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The Fourth Dimension

The Eleventh Hour

The phrase 'the eleventh hour' means at the last possible moment and usually refers to a dramatic moment. Something done in the nick of time would be said to have been done at the eleventh hour. The origins of the expression are said to date back centuries when the eleventh hour was the final sixty minutes in a work shift.

Although The Eleventh Hour is the first episode of the new series to be transmitted, it was not the first to be shot. That distinction goes to episodes 4 and 5. This is not unusual and as far back as the Fifth Doctor's first series in 1982, his debut story, Castrovalva, was shot after his second adventure, Four to Doomsday was in the can.

The episode contains a wealth of new elements - new companion, new look TARDIS exterior, new TARDIS control room, new enemy and new Doctor. But several familiar aspects are in evidence. There's the sonic screwdriver, a version of which first appeared in The Fury from the Deep in 1968 and we glimpse representations of the first ten Doctors. We also see the Doctor's psychic paper which debuted five years earlier in The End of the World. Also, the Cloister Bell chimes. This was first heard in the Fourth Doctor's final story, Logopolis.

The episode contains a wealth of new elements - new companion, new look TARDIS exterior, new TARDIS control room, new enemy and new Doctor. But several familiar aspects are in evidence. There's the sonic screwdriver, a version of which first appeared in The Fury from the Deep in 1968 and we glimpse representations of the first ten Doctors. We also see the Doctor's psychic paper which debuted five years earlier in The End of the World. Also, the Cloister Bell chimes. This was first heard in the Fourth Doctor's final story, Logopolis.

This is the first episode to feature the new logo. Appropriately, it's the eleventh Doctor Who logo and was 'unveiled' on October 6th, 2009.

The episode is directed by Adam Smith whose previous credits include Little Dorrit. On that show he worked with Arthur Darvill who debuts here as Rory.

Strictly speaking, the building that the TARDIS almost crashes into is not Big Ben but St Steven's Tower. Big Ben is the name of the bell within the tower, not the architectural structure that houses it.

The last part of the episode to be completed was the opening titles. A different version was used for press screenings and during the Doctor Who tour. The new titles were first seen by Matt Smith and Karen Gillan on Day two of the tour.