World War Three


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World War Three

Series 1

Episode 5

First Transmitted

23 April 2005

Final Ratings







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Regular Cast

Christopher Eccleston (The Doctor), Billie Piper (Rose)

Guest Cast

David Verrey (Joseph Green), Camille Coduri (Jackie Tyler), Penelope Wilton (Harriet Jones), Noel Clarke (Mickey Smith), Rupert Vansittart (General Asquith), Morgan Hopkins (Sergeant Price), Andrew Marr (Himself), Annette Badland (Margaret Blaine0, Steve Spiers (Strickland), Jack Tarlton (Reporter), Lachele Carl (Reporter), Corey Doabe (Spray Painter), Elizabeth Fost, Paul Kasey, Alan Ruscoe (Slitheen)


Written by Russell T. Davies
Directed by Keith Boak
Produced by Julie Garner and Phil Colinson


With the threat of interplanetary war looming, the human race prepare for the end, little knowing their enemies lie at the heart of the British government. As the Ninth Doctor, Rose Tyler and new friend Harriet Jones battle for their lives in 10 Downing Street, the Slitheen family set their plans for the destruction of Earth into motion. With the world changing around him, The Doctor is powerless, and it seems only Mickey Smith can save the world..


  • Andrew Marr appears playing himself as a television news reporter.
  • According to Russell T Davies (among others), this episode was called Aliens of London Part Two until the last minute, when the name was changed to World War 3, soon amended to World War Three.
  • Elements of the story parody the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the actions of the Prime Minister, Tony Blair.
  • This includes a pre-emptive strike based on incorrect information, namely the presence of “massive weapons of destruction” which could be deployed in forty-five seconds, as opposed to Blair’s “weapons of mass destruction” that could be deployed in” forty-five minutes”.
  • When a Slitheen disguised as a policeman appears outside Mickey’s flat, the word “Salford” appears as graffiti on the wall near the elevator. This would appear to be an in-joke, as Salford is Christopher Eccleston’s hometown.
  • Unusually, the repetition of the last episode’s cliffhanger before the credit/sequence contains the cliffhanger’s resolution: The Doctor removes the ID badge from his clothing and applies it to a Slitheen.
  • Curiously, whenever the TARDIS’ interior is seen from the outside, a normal police box interior, rather than the TARDIS’, is shown. While this was normal pre-2005, the TARDIS’ interior is nearly always seen in the revived series.
  • The episode’s working title was 10 Downing Street, and was changed to World War Three at a relatively late stage. (Despite the Telos Publishing book Back to the Vortex claiming this to be the case, Russell T Davies has categorically stated this to be a myth, and that 10 Downing Street was never considered as a working or final title at any stage of production)
  • The Doctor was going to kill Harriet Jones to stop her becoming prime minister. (RTD never considered killing Harriet.)
  • The Doctor has found and scolded the child who spray-painted “BAD WOLF” on his TARDIS by having him scrub the TARDIS as punishment.
  • Jackie offers to make The Doctor shepherd’s pie.
  • Jackie takes out a bottle of Amaretto and asks if The Doctor drinks. The Doctor spits out the wine he sips in 10 Downing Street.
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