Doctor Who (series 7)

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This article is about the 2012/13 series. For the 1970 season, see Doctor Who (season 7).
Doctor Who series 7
Doctor Who Series 7 boxset.jpg
DVD boxset cover
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of episodes 13 (+2 Christmas Specials)
Broadcast
Original channel BBC One
BBC One HD
Original run 1 September 2012 (2012-09-01) – 18 May 2013 (2013-05-18)
Home video release
DVD release
Region 1 24 September 2013[1]
Region 2 28 October 2013
Region 4 30 October 2013
Blu-ray Disc release
Region A 24 September 2013[1]
Region B 28 October 2013 (Region 2)
30 October 2013 (Region 4)
Series chronology
← Previous
Series 6
List of Doctor Who serials

The seventh series of the British science fiction television programme Doctor Who aired from 1 September 2012 to 18 May 2013, being split into two parts, as with the previous series. The series was broadcast concurrently on BBC One in the United Kingdom, BBC America in the United States, and on Space in Canada, and also on ABC in Australia, with the first five episodes each released a week after its UK and North American premiere and the remainder released the day after each episode's UK premiere. Following its premiere on 1 September 2012, the series aired weekly until 29 September 2012. Six episodes were broadcast in 2012, including the 2012 Christmas special, "The Snowmen", which aired separately from the main series. The remaining eight episodes began broadcasting on 30 March 2013. "The Snowmen" introduced a new TARDIS interior, title sequence, theme tune, and outfit for the Doctor.

Doctor Who '​s seventh series was the show's third and final series to feature Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill. They reprised their roles of the Eleventh Doctor, Amy Pond and Rory Williams, from the previous series. Gillan and Darvill departed the series in the fifth episode, after which a new companion named Clara Oswald joined the Doctor, played by Jenna Coleman, remaining with the series for its second half. Smith stayed for one year longer than Gillan and Darvill, and departed after the 2013 specials, with his final appearance being in the 2013 Christmas special "The Time of the Doctor".

List of episodes[edit]

As with Series 6, this series was again split into two parts, with the first five episodes broadcast between the 1 and 29 September 2012, ending with "The Angels Take Manhattan". Following the Christmas episode, "The Snowmen", the series resumed with "The Bells of Saint John" on 30 March 2013 and concluded with "The Name of the Doctor" on 18 May 2013. For the first time in the show's history, each episode of this series is a standalone story with no multi-parters. "The Crimson Horror" is the 100th broadcast episode since the series was revived (not accounting for mini-episodes).

Story No. Episode Title Directed by Written by UK viewers[4]
(million)
AI Original air date
225 "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe" Farren Blackburn Steven Moffat 10.77 84[5] 25 December 2011 (2011-12-25)
The Doctor crash-lands on Earth in 1938. He is helped back to the TARDIS by Madge Arwell (Claire Skinner), and promises to repay her for her kindness. Three years later, Madge's husband Reg (Alexander Armstrong) has disappeared while piloting an Avro Lancaster bomber in the Second World War, but as it is so close to Christmas she keeps it a secret from her two children, Lily (Holly Earl) and Cyril (Maurice Cole). The three evacuate London to stay at a house in Dorset, of which the Doctor masquerades as the caretaker. Cyril is lured through a large glowing present beneath the tree, which is in fact a portal to a winter planet the Doctor had planned to take the family to. Looking for Cyril, the Doctor and Lily and later Madge enter the box; Madge encounters miners, who plan to harvest the trees on the planet by melting them with acid rain. Meanwhile, Lily and the Doctor have followed Cyril's tracks to a tower where humanoid wooden creatures are trying to put a crown on Cyril, which will allow the souls of the trees to escape. When Madge arrives she is deemed "strong" enough to pilot the top of the tower to safety. When they land, Reg is alive as he had followed the light from the tower and landed safely. The Doctor turns down Christmas dinner with the family and instead visits his former companions and in-laws Amy and Rory, two years after he last saw them.
226 1 "Asylum of the Daleks" Nick Hurran Steven Moffat 8.33 89[6] 1 September 2012 (2012-09-01)
The Doctor, Amy, and Rory are kidnapped by the Daleks, who explain that a planet they use as an asylum for mad Daleks must be destroyed, but to do that its force-field must be disabled. The field has already been ruptured due to the crash-landing of a precocious young woman, Oswin Oswald (Jenna Coleman) one year previously. The Daleks provide the three with bracelets to protect them against the planet's defense system, which will convert any visitors into Dalek puppets. Although they are guided by Oswin, who has hacked into the planet's systems, the converted remains of Oswin's crew steal Amy's bracelet. The Doctor goes to find Oswin, as she claims to be able to disable the planet's force-field, and Oswin hacks into the Dalek psychic link and erases all memory of the Doctor from the Daleks who had started to advance on him. The Doctor discovers that Oswin has herself been fully converted into a Dalek, yet she still believes herself to be human. She ultimately realises the truth of her situation, but lowers the force-field and the Doctor, Amy, and Rory escape via teleporter before the planet is destroyed by Daleks. The Doctor returns to the Dalek Parliament to find they have no memory of him due to Oswin's interference.
227 2 "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship" Saul Metzstein Chris Chibnall 7.57 87[7] 8 September 2012 (2012-09-08)
The Doctor attempts to prevent the destruction of an unmanned spaceship with a cargo of dinosaurs alongside Rory's father, Brian (Mark Williams), Queen Nefertiti (Riann Steele), and big-game hunter John Riddell (Rupert Graves). The Doctor and his companions discover that the ship is a Silurian ark designed to carry the reptilian humanoids to a new planet along with flora and fauna from their time period. They find that a human named Solomon (David Bradley) had killed the Silurian inhabitants in order to sell the dinosaurs on board, and goes after Nefertiti after seeing her value. The Doctor foils Solomon's plan and prevents the missiles from destroying the ship, but does not extend mercy to Solomon.
228 3 "A Town Called Mercy" Saul Metzstein Toby Whithouse 8.42 85[8] 15 September 2012 (2012-09-15)
The TARDIS accidentally lands in Mercy, a town in the American West around 1870. The TARDIS crew discovers the town's doctor, Jex, is an alien who is being sought by the cyborg Gunslinger. The Doctor discovers Jex was a scientist who experimented on volunteers to create cyborgs to fight in a war on his home planet; the Gunslinger is seeking revenge for what was done to him. The Doctor faces a moral dilemma of whether he should offer Jex to the Gunslinger; he devises a plan to help Jex escape, but Jex commits suicide to save more innocent people from being harmed. The Doctor saves the Gunslinger from self-destruction and makes him the marshal of Mercy.
229 4 "The Power of Three" Douglas Mackinnon Chris Chibnall 7.67 87[9] 22 September 2012 (2012-09-22)
Amy and Rory begin to wonder whether they should choose between normal life and "Doctor Life". Many black cubes appear around the world and the Doctor stays with the Ponds to investigate but the cubes are inactive and the Doctor leaves UNIT, headed by Kate Stewart (Jemma Redgrave) in charge. A year goes by and the cubes suddenly begin activating random features before stopping the hearts of one third of humanity. The Doctor eventually tracks the cubes to the Shakri, who plan to eliminate humanity before they can colonise in space, believing them to be an infestation. The Doctor reverses the electric pulse used to stop people's hearts and destroys the Shakri ship. At Brian's urging the Doctor takes Amy and Rory back as full-time companions.
230 5 "The Angels Take Manhattan" Nick Hurran Steven Moffat 7.82 88[10] 29 September 2012 (2012-09-29)
The Doctor takes Amy and Rory to Central Park. While the Doctor is reading Amy a novel about a character called Melody Malone, Rory is taken by a Weeping Angel on his way back from getting coffee. In 1938 New York City, Rory meets River Song, posing as a private investigator and, as the Doctor discovers, the author of his Melody Malone novel. The Doctor and Amy use the novel to break their way into a time-locked 1938 and find Rory, while he and River investigate the Angels' takeover of Manhattan. At the Winter Quay hotel, they find an aged Rory on his deathbed, confirming Rory's fate. The Angels created the hotel in order to keep their victims and maintain a constant source of potential energy on which to feed. To escape his fate, Rory and Amy jump off the top of the building to their deaths, creating a paradox that erases the Angels and their hotel. Waking up in a graveyard with the TARDIS, all seems well until Rory is transported by a surviving Angel. Rescuing him with another paradox would rip New York City apart. As the Doctor begs Amy to come back into the TARDIS, she bids him a tearful farewell and allows the Angel to send her back to Rory, creating a fixed point in time. Later, the devastated Doctor reads an afterword by Amy in the novel, telling him all is well and asking him not to be alone, as well as requesting he visit young Amelia Pond as she waits for him in the garden.
231 "The Snowmen" Saul Metzstein Steven Moffat 9.87 87[11] 25 December 2012
After the loss of Amy and Rory, the Doctor, depressed, hides himself on top of a cloud in Victorian England's London, vowing never to save the world again. Meanwhile, the "Great Intelligence", a form of "memory snow" which can mirror the thoughts of anything around it, hatches a plot to create an army of ice people. While Strax drives the reluctant Doctor around, they both run into Clara, a barmaid. The Doctor refuses to investigate the snowmen and returns to semi-seclusion in the TARDIS, which is parked in a cloud above London, accessible from ground level via a staircase. By following the Doctor, Clara finds the TARDIS, but leaves, without talking to the Doctor. However, Clara soon returns to her regular job as a governess and learns of an imminent danger to her wards and possibly all of humanity. She turns to the Doctor for help and, motivated through Clara's charm and an interesting set of coincidences, the Doctor takes action. Together with Madame Vastra, Jenny Flint, and Strax, the Doctor and Clara are able to defeat the Great Intelligence and its human servant, Doctor Simeon, using ingenuity and the pure energy of a family crying on Christmas Eve. In the process, the Doctor regains his enthusiasm for adventure and heroism, deciding to take Clara on as his companion. However, before the enemies are defeated Clara is thrown off the edge of a cloud and falls to her death, though the Doctor was sure she would survive. At the end of the episode, the Doctor discovers Clara's full name – Clara Oswin Oswald – and comes to the realisation that Clara is the same person as Oswin Oswald from the episode "Asylum of the Daleks". He concludes that she is more than likely still alive in some other place and time and leaves in the newly-redesigned TARDIS to find her.
232 6 "The Bells of Saint John" Colm McCarthy Steven Moffat 8.44 87[12] 30 March 2013 (2013-03-30)
The Doctor manages to find another version of Clara in the present day, where Miss Kizlet (Celia Imrie) is unleashing "Spoonheads" into the Wi-Fi to upload people's souls to a datacloud, claiming to be preserving humanity on behalf of her mysterious client. The Doctor saves Clara from this fate and tricks Miss Kizlet and her employees at The Shard to returning all the souls back to their bodies. It is revealed to the audience that the Great Intelligence (using Walter Simeon's image) had been behind the scheme to grow stronger by feeding on the souls; he erases all memory of working for him from the employees' minds, effectively making them innocent of any wrong-doing. The Doctor invites Clara to be his companion, but she requests that he come back the next day; she wants time to think about it.
233 7 "The Rings of Akhaten" Farren Blackburn Neil Cross 7.45 84[13] 6 April 2013 (2013-04-06)
The Doctor investigates Clara's past, finding nothing unusual but discovering that her mother died when she was young. Returning to Clara, she requests that she be taken to see "something awesome". The Doctor takes her to the Rings of Akhaten, planets orbiting a large planet where the local religion believes life began. The society's currency is items of sentimental value. Clara runs into a young girl named Merry Gejelh (Emilia Jones), who is about to be sacrificed in the Festival of Offerings, which is to appease the Old God. The Doctor and Clara save Merry and discover that the Old God is really a parasite of memories and sentiment that lives inside the large planet. Clara offers it her treasured leaf that caused her parents to meet, and as she points out that there are infinite possibilities to every choice, she defeats the parasite.
234 8 "Cold War" Douglas Mackinnon Mark Gatiss 7.37 84[14] 13 April 2013 (2013-04-13)
The Doctor and Clara attempt to land in Las Vegas; however, the TARDIS instead lands in a Russian submarine in 1983 and takes off without them. To the Doctor's surprise, he finds an Ice Warrior, the famed Grand Marshal Skaldak, who had been thawed out of the ice after 5000 years. However, Captain Zhukov is distrustful of both the Doctor and Clara and has Skaldak chained up to prevent further damage to the submarine. This only proves to be a problem as by Martian Law, Skaldak now considers that humanity as a whole has declared war on the Ice Warriors. The Doctor tries to convince Skaldak that he and Clara are peaceful; however, when Skaldak believes no other Ice Warriors are left, he commits the greatest act of dishonour and exits his armour to begin forensic analysis of human bodies. Skaldak tricks Lieutenant Stepashin into revealing the circumstances of the Cold War, and prepares to start an alternate timeline by firing off a single nuclear missile. However, Clara manages to convince him that it would be wrong to end innocent lives, just as an Ice Warrior ship arrives and retrieves Skaldak. Out of danger, the Doctor's sonic screwdriver tells him the HADS (Hostile Action Displacement System) had been activated and sent the TARDIS to the South Pole.
235 9 "Hide" Jamie Payne Neil Cross 6.61 85[15] 20 April 2013 (2013-04-20)
Thinking empathic psychic Emma Grayling may be able to shed some light on Clara's unique existence, the Doctor goes to 1974, where Emma and her future husband Prof. Alec Palmer are investigating a ghost known as the Witch of the Well, in Caliburn mansion. After the house grows cold and the message "help me" appears, the Doctor borrows Alec's camera and uses the TARDIS to take pictures of the mansion's location throughout time. Thanks to this, the Doctor learns it's not a ghost in the pictures, but a time traveler named Hila Tukurian who got stuck in a pocket dimension; she's running from a hideous creature. The Doctor quickly constructs a device that amplifies Emma's psychic abilities, allowing him to create a portal to the pocket dimension. However, Emma cannot keep the portal open long enough for the Doctor to escape. Clara manages to persuade the TARDIS to briefly fly through and collect the Doctor, who hangs on to the exterior and is dragged back to reality. Emma feels a strange connection with Hila; the Doctor explains she's a descendant of Emma and Alec. However, while rambling on about love, the Doctor realises another creature was inside the mansion and its mate was the creature in the pocket dimension; he quickly returns to save it.
236 10 "Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS" Mat King Stephen Thompson 6.50 85[17] 27 April 2013 (2013-04-27)
The TARDIS is picked up by an intergalactic salvage crew, accidentally knocking Clara into the depths of the TARDIS. Needing help to rescue her, the Doctor promises the Van Baalen brothers (Ashley Walters, Mark Oliver, Jahvel Hall) the salvage of a lifetime. To ensure cooperation, the Doctor locks everyone in and sets the self-destruct to go off in 30 minutes. In the meantime, Clara has been running from a molten creature and discovers the TARDIS library, where she finds The History of the Last Great Time War and sees something surprising in it. Reunited, everyone races to the engine room, and the Doctor reveals the molten zombies are echoes of their future selves; they were reduced to that state by staying too long in the room housing the Eye of Harmony. The Doctor and Clara arrive in the engine room, where he confronts her about her other lives; Clara honestly has no clue about her other lives, making the Doctor happy to know she's not the one responsible. Clara asks the Doctor why he goes by that name, having seen his true name in the book; however, the Doctor tells her it's something that must never be said. Creating a device to rewrite the moment the TARDIS was assaulted by the Van Baalens' ship, the Doctor uses a time fissure to pass to his past self; using it sends the TARDIS to a different location just as the Van Baalens' detected it.[16]
237 11 "The Crimson Horror" Saul Metzstein Mark Gatiss 6.47 85[18] 4 May 2013 (2013-05-04)
The "Great Detective" Madame Vastra (Neve McIntosh) along with her wife Jenny (Catrin Stewart) and their butler Strax (Dan Starkey), investigate the mystery of the "Crimson Horror". Many bodies have been found completely red, with a substance on them Vastra recognises from before the Silurians went into hibernation; it's the venom of an ancient leech, one that petrifies the victim, but they've been exposed to a highly diluted version. An investigator shows Vastra optographs, one of which shocks her and Jenny; it shows the Doctor, screaming. As the mysterious Sweetville, run by Mrs. Gillyflower (Diana Rigg), proves suspicious due to how no-one who goes to live there comes out, Jenny is sent to investigate and find the Doctor. She succeeds, finding him a victim of the venom, but still alive due to his Time Lord nature; he quickly reverses the process and does the same for Clara. Clara's presence confuses Jenny and Vastra, who saw her die in "The Snowmen". Confronting Mrs. Gillyflower, they discover the mysterious "Mr Sweet" working with Mrs. Gillyflower is one of the ancient leeches, attached to her; she plans to use his venom to "preserve" humanity by making a rocket with it explode. However, the rocket goes off without the venom on board, thanks to Vastra and Jenny. Mrs. Gillyflower falls to her death, after being revealed to have used her own daughter to test Mr. Sweet's venom potency, and Mr. Sweet is crushed to death by her daughter. Not bothering to answer Vastra and Jenny's questions about Clara, the Doctor drops her off in 2013. Once Clara is back home, she finds that the Maitland children have found photos of her from "Hide" and "Cold War", along with a picture of Victorian Clara; they threaten to tell their father unless they get a chance at time travel.
238 12 "Nightmare in Silver" Stephen Woolfenden Neil Gaiman 6.64 84[21] 11 May 2013 (2013-05-11)
Because Artie and Angie are blackmailing Clara, the Doctor decides to take the children to Hedgewick’s World Of Wonders; however, it has long been abandoned since the Cyber-wars. Seeing strange insects, the Doctor decides to stay; at the same time, the Emperor of several galaxies has gone missing as well. Cybermites, the upgraded versions of Cybermats, graft a cybernetic piece to the Doctor's head, giving him a split personality, Mr. Clever, the Cyber-Planner; they agree to play chess to win complete dominance over their shared mind. In the meantime, the Cybermen, now faster and sleeker than ever,[19][20] capture Artie and Angie, putting them under their mind control. Mr. Clever makes the Doctor sacrifice his queen piece to free the children. The Doctor makes a half-bluff, saying he can win in three moves: getting a neural shock device, amplifying it with the sonic screwdriver, and frying the headpiece. Now free, the Doctor quickly sees there's no way to stop the Cybermen unless they blow up the planet; Porridge, someone who worked with Wibbly to con customers, is revealed to be the missing Emperor by Angie, who realised the resemblance between him, a coin and a statue. Porridge voice-activates a bomb, getting everyone and the TARDIS teleported to an imperial ship. Clara rejects an offer of marriage from Porridge and the Doctor returns everyone home.
239 13 "The Name of the Doctor" Saul Metzstein Steven Moffat 7.45 88[22] 18 May 2013 (2013-05-18)
Madame Vastra is told by an imprisoned and insane murderer that the Doctor's greatest secret will be taken to his grave, "and it is discovered." She uses a special soporific to bring herself, Jenny and Strax to a "conference call" in their dreams; she sends a letter to Clara in 2013 to include her in the conference. "Time travel has always been possible in dreams." River Song (from after "Forest of the Dead") also attends, and explains Vastra misunderstood the message; it isn't his secret that has been discovered, but his grave. The Whispermen kidnap Vastra's group, while Clara awakens and informs the Doctor of what she learned, making him realise the prophecy the Silence had been trying to avert is unfolding; they go to Trenzalore, where the height of the graves is determined by the warriors' rank. The Doctor's resting place is a monolithic TARDIS, which is dying and losing control of its "bigger on the inside" properties. They go inside, where the Great Intelligence (in Walter Simeon's form) is waiting for them; it demands the Doctor speak his true name to unlock the control room. When the Doctor refuses, River (linked to Clara through the conference call) speaks it to save them. The Doctor explains that instead of a body, the TARDIS houses his personal timeline; the days that have and haven't come to pass. The Great Intelligence steps into the timeline and scatters itself throughout the Doctor's life, hoping to rewrite all his victories into defeats to gain revenge. Clara follows after it, becoming two of the multiple echoes of herself that the Doctor met in "Asylum of the Daleks" and "The Snowmen". The Doctor reveals he could see River the whole time and kisses her goodbye; she says if the original Clara is dead, she should have vanished due to being linked to her, prompting the Doctor enter his own timeline to rescue Clara. He does so, but not before she discovers a previously unseen incarnation of the Doctor, who, according to the Eleventh, "broke the promise" that goes alongside the title 'Doctor', even though this incarnation defends his actions as "without choice" and "in the name of peace and sanity".


Supplemental episodes[edit]

Title Directed by Written by Original air date
"Good as Gold" Saul Metzstein Children of Ashdene School 24 May 2012 (2012-05-24)
Amy reminds the Doctor he needs to have an adventure once in a while, the Doctor complies and sets the TARDIS to its "adventure setting". After a series of malfunctions, the ship lands in the middle of the London 2012 Olympic Games, where they are visited by a panicked Olympic runner, who claims he is being chased. His pursuer is revealed as a Weeping Angel, who is seeking to seize the Olympic Flame and rob the planet of the good will and spirit it symbolises. The Doctor vanquishes the Angel with the sonic screwdriver, and the runner resumes his mission. Before he leaves, he gives the Doctor his gold medal. As the Doctor prepares to embark on another adventure with Amy, the Weeping Angel begins to reform.
Pond Life Saul Metzstein Chris Chibnall 27–31 August 2012 (online)
1 September 2012 (BBC Red Button Service)
Five part mini-adventure premiering on the BBC's Doctor Who website. An omnibus version was shown on 1 September 2012 on the BBC Red Button service. Amy and Rory's life is seen throughout the year after the Doctor reunited with them at Christmas. Several times, they receive the Doctor's calls, learning of many ridiculous things he's up to. Other times, he shows up at the wrong time due to the TARDIS malfunctioning. He even accidentally leaves an Ood with them for a short while. When the Doctor calls again, he finds no one is home; he deletes his call. Unknown to him, Amy has kicked Rory out and is wishing the Doctor will come.
"P.S." N/A Chris Chibnall 12 October 2012 (online)[25]
A mini episode, depicted in simple drawings, of a letter from Rory to his father Brian explaining that they will never see each other again. The scene was originally intended to be included on the DVD release, but was not filmed due to actor availability problems.[23] Due to popular demand to see a conclusion to Brian, the scene was constructed with storyboards and released online.[24]
"Rain Gods" Neil Gaiman 24 September 2013 (2013-09-24) (home video release)
The Doctor and River Song are trapped and about to be sacrificed at the mercy of the natives of the Planet of the Rain Gods.
"Clara and the TARDIS" Steven Moffat 24 September 2013 (2013-09-24) (home video release)
Clara walks into the control room and argues with the TARDIS after her bedroom mysteriously disappears. The argument ends with the TARDIS showing Clara a slideshow of the Doctor's previous companions. Giving up, Clara leaves to find her bedroom, only to be stopped by herself from the following night, who still hasn't found it. Her other self begins talking to the console, while a third Clara appears, still exhausted and much more frustrated from looking for her bedroom. One by one, the TARDIS fills the control room with future versions of Clara; none of whom have found their bedroom. The episode ends with Clara watching in amazement as her other-selves yell at the console.
"The Inforarium" Steven Moffat 24 September 2013 (2013-09-24) (home video release)
While trying to fix a data core breach, an operator in a source of illicit information called "the Inforarium" receives a recorded message of the Doctor. The recorded Doctor tells how he has been trying to erase himself from every database in the universe, for the simple reason that he wants to be alone. The operator says this is impossible, and recording responds in perfect synchronization. The Doctor explains this by saying the operator is so predictable. The Doctor acknowledges he cannot erase himself, but he has managed to memory-proof all information about him in the same way the Silence do. The operator doesn't believe the Doctor, and the recording ends. The Doctor's plan works, as the operator completely forgets the conversation and returns to the malfunction. The episode ends with the recording of the Doctor reappearing and the entire conversation begins again.

Prequels[edit]

Prologue videos to selected episodes were released via various online outlets and the 2012 Children in Need appeal.

Title Directed by Written by Original release date
"The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe Prequel" Steven Moffat 6 December 2011 (2011-12-06) (online)
The Doctor is seen on a spaceship holding a red button which, when he lets go, will cause the space ship to explode. While holding the button, he has phoned the TARDIS to speak to Amy Pond asking her to rescue him, although he does not have his co-ordinates, Amy cannot fly the TARDIS, and she is not on the TARDIS. The Doctor wishes Amy a Merry Christmas before letting go of the button, and the spaceship explodes.
"Asylum of the Daleks Prequel" Saul Metzstein Steven Moffat 2 September 2012 (2012-09-02) (iTunes, Zune, and Amazon Instant Video)
As the Doctor has tea, a hooded messenger informs him that a woman, Darla von Karlsen, requests his help in freeing her daughter. The messenger provides space-time coordinates to the planet Skaro.
"The Making of The Gunslinger" Neill Gorton Toby Whithouse 16 September 2012 (2012-09-16) (iTunes, Zune, and Amazon Instant Video)
A prologue to "A Town Called Mercy", depicting the actual making and formation of the Gunslinger, from a normal humanoid body. It also has an explanation of the making of the Gunslinger in voice-over by Kahler-Jex.
"The Great Detective" Saul Metzstein Steven Moffat 16 November 2012 (BBC One)
A mini episode for Children in Need 2012, Vastra, Jenny and Strax attempt to lure the Doctor out of retirement in this prologue to "The Snowmen".
"Vastra Investigates" Saul Metzstein Steven Moffat 17 December 2012 (online)
20 December 2012 (BBC Red Button)
A prologue to "The Snowmen", Vastra, Jenny, and Strax wrap up another case.
"The Bells of Saint John – A Prequel" Steven Moffat 23 March 2013 (online)
29 March 2013 (BBC Red Button)
Frustrated in his search for Clara, the Doctor talks to a little girl on a playground, who is revealed to be Clara Oswald.
"The Battle of Demon's Run – Two Days Later" Steven Moffat 25 March 2013 (iTunes, and Amazon Instant Video)"[26]
Set after the events of "A Good Man Goes to War", Madame Vastra and Jenny convince Strax to join them in 1890s London. Serves as a prologue to "The Snowmen"
"She Said, He Said" Saul Metzstein Steven Moffat 11 May 2013 (BBC Red Button)
The Doctor and Clara discuss how little they know about each other in a prologue to "The Name of the Doctor".[27]
"Clarence and the Whispermen" Steven Moffat 26 May 2013 (home video release)
A convicted criminal receives information about the Doctor's future from the villainous Whispermen in a prologue to "The Name of the Doctor".

Casting[edit]

Jenna Coleman plays Clara Oswald, the fifth companion since the show was re-launched.

The seventh series marked Matt Smith's third and final full series as the eleventh incarnation of the Doctor. Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill, who portray Amy Pond and Rory Williams respectively, departed the programme in the fifth episode.[28] The circumstances in which the pair leave was a mutual decision from Gillan and showrunner Steven Moffat.[29] The actress previously stated that she did not want to make return cameos to the show.[30]

On 21 March 2012, it was announced that Jenna Coleman would replace Gillan and Darvill as the next companion.[31] She auditioned for the role in secrecy, pretending it was for something called Men on Waves, an anagram for "Woman Seven".[32] Moffat chose her for the role because she worked the best alongside Smith and could talk faster than him.[33] He stated that her character will be different from previous companions,[34] though he attempted to keep the details of her character a secret until she debuted in the Christmas special.[35] In "Asylum of the Daleks", Coleman appears as the character Oswin Oswald, a secret which was kept from the public before transmission.[36] Coleman was originally given the role of a Victorian governess named Jasmine, and then for the second audition she was given both the characters of Oswin and Clara. She originally thought that the producers were looking for the right character, but later realised it was part of Moffat's "soft mystery" plan.[37][38]

Guest stars include David Gyasi, Rupert Graves, David Bradley, Riann Steele as Queen Nefertiti in episode 2, Ben Browder, Adrian Scarborough, Garrick Hagon, Steven Berkoff, Ruthie Henshall, Jemma Redgrave, Michael McShane. Dougray Scott, Jessica Raine, David Warner and Liam Cunningham in episode 8,[39] Rachael Stirling and her mother Dame Diana Rigg in episode 11,[40] and Warwick Davis in episode 12.[41] Mark Williams appears in the second and fourth episodes as Rory's father.[40][42] Alex Kingston returned to the series as her character River Song for Amy and Rory's final episode[43] and the series finale.[44] Richard E. Grant and Tom Ward were cast in the 2012 Christmas special,[45] together with young actor Cameron Strefford playing a younger version of Grant's character. Sir Ian McKellen also appears in the Christmas special, providing the original voice of the Great Intelligence.[46] Grant later returned in the mid-series premiere and the series finale, portraying the Great Intelligence.

Production[edit]

Writing and development[edit]

The BBC commissioned the fourteen-episode seventh series on 8 June 2011.[47] "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe" was executive produced by Steven Moffat, Piers Wenger and Caroline Skinner.[48] Beth Willis left the BBC and stepped down as executive producer after series 6[49] and Wenger also departed following the Christmas special, leaving Moffat and Skinner as executive producers for series 7.[50] Marcus Wilson remained as series producer, with Denise Paul producing "The Bells of Saint John", "The Rings of Akhaten", "Nightmare in Silver" and "The Name of the Doctor". Production of Doctor Who relocated to the new Roath Lock studios in Cardiff midway through production of the series on 12 March 2012;[51][52] the first episode to be filmed there is the Christmas special in Block Four, with the debut of Coleman's character;[42] however it was reported that a later episode written by Neil Cross was the first Coleman filmed.[34][53] Moffat has stated that the introduction of the new companion will "[reboot] the show a little bit" and "make you look at the Doctor differently".[34]

Moffat has stated that the seventh series would be the opposite of the arc-driven nature of the sixth, consisting of mainly stand-alone stories. This was inspired by fan reactions to the title of "Let's Kill Hitler" when it was revealed at the end of "A Good Man Goes to War" with no plot details; he told the writers of the seventh series to "slut it up" with "big, huge, mad ideas" and "write it like a movie poster".[54] Toby Whithouse, writer of the Wild West-themed third episode, stated that each episode would have more of a specific genre, and his was developed from a one-line pitch from Moffat.[55] The stand-alone nature meant that there were no two-part episodes or series-long story arcs.[56] According to Dan Martin of The Guardian, Moffat stated that the goal of the series was "compressed storytelling"; Martin remarked that "Asylum of the Daleks" told more than some of the four-parters in the classic series.[56]

Design changes[edit]

In keeping with the blockbuster theme, the title sequence for the first part of the series (up to and including "The Snowmen") features a different look to the titles and logo in the title sequence to reflect the concept of the episode.[57] The Time Vortex in the title sequence has also been tinted blue and green.[58] The interior of the TARDIS is redesigned starting with the Christmas special,[59][60] which also features a new title sequence that, for the first time since the end of Season 26 in 1989, shows the Doctor's face, together with a new orchestration of the theme tune.[61] Moffat had noticed that the TARDIS' design was getting "progressively whimsical" and resembled more of a "magical place" rather than a machine.[62] The set was designed by series production designer Michael Pickwood, who stated that the new interior was also supposed to be "darker and moodier" and provide an easier access to the "gallery" of the ship when shooting.[63] The new design allowed the entrance to be more central, and also returned the console to the look of the designs in the classic series.[64]

In the Christmas special the Doctor sports a new costume, tying in to the purple colour scheme, which Smith described as "a bit Artful Dodger meets the Doctor".[65] Moffat described the new outfit as a "progression" as the Doctor was in "a different phase of his life now" and felt more "grown-up" and fatherlike.[66] In the second half of the series, Moffat intended to show the Doctor not dressing exactly the same way each time, similar to the Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee) and the Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker), who did not wear exactly the same clothes but retained a common "look".[66]

Filming[edit]

The seventh series began shooting on 20 February 2012.[67] Episodes 2 and 3 were the first to enter production, directed by Saul Metzstein.[68] Much of the Wild West episode was filmed in March 2012 in the desert area of Almería, Spain, an area which contains Wild-West style streets that have been used in the making of many Western-set films. Filming the episode in Spain was cheaper than constructing a set in the UK.[69][70] The fifth episode, Amy and Rory's last, was filmed in Central Park in New York City in April 2012,[71] as well as at Cardiff University[72] and a cemetery in Llanelli.[73] The fourth episode was then filmed next; the only episode in the third block of production.[42] Doctor Who Magazine reported that the Christmas special would be produced by itself in Block Four.[42] In late May 2012, Coleman was spotted at a manor in the Vale of Glamorgan, filming what was reported to be the Christmas special.[74] However, Neil Cross's episode, reportedly the first Coleman shot, was partially filmed in Margam Country Park, South Wales around the same time;[53] and it was reported that the manor location was also for that episode, and that Moffat was still writing the Christmas special.[34] "Cold War" and "The Crimson Horror" were filmed in July 2012.[citation needed] The Christmas special began filming the week of 6 August.[75] "Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS" finished filming in September 2012. "The Bells of Saint John" was filmed in London from 8–16 October 2012.[citation needed]. "The Rings of Akhaten" became the 100th episode produced since the series returned in 2005, although "The Crimson Horror" was the 100th aired.[76] Scenes for "Nightmare in Silver" were filmed in early November 2012, showing a new design for the Cybermen.[77]

Production blocks were arranged as follows:

Block Episode Title Director Writer Producer
X "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe" Farren Blackburn Steven Moffat Marcus Wilson
1 "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship"
"A Town Called Mercy"
Saul Metzstein Chris Chibnall
Toby Whithouse
Marcus Wilson
2 "Asylum of the Daleks"
"The Angels Take Manhattan"
Nick Hurran Steven Moffat Marcus Wilson
3 "The Power of Three" Douglas Mackinnon Chris Chibnall Marcus Wilson
4 "Hide"
"Cold War"
Jamie Payne
Douglas Mackinnon
Neil Cross
Mark Gatiss
Marcus Wilson
5 "The Crimson Horror"
"The Snowmen"
Saul Metzstein Mark Gatiss
Steven Moffat
Marcus Wilson
6 "Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS" Mat King Stephen Thompson Marcus Wilson
7 "The Bells of Saint John"
"The Rings of Akhaten"
Colm McCarthy
Farren Blackburn
Steven Moffat
Neil Cross
Denise Paul
8 "Nightmare in Silver"
"The Name of the Doctor"
Stephen Woolfenden
Saul Metzstein
Neil Gaiman
Steven Moffat
Denise Paul

Promotion[edit]

Smith, Gillan, Darvill, Moffat, and Skinner all promoted the series at the official Doctor Who convention in Cardiff in March 2012.[78] At the convention the first trailer for the series premiered.[79] Three promotional images of Smith and Coleman were released on 8 June,[80] 11 June,[81] and 13 June.[82] New footage was shown at the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con International on 15 July,[83] consisting of clips from the second and third episodes.[84] The second trailer for the series aired on the BBC on 2 August, as part of the coverage of the London Olympics.[85] The 90-second trailer and a promotional image were first made available online in the morning of 2 August.[86][87] "Asylum of the Daleks" was screened at BFI Southbank on 14 August,[88] and at the MediaGuardian Edinburgh International Television Festival during 23–25 August.[89] On 25 August it was also screened in New York City.[90] Following the BFI screening, around twenty high-resolution images from the first five episodes were released on the BBC's Doctor Who website.[91] A teaser trailer for "Asylum of the Daleks" was released on 18 August 2012,[92] with a longer version released on 25 August.[93] On 29 August at midnight, the BBC released poster-style artwork for episodes 2–5.[94]

A trailer for the second half of the series first appeared at the end of "The Snowmen". The second was released 16 March 2013.[95] A first picture and the title of "The Bells of Saint John" was released by the BBC on 1 March 2013.[96] "The Bells of Saint John" was first screened to the press on 15 March, though the press was not allowed to release information until 18 March.[97] On 18 March, the BBC released poster-style artwork for episodes 7–10.[98] The prologue and trailer for "The Bells of Saint John" were released on 23 March 2013,[99][100] and another picture was released on 26 March 2013.[101] On 18 April 2013, the BBC released more poster-style artwork for episodes 11–13.[102] On 19 April 2013, the title and poster for "The Name of the Doctor" were released.[103] The prologue to the finale, "She Said, He Said" was released on 11 May 2013 (2013-05-11) on BBC Red Button and on-line. Viewers using Red Button were able to access the prologue between 7:40 until midnight every evening, until "The Name of the Doctor" aired on 18 May 2013 (2013-05-18).[104]

Broadcast[edit]

The Doctor Who official Twitter account announced in March 2012 that it was planned that six episodes would be shown in 2012, including a Christmas Special, to be followed by eight in 2013.[105] In July 2012, Smith stated that it would start in August,[106] but Moffat later confirmed it was September.[107] Part of the reason the show was moved to the autumn was because Moffat felt the darker nights suited the atmosphere of the programme, as well as the classic series originally airing in the autumn.[108] He stated that the decision to split the series up originally came from the BBC, but he was open to anything that "shakes [the series] up" and making the audience wait would make it seem like an "event piece".[35]

The first episode was broadcast on 1 September 2012 on BBC One in the United Kingdom,[109] with the fifth episode airing on 29 September 2012. The Christmas episode was broadcast on 25 December 2012 on BBC One in the United Kingdom, and the first episode of the second half of the series was broadcast on 30 March 2013.[110] and the series finale "The Name Of The Doctor" broadcasting on 18 May 2013.

International broadcast[edit]

The series premiered on 1 September 2012 on BBC America in the United States,[111] and on Space in Canada.[112] Within minutes of the first episode's UK ending, it was released onto the ABC iView service at 5:10am on 2 September 2012.[113] It premiered 8 September 2012 on ABC1 in Australia,[114] and on 13 September 2012 in New Zealand on Prime TV.[115][116]

"The Snowmen" aired on 25 December 2012 on BBC America in the US,[117] and the same date on and Space in Canada.[118] It aired the next day on ABC in Australia,[119] and Prime in New Zealand.[120]

The first episode of the second half of the series, "The Bells of Saint John", was broadcast on 30 March 2013 on BBC America in the US,[121] and on Space in Canada,[122] and the following day in Australia on ABC1[123] and in South Africa on BBC Entertainment.[124] Prime TV began airing the remainder of the series in New Zealand on 11 April 2013.[125][126]

DVD and Blu-ray releases[edit]

"The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe" was released singly onto DVD and Blu-ray on 12 January 2012, episodes 1-5 (dubbed as 'Series 7: Part 1') followed on 29 October 2012 in Region 2 and 13 November 2012 in Region 1.[127] The second part was released on 27 May 2013 containing the remaining episodes plus the 2012 Christmas special "The Snowmen".[128] The remaining eight episodes plus "The Snowmen" were released onto DVD and Blu-ray on 27 May 2013 in Region 2, while the former was released as two separate publications in Region 1 on 28 May 2013. On 12 May 2013, the box set of Series 7 Part 2 was erroneously dispatched to customers who pre-ordered it through the BBC America online store before the series had been fully aired, prompting a plea from show-runner Steven Moffat to keep the final episode "a secret" until broadcast.

A 5-disc box set containing all 13 episodes plus the Christmas specials "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe" and "The Snowmen" was released on 24 September 2013 in Region 1 [129] and 28 October 2013 in Region 2. Special features include commentaries for four episodes, behind-the-scenes features for all episodes except "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe", the prologues, the Script to Screen special "Good as Gold" (Region 2 only), the five-part mini serial Pond Life, the BBC America documentaries "The Science of Doctor Who", "The Companions", "Doctor Who in the US", "Doctor Who on The Nerdist" (Region 1 only), and the featurettes "Last Days of the Ponds", "Doctor Who at Comic-Con" and "Creating Clara". Also included are three made-for-DVD mini episodes titled "The Inforarium", "Clara and the TARDIS" and "Rain Gods".[130]

Reception[edit]

Reviewing the whole series for IGN Mark Snow wrote that the series was "a tumultuous one." He felt that although "the concepts were almost universally strong, cramming an entire movie's worth of ideas into a self-contained 50 minute episode inevitably left plot-threads dangling". However, he thought that it "succeeded where it really counted - with strong character work, sporadically genius story concepts, and some show-altering twists that ensure we're as jazzed as ever for the forthcoming TV event of the semi-century" [131] SFX called the series "the creakiest run of episodes since 1988" but noted that there was "plenty to enjoy", ending the review with "Thankfully 'The Name Of The Doctor' is everything we could have hoped for from an overture to the 50th anniversary special: a wonderful, spectacular-looking, twisty-turny nostalgia-fest. The show’s still got it." [132]

Awards[edit]

For the 2013 BAFTA Craft Awards, The Mill was nominated for Visual Effects and Graphic Design for their contribution on the first half of the series, and composer Murray Gold was nominated for his score in "Asylum of the Daleks" in the Original Television Music category.[133] "Asylum of the Daleks", "The Angels Take Manhattan", and "The Snowmen" have been nominated for the 2013 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form).[134] In 2013, Doctor Who also won a Peabody Award.[135] In the 2013 TV Choice Awards, Doctor Who was nominated for Best Drama, Smith was nominated for Best Actor for his portrayal of the Doctor, and Coleman was nominated for Best Actress for her portrayal of Clara.[136] It won the Best Drama category, and also received an Outstanding Contribution Award in honour of the fiftieth anniversary of the programme.[137] The sound team was nominated in the sound category at the 2013 BAFTA Cymru awards, while editor William Oswald was nominated in the Editing category for his work on "The Snowmen".[138] The programme won Best Drama at the National Television Awards for 2014; Matt Smith also won Best Drama Performance.[139]

Soundtrack[edit]

Selected pieces of score from this series (from "Asylum of the Daleks" to "The Name of the Doctor", excluding the "The Snowmen"), as composed by Murray Gold, were released on 9 September 2013 by Silva Screen Records.[140][141] The music from "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe" and "The Snowmen" was released on a separate soundtrack on 21 October 2013.[142]

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External links[edit]