11.4. Arachnids In The UK

Series 11 - 2018

Writer: Chris Chibnall
Producer: Alex Mercer
Director: Sarah Aprahamian
Music: Segun Akinola


At a new golf course in Sheffield things are not going well - and the resort opens the following day. Najia Kahn, the new General Manager, sees the owner, Jack Robertson, is still around and introduces herself, and is promptly fired.

At Park Hill, Sheffield, the TARDS materialises. It has finally managed to return to Sheffield. Yasmin is a bit disappointed not to receive any new messages on her phone, until the Doctor tells her it has only been half an hour since she left. Now she's got them back the Doctor is preparing to leave, but quickly accepts Yaz's offer of tea. The offer is extended to Ryan, who accepts, and Graham, who decides to nip home first.

Yaz lives in a plush apartment block. As they get to Yaz's flat the Doctor sees a woman, Jude, visiting a flat where the occupant is not home, and spots cobwebs in the clean corridor. Inside the Doctor and Ryan meets Yaz's father, Hakim, and sister, Sonya. The Doctor is curious about the piles of old plastic waste that Hakim keeps picking up from around the town.

Yaz receives a call from her mum and leaves to pick her up. Nosing around the Doctor notices they have a ticket to say there a parcel has been left with a neighbour. Being helpful the Doctor and Ryan go to collect it. It's the same flat where Jude was visiting the occupant, Anna. Uing the sonic screwdirver the Doctor is able to gain access. The flat is covered in cobwebs despite Anna being missing for only a few days. In the bedroom they find Anna, cocooned in spider's web. Ryan wonders what kind of spider can do that, but the Doctor wants to know where it is? They soon find it, under the bed, and quickly leave the room, shutting it inside. Using vinegar and garlic paste the Doctor creates a barrier that the spider will not cross, giving the Doctor a chance to see the spider close up.

It's hard for Graham to return to his home after losing Grace. Inside he can imagine he sees her, and talks to her. Despite being away for only a short time the house has cobwebs, and in the attic Graham finds a large spider skin. He rushes back to the Doctor and finds her, Ryan, and Jade outside the flat. The Doctor wants to know why Jade wasn't surprised by the cobwebs, and she tells the Doctor this is not the first incident, and that something is happening with the spiders in the city.

Ignoring the meal that Hakim had prepared the Doctor, Ryan, Graham, and Jade, head into Sheffield. Jade tells the Doctor that she is a research fellow in zoology specialising in arachnids and athropods. Part of that research was to extend the lifespan of spiders, during which time they keep growing. Jade reassures the Doctor that all carcasses are diposed of properly through a third party company. Jade shows the Doctor a map showing the locations of different sightings. When the Doctor connects the sightings there is a blank space in the middle - where the hotel has been built.

At the hotel Frankie, niece of Robertson, enters a restricted area and records footage of the cobwebs on her phone as insurance, when she is attacked by a spider. At the same time Yaz arrives to pick up her mum. Yaz wants to look round by Najia says they need to go as she has been fired. When Yaz wants to know more Robertson and Kevin appear. Kevin points a gun at Yaz and Robertson tells them they are trespassing. Robertson tells Yaz that if he hadn't fired Najia earlier he would still do so after seeing the state of the rooms.

Robertson shows them one of the rooms which is covered in cobwebs. Robertson leaves them for a scheduled bathroom break. Alone in the room Yaz and Najia can hear scuttling sounds. Unseen there is a spider in the walls. In the bathroom of the room next door Robertson is attacked by a massive spider. He escapes and leaves Kevin to be taken by the spider. When he leaves the room he finds the Doctor, Graham, Yaz, Ryan, Najia, and Jade, in the corridor. Najia leads them to the hotel lobby, but all the doors are blocked by cobwebs.

Taking refuge in the kitchen the Doctor says they need plans for the hotel and a captive spider. Graham and Ryan are given the task of capturing a spider, and Robertson has the task of getting the plans. Robertson tells the Doctor it took five years to build the hotel. One of his businesses takes old industrial sites and repurposes them. Robertson doesn't know what the site was before, and Najia informs them the whole area was mining land. Using a map the Doctor leads them into the restricted section - the old mines. 

Deeper in the Doctor finds two cocooned bodies being stored for food - Frankie and Kevin. In another chamber they find landfill, pumping out toxic gas. Some of the waste comes from the disposal company that Jade uses; old experimental spider carcasses have been dumped in the landfill, causing spiders to grow. Jade has given Graham and Ryan the task of seeing if there was a bigger spider anywhere and they found one the size of a van in the ball room. Jade surmises that this is probably the mother, and all the other spiders are its children. As well as that the landfill is giving off pheomones that other spiders are responding to. It's also possible Anna had some pheomones on her which is why she was attacked at home.

Robertson shows the Doctor his special panic room; he has one built into each hotel. Inside is an entertainment system and enough food to last for six months. The Doctor has a plan to lure all the spiders into the room. As spiders are lured by sound Ryan plays a Sheffield grime radio station through the entertainment system at full blast. The sounds lures all the spiders as planned. 

With the spiders contained the only one left is the one in the ball room. The Doctor has mixed some spa products to make a spider repellent, but Jade notices the spider is in distress. It has grown to big and is struggling to breathe. The final stroke is when Robertson enters with a gun and shoots the already dying spider.

Despite being returned back to their proper place in space, and time, Graham, Ryan, and Yaz, all choose to keep travelling with thw Doctor.

Regular Cast

  • Graham O'Brien: Bradley Walsh
  • Yasmin Khan: Mandip Gill
  • Ryan Sinclair: Tosin Cole

Guest Cast

  • Jack Robertson: Chris Noth
  • Grace O'Brien: Sharon D. Clarke
  • Najia Kahn: Shobna Gulati
  • Dr Jude McIntyre: Tayna Fear
  • Hakim Kahn: Ravin J. Ganatra
  • Sonya Kahn: Bhavnisha Parmar
  • Frankie Ellish: Jaleh Alp
  • Kevin: William Meredith

Original broadcast on the BBC

Channel Title Date Viewers Rating
BBC 1 (HD) 4. Arachnids In The UK Sunday, October 28, 2018 7:00 PM - 7:50 PM 8.22M 83

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