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Deep and Dreamless Sleep
Doctor: Tenth Doctor
Companions: Daniel
Setting: 24th and 25th December, various years including 2006 and 1914
Author: Paul Cornell
Published In: The Sunday Times
24 December 2006
Previous Story:
Following Story:

"Deep and Dreamless Sleep" was a Christmas-themed Tenth Doctor short story by Paul Cornell, published in The Sunday Times on Christmas Eve 2006. Because it was set on the same day it was published, its events are partially concurrent with The Christmas Invasion.



The Doctor attempts to see central London's Christmas lights on Christmas Eve, 2006. However the TARDIS lands in the bedroom of a boy called Daniel Francis Thompson. Daniel runs into the TARDIS, saying that he wants to see Christmas. He starts pressing buttons, taking both of them into time and Space.

They arrive in Ypres in Belgium at Christmas 1914. They see the German and British armies playing football. Ninety minutes later at the end of the match the two of them return to the TARDIS and Daniel again says that he wants to see Christmas. The Doctor travels to many different times and places and gets lots of people to come to a party for Daniel. The Doctor notices that the guests seem to have difficulty focusing on him. However at the end of the party Daniel again runs to the console, saying that he wants to see Christmas. They arrive at Bethlehem and see the Nativity scene.

Returning to the TARDIS Daniel begins to fade away. However the Doctor, realising what is happening uses the TARDIS to follow Daniel to where he really is, the A&E department of St. Nicholas's Hospital. As the Doctor watches, Daniel wakes up to see his parents and the Doctor knows he will survive.


  • The Doctor
  • Daniel Francis Thompson
  • Michael (Thompson?)
  • Ann (Thompson?)
  • Stan Laurel
  • Oliver Hardy
  • The Chuckle Brothers
  • Sonia


  • Real-life Hollywood comedians Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy make a cameo appearance.



  • The Doctor is traveling alone, most likely placing this in the gap between The Runaway Bride and Smith and Jones, based on when it was written and published, though it could just as easily take place during any later companionless interval or post-Journey's End. Further proof for the post-Runaway Bride setting is given by the fact the Doctor claims he's fought evil versions of Santa a "couple" of times.
  • The story opens on Christmas Eve 2006, the same day as the events of The Christmas Invasion begin. Daniel's accident is said to have occurred on 24th December 2006 as well. This means there are actually two versions of the same incarnation of the Doctor in London simultaneously.
  • The Doctor allows a number of individuals into the TARDIS to share Christmas with Daniel -- including Laurel & Hardy -- but erases their memories of the experience after he returns them to their proper time and place. This could be seen as an oblique reference to the Time Lord ability to erase memories (DW: The War Games), as well as foreshadowing the later fate of Donna Noble (DW: Journey's End).
  • The Doctor had visited St. Nicholas's Hospital six months prior to Daniel's hospitalization.

Discontinuity, Plot Holes, Errors

  • London was in the midst of the Sycorax invasion during the timeframe of this story, yet no reference is made to this. The timeframes of the two stories are close, but not exact. Insofar as the people of Earth are concerned, the Sycorax invasion started just after midnight, Christmas Day, when the first images from the Guinevere One probe were relayed by BBC News 24. Dan wakes up at exactly the same time, and the story ends before the broadcast on BBC News 24 could possibly have finished. Consequently, there's no reason for anyone in "Dreamless" to reference the events of DW: The Christmas Invasion.
  • Since his newly-regenerated self is not far away, isn't the Doctor taking a chance going to London? Not really. At the precise moment this story ends — seconds after midnight Christmas Day, 2006 — his newly-regenerated self is immobile in Jackie Tyler's flat. He knows his younger, post-regenerative self wouldn't be "active" until well after daybreak on Christmas Day, 2006. In fact, this story is quite continuous with The Christmas Invasion, because it characterizes the Doctor as "always lik[ing] to have a look the Christmas lights" in central London — something he'd have missed during the events of his tenth persona's first adventure. His desire to see the Christmas 2006 lights is thus natural, if indeed he's a bit of a "Christmas lights" geek.
  • Daniel is said to have entered surgery at 2130, but been in recovery by sometime just before midnight. Although Daniel's injuries are never specified, the fact that he is in a coma suggest they were extensive. Thus, this is an implausibly short space of time for major surgery, even given the fact that the story establishes the Doctor tried to give every advantage to the hospital staff.

See also


External links

  • Deep and Dreamless Sleep - Times Online
  • Doctor Who Reference Guide - Detailed Synopsis - Deep and Dreamless Sleep

This article uses material from the "Deep and Dreamless Sleep" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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