In Review: Doctor Who (S14 – EP1) The Star Beast

The Doctor is caught in a fight to the death as a spaceship crash-lands in London.
Beast

Synopsis: In The Star Beast, The Doctor is caught in a fight to the death as a spaceship crash-lands in London. But as the battle wreaks havoc, destiny is converging on the Doctor’s old friend, Donna.

The Story

Having regenerated back into the face and body of their 10th incarnation. The Doctor is wondering why they are sporting their old face as opposed to having a new face. When the Tardis lands in London and the Doctor steps out they immediately bump into their old companion Donna Noble, who of course has no memories of her adventures with The Doctor as they were wiped in order to save her life.

Of course, the Doctor is given little time to ponder why Donna has come back into their life when a spaceship appears to crashland in London and the pilot who makes out to be an innocent space creature called a Meep turns out to be something far more sinister. And it is only the Doctor, Donna Noble, and her daughter Rose that can stop the Meep. But who is the mysterious boss that the Meep refers to at the end of the episode?

 

The Acting

The Doctor Donna Show is back as David Tennant and Catherine Tate reprise their roles in such a way that it feels that absolutely no time has passed. We also get a return from Jacqueline King as Donna’s mother and she is absolutely brilliant. I loved the moment where she punches The Doctor full-on in the face. This woman is not to be reckoned with. Miriam Margolyes provides her voice for the Meep and based on her performance in this. She should be running the bloody country.

Yasmin Finney comes across as quite likable in her role of Rose Temple Noble but doesn’t really get a great deal to do in the episode apart from being a part of a nice little plot twist that allows Donna to stick around. Hopefully, we get to see some more of Finney in the next four episodes as I’d like to see how she would work as a companion for the Doctor or more of her as Donna’s irrepressible daughter.

 

Overall

Writer and producer Russell T. Davies marks his return to Doctor Who with a fun-filled episode that manages to mix the fun with some social commentary. The scene near the start where Donna is walking Rose home and Rose gets verbal abuse by some local lads because of her being trans is cleverly worked into the story without it being forced down your throat. The threat of the Meep is rather cleverly done. Although veteran Doctor Who fans like me probably saw it coming.

Overall. This was a fairly competent opening episode and a return to form for the series after about three years of lackluster stories from the previous showrunner.

9.4
Doctor Who (S14 - EP1) The Star Beast
  • Story
    8.5
  • Acting
    9.6
  • CGI & Stunts
    10
  • Incidental Music
    9.5

Ian Cullen is the founder of scifipulse.net and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: www.scifipulseradio.com When he is not writing for scifipulse.net Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of scifipulse.net You can contact ian at: ian@scifipulse.net
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