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Trivia / Doctor Who S28 E7 "The Idiot's Lantern"

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  • Blooper: When the Wire disintegrates Mr. Magpie on the transmission tower and simultaneously shocks the Doctor, his foot disappears for a moment thanks to a green screen error.
  • Completely Different Title: The French title is "L'Hystérique de l'étrange lucarne" (The Hysteria of the Strange Television Screen).
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Mark Gatiss originally wrote the script with the Ninth Doctor in mind. It was also meant to be the second story of the season, but got pushed back.
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    • The story was originally set during the dawn of the rock 'n roll era of the late Fifties. However, it was eventually agreed that the idea of a living song did not translate sufficiently well to television.
    • The story originally took place on Powell Street, intended to be the same location where Rose Tyler's apartment block, the Powell Estate, would later be built. However, since the Powell Estate had already been established as being situated in Southwark, this would make setting the climax at Alexandra Palace (in Haringey) a more cumbersome plot element (not without giving the characters a reason to take the Northern line across town).
    • A subplot in which Rose visits her aunt, who works on a game show for The BBC was deleted because Russell T Davies feared that having the Corporation be too involved in the plot would make the episode difficult to take seriously.
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    • Magpie was originally a more malevolent figure. His villainous nature was toned down at Davies' suggestion.
    • Tommy's grandfather was removed from the script. At one point, he appeared in place of the grandmother.
    • The entrance to Bishop's headquarters was originally concealed by a newspaper vendor rather than a market stall.
    • The chase scene was originally much longer and included action in the London Underground (presumably cut around the same time that they moved the story from Powell Street up to the north London boroughs).
    • The climax originally featured the television sets in Magpie's shop exploding after the defeat of the Wire.
    • A line cut from the script had the Doctor mention his fear of radio towers, a reference to the Fourth Doctor's death in "Logopolis".
    • Nicholas Hoult auditioned for Tommy Connelly, but he was deemed too young for the role.
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  • Word of Gay: According to Mark Gatiss, Tommy was gay in the original script and fancied the Doctor, but Rose would think he was interested in her and in the end Rose and the Doctor would have a conversation about this crush and her making assumptions about the Doctor.
  • Working Title: Mr Sandman, Sonic Doom and The One-Eyed Monster.
  • You Look Familiar: Margaret John (Grandma Connelly) also played Megan Jones.


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