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The Caretaker: Fact File

The read through for The Caretaker one took place Thursday, 20 March, 2014. The main shoot began the following Monday on 24th March and finished on Friday, 11 April. The scene with Seb (played by Chris Addison) was shot some time later, on Wednesday, 11 June.

The Doctor goes undercover at Coal Hill School in The Caretaker.

Coal Hill featured in the very first episode of Doctor Who and more recently, in The Day of the Doctor and several Twelfth Doctor adventures. Ironically, when the Time Lord visited the school in Remembrance of the Daleks the headmaster assumed he’d come to apply for the vacant position of school caretaker!

Clara’s apartment number is 63 and she’s a teacher at Coal Hill school. Doctor Who began in 1963 and the first series followed two Coal Hill teachers - Ian and Barbara - sharing adventures with the Doctor…

The Doctor believes ‘artron emissions’ may have brought the Blitzer to the area. Although its exact nature remains unclear, artron energy seems to be a form of energy with a physical connection to the process and actuality of time travel. Kate used it to track down the Doctor in The Power of Three and it has been mentioned as far back as the Fourth Doctor story, The Deadly Assassin.

Jimmy Vee plays the Blitzer in The Caretaker, but this isn’t his Doctor Who debut. He appeared in The End of World as the Moxx of Balhoon and was the ‘Space Pig’ in Aliens of London/Word War III. He later starred as Bannakaffalatta in the 2007 Christmas Special, Voyage of the Damned.

Fish people! (“Fish. And people. Come and see, if you’ve got the time!”) The Doctor encountered a race of ‘fish people’ in the 1967 adventure, The Underwater Menace. It’s not clear whether he’s referring to the same species here, but in the 60s story the fish people helped the Second Doctor defeat the insane Professor Zaroff.

The ‘fish people’ from The Underwater Menace.

Clara’s notion of Jane Austen being in a band with the Doctor isn’t such a fanciful idea. In Deep Breath Vastra revealed that Marcus Aurelius was a ‘superlative bass guitarist’, reflecting that the Doctor ‘really knows how to put a band together!’

‘River and me had this big fight…’ That’s the first reference made by the Twelfth Doctor to River Song. He later asks Clara if she wants to see the Thames frozen over, so maybe the time-traveling archaeologist is on his mind… In A Good Man Goes to War, River revealed that the Doctor once took her ice skating on the River Thames in 1814, during the last of the great ‘Frost Fairs’.

Danny isn’t the first soldier-turned-maths-teacher encountered by the Doctor. After the Time Lord’s old friend, Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, left UNIT he taught mathematics at Brendon Public School.

The Tenth Doctor undercover at Deffry Vale in School Reunion.

We first saw the Doctor use the pseudonym John Smith in The Wheel in Space and he’s adopted it occasionally ever since. It was, for example, his chosen alias when he went undercover at another school, teaching physics in School Reunion.