12.6. Praxeus

Series 12 - 2020

Writers: Pete McTighe and Chris Chibnall
Series Producer: Nikki Wilson
Director: Jamie Magnus Stone
Music: Segun Akionola


Earth, early 2020s: Astronaut Adam Lang is returning to Earth in a space capsule that is suffering system failures.

In Peru two travel vloggers are hiking and looking for somewhere to camp. Gabriela has visited the area before and chose a beauty spot to camp, only now it's full of rubbish. Above a large number of birds are swarming around. During the night the birds wake Gabriela's partner who is attacked by the birds when she goes outside the tent. In the morning Gabriela notices Jamila is missing. When a bird drops out of the sky she's about to investigate when she's warned not to by Ryan. After initially being suspicious Gabriela watches as Ryan collects the bird, teling her that other birds have been falling from the skies.

In a London bar Adam's husband, suspended police officer Jake Willis, is drinking alone when he sees a news report about Adam's re-entry into Earth's atmosphere and crash into the Indian Ocean. Moments later he receives a text message asking for help - from Adam in Hong Kong with directions. Jake makes his way to Hong Kong where he finds the warehouse but it's locked. Fortunately Graham and Yaz have a key. Jake assumes Graham and Yaz have been sent by the European Space Agency to find missing astronaut Adam. But Graham and Yaz are investigating strange energies readings coming from the warehouse.

On a beach in Madagascar Suki turns up for work at her laboratory just as the Doctor calls out for help. A body is washed up on the beach. The man is wearing a US Navy uniform; the Doctor has been investigating reports of a US submarine that disappeared in the Indian Ocean. Suki and her assistant, Amaru, try to help get the man, Zach Olsen, inside the laboratory. He tells the Doctor about the submarine before a strange growth on his hand spreads over his body. Moments later he disintegrates into dust.

The Doctor realises that all the events, the submarinem, the naval officer, the birds, and the alien tech in Hong Kong, are all connected, she's just not sure how.

In Peru Gabriela hears a report of someone being taken to hopsital, and her and Ryan visit the hospital. The hopsital seems deserted, and inside Ryan discovers a dead bird. They make their way to the a quarantined area when they find the Jamila. She too has an strange growth on her face. Using a communicator in his neck Ryan calls for the Doctor. The Doctor arrives in time to see Jamila disintegrate.

Inside the warehouse Graham, Yaz, and Jake, find the source of the enegy readings, and Adam. As Graham lets the Doctor know they are attacked by two rubber clad figures with lasers. Jake manages to grab one of the guns and fires at the figures. Moments later the Doctor, with Ryan and Gabriela, arrives and rescues Graham, Yaz, Jake, and Adam. Yaz, with Gabriela, stays behind in Hong Kong to try to salvage the alien technology. One of figures isn't dead and uses the equipment to teleport away. Yaz and Gabriela use the teleport to follow the figure.

Inside the TARDIS the Doctor takesa blood sample from Adam, who does not seem well. She gets a call from Suki and materialises the TARDIS on the Madagascar beach. As Graham and Jake take Adam inside the laboratory Suki and Amaru show the Doctor the birds that are acting strangely. Amaru offers to watch the birds whilst Doctor checks on Adam. While the Doctor works with Suki to help Adam, Ryan starts to dissect one of the dead birds. Using Suki's equipment the Doctror analyses Adam's blook and finds an alien pathogen inside. When Ryan finishes with the bird the Doctor can see plastic inside, and realises the alien pathogen has been attacking the plastic, which has been causing the brids to act strange. This has led to the pathogen also getting into the microplastics that humans have consume. Looking at the bird more closely the Doctor discovers other strains fighting the pathogen.

Yaz and Gabriela think they may be on an alien planet, until they find part of a submarine. When the Doctor calls Yaz she tells her about the submarine, and admits to using an alien teleport. Yaz also tells the Doctor that she found out the equipment was sending data to two locations. Once was the Indian Ocean, and the other to a laboratory in Madagascar... where the Doctor is. Realising she's been caught Suki admits she was worried when the Doctor arrived with Adam from Hong Kong, but the unwittingly the Doctor has helped her. Suki tells the Doctor that they call the infection Praxeus and teleports out of the laboratory before hundreds of birds break in through a skylight.

The Doctor, Graham, Ryan, Jake, with Adam, make it back to the TARDIS, and the Doctor sets the TARDIS to find Yaz. The Doctor also takes some samples that could be a cure, and Adam tells her to test it on him. Reluctantly she agrees; if the cure works the TARDIS is able to create more. When the TARDIS lands the Doctor leaves Jake with Adam whilst she, Graham, and Ryan, meet up with Yaz and Gabriela. But they are not on an alien world: they are a long way under a gyre of plastic in the Indian Ocean.

Exploring the alien structure further they come across one of the figures, infected with Praxeus, and also find Suki and her crashed shuttle craft. Suki tells the Doctor the masked figures were her crew, and that after Praxeus devastated her world groups were sent away on lab ships to find a cure. The Doctor realises that Suki deliberate released Praxeus on Earth, a world filled with plastic that the virus loves. It was pulses of energy escaping from the crashed shuttle that interfered with Adam's space capsule, causing him to crash.

Scanning the shuttle craft the Doctor sees that working together she and Suki could get the shuttle working - until the Praxeus takes hold and Suki disintegrates. While the cure didn't work on Suki it works on humans, and Adam proves it. Using the antidote created by the TARDIS the Doctor fills the shuttle's organic fuel cells. The Doctor plans to send the shuttle on autopilot into the straosphere where it will release the antidote and kill Praxeus. When the autopilot fails the Doctor leads everyone back into the TARDIS before it explodes. Everyone apart from Jake, who stays on board to fly the shuttle. Jake manages to dispirse the antidote before the shuttle breaks up.

As the shuttle explodes the Doctor, with precision timing, materialises the TARDIS around Jake.

Regular Cast

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

Guest Cast

  • Jake Willis: Warren Brown
  • Adam Lang: Matthew McNulty
  • Gabriela Camara: Joana Borja
  • Suki Cheng: Molly Harris
  • Joyce: Soo Drouet
  • Zach Olsen: Tristan de Beer
  • Aramu: Thapelo Maropefela

Original broadcast on the BBC

Channel Title Date Viewers Rating
BBC 1 (HD) 6. Praxeus Sunday, February 2, 2020 7:10 PM - 8:00 PM 5.22M 78

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