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Children in Need Special
Series: Doctor Who -
TV Stories
Series Number: Series 1
Doctor: Tenth Doctor
Companions: Rose Tyler
Setting: The TARDIS
Writer: Russell T Davies
Director: Euros Lyn
Producer: Phil Collinson
Broadcast: 18th November 2005
Format: 1 7-Minute mini-episode
Prod. Code: CIN
Previous Story: The Parting of the Ways
Following Story: The Christmas Invasion

The Children in Need Special was a short scene produced for the Children in Need campaign in 2005. It was set immediately between the episodes, The Parting of the Ways and The Christmas Invasion, during the TARDIS trip from 200,100 to Christmas 2006. It chronicled the very first moments of the relationship between the Rose Tyler and the Doctor's tenth persona.

From a production standpoint, it was notable for a number of reasons. It was the only episode of Doctor Who to have no on-screen titles or credits, other than those for the two actors involved. It was also the first Doctor Who segment filmed for a charity event that could be said to be a part of the regular programme's continuity. And it was the only time an incoming Doctor had been given a second "regeneration scene" prior to embarking upon his first full episode. It also established an annual pattern of the BBC Wales version of Doctor Who participating in Children in Need. That it was directed by Euros Lyn would later allow for some directorial symmetry, in that Lyn also directed Tennant's last full scene in The End of Time.



The Doctor has just regenerated. But can Rose trust a man with a new face?


Inside the TARDIS, Rose questions the Doctor, who has just regenerated. She finds it hard to accept the Doctor has changed into a new body and thinks that one of a number of aliens may have replaced him. The Doctor allays her doubts by telling her about the first time he met her and dismisses her concerns about having left Jack behind on Satellite 5. The regeneration, however, has gone wrong and the Doctor is slightly crazed. He decides to land the TARDIS on Christmas Eve. With Cloister Bell warning of imminent danger, the Doctor screams in pain and warns of a crash landing.



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Story Notes

  • This is a short scene for the charity Children in Need.
  • In addition to the broadcast, this story was available for viewing on the BBC's website until 25 November, 2005, when the link was removed.
  • This story and Time Crash are the only TV stories other than The Edge of Destruction to be set entirely in the TARDIS.
  • The pre-credits sequence for the mini-episode was a montage of the climactic scenes of DW: The Parting of the Ways.
  • Post-regeneration instability has been present, to varying degrees, in every one of the Doctor's regenerations.
  • The online feed of the mini-episode ended with several pre-recorded inserts of Tennant and Piper appealing for donations to Children in Need. The appeals in which they both appear are flippant in tone, with Piper claiming to be Tennant and vice versa in the first, and in the second the pair introducing themselves as Letitia Dean and Nicholas Lyndhurst.
  • At 7 minutes long the Children in Need Special holds the record for the shortest 'single episode' of Doctor Who ever, just beating DW: Time Crash, which was 8 minutes long. However, the 2009 Comic Relief mini-episode based on The Sarah Jane Adventures, From Raxacoricofallapatorius With Love, is the shortest of all at just over five minutes. In 2009, the series Tonight's the Night broadcast a 3-minute mini-episode based on Doctor Who, however the actors break character and so it isn't considered canonical. Another 3-minute mini-episode, A Ghost Story for Christmas, was produced for the Internet in 2009 but does not feature the Doctor in an active role.
  • The mini-episode aired the same day the movie Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was released. The film features Tennant as villain Barty Crouch Jr.

Title controversy

As the special provides no on-screen title (the only previous occasion in which this occurred being the DW: 1996 TV movie), there has been some debate over what title to attribute to this story.

  • The title Children in Need Special is the one that has been accepted by most resources and, most significantly, is the title used by BBC Video for its DVD release of the story.
  • Russell T Davies joked that the title was the Pudsey Cutaway, a reference to Mission to the Unknown (also known as the Dalek Cutaway), with the name Pudsey referring to the Children in Need mascot.
  • The working name of this episode was reportedly Regeneration Facts.
  • According to the 2009 book Companions and Allies this episode is titled Born Again, however a review of the book in Doctor Who Magazine #409 disputes the accuracy of this claim and, as noted before, BBC Video has not used this title for its official release of the story. Precedent has previously been set, with DW: An Unearthly Child, DW: The Daleks and other early stories for which their overall titles were disputed, that the title used for home video releases be cited as the official title.


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Filming Locations

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Discontinuity, Plot Holes, Errors

  • How does the Doctor know that Jack is Okay? (Although the fact that the Doctor not only knew Jack survived the Dalek attack, but had become immortal due to Rose's interference, is confirmed in DW: Utopia, exactly how the Doctor was aware of these things has yet to be revealed. The Doctor mentions to Jack in Utopia that he knew he was immortal now, and left him behind because of that reason.)
  • Why would Rose think the Doctor is a Slitheen? In DW: World War Three, he told her that Slitheen can only fit inside the bodies of overweight people (She was confused because she did not understand what was happening to the Doctor, and was grasping for explanations at this point. It was not an entirely unreasonable idea, as she knew the Slitheen did use teleports and hide inside humanoid skins.)
  • Why doesn't Rose recognize the new Doctor as the man she met on the street back on 1 January 2005 (DW: The End of Time, Part Two)? Although not clearly shown, the Tenth Doctor stayed in the shadows during the encounter and was never clearly seen by Rose. It is also possible that she simply doesn't remember the short encounter.


  • The Doctor's manic behavior towards the end of the story recalls similar, though much more violent, "fits" displayed by the Sixth Doctor in DW: The Twin Dilemma.

DVD and Other Releases

  • This was released as an extra on the series 2 box set. For viewers in North America, this was the special's debut as it was not broadcast outside of the UK.
  • The Region 2 DVD release accidentally contains a rough-cut version of the special instead of the final version. The Region 1 DVD release contained the correct version.

See Also

External Links

  • Doctor Who Reference Guide - Detailed Synopsis - Children in Need Special
  • The Whoniverse - The Discontinuity Guide to: Children in Need Special
Series 2
Mini-episode: Children in Need Special  • Christmas Special: The Christmas Invasion

New Earth  • Tooth and Claw  • School Reunion  • The Girl in the Fireplace  • Rise of the Cybermen  • The Age of Steel  • The Idiot's Lantern  • The Impossible Planet  • The Satan Pit  • Love & Monsters  • Fear Her  • Army of Ghosts  • Doomsday

This article uses material from the "Children in Need Special" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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