Listen: Fact File
The read through for Listen took place on Tuesday, 11 February, 2014. The main shoot started 6 days later and finished on Monday, 24 March.
Filming locations included Mermaid Quay, Bute Park and Whitchurch (all in Cardiff) as well as Porthcawl, a coastal town in Bridgend, Wales.
Robert Goodman plays Reg, the man the Doctor chats to at the children’s home. Robert played a crew member in 1986’s The Trial of a Time Lord and back in 1979 he made his Doctor Who debut as a Mandrel in Nightmare of Eden.
Douglas Mackinnon directed Listen and therefore becomes the first person to have directed episodes featuring the Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors during their respective eras. His first episode was The Sontaran Stratagem back in 2008 and he was also at the helm for Time Heist, the adventure that follows Listen.
The ominous chiming when Clara is about to operate the TARDIS is the sound of the Cloister Bell. It was first heard in the Fourth Doctor’s final adventure, Logopolis, when he described it as ‘…a sort of communications device reserved for wild catastrophes and sudden calls to man the battle stations.’
Listen also features the return of the psychic paper, first seen in The End of the World and later employed on several occasions by the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors.
When Clara asks if it’s bad if she meets herself, the Doctor replies it’s potentially catastrophic. We’ve seen several individuals encounter themselves thanks to time travel, and often there have been no ramifications, such as when the Third Doctor and Jo met and had a brief conversation with themselves in Day of the Daleks. However, in Mawdryn Undead, when the Brigadier came into physical contact with another version of himself, a single momentary touch was enough to create a massive discharge of energy.
The idea of something scary under the bed has been touched on in another episode written by Steven Moffat – The Girl in the Fireplace. During that adventure one of the clockwork droids hides under Reinette’s bed. When the Doctor finds it, the robot gets to its feet and stands behind Reinette. The Time Lord then advises the young girl, ‘Don’t look round!’ In Listen, when the mysterious figure in Rupert’s bedroom stands behind the Doctor, Clara and Rupert, the Doctor says the exact words to Clara. Moments later, when Rupert asks, ‘Has it gone?’ the Doctor again replies, ‘Don’t look round!’
At one point the Doctor bellows, ‘The Sontarans! Perverting the course of human history!’ In The Time Warrior, the Sontaran Commander Styre plans to give medieval villains advanced weaponry. The Doctor was appalled at the idea, ‘Human beings must be allowed to develop at their own pace!’ he insisted, warning the Sontaran: ‘You give them breech-loading guns now, they’ll have atomic weapons by the Seventeenth Century. They’ll have the capability to destroy their own planet before they’re civilised enough to handle it!’
When Clara sees Orson Pink in his spacesuit she initially mistakes him for the Doctor. That’s because Orson’s suit strongly resembles the one used by the Time Lord, first seen in The Impossible Planet. In Hide, Clara saw the Doctor wearing it – or a similar version of it – when they visited different periods of Earth’s history. She said the suit’s colour was ‘a bit boisterous’ and it made her eyes hurt…