Planet of the Dead

Planet of the Dead
Ten and Lady Christina in front of the new TARDIS.
Ten and Lady Christina in front of the new TARDIS.
Season: Series 4 Specials
Episode: 2
Vital statistics
Air date 11 April 2009
Written by Russell T. Davies and Gareth Roberts
Directed by James Strong
Episode guide
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The Next Doctor The Waters of Mars
I don't like sand. It's course... rough and irritating, and it gets everywhere.
— James Strong. He hasn't directed DW since.
I don't like sand.
Planet of the Dead Promo.jpg

Planet of the Dead was the second episode in the 2008-2010 Specials. Like 98% of all episodes written by Russell T. Davies, it was shit. Co -written with Gareth Roberts.

Introduces Lady Christina.


Some jewel thief with a long ass name steals shit. Meets up with the Doctor and then they go on a bus into the desert through a wormhole or something and then there's monsters that look like flies or something in cheaply-made costumes.

Remember Midnight? It's basically Midnight. And a little bit of Flight of the Phoenix.

Novel Connections

RTD really wanted Gareth Roberts to adapt his VNA The Highest Science, because he thought the Chelonians were the coolest race invented for Doctor Who since the Daleks. See, they're one of those honorable warrior races, but they're matriarchal. Also, they look like turtles.

So, Gareth turned in his script, and RTD immediately rewrote it to remove the entire plot, the main themes, the unique ending, and the cool background story, and accidentally forgot to replace them with anything else. But at least it still had the Chelonians, and that was the whole point, right?

Then RTD removed the Chelonians too.

The bus accidentally traveling to the planet is sort of left over from the novel. And that brief bit of technobabble that sounds kind of Douglas Adams, that's also from the novel. That, and the sand.


  • First episode shot in HD.
  • The origin of the "He will knock four times" prophecy.
  • Incredibly boring.
  • It stars some prime soap stars such as that gayyyyy one off Holby City and Vincent's mum off Eastenders.


It's a really shitty episode (still the best 2009 special). Avoid.