Doctor Who

Season 5 Episode 2

The Beast Below

10
Aired Saturday 8:00 PM Apr 10, 2010 on BBC America
AIRED:
8.4
out of 10
User Rating
436 votes
14

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

The Doctor takes Amy to the distant future, where she finds Britain in space. Starship UK houses the future of the British people, as they search the stars for a new home. But as Amy explores, she encounters the terrifying Smilers and learns a deadly truth inside the Voting Booth.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • The Beast Below Review

    7.0
    This episode is the worst Steven Moffatt episode ever, but it's still not bad. Starship UK is very well done in how it looks and has very good visual effects, and the whole mystery of what the secret of Starship UK is is amazingly well done. There were some things that were not explained, like the smilers. What are they for? The smilers are not very good monsters but still creepy. The main thing I love is how Amy figures out what they really need to do to fix everything. It is a very smart and clever moment.moreless
  • The Beast Below

    10
    The Beast Below was a perfect and very entertaining episode of Doctor Who. I really enjoyed watching because the story was interesting, entertaining and full of character and plot development. Those things in the boxes were creepy! I liked the idea of The Beast Below and how it came to be so. It was touching and sad and Amy really shined though The Doctor had some doubts. It was awesome watching them both learn more about each other. I liked the ending and the Beast Below was beautiful! I look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • good episode where we get to see a darker side to the doctor.

    9.0
    at first glance the plot seems pretty straight forward, some monsters called smilers are causing trouble aboard a spaceship and feeding it to some monster in the basement but as the plot progresses we learn that not everything is as it seems. The monster was not evil, it was being used by the humans for their spaceship, one might think the humans are evil, but it was either that or let them all die so you can understand why they did it. It's pretty sad at the end where we learn that the monster was willing to help them and there was no need to imprison it. We also see the doctor get rather angry at the end, up to this point he'd been pretty upbeat but here we learn he does have a darker side. good lead in to next week's episode at the end, looks like the daleks are back yet again.moreless
  • A well crafted story with great charecter exploration

    9.5
    2 episodes in we cannot expect anything massive, as we know there is always a build up to the big final two parter, yet this really was far more than I expected.



    It was intellegent story on many levels and to me at least it was a very fresh concept. I couldnt predict a single thing; there were genuinly good twists throughout and it felt extreemly solid. No gaps or errors and seemed thoughly well thought through on Moffats behalf.



    Matt really is the doctor! I wont praise his performance beyond saying that because thats all that matters an his style sooooo works.



    In terms of exploring the Doctor his outburst in the climatic scene was brilliant, his anger at Amy and then Amys redepmtion was fantastic. It was a very interesting side to him and you really got a sense I think for the first since the revival that you really don't mess around with the Doctor!



    Lets talk about Liz! What a Brilliant little story device. Every aspect of the Queens storyline a charecter was delightful; from the 'Kill Bill' Queen to her dark secret it was a amazingly well crafted sub charecter. The casting was spot on too.



    And let me praise them for casting the 'Demon Headmaster' - He's an excellent actor and was another credit to the episode.



    The morality issues were interesting too, as well as the underscoring theme of misunderstanding nature, humans and the Doctor.



    The new background music this year is as good as ever as for special effects, well a bit meh, but they did job I guess.moreless
  • As they settle into their new roles, the Doctor and Amy arrive in the far future on the Starship UK, where they encounter the sinister Smilers and the mysterious Voting Booths. Much better than I expected...moreless

    9.0
    It's been a long wait since last week's opener for this second episode.

    To be honest, I wasn't expecting much from 'The Beast Below'. There have been several modern 'Who' stories set on "Starships in the far future", and none of them have really been favourites of mine. But to my pleasant surprise, I enjoyed this one much more than I initially expected. The Starship UK (with survivors from Earth, looking for a new home – very 'Battlestar: Galactica') was an interesting setting, and well realised.



    The second episode of the Smith/Gillan/Moffat era is, in some ways, almost as important as their first outing. This story gives room for a lot of character development, and a lot of screen time to Amy (who we only met as a young adult halfway through last week's story). She spends the episode dressed in her night clothes, and gives a great performance.



    I really like that this new Doctor has a bit of a temper on him; I love his line "Nobody talk to me! Nobody human has anything to say to me today". In some weird way, I could almost feel elements of William Harntell's irritable Doctor shining through.



    This episode was completely studio bound - something which I don't always like in modern 'Who', but which worked here. It also relied relatively little on CGI effects, and this episode could actually have been made, with small adaptations, as vintage 'Who' – I can imagine this being a Colin Baker story, for example.



    If I have one gripe with this episode, it is that – like 'The Eleventh Hour' – it is a bit stretched in the middle. I hope this isn't going to become a trait of the Moffat era, though in fairness some of the Tennant stories suffered from this too. However, things pick up for a pleasing conclusion.



    The Smilers were very menacing, and once again Steven Moffat taps into something that is really eerie. I liked the character of the Masked Lady, but, with due respect to the actress, Sophie Okonedu, I didn't feel she had the necessary gravitas for the role, and wasn't that well cast.



    One more thing, how apt was the line "Once every five years, everyone forgets what they've learnt" in the week that the General Election was announced!



    I'm really excited about next week's episode, 'Victory of the Daleks', which I think looks excellent. BUT – am I the only one annoyed at people voting (usually a 10) on episodes that haven't even been broadcast yet?! I wish TV.com could stop this some way.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (5)

    • Things don't quite add up at the end of the episode. The Doctor and Amy were puked out into the ship, but at the end, the Star Whale has nothing in front of its mouth, Could the room they fell in have been ejected from the ship after the Abdicate button was pressed?

    • When the Doctor uses the sonic screwdriver to illuminate the inside of the Star Whale's mouth, the light coming from his sonic screwdriver is blue instead of green.

    • When the voting system states Amy's name, the screen says 1,308 but the voice says 1,306.

    • At the end of the episode, there's a pull-back shot of "Starship UK". There's a crack in the hull of the spaceship. It's the same crack that was in Amelia Pond's house - in the location where Amelia's house was in Leadworth, England. It also was the same crack as the pattern shown on the TARDIS scanner at the end of the previous episode, "The Eleventh Hour".

    • Amy's middle name is revealed to be "Jessica".

  • QUOTES (11)

    • Amy: (voiceover) In bed above, we're deep asleep. While greater love lies further deep. This dream must end, this world must know. We all depend on the beast below.

    • (about to be vomited out of the Star Whale)
      The Doctor: Right then. This isn't going to be big on dignity.

    • The Doctor: Nobody talk to me. Nobody human has anything to say to me today!

    • Liz 10: (To The Doctor) You're a bit hard to miss, love. Mysterious stranger, M.O. consistent with higher alien intelligence, hair of an idiot.

    • The Doctor: (putting water glass back on couple's table) Sorry, checking all the water in this area. There's an escaped fish. (turning back to Amy) Where was I?
      Amy Pond: Why did you just do that with the glass.
      The Doctor: Don't know, I think a lot, hard to keep track.

    • Amy: (regarding the Doctor/star whale) What if you were really old and really kind and alone? Your whole race dead, no future, what couldn't you do then? If you were that old and that kind and the very last of your kind, you couldn't just stand there and watch children cry.

    • Amy: I voted for this. Why would I do that?
      The Doctor: Because you knew if we stayed here, I'd be faced with an impossible choice - humanity or the alien. You took it upon yourself to save me from that. That was wrong. You don't ever decide what I need to know.
      Amy: I don't even remember doing it.
      The Doctor: You did it. That's what counts.
      Amy: I'm... I'm sorry.
      The Doctor: Oh, I don't care. When I'm done here, you're going home.

    • The Doctor: Big day tomorrow.
      Amy: Sorry, what?
      The Doctor: It's always a big day tomorrow; We've got a time machine! I skip the little ones.

    • Amy: I'm in the future. Like, hundred of years in the future. I've been dead for centuries.
      The Doctor: Oh, lovely. You're a cheery one.

    • Amy: So, is this how it works, Doctor? You never interfere in the affairs of other peoples or planets....unless there's children crying.
      The Doctor: (smiling) Yes.

    • Amy: My name is Amy Pond. When I was seven, I had an imaginary friend. Last night was the night before my wedding, and my imaginary friend came back.

  • NOTES (2)

    • This is the only episode of Series 5 to feature the middle-eight segment in the ending theme music.

    • This is not Sophie Okonodo's first foray into the Doctor Who franchise; She has previously voiced Alison Cheney, companion to an alternate Ninth Doctor, in the webcast Scream of the Shalka.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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