Doctor Who Logo 'The Beast Below'
(Story Code 5.02)

by Steven Moffat
The Doctor and Amy

A horse and a man above, below;
One has a plan but two must go.
Mile after mile, above, beneath;
One has a smile one has teeth.
Though the man above might say “hello”,
Expect no love from the beast below.

Starship UK poem

Flying through space is the Starship UK, a huge space ship covered in skyscrapers that bear the names of the counties of Britain and Ireland. Inside a classroom deep within the vessel, a number of young schoolchildren depart for home under the watchful gaze of a ‘Smiler’: a sinisterly grinning robotic torso sitting inside a glass booth. The Smiler praises every child for their good behaviour – all except for a boy named Timmy, whose score of zero sentences him to walking home alone, instead of with his classmates and friend Mandy, who leave under the protection of a hooded guard known as a ‘Winder. When Timmy takes a lift all on his own, the Smiler within changes its face to display a demonic grimace – and then the floor slides open, sending Timmy plummeting into the depths of the ship… Meanwhile, the Doctor is busy showing Amy the wonders of space when he sees the huge bulk of Starship UK flying below. After explaining that in the Twenty-Ninth Century, solar flares forced mankind to evacuate the Earth and migrate to the stars, the Doctor lands the TARDIS inside a London market, where his suspicions are immediately aroused: a young girl – Mandy – is in tears, but no one is helping her; hideously grinning dummies watch over the populace from their booths; and the contents of a glass of water are of particular interest… The Doctor and Amy’s arrival is seen by a nearby Winder, who immediately telephones his superior, Hawthorne; watching on CCTV, Hawthorne in turn contacts a red-robed woman, who is intrigued by the Doctor’s actions: her room is filled with glasses of water too… Sent after Mandy under the pretence of returning the purse the Doctor pick-pocketed from her, Amy discovers that the young girl is well aware that she is being followed. As the two make friends, Amy becomes fascinated by a nearby electrical shop that has been sealed off; picking the lock, Amy slips inside the store, only to be menaced by a huge alien tentacle tipped with a vicious barb; beating a hasty retreat, Amy finds herself surrounded by a group of Winders, who promptly gas her into unconsciousness… Down in the engine room, the Doctor’s investigations are interrupted by the arrival of the masked woman in the red hood. When the Doctor voices his puzzlement at the absence of any engine on the Starship, having been tipped off earlier by the lack of movement in the glass of water, the woman, Liz 10, asks his help in uncovering how she and the rest of the population can be travelling in a spaceship that can never fly, and then gives him a device to help locate Amy. Elsewhere, Amy comes to inside a voting booth, faced with a presentation on the “truth” behind Starship UK, and a decision on whether to vote to ‘Protest’ or ‘Forget’. After watching the video, Amy immediately slaps the ‘Forget’ button… and then sees a recording of herself in tears, urging herself to take the Doctor away from the Starship right away. At that moment, the Time Lord arrives with Mandy in tow. The Doctor is intrigued that his friend had her memory erased twenty minutes ago, his interest increasing when Mandy explains that everyone over sixteen votes every five years, and that they all vote to forget. True to form, the Doctor promptly thumps the ‘Protest’ button: the floor slides open and he and Amy plummet into the depths, down a chute that spits them out twenty miles below, inside what appears to be a rubbish dump full of decomposing food. To Amy’s distress, the Doctor reveals that they are not just in the heart of the ship – they are inside the mouth of a gigantic monster! But they aren’t there long: the creature vomits them up into an overspill pipe. Now covered in sick, the Doctor and Amy discover that the only way out is through a door sealed with a ‘Forget’ button; refusing to press the button, the Doctor confronts the two Smilers guarding the room, but their booths spring open and the two grimacing robots begin to advance… only to be shot down by a gun-wielding Liz 10, who has just arrived with Mandy, having used her tracker to locate them. As the Doctor and Amy follow them outside, the Time Lord wonders why Liz never voted, and how she comes to know all about him; the woman replies that her family brought her up on tales of his adventures – her full title is Elizabeth the Tenth, the current Queen of England! Seeing two more tentacles behind a vent, the Doctor is all for continuing his investigation, but Amy is against it, recalling her earlier warning. Returning to her quarters, the youthful Liz 10 tells the Doctor and Amy that she is actually fifty years old, her body clock having been slowed down, and that she has been queen for the last ten years; as the Doctor remarks how the mask she wears fits her perfectly, Liz voices her concerns that her government are keeping secrets from her. At that moment, a group of Winders arrive to take Liz 10 and her friends to the Tower of London; when the queen protests, the Winder’s face rotates to show that of a grimacing Smiler – he is part human, part robot. Escorted to the starship’s dungeons, the Doctor, Amy, Mandy and Liz 10 encounter Hawthorne, who shocks them with the revelation that he has been feeding protestors to the beast below the ship – although strangely the creature won’t feed on children. Seeing more writhing tentacles and a section of exposed brain subjected to an electrical beam, the Doctor deduces that the Winders are torturing the trapped creature to make it fly their ship for them; disgusted, the Time Lord uses his sonic screwdriver to allow everyone to hear the creature’s screams of pain. As Hawthorne ignores Liz 10’s order to release the creature, the Doctor comments on how Liz’s mask fits her perfectly, even though it is two-hundred years old; the truth is revealed: Liz is actually three-hundred years old, and has already discovered the secret of the beast many times before, each time choosing to forget. At that moment a video-recording of Liz begins to play, explaining how the creature below Starship UK is the last Star Whale in existence: with the Earth burning, humanity took drastic action, trapping the creature and building a spaceship around it to enable them to escape the planet; Liz never chooses to free the star whale by pressing the ‘Abdicate’ button, for doing so would cause the ship to disintegrate, killing all those aboard. Realising the implications of Amy’s earlier decision, the Doctor is furious that Amy decided to act for him, now that he is faced with an impossible choice between humanity and the alien. In desperation the Doctor decides to deliver a massive electrical charge into the Star Whale’s brain, rendering the creature a vegetable, but sparing it from feeling any more pain. Just then Timmy and some other of Mandy’s classmates arrive. Seeing the children playing with one of the tentacles, Amy is hit by a sudden realisation; she immediately stops the Doctor from continuing what he is doing, then grabs Liz 10’s hand and slaps it down onto the ‘Abdicate’ button. The ship rocks wildly, but instead of being destroyed, it increases speed. Amy explains that the Star Whale volunteered to help – being the last of its kind, the creature couldn’t bear to hear Earth’s children crying, and so it came to humanity’s aid. Liz 10 and Hawthorne are ashamed of their actions, while the Doctor is faced with the realisation that he has much in common with the beast… Some time later, Amy finds the Doctor gazing out of an observation window; after telling him that Liz 10 has vowed that there will be no more secrets aboard Starship UK, Amy is about to confess about her forthcoming wedding when she is interrupted by the sound of the TARDIS’ telephone ringing; answering the call, the duo receive a summons from the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, who needs the Doctor’s help with a tricky situation – and inside the Cabinet War Rooms on Earth, the shadow of a Dalek falls across the wall behind Churchill… The Doctor and Amy set off on their mission, leaving the Star Whale to continue its journey carrying Starship UK on its back; unseen in the hull of the vessel is a huge crack – identical to the one in Amy’s bedroom…

In bed above we're deep asleep,
While greater love lies further deep.
This dream must end, this world must know
We all depend on the beast below.

Matt Smith (The Doctor), Karen Gillan (Amelia ‘Amy’ Jessica Pond), Sophie Okonedo (Liz Ten), Terrence Hardiman (Hawthorne), Hannah Sharp (Mandy Tanner), Alfie Field (Timmy), Christopher Good (Morgan), David Ajala (Peter), Catrin Richards (Poem Girl), Jonathan Battersby (Winder), Chris Porter (Voice of Smilers / Winder), Ian McNeice (Winston Churchill)

Directed by Andrew Gunn
Produced by Peter Bennett
Executive Producers Steven Moffat, Piers Wenger and Beth Willis
A BBC Wales production

TX (BBC 1 & BBC HD):
10th April 2010 @ 6.20 pm

*Featuring the Eleventh Doctor and Amy

*This episode was scheduled for transmission at 6.15pm, but was shown five minutes late due to overrunning coverage of the Grand National

*The shop ‘Magpie Electricals’ was first seen in the episode ‘The Idiot’s Lantern’

*The poem's first line "A horse and a man above, below" refers to the Doctor (of course) and Amy ('Mad Pony' being an anagram of Amy Pond)

a crack in the universe...