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Trivia / Doctor Who S31 E1 "The Eleventh Hour"

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  • Based on a Dream: The hidden room in Amelia's house was based on Steven Moffat's recurring childhood dream of a nonexistent hidden room in his grandmother's house.
  • Completely Different Title: The French title is "Le Prisonnier zéro" (Prisoner Zero).
  • Edited for Syndication: BBC America cut out quite a bit of this episode for re-airings, including most of the Doctor's "cravings" scene, young Amy waiting for the Doctor, the Doctor proving to the conference who he is, the woman being attacked, the Doctor's comment about Amy's accent and the "Silence Will Fall" scene with Prisoner Zero. Luckily Space Channel seems to have learned from the mistakes of the CBC and left the episode intact for those watching in Canada. BBC America premièred the episode uncut in a special timeslot (the only changes were commercials inserted here and there, but no actual footage was excluded) and for reruns for the rest of the night. They've continued the practice of "première uncut, then edit later" for all new episodes afterwards.
  • First Appearance: Of Amy Pond and Rory Williams.
  • Real-Life Relative: The actress who plays young Amelia is Karen Gillan's cousin, although the two had never met before this episode was filmed.
  • Reality Subtext: The interior of the TARDIS is wrecked and the old sonic screwdriver is broken, prompting new sets and props to go with the new Doctor. Part of the reason for this is Series 5 was the first season to be shown in HD, so a more colourful, detailed set was in order.
  • Recast as a Regular: Karen Gillan had previously played a soothsayer in "The Fires of Pompeii".
  • The Red Stapler: One clothing retailer reported that in the month following the airing of this episode in which the Doctor declared that "bow ties are cool", its bow tie sales increased by 94%.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Chiwetel Ejiofor was approached for the part of the Eleventh Doctor before the casting of Matt Smith. However, Ejiofor turned it down due to scheduling conflicts and contractual disagreements with the BBC.
    • According to Steven Moffat, the initial plan was to have the Eleventh Doctor in a "piratey" outfit, but Matt Smith wasn't happy with it before settling on his signature costume.
    • David Tennant was approached to do one more series as the Tenth Doctor and, after a meeting with Steven Moffat where Moffat explained some of his ideas for the show, he briefly thought about reconsidering his decision to leave with Russell T Davies. Had this happened, this episode would have started with Amy Pond meeting an injured Tenth Doctor, only for Amy to meet him years later unscathed. The season finale would have revealed a Timey-Wimey Ball showing that she had met Ten at the end of his life, on the brink of regeneration.
    • Numerous scenes were either cut or changed, from the draft scripts:
      • There would have been a Running Gag where the inhabitants of the village recognized the Doctor as "The Raggedy Doctor", and when the Doctor asks if they heard that name from Amy, they claim to be dating her.
      • Rather than contacting world experts, the Doctor would have enlisted the help of some students of a computer & maths course in the church hall. Jeff himself was still part of the scene, but as a student of the class which the Doctor would dub "Jeff & The Clever"? The scene would have also shown the Doctor commandeer the firetruck.
      • When Prisoner Zero is captured, rather than call the Atraxi back to give them a talking to while also taking his clothes from the hospital, the Doctor would have gone straight back to the TARDIS, and have gotten his clothes from the TARDIS wardrobe.
      • During the Atraxi montage, when the Doctor asks them about who protects the Earth, it would have also shown images of UNIT, Sarah Jane and Captain Jack.
      • While the Doctor looks about the TARDIS console, a segment comes from the console, with the Doctor explaining to Amy that he has just found the TARDIS' steering wheel, claiming he's been looking for it for nine hundred years. This is when Amy learns about his age.
      • Steven Moffat debated setting the story in his native Scotland. He ultimately decided on England, in keeping with the notion of Amelia as an unconventional girl.
      • The cameo role of Dr. Ramsden was at first intended for a male actor.
      • Moffat wrote a scene that explained Prisoner Zero's crime, but cut it because he figured no one would care.
  • Working Title: "The Doctor Returns" according to Steven Moffat, this lasted until "some smartarse" pointed out he hadn't gone anywhere.
  • You Look Familiar: Arthur Cox (Mr Henderson) had previously played Cully in "The Dominators", 42 years earlier!