5.2. The Beast Below

Series 5 - 2010

Writer: Steven Moffat
Produced by: Peter Bennett
Director: Andrew Gunn
Music: Murray Gold


The Starship UK. School is finishing, and the pupils are being congratulated for their work. All but Timmy. Because of a zero score he has to walk home. Behind him a smiler turns to a frown. Timmy takes a lift to the lower levels, but on the way the lift stops, and the floor opens up, causing Timmy to fall.

In space the Doctor has extended an air shield around the TARDIS, and Amy - still in her nightie - is able to float in space above the Starship UK. Amy wants to visit, and the Doctor agrees, but tells Amy that they are observers only, and never get involved with events. When she sees the Doctor on the monitor bumping in to a young girl she goes out as well.

All seems well, even with the glass of water the Doctor takes off a table, but the Doctor notices something out of place: a crying school girl. The Doctor and Amy have been noticed by a Winder, who informs Hawthorne who tells Liz Ten.

Amy notices the girl has disappeared, but the Doctor has her address after picking her pocket when he bumped in to her. He hands the wallet to Amy and tells her she is looking for Mandy Tanner. Amy goes looking for the girl, but the girl is waiting, knowing Amy is following her. A hole has appeared in a road, and Mandy is hesitant to enter a workman's tent. Amy picks a padlock, and enters the tent.

Inside she finds a torch, and is able to see a tentacle coming out of the hole. When she leaves the tent she is surrounded by Winders. One holds out a ring that emits gas, and Amy falls unconscious.

In the engine room the Doctor sees a glass of water, and is met by a masked Queen Liz Ten. The Queen asks why the Doctor is there, and he says there is no vibration in the glass - even in the engine room. Liz Ten tells the Doctor they are on a ship that can never fly, and she doesn't know why.

Amy wakes in a voting booth, where her identity is checked. Amy is shown a film about the Starship UK. After which she can vote to forget or protest. Amy chooses the forget booking. She is met afterwards by the Doctor and Mandy. Mandy tells the Doctor that everyone over the age of sixteen has to vote every five years - and everyone always chooses to forget.

The Doctor hits the protest button, and like the lift the floor opens up, and the Doctor and Amy fall into a gooey cave, or rubbish dump. There is a slimy floor, and the Doctor realises the floor... is a tongue, and they are in a mouth. The beast tries to swallow, but the Doctor finds the equivalent of the eject button. The Doctor and Amy escape from the mouth... covered in sick.

The Doctor finds another smiler booth, only the booth opens and the smilers emerge. They are stopped by Liz Ten, with Mandy. Liz Ten knows about the Doctor, and when she tells the Doctor how she knows the Doctor realises Liz Ten is the Queen of the UK. Escaping from the Winders the Doctor seems some Vators, like the one Amy saw in the hole. Liz Ten realises someone has been feeding people to it, and is not happy.

In her room Liz Ten also has glasses of water on the floor to remind her that her government is up to something. Winders, sent by ... enter the room, and order Liz Ten to go with them to the Tower dungeon. Hawthorne has been feeding the Vators, but it will not eat the children. Inside the room the Doctor finds a brain that is being zapped with electricity. There is a beast below the ship - a ship with no engines - and it is being controlled/tortured by the electricity. Hawthorne says he is doing this on the highest authority - and Liz Ten says she is the highest authority.

Liz Ten believes she has been the Queen for ten years, but it is actually 300. Every now and then she finds the truth about the Star Whale - the creature under the Starship UK. Earth was dying, and countries were evacuating. The UK was unprepared, but then the last of the Star Whales came, and the UK enslaved it and built a ship around it. Liz Ten has two options. To let this continue, and forget, or to abdicate, and free the Star Whale.

Amy forgot about this, to protect the Doctor from having to face the same dilemma. The Doctor only has a few options. He can let this continue, he can condemn everyone on board by killing the Star Whale, or he can pass a huge electrical current through the Star Whale's brain, effectively making the Star Whale a vegetable so it doesn't feel the pain of what is being done.

Whilst the Doctor is arranging for the third option, Amy notices Timmy is still alive, and a Vator tentacle gently taps Mandy on the shoulder.

Amy stops the Doctor, and makes Liz Ten press the abdicate button, freeing the Star Whale. Instead of running off, the Star Whale increases speed. The Star Whale had come to Earth to help the population - especially the children. Once free from torture, the Star Whale was able to help as it intended.

The Doctor chooses to leave without telling anyone. As the Doctor and Amy hear a phone ringing in the TARDIS. It's from the Prime Minister - Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

Regular Cast

  • Amy Pond: Karen Gillan

Guest Cast

  • Liz 10: Sophie Okonedo
  • Hawthorne: Terrance Hardiman
  • Mandy: Hannah Sharp
  • Timmy: Alfie Field
  • Morgan: Christopher Good
  • Peter: David Ajala
  • Poem Girl: Catrin Richards
  • Winder: Jonathan Battersby
  • Voice of Smilers/Winder: Chris Porter
  • Churchill: Ian McNiece
  • Cyclist: Kwesi Gepi-Attee (not in final programme)
  • Children (inc. Mable, Alfie, Tabitha, Chloe, Ben): Lena Xiao, Daryl Wong, Chloe Chew, Shanti Baron, Dylan Williams, Cerys Spake, Shannon Langle, Chanelle Leung, John William Carter, Marco Antunes, George Gramminos, Kirsty May Everest, Iola Gunn, Olen Gunn, Maddison Baker, Kayleigh Baker, Jordan Baker, Esyllt Jones, Christopher Jenkins, Amy Jenkins, Max Harlow, Amber Morgan, Harry Pope
  • Ranjit: Adam Frangakis-Williams
  • Stunt Double for Amy: Stephanie Carey
  • Chicken Stall: Miriam Akhtar
  • Mother with Pram: Melanie Allen
  • Couple Dining: Eddie Martin, Natalie Brown
  • Clothes + Linen Stall: Dertinder Regazzoli
  • Traffic Warden: Tennis Russell
  • Rickshaw Cyclist: Julius Wells
  • Window Cleaner: Jake Applebee
  • Meat Stall: Roderick Bryant
  • Lollipop Lady: Alison Clist, Ling Cheung
  • Book and Lamp Stall: Dino
  • Milkman: Rob Emony
  • Postman: Jai Gomer
  • Barber: Ray Merrell
  • Road Sweeper: Peter Michaels
  • Business Man (in Bowler Hat): Philip Ticehurst
  • Waiter: Richard Tromans
  • Passers-by/Cyclists: Christopher Miller, Samantha Hunt, Demian Attwell, Amy Louise Baker, Lauren Brown, Georgina Oxon, Oliver Hopkins, John Sinclair, Jason Ward, Gwen Wright, Anthony Yusufu, Mark Herbert, Jane Cheng, Ling Cheung, Channon Jacobs, Dionne Glen, Samantha Longville, Tat Wa Lay, Maureen St Louis, Said Mohammed, Natascha Motee, Sarah Vaughton, Rebecca Evans, Christine Patterson, Harry Persuad, Carla Simms
  • Skateboarders: Tom Forrister, Caro Zaliskys
  • Teenage Girls: Rowena Ferguson, Stefy Reid, Hannah Burrett
  • Business Men: Jimmy Mack, Jason Collins
  • Del Boy: Denzie Phipps
  • Punks: Alison Felton, Paul Nevin
  • Teenage Boy: Tom Cannon
  • Tramp: Nigel Slarke
  • Winders/Smilers: Jon Davey, Ruari Mears, Joe White, Karl Greenwood
  • Hand Double for the Doctor: Steffan Morris
  • Double for Liz 10: Pina Harrington
  • Double for Amy: Suzie Clarke
  • Peter Winder/Smiler Doube: Denzie Phipps
  • Hand Double for Liz 10: Anne Lyken Garner
  • Camoflauge Enemy 1: Barnaby Edwards
  • Crowd/Additional Dialogue Recording: Janet Howson, Emma Feeney, Bob O'Brien, Nicholas Wilkes, Lindsay Hollingsworth, Paul Sparrowham, Daryl Adcock, Stephen Bracken Keogh, Claire Hilder, Jane SR Kyte-Hunt

Original broadcast on the BBC

Channel Title Date Viewers Rating
BBC 1 2. The Beast Below 1 Saturday, April 10, 2010 6:20 PM - 7:05 PM 8.42M 86
BBC HD 2. The Beast Below 1 Saturday, April 10, 2010 6:20 PM - 7:05 PM
1: Originally scheduled for 18:15

Click here to show repeat broadcasts on the BBC


  • ITV Studios, Culverhouse Cross, Cardiff: Studio 1
  • Upper Boat Studios - Studio 6
  • Upper Boat Studios - Studios 1 and 2
  • Upper Boat Studios - Studios 3

Outside Locations

  • Johnsey Estates, Mamhilad Park Industrial Estate South, Pontypool
  • Neath Abbey, Neath
  • The Bunker, Joint Resilience Unit, Lilliput Lane, West Cross, Swansea
  • The Orangery, Margam Country Park, Port Talbot