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Ncuti Gatwa
Space Babies
Fifteenth Doctor Logo


Synopsis


Space Travel
Space Travel
 Ruby learns The Doctor’s amazing secrets when he takes her to the far future.

 There, they find a baby farm run by babies.

 But can they be saved from the terrifying bogeyman?

Source: BBC Website


General Information

Season: Forty One (New Series 14)
Production Code: 14-1
Story Number: 305 (New Series: 149)
Episode Number:876 (New Series: 180)
Number of Episodes: 1
Percentage of Episodes Held:100%
Production Dates: March 2023
Broadcast Date: 11 May 2024
Colour Status: HD Colour
Studio: Wolf Studios (Cardiff, Wales)
Location:
Writer:Russell T Davies
Director:Julie Anne Robinson
Producer:Vicki Delow
Executive Producers:Jane Tranter, Joel Collins, Julie Anne Robinson, Julie Gardner, Phil Collinson and Russell T Davies
Production Executive for BBC Studios:John Hamer
Executive Producer for the BBC:Rebecca Ferguson
Commissioning Editor for the BBC:Lindsay Salt
Co-Producer:Ellen Marsh
Script Supervisor:Nicki Coles
Script Editors:Scott Handcock and Rosheed Bello (Assistant)
Editors:Tim Hodges BFE, Emily Lawrence (Assistant), Joseph Keirle (Assistant) and Matt Nathan (VFX)
Colourist:Gareth Spensley
Production Executive:Steffan Morris
Junior Production Executive:Charlotte Cox
Production Manager:Delmi Thomas
Post Production Producer:Ceres Doyle
Post Production Supervisor:Liv Duffin
Location Manager:Baljinder Sidhu
Supervising Location Manager:Iwan Roberts
Studio Manager:Richard Balshaw
Unit Manager:Kyle Yates
Production Designer:Phil Sims
Director of Production:Emily Russell
Director of Photography:Tobias Datum
Casting Director:Andy Pryor CDG/CSA
Online Editor:Christine Kelly
Line Producer:Mark Devlin
Costume Designer:Pam Downe
Hair & Make-Up Designer:Claire Williams
Cameramen:James Chesterton ACO (Operator), Andrea Jovanovska (Trainee) and Chai Lee Tan (Trainee)
Construction:4Wood TV & Film
Visual Effects:Goodbye Kansas
VFX Producer:Will Cohen
VFX Supervisors:Dave Houghton and Jim Parsons
Additional VFX:BBC Wales Graphics
Special Effects:Real SFX
Creature Design:Painting Practice
Creature FX:Millenium FX
Stunt Co-ordinator:Derek Lea
Stunt Performers:Jessica Barfoot and Paul Joseph
Puppeteers:Elliot Gibbins and Josh Elwell
Creature Choreographer:Paul Kasey
Incidental Music:Murray Gold
Sound Recordist:Alex Thompson
Re-recording Mixer:Paul McFadden
Music Conducted By:Alastair King
Music Performed By:BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Music Supervisors:Ollie White and Marnie Davidge (Assistant)
Title Sequence:Painting Practice & Realtime Visualisation
Title Music:Ron Grainer and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Arranged by Murray Gold
Number of Doctors: 1
The Doctor: Ncuti Gatwa (The Fifteenth Doctor)
Number of Companions: 1The Companion: Millie Gibson (Ruby Sunday) Additional Cast: Robert Strange (Bogeyman), Michelle Greenidge (Carla Sunday), Mason McCumskey (Eric), Sami Amber (Voice of Eric), Sienna-Robyn Mavanga-Phipps (Poppy), Shola Olaitan-Ajiboye (Voice of Poppy), Cadence Williams (Voice of Sandra), Param Patel (Voice of Marcel), Lonnee Archibong (Voice of Adjani), Golda Rosheuvel (Jocelyn Sancerre), Jesus Reyes Ortiz (Rico Trieste), Yasmine Bouabid (Lucia Colasanto), Angela Wynter (Cherry Sunday)Setting: Baby Station Beta "Pacifico Del Rio" (Year 21506) Villain:The Bogeyman

The Episodes

No. Episodes Broadcast
(UK)
Duration Viewers
(Millions)
In Archive
876Space Babies11 May 202446'24"4.0Yes

Total Duration 46 Minutes


Audience Appreciation

Average Viewers (Millions) 4.0


Archives


 This story exists and is held in the BBC's Film and Videotape Library.



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Notes


This is the first non-Christmas story of Season Forty One (New Series 14). It was written by Russell T Davies and directed by Julie Anne Robinson.

This story, while not being the first starring Ncuti Gatwa or Millie Gibson, it is the first non-Christmas Special that they star in.

This story picks up after the events of "The Church on Ruby Road" and involves the first trip in the TARDIS (and in outer space) for the Fifteenth Doctor (as played by Ncuti Gatwa) with his new travelling companion Ruby Sunday (as played by Millie Gibson).

Arriving at an isolated space station The Doctor and Ruby discover a baby farm, run by the babies themselves - who they discover can talk. The Doctor and Ruby must protect their new wards from a creature prowling the lower decks which the babies call The Bogeyman.

The character of baby Eric was originally to be voiced by Lenny Rush, but after being impressed by his performance during the read-through the production team decided to withdraw him from the role in favour of casting him as UNIT Scientific Advisor, Morris Gibbons, who will appear later in this season. The character of Eric in this story was instead voiced by Mason McCumskey.

The Doctor confirms that he was adopted and that because of this his ‘real name is tricky’ (see "Ascension of the Cybermen/The Timeless Children").

During this story The Doctor gives Ruby a TARDIS key and updates her mobile phone so allowing her to contact her mother. The Ninth Doctor previously did this for Rose Tyler in the 2005 story "The End of the World".

The Doctor asks Ruby to tell her mother not to slap him. He has been slapped by previous companions' mothers on multiple occasions (see "Aliens of London/World War Three", "The Lazarus Experiment" and "The Star Beast").

This story’s teaser trailer hinted at a toothy, dragon-like monster, reminiscent of the creature from the movie Alien.

The Doctor reveals that Gallifrey used multiple addressing titles such as ‘The Bishop ’, ‘The Pendant’ and ‘Sagi-Shi’.

When giving examples of the sort of titles Time Lords use, The Doctor gives The Rani and The Conquistador as examples.

When The Doctor confirms that Gallifrey has gone, the soundtrack piece This is Gallifrey is briefly heard.

It is revealed that the TARDIS controls are still new to this incarnation of The Doctor as he forgets to turn on the Butterfly Compensation switch.

Ruby comments that she likes the TARDIS jukebox and mentions Star Trek. The Doctor remarks about visiting the characters from that continuity.

The Doctor is seen again snapping his fingers to control the TARDIS, this time to change lights (see "Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead").

As is typically with season openers, that have been written by Russell T Davies (such as "New Earth" and "Partners in Crime"), this story is more comedic than dark.

The scene with Ruby first entering the TARDIS has been altered compared to the previous story, "The Church on Ruby Road".

The Doctor and Ruby travel 150 million years in the past to a place that is going to be a little town called Green River, Wyoming in North America.

Ruby Sunday revealed to The Doctor that she is worried about stepping on a butterfly and changing the course of history. Martha Jones once voiced a similar concern in the 2007 Tenth Doctor story "The Shakespeare Code" as did Bill Potts in the 2017 Twelfth Doctor story "Thin Ice".

When exiting the TARDIS on a prehistoric Earth, at the beginning of this story, Ruby does accidentally step on a butterfly so changing her appearance (she becomes Rubathon Blue of the 57th Hemisphere Hatchlings). The Doctor though is able to revive the butterfly so returning the timeline and Ruby to normal.

The Baby Station Beta is stationed on the orbit of the planet Pacifico Del Rio.

The Doctor reveals that The fifth planet in the system, Mondo Caroon, is a DuBarryDuPlessy world

Locations on the space station include: Birth Zone 6, Portal 3-5-7 on the upper levels and Hull 3-B on the lower levels.

In 21506, English language no longer exist. Instead, humans all speak one language that The Doctor reveals is close to Cantonese.

Jocelyn communicates with the babies via a Nanomatrix Electroform or NAN-E.

At the end of this story The Doctor secretly uses the TARDIS scanner to check if Ruby is human or not. He previously secretly used the scanner to check if Amy Pond was pregnant or not in the 2011 Eleventh Doctor story "The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon".

As part of this main season’s launch double-bill "Space Babies" was broadcast on BBC One alongside "The Devil's Chord" which aired immediately after. This is the first time that two stories (or even two episodes) were broadcast on the same day.

Both stories were given an early screening exclusive for critics on the 6th May 2024.

Along with "The Devil's Chord" this story was released on BBC iPlayer and Disney+ at midnight on the 10th May 2024 before it was broadcast on BBC One.

Overnight viewing figures estimate that this story was watched by 2.6 million people on its BBC One broadcast. Writing for Radio Times, Louise Griffin attributed the low ratings due to this story’s earlier launch on BBC iPlayer nearly 20 hours previously.

This story was met with positive reviews from critics who praised the silliness of the plot.

A novelisation of this story written by Alison Rumfitt is due to be released on the 8th August 2024 in paperback as part of the Target Collection. An audiobook edition, read by Clare Corbett, will be released the same day.


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The Plot

WARNING: May Contain SpoilersHide Text
The Doctor
The Doctor

The Doctor takes his new travelling companion Ruby Sunday to Earth 155 million years into the past to a region that would eventually become the American town of Green River, Wyoming. There Ruby accidentally steps on a monarch butterfly so altering her timeline. The Doctor witnesses this when Ruby transforms into a reptilian humanoid version of herself named Rubithon Blue of the 57th Hemisphere Hatchlings. The Doctor though is able to revive the butterfly and so Ruby reverts back to her human form, completely unaware of her transformation.

Before anything else happens The Doctor ushers Ruby back into the TARDIS, and after Ruby chooses a year in the future they travel to the year 21506. On exiting the TARDIS they find themselves aboard a space station orbiting a planet. Wandering down a utility corridor, The Doctor discovers the space station’s poor electrical infrastructure, but before he can fix it, they encounter a monstrous, slimy bipedal creature.

To escape the creature, which chases after them, they find an elevator which takes them up to a higher level to a room where they discover babies encased in pods. The Doctor deduces that this is a baby farm. He also discovers they are stationed above the planet Pacifica Del Rio.

Ruby Sunday
Ruby Sunday

Before they discover anymore, they are interrupted by a baby called Eric that arrives in a motorised pram. Eric though mistakes The Doctor and Ruby for his Mummy and Daddy. On learning that Eric can not only talk but is also a crewmember of the space station, Eric takes The Doctor and Ruby to meet the rest of the crew, who are also all intelligent babies. They are led by Captain Poppy, who runs the space station in anticipation of the return of their parents, revealing that they took over the station from the adults. The Doctor discovers that the original adult crew abandoned the space station but who left the birth machines running, allowing the babies’ intelligences to develop but stunting their physical growths.

The babies are under the care of a Nanoelectric Maxiform, called Nan-E. The babies panic when The Doctor mentions the creature below, they call it The Bogeyman. The Doctor communicates with Nan-E about a high-pressure buildup in Hull-3-B that could destroy the space station, and she directs him to storage unit 3-5-7.

Exiting the TARDIS
Exiting the TARDIS

On the way there, The Doctor mulls over the connections of childhood abandonment between Ruby and the babies, Ruby being left behind with nothing to indicate the whereabouts of her parents. He flashes back to that snowy night on Ruby Road, where he remembers a mysterious hooded figure. The flashback physically brings back snowflakes into the space station, The Doctor remarks that he has never experienced anything like this before. At storage unit 3-5-7, Nan-E is revealed to be an actual person, former on-site accountant Jocelyn Sancerre. She reveals that the crew returned home under protest due to a recession that closed the baby station but laws do not permit closure of the birth machine. She has spent six years caring for the babies, but laments that limited resources will eventually be their demise. The Doctor discovers that the fifth planet in their solar system, Mondo Caroon, can accept refugees. The Doctor proposes the TARDIS can provide transportation to Mondo Caroon, but to reach the TARDIS they first must get past The Bogeyman.

On returning to the babies The Doctor and Ruby discover that Eric has summoned the courage to face The Bogeyman alone. The Doctor and Ruby rush down to the lower levels to save him, but only discover his empty pram. They attempt to lure The Bogeyman to try and save Eric, but then, to their relief, they discover Eric hidden away in a nearby compartment. The creature then arrives and gives chase while Ruby attempts to comfort a crying Eric. The creature corners them in a dead end, but they are saved by Poppy, who wards The Bogeyman off with a flamethrower. Jocelyn directs the babies back to safety, while The Doctor and Ruby investigate the creature that Jocelyn first encountered six years ago, when the babies were first born. The Doctor finds the creature has left behind some ‘spoor’ and takes it to a nearby machine to analyse its contents.

The Doctor finds The Bogeyman's appearance mysterious as he has the urge to run away from it. After finding the space station’s programming he discovers that the space station’s parthenogenesis machine intentionally grew The Bogeyman as part of its misguided attempt to entertain the children. It also literally created the creature out of the babies’ bogies.

Rubithon Blue
Rubithon Blue

The creature finds them and Jocelyn has The Doctor and Ruby lead The Bogeyman to an airlock so she can eject it into space, but Ruby points out that the creature appeared the same time the babies were born, thus is actually one of them. On learning that The Bogeyman is one of the children, The Doctor sends Ruby to stop Jocelyn and lets himself into the airlock to save the creature. He pushes a button that reverses the vacuum and closes the airlock so saving the creature.

The Doctor realises that by reworking the space station he can get it to move to Mondo Caroon. He does this by utilising Hull-3-B’s pressure buildup where six years of methane gas from the babies’ diapers has built up a lot of potential fuel that can be used to propel the space station towards the refugee planet.

Returning to the TARDIS, The Doctor gives Ruby her own TARDIS key, but warns her that he can never take her back to the day when as a baby she was abandoned outside the church on Ruby Road, lest it creates a paradox. On returning to Ruby’s home, The Doctor performs a DNA scan on an unsuspecting Ruby, and it begins to snow inside the TARDIS.

 
The Bogeyman
The Bogeyman
Escaping From The Bogeyman
Escaping From The Bogeyman
Exploring the Space Station
Exploring the Space Station
Eric
Eric
 
Captain Poppy
Captain Poppy
Nan-E
Nan-E
Ejecting The Bogeyman
Ejecting The Bogeyman
Ruby Returning Home
Ruby Returning Home




Quote of the Story


 'We’ve gone from baby to baby. I’m not saying things are connected. And yet. Things connect.'

The Doctor



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Release Information

FormatTitleRelease Date (UK)Code NumberCover ArtRemarks
Video
DVD
The Complete Fourteenth Series Box SetDue: August 2024Photo-montageDVD boxed set containing 7 stories from New Series 14 along with the 2023 Christmas Special "The Church on Ruby Road"
Video
Blu-Ray
The Complete Fourteenth Series Box SetDue: August 2024Photo-montageBlu-Ray boxed set containing 7 stories from New Series 14 along with the 2023 Christmas Special "The Church on Ruby Road"
Video
Blu-Ray
The Complete Fourteenth Series Box Set (Limited Edition Steelbook)Due: August 2024Photo-montageLimited Edition Blu-Ray Steelbook boxed set containing 7 stories from New Series 14 along with the 2023 Christmas Special "The Church on Ruby Road"


In Print

FormatTitleRelease Date (UK)PublisherAuthorCover ArtRemarks
Novel
Novel
Space BabiesDue: August 2024BBC BooksAlison RumfittDan LilesTarget Collection. ISBN: 978-1-78594-884-8 (Paperback)
CD
CD
Space BabiesDue: August 2024BBC AudioAlison RumfittDan LilesAudio version of the BBC Books Novel read by Clare Corbett.
Doctor Who Magazine - PreviewIssue 603 (Released: May 2024)

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The Doctor and Companion

 
Ncuti Gatwa
The Fifteenth Doctor

   

 
Millie Gibson
Ruby Sunday
 
   




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Blu-Ray Steelbook Cover
Blu-Ray Steelbook Cover

BBC
VIDEO
 
   


In Print

BBC Books Paperback Target Collection Cover
BBC Books Paperback Target Collection Cover

BBC
NOVEL
 
BBC Audio CD Cover
BBC Audio CD Cover

BBC
CD
   


Magazines

 
Doctor Who Magazine - Preview: Issue 603
Doctor Who Magazine - Preview: Issue 603

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