1. The Star Beast

Sixtieth Anniversary - 2023

Writer: Russell T. Davies (from a story by Pat Mills and Dave Gibbons)
Executive Producers: Russell T. Davies, Julie Gardner, Jane Tranter, Joel Collins, Phil Collinson
Producer: Vicki Delow
Director: Rachel Talalay
Music performed by: BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Music orchestrated and conducted by: Alastair King
Music: Murray Gold

Synopsis

The TARDIS materialises in London at Christmastime. The Doctor is walking round the streets when he notices someone struggling with a pile of packages. He takes off some off until he sees who is holding them and starts to replace them so the person, Donna Noble, cannot see him. After Donna shouts the Doctor removes some of the packages, and Donna tells him they belong to her daughter, Rose. As Donna starts to re-stack the packages she misses the ground shaking and a spaceship entering the atmosphere and crashing.

As Donna and Rose leave the Doctor flags down a cab to take him north to the Millson Wagner steelworks. The cab driver is Shaun Temple, wife of Donna Noble (she refuses to take his last name as she thinks it sounds like an old ruin) and mother of Rose Noble.

UNIT have already sealed off the steelworks, but the Doctor uses his sonic screwdriver to break through the fence. The Doctor manages to walk around the steelworks un-noticed and overhears the latest UNIT scientific adviser - Shirley Anne Bingham - discussing how the craft didn't crash, but instead parked, with a UNIT soldier. Later she introduces herself properly to the Doctor and they share information about the craft that has landed. Shirley knows of the Doctor, and assumes he is the Tenth Doctor. The Doctor is concerned not only that he has an old face, but that the TARDIS materialised close to Donna and that the Universe seems to be turning around her again. They are interrupted by a soldier saying that an empty pod has been found. The Doctor hitches a ride on a UNIT vehicle as Shirley returns to the ship after a soldier tells he a signal has been detected inside.Shirley, being in a wheelchair, has to stay at ground level as soldiers run up stairs to the ship's door. As they gain entry a strange light engulfs the UNIT soldiers and takes control of them.

Back at home Rose asks her gran, Sylvia, if she had seen anything about the spaceship on the news. Sylvia insists there are no such things as spaceships, and is relieved when Donna tells her she missed everything, determined to make sure Donna does not remember the events of fifteen years earlier.

As Rose is throwing out some boxes a friend, Fudge, tells her that a bit of the crashing spacecraft fell off and follows him to investigate where they find an empty pod - meaning there is an alien on the loose somewhere. Rose runs back to get her phone and hears noises in the alley where she finds a small furry creature - the Meep. The Meep tells Rose there are others coming after it. Rose hides the Meep in the garden shed she uses to make toys. When Donna enters the shed the Meep hides in a pile of toys. But when it blinks Donna notices it.

As UNIT arrives in the street outside the Doctor hears Donna shouting and makes his way to Donna's house. Sylvia won't let the Doctor in so he uses his sonic screwdriver. Sylvia is panicking, trying to ensure Donna does not get her memory of the Doctor back. The UNIT soldiers from the steelworks tells the UNIT soldiers guarding the pod to return to the steelworks as they hunt for the Meep.

In Donna's house the Doctor tends to a cut on the Meep's hand, and the Meep tells him it is being hunted by The Wrarth Warriors for it's fur. UNIT soldiers come to the house looking for the Meep, as do two Wrarth Warriors. They UNIT soldiers and the Wrarth start firing at each other, with the Doctor, Donna, Rose, Sylvia, Shaun, and the Meep, caught in the crossfire. Using the sonic screwdriver the Doctor is able to create a temporary shield to allow them to escape to Shaun's cab - which is undamaged despite the firing continuing in the street. The Doctor stops to check on a UNIT soldier lying in the street before escaping with the others in the cab. The Doctor is starting to think maybe they have got things very wrong.

The Doctor drives the cab to an underground car park where he teleports in two Wrarth Warriors. The Doctor asks them about the cab being undamaged, and about the UNIT soldier only being unconscious, not dead. One of the Wrarth, Sergeant Zogroth, tells the Doctor that their guns only apply a mild and harmless neural anaesthetic. The Doctor then asks the Meep if the UNIT soldiers were they they to kill, or rescue, the Meep. Zogroth, and Constable Zreeg, tell the Doctor about the Meepkind, and their evil ways, and when the Doctor asks the Meep about this it produces a gun and shoots Zogroth and Zreeg, and UNIT soldiers arrive. The Doctor persuades the Meep to take them all hostage, rather than be killed, and the Meep takes them back to the steelworks.

The Doctor realises the ship didn't land in the steelworks by mistake, it landed to be mended. Steelworkers had also been taken over and were repairing the ship. The Doctor tells the Meep it can't fire the engines as the Dagger Drive would burn up around five square miles - the whole of London including nine million people. The Meep doesn't care and instead orders the UNIT soldiers to take them to the ship; it would decide which one to eat first.

When the lift opens they are met by Shirley who stuns the accompanying UNIT soldiers with weapons in her wheelchair. Shirley tells the family to leave and tells the Doctor to get to the flight deck, destroying a wall with small rockets fired from her chair. As Donna's family escapes Donna leaves them to help the Doctor. She makes it up to the maxifold flight deck moments before the door is deadlocked.

As the Meep prepares for take off it deadlocks the controls and operates a bisect of the maxifold separating both halves by a clear window - with the Doctor and Donna on each side. Reluctantly the Doctor has to get Donna involved with operating the controls. The Doctor tells Donna there is a way to stop the ship, but it would mean her death. She does not hesitate in agreeing. Her first thought is protecting her daughter. The Doctor says some apparently random words, and the lock he placed on her memories fifteen years earlier is unlocked. With the old Donna back together they cause an explosion preventing the launch.

The Meep sends soldiers to kill the Doctor and Donna, who has already died after the subconscious infracutaneous retrofold memory loop was lifted. As they about to fire the force inside the UNIT soldiers is lifted, and Donna returns to life. Not being able to escape Rose closes down all psychedelic lightwave eminators. Some of the metacrisis had passed from Donna to Rose via a shared inheritance. Being transgender Rose chose her own name, and Donna realises the toys Rose had created were all variations of creatures Donna had met: Daleks, Judoon, Cybermen, Adipose, Ood.

With the ship disabled the Meep threatens to blow it up - until the Doctor jettisons the Meep from the top of the ship where it is captured by the remaining Wrarth. Before the Wrarth teleport with the Meep has a final warning for the Doctor. As creatures with two hearts are rare it would tell the Boss.

Returning to the TARDIS Donna stops Rose from seeing inside the TARDIS, but cannot resist going in herself to see the new, much larger and brighter, console room and a new console, with a coffee maker. The Doctor offers Donna a coffee as he looks over the new console. Naturally Donna spills coffee on the console and the TARDIS dematerialises as the console bursts into flames.

Regular Cast

  • Donna Noble: Catherine Tate

Guest Cast

  • Rose Noble: Yasmin Finney
  • Shaun Temple: Karl Collins
  • BBC Reporter: Matt Green
  • Colonel Chan: Jamie Cho
  • Shirley Bingham: Ruth Madeley
  • Lad 1: Harley McEvilly
  • Lad 2: Max Fincham
  • Sylvia Noble: Jacqueline King
  • The Meep: Cecily Fay
  • Meep Animatronics: Brian Herring, Phill Woodfine
  • Wrarth Warrior 1: Robert Strange
  • Wrarth Warrior 2: Stephen Love
  • Wrarth Warrior 3: Jordan Benjamin
  • Wrarth Warrior 4: Vassili Psaltopoulos
  • Soldier: Isabella Carey
  • Major Singh: Ronak Patani
  • Voice of Zogroth: Ned Porteous
  • Voice of Zreeg: John Hopkinson
  • Chief Technician: Anna Martine Freeman
  • Sergeant: Archie Backhouse
  • Voice of the Meep: Miriam Margolyes

Original broadcast on the BBC

Channel Title Date Viewers Rating
BBC 1 1. The Star Beast Saturday, November 25, 2023 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM 5.08M

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