Jennings 'Tommy' is possibly the best one in it.

The downsides, it is just so dull, it is so slow and uninteresting. Maureen Lipman, technically a British institution is criminally underused, what a waste of her talents. It's pretty hard to concentrate on because it's just so flat.

4/10 it's a shambles.

The story of the

5 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 15 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed