Series 5 of Doctor Who, also known as Season 31 for clarity over Season 5, began its run on BBC One on 3rd April 2010[1] — almost 21 months after the last episode of the previous regular series. It was notable for being the debut series for Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith, and for introducing new companion, Karen Gillan's Amy Pond.

From a production standpoint, the series featured the largest number of staff changes since the BBC Wales version debuted in 2005. By far the most publicised was that of Steven Moffat's replacement of Russell T Davies as head writer, but whole departments within the production got new leadership, as well.

Major changesEdit

New production teamEdit

[1][2]Steven Moffat, Piers Wenger and Beth Willis in a publicity shot for Series 5.In the spring of 2008, it was announced that Steven Moffat, who has written Hugo Award-winning or nominated scripts for the revived series in each of its first four seasons and whose association with Doctor Who dates back to his writing of the Comic Relief parody The Curse of Fatal Death in the late 1990s, would succeed Russell T Davies as head writer and producer of the series.[2] Davies officially retired from involvement with the series after the 2009 specials and at present has no plans to retain any direct connection to the series now Moffat's tenure has begun. [3] However, Davies has announced that he plans to remain involved with production of Torchwood for the foreseeable future, and hopes to see further crossovers with Doctor Who, indicating he may not completely sever his ties with the parent show.[4] Moffat has stated that no characters from the Russell T Davies era will be returning in Series 5. [5]

Fellow executive producer Julie Gardner also departed at the end of 2009, and was replaced by Piers Wenger. Beth Willis was added as a third executive producer — giving the show three execs for the first time since Mal Young departed at the end of Series 1. The line producer of the series — a position once almost entirely held by Phil Collinson — was split between Tracie Simpson and Peter Bennett, two members of the production staff who had risen to prominence during the 2009 specials. For the first time since 2005, the series also credited a co-producer, Patrick Schweitzer, for episodes 6 and 10, the two episodes filmed in Croatia.

Other senior members of the production staff, such as production designer Ed Thomas and composer Murray Gold remained at their posts. However, several departments also underwent big changes beginning with The Eleventh Hour. Directors of photography Rory Taylor and Ernie Vincze — who between them had fairly evenly split responsibilities since 2005 — left along with Davies and Gardner. They were replaced by a series of individuals, each handling only one or two episodes of the series. Meanwhile, the costume department came under the leadership of Ray Holman, who replaced Louise Page, the longest-serving designer since the Hartnell era costumer Daphne Dare. The change, however, was not just the replacement of one individual with another, as Holman brought in members of his design company to fill junior positions in the costume department.

Series 5 also represented a subtler behind-the-scenes change, especially for the more junior members of the production team. Combined with the general economic downturn that saw an across-the-board cut in jobs, it was also the first year since 2004 that Torchwood was not in some stage of production at BBC Wales. This meant there was some degree of job competition at the Upper Boat Studios. Some long-term members of staff left the studios completely, while others, took an effective reduction in rank to remain. Arwel Wyn Jones, for instance, went from being the supervising art director for the previous two series, to alternating set decorating duties with Julian Luxton. Still others remained in Wales, but shifted to Moffat's other Welsh production, Sherlock or found placement on Merlin, Being Human, or other BBC Wales programmes.

New numbering system?Edit

The run-up to the broadcast of the series premiere was characterized by confusing and sometimes contradictory indications from BBC sources. According to Issue 410 of Doctor Who Magazine, the BBC intended to begin the numbering of seasons over again to reflect the change of production team. Thus, the 2010 season would ostensibly be marketed as "Series 1".[6] A December 2009 announcement by the BBC regarding the show filming in Croatia also referred to the upcoming season as "Series 1."[7] This seemed to be still further confirmed by photographs of location filming, which clearly showed clappers labeled "Series 1". This suggested that, at least internally, the production team believed it was, indeed, a "first" series.

However, in early 2010, Steven Moffat indicated in Issue 418 of Doctor Who Magazine that this season will be referred to as Season 31. In his column in Issue 417, Moffat addressed the confusion in a humourous fashion, suggesting the season be called "Series Fnarg". "It's a whole new number," he wrote.

Muddying the waters even further, BBC Video announced on 3rd March 2010 that the first DVD release of episodes from the series, scheduled for issue in the UK in June 2010, will be titled Series Five, Volume 1.[8]

As of late March 2010, it remained unclear exactly how the series was going to be marketed. BBC iPlayer, however, refers to the series as 'Series 5'.

New TARDIS teamEdit

[3][4]Karen Gillan and Matt Smith in a promotional picture for Series 5During his acceptance speech for the award for Best Drama Performance at the National Television Awards on 29th October 2008, David Tennant announced that he would not return for the 5th series. As the Tenth Doctor's companion, Donna Noble had been ostensibly written out at the time, Tennant's announcement set up the possibility that series 5 would begin with a completely new set of starring actors. Aside from the special case of Rose, the only reasonably analogous situation in the history of Doctor Who was the start of Jon Pertwee's first season.

On 3rd January 2009, during a special episode of Doctor Who Confidential entitled "The Eleventh Doctor", the BBC announced that Matt Smith would be playing the Eleventh Doctor.[9] Smith succeeded Tennant in the last scene of The End of Time and Smith's Doctor was last seen crashing towards the Earth in a flaming, badly damaged TARDIS. That scene also confirmed that the Doctor would almost certainly sever connections with previous companions, making way for the introduction of new co-star Karen Gillan, who would play the character of Amy Pond.

New iconsEdit

In addition to the cast and crew changes, many of the other continuing elements of the show also underwent a major redesign at the start of the series. Most conspicuous was the 6th October 2009 unveiling of a new series logo — the first significant departure from the one that debuted on Rose. Likewise, the TARDIS herself got a noticeable exterior and radical interior make-over. British tabloid media reported the switch was due to the show's switch to high-definition production,[10] although periodic revisions to the TARDIS are nothing new to the series with changes both major and minor occurring numerous times since 1963. Along with the TARDIS change came a substantially redesigned sonic screwdriver, which is expected to remain the Doctor's all-purpose tool as it has been since the series returned in 2005.

[5][6]The logo for Series 5 as it was originally unveiled in late 2009 and as it is used on merchandiseA new Doctor Who theme arrangement was introduced, replacing the version introduced for the 2007 Christmas special. Discounting closing-credit variations and versions devised for non-series events, this is Murray Gold's third major arrangement of the Ron Grainer/Delia Derbyshire theme. Gold has now arranged more versions of the theme for TV than any other composer. Although some reviews have referred to it as a new theme, it is still recognizably the same piece of music dating from 1963.


Primary CastEdit

  • The Doctor - Matt Smith
  • Amy Pond - Karen Gillan

Secondary CastEdit

  • Rory Williams - Arthur Darvill
  • River Song - Alex Kingston

Guest StarsEdit

  • Mother - Olivia Colman
  • Craig - James Corden [11][12]
  • Mrs Angelo - Annette Crosbie
  • Vincent Van Gogh - Tony Curran
  • Dorium - Simon Fisher-Becker [13]
  • Hawthorne - Terrence Hardiman
  • Rosanna Calvierri - Helen McCrory
  • Winston Churchill - Ian McNeice
  • Dr Black - Bill Nighy [14][15]
  • Liz 10 - Sophie Okonedo
  • Edwin Bracewell - Bill Paterson
  • Dr. Nasreen Chaudhry - Meera Syal [16]
  • Aunt Sharon - Susan Vidler [17]
  • Dr Ramsden - Nina Wadia
  • TBA - Melanie Walters [18]
  • Dream Lord - Toby Jones
  • Silurian - Neve McIntosh[19]
  • Dr. Gachet - Howard Lee [20]
  • Security Guard - Mike Skinner
  • Vampires - Elizabeth Croft, Gabriella Wylde, Claire Darcy-Bowen


  • Christopher Ryan is listed as playing Commander Strak on an agency website, Ryan also played the similarly named General Staal in Series 4, however there is no official confirmation the Sontarans will reappear.[source needed]
  • Alex Kingston also appeared on set at the time of filming episodes 12 and 13 at Stonehenge; her finale appearance was confirmed when she was briefly seen running with the Doctor and Amy through Stonehenge in the latest trailer.

Aliens and EnemiesEdit


  • Prisoner Zero
  • Atraxi
  • Smilers
  • Winders
  • Star Whale
  • Daleks
  • Edwin Bracewell
  • Weeping Angels
  • Treeborgs
  • Saturnynians
  • Dream Lord (Result of Psychic Pollen)
  • Eknodine


  • Silurians
  • Cybus Cybermen [21][22]
  • The Ha'rik[23]
  • The Timoreen[24]
  • The Skarkish[25]
  • A Silent Menace (possibly The Time Field)[26]


  • Original Cybermen
  • Sontarans


  • On the 1st April 2010, it was revealed that Steven Moffat was reviving the classic Kandy Man for the series finale but this later turned out to be an April Fools joke.



Aside from Steven Moffat, who is writing six episodes of the season (Episodes 1, 2, 4, 5, 12 and 13): all other writers have been confirmed for Season 31 in DWM 417:

  • Steven Moffat
  • Mark Gatiss
  • Toby Whithouse
  • Simon Nye
  • Chris Chibnall (2 episodes)
  • Richard Curtis
  • Gareth Roberts
  • Moffat has confirmed that he is writing the Christmas special for 2010.[27]
  • After Moffat was announced as new show-runner, speculation began to appear in the media about possible writers for Season 31. The most frequently published rumor was that Moffat had discussed the matter with noted fantasy author and graphic novelist Neil Gaiman. However, the list of writers confirmed by Doctor Who Magazine shows that Gaiman will not be writing an episode this series. On 6 February 2010 Gaiman announced, via his blog, that he has been hired to write an episode of Series 6.[28]


  • Adam Smith will direct one of the episodes block, Ashley Way will direct Chris Chibnall's two episodes (8 & 9) and Jonny Campbell will direct two (6 & 10).

Other Production NotesEdit

  • On 17th February 2010, Matt Smith appeared on Blue Peter to choose the winner of a contest that asked viewers to design a TARDIS control console. The winning design is expected to be featured in some way in one of the final Series 5 episodes which is to be filmed in the spring of 2010.[29]
  • The first four series were produced in association with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (accounts differ as to the extent of any financial support the CBC may have given, with the Doctor Who Information Network fanzine Enlightenment describing it more as an acquisition deal). Series 5 is the first full series to be produced since the end of this arrangement. It has not been reported whether any "co-production" arrangement has been established with another entity or whether Doctor Who is now fully BBC-produced.


Story ArcEdit

Shortly after the airing of the first episode, Matt Smith discussed the cracks and the mention of silence falling, telling the interviewer that they are a very important key to the series story arc. He also mentioned that the crack may be one of five things that viewers need to look out for throughout the series, the other four things remain unknown.

In The Eleventh Hour, there was one on Amy's wall, and one with a similar shape on the TARDIS television, in which the Doctor looked at it worryingly and quickly turned the screen off. A third crack was seen at the end of "The Beast Below" on the side of the United Kingdom space ship. The fourth one can be seen at the end of "Victory of the Daleks" on the wall behind the TARDIS right as it disappears.

The crack plays a major role in Flesh and Stone, appearing inside the Byzantium in the 51st century, larger than ever, and prompting the Doctor to begin investigating it. The crack is connected to a history-ending, Big Bang-scale temporal explosion, on 26.06.2010, probably at Amy's wedding. It's leaking time energy into the universe, which causes people and events to be erased from history, leaving no traces of their existence except in the memories of time travelers. Events erased from time by the crack involve the events of present day happenings of the Russel T. Davies era, although not all have been confirmed to have gone. This may create certain paradoxes, such as the Donna Noble never leaving the TARDIS and the Tenth Doctor never regenerating. It is possible that later Series 5 episodes will reveal how these things still happened. The Doctor was able to close the crack by feeding it an army of Weeping Angels (because they are complicated space-time events), but this was only temporary.

The crack made two appearances towards the end of "The Vampires of Venice" amongst the storm clouds, and shortly afterwards. It also appeared in "Amy's Choice" on the TARDIS scanner as the Doctor identifies the Cold star as the Deadly danger in one of the realities (see here for photos of all appearances to date).

Regular SeasonEdit

Episode Number Title Writer Director Notes
1 The Eleventh Hour Steven Moffat Adam Smith Direct continuation of The End of Time. Introduction of Amy Pond and Rory Williams.
2 The Beast Below Steven Moffat Andrew Gunn
3 Victory of the Daleks Mark Gatiss Andrew Gunn Reintroduction of the Daleks
4 & 5 Pt. 1: The Time of AngelsPt. 2: Flesh and Stone Steven Moffat Adam Smith Reintroduction of River Song & Weeping Angels.
6 The Vampires of Venice Toby Whithouse Jonny Campbell Rory joins the TARDIS crew.
7 Amy's Choice Simon Nye Catherine Morshead
8 & 9 Pt. 1: The Hungry EarthPt. 2: Cold Blood Chris Chibnall Ashley Way Reintroduction of the Silurians
10 Vincent and the Doctor


Richard Curtis Jonny Campbell
11 The Lodger


Gareth Roberts Catherine Morshead
12 & 13 Pt. 1:The Pandorica Opens[32]Pt. 2: The Big Bang Steven Moffat Toby Haynes Reintroduction of River Song and the Cybus Cybermen

The Adventure GamesEdit

Episode Number Title Writer Director Available Notes
14 City of the Daleks Phil Ford TBA 5th June
15 ??? of the Cybermen TBA TBA TBA

Broadcast DatesEdit

The BBC was unusually late in confirming the exact broadcast date for the start of the series. The first trailer to indicate a date said simply "Easter 2010", although there were reports of a variant of the trailer (later apparently withdrawn) with the 3rd April 2010 date. Due to this delay, speculation ran rampant with numerous sites such as the Internet Movie Database using speculative and unsourced start dates, some as early as mid-March 2010. It wasn't until 24 March 2010 -- 10 days before broadcast -- that the BBC officially confirmed 3rd April, although Steven Moffat had indicated this during an interview on BBC Breakfast as early as 19 March.[33]

Both BBC America in the US and Space in Canada commenced their broadcasts of Series 5 on 17 April 2010.[34]

Australia's ABC network began airing the series starting on 18th April 2010.[35] This marked the first time all of the major English-language markets for Doctor Who saw the start of a new series within the same month.

There will be a week long delay between two episodes broadcasted in Europe. This is due to the Eurovision Song Contest being broadcasted one Saturday.[36] In 2009 there were also reports that the BBC might split the season to accommodate its coverage of the FIFA World Cup; as of April 2010 there has been no announcement that such a split is expected.

This series is confirmed to start in New Zealand on the 2nd of May 2010.


The first trailer (a series preview) was released on 1st January 2010[37] It featured several scenes from the upcoming series with several new and old enemies present throughout the trailer.[38]

A 3D trailer promoting the series was released in trailers prior to Alice in Wonderland. [39]. It featured the Doctor and Amy Pond lying on grass, gazing at the stars. Suddenly, the ground opens up and they fall into a blue twisting tunnel whilst within the tunnel they are confronted by Weeping Angels, Daleks, and a Smiler before they return atop the grass. A large snake-like head bursts through the screen at the end of the trailer. The effects and grading of the trailer were completed by The Mill.[40] This head was visible in a later extended trailer, on a body with green, scaly skin. Apparently it has something to do with the Silurians; it may be some type of helmet. [41]

A new trailer was released on the 19th March, the opening shot of which features Amy floating in space, with the Doctor in the TARDIS holding onto her by her ankle. Among other things it featured the Daleks, a Cyberman advancing on Amy, the Doctor on horseback, a dogfight in space between a Dalek Saucer and WWII Spitfires, and the Weeping Angels. The BBC America trailer, released the same day, contains additional footage not seen in any of the UK trailers.

The latest extended UK trailer shows a few extra details, including the Doctor and Amy in what appears to be an underground base, River Song wearing an old-style evening dress and floating out of a spaceship airlock, vampires pursuing the Doctor, Smilers advancing on the Doctor and Amy, a woman getting attacked by what appears to be a Silurian, Amy and the Doctor fighting a serpentine creature, and the Doctor happily giving Amy a double thumbs-up (to her consternation). [42]


  • In DWM Issue 397, Steven Moffat wrote the "Production Notes" feature. This consisted mainly of an anecdote about how he became the head writer but he also touched upon his plans for Season 31. In particular he wrote "Piers Wenger and I are hard at work on Season 31. I can tell you nothing of our plans (except, obviously, THEY'RE BACK!)". Some have interpreted "they" to refer to the Time Lords, who had been "killed off" as a race during the Davies era. However, others have interpreted this as simply referring to the Daleks, who have become notorious for returning at least once a series since the revival. In a radio interview on 15th December 2009, Steven Moffat confirmed the return of the Weeping Angel; whether these are the species in question that are back is unknown.
    • It is unlikely that this means the Time Lords as they were brought back in DW: The End of Time and dealt with. In his book REF: Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale - The Final Chapter, Russell T Davies indicated that he checked with Moffat before writing his script to see if Moffat had plans to return the Time Lords. Moffat's response "take them" would suggest the Time Lords are not returning. It can be safely said now that, with all released information, trailers, the the airing of several episodes, Steven Moffat's comment was refering to the Daleks or the Weeping Angels.
    • Despite the above, the speculation as to whether "They're back" refers to the Time Lords may intensify with the announcement in September 2009 of a Blue Peter contest in which entrants are being asked to design "a TARDIS console" to be used within the series, which could be interpreted as referring to a TARDIS other than the Doctor's. BBC Press Announcement]</ref> At the time of the contest's launch in early October, however, the contest description suggested that the console should look like "something the Doctor put together" suggesting a different storyline possibility.[43]
    • Moffat could also possibly be referring to the Silurians who are set to return this season.
    • Given the nature of Moffat's comment, 'they' was obviously referring to the Daleks, as Moffat says 'obviously' - the Daleks are notorious for returning season after season, especially in the revived series, unlike the Time Lords, Weeping Angels and Silurians, whose appearances are brief in comparison, and the Daleks are widely recognised as the most popular alien race in Doctor Who.
  • Episode 13 is rumoured to feature the Daleks, Cybermen and Sontarans and various old and new enemies. [44]
    • Based on an apparant leaked filming image, enemies that are rumoured to feature also include Silurians, Weevils, Sycorax, Uvodni, and Judoon. [source needed]
    • Omega could return after a video on YouTube said one of the set members mentioned him coming out of the Pandorica. [source needed]
    • An alleged leaked script for episodes 12 and 13 described some evil form of entity, describing a "nameless, terrible thing" soaked in the blood of galaxies, the most feared thing in the cosmos. This is thought to be referring to the ultimate "big bad" of the finale. There is also a fan rumour that the Pandorica opening refers to Pandora's box, with the same thing mentioning a puzzle box opening. It is thought that this opening of the box has something to do with the return of various enemies.


  • Apollo 23
  • Night of the Humans
  • The Forgotten Army
  • The Glamour Chase
  • Nuclear Time
  • The King's Dragon


  • The Hounds of Artemis
  • The Runaway Train
  • Ring of Steel[45]

DVD ReleaseEdit

Weeks prior to the start of broadcast, was already listing Doctor Who Series Five - Volume One as scheduled for release on DVD and Blu-Ray in the UK on 7th June 2010. In keeping with previous releases of this nature, three episodes from the season will be included, though unlike previous "vanilla" releases, a featurette, The Monster Diaries, is also to be included.[46]

External LinksEdit


  1. Doctor Who News Page - Start Time Confirmed, 24 March 2010
  2. Official website's bulletin about Steven Moffat's accession
  3. BBC News Q&A session with RTD. 4 July 2008.
  4. Den of Geek: Torchwood Series 4 'Ready to Go', accessed 26th July 2009.
  6. "New Companion Confirmed!", Doctor Who Magazine #410 (22nd July 2009), p.5
  7. "series one in croatia", The Doctor Who News Page, 1 December 2009
  8. Doctor Who News Page - Matt Smith First DVD Release Date, accessed March 3, 2010
  9. BBC: New Doctor actor is youngest ever
  10. Dr Who Tardis to get makeover
  12. [1]
  14. The Doctor Who News Page - Bill Nighy in Doctor Who (Monday, February 01, 2010) - Posted by Anthony Weight accessed 4th February 2010
  15. [2]
  23. DWM418
  24. DWM418
  25. DWM418
  29. Doctor Who News Page: Blue Peter Competition Winner Announced, accessed 17 February 2010
  33. Doctor Who News Page - Start Date Confirmed, 24 March 2010
  34. Doctor Who News Page - Space Announces Canadian Start Date, accessed 4 March 2010
  35. Doctor Who News Page - Australia to See New Series in April, accessed 4 March 2010
  36. Doctor Who News Page - Doctor Who Preview at WonderCon, accessed 12 March 2010
  37. YouTube - Doctor Who: Series 5 Preview - BBC One (BBC channel) accessed 28th February 2010
  38. io9 - Breaking Down The New Doctor Who Trailer Shot By Shot accessed 28th February 2010
  39. 3D 'Doctor Who' trailer to screen in cinemas accessed 28th February 2010
  40. Kasterborous - 3D Doctor Who Trailer for Cinemas <accessed 28th February 2010</small>
  43. Doctor Who News Page: More Details of Blue Peter Contest
  46. Doctor Who News Page - Matt Smith First DVD Release Date, accessed 3rd March 2010

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