The Stolen Earth

The Stolen Earth

number = 202a
serial_name = The Stolen Earth

caption = Near the end of the episode, Rose cradles a dying Doctor, who has just been shot by a Dalek. The scene was written by executive producer Russell T Davies as a pastiche of romance fiction, and described by lead actor David Tennant as a "bitter scene of high emotion".
show = DW
type = crossover episode
quotes = yes
doctor = David Tennant (Tenth Doctor)
companion = Catherine Tate (Donna Noble)
companion2 = Billie Piper (Rose Tyler)
companion3 = Freema Agyeman (Martha Jones)
companion4 = John Barrowman (Jack Harkness)
companion5 = Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith)
guests =
*Penelope WiltonHarriet Jones
*Gareth David-LloydIanto Jones
*Eve MylesGwen Cooper
*Tommy KnightLuke Smith
*Bernard CribbinsWilfred Mott
*Jacqueline KingSylvia Noble
*Adjoa AndohFrancine Jones
*Julian BleachDavros
*Michael Brandon – General Sanchez
*Andrea Harris – Suzanne
*Lachele Carl – Trinity Wells
*Richard Dawkins – Himself
*Paul O'Grady – Himself
*Marcus Cunningham – Drunk Man
*Jason Mohammad – BBC newsreader
*Paul Kasey – Judoon
*Kelly Hunter – Shadow Architect
*Amy Beth Hayes – Albino Servant
*Gary Milner – Scared Man
*Nicholas BriggsDalek voices
*Alexander ArmstrongMr Smithcite episode | title = The Stolen Earth | series = Doctor Who | credits = Writer Russell T Davies, Director Graeme Harper, Producer Phil Collinson | network = BBC | station = BBC One | city = Cardiff | airdate = 2008-06-28]
writer = Russell T Davies
director = Graeme Harper
script_editor = Lindsey Alford
producer = Phil Collinson
executive_producer = Russell T Davies
Julie Gardner
production_code = 4.12
date = start date|2008|06|28|19|10|df=yes
ended = end date|2008|06|28|20|00|df=yes
length= 1st of 2-part story, 45 minutes
preceding = "Turn Left"
following = "Journey's End"
imdb_id = 1205437
series = Series 4
series_link = Series 4 (2008)
"The Stolen Earth" is the twelfth episode of the fourth series and the 750th overall episode [cite journal|last=Spilsbury|first=Tom|date=2008-06-24|title=More Top Tens for Ten|journal=Doctor Who Magazine|publisher=Panini Comics|location=Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent|issue=397|pages=p 13 "The Unicorn and the Wasp", the seventh episode of the fourth series, is the 745th episode.] of British science fiction television series "Doctor Who". It is the first episode of a two-part story—the concluding episode being "Journey's End"—and was first broadcast on BBC One at 7:10pm on 28 June 2008.cite web|url=|title=Doctor Who: The Stolen Earth|date=2008-06-21|work=BBC One: Listings|publisher=BBC|accessdate=2008-08-26]

In the episode, the Earth and twenty-six other planets are stolen by the Daleks, aided by their megalomaniacal creator Davros and a shattered but precognitive Dalek Caan. As the Doctor (David Tennant) and his companion Donna Noble (Catherine Tate) try to find Earth, the Doctor's previous companions Jack Harkness (John Barrowman), Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman), Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen), and Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) convene to contact him and mount a defence against the Daleks. At the end of the episode, the Doctor is hit by a Dalek death ray and begins to regenerate.

The episode marks the first appearance of Davros since the 1988 serial "Remembrance of the Daleks"; he is portrayed by Julian Bleach. It also marks the return of several recurring characters, and crosses over with "Doctor Who"'s spin-off series "Torchwood" and "The Sarah Jane Adventures". It is the first "Doctor Who" appearance of Eve Myles as Gwen Cooper; Gareth David-Lloyd as Ianto Jones; Tommy Knight as Luke Smith; and Alexander Armstrong as the voice of Mr Smith.

Preview DVDs of the episode omitted the scene where the Doctor regenerates; the last scene is the Doctor being shot by a Dalek. The episode was reviewed positively by the audience and professional reviewers; the Audience Appreciation Index was 91—an unprecedented figure for "Doctor Who" and one of the highest ratings ever given to a television programme. Reviewers commended Bleach for his portrayal of Davros and executive producer and writer Russell T Davies's writing.


At the beginning of the episode—which immediately follows the episode "Turn Left"—the Earth is teleported out of its spatial location shortly after the Doctor and his companion Donna Noble arrive to investigate Rose Tyler's warning. The Doctor contacts the Shadow Proclamation, a universal police force, to find Earth. They determine that twenty-seven missing planets—including Earth, Adipose III, [cite episode | title = Partners in Crime | series = Doctor Who | credits = Writer Russell T Davies, Director James Strong, Producer Phil Collinson | network = BBC | station = BBC One | city = Cardiff | airdate = 2008-04-05] Pyrovillia, [cite episode | title = The Fires of Pompeii | series = Doctor Who | credits = Writer James Moran, Director Colin Teague, Producer Phil Collinson | network = BBC | station = BBC One | city = Cardiff | airdate = 2008-04-12] the Lost Moon of Poosh [cite episode | title = Midnight | series = Doctor Who | credits = Writer Russell T Davies, Director Euros Lyn, Producer Phil Collinson | network = BBC | station = BBC One | city = Cardiff | airdate = 2008-06-14] —reorganise when placed near each other. Donna mentions the disappearance of bees on contemporary Earth; this allows the Doctor to trace the planets to the Medusa Cascade, an interuniversal rift.

On Earth, a Dalek force, led by their creator Davros and the red Supreme Dalek, quickly subjugate Earth. Military bases, including UNIT's headquarters in New York City and the aircraft carrier "Valiant", are destroyed. Davros, who was thought to have perished at the beginning of the Time War, was saved by Dalek Caan, who entered the conflict after performing an emergency temporal shift. [cite episode | title = Evolution of the Daleks | series = Doctor Who | credits = Writer Helen Raynor, Director James Strong, Producer Phil Collinson | network = BBC | station = BBC One | city = Cardiff | airdate = 2007-04-28] The power needed to enter the Time War—which is "time-locked", preventing time-travellers entering the conflict—caused Caan to become precognitive and insane.

The Doctor's former companions Captain Jack Harkness, Martha Jones, Sarah Jane Smith, and Rose Tyler, who have all encountered the Daleks before, [cite serial | title = Genesis of the Daleks | series = Doctor Who | credits = Writer Terry Nation, Director David Maloney, Producer Philip Hinchcliffe | network = BBC | station = BBC1 | city = London | began = 1975-03-08 | ended = 1975-04-12] [cite episode | title = Daleks in Manhattan | series = Doctor Who | credits = Writer Helen Raynor, Director James Strong, Producer Phil Collinson | network = BBC |station = BBC One | city = Cardiff | airdate = 2007-04-21] [cite episode | title = The Parting of the Ways | series = Doctor Who | credits = Writer Russell T Davies, Director Joe Ahearne, Producer Phil Collinson | network = BBC | station = BBC One | city = Cardiff | airdate = 2005-06-18] [cite episode | title = Doomsday | series = Doctor Who | credits = Writer Russell T Davies, Director Graeme Harper, Producer Phil Collinson | network = BBC | station = BBC One | city = Cardiff | airdate = 2006-07-08] hide in various places: Jack takes refuge in the Torchwood Hub (coord|51.4640|-3.16415|format=dms|name=Torchwood Hub, underneath Roald Dahl Plass, Cardiff Bay) with his team Ianto Jones and Gwen Cooper; Martha uses Project Indigo—an experimental teleport device scavenged from the Sontarans—to escape UNIT with the "Osterhagen Key", a device designed to be used as a last resort; Sarah stays in her home with her son Luke Smith and supercomputer Mr Smith; and Rose tracks down Donna's mother Sylvia Noble (Jacqueline King) and grandfather Wilfred Mott (Bernard Cribbins). They are contacted by former Prime Minister Harriet Jones (Penelope Wilton) through a secret "sub-wave network" designed by Mr Copper—a humanoid alien who met the Doctor in "Voyage of the Damned" [cite episode | title = Voyage of the Damned | series = Doctor Who | credits = Writer Russell T Davies, Director James Strong, Producer Phil Collinson | network = BBC | station = BBC One | city = Cardiff | airdate = 2007-12-25] —to contact the Doctor's companions in an emergency. They attempt to contact the Doctor by amplifying the sub-wave signal using Mr Smith and the spatio-temporal rift in Cardiff. The Doctor and the Daleks receive the transmission and trace the signal: the Daleks exterminate Harriet Jones; [cite episode | title = Interview with Russell T Davies | series= This Morning | credits = Hosts Phillip Schofield and Ruth Langsford | network = ITV | station = ITV1 | city = London | airdate = 2008-07-04 | time = 11:08am | quote = Sometimes you have to kill a character, like Harriet Jones, played by Penelope Wilton, [who] dies in the last one.] and the Doctor is able to locate Earth in a temporally desynchronised pocket universe.

At the end of the episode, the Doctor travels into the pocket universe and receives transmitted images in the sub-wave signal. After Davros hijacks the signal, the Doctor breaks communication and attempts to convene with his companions. The TARDIS lands on a street where Rose is waiting for the Doctor. He runs to embrace her, but is shot by a Dalek. Jack promptly destroys the Dalek and helps Rose and Donna carry the Doctor into the TARDIS, where the Doctor begins to regenerate.



"The Stolen Earth" and "Journey's End" are the culmination of all four series of "Doctor Who" since its revival in 2005. Several thematic motifs, including the disappearance of bees, the Medusa Cascade, and the Shadow Proclamation—an intergalactic police force described by Davies in the script as "a huge installation, metal sci-fi towers ranged across a series of linked asteroids, hanging in space, like a Roger Dean painting"—are explained in "The Stolen Earth". Executive producer Russell T Davies said that the arc for the fourth series comprised "an element from every episode–whether it's a person, a phrase, a question, a planet, or a mystery [that] builds up to the grand finale", and the finale " [had] been seeded for a long time, with small but vital references going all the way back to Series One";cite journal|last=Spilsbury|first=Tom|date=2008-04-03|title=Back in Business!|journal=Doctor Who Magazine|publisher=Panini Publishing Ltd|location=Tunbridge Wells, Kent|issue=394|pages=pp 6–7|accessdate=2008-04-10] the Shadow Proclamation was invoked by the Doctor in the first series premiere "Rose".cite episode | title = Rose | series = Doctor Who | credits = Writer Russell T Davies, Director Keith Boak, Producer Phil Collinson | network = BBC | station = BBC One | city = Cardiff | airdate = 2005-03-26] The episode is the first major crossover between "Doctor Who" and its spin-off series "Torchwood" and "The Sarah Jane Adventures". Davies compared the crossover's conception to a typical child's imagination of a crossover between the "Doctor Who" and "Star Wars" universes: Blockquote|When you see the story, it'll make so much sense that all these characters are involved. It's simply doing what kids do in their imaginations: they're experts at crossovers and would think of nothing of having their Dalek toys battling "Star Wars" droids. Why not have all the factions of the "Doctor Who" universe going into battle together?|Russell T Davies|"Doctor Who Magazine" issue 397

A scene featuring "every monster [the production team] ever had in the show"cite episode |title=Journey's End|series=Doctor Who: The Commentaries |serieslink=Doctor Who: The Commentaries |network=BBC |station=BBC 7 |airdate=2008-06-28 |season=1 |number=13] at the Shadow Proclamation was written and dialogue was recorded; the scene was cut because of time and monetary constraints. The scene depicting Wilfred Mott firing a paintball pellet at a Dalek was inserted at Cribbins' suggestion; he thought it would provide comic relief in between heavy exposition. Cribbins explained that impairing their vision would be "common sense" owing to the Daleks' lack of limbs and nature.cite journal|last=Cook|first=Benjamin|coauthors=Cribbins, Bernard|date=2008-07-25|title=Bernard Cribbins: Stargazer: Wilfred Mott|journal=Doctor Who Magazine|publisher=Panini Comics|location=Royal Tunbridge Wells|issue=398|pages=p 33|accessdate=2008-08-15] The Dalek's response—evaporating the paintball and replying "My vision is "not" impaired"—removed a weakness the Daleks had exhibited since their first apperance in the 1963–1964 serial "The Daleks". The episode's climax—the Doctor being hit by a Dalek extermination ray and consequently regenerating—was written by Davies as a pastiche of romance fiction. He compared the reunion between Rose and the Doctor to "the biggest romance [the viewer] has ever seen", and intensified the scene's emotional impact through Piper's cameos throughout the fourth series. Tennant described the Doctor's extermination as a "bitter moment of high emotion", and lamented that " [the Doctor] can't have a happy moment, especially with a cliffhanger needing to be written". The episode ended during the regeneration because Davies wanted to create the "biggest, most exciting cliffhanger in "Doctor Who" and to differentiate the scene from previous regenerations; regenerations were always completed at the end of serials. He considered its resolution—the Doctor halting his regeneration and siphoning the excess energy into his severed hand—legitimate because the hand was an important plot device in "Journey's End"'s climax.cite episode |title=End of an Era |series= Doctor Who Confidential |network=BBC |station=BBC One |airdate=2008-07-05 |seriesno=4 |number=13]


As a consequence of the episode's crossover nature, the episode is the first appearance of Gareth David-Lloyd as Ianto Jones and Tommy Knight as Luke Smith in "Doctor Who". Eve Myles, who previously played Gwyneth in "The Unquiet Dead", [cite episode | title = The Unquiet Dead | series = Doctor Who | credits = Writer Mark Gatiss, Director Euros Lyn, Producer Phil Collinson | network = BBC | station = BBC One | city = Cardiff | airdate = 2005-04-09] makes her first appearance as the "Torchwood" female lead Gwen Cooper. The episode features many returning characters: Freema Agyeman; Adjoa Andoh; John Barrowman; Nicholas Briggs; Elisabeth Sladen; and Penelope Wilton reprise roles for "The Stolen Earth". Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins and comedian Paul O'Grady make cameo appearances on Torchwood's television screen;cite web|url=|title=The Stolen Earth: Fact File|date=2008-06-28|work=Doctor Who microsite|publisher=BBC|accessdate=2008-07-01] celebrity cameos had been a part of each penultimate episode since the show's revival. Gary Milner was cast as the extra "Scared Man" after misreading the callsheet as "Sacred Man" and creating a "priest-like" portrayal of the character.


"The Stolen Earth" is the first appearance of Davros since the 1988 serial "Remembrance of the Daleks". Davies postponed Davros's return as he thought that "Davros would dominate the Daleks... like plain robots, instead of the scheming geniuses that they are", and used the previous series to establish the Daleks' individual intelligence. Davies cast Julian Bleach to portray Davros after his performance as the Ghostmaker in the "Torchwood" episode "From Out of the Rain".cite journal|last=Cook|first=Benjamin|date=2008-06-27|title=Endgame!|journal=Doctor Who Magazine|publisher=Panini Comics|location=Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent|issue=397|pages=pp 8–9|accessdate=2008-07-01] To keep the return of Davros secret, the character was referred to as "The Enemy" or "Dave [Ross] " among the crew and was kept anonymous on the shooting scripts; however, the "Radio Times" called the secret "one of the worst-kept ... in television history".cite journal|last=Cook|first=Benjamin|date=2008-07-01|pages=pp 10–17|title=8-page special: Never Mind the Daleks, Here's Davros!/The Man Behind the Masks.|journal=Radio Times|publisher=BBC|location=Wood Lane, Shepherd's Bush, London|volume=5–11 July 2008|accessdate=2008-07-01] Bleach described Davros as "a cross between Hitler and Stephen Hawking" and thought his "nihilistic desires" made the character "extraordinary", and David Tennant liked Davros's "Hitlerian megalomaniac" attitude and the nostalgic feeling Davros created; Tennant's first memory of "Doctor Who" was Davros's debut in "Genesis of the Daleks".cite episode |title=Friends and Foe |series=Doctor Who Confidential |network=BBC |station=BBC Three |airdate=2008-06-28 |seriesno=4 |number=12] [cite episode
title =
network = BBC
station = BBCi
city = Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff
airdate = December 2006

Davies, prosthetics designer Neill Gorton, and concept artist Peter McKinstry met to discuss the design of Davros for the episode. They agreed to keep the visual design of Davros faithful to the design in his debut "Genesis of the Daleks"; Davies thought it was an "excellent design". The only major change was to replace the hand destroyed in "Revelation of the Daleks" with a weaponised robotic version. McKinstry aimed to make Davros "bigger and scarier" by updating the "flimsy" design of the classic series:blockquote|"We wanted to get away from the slightly flimsy look of the earlier series. So I beefed Davros up, made him more sturdy. I also think that the reinvented Davros is unusual for the new Doctor Who because he is genuinely grotesque. Sometimes we’ve held back a bit with the ugliness of the monsters. But Davros is a very unpleasant looking character, which makes his return all the more powerful."|Peter McKinstry After working for a week to finalise his design, McKinstry sent it to Gorton, who took four weeks to make the mask; everyone involved in production made suggestions such as "make the eyebrows meaner" or "harden the cheekbones". Gorton created six prosthetic masks based on Bleach's figure because the masks quickly degraded when removed.cite news|url=|title= Doctor Who: Reinventing Davros|last=Pettie|first=Andrew|date=2008-07-03|publisher=Daily Telegraph|accessdate=2008-07-04]


"The Stolen Earth" is the first appearance of the Daleks since "Evolution of the Daleks", which was filmed eighteen months prior to the episode;cite web|url=|title=Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks|last=Sullivan|first=Shannon|date=2008-02-10|work=A Brief History of Time (Travel)|accessdate=2008-08-23] consequently, the prop controllers experienced difficulty re-adapting to their roles.cite episode |title=The Stolen Earth |series=Doctor Who: The Commentaries |serieslink=Doctor Who: The Commentaries |network=BBC |station=BBC 7 |airdate=2008-06-28 |season=1 |number=12] Davies's inclusion of the Daleks as part of the crossover was intended to create a "charged atmosphere" for the protagonists: Jack was killed by the Daleks; Rose and Martha were present at two of their apparent extinctions; and Sarah was present at their creation. The animatronic of the Dalek mutant had to be recreated for the episode; the previous prop that was used in "Dalek" and "The Parting of the Ways" was irreversibly water-damaged during filming of the latter. "The Stolen Earth" features two new variants of Daleks: the Supreme Dalek, colored red as an allusion to the Peter Cushing film "Dr. Who and the Daleks"; and the partially-destroyed Dalek Caan. Caan was described in the shooting script as: blockquote|, gutted, and melted, its harsh lines now curved and warped... in the middle of the warped, open shell sits a Dalek Mutant, tentacles stirring. This creature is more distorted than ever, its skin bubbled. One blind eye staring out; voice ancient, sing-song, mad.|Russell T Davies|Shooting script for "The Stolen Earth". Transcribed by Andrew Pixley of "Doctor Who Magazine". Voice actor Nicholas Briggs adopted a different voice for each model: he adopted a grandiose voice for the Supreme Dalek to fit his perception of the character as egotistical; and he adopted a sing-song voice for Caan to reflect the character's insanity as a result of entering the Time War and saving Davros. Briggs explained that " [Caan] can't tell when he's happy or sad, his emphasis is very strange and he finds things funny when things aren't funny", creating a soothsayer personality with an "almost pure" mind. [cite web|url=|title=Nicholas Briggs (Doctor Who)|last=Wilkes|first=Neil|coauthors=Briggs, Nicholas|date=2008-06-27|work=Cult: Doctor Who|publisher=Digital Spy|accessdate=2008-07-04] An expanded theory was published in Briggs' interview with "Doctor Who Magazine":Briggs' portrayal was well-received by the production team: Graeme Harper "loved Caan's giggling" and requested "more ... on every take"; and Davies described Caan as "the creepiest Dalek yet".cite journal|last=Cook|first=Benjamin|date=2008-06-24|title=Red Alert!|journal=Radio Times|publisher=BBC|location=Wood Lane, Shepherd's Bush, London|issue=28 June–4 July 2008|pages=pp 14–16|accessdate=2008-07-02]


"The Stolen Earth" features the first external location shots of the Daleks since the revival of "Doctor Who" in 2005, and the greatest proportion of filming undertaken at night since the show's revival: apart from the pre-credits sequence set in suburban London, all of the scenes set on Earth were filmed at night.

The two-parter took approximately six weeks in 2008 to film; regular filming began on 18 February 2008 and ended on 29 March 2008. The first scene shot for "The Stolen Earth"—a news report featuring Lachele Carl as Trinity Wells—was filmed on 31 January 2008. The first week of filming took place entirely at the show's studios in Upper Boat (coord|51.575763|-3.3|format=dms|name=BBC Studios, Upper Boat (TARDIS, Torchwood Hub, Dalek Crucible, Sarah Jane Smith's attic)); most of the scenes set in the Torchwood Hub and the TARDIS—including the regeneration scene—were filmed in the period.cite journal|last=Pixley|first=Andrew|date=2008-08-14|title=The Stolen Earth / Journey's End|journal=Doctor Who Magazine|publisher=Panini Comics|volume=The Doctor Who Companion: Series 4|location=Royal Tunbridge Wells|issue=Special Edition 20|pages=pp 126–145|accessdate=2008-08-14]

The filming schedule of the second and third week alternated between "The Stolen Earth" and "Journey's End". Three days were allocated to filming for "The Stolen Earth": scenes in Donna's house were filmed on 26 February 2008 on Nant Fawr Road, Cyncoed, Cardiff (coord|51.521019|-3.17216|format=dms|name=Nant Fawr Road, Cyncoed (Noble family home)); the "Crucible" Vault set in the Upper Boat studios was used on 3 March 2008; and scenes at the Shadow Proclamation were filmed at the School of Optometry at Cardiff University (coord|51.494891|-3.188953|format=dms|name=Cardiff School of Optometry (The Shadow Proclamation)) on 8 March 2008.

Filming for the episode's outdoor scenes began on 12 March 2008 in Pontypridd. The Doctor and Rose's reunion was filmed on 13 March 2008 in Penarth town centre (coord|51.442409|-3.176438|format=dms|name=High Street-Arcot Street-Queen's Road-Paget Road intersection, Penarth (The Doctor and Rose's reunion)) in front of two hundred people;cite journal|last=Cook|first=Benjamin|coauthors=Piper, Billie|date=2008-07-25|title=Billie Piper: Somebody to Love: Rose Tyler|journal=Doctor Who Magazine|publisher=Panini Comics|location=Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent|issue=398|pages=pp 24–25|accessdate=2008-08-14] consequently, the scene was leaked onto the Internet and reported in the next day's edition of "The Sun". Ernie Vincze, the Director of Photography for the show, compared the scene to "Blade Runner". Scenes in the UNIT headquarters in Manhattan were filmed on the evenings of 16 March and 19 March in a traffic control centre (coord|51.525934|-3.2412|format=dms|name=South Wales Traffic Management Centre (UNIT HQ)); the first night was reserved for the Dalek invasion and the last for Martha's escape.

Penelope Wilton reprised her role as Harriet Jones at the request of Davies; Wilton accepted unconditionally because she "would do anything for ... Davies" and she wished to act in Phil Collinson's last filming block as producer; her first appearance in "Aliens of London" was filmed in the first production block of the first series. Her solitary scene was filmed on 18 March 2008, in a cottage in Dinas Powys, Wales (coord|51.450694|-3.222932|format=dms|name=Lower House Barn, Dinas Powys (Harriet Jones' house)). Filming was stalled because of difficulty transporting the Dalek props into the cottage—specifically, the raised patio doors made it difficult to balance and maneuver the props.cite journal|last=Cook|first=Benjamin|coauthors=Wilton, Penelope|date=2008-07-25|title=Penelope Wilton: Having a Blast: Harriet Jones|journal=Doctor Who Magazine|publisher=Panini Comics|location=Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent|issue=398|pages=pp 30–31|accessdate=2008-08-14]

The remainder of the fifth week was used to film Dalek-only scenes at the Upper Boat studios. The Vault set was redressed as the "Crucible" command deck. Scenes depicting Martha and Sarah were filmed alternately during the sixth week, ending on 28 March 2008 with scenes of Sarah and Luke in their attic. Filming for the episode—and the two-parter—closed with Dawkins' and O'Grady's cameos: Dawkins was filmed after shooting finished in the attic set, and O'Grady was filmed on 31 March 2008 alongside an episode of "The New Paul O'Grady Show". The episode's final mix took place on 12 June 2008.

Broadcast and reception

Partial media blackout, broadcast, and ratings

The title of the episode was the last of the fourth series to be revealed; in April 2008, when the other twelve episode titles were revealed, "The Stolen Earth"'s title was withheld because "it [gave] away too much";cite journal |date=2008-04-01|title=The Stars are Coming Out |journal=Radio Times |issue=5–11 April 2008 |pages=pp 14–24 |accessdate=2008-04-01 |publisher=BBC ] its title was only revealed two weeks before broadcast. [cite news | url= | title=Episode 12 | publisher=BBC Doctor Who | date=2008-06-13 | accessdate=2008-06-28] Like the second series finale "Army of Ghosts"/"Doomsday",cite web|url=|title=Fear Forecast: Army of Ghosts|publisher=BBC|work=Doctor Who microsite|accessdate=2006-09-16] the final scene of "The Stolen Earth" was removed from preview DVDs sent to reviewers and a media blackout was imposed on "Journey's End".cite web|url=|title=S04E12: 'The Stolen Earth'|first=Ben|last=Rawson-Jones|publisher=Digital Spy|date=2008-06-28|accessdate=2008-07-03|work=Cult: Doctor Who] [cite journal|last=Graham|first=Alison|title=Saturday 5 July: Today's Choices|journal=Radio Times|publisher=BBC|location=Wood Lane, Shepherd's Bush, London|issue=5–11 July 2008|pages=p 54|accessdate=2008-07-03]

Overnight ratings estimated that "The Stolen Earth" was watched by 7.4 million viewers, approximately 38.3% of the total television audience. [cite web|url=|title=The Stolen Earth - Overnight Ratings|first=Matt|last=Hilton|date=2008-06-29|publisher=Outpost Gallifrey|accessdate=2008-06-30] The final viewing figure was 8.78 million, the second highest figure of the week beginning 23 June 2008; the highest was the UEFA Euro 2008 Final, watched by 8.84 million viewers. [cite web|url=|title=Stolen Earth - Final Ratings|first=Matt|last=Hilton|date=2008-07-09|publisher=Outpost Gallifrey|accessdate=2008-07-09] The episode received an Appreciation Index score of 91 (considered excellent), the highest rating ever received by the series and one of the highest ratings ever for a terrestrial television programme. The high Index rating broke the previous record of 89 shared by "The Parting of the Ways", "Doomsday", "Silence in the Library", and "Forest of the Dead". [cite web|url=|title=Silence in the Library / Forest of the Dead|first=Shannon|last=Sullivan|work=A Brief History of Time Travel|accessdate=2008-07-03] [cite web|url=|title=Army of Ghosts / Doomsday|first=Shannon|last=Sullivan|work=A Brief History of Time Travel|accessdate=2008-07-03] [cite web|url=|title=Bad Wolf / Parting of the Ways|first=Shannon|last=Sullivan|work=A Brief History of Time Travel|accessdate=2008-07-03] cite web|url=|title=The Stolen Earth - AI and Digital Ratings|first=Matt|last=Hilton|date=2008-06-30|publisher=Outpost Gallifrey|accessdate=2008-08-18]

The episode depicted "07700 900461" as the Doctor's phone number; the number is reserved by Ofcom for dramatic purposes. After transmission, approximately 2,500 viewers attempted to call the number; they received a network message explaining the number was not in service. Consequently, Ofcom released a statement saying that the calls were free because the number was not real. [cite web|title=Doctor Who phone number has fans in frenzy|publisher=Daily Telegraph|url=|date=2008-07-07|accessdate=2008-07-13]

Critical reception

Quote box
quote = When I was a kid I loved those Marvel Comics team-ups when you’d have Spider-Man teaming up with Captain America and the X-Men. This is the "Doctor Who" equivalent and it’s pant-wettingly exciting. Some of the audience will never have seen "Torchwood", some will never have seen "The Sarah Jane Adventures", but it doesn’t matter. This is a celebration of where Davies has taken "Doctor Who" and just what has been achieved in four years. "Doctor Who" is literally a small television industry now, and it's only right and proper that we get to see the spin-off shows brought together under the hospitable roof of the parent show.
source = Mark Wright, "The Stage"
width = 350px
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"The Guardian" published three reviews of the episode. Sam Wollaston gave the episode a positive review; he thought it was a "wonderful episode" that "would be hard to top". Wollaston joked in his review about Richard Dawkins's cameo, comparing his anti-religion mannerisms to the Daleks.cite web|last=Wollaston|first=Sam|url=|title=The weekend's TV|publisher=The Guardian|date=2008-06-30|accessdate=2008-06-30] Gareth McLean described the end of the episode as a "genuine, jaw-dropping, outta-nowhere cliffhanger".cite web|url=|title=A new Who? Who knew?|last=McLean|first=Gareth|authorlink=Gareth McLean|date=2008-06-30|publisher=The Guardian|accessdate=2008-06-30] He commended the production team for successfully suppressing information about the regeneration in an industry often stifled by leaks. Stephen Brook of "The Guardian"'s media blog "Organgrinder", thought the episode was "unbelievably good" and "genuinely scary and exciting". He theorised about the questionable regeneration: whether it was genuine and, if so, who would portray the next incarnation of the Doctor; and which companion will die in "Journey's End".cite web|url=|title=Are we about to get a new Doctor Who?|last=Brook|first=Stephen|date=2008-06-30|work=Organgrinder|publisher=Guardian Unlimited|accessdate=2008-07-03]

"The Independent's" Thomas Sutcliffe gave the episode a negative review, expressing that the episode was "extermination without inspiration". Before the episode's transmission, he was excited about how Dawkins and O'Grady would appear, and was disappointed when they only appeared when Ianto was channel surfing. Sutcliffe expressed disbelief at the idea that O'Grady would continue to film his talk show, and with a studio audience, in the midst of planetary disaster, but nevertheless praised the cameos. After the cameos, he "began to lose interest" because he did not like the continuity and crossover elements of the episode. He criticised the re-occurrence of the lines "But... that's impossible!", "It can't be!", and "Exterminate!". He closed his review by requesting the producers to "change the record". [cite web|url=|title=Last Night's TV: Extermination without inspiration|last=Sutcliffe|first=Thomas|date=2008-06-30|publisher=The Independent|accessdate=2008-07-01]

Mark Wright of "The Stage" posed the question: "How on Earth do you review that?". Wright put the episode as "the most bonkers, delicious, audacious, brilliant, silly, exciting and scary piece of Doctor Who seen in the 45-year history of [the] TV series", and described it as "Doctor Who at its most show stopping, entertaining and brilliant best." In his review, Wright explained his love of crossover fiction, and commended Davies for the direction he took "Doctor Who" into becoming what Wright considered to be a "small television industry". Wright complimented the way the episode was in-keeping with tradition, specifically aspects such as; "Daleks trundling around spaceships having shouty conversations with each other"; "UNIT [being] as useless as ever at repelling alien marauders", and the visual appearance of Davros. He described Bleach's portrayal as a "halfway house between the original version as played by Michael Wisher and the more exuberant...turn by Terry Molloy". He also thought positively of the final scenes, commenting that "the most flint-hearted must have had a misty eye as Rose found her Time Lord again and they ran towards each other in candy box slow-mo" and he cheered when the "outpouring of romance was brought to an end, as it should be in Doctor Who, by a big Dalek gun".cite news|url=|title=Doctor Who 4.12: The Stolen Earth|last=Wright|first=Mark|date=2008-06-30|work=TV Today|publisher="The Stage"|accessdate=2008-07-03]

Ben Rawson-Jones of Digital Spy gave the episode five stars out of five. In his review, he states that "'The Stolen Earth' does a fine job in weaving components from the current series, former companions, and Davros together." He wrote that he admires Graeme Harper's direction of the scene where Sarah and Jack receive the continuous "Exterminate!" transmission from the Daleks, stating that "Harper's work ... is worthy of the big screen in terms of its breathtaking visual elements." He complimented the casting of Michael Brandon as General Sanchez, and expressed hope that Sanchez had survived the Dalek attack because he had the potential to be "the new Brigadier figure that UNIT so desperately needs". Rawson-Jones thought Briggs, as the voice of the Daleks, did a "superb job with Dalek Caan's crazy dialect, stemming from a very inventive and bold move by writer Russell T Davies to make this Dalek go doolally". He praised Bleach's performance as Davros, for his "controlled, sinister vocals" that "wonderfully evoke the brilliant but deranged mindset of the Dalek creator". Upon closing, he commended Davies for being "an expert at delivering jaw-dropping finales that give each season a sense of cohesion and up the stakes to almost unbearable levels", and thought that matching the episode's quality would be a "tough task".

Alan Stanley Blair of SyFy Portal was positive in his review. In his opinion, the episode never failed to deliver and "acts as a tribute to everything Russell T Davies put in place when he resurrected the series in 2005." He described the storyline as "fast-moving, bursting [with] excitement" and said that it contained "everything you would expect to see from an adventure comprising of all companions and a new Dalek empire, the episode acts as the ultimate climax to four years of storytelling and will leave you with goose bumps for the full 42 minutes." Blair was impressed about how "Torchwood" and "Doctor Who" crossed over when their original target demographics dictated it "should never have happened". Scenes depicting Gwen's concern for her husband Rhys, Ianto watching "The Paul O'Grady Show", and Sarah's and Jack's emotional response to the Dalek transmission, were praised by Blair. Although his review was positive, he did criticise two parts of the episode, including; the concept of the Time War being "time-locked", which was questioned because the Time Lords were annihilated in the conflict; and he complained that the Doctor's phone number was out of service. [cite web|url=|title= Review: 'Doctor Who' - The Stolen Earth|first=Alan Stanley|last=Blair|publisher=SyFy Portal|date=2008-06-30|accessdate=2008-07-03]

Dan Wainwright of "The Express & Star" in Wolverhampton, expressed feelings of denial in response to the episode's ending. He asked: "Surely not even Russell T Davies, who seems obsessed with filling episodes with celebrity cameos and John Barrowman, wouldn’t be so maverick as to change his lead actor half way through a season finale?" In his review, Wainwright expressed feelings of amicability and hatred towards Davies for his role in reviving Doctor Who, particularly disliking Davies for romanticising the character. Although he admired Davies for making the series popular among children.cite news|url=|title=The end of the world as I know it|last=Wainwright|first=Dan|date=2008-06-30|publisher=The Express & Star|accessdate=2008-07-03] Catherine Tuckewell, writing for Blogcritics, gave a positive review. She opened by saying "Russell T Davies has again extended the boundaries of most infuriating cliffhangers." She commended the cast for "top notch acting" that brought "a whole new level of emotion to the series", specifically Jack and Sarah's reaction to the Dalek warcry transmission, which "brought tears to her eyes". Tuckewell praised the production team for "the most beautiful [outer space shots] outside the Hubble telescope" and the direction which showed the Daleks "at their fearful best".cite web|url=|title=Doctor Who - The Stolen Earth|last=Tuckewell|first=Catherine|date=2008-06-29|work=TV review|publisher=Blogcritics|accessdate=2008-07-04]

Simon Brew of science-fiction blog "Den of Geek" commented that "If the aim of a really well done Doctor Who cliffhanger is to leaving you screaming 'noooooooooo' at the screen and frantically checking the calendar for the next episode, then it’s fair to say that Russell T Davies has just managed to tick that box." His review both criticised and praised the episode; he summarised the episode as "bursting with a breathless ambition that papered over its occasional cracks" but lamented that the plot detail felt "muddled" because of how many plot devices were compressed into the episode. Brew thought the ensemble of companions "separated the great actors from the good": he complimented Sladen's and Cribbins's portrayal of fear; and he criticised UNIT, Torchwood, and the Doctor for uncharacteristically admitting defeat. Brew's opinion of Davros and Caan was positive, commenting that "Julian Bleach nailed [Davros] " and the appearance of Davros was "very reverential" to the classic series and that Caan " [added] an interesting dynamic to the Dalek fight". He closed his review by expressing hope that "Journey's End" didn't end like "Last of the Time Lords" and said:cite web|url=|title=Doctor Who Series 4 Episode 12 The Stolen Earth|last=Brew|first=Simon|date=2008-06-28|publisher=Den of Geek|accessdate=2008-07-04] blockquote|To say that The Stolen Earth eclipsed the equivalent episode last year would be no understatement whatsoever, and to also note that it’s generated an enthusiasm and excitement for next week already would be showing yet more restraint.|Simon Brew|Den of Geek

Charlie Jane Anders of the science fiction blog io9, called Davies "the gay Michael Bay" and "wished for the first time that Davies would stay on to produce a fifth season" of "Doctor Who". She "loved all the silly plot devices and loopy plot twists" such as Project Indigo, the Osterhagen Key, the concept of using "every telephone in England" to call the Doctor, and the fact that Davros was unable to cultivate a Dalek army "without slicing his own torso up". Anders in her review praised Bleach's portrayal of Davros for capturing "the character's mixture of curiosity, manipulativeness and mania better than anyone since ...Michael Wisher". She also commended the "super-heroics" in the episode, such as Wilf shooting a Dalek with a paint-ball gun, Gwen and Ianto's final scene, and the "glowing nobility" of Harriet Jones', who sacrificed her life to help the Doctor:blockquote|Even though I was glad we'll never hear anyone say "I know who you are" to her again, I was glad she was able to turn her usual schtick into a moving speech of defiance. It sorta reminded me of the Controller in "Day Of The Daleks": "Who knows? I may have helped to exterminate you."|Charlie Jane Anders|io9 Closing her review, she expressed excitement for "Journey's End", saying the final scene left her with a "feeling like [she had] no clue how it could be resolved, even using crazy RTD logic".cite web|url=|title=Russell T Davies is the gay Michael Bay|publisher=Gawker Media|work=io9|date=2008-06-29|accessdate=2008-07-29|first=Charlie Jane|last=Anders]

Travis Flickett of IGN gave the episode 7.6/10 ("Enjoyable"). He opened his review by discussing the concept of "fan service":His review focused primarily upon the Daleks. He initially criticised their appearance because of overuse; he discussed their previous appearances in "Doctor Who" since 2005: a singular enemy in "Dalek"; a Dalek empire against Rose in "The Parting of the Ways"; the Dalek Cult of Skaro against the Cybermen in "Doomsday"; and their appearance in 1930s Manhattan in "Daleks in Manhattan" and "Evolution of the Daleks". He cited Davros and the "year-and-a-half" break as the reason their appearance "sort-of worked"; Davros' appearance " [upped] the stakes", but he criticised the character for " [doing] little to enhance the mythology" and Bleach for a "way over the top" performance. Flickett criticised Rose's isolation from the other companions, but noted that she could defend against the Daleks on her own. He closed his review positively; he said "Whatever the conclusion of this season, Davies run on this series is an enormous achievement."


External links

*BBCDWnew | year=2008 | id=S4_12 | title=The Stolen Earth
* [ Shooting Script for "The Stolen Earth"] at the [ official website] for Russell T Davies and Benjamin Cook's ""
*Brief|id=2008lm|title=The Stolen Earth" / "Journey's End|quotes=y
*Doctor Who RG|id=who_tv42|title=The Stolen Earth" / "Journey's End|quotes=y

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