Demetri goes in for the attack
The Lonely Heart
Writer: Steven Moffat
Story number: 5.7
Enemy: Nosferox
Setting: 21st Century London
Format: 1x45 minute format
Previous Story: Pentagram
Following Story: Sand Devil

"The Lonely Heart" is the seventh episode of the fifth series of Doctor Who. It first aired on 21st August 2010.


We will be together... forever... and ever. - Elise.

The Doctor, Martha and Kale arrive back in London, where they hear of a new, recreational and completely legal stimulant - 'Ichor', created and endorsed by the enigmatic Elise. But Elise is hiding something, something fatal about her miracle cure, and now they must battle her and the bloodthirsty Nosferox.


In a London pharmacy, a young woman is seen purchasing a small bottle of red liquid, with 'Ichor' on the stamp. The pharmacist asks for a blood test as it is necessary in case of any allergic reaction. The woman is ushered into the back, followed by the pharmacist. She is shown to be in a dark room with absolutely nothing in it except shelves of Ichor. From behind the pharmacist grows fangs and lunges at the screaming woman's neck.

The Doctor, Martha and Kale arrive in London and see how everyone is enjoying Ichor. When they asked people what it was, they were laughed at for not knowing. Kale uses his manacle to search on the Internet and sees that Ichor is a new drug that is being marketed legally as a way of gaining temporary sensory enhancement and even reversing ageing a couple of years. The Doctor sees this as suspicous and they go to the company that has distributed the drug - Murnau Pharmacuticals.

Upon arrival, they meet the head of the company and also the top scientest, Elise. She tells them that they used the genetic make-up of animals like lizards, wolves and even spiders to gain a stimulant that can effectively allow 'a new breath of life'. The Doctor, however, sees this as practically mutating humanity by making them able to become so powerful with the drug. Kale and Martha also see it as creating an entire nation of addicts. Elise, staying cordial, invites them to her office on the top floor.

Elise's office is shown to be very odd. Strange artworks scattered everywhere, the largwe windows are darkened and do not show any daylight and she is openly intimate with both her assistants, Demetri and Selene. The Doctor remarks on how 'Ichor' is the 'blood of the gods' in Greek mythology. Elise responds by stating that that is exactly what she is giving to the people of Britain - the power humanity has wanted. She also says that she is working on a new product that will not only be permanent, but will allow a more extended lifespan and far more enhanced senses. The Doctor scolds her, but she is dismissive still and calmly asks them to leave.

They leave her office but sneak into the labs, where they see that there is no animals used, or chemicals being blended. What they find is that the workers are draining the blood from bat-like creatures and bottling it. What is even more disturbing is that the creatures are shown to revert into human form after they are done with. One of them spots the Doctor, Martha and Kale and they sound an alert and attempt to catch them. They all manage to escape outside and see that the workers, led by Elise, will not exit.

The Doctor notices that these creatures are actually Nosferox, similar to Plasmavores and Haemovores. They are bloodthirsty vampire-like monsters that have an intense allergy to ultraviolet radiation. Martha notices that it will be sundown in less then an hour, then they will come for them. At nightfall, groups of young Nosferox are seen roaming every street. The Doctor, Martha and Kale seek refuge in Francine Jones' house (Francine is actually away on a vacation). One of the Nosferox gets the scent of aliens (the Doctor and Kale) and swarm in. They overpower them easily and when one of them, who is shown to be Demetri attempts to feed on Martha, Elise (through an earpiece) orders him to take them to her - alive.

They are brought back to Elise's office, now with the windows showing the night sky. Elise reveals herself to be the Nosferox leader and eldest of her kind. She also says that with their blood within human veins, the humans will become addicted to it as it will become necessary for their survival, or they wither and die - like a reverse effect on vampires and humans. The Doctor asks why Elise is doing this. She replies by stating that when all of humanity is taking Ichor, humanity will soon die out when marketing stops and only a chosen few will be selected to be turned into Nosferox, and they will take control of the Earth upon humanity's extinction. She also says how she will keep Martha as one of them, as she seems admiring to her beauty. Kale tricks one of Elise's henchman to reveal another of the Nosferox's weaknesses - water. He manages to throw water from a bottle that was inside his jacket and have it land in their face, causing the Nosferox's face to burn and have the rest of it turn to ash. Kale then manages to vapourise the rest of the soldiers and release the Doctor and Martha, and also incapacitate Demetri and Selene.

Elise knocks out Kale and destroys the energy weapon. The Doctor then tells her that if she doesn't reveal how to stop the rapid ageing process, he will kill her. Elise scoffs at the claim and asks how he could kill her. He reveals how he can by making the sprinkler system on the ceiling (in case of fire), activate for a second, causing Elise a lot of pain. She reveals the only way to stop it is if the 'templates' of the blood are destroyed, meaning the Nosferox who gave their blood and had it bottled. The Doctor then tries to use the fire alarm system to activate all the sprinklers in the labs. Elise tries to stop him but Martha scuffles with her, giving the Doctor enough time to activate the system, which destroys every Nosferox in the building, apart from Elise, Demetri and Selene. They pray for mercy, huddling together like cowering children, while still embracing each other. The Doctor tells them that they wouldn't of shown mercy if they stuck with their plans. Elise tearfully asks to have Demetri and Selene spared: "Let them live! They're only children!"

The Doctor does allow this, on the condition that they both must never try to destroy humanity again. They comply and share one final moment with their queen before they run off. Elise stands up, keeping together the last of her pride and dignity. She awaits her execution and makes her final statement:

"Know this, Doctor. Millions of people here die every year. We could have changed that. The deaths of billions would only herald the birth of a new Earth. A happier one. And you destroyed that chance. As you destroyed my people."

The Doctor, near hesitating, activates the sprinklers and watch as Elise screams and burns until she melts to death into a clay-like substance on the ground. The Doctor says that humanity has so much potential. They would never fully advance if they became like the Nosferox. They all leave to the TARDIS and disappear.



  • The episode borrows heavily from the 1983 vampire film, The Hunger.
  • This episode is the first in the show to feature a lesbian (speciafically bisexual) kiss or inkling of intimacy.
  • The style of the Nosferox creature was inspired by the character Orlok in Nosferatu.
  • Selene is the name of the main, vampire character in the film Underworld.
  • The song playing in the background when first in Elise's office is 'Cat People (Putting Out Fire)' by David Bowie.

See Also

Phoenix Saga - Series 5
Red Scar  • Prime  • Trial By Fire  • The Fear  • His Return  • Pentagram  • The Lonely Heart  • Sand Devil  • Time Slip  • Ripples In The Lake  • Ragnarok  • Tree Of Life  • Vengeance Sevenfold

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