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‘The Star Beast’, the first episode of Doctor Who’s 60th-anniversary special is here and I’m about to review it (This Review Contains Massive Spoilers! Don’t read if you want to watch The Star Beast first. Or maybe don’t watch if you don’t want to be upset by Russell T Davies’ creative decisions). Let’s start then, shall we? So, where was I? Ah, yes! The new Doctor Who 60th anniversary special!

A year! We had waited more than a year for this moment! When Jodie was regenerating, we were half-expecting an overly enthusiastic Ncuti Gatwa to pop up, but Russell had other plans. We were just as shocked as the fourteenth doctor and gasping for air to express how we felt at that moment. Fourteenth took care of it and responded exactly how we wanted to on behalf of us,


Yes, we were shocked to see David Tennant as the ‘new’ doctor, cause, that was certainly not what we expected. But the shock turned into excitement in seconds. We couldn’t be happier, seeing the favorite old face right outside the Tardis (But Disney has ruined the pleasant surprise of The Star Beast on the heels of their crusade to decimate the classics we hold dear – Snow White to name one.).

And since then, we’ve been looking forward to the new episodes with the first one being The Star Beast. Especially even more when we got to know Donna is returning. Given how things were left off in season 4, Donna Noble and Doctor returning together was much bigger an event than just a reunion. So, there were big hopes. Ten is back, except he’s not, he’s fourteen with a new outfit (honestly, he looks superfine in that ‘fit). Donna is here. And….and, and, and, Russell T Davies is in charge!

The old team from the time when NuWho was at its peak! Russell T Davies, the bloke who started it all! After Chibnal’s terrible tenure as showrunner, the news of Russell taking over gave me hope. The old magician is back, maybe things will take a good turn now. I couldn’t be more wrong! After hearing what Russell had to say about the ‘Children in Need’ special, my faith started to crack. And now I feel completely miserable after watching the first episode of the Doctor Who 60th anniversary special mini-series.

Maybe they shouldn’t have brought Tennant and Catherine back for this. My heart is too scarred, and my hopes are all shattered. Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised. Disney is now paying for these episodes. So, what happened in The Star Beast is pretty normal. It’s the 2020s, the era where Disney+ and other streaming sites have taken a vow to destroy everything we loved in our younger years; one franchise at a time. Now it’s Doctor Who’s number.

OFFICIAL TRAILER | Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Specials | Doctor Who

Everything In ‘The Star Beast’ That Broke Me

On 25th November 2023, the first episode “The Star Beast” of the three-hour-long 60th-anniversary special episodes aired. I watched it as soon as I could. Not even ten minutes in, and I was already shaking my head out of disappointment.

Yeah, We Get It, This Person Is Disabled

The fantastic thing about this era is options for exploring are expanding for differently abled people. And that goes for screen representation as well. Gone are the days when everyone was flawless like fiction, and now people from every aspect are coming together to tell their stories.

It’s a great thing that they decided to represent a UNIT member in a wheelchair in The Star Beast, but sadly, they still found a way to make it awful. Instead of making the character stand out (no pun intended) with her personality traits, they made her being in the wheelchair her entire character arc.

How pathetic and ableist is this? From the first moment she’s on screen, it’s easy to tell they’re putting all their focus on the fact that she’s in a wheelchair, instead of relating her character to the events going on around her. Even most conversations she had with other people were circling back to that one thing.

You can tell from that desperate attempt to show how inclusive The Star Beast is, that they’re clueless about a fair representation of the lives of differently-abled people. This has written Disney all over it.

Damn, I Didn’t Know They Were Trans! It’s Not Like You Already Established It in Previous Conversations!

A character is trans. Good for that individual. However, when someone comes out or goes through a transition, that’s just one part of their life. Not their entire life. You being cis or trans cannot be your entire identity. People are bigger and much more complicated than that.

When they established that person is trans, we got it. They didn’t need to remind us of this again and again through other conversations. For the love of everything holy, Disney, trans people are people, they’re not accessories. You can’t just use their transition as a personality trait or their entire existence. Be respectful.

“You’re Assuming ‘He’ As A Pronoun?”

That’s an actual line from The Star Beast. It actually happened. They actually created a scenario where people are rolling their eyes over Doctor misgendering someone just to make a statement about pronouns.

I’m sorry, did they forget the Doctor is a timelord who’s aware of many cultural aspects of different eras of different planets? The Doctor has visited Earth in the future countless times. And he was never aware of this new world where pronouns are so important? He had to be corrected by a freaking human teen after confusing humans for decades with the knowledge he possesses?

Seriously? Davies, do you even remember the show you created? You just let Disney walk all over you in The Star Beast?

Binary! Binary! – Non-Binary!

We know why Donna was like “Binary”, “Binary”, she couldn’t stop herself from repeating a term because the timelord brain was just too much for her human system.

But her daughter Rose responding with “Non-binary” to Donna uttering “Binary” to ‘explain’ that time lords can be male or female or non-binary or any other self, was too stupid. Yes, you wanted to make a statement to address the people who refused to give the female doctor a chance, but using Donna’s “Binary” chant for that wasn’t the cleverest way to do that. Because the original response derived from something completely different.

Women Rule, Men Drool!

I will never understand the tendency of shaming one gender to uplift another. Shaming a man to praise womankind makes you just as bad as the guys who make “go to the kitchen” or “sipping tea” jokes. Yet the Doctor Who team chose to take this immature route in The Star Beast.

They had the audacity to say, “We know everything, thanks! And you know nothing! It’s a shame you’re not a woman anymore! Cause she would’ve understood.” Wait, it doesn’t end there. They continued – “We’ve got all that power, but there’s a way to get rid of it. Something a male-presenting time lord will never understand.” “Just let it go.” “And we choose to let it go.” There’s so much wrong with this whole exchange, I don’t even know where to begin. And it’s not even a good womanhood PSA. It’s terrible, it’s cringe, it’s illogical.

The Doctor is a being who has this vast amount of knowledge, and this is his biggest weapon. He has always talked about stuff he knows as every doctor, and even as Jodie or Martin’s doctor; because he is passionate about what he knows and wants to help others with that knowledge. Not because he wants to mansplain. But still, they had to take that low-level jab at the doctor making it about mansplaining. Read the room, whoever thought this was a brilliant thing to do, cause clearly you can’t.

Also, don’t take it the wrong way. Rose knows womanhood despite being male-presenting in their early childhood; then why is it not possible for fourteenth to understand women’s feelings when the doctor can remember all the experiences of their past lives as different doctors? He was a woman just some hours ago! What is that blind, biased, neglectful, one-sided take of him not knowing stuff or not knowing womanhood just because he’s “male-presenting” now?

And “Let it go”? That’s it? If you can ‘choose to let it go’, why didn’t it come to you when you were Doctor Donna the first time, Donna? Why couldn’t you let it go back then? Okay, I understand it wasn’t possible for you to do it on your own back then, but you had the Time Lord’s mind, you could see the future. How did you not know it back then? I can’t believe Catherine actually agreed to say these lines when she built her career on satirizing problematic stuff like this. I guess, nothing’s bigger than money, and the chance to work with Disney.

Also, gotta applaud how writers disguised their inability to write a good reason for Donna to survive as a weapon to criticize men for being “male-presenting” or making the mistake of “speaking” or trying to “help a friend”. Bravo Davies, on this absurdity that is The Star Beast.

That Was Her Wedding Gift From Her Father

When they couldn’t be any more disrespectful to the OG arc of the Doctor and Donna, they made her give away all her lottery money for charity in The Star Beast. It’s not a wrong thing to do. But it personally bothered me, because originally this was a wedding gift from the Doctor who bought it on behalf of Donna’s late father with his money. Technically this was the wedding gift and the last gift she received from her father. It kinda hurt me when I realized she unknowingly gave away her father’s present to her. It shouldn’t bother me, but I still felt bad.

Doctor Who - The Star Beast - Scene - Deshi Geek
Doctor Who – The Star Beast – Scene – Deshi Geek

Is There Anything I Liked In The Star Beast?

Despite The Star Beast being a politically correct nightmare with lazy writing, there were some things that I liked about the episode. There was this scene in a control room (not going to say what happened there), that was done really well. It felt strong like peak moments from older seasons.

Then there was the scene when Fourteenth sees the new interior of the Tardis. It was priceless!

Meep was an interesting character introduced in The Star Beast. Donna’s mother was surprisingly tolerable. Donna’s husband, Shaun Temple is a lovely guy, we deserve to see more of him.

It was fun to see the screwdriver in action. Better than Ten just aggressively shoving it into thin air to make things ‘work’. The title sequence is perfect. My heart filled with Joy when I saw David Tennant, Catherine Tate, and Russell T Davies’ names altogether, just like the old days.

The writing of The Star Beast was crappy, but the visuals were fine. But I wouldn’t mind them going back to TV camera days.

Doctor Who 60th Anniversary Specials | The Star Beast – FULL TRAILER | MM Productions

As A Matter Of Fact…

As a big fan of the first four seasons of NuWho, The Star Beast disappointed me pretty hard to the point I don’t have expectations anymore for the next episodes. I expected better from Davies. He’s an active spokesperson for queer representation in media, he has always cleverly got his message across in the old episodes of Doctor Who. So, seeing him being this terrible with his approach was pretty sad.

Yes, Doctor Who has always advocated for inclusivity, representation, and change. But do it in a natural way. Shoving fifty messages in a sixty-minute thing is not the way. It’s awful. Besides, you’re not doing anything better if your way involves attacking or degrading others for the littlest remarks or making one aspect of life a person’s entire personality.

This was definitely not a happy start. And this is very Disney. To not give a flying f about storytelling, and virtue-signaling like an arrogant idiot. I’m not even feeling like continuing with the next episodes. The only thing I’m looking forward to seeing is our beloved grandpa Wilfred Mott. Rest in peace, Bernard Cribbins. We love you, and we’ll always love you.


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