Space Babies (TV story)

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Space Babies was the first episode of Season 1 of Doctor Who, broadcast on 11 May 2024, and as a first for the franchise, back-to-back with the second episode, The Devil's Chord [+]Loading...["The Devil's Chord (TV story)"].[1]

The episode and the one it was paired with marked the beginning of a brand new release method for the series; from here on, before their traditional linear Saturday night broadcast on BBC One, new episodes would be uploaded to BBC iPlayer in the UK at 12 midnight, simultaneous with the episodes being added to Disney+ across the rest of the world, which in some countries would mean Friday at 4pm Pacific Time/7pm Eastern Time.

Synopsis[[edit] | [edit source]]

For Ruby Sunday's first trip aboard the TARDIS with the Doctor, after a false start, they find themselves on a mysterious space station crewed by... babies? A mysterious monster that strikes fear into even the Doctor's hearts roams the lower decks, and a lone adult protects the (space) babies from behind a screen. Can the Doctor and Ruby solve the mystery and get the babies to safety before the Bogeyman gets them?

Plot[[edit] | [edit source]]

Ruby Sunday boards the TARDIS, and looks around, amazed. She tries to get a handle on the new situation she's found herself entering into, asking about the Doctor's past to a certain extent, what his actual name is - she can't just call him "the Doctor". He says that the species that adopted him, all wiped out but him, tended to use titles, and if you use one for long enough that just becomes your name.

He changes the subject, and picks a random spot for the two venture to, landing 150 million years in the past. Excited to venture out, half in disbelief, Ruby is concerned about the butterfly effect, but the Doctor tells her there's nothing to worry about – nobody ever steps on butterflies. However, shortly after stepping into prehistoric Wyoming, dinosaurs and all, Ruby steps on a butterfly. The Doctor finds that Ruby has been replaced with Rubathon Blue, but with some quick thinking, grabs the butterfly from beneath her and nurtures it back to health, restoring Ruby's existence in the process. He quickly ushers her back onboard the TARDIS – noting that the controls are new, and he forgot about the butterfly compensation switch – and decides to take her to the future instead, asking Ruby to give him a year. She belts out 21506 digit by digit, and the two land on a broken down, derelict space station. Exploring the bowls of the space station, they encounter a menacing creature that frightens the two of them, causing them both to run into a nearby elevator.

"We've gone from baby to baby. I'm not saying things are connected, and yet... things connect".

They manage to escape to an upper level, but the Doctor is confused as to why the creature evoked that response from him, as he's usually not scared of new things. Looking around they find themselves in a less run down area of the space station, a parthenogenesis machine, a baby farm, orbiting above Pacifico Del Rio. As they discuss the distance the human race has come, the Doctor insists that Ruby call her mum, using his sonic screwdriver to give her phone the ability to call the 21st century. Ruby does so, half reluctantly, checking in with her just to note that everything is alright before dashing off again. As the Doctor and Ruby discuss the situation on the ship, a baby in an automated pram rolls in, talking to himself about the maintenance of the station. As they step out to greet him, he becomes excited, exclaiming that after all this time mummy and daddy are here, and he rolls off to tell the others.

The Doctor and Ruby follow the pram to a control centre filled with other babies in automated prams, all excited to see mummy and daddy, all determined to show how good they've been at running the station while they've been gone, using jury-rigged contraptions and bits of string to hit buttons and pull levers to keep it in order. The Doctor and Ruby regrettably explain that they're not mummy and daddy, and express their sympathy to the crew, such as it is. The Doctor tries to go through the station's logs and finds that the actual crew abandoned ship, leaving the parthenogenesis machine running when they did so. Ruby asks the babies how they've survived so long on their own, but the babies say they're not alone, they have Nanny, and a computerized voice comes on over the intercom, greeting the two visitors, as well as telling the babies that it's time for their noses to be blown. The Doctor, amused by the situation, asks if the creature downstairs is their "pet dog". The babies freak out, saying that downstairs is the Bogeyman. In their state of panic, the Doctor finds a private line to Nanny and tries to talk to her, trying to diagnose the deeper underlying issues with the station. Nanny repeatedly insists he go to a storage unit on the floor, and finally he relents, Ruby following.

As the two head to find the unit, they find themselves talking about Ruby's past, and how she was left in the snow on a Church, on Ruby Road. The Doctor's mind flashes back to the memory he has of going there to save her, not so long ago, but this time things are different; rather than walking away, the hooded figure who left Ruby there turns to him as it departs, points at him, before Ruby snaps him out of the memory. As he comes out of the memory, the duo find themselves inexplicably immersed in snowfall, still on the space station. As they shake the situation off, a woman darts out from a nearby storage cupboard and insists they enter, Nanny. Once inside, the pair watch a series of videos of the former crew signing off for their forced departure from Baby Station Beta, protesting its abandonment; a recession caused it to be shut down, but the law forced the parthenogenesis machine to be kept running. Nanny, Jocelyn Sancerre, has been trying to take care of the babies for the past six years, as the station has been collapsing around her, the education software running amok, food and air slowly running out bit by bit. Looking at a map of the solar system, a planet farther out is a DuBarryDuPlessy world, that could take in refugees, but the group would need to get there first. Now, they have the TARDIS, and can get there, but between them and the TARDIS is the Bogeyman. Jocelyn has no real understanding of the creature; it just appeared six years ago, not on the manifest.

"We saw it. The nose-blowing. The machine was literal, and so it grew the Bogeyman out of bogeys".

As the trio is talking, they notice on the screen that Eric, one of the babies has gone down into the bowls of the space station to confront the Bogeyman, as if this entire situation was like a children's story and he was the hero. Over the intercom, Jocelyn insists that he has to leave, but he refuses. Upset that she had inspired Eric's course of action, Ruby and the Doctor dash downstairs, manage to find Eric, and the three hide and flee from the Bogeyman. After some of the baby crew saves them using a flamethrower, Eric is sent back to the upper level; the Doctor and Ruby stay in the area below to figure out what's going on with the Bogeyman. They find it leaving large amounts of spoor throughout the lower levels, and take a sample to a terminal of the parthenogenesis machine nearby, where they analyze the composition of the material. Finally getting answers, they discover that the Bogeyman was generated from the snot of the babies, and was built by the education system that had run amok, literally trying to tell a real story, generating a real fairytale monster that the babies could learn from. The Bogeyman finds the pair and chases after them, but Jocelyn manages to lead the pair through the maze of corridors below, closing off doors to manoeuvre the Bogeyman into an airlock, which she opens, determined eject the monster into space, to protect her children.

"That's what you do, Jocelyn. You save them all".

The Doctor insists that she shouldn't do this, that the Bogeyman is just the same, that it is one of her children, but Jocelyn refuses to listen. He sends Ruby up to stop her as he dives into the airlock himself, hitting the emergency close switch. Back atop with Jocelyn and the babies finally united with each other, he shows them all that the Bogeyman is safe and sound in the airlock, but unable to hurt them. He also shows them the nearby world that's willing to take them, and says that part of the ship's problems have come from the buildup of methane from old nappies stored in one place, so he releases the methane as propulsion, sending them towards their new home.

"I have the whole universe at my fingertips, and I'm all on my own. So I'd love it if you came with me".

The Doctor and Ruby depart, Ruby being given a TARDIS key, travelling back to Christmas, to Ruby's flat and to her mother Carla, materialising in the middle of her kitchen, damaging the ceiling. As the Doctor departs the TARDIS to join Ruby and Carla and explain things, a scanner blinks in the background, analyzing Ruby's DNA, bit by bit, as snow falls across the console room.

Cast[[edit] | [edit source]]

Uncredited cast[[edit] | [edit source]]

Crew[[edit] | [edit source]]

General production staff

Script department

Camera and lighting department

Art department

Costume department

Make-up and prosthetics

Movement

Casting

General post-production staff

Special and visual effects

Sound



Not every person who worked on this adventure was credited. The absence of a credit for a position doesn't necessarily mean the job wasn't required. The information above is based solely on observations of the actual end credits of the episodes as broadcast, and does not relay information from IMDB or other sources.


Worldbuilding[[edit] | [edit source]]

Technology[[edit] | [edit source]]

Universes[[edit] | [edit source]]

The Doctor[[edit] | [edit source]]

  • The Doctor is aware of a change in his memory of seeing Ruby being abandoned at the church on Ruby Road. He now remembers the woman he saw leave Ruby behind pointing at him.
  • The Doctor revives a butterfly
  • The Doctor reveals that Gallifrey used multiple addressing titles such as the Bishop, the Conquistador, the Pendant and Sagi-Shi.
  • The Doctor gives Ruby a TARDIS key.

Ruby Sunday[[edit] | [edit source]]

  • Ruby's DNA scan by the TARDIS has a genetic ID of JD6784.
  • The scan confirms her species as Homo sapiens and her age as 19 years and 3 hours.
  • Other scanned traits mentioned on the monitor include nucleotide composition, which remains incomplete.

Notes[[edit] | [edit source]]

Jack: We match speed with the wave, use the energy drawn from it and, Bob's your uncle, Fanny's your aunt, we hightail it out the nebula, away from the gravity well, away from that ship out there and away from our new friends the space babies.
  • It was the first time since Legend of the Sea Devils that a trailer was shown during before or after the end credits for the next episode, and the first time since Ascension of the Cybermen that the caption 'NEXT TIME' was used.
  • It was also the first time since Survivors of the Flux that no cold opening was used, not including any 'PREVIOUSLY' recaps.
  • The title sequence was also updated with a new shot and an updated logo effect.

Myths[[edit] | [edit source]]

to be added

Filming locations[[edit] | [edit source]]

to be added

Ratings[[edit] | [edit source]]

4.01 million viewers[10]

Production errors[[edit] | [edit source]]

If you'd like to talk about narrative problems with this story — like plot holes and things that seem to contradict other stories — please go to this episode's discontinuity discussion.
  • The title sequence is out of sync with the theme music (this error has been seen in previous episodes as well)
  • When the TARDIS is seen exiting the time vortex, as it spins around, the TARDIS doors and the "Pull to Open" sign disappear in the first spin but re-appear in the second spin.
  • Before Ruby enters the TARDIS for the first time, the TARDIS is slightly left of the curb it was parked on as seen in at the end of The Church on Ruby Road. The white car also seems to have vanished, before returning when the Doctor takes off, as the TARDIS is back in the correct parking spot as it was in The Church on Ruby Road.
  • Frederick Place, the real name of the street used for Minto Road, appears on a building opposite the Sunday's home.

Continuity[[edit] | [edit source]]

Home media releases[[edit] | [edit source]]

to be added

Gallery[[edit] | [edit source]]

Main article: Space Babies (TV story)/Gallery

External links[[edit] | [edit source]]

Footnotes[[edit] | [edit source]]