SNEAK PEEK – Doctor Who “Space Babies”

    It’s been about a four month gap for Doctor Who fans, waiting impatiently for the new series to start. Thankfully, Season 2 of Doctor Who is mostly finished filming, guaranteeing a good future for the series. Still a whole season of television between here and there, though. This is the start of the first proper series of adventures for the Fifteenth Doctor (Ncuti Gatwa) and his companion Ruby Sunday (Millie Gibson). Let’s look into their first episode, Space Babies, talking preview pictures, clips, and a healthy bit of theorising.

    This first episode was written by showrunner Russell T Davies and directed by Julie Anne Robinson, her first time directing for the series. Hopefully, this is going to be a refreshing start to the series. Obviously, as we continue into episode previews, the synopsis, and speculation, there is a spoiler warning in place. Now, let’s get into it! The official episode synopsis reads as follows:

    Doctor Who Season 1 Episode 1 “Space Babies” – Synopsis
    Ncuti Gatwa & Millie Gibson In Doctor Who “Space Babies” via BBC Doctor Who

    Preview Pictures

    Naturally, plenty of promotional stills have been released ahead of “Space Babies” airing. There are a few of the Doctor and Ruby standing in what looks to be a nursery. The bottom part of the walls are adorned with children’s drawings. These are the same sort of drawings we saw in the episode’s title reveal clip, haunted by the shadow of the Bogeyman. The mess on the floor could just be children not tidying up after themselves, it could also be the aftermath of the Bogeyman coming through.

    There’s also a look at one of the episode’s guest stars, Jocelyn Sancerre (Golda Rosheuvel). We see her watching a bunch of monitors, presumably security camera footage from around the station. At a guess, her character is a sort of security guard or guardian for the babies. Seeing her with the Doctor and Ruby, I look forward to seeing what she does in the episode. Looking at the monitors, it looks to be the dark corridors where the Doctor and Ruby run into the Bogeyman in the trailer. Speaking of, our looks at the Bogeyman are scarce but it looks like a horrific creature.

    Finishing off, there’s a couple of looks at the Doctor and Ruby standing in front of what look to be cryo pods. The episode’s synopsis does mention this being a baby farm, so it’s a safe assumption that this is where the babies are grown. For Ruby’s first proper trip into space, it’s going to be a bit of a silly one. Although with the horrific Bogeyman just around the corner, there’s a good sense of danger as well. This looks like a fun reintroduction to the series.

    Preview Clip

    The preview clip for this episode takes place entirely on the space station, a brief exchange between the Doctor and Ruby. It starts with the Doctor explaining his philosophy, reinvigorated with a lot of post-Timeless Child and post-bi-generation updates. As a result, the Doctor has no people, no home, and is an observer of the wonders of the cosmos. For newer viewers, that’s a lovely, simple way to get caught up with the sort of hero the Doctor is. He also defines Ruby as an audience surrogate, with the universe looking more beautiful through her eyes.

    Outside of just the characters, we learn that the station is in orbit of a planet called Pacifico del Rio. The Doctor and Ruby look out to it in awe, taking in the beauty of Ruby seeing her first alien planet. It’s here that viewers also learn, or are reminded of, the TARDIS’ translation matrix. This is what allows the Doctor and Ruby to read and understand everything they come across in their travels. The past few episodes have done a great job reintroducing the series’ main elements to new viewers and this looks to be no exception.

    The clip doesn’t end on a cliffhanger or anything, but I’d love to know where they go from here. It looks like the Doctor’s set to keep exploring the station, or look at the pods behind him. The “days like these” line at the start also implies that something’s happened already. So I wonder how the pair actually get to this point, and how their time at the station actually opens. It’s an interesting clip to share, that leaves the actual plot of the episode a bit of a secret. I’m very excited to see where this goes, you can check out the clip below.

    YouTube player

    Space Babies” Theory Time

    The title and synopsis give us fairly little to work with. The episode drags Ruby into space for the first time, and there’s a baby farm run by babies. It’s the sort of gloriously ridiculous premise that Doctor Who tends to excel at. It looks like the episode’s going to be juggling a bit of horror with the lighthearted comedy of the talking babies. I hope that this comedy doesn’t go too far into the immature and childish and is actually funny.

    I’m not sure how the Bogeyman factors into this, especially where it comes from and what it wants. It looks like a monster almost too ugly to not be a little misunderstood. Perhaps there’s more going on behind the scenes with these babies than meets the eye, and they’re a little more menacing than we initially believe. That would be a fun twist on an already pretty silly episode. With the idea of a baby farm, a bit of commentary on reproductive rights is also on the cards. I hope this episode’s able to not only delight, but totally surprise me.

    There’s a good chance, given the reduced episode count, that this is going to introduce the little arc for series. The arcs previously written by Russell T Davies include a lot of repeated phrases or allusions – Bad Wolf, Torchwood, Mr Saxon, and the missing planets. I hope this is a diversion from that and is something a little more physical to carry us through the series. Looking at the penultimate episode’s title, “The Legend of Ruby Sunday”, it seems like there might be more to this companion than meets the eye. Maybe nobody could find any relatives for a reason? Who knows?

    Picture Shows: The Doctor (Ncuti Gatwa) and Ruby Sunday (Millie Gibson)


    Doctor WhoSpace Babies” looks like quite a lot of fun. The adventurous and wild spirit of Doctor Who we lives on. We’ve got the Doctor and Ruby facing down a monster in the form of the Bogeyman, which should give the episode a bit of a horror feeling. On the other side of this, we’ve got talking babies, which is bound to be a very funny delight. It’s set to be balancing a lot of very different genres, I hope it turns out to be a crazy and whimsical delight rather than feeling like a confused mess.

    Hopefully, showrunner Russell T Davies’ series opener will be able to pull it off. I’m also looking forward to the show reintroducing space travel through the eyes of Ruby Sunday. If that clip’s anything to go off, we’re in for quite the wondrous experience. I’ll also be keeping my eyes peeled for the introduction of the series’ arc. With so many stories set up during “The Church on Ruby Road”, I hope this new series can build on them. I can’t wait to see where the show is going next!

    Doctor Who kicked off its new era on Christmas Day 2023 with “The Church on Ruby Road.” The episode saw Ncuti Gatwa and Millie Gibson debut as the 15th Doctor and Ruby Sunday. Doctor Who premieres at midnight on Saturday, May 11th, on BBC iPlayer with a double-episode bill. The episodes will stream internationally on Disney+, Doctor Who‘s exclusive home outside the UK and Ireland, giving audiences a simultaneous global launch. Episodes will also air on BBC One each week in a primetime slot on Saturday evening.

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