What are they?
The Picture
Writer: Matt Jones
Story number: 6.3
Enemy: Photo People, Dr. Gerard Adamson
Setting: London 2011
Format: 1x45 minute format
Previous Story: The Man From The Stars
Following Story: Night of the Empty

The Picture is the third episode of the sixth series of Doctor Who.


"They are always here. You can't stop them!" - The Hermit

In a block of flats in Central London, pure evil in its most abstract form is hiding. They prey on the vulnerable as they sleep and hide in their forms. It is unknown what they are, or what they want. A lonely old man from up the stairs knows more than he cares to tell - but if he values his life, he will talk.



In a house in Greater London, Dr. Gerard Adamson is seen telling his son, Daniel to go to bed. After much protesting, Daniel finally relents and heads upstairs. Adamson looks through his journal when he hears a rustling from upstairs and goes to see what his son is doing. He walks up the stairs and enters his son's room when he sees a white stream of light being emitted from a picture on Daniel's shelf facing the bed enveloping Daniel's head. The light fades and Daniel, who seemed almost completely unaffected at the time suddenly woke up. Adamson asks Daniel what happened, but Daniel makes no expression or even looks at him. Instead it says that 'you have seen too much' and that 'no one must ever see us'. Daniel then quickly tries to strangle Adamson but throws him back and Daniel makes a run for it. Adamson gives chase, but he disappears. The enraged and traumatised scientist yells to the street for his son back, and asks what they have done with him. In Daniel's room, the picture of him that was making the light had somehow changed from him smiling on holiday, to him reaching to the camera as if he was trying to get out of the photo itself.


A block of flats also in Greater London is shown to be strangely empty. No one seems to be around and no one seems to be wanting to go near it. In one of the windows at the top floors, an old man looks out and sees the TARDIS suddenly appear. The man seems unphased and disappears back into the darkness.

The Doctor, Amy and Rory come out and are quite unimpressed by the TARDIS' apparent random destination. The Doctor then notices that the TARDIS was actually intending to go to somewhere in the Horatio Cluster but passing through the Vortex picked up a huge trace of 'dextrom radiation' - which the Doctor says 'is a bad thing'. They venture within the flats, which is shown to be trashed and the majority of the house doors open with possibly no one inside. Three doors are closed and Amy knocks on the first one. Slowly, the door opens and a woman, Alana appears, clearly terrified. She asks where they came from, and Amy says that she is technically from Inverness. The still frightened Alana tells them that they should leave. Rory asks why but Alana just tells them that if they just got here, they should make their way out now or they won't be able to. The Doctor then asks why, but Alana's answer is quite cryptic - "They were just pictures..."

Suddenly, Dr. Adamson appeared from the other door, he states that most of the residents fled after babbling about pictures coming to life. Those that fled however apparently were not the same as they used to be. In fact, they were taken over by some sentient forces. Adamson mentions how he knows of this because the forces that took them, also taken his son. The Doctor asks how pictures coming to life have something to do with all of this. Another man appears, the old man from before, he mentions that these pictures were being used as vessels and that the unknown forces have been around in every planet in the universe - referred to normally as 'Photo People'. The old man seems to recognise the Doctor and tells him that he is in fact a New Time Lord, known as the Hermit. He mentions that he got his moniker for his penchant for travelling and settling down in a hospitable planet from time to time for both research and a sense of company. His TARDIS is actually his whole house and that is why the Photo People did not even try to go after him because he has no pictures and was not even supposed to be on the block of flats. The Doctor then realises that if the Hermit is a Time Lord, how did Dr. Adamson and Alana, who is now with her daughter, stay and keep themselves from being taken over. Dr. Adamson mentions that the Photo People only take control if you sleep, as what happened with his son.


Behind the scenes

  • The way the Photo People took people's bodies as they slept is almost akin to the Pod People of The Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
  • The Hermit is the first New Time Lord to appear in person since their resurrection.

See Also

Phoenix Saga - Series 6

Xmas Special - Joyeux Noel

Swan Pond  • The Man From The Stars  • The Picture  • Night of the Empty  • Dawn of the Shadows  • The Death of Hope  • Rise of Atlantis  • Necropolis  • Sphinx's Wrath  • War of the Cybermen  • The Third Man  • Ex Nihilo  • Son of Perdition

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.