8 / 9. The Impossible Planet / The Satan Pit

Series 2 - 2006

Writer: Matt Jones
Produced by: Phil Collinson
Director: James Strong


The TARDIS materialises inside a store room. Leaving the room the Doctor and Rose find themselves in some kind of base. On one wall is some weird writing which immediately worries the Doctor: the writing is so old the TARDIS cannot translate.

Soon a door opens and dozens of strange humanoid aliens, holding a sphere connected to their mouths, appear saying they must feed. One then taps the translator in his hand and explains that he must feed the Doctor and Rose if they are hungry. Following the aliens (the Ood) are some humans, part of an exploration party, who are amazed with the Doctor and Rose's appearance.

Before they can be introduced the commander of the group tells everyone to get to safety as there and earthquakes coming, and the newcomers lead the Doctor and Rose from the room to the command area. The tremors hit, causing severe damage, including the loss of some areas of the base, including the storage area holding the TARDIS. When the Doctor looks out all he can see is the barren surface of the planet.

Ida is amazed the Doctor does not know where he is, and explains that the planet is in orbit near a black hole. When the roof is opened they can see the black hole. The emotions of being on a planet that cannot possibly be in orbit around a black hole, and seeing the remains of other star systems hurtling past often drives people mad.

Coming to terms with the loss of the TARDIS, and the fact that the time travelling may have finally come to an end, the Doctor and Rose try to integrate themselves with the base crew. Rose tries to find out more about the Ood, but there is nothing much to learn. They are a servant race, and live to serve.

In his room, whilst trying to decipher the mysterious text, archeologist Toby hears a voice taunts him, saying he will die if he turns around. Eventually he does turn around, and there is nobody there. But something has got to him.

Later, whilst Scooti is walking through a corridor she hears the computer say someone has left an airlock and gone onto the planet's surface. When she asks the computer who left, the computer says no one, and that no suit has been taken. Looking through a window she sees Toby, unprotected, standing on the surface. He beckons to her, and the glass starts to fracture. The computer will not open the doors, and she is sucked out when the glas breaks.

Zach manages to seal the breach and established where all the staff are. Scooti isn't with them, but her life sign is detected in a habition area. The crew go to see if she is all right. It is the Doctor who sees her floating towards the blach hole.

Whilst on the plant the crew had been drilling down to a power source - that was the main reason for them being there. There is a constant background hum that stops when the drilling has reached its end. Originally Ida and Zach were going to go down to the drilling site; with the death of the previous captain Zach has a field promotion and is unable to go. The Doctor volunteers, and he and Ida descend ten miles to the end of the drilling.

There they find a huge cavern with an ominous looking door with more of the untranslatable writing. Up in the base Toby is taken over by a mysterious force calling itself the Beast. The door begins to open, and the Doctor and Ida are curious, but for once the Doctor says he will give it a miss, and they both head back to the lift.

Rose tells the Doctor about the beast. The force, worried that the Doctor may know too much, causes an explosion which severs the lift cable. Stranded ten miles below the surface there is no option but to go into the hole that has opened. The Doctor overrules Ida and goes down himself.

The Doctor is still descending into the pit when ten miles of cable runs out. The pit is completely dark so there is no way of telling how much further there is to go. As Ida tries to bring him back up the Doctor disconnects himself from the cable and falls.

In the base the Ood, the beast has taken over the Ood by using their telepathy. Facing an army of Ood the remaining crew try to make it to the Ood habitation centre. Once there Danny can knock out the Ood. But first they need to navigate through underfloor mainenance tunnels that have no air. The proposal is that as they scramble through the tunnels Zach can airate the various sections.

The only way to get out is via the escape craft whilst the gravity pocket still exists. Rose is reluctant to leave the Doctor, and she is drugged whilst Zach carries her to the craft. When she awakes the craft takes off with three survivors.

The Doctor awakes to find himself in a dark cave. His helmet is broken, but there is air. As he is looking around he sees drawings on a wall depicting men driving back and imprisoning a creature - the Beast. The Doctor finds two urns and as he touches then the beast awakes. The Doctor tries to find out more about the creature but it does not respond. The Doctor realises that all that remains is the body. After all, the devil is only really an idea. The mind, the idea, of the Beast has left; it's in the head of Toby, who has escaped in the craft.

Realisation dawns how to destroy the beast: the people who captured the beast were the ones who left the air. Smashing the urns would destroy the gravity field, whcih would also stop the ship from escaping. Putting faith in Rose the Doctor destroys the urns. The gravity pocket is destroyed, and both planet and ship start to get dragged into the black hole. As the planet starts to break up the Doctor falls at the foot of the TARDIS.

In the ship Toby has revealed himself as the new Beast. Rose uses a bolt gun to smash the exterior window and undoes Toby's belt, and he is sucked into space. Suddenly all goes calm, and the Doctor's voice comes over the tannoy. The TARDIS is pulling them out of the reach of the black hole. The Doctor proposes a swap: Ida for Rose.

The Doctor still does not know exactly what the creature was, but is happy that it was beaten.

Regular Cast

  • Rose Tyler: Billie Piper

Guest Cast

  • Mr. Jefferson: Danny Webb
  • Zachary Cross Flane: Shaun Parkes
  • Ida Scott: Claire Rushbrook
  • Toby Zed: Will Thorp
  • Danny Bartock: Ronny Jhutti
  • Scooti Manista (8): MyAnna Buring
  • The Ood: Paul Kasey
  • The Voice of the Beast: Gabriel Woolf
  • The Voice of the Ood: Silas Carson
  • Ood: Rauri Mears, Karl Greenwood, Joe White, Adam Sweet, Mark Llewelly-Thompson, Lewis Drew, Stephen Reynolds, Scott Barker, Andy Jones,. Claudio Laurini, Richard Tunesi
  • Guards: Lianna Stewart, Kristian Arthur
  • Computer Door Voice: Ceres Doyle

Original broadcast on the BBC

Channel Title Date Viewers Rating
BBC 1 8. The Impossible Planet Saturday, June 3, 2006 7:00 PM - 7:45 PM 6.3M 85
BBC 1 9. The Satan Pit Saturday, June 10, 2006 7:00 PM - 7:45 PM 6.1M 86

Click here to show repeat broadcasts on the BBC


  • Ealing Studios, London
  • Enfys Television Studios, Unit 31, Portamanmoor Road, Cardiff
  • HTV Studios, Culverhouse Cross, Cardiff
  • Pinewood Studios, Iver Heath, Bucks
  • Unit Q2, Newport

Outside Locations

  • Clearwall Caves, nr. Coleford, Gloucestershire
  • Johnsey Estates, Mamhilad Park Industrial Estate South, Pontypool
  • Wenvoe Quarry, Cemex UK Ltd, Wenvoe