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PRODUCTION INFO

Name

The Poison Sky

Series 4

Episode 5

First Transmitted

3 May 2008

Final ratings

6.50m

BOX SET RELEASE

Series 4 set

DVD RELEASE

Series 4 Volume 2

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CAST

Regular Cast

David Tennant (the Doctor), Catherine Tate (Donna)

Guest Cast

Freema Agyeman (Martha Jones), Billie Piper (Rose Tyler) [2], Christopher Ryan (General Staal), Rupert Holliday Evans (Colonel Mace), Bridget Hodgson (Captain Price), Dan Starkey (Commander Skorr), Bernard Cribbins (Wilfred Mott), Jacqueline King (Sylvia Noble), Eleanor Matsuura (Jo Nakashima) [1], Ryan Sampson (Luke Rattigan), Christian Cooke (Ross Jenkins), Clive Standen (Private Harris), Wesley Theobald (Private Gray), Ruari Mears (Clone) [1], Meryl Fernandes (Female Student), Leeshon Alexander (Male Student) [2], Kirsty Wark (Herself), Lachele Carl (US Newsreader), Jack Steed (Sontaran)

CREW

Written by Helen Raynor
Directed by Douglas Mackinnon
Produced by Julie Garner and Phil Colinson

sypnosis

Just as the Doctor’s getting to know his new companion, Donna, old friend Martha summons him to Earth. Following her adventures with Torchwood, she’s back with Unit, who are facing a threat from one of the Doctor’s old enemies. What exactly are the devices being manufactured at the mysterious Atmos factory? Can Donna save her family from the danger they face? And how will she get on with Martha…?

NOTES

  1. Helen Raynor wrote this episode. Her Series 3 episodes Daleks in Manhattan and Evolution of the Daleks both occupied fourth and fifth episode in the series. This two part episode also occupies episode four and five.
  2. This the second part of a story which began with The Sontaran Stratagem.
  3. This story and The Sontaran Stratagem are Douglas Mackinnon’s first stories as director.
  4. When the Doctor cuts off Staal’s speech on the video screen in mid flow, a clip from CBeebies cartoon Tommy Zoom is featured. The original plan to use a clip from Shaun the Sheep fell through.
  5. Billie Piper appears very briefly as Rose Tyler on the TARDIS’s screen in this episode. She receives screen credit, and is fourth-billed, for a performance that lasts less than one second and which was actually shot for another episode.
  6. According to Russell T Davies in an interview in DWM 396, the cameo by Rose was not in the original edit of the episode, but was added just before broadcast when Davies learned how successful her unbilled cameo in Partners in Crime was. Although it was reported that the clip came from “an untransmitted scene” from another episode, in fact, according to the DVD commentary for Midnight, the scene was shot especially for Midnight during production of Turn Left and Davies dropped the scene into The Poison Sky, too. Davies said that, like Partners in Crime, advance review copies of this episode did not include the cameo. This scene was directed by Alice Troughton.
  7. The music that plays when the Valiant appears is strikingly similar to “The Master Tape”, one of the Murray Gold themes for the Master. The Master helped design the Valiant.
  8. When Martha Jones wears the Doctor’s jacket at the end of the episode, she says she feels like “a kid in my Dad’s clothes.” The following episode features an actual daughter of the Doctor.
  9. This is the first episode to feature Billie Piper, Freema Agyeman, and Catherine Tate all together as Rose, Martha, and Donna, respectively. It is not, however, the first story in which all three actresses appear, as all three appear in Army of Ghosts/Doomsday.
  10. The Doctor says to the clone Martha “Avanti”, which is “Let’s go” in Italian. This is probably to confirm his suspicion of her clone nature. The real Martha would know that the Doctor usually says “Allons-y” which is “Let’s go” in French.
  11. As is routine for post-2005 Doctor Who, a “NEXT TIME” trailer for the next episode is shown at the end of the episode.

trailer

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