The Doctor: Four?
Amy: I kept biting them.
The Doctor: Why?
Amy: They said you weren't real.
Meanwhile in the TARDIS: First EpisodeA DVD-only extra scene. Amy asks the Doctor why his time machine is a police box seemingly made out of wood, and if that isn't a bit unsafe if it is supposed to travel through time and space. The Doctor explains that the police box is only camouflage, and explains the function of the chameleon circuit: the TARDIS automatically analyses its surroundings, carefully picks a form that allows it to blend in with the local environment... And then, every single time, it disregards that data and disguises itself as a police box from 1963, says the Doctor, while admitting that the circuit is probably broken. Amy then asks him how long it has been broken. "Oh, not long..." answers the Doctor, with a hint of embarrassment.Amy then asks him if he really is an alien. The Doctor answers that from his point of view, she is the alien. Amy wonders if the Doctor is a space squid or a tiny slug dressed in a human suit, but a bit offended by this, he assures her that he is just as human as he appears. Amy tells him she is done with her questions, but the Doctor tells her she's just begun; he throws a switch on the TARDIS console, opens the door and shows her outer space.When Amy says that the space outside looks like special effects in a studio, the Doctor proves it's real by pushing her out of the TARDIS, leading into the events of "The Beast Below".
- Action Prologue: The cold opening, with the freshly regenerated Eleventh Doctor trying to keep himself from falling out of a burning, out-of-control TARDIS.
- Adult Fear: The then-seven-years-old Amelia Pond is clearly frightened of a crack in her bedroom wall, which she can hear voices out of. When the Doctor meets her, he even notes that she's quite brave and that the crack must be extraordinarily strange to scare her so much. It's also shown that Amelia's aunt — her only guardian — not only doesn't believe there's anything wrong with the crack, but is often not home to care for her. It turns out that the "crack" is an opening to a parallel dimension, which an alien prisoner escaped from. Because the Doctor jumps through time 12 years instead of 5 minutes, Amelia unknowingly spends most of her life living with an alien criminal hiding in her house, creating a mental link with her to steal her form. While this obviously plays off of a child's fear of things like the bogeyman and seemingly mundane details, there's also the parental fear of danger coming to a child because of not taking their worries seriously.
- Alien Lunch: Upon receiving new taste buds, the Doctor goes through several things in Amelia's fridge before settling on fish fingers and custard (together) as a first meal after regenerating.
- All There in the Manual: Steven Moffat has said in the commentary for this episode that Prisoner Zero was arrested for impersonating an army. Although, as the next thing he says is that this is ridiculous, and Rule One is that Moffat lies, it's debatable how canon it is.
- Arc Number: Invoked; the Doctor has every single digital device in the world reset to bear the number 0. As in Prisoner Zero.
- Arc Words: "Silence Will Fall" and "The Pandorica Will Open".
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:Rory: You just summoned aliens back to earth. Actual aliens. Deadly aliens. Aliens. Of death.... And now you're taking your clothes off.
- The Backwards R: The MΨTH logo on Jeff's laptop and some of the hospital equipment.
- Badass Boast: "Hello, I'm the Doctor. Basically... run."
- Batter Up: Amy with a cricket bat. Poor Doctor.
- Big Damn Heroes: DUCK.
- Big "WHAT?!": When Amy reveals she's little Amelia all grown up, the doctor says "what" several times, getting louder each time.
- Blatant Lies
- To young Amy in the beginning:Doctor: You know when the grown-ups say that everything's gonna be fine, but you think they're lying to make you feel better?
The Doctor: Everything's gonna be fine.
- In "Meanwhile in the TARDIS", when the Doctor explains how the chameleon circuit "works":The Doctor: It's camouflage. It's disguised as a police telephone box from 1963. Every time the TARDIS materialises in a new location, within the first nanosecond of landing, it analyses its surroundings, calculates a 12-dimensional data map of everything within a 1000-mile radius and determines which outer shell would blend in best with the environment.... And then it disguises itself as a police telephone box from 1963.
Amy: Oh. Why?
The Doctor: It's probably a bit of a fault, actually. I've been meaning to check.
Amy: What, it's a police box every time?
The Doctor: Yeah. I suppose, now you mention.
Amy: How long has it been doing that?
The Doctor: Oh... you know. Not long...
- To young Amy in the beginning:
- Brick Joke: The Doctor's first visit to Amelia leaves behind an unmistakable impression, leading to an obsession with her "imaginary friend" for quite some time, long enough that seemingly everyone in town, from the local hunk and his granny to her (sort-of) boyfriend, has a reaction to seeing "The Raggedy Doctor" in the flesh. Cue Amy's exasperated looks and quietly asking people to please shut up about it.The Doctor: Cartoons?
- Britain Is Only London: Deliberately averted. Amy lives in a rural part of England. Moffat has said that something of a pet peeve of his during the first series was that, while they had all of time and space to play around in, they seemed to spend an awful lot of time in London.
- Brought Down to Normal: No TARDIS, no sonic, twenty minutes to save the world.
- Book Ends: it's more like chapter ends. When we first meet Amy and she first meets the Doctor she is in her nightie, 14 years later and having her first trip in the TARDIS she is wearing a very similar nightie.
- Bowties Are Cool: Trope Namer. The Doctor takes a bowtie from the hospital, and becomes attached to it.
- Broken Bird: Amy Pond... as young Amelia she clearly has abandonment issues brewing. When the Doctor leaves her for, in his words "Five minutes" (she says that "everyone says that" hinting something might have happened to her mum and dad), she grows up with a lingering resentment and a rather short temper. We finally see her shell start to crack when the Doctor invites her into the TARDIS for the first time, confirming that everything he told her as a child was really true.
- The Cameo: The Patrick Moore. Who is apparently a Dirty Old Man.
- Canon Immigrant: The Atraxi are from the Eighth Doctor Adventures novel Vampire Science.
- Captain Obvious: "Do you know what the crack is?... It's a crack!"
- Chekhov's Gun: The smiley face apple Amelia gives the Doctor later gets used to convince her to help him out.The Doctor: I'll save this for later.
- Chekhov's Skill: As much as being a kissogram can be considered a skill.Iin a blink-and-you'll-miss-it line, the costume is actually useful when she needs to gain entry to an otherwise-inaccessible wing of the hospital.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Both the man with the dog and the woman with the children are shown as coma patients early in the episode.
- Clothing Damage: In-between regenerating and the opening of this episode, the Doctor's lost the suit jacket, and spends most of the rest of the episode looking beaten up, until he gets fed up with the "raggedy" look.
- Cool Starship: Giant flying crystal snowflake starships? With a giant eyeball?
- Continuity Cavalcade: The montage of previous monsters and all ten previous Doctors before telling the latest alien "Run".
- Continuity Nod:
- The Doctor opens the door to the TARDIS by clicking his fingers.
- Also the appearance of the hat-stand in the console room.
- And the St John's Ambulance badge is back, as it once was during the early years of the show.
- A written message from the Doctor saying to "DUCK!" right before something comes at its receiver through a window.
- The Doctor congratulates Prisoner Zero on creating "a perfect impression of [it]self".
- Also, the TARDIS landing on its side right after a big regeneration.
- The Doctor promising a little girl he'd be right back, and shows up years later, weaving in and out of her life, all the while, the little girl falls in love with the Doctor. Not the first time this has happened...
- Also not the first time he's stolen his outfit from a hospital locker.
- The cracks in time? Totally new,right?
- A swimming pool inside the TARDIS?
- As the out-of-control TARDIS is flying across the city, the London Eye swivels to follow it.
- The Fifth Doctor's love for cricket is inverted here (a cricket bat hitting the Doctor).
- Eleven's apparent revulsion to carrots echoes the Sixth Doctor's unintended last words: "Carrot juice?!" (Also offered to him by a redhead companion — Melanie, in this case.)
- The Doctor turning Big Eater after his big comeback, just like the Master in their previous outing.
- The "You've got some cowboys in here" line was previously used in "The Girl in the Fireplace", another Steven Moffat-penned episode.
- His use of the word "Run" is a reference to "Rose", where it is the first line uttered by the Doctor in the new incarnation of the series. Here, of course, it is turned on its head; instead of warning a companion, he is threatening an enemy.
- Amy, like her daughter before/after her, knocks the Doctor cold and handcuffs him so he can't interfere with her plans.
- A "Saxon" sticker is briefly visible on the front of the Doctor's commandeered fire engine.
- Amy refers to herself as "the girl who waited".
- Cordon Bleugh Chef: The Doctor rejects the perfectly good food little Amy offers up, and opts for custard and fish fingers instead. Rapidly undergoing a Memetic Mutation with many anecdotes online of what this actually tastes like (with varying results). Ironic since the fish fingers used in the scene were not fish fingers (they were merely cakes breaded in coconut.)
- Creepy Child: Zero as little Amelia is surprisingly effective.
- Dare to Be Badass: Jeff gets a speech from the Doctor exhorting him to "be magnificent".
- Deadpan Snarker
- "Oh yeah, yeah of course! It's an inter-dimensional multi-form from outer space; they're all terrified of wood."
- "Oh that's good, fantastic that is. Twenty minutes to save the world and I have a post office. (looks at it) AND IT'S SHUT!"
- Department of Redundancy Department: Rory, apropos the Atraxi.Rory: You just summoned aliens back to earth. Actual aliens. Deadly aliens. Aliens. Of death.
- Dying as Yourself: An odd forced inversion, in which the Doctor convinces sleeping Amelia Pond to dream of Prisoner Zero's true form so the Atraxi will recognise him.
- Establishing Character Moment:The Doctor: You're not the first lot to have come here. Oh, there have been so many. And what you have to ask yourself is... what happened to them?
(the Atraxi shows pictures of the previous incarnations of the Doctor, finishing with an image of the Tenth Doctor through which the Eleventh Doctor then steps)
The Doctor: Hello. I'm the Doctor. Basically... run.
- Everything Is Online: A computer virus causes a mechanical flip clock to reset.
- Faceless Eye: The Atraxi, spaceships which are just giant flying eyeballs.
- Failed a Spot Check: Although obvious to the audience, our Celibate Hero fails to notice anything odd about the policewoman who's captured him, such as the extreme brevity of her hemline.
- Fair Cop: Amy appears to be one, but it's just a costume.
- Fanfic Magnet: Amelia as companion! In fact this episode gave a boost to the idea of a child companion in general.
- Female Gaze: Amy eyes up the Doctor as he changes clothes. Thank you, Steven Moffat, for leveling the playing field.
- Fiery Redhead: Amy, of course.
- Flat "What.": Amy is about as fond of it as the Doctor himself.
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: Amy speculates that the Doctor is actually some kind of squid thing in the "Meanwhile in the TARDIS" deleted scene.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus:
- Amy runs outside in her nightie, passing by the stuff including her wedding dress from the slow pan at the end of the episode.
- During the montage of zeros around the world, you can see an Angel next to one of the buildings.
- A "Saxon" sticker is briefly visible on the front of the Doctor's commandeered fire engine.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar:
- That's very obviously porn on Jeff's laptop.
- And the Eleventh Doctor takes more than his shirt off in the locker room.
- Glamour Failure: A variant. Prisoner Zero can take on the form of multiple people as long as they are connected (a man walking a dog, a woman holding hands with two children, etc.). However, it can't quite get the voices right (the man is growling and barking, the woman's voice is coming from the little girl's body) blowing the image.
- Giant Eye Of Doom / Oculothorax: The Atraxi."Prisoner Zero will vacate the human residence or the human residence will be incinerated. Prisoner Zero will vacate..."
- Groin Attack: Eleven, hanging on to the out-of-control TARDIS for dear life, narrowly avoids damaging his meat-and-two-veg on Big Ben's spire. Seriously, the gap is two or three inches at most — ouch!
- Humiliation Conga: After the Tenth Doctor's violent regeneration, the TARDIS is forced into lockdown while it rebuilds itself, a situation made worse by his old sonic screwdriver likewise exploding halfway through the episode. It's one of those days.
- Hypocritical Humor: After the Doctor rudely demands Amelia to cook all sorts of food for him, only to claim them disgusting, poisonous or evil once he actually tastes them, Amelia takes one last peek into the refrigerator.Amelia: We've got some carrots.
The Doctor: Carrots? Are you insane?
- Internal Homage:
- The opening shot is a recreation of the opening of "Rose". This has also appeared in "The Christmas Invasion" and "Smith and Jones".
- Also, more importantly, the hospital that the episode features is remarkably similar to the one that the Third Doctor ended up in following his regeneration ("Spearhead from Space"). The Third Doctor also ends up stealing his first iconic opera-based outfit from said hospital, just as the Eleventh does (but rather more sneakily).
- One of the coats Rory is holding is a red velvet jacket similar to one worn by the Third Doctor.
- The Eighth Doctor does the same thing — only his is a fancy dress costume.
- There are definite echoes of 'Smith and Jones' in that (a hospital/Earth) is harbouring a disguised alien fugitive from justice (The Plasmavore/Prisoner Zero), so the alien police (Judoon/Atraxi) threaten to destroy (the hospital/Earth) if the people do not turn in the fugitive.
- Right after the Doctor's regeneration, the TARDIS lands at its next destination on its side.
- The Doctor arrives at a girl's home at various points in her life. Only minutes pass for him, but it's years for her. Also written by Steven Moffat.
- The Doctor says to Amelia 'You've had some cowboys in here' while examining the crack in her wall.
- The line "I've put a lot of work into it" (re: the Earth/universe) is taken from the also-Moffat-penned Doctor Who: The Curse of Fatal Death.
- The out-of-control TARDIS barely misses the tower that contains Big Ben.
- The Internet Is for Porn: Strongly implied to be whatever Jeff was looking at on his laptop in his room. The Doctor even tells him to get a girlfriend and delete his history.
- Jumping-On Point: With the RTD era ending on a reference-heavy, cameo-packed grand finale, we now get a new Doctor, companion, sonic screwdriver and TARDIS set all at once.
- Kill It with Fire: How the Atraxi intend to deal with Prisoner Zero. And the human residence.
- Male Gaze: The first we see of grown-up Amy; a slow pan up her short-skirted legs.
- Mathematician's Answer: Combined with awesomeness.The Doctor: Twenty minutes. Run home to your loved ones and kiss them all goodbye, or stay and help me.
Amy: No. (she proceeds to trap his tie in a car window and demand an explanation from him)
- Meaningful Name: The expression "eleventh hour" means "in the nick of time". It also references the fact it's one-hour long exactly and that it's the first full episode with the eleventh Doctor.
- Meaningful Rename: Amelia to Amy, very pointedly.
- Mr. Fanservice:
- National Stereotypes: "You're Scottish; fry something." Ironically, written by a Scottish author.
- Necktie Leash: Amy not only drags the Doctor by the tie, she locks it in a car door to get information out of him. After that, the Doctor wears a bow tie.
- Nephewism: Amy has no parents, only an aunt. Maybe.
- Never Heard That One Before: Variant. The Doctor tells Amy that he has heard every possible reaction to the fact that the TARDIS is bigger on the inside. Amy responds "I'm in my nightie." He probably has heard that one before.
- No Endor Holocaust: Millennium Bug notwithstanding, resetting all the computer clocks in the world to zero would royally mess up all sorts of society's critical systems.
- Nothing Is Scarier! Amy approaching the extra door in her house. Just Amy, slowly walking down an ordinary hallway towards an ordinary closed door... Hitchcock would've been proud.
- During the scene where the Doctor confronts Prisoner Zero, the hospital room they're in is amazingly quiet. Far quieter, in fact, that a room with several patients in it should be. Especially notable since there is audible noise from outside once Prisoner Zero is gone.
- Not-So-Imaginary Friend: After the Doctor accidentally skips forwards twelve years instead of five minutes, the rest of the village end up believing that "the Raggedy Doctor" is Amelia's imaginary friend, and are weirded out or charmed to actually meet him. Amy is less pleased, in part due to the four psychiatrists she'd been made to visit.
- Oblivious to His Own Description: When Prisoner Zero takes on the Doctor's form, he hasn't looked in a mirror since his regeneration, so his reaction is, "Well, that's rubbish. Who's that supposed to be?"
- Oh, Crap:
- Of course the Atraxi don't have any facial features, but they'd certainly get the hell out of Earth when they realize they've been tangling with the Doctor.
- The Doctor has his own when he realises that it's been more than five minutes. Something may have happened to Amelia Pond.
- Jeff for a second when he realises he'll have to hand over his laptop.
- Percussive Maintenance: While examining a TV the Atraxi have hijacked, the Doctor whacks the remote to get it to work.
- Present Day Past: As Lampshaded in the commentary, the Millennium Dome can clearly be seen in the opening scene, which takes place in 1996. This is only noticeable on later viewings, as there is nothing to suggest that the opening isn't set in present day until later in the episode.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: A minor example, but with a big impact: Moffat was inspired by a crack in the wall of his son's bedroom.
- Room Full of Crazy: Well, at least Room Full of Slightly Off-Kilter: Amy's room full of "Raggedy Doctor" drawings and toys.
- She Is All Grown Up: Amy, who is first seen aged seven, then 19. Then 21.
- Shirtless Scene: Matt Smith, and it's still just the first episode. And he was more than just shirtless.
- Shout-Out: The guy who's surfing porn and seriously needs to get a girlfriend's name is Jeff.
- The Slow Path: The first time the Doctor disappears he returns 12 years later, the second time he comes back 2 years later. Amy is not happy either time.
- Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: Amy is consistently doubting the Doctor and his claims on the justification that she grew up.The Doctor: Don't worry. I'll soon fix that.
- Sniff Sniff Nom: How the doctor realises that the replacement shed for the one he destroyed with the TARDIS has been there for 12 years.
- Staggered Zoom: The episode used this to follow the Doctor's thought process in examining the scene involving Rory photographing Prisoner Zero. Though it's really more of a wandering, meandering series of cuts which focus on different objects and people with varying levels of zoom.
- Starfish Aliens: The Atraxi, putting the "alien" in "alien police" with their big eyeballs and crystalline web ships.
- Stealth Pun: Combined with a Brick Joke here: when first running through the village, Amy points out the empty duck pond to the Doctor. Later, when he makes his Big Damn Heroes entrance at the hospital, he texts her "DUCK!" Duck, Pond!
- Stock Episode Titles: 7 uses.
- Stocking Filler: Amy as a Fair Cop.
- Taking You with Me: Prisoner Zero nonchalantly observes if it can't escape execution then "let there be fire"; that of the Atraxi detonating the entire planet and its inhabitants, that is.
- Talkative Loon: And you thought the Tenth Doctor had this trope bad....
- That Little Girl Is Dead: "Amelia Pond hasn't lived here in a very long time."
- That Poor Cat: When the Doctor throws out the buttered bread.
- There Are No Therapists: Averted. There were four of them. Amy kept biting them for saying the Doctor didn't exist.
- Timeshifted Actor: Young Amelia and companion Amy, played by cousins.
- Totally Radical: "WHO DA MAN!?... I'm never saying that again."
- Trust Me, I'm an X: "Trust me — I'm the Doctor."
- Tsundere: Amy swings between "Oh my God it's my Doctor!" and "Twelve Years (and four psychiatrists)!"
- Twist Ending: Amy's wedding is tomorrow.
- Up to Eleven: The big series-long arc that starts here. Plus an Incredibly Lame Pun, given what doctor number we're up to.
- Vertigo Effect
- Villainous Breakdown: Prisoner Zero mixes this with Creepy Monotone, when the Doctor forces it into its true form.
- Wham Line: In-Universe, "Why did you say 'five minutes'?!" is this for the Doctor. After all, it was already pretty obvious to the audience where "Amelia" was.
- What Happened to the Mouse?:
- The duckless duck pond.
- This is later revealed to be foreshadowing of the time cracks' effects on reality; they took the ducks.
- Jeff seems to be set up to help UNIT, but we never see that subplot again.
- The duckless duck pond.
- You Look Familiar: One of the villagers is Cully from "The Dominators".
- You Need to Get Laid: The Doctor tells Jeff as much. Although what was hinted to be on Jeff's computer by the Doctor and Jeff's reactions might.