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Voyage of the Damned was the 2007 Christmas Special of Doctor Who.

It was the show's third Christmas special since its revival and the third Christmas special starring David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor.

Astrid's death at the conclusion of the episode was the first time a companion of the Doctor was seen to die in the revived series. [nb 2] The episode also marked the first appearance of Wilfred Mott, future companion to the Tenth Doctor and grandfather to Donna Noble.

For a few months, Voyage of the Damned was the highest-charting episode in Doctor Who history. The second-most-watched programme of its week and indeed of the entire of 2007, Damned took the crown from part two of The Ark in Space. However, it would be displaced about seven months later by Journey's End [+]Russell T Davies, Doctor Who series 4 (BBC One, 2008)., which was the first episode of Doctor Who ever to win its week of original transmission.


A spacecraft set on an apocalyptic collision course with Earth, a host of killer robot angels and an evil severed-headed mastermind — it's just another Christmas for the Tenth Doctor...


Inside the TARDIS, the Doctor checks on the controls as his time machine flies through time. Just as he flips a switch, a foghorn blows and the hull of the TARDIS is pierced by the bow of an ocean liner. Shocked by the sudden event, the Doctor recovers and examines a fallen life preserver from the wreckage, which bears the name Titanic on it. He becomes even more alarmed, but immediately rushes to the console to reverse the breach. With the TARDIS fixed, the Doctor pilots it aboard the ship into a pantry. Upon exit, he steps into a room filled with people in fancy-dress, metal angels, and a little red alien walking casually among the crowd. The Doctor walks over to a window and realises from the view that the ship is actually a spaceship replica of the infamous sunken vessel. An announcement over the PA informs that the ship has arrived at Sol 3 (Earth), and welcomes everyone to Christmas.

Sometime later, the Doctor reemerges into the dining area wearing a tuxedo. He meets lively waitress Astrid Peth, who informs him that the ship has come from planet Sto to observe the humans celebrating their holiday. The Doctor tells her he travels a lot, to which Astrid envies; he reveals that he's a stowaway. Liking him, Astrid offers to get him a drink and not report him.

Seeing a robot angel, the Doctor asks it for information; the robot is called a Host, which gives information to tourists. The Host reveals that the ship's namesake is indeed derived from the notoriety of the human vessel. The Doctor then asks about the operating company, to which the Host starts sparking. The crew apologise and quickly remove the Host, mentioning recent complaints of these robots malfunctioning.

At the bridge, the captain grants his subordinates permission to take leave for drinks due to the holidays. However, midshipman Alonso Frame stays behind, informing the captain that at least two crewmates are needed on deck at any given time. The captain congratulates him on being thorough.

The main room

The Titanic diner.

Still roaming the diner, the Doctor enjoys the company of Morvin and Foon Van Hoff, sharing a meal with them and talking about one of Foon's favourite shows By the Light of the Asteroid. Foon won the trip from the show by correctly guessing a trivia question over the phone. They befriend the Doctor when he uses his sonic screwdriver to burst the cork on a wine bottle, wildly spraying a group of passengers who are mocking the Van Hoffs' clothes. Hearing "Red 67" called, the Van Hoffs tell the Doctor that means that they're going on a trip to Earth to see how the humans celebrate. The Doctor decides to join them, using his psychic paper; he even makes Astrid his plus one to help her see another world.

The ship's historian and guide, Mr Copper, tells the Red 67 assembly that they will be visiting London, U.K. However, he then gives dated and mangled information about the country and Christmas: saying Santa Claus is their god and married to Virgin Mary, and that the people of U.K. kill and eat the people of Turkey every Christmas. The Doctor, unable to believe Copper's incompetence, asks where he got his information from; Mr Copper explains he has a degree in Earthonomics. The red alien, Bannakaffalatta, arrives, being one of the Red 67s; the Doctor dissuades him to go down to Earth as he's not even disguised and will cause a panic.

Mr Copper abruptly teleports the assembly onto a London street—surprisingly deserted. The Doctor is suspicious as the streets should be filled with shoppers on Christmas Eve. Mr Copper tells everyone that he has a prepaid card to pay for trinkets if they wish; although he does warn them to watch out as "they start boxing any day now." While Astrid is amazed by the sights and smells of the city, the Doctor notes that the pyramids and New Zealand would be better tourist spots.


Twisted Christmas in London - Doctor Who - Voyage of the Dammed - BBC

Astrid Peth finds herself in an alien city — London, on Christmas Eve.

The Doctor and Astrid greet a newspaper stall owner named Wilfred. When asked about London's vacancy, Wilfred laughs and points up to the sky, stating everyone is worried about another alien attack at Christmas. The Sycorax and Racnoss attacks in the last two consecutive Christmases has instilled public fear. Aside from few people such as the Queen and her staff, BBC broadcaster Nicholas Witchell, and Wilfred himself, everyone has fled the city for the duration of the holiday due to the fear of another alien attack.

In the middle of the conversation, the party is abruptly returned to the ship due to a power failure. The Doctor investigates the failure's cause using an intercom and discovers that meteors are approaching, but the ship's shields are offline. The Doctor warns Captain Hardaker but is carried off by the steward, as he is unauthorised to use the system. The Doctor breaks free and tries to warn everyone, but is forcibly taken away from the microphone and removed from the party. He is followed by Astrid, the Van Hoffs, Bannakaffalatta and Mr Copper, all of whom have taken notice.


Trouble on the Titanic - Doctor Who - Voyage of the Dammed - BBC

Meteors crash into the Titanic.

The Doctor gasps to a guest to look out the window. One of the passengers, Rickston Slade, sees a tiny meteor smash through the window and follows the Doctor and the others pleading to the steward. Midshipman Alonso tries to get the shields back online, but is shot by the captain. The captain reveals that since he himself was dying (implicitly due to illness), he took a bribe of money sent to his family in exchange for ensuring the ship is destroyed. Three meteors crash into the side of the Titanic, resulting in massive damage and casualties.

The captain is killed in the wreck, and Alonso survives with a gunshot wound. The Titanic's hull is holed in several places, and the TARDIS is left drifting in space before automatically homing in for a landing on Earth. With the teleport system offline and the engines losing power, the Titanic approaches an extinction-level collision with Earth. The Doctor makes contact with Alonso and advises him to maintain the engines until the Doctor can arrive to the bridge. The Doctor then assembles the present party to come with him to save the ship. Slade questions this initiative, to which the Time Lord adamantly reveals his identity and promises that he will save everyone. During the journey, the Doctor again questions Mr Copper's credibility on Earth knowledge. Copper admits that after spending his life as a travelling salesman with nothing to show for it, he acquired fraudulent credentials for his job—a crime with a minimum 10 year sentence that he might risk when the facts come out during the ensuing investigation. Slade is also complicating matters by only being concerned with his own well being, and insulting the Van Hoffs at every opportunity.

The Doctor's party find a Host deactivated, the Van Hoffs attempt to repair it to help the party obtain more information, while the rest of the party clear off debris in their path. Foon admits to Morvin that she only won the tickets because she phoned the competition five-thousand times, which racked up a 5,000 credit phone bill that will leave them deeply in debt. Morvin laughs this matter off and tells her that they will find a way to pay it off. Astrid crawls through the blocking debris to follow Bannakaffalatta's lead, but finds him incapacitated. He confides to Astrid his identity as a cyborg, a marginalised group in Sto society. Astrid helps him up, noting that cyborgs have been given equal rights in recent times, and that he can live without shame.

Alonso receives a call from the chefs of Kitchen Number 5 and detects more survivors throughout the ship. Then, three Hosts appear and proceed to kill the chefs with their spinning halos. Hearing the deaths over the intercom, Alonso warns the Doctor that the Hosts have turned hostile. At that moment, the Van Hoffs activate their Host, who proceeds to strangle Morvin. The Doctor wrestles Morvin free, and the party retreats. Mr Copper struggles to widen a gap in the debris for the Van Hoffs, forcing the Doctor to interrupt the Host with an information override. He inquires to the Host and learns that the robots are being controlled from Deck 31. Mr Copper drops the gap, causing the rubble to crush the Host's head.

The party reach the engine room, in which there is a sheer drop to the engines below. The only way across is a narrow metal bridge that the party then begins to cross. When Morvin says that he and Foon will go last over the bridge, a part of the floor gives away, causing him to fall to his death. Foon, devastated, blames the Doctor for Morvin's death despite his promise to save them. More Hosts arrive, attempting to breach the door before taking the alternate route of flight into the chamber. The party haphazardly defend themselves with bits of metal, with most of them still on the bridge. Bannakaffalatta then says that he is proud to be a cyborg, and emits an electromagnetic pulse from his cybernetic implants, eliminating the Hosts but using up all his power in the process. He dies in Astrid's arms, admiring her beauty.

A lone surviving Host recovers, the Doctor frantically and correctly guesses another override. The Doctor learns that the Hosts have been instructed to kill the survivors to leave no witnesses aboard. The Host then reminds the Doctor that he had used up his three allotted questions, and resumes its rampage. Foon seizes the Host with a rope and drops off the bridge, weighing the Host down with her into the abyss below. The Doctor then makes a grim promise that "no more" will die. The survivors take Bannakaffalatta's EMP unit with them as their only effective weapon against the Hosts.

The Doctor decides to break off from the party to investigate Deck 31. He advises them to head to the reception deck with the goal of transmitting an SOS signal, giving them the EMP unit and the sonic screwdriver. Astrid, likely to be unemployed after the disaster, asks the Doctor if she could come with him after they escape, to which he agrees; as he departs, she steals a kiss. On the way to Deck 31, the Hosts corner the Doctor in a kitchen and he narrowly avoids death by using the override. While questioning, he guesses that the Hosts were ordered to kill all passengers and crew. However, he as a stowaway would belong into neither category, so he should be instead taken to whomever is currently in charge. The Hosts confirm the Doctor's argument, and take him to their leader.

Max Capricorn

"It really does that?"

Arriving at Deck 31, the Doctor sees that the rest of the ship's power is going to an indestructible "impact chamber". It opens, revealing the cruise liner owner, Max Capricorn. Max is a human cyborg surviving with only his head housed in a small wheeled vehicle, he hid from the public for decades due to the persecution of cyborgs. The Doctor stalls his own execution by verbally figuring out Max's motives: Max was forced out by the company's board of directors after running the company into ruin, and now he is seeking revenge by sabotaging the company's reputation with the potential planetary disaster.

Max congratulates this theory, saying that he will use the impact chamber to survive the crash, then eventually retire in luxury. The Doctor taunts Max, calling him a loser and saying that he can't even sink the Titanic. Max laughs that he can remotely shut off the engines, the engines shut down and the ship begins falling toward Earth. Astrid, who had used a short-range teleport to arrive, seizes Max with a fork-lift truck. In the struggle, a Host's blade destroys the brakes of the fork-lift, forcing Astrid and Max to run off a precipice and fall into the fiery engine of the ship.


Astrid's Sacrifice - Doctor Who - Voyage of the Dammed - BBC

Astrid sacrifices herself to defeat Max Capricorn.

With the Hosts no longer under Capricorn's control, the Doctor becomes the next highest authority they must obey. Two Hosts hold his arms and fly him at rapid speed up to the bridge, punching their way through the floor just as the ship plunges into Earth's atmosphere. Working with Alonso, he uses the heat from the entry to try to start the ship's auxiliary engines, but discovers that they are headed straight for one of the few places in London currently inhabited: Buckingham Palace. He quickly notifies the palace to evacuate the building, which the Titanic narrowly misses as the ship pulls up, now back under control. The Queen, in her dressing gown and curls, thanks the Doctor as he pilots the ship back into the sky.

With the danger over, the Doctor suddenly realises that there might yet be hope for Astrid after all. A safety feature of the ship's teleport system is that, in case of a lethal accident, it automatically dematerializes the user into stasis. Since she was wearing a teleport bracelet upon her death, her pattern might still be stored in its buffers. Despite desperate efforts, only a shadow of Astrid can be generated due to the extensive damage to the teleport system. After a kiss to follow an old tradition, the Doctor watches her dissipate into motes of light that float free into space. This way, she can at least fulfil her dream of exploring the universe, forever.

In the aftermath, the only survivors are the Doctor, Mr Copper, Alonso Frame and Rickston Slade. Rickston is overjoyed at what happened, as he invested in all of Capricorn's rival companies, which will make him rich. Mr Copper notes to the Doctor that out of everyone who died, Slade is not someone who should survive, yet no-one should have the power to choose who lives or dies. The Doctor decides to save Mr Copper from prison and uses the teleport to return them both to Earth, Alonso salutes the Doctor as he leaves.

Finding the TARDIS, the Doctor declines Copper's request to travel with him. When Mr Copper asks exactly what he's meant to do, the Doctor takes the ship's expenses card, prepared to put some money on it—but then realises he doesn't have to. Mr Copper, not understanding Earth currency, has already loaded it with £1,000,000 to cover the cost of "trinkets". The Doctor explains that this amount is equivalent wealth to 50,000,056 credits, making Copper overjoyed that he can afford a house and a garden. The Doctor tells Mr Copper to stay out of trouble, Copper promises that he will always remember Astrid. With a final look up to the stars where Astrid now floats away, the Doctor wishes Mr Copper a Merry Christmas.




General production staff

Script department

Camera and lighting department

Art department

Costume department

Make-up and prosthetics



General post-production staff

Special and visual effects


Not every person who worked on this adventure was credited. The absence of a credit for a position doesn't necessarily mean the job wasn't required. The information above is based solely on observations of the actual end credits of the episodes as broadcast, and does not relay information from IMDB or other sources.



Story notes[]

  • The episode had the working titles of Titanic II and Starship Titanic. As Russell T Davies writes in The Writer's Tale, it was changed when it was pointed out that Douglas Adams had created a video game and novel of that title, with an extremely similar concept, years earlier.
  • Also according to The Writer's Tale, Dennis Hopper was approached about playing either Max Capricorn or Mr. Copper (which was originally a much smaller part, but was expanded as a result), as his agent just happened to be on a plane with James Strong, who had just finished directing Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks, but plans fell through due to Hopper's schedule.
  • Astrid Peth was originally named simply "Peth." She later had the surname Harmone.
  • Composer Murray Gold and arranger Ben Foster both had cameos as members of the Titanic's band, along with singer Yamit Mamo, who performs the original song, "The Stowaway." Mamo also performs "Winter Wonderland". An instrumental version of "Jingle Bells" is heard when the Doctor first arrives.
  • The theme tune was revamped for Voyage of the Damned and was a few seconds longer than the previous versions. "I think I just decided to spruce it up - new drums, new rhythm section, new bass line, new little bit of piano," says Murray Gold. Whilst the closing theme remains a constant throughout series 4, the opening theme is revised for the main series and remaining Tennant specials.
  • The episode was dedicated to Verity Lambert, the first producer of Doctor Who, who had died about a month prior to broadcast.
  • Angels seem to be a recurring theme throughout the new series. The Doctor has been referred to as a Lonely Angel, faced the Weeping Angels and made use of the Master's mesmeric communication network, Archangel.
  • The scene where the Doctor is lifted into the air by angels was heavily criticised by Catholic audiences. Millvina Dean, the last survivor of the Titanic, also criticised the episode, claiming it was disrespectful to make entertainment of the disaster.
  • This was Kylie Minogue's first major acting appearance since her diagnosis and recovery from breast cancer two years earlier. Minogue was actually a film and TV actor before she became a singer, and had made occasional film appearances since launching her musical career.
  • On the second day of shooting, David Tennant learned that his mother, Helen McDonald, was on the verge of losing her five-year battle with cancer. Tennant immediately left Upper Boat to be present during his mother's final moments. The led to the shooting schedule being re-arranged to focus on scenes that didn't feature the Doctor and special effects work. The production was then suspended until Tennant was able to return, a stressful situation given Kylie Minogue's short window of availability. As it transpired, however, the hiatus was brief, as Tennant threw himself back into his work the day after his mother passed away. He was released for a day to attend her funeral.
  • A specific special effects shot is repeated several times in the episode: someone falling while looking up towards the camera. This occurs at least four times in the episode: when the steward is sucked into space (although he's technically not falling) and when Foon, Morvin and Astrid and Max fall to their deaths.
  • In his first draft of the episode, Russell T Davies had planned for the Titanic to cleave Buckingham Palace in two, leaving Queen Elizabeth furiously shaking her fist after the retreating vessel and cursing the Doctor. This same early draft also featured a hoped-for cameo by Prince Charles. Davies spared the Palace as he felt it was too negative an ending for a holiday episode.
  • It was originally planned for the Judoon to return at the end to arrest Max. Russell T Davies threw this out because he thought there were too many things going on in the story.
  • At 71 minutes long, Voyage of the Damned holds the record for the fourth longest 'single episode' of Doctor Who since the series revival and the sixth longest single episode of all. The fifth longest episode ever is The End of Time [+]Russell T Davies, Doctor Who Christmas Special 2009 and New Year Special 2010 (BBC One, 2009-2010). Part Two, which was 75 minutes long; the fourth longest is The Day of the Doctor [+]Steven Moffat, Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special (BBC One, 2013). at 76 minutes; the third longest episode ever is the 1996 TV movie, which was 85 minutes long; the second longest episode ever is The Power of the Doctor, at 87 minutes long; and the longest was the special The Five Doctors, which was 90 minutes long.
  • Voyage of the Damned has the distinction of being the first episode of the revived Doctor Who not to be shown by the series' original Canadian broadcast network, the CBC. The network skipped the episode when it began showing Series 4 in the fall of 2008, thus, technically leaving the Series 3 cliffhanger ending unresolved for Canadian viewers. Perhaps coincidentally, beginning with Voyage of the Damned, the CBC no longer received an on-screen credit for its participation in funding the series, although it continued to do so for the remainder of Series 4. Although the CBC retained the rights to air the special until April 2010, it never did so, though a French-language broadcaster in Canada did show it at some point. In April 2010 the series' new home broadcaster, Space, took over the rights to air Voyage of the Damned, and did so for the first time on 24 July 2010, which was promoted as the English-language Canadian premiere of the episode.[1] The CBC subsidiary network, CBC Bold, which as of mid-2010 continued to air reruns, announced it would host the "CBC premiere" of the special on 28th July, but at the last minute the broadcast was cancelled in favour of highlights from a comedy festival, meaning Voyage of the Damned continues to be unbroadcast by the CBC close to three years after it aired in the UK.[2]
  • A shortened version of this story was broadcast, at least on BBC America. This version skipped quite a bit of material, including the trip to deserted London, the attempt to revive Astrid, and the closing conversation with Mr. Copper. This version was broadcast at least in 2009, and fitted into a 60-minute timeslot, including commercials. In 2013, BBC played the full episode in its entirety and placing it in a 90 minute timeslot.
  • Bernard Cribbins' character in this episode was originally called 'Stan' and was intended to be a one-off appearance. However, when Howard Attfield was forced to leave the show while filming Season 4 due to the advancement of his cancer of which he later died, it was decided that the newspaper vendor would be brought back as Donna's grandfather. (CON: A Noble Return) Russell T Davies, feeling that the name Stan wasn't suitable for a recurring character, changed Bernard Cribbins' credit at the end of this episode to reflect the change.
  • When the Doctor is shouting out random numbers, to try to stop the Heavenly Host, he says 666, the Devil's number and 42, the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books by former Doctor Who writer Douglas Adams, who wrote a story titled Starship Titanic with a very similar plot line, which was also a videogame. 42 is also a name of a previous episode.
  • It is explained in the final scenes of TV: Time Crash that the Titanic collided with the TARDIS because the Doctor left its shields down. Time Crash occurs immediately before the collision, which means the very first shot of the Doctor walking around the TARDIS before the crash occurs within moments of the Fifth Doctor's departure. However we do not hear the earlier Doctor's admonition to the Tenth Doctor to "Put your shields up".
  • Reference is made to the two previous Christmas specials, TV: The Christmas Invasion and The Runaway Bride [+]Russell T Davies, Doctor Who Christmas Special 2006 (BBC One, 2006)., with brief clips from both.
  • The style of credits is changed with this episode. Since Rose, the credits had been scrolling text in two parallel columns dedicated to the character and production roles on the left side and actors and crew members on the right. The scrolling text remains from this point onward, but the cast and crew have individual credits for their roles in production scrolling.[statement unclear] This credit style would pertain in the regular series until Deep Breath in 2014, the exception being The Day of the Doctor [+]Steven Moffat, Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special (BBC One, 2013)..
  • The episode's title was also that of a 1976 film starring Keith Barron.
  • David Jason was offered the role of Mr. Copper, but wasn't available.
  • Script editor Brian Minchin suggested that Russell T Davies make use of the teleport bracelet to somehow rescue Astrid, which led to the scene of the Doctor's failed attempt to save his would-be companion.
  • Colin Baker visited the set when filming was in progress.
  • Russell T Davies actually considered Russell Tovey as a candidate to play the Doctor. They would later collaborate on Years and Years.
  • The Doctor states that a million pounds is worth fifty million and fifty six credits, which means one British pound is worth just a bit more than fifty Sto credits.
  • Bernard Cribbins' cameo was filmed in one night.
  • Much grander scenes of destruction and chaos when the Titanic is hit were excised due to budgetary concerns, this included an idea by Russell T Davies to turn the ship upside down.
  • Originally, Max was seen to be a passenger on the Titanic in the ballroom during the episode's opening scenes. He was also not confined to a life support machine at this point. He became a cyborg on life support because Russell T Davies decided that revealing some normal businessman to be behind everything was far too anti-climactic.
  • Max Capricorn was initially Mr Maxitane and then Max Callisto.
  • Bill Treacher was offered the role of Mr. Copper, but turned down the part because of a back problem.
  • Rupert Holliday-Evans was offered the Chief Steward but was not free.
  • At different times, Alonso Frame had the first name Bosworth and the surname Blane.
  • Foon Van Hoof was originally named Suzie.
  • Geoffrey Palmer previously appeared as Masters in the 1970 Third Doctor TV story, Doctor Who and the Silurians. Clive Swift previously appeared as Jobel in the 1985 Sixth Doctor TV story, Revelation of the Daleks.
  • Kylie Minogue's involvement came about when her creative designer William Baker, accompanied his friend Mark Gatiss to the season three press launch at the London's May Fair Hotel. Baker had previously incorporated Doctor Who-themed imagery into her shows. Julie Gardner replied that Minogue could guest star if her schedule was free. Minogue agreed, even though the flexibility of her schedule remained uncertain.
  • Astrid was originally going to survive the story, but was left behind by the Doctor at the conclusion because she did something he disapproved of.
  • Bannakaffalatta was going to be blue, but Russell T Davies made him red so that he would be visually distinct from the Moxx of Balhoon, also played by Jimmy Vee.
  • Astrid originally died falling over a precipice during a fight with Capricorn. Russell T Davies felt this was "fleeting", so he intensified the scene by changing Max from mobile to cybernetic and Astrid's attack from an altercation to a fork-lift truck. He felt the revised scene was "such a beautiful image" and romanticised Astrid's "ultimate sacrifice".
  • The bridge was dubbed “the strut” in the script, to differentiate it from the command bridge.
  • It had originally been hoped that the bridge scenes would be recorded on location, but no suitable venue had been identified.
  • Bernard Cribbins threw himself into the role of Stan, even bringing holly from his garden to adorn his toque, and he quickly established himself as a popular presence on set.
  • The concluding scene with the Doctor and Mr Copper was filmed at the WDA Compound on the Cardiff Docks, which would ironically become the site for the Doctor Who Experience.
  • Kylie Minogue met designer Louise Page four times during pre-production to discuss her costume. Page rejected a long dress because it was atypical to Minogue; she instead elected for a "cigarette girl" image, similar to a "1950s [...] cinema usherette". Five costumes were made for different scenes and Minogue's stunt doubles, and each part of each costume was made separately to keep Minogue's role secret. After filming, Minogue told Page that the costume was "the most comfortable [she] had worn in years".
  • The episode was primarily written after Kylie Minogue was cast. Russell T Davies described his pitch as "busking". The character of Astrid Peth was written for Minogue. Davies later stated that Minogue was a "very exceptional case"; he considered writing a role specifically for one actor "dangerous territory" because the desired actor may be unavailable or decline the part.
  • The first scene to be filmed depicted the group being accosted by the Host while crossing over the engines.
  • Kylie Minogue wasn't licensed to drive a fork-lift truck, so it was operated by a double, Danielle de Costa.
  • For security concerns—specifically, protecting Kylie Minogue—the street was sealed off for the first time since the show's revival for the London Town scene.
  • David Tennant and Geoffrey Palmer had previously appeared in He Knew He Was Right.
  • Max Capricorn was originally going to have two milky-white eyes, but George Costigan could not see with both "cataract-lenses". Therefore, one was taken out, and the character was rendered with only one "bad" eye.


  • Overnight - 12.2 million viewers
  • Final ratings - 13.31 million, making this the most-watched Doctor Who story since its 2005 return, and one of the highest in franchise history.[1]
    • This was also the second highest rated British television broadcast of the entire of 2007, beaten only by the episode of EastEnders that immediately preceded it.

Myths and rumours[]

  • A lot was made of the fact that Astrid is an anagram of TARDIS. This, however, turned out to be a red herring and not at all significant to the story.
  • When publicity photos for this episode were first released, some fans noted the resemblance of the Hosts to the Humanoid Axons, giving rise to the rumours (soon disproven) that the episode featured the Axons.
  • As the producers intended, the cliffhanger leading into this story raised the question as to whether the TARDIS had collided with the real Titanic, which gave rise to fan speculation in the interim as to how this episode would reconcile with previous references to the Doctor's involvement with the ill-fated vessel. (TV: Rose, et al.)
  • The British tabloid press published reports that Minogue's character was going to be a Cyberwoman; this was disproven once publicity photos of her in Astrid's serving girl outfit were released. According to The Writer's Tale, the tabloid reports of Kylie-as-Cyberman not only went out before she'd actually been cast in the special, but Davies hadn't even completed writing it yet.
  • The meaning of the lyrics in the original song "The Stowaway", heard only briefly on screen, but released in full on the Series 3 soundtrack album prior to broadcast have given rise to some speculation. The general consensus is that they are from Astrid's point of view, reflecting in part their first meeting where the Doctor identifies himself to her as a stowaway, supported by the fact they're sung in a female voice, but comments by the production team have been interpreted to suggest they might be from the captain's point of view, implying a same-sex interest, but not coinciding with anything that occurs in the episode - the Doctor and the captain never even meet each other. In either case, it was widely speculated that Rose Tyler is the lost love referenced in the lyrics, with the line, "lying with his love that's where he'll be" in particular foreshadowing her later return in Series 4, and the events at the conclusion of TV: The Stolen Earth.
  • The Sun newspaper released a report claiming Albert Einstein would be in this episode, played by Woody Allen.
  • Minogue was reportedly mistaken for a waitress outside a hotel due to her costume.[2]
  • The nature of Astrid's fate led to rumours that she might reappear in Series 4, particularly in the finale. This did not happen other than a brief flashback appearance in Journey's End [+]Russell T Davies, Doctor Who series 4 (BBC One, 2008).. It was rumoured that she might have appeared in one of the 2009 specials, but this did not occur.

Filming locations[]



  • Exchange Building, Swansea
  • The Coal Exchange, Cardiff Bay
  • Johnsey Estates, Pontypool
  • St John's Street, Cardiff
  • WDA Compound, Cardiff Docks
  • City Hall, Cardiff

Production errors[]

If you'd like to talk about narrative problems with this story — like plot holes and things that seem to contradict other stories — please go to this episode's discontinuity discussion.
  • When the Red 67 group go down to Earth, it was night time in London. Later, when we see the TARDIS locking onto Earth, you can see that the United Kingdom is still in daylight and about to turn to night time.
  • When the Doctor is hit by one of the Host's haloes, David Tennant misses the cue to react, shouting in pain slightly off point with being hit.
  • As the Titantic flies over Buckingham Palace, a white outline can be seen around the lamps outside the Palace (lower-right corner, as the Titantic is pulling up and away).
  • When the Doctor and the others come to the debris on the stairwell, just before Astrid says "It's blocked", Kylie Minogue accidentally butts heads with David Tennant and she noticeably winces.
  • Clive Swift (Mr. Copper) audibly farts upon seeing The Host during the bridge scene.
  • The Blu-ray version of this story uses the wrong font for the Verity Lambert memorial caption at the end of the episode. At broadcast, the font used was Futura. On the Blu-ray, Tahoma is used. A similar font error crept into the actor credits at the beginning of The Stolen Earth [+]Russell T Davies, Doctor Who series 4 (BBC One, 2008).and Journey's End [+]Russell T Davies, Doctor Who series 4 (BBC One, 2008)..


Home video releases[]

  • This story was released on the Series 4 DVD box set in 2008, and on the reissued Series 4 DVD set in 2015.
  • It was released on Region 2 (UK) DVD on 10th March 2008. Unlike most single-disc Region 2 DVD releases from the revived series, this was not a "vanilla" edition (program only, no extras), but included the mini-episode Time Crash, as well as an edition of the cutdown version of Doctor Who Confidential.
  • Along with the rest of Series 4, the story was released on Bluray in 2013 as part of the Complete Series 1-7 Gift Set, where it was upscaled to HD from standard-definition. As with the other HD upscales in the set, the story runs at a slightly reduced speed of 24 frames per second, resulting in a slightly longer runtime.
  • The Series 4 Bluray was given a standalone release in 2015 in the UK and 2016 in the US.

External links[]



  1. Although Voyage of the Damned is supposedly set the Christmas after the 2007 setting of The Runaway Bride [+]Russell T Davies, Doctor Who Christmas Special 2006 (BBC One, 2006)., the Doctor Who series which aired immediately before and after Voyage give contradicting dates for when their present day is set. PROSE: The Paradox Moon places Martha Jones' present day in series 3 in June 2007. AUDIO: Recruits dates it to March 2008. A newspaper clipping in PROSE: The Secret Lives of Monsters places Smith and Jones [+]Russell T Davies, Doctor Who series 3 (BBC One, 2007). on a Sunday 4 June, which in the real world does not fall on a Sunday in either 2007 or 2008. Donna Noble's present day in series 4 is set in 2008 according to TV: The Fires of Pompeii [+]James Moran, Doctor Who series 4 (BBC One, 2008)., TV: The Waters of Mars [+]Russell T Davies and Phil Ford, Doctor Who Autumn Special 2009 (BBC One, 2009)., and AUDIO: SOS (and is heavily implied by TV: The Star Beast [+]Russell T Davies, adapted from Doctor Who and the Star Beast (Pat Mills and John Wagner), Doctor Who 2023 specials (BBC One and Disney+, 2023). and TV: The Giggle [+]Russell T Davies, Doctor Who 2023 specials (BBC One, 2023).), or in approximately April to June 2009, according to PROSE: Beautiful Chaos.
  2. As the definition of a "companion" in Doctor Who is somewhat contentious, this could theoretically be disputed. However, as official sources such as the Doctor Who website have repeatedly identified Astrid as a companion, so does this wiki.