Doctor Who Logo 'The Christmas Invasion'
(Story Code 2.X)

by Russell T. Davies
The Doctor and Rose


“You stand as this planet’s champion?!” – the Sycorax leader.
“Thank you. I’ve no idea who I am, but you’ve just summed me up.” – The Tenth Doctor

As Jackie Tyler prepares for a Christmas without her daughter Rose, and Mickey Smith busily works at a garage, they both suddenly hear the familiar strains of the TARDIS. Racing to the scene they are just in time to see the space / time vessel appear in the sky and then make a crash landing on the estate; but instead of the Doctor that they know, a complete stranger emerges, wishes them a merry Christmas and then promptly collapses. Rose emerges for the ship, and together the trio take the Doctor back to Jackie’s flat, where they dress him in a handy spare pair of pyjamas and leave him in bed to rest; however, they are unaware that strange vortex energy is still emanating from the Doctor, which wafts speedily out into space… Meanwhile, Prime Minister Harriet Jones conducts a press conference covering the imminent arrival of space probe Guinevere One on the surface of Mars; however, out in space, the probe encounters a mysterious space vessel, and as it is taken on board all contact with Earth is lost. Hoping to take her mind off the Doctor, Mickey takes Rose Christmas shopping, but they are promptly attacked by a band of sinister Santas, whose musical instruments dish out blasts of fire and a hail of bullets; Rose and Mickey escape in a taxi and head home, where they urge Jackie to take the Doctor to safety; however, Jackie’s new Christmas tree, which she recently found on her doorstep, suddenly comes to life and attacks them, whirling like a deadly dervish armed with razor-sharp branches. While Mickey and Jackie barricade themselves inside the Doctor’s room, Rose urges the Time Lord to wake up and help her; just as the tree smashes through the doorway, the Doctor regains consciousness and destroys it using his sonic screwdriver. Finding the three Santas outside controlling the tree by remote, the Doctor realises that their attackers are like Pilot Fish – which swim alongside sharks taking pickings from the remains of the predators’ victims; they detected the Doctor’s energy emissions and decided to use him as a power source. As the Santas teleport away the Doctor declares that the threat has not ended - something else is coming… The Doctor collapses again, leaving Rose, Mickey and Jackie to return him to bed to resume his recovery. Having re-established contact with Guinevere One, the project manager, Llewellyn, joins the Prime Minister at the Tower of London, site of the headquarters of U.N.I.T., the Unified Intelligence Taskforce. But instead of the surface of Mars, the face of a hideous alien appears on screen; as the world’s population reels from the confirmation of alien life broadcast live on television, the P.M. is forced to release a cover story explaining events as a hoax. Back at the flat, Mickey uses his laptop to hack into U.N.I.T.’s systems, and learns that an alien spaceship is approaching Earth. When Rose fails to understand the next alien transmission, she realises that something is wrong with the TARDIS. With the U.N.I.T. translation software decoding the broadcast, and no sign of the Doctor, the P.M. orders the top-secret organisation Torchwood to be placed on standby. The alien leader’s words are revealed to be declaring ownership of Earth and its inhabitants, but the P.M. refuses to surrender; the Sycorax leader responds by sending out an energy wave which compels one-third of the world’s population to climb up on to the roofs of high buildings. With millions of people on the brink of jumping to their deaths, the Sycorax leader then states his demands: either one half will be sold into slavery, or a third of humanity will die. With horror, Llewellyn realises that the people affected are all of blood type A+; it seems that the Sycorax have used the information concerning humanity that Llewellyn included on his Mars probe. With her options running out, the Prime Minister makes an emergency broadcast to the nation, desperately appealing for the Doctor’s help. The arrival of the huge, rock-like Sycorax spaceship in the sky above London is heralded by a sonic wave, which blasts out every window across the capitol; Rose becomes panic-stricken, and urges her mother and Mickey to help her hide with the Doctor in the safety of the TARDIS. As humanity’s spokesperson, the Prime Minister is teleported aboard the aliens’ ship to meet with the Sycorax leader, along with Llewellyn, Major Blake of U.N.I.T. and her aide, Alex; standing before hundreds of Sycorax crewmembers, Llewellyn attempts to reason with the aliens’ leader, but he and the Major are promptly killed. Back on Earth, Jackie leaves the TARDIS to get fresh supplies, while Mickey tries to operate the ship’s controls to access any transmissions; but the Sycorax detect this activity and teleport the vessel aboard their ship for investigation. When Rose and Mickey leave the ship they are immediately taken captive by the aliens; meanwhile, back in the TARDIS, a thermos flask of tea that has fallen to the floor drips its contents onto the electrical circuitry beneath the Doctor’s prone form… After the Sycorax leader declares that Rose speaks for her race, her attempts to bluff them into leaving only result in laughter and a death sentence; but as the Sycorax leader prepares to kill his next victim, Rose realises that she can now understand his speech – that TARDIS is working again, which can mean only one thing: the arrival of the Doctor, who steps out of the TARDIS and promptly destroys the alien leader’s weapons – it seems that the superheated tea revived the Time Lord just in time. Unsure of how his new incarnation will behave, the Doctor deliberately behaves erratically, throwing the Sycorax leader off balance; the Doctor then deactivates the blood-control device, restoring the minds of the hypnotised humans on the planet below, allowing them to return to safety. Faced with the leader’s threat of summoning the Sycorax armada, the Doctor challenges the alien to a duel – with the fate of Earth as the prize. The leader agrees and a fierce sword fight ensues; the battle moves through the ship and out onto the vessel’s surface, where the leader presses his advantage and severs the Doctor’s hand. However, the Doctor’s body is still in the process of regeneration, and as everyone looks on, the Time Lord grows a new hand. Rose throws the Doctor another sword, and it isn’t long before he gains the advantage and has the Sycorax leader at his mercy; when the Doctor offers to spare the alien’s life if he leaves Earth immediately, the Sycorax agrees; but as soon as the Doctor’s back is turned the alien attempts to run him through; however, this new Doctor is not so forgiving – he operates a wall switch which retracts the ship’s wing and sends the Sycorax leader plummeting to his death. Choosing not to face the Doctor’s wrath, the Sycorax crew choose to flee, returning the Doctor, his friends and the TARDIS back to Earth before they leave. Heeding the Doctor’s words that humanity has been noticed, and that many more alien threats will come, the Prime Minister orders Torchwood to destroy the Sycorax ship – and five energy beams shoot out of the ground, converge into one powerful emission, and utterly destroy the retreating Sycorax ship. The Doctor is furious, refuses to listen to Harriet’s explanation that she used alien technology adapted by Torchwood to ensure Earth’s safety. With his allegiance to the P.M. now over, the Doctor makes a cryptic comment concerning Harriet’s apparent tiredness, before leaving with his friends. Some time later, the Doctor changes out of his pyjamas and into a new costume chosen from the vast array of clothes inside the TARDIS’s wardrobe; he then joins Rose, Mickey and Jackie for a Christmas dinner, and together they watch a television news report covering details of a the P.M.’s health scare – it looks like Harriet’s days in power are numbered… Seeing snow, Rose, Mickey and Jackie head outside, but the Doctor explains that it is merely ash caused by the Sycorax ship breaking up in the Earth’s atmosphere. Realising that the Doctor is about to leave again, Rose declares that she still wants to join him in their travels – and together they leave in the TARDIS for new adventures…

David Tennant (The Doctor), Billie Piper (Rose Tyler), Camille Coduri (Jackie Tyler), Noel Clarke (Mickey Smith), Penelope Wilton (Prime Minister Harriet Jones), Daniel Evans (Danny Llewellyn), Adam Garcia (Alex Klein), Sean Gilder (Sycorax Leader), Chu Ornambala (Major Blake), Anita Breim (Sally) Sian McDowall (Sandra), Paul Anderson (Jason), Cathy Murphy (Mum), Sean Carlsen (Policeman), Jason Mohammed (Newsreader 1), Sagar Arya (Newsreader 2), Lachelle Carl (Newsreader 3)

Directed by James Hawes
Produced by Phil Collinson
Executive Producers Russell T. Davies and Julie Gardner
A BBC Wales production

25th December 2005 @ 7.00 pm

*Featuring the Tenth Doctor, Rose, Mickey and Jackie

*This special is sixty minutes in duration

*David Tennant is credited as playing "The Doctor", whereas Christopher Eccleston portrayed "Doctor Who"

*The 'Torchwood' Files: The Prime Minister instructs 'Torchwood' to be on standby during the Sycorax invasion, and later orders the Institute to destroy the alien spaceship as it departs; we later learn in 'Army of Ghosts' that the Torchwood Institute used weaponry from a salvaged Jathaa Sunglider to perform this act of destruction. This secret organisation will later have its own spin-off series starring John Barrowman as Captain Jack Harkness, which premiered in October 2006

*The end credits are accompanied by a new arrangement of the theme tune

*Music tracks heard in this episode include 'God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen', 'Jingle Bells', 'Merry Xmas Everybody' (written and performed by Slade), and 'Song For Ten' (written by Murray Gold and performed by Tim Phillips)

*To tie in with the events surrounding the Guinevere One Space Probe as depicted in this story, the BBC launched a spoof website for The British Rocket Group

*The initial viewing figures for this Christmas Day special averaged at 9.4 million viewers, with a peak of 9.8 million; the final average figure was later confirmed as 9.84 million; as well as winning in its timeslot, against such shows as ITV1's 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?' which only scored 5.8 million, 'The Christmas Invasion' was the second most-watched programme of the day, only just losing to BBC One's 'EastEnders', which got 10.6 million viewers

*The official BBC press release for story gave a nice preview of the opening minutes of the story:

"It's Christmas and Jackie Tyler is at home preparing for the festive season, not knowing if her daughter Rose will be home in time - or at all. Then she hears the familiar, ancient grind of the TARDIS! Mickey, who is hard at work, also hears it and they both race across the estate just in time to witness the TARDIS' glorious, chaotic crash landing. The doors open and, much to their delight, out steps Rose and a complete stranger - except it isn't a stranger - it's the Doctor. Disorientated, yet overwhelmed to see them, he takes a few minutes to regain his balance and consider what it is he wants to tell them. "Oh! I know! Merry Christmas!" he yells, before collapsing. The Doctor falls in and out of consciousness, with Rose and Jackie powerless to help him. In a bid to boost Rose's spirits, Mickey suggests a spot of Christmas shopping. A good plan - until they find themselves under attack by a sinister brass band of masked Santas. However, they are not the only ones with problems. Prime Minister Harriet Jones has just been informed that a British space probe, on its way to Mars for a Christmas Day landing, has gone missing. It has been kidnapped by a monstrous race known as the Sycorax, who are set on taking over the world. Meanwhile, back at the Tylers', Mickey and Jackie are trying to fend off a killer Christmas tree, while Rose tries to wake the Doctor."

*In 'SFX' magazine issue 168, published March 2008, executive producer Russell T. Davies confirmed that, following objections from the real United Nations, "U.N.I.T." now stands for "Unified Intelligence Taskforce", rather than the original "United Nations Intelligence Taskforce"

*During transmission, the official BBC website carried a message from Prime Minister Harriet Jones:

The Christmas Invasion