Title: The Beast Below
Episode: 02 Season: 05
Summary: How the Girl with a Curl is a metaphor for the Entire Human Race.
Check it out! It’s some sort of floating Space UK. We must be in the future today.
Over in the Surrey, or Devon area of Space UK (I’m not sure which but that’s what the neon lights on the towers we’ve zoomed in on are telling me), we seem to have stumbled upon a classroom, with a bunch of kids waiting in line for grades for the day. Grades which, for now, are doled out by some electronic disembodied voice.
One of the kids doesn’t seem to want to get up out of his seat to join them.
His friends urges him upward and onward.
Poor kid looks like he’s going to hurl.
Mandy, gets a well done from…this thing, and scurries away, but not before glancing back at friend.
The thing goes all Linda Blair on him once she’s gone though. Angry*Face up! Our poor little Ginger, who’s been a bad boy, has gotten a zero for the day.
Mandy knows what’s up as soon as he shows up, trudging all degectedly towards the elevator. He gets all defensive like getting zeros all the time doesn’t suck. Apparently zeros are a common occurance for this young lad.
She tells him he can’t ride the ‘Vator down to London because of some unnamed menace down below. He throws a petulant little fit about that, because it’s a long way down to London, but Mandy ditches him for the ‘Vator and tells him she’ll meet him there.
He doesn’t even bother to sneak on, because this one has got some kind of creepy gatekeeper of death at the helm.
The music of impending doom gets faster and faster, and there’s an angry face watching from the hallway.
Well, conveniently there’s another (Darth) ‘Vator wating in the wings with no gaurd or anything, so Timmy isn’t going to walk down 20 flights with that kind of temptation in his face. As if the creepy music, gatekeepers of death, and two faced mechanical dudes weren’t enough, there is also a test card girl to add to the creep factor.
Test card girl sings a little rhyme about the Beast Bellow, the mechanical dude gets angry face again, and the Elevator begins to plumment to certain death. Timmy is rethinking the whole not taking the ‘vator thing now.
Well, the ‘Vator reaches floor 0 without crashing, which is good…except for the part where the floor opens up to a never ending chasm of doom here. Not Timmy! We hardly knew him!
Angry face turns into demon from hell face or something as Timmy falls below to an uncertain fate.
Meanwhile, somewhere out in time and space, Amy Pond is floating around telling us about her imaginary Doctor, who is all too real, coming to whisk her away for a grand adventure on the night before her wedding.
Amy’s all giddy with space fever…but don’t worry, the TARDIS has some kind of air shell, so they aren’t going to be sucked out into the vacuum or anything like that.
What’s this? Seems they have stumbled upon Space UK, where we were just learning about thier no-tolerance policy for failing at school.
The Doctor heads back inside the TARDIS to twiddle the whatsits and give us a lecture on Earth’s future history. Seems solar flares WTFBBQed the planet in the 29th centuries and we took to the Space until the planet could recooperate. GO us!
Amy’s not paying much attention to this though, because she’s in a bit of a pickle. The Doctor tells her to stop fooling around and get back inside.
He’s marveling at the UK’s ability to survive anything, even the Earth being burnt to a crisp. You go, Space UK!
Well, naturally, Amy Pond wants to go exploring, and we know the Doctor is all about that. First there is a “Thing.” Amy looks a bit leary of the “Thing”. I mean, who knows… if the Doctor’s “Thing” is anything like her “Stuff” then who knows what it could involve.
Oh. He just tells her that they will be observers only. Don’t mess with time! The chances of that actually happening are… approximately -100% divided by zero, I’m sure.
Amy compares them to a nature documentary, that can’t go in and save the poor dying polar bear cub when his mother suddenly disappears and he has no food…
Sorry, that one hits close to home. The moral of this story is not to watch nature documentaries.
Anyway, we zoom on this poor dying little cub. It’s Mandy! Who is weeping on a bench, because Timmy, has fallen into a chasm of doom and didn’t make it to London after all.
Amy waxes poetic about how difficult that must be and how she doesn’t know if she could do that.
Suddenly the Doctor appears on the screen! So, the outside observer biz lasted about a minute. He gestures for her to join him, so apparently the TARDIS has landed.
Amy is excited to be in the future. There is a welcome message even! “Welcome to London Market! You are being monitored!” Cool. Big Brother!
Amy’s second thought behind “Whee! Future” is that she’s been dead for centuries. The Doctor is displeased with this line of morbid thought, so he just tells her to nevermind that and let’s go!
Amy’s still in “Wheeee! Future!” Mode, and so is the Doctor, but not so much because it’s the future. He’s delighted because there’s something totally amiss here.
The Doctor Plays one of these things is not like the other with Amy. She thinks it’s the bicycles, because bikes on a spaceship! (Girl, it’s a pretty large space ship!) It is at this point when the Doctor points out that she’s still in her nightie and she is pretty well horrified.
Seems the Doctor has come to the conclusion that this a police state we’re living in here on the Space UK.
What does an intrepid explorer do when confronted with a police sate situation? Well, he puts a glass of water on the ground of course.
He restores the water to its rightful owner and explains to the poor bamboozled souls that there is an escaped fish. Oh, really? An escaped fish you say?
Amy wants to know, what’s up with that water trick? The Doctor doesn’t quite know why he put the glass on the floor as it seems his mind thinks faster than even he can keep up with.
As for why there’s a police state? It’s because Mandy is here sobbing her eyes out. Amy doesn’t even know what that means, but the Doctor is going to go over to Mandy now before she has a chance to ask.
Amy follows him and doesn’t notice that they’ve got a gatekeeper of their own watching them.
He calls this guy here, who is in the secret headquarters of the creepy gatekeepers or something. They are being all mysterious and obtuse about why they’re following the Doctor exactly, but they’re under orders to tell “Her” when “It” happens.
So, Specs orders his freind to keep tabs on the doctor and he calls “Her”. She asks if he did the “Thing”. You know, the thing he does when he does the thing with the thing on the thing. YOU KNOW!!!!
Hehe, anyway, she’s surrounded by water glasses and puts on a mask so she can go look at the footage of the Doctor doing the “Thing”
Meanwhile, Amy is trying to understand why a crying little girl has anything to do with the Doctor’s police state thesis.
This leads to a conversation about parenting skillz, and how the good ones know why their kids cry. Amy asks him if he’s a parent and totally ignores that question for now. Instead he tells her that the adults must already know what’s got Mandy in this state and it’s something that nobody talks about.
While the Doctor is explaining that the danger that does not speak its name must be everwhere: Hence Police State. The smiley mask dude here kind of turns towards him.
The Doctor sends Amy after Mandy…with an address from the wallet he pick pocketed off her and instructions to ask about the Smilers.
Amy is unconcerned with these smiling mechanical beasties, but the Doctor has sussed out that everybody is afraid of them…because they are clean. Nobody will set foot near them. (Who wouldn’t be afraid of one? Last time I saw a creepy mechanized dude in a glass box, Tom Hanks became a kid again.)
Amy doesnt really want to go on this mission, because she’s feeling out of her element, and is under-dressed for world saving at this moment, but the Doctor gives her the choice of fact finding mission, or going home. The choice is clear! AS for him…he’s going to stay out of trouble the best way he knows how: by not doing that at all.
Amy’s all -so what about that no interference policy? Crying children are the exception then?- The Doctor agrees completely.
So, Amy tries to find Mandy and she does… because Mandy knew it all along and was waiting for her behind some barrels. This Mandy girl is pretty savvy. She’s well aware the Doctor stole her wallet.
They run upon some construction, and Mandy insists they turn back. The Construction means that some kind of hole has opened up. Amy, always ready, willing, and able to enter dangerous rooms of mysterious danger isn’t going to let a little construction tent, or warnings of impending doom stop her.
Mandy calls her stupid.
Mandy keeps one eye on the handily placed smiler, and the other on the crazy redhead. Amy blabbers on about holes not being scary, so what’s the big deal? Mandy tells her it’s the thing they don’t talk about.
Amy prompts for a more specific answer, and Mandy provides “Below”. That is slightly more helpful than “What we don’t talk about.” At least now we know where the thing is.
Amy has no time for these rules! She’s going to give Mandy here a crash course in breaking and entering.
Hey, guys? Did you know that Amy is Scottish? Mandy thinks this is totally strange, because there’s a Space Scotland floating out there seperate from the Space UK.
While they’re chatting about how Amy got on this boat, the Smiler gets all angry faced.
Clearly Mandy is still in the “Ewwww, Boys” stage when Amy tells her that she’s just visiting with some guy.
Having the Doctor mistaken as her boyfriend reminds Amy that she’s getting married. She totally forgot about that dude she left back on Earth all those years ago. Ooopsies!
Mandy’s even less enamoured with the thought of tying the knot than she is with having a boyfriend, and as for Amy…she wonders if she went through with it back in the past that she’s busy avoiding right now.
Amy cracks the lock. Mandy’s totally not down with these shenanigans and she yells at her to stop it when she finally notices that the smiler has gone into “demon from hell” mode.
What does Amy find in the Tent of Doom? It’s some kind of stabby tentacle! She backs the hell out of there as quick as she can.
Right into the clutches of a bunch of gatekeepers. This one has some kind of James-Bondian ring that shoots gass into Amy’s face, and she passes out.
Meanwhile the Doctor is confused about something that we are not privvy to yet.
Hey! Look who it is! It’s the masked lady and she has come to tell us about the “Impossible Truth” whatever that is. It has something to do with the glasses of water he keeps putting on the floor.
Anyway, she knows who he is…which surprises him even though it probably shouldn’t, and they have to keep quiet about the “Thing” Because “They” are always watching.
Trying to recap this episode is like reading blind items. WTF is going on?
She questions him about Why the Water? It’s kind of like a reverse Jurrassic Park or something. There are no vibrations…so where are the Engines? Engines should be vibrating like crazy…especially here in the engine room.
THe power isn’t even connected! Hollow walls! No Engine! The Call is coming from INSIDE THE HOUSE!!! Aaaaahhhh!
That is the impossible truth my friends. Now there is a Don Quixote song in my head.
Not only is there an impossible truth that nobody knows what it is, but also, there is a heart of darkness.
Like Obiwan Kenobi, the Doctor is their only hope.
She gives the Doctor a gadget to help him find Amy and disappears in a flash, leaving only her name “Liz X” (That is a Roman numberal for TEN by the way not the letter “x” I’m trying to be fancy!)
As for Amy, she wakes up in a chair next to a smiler with a happy face.
She is in some sort of a voting booth, and there is a recording playing.
As the voting booth verifies her identity, Amy is delighted to find out how ancient she would be if she’d been traveling in linear time.
She sits up and pays attention when it comes to marital status, but the computer has no info on that. sorry, girl, that’s one decision you’re going to have to make on your own!
So this guy comes up on the screen and he’s going to give us a little history on Space UK. Amy’s going to have two options when it’s over…protest or forget. There will be dire consequenses for protestation apparently, so that’s pretty much not an option actually.
The info flashes up on the screen. I wonder what this could mean? Hmmmmmm. Being able to advance this frame by frame is neat. 😉
Amy slams on the forget button before she even knows what just happened.
She’s all bewildered by the tape and the forget button, and then she gets another message. This time it’s from herself, warning herself to stop the Doctor from interfering. Wut?
The Door to the Voting Booth swings open and the Doctor and Mandy are waiting for her.
The DOctor sonics the area to determine that Amy chose to have her memory wiped. She wonders why she would choose to do such a thing, and the simple answer is that everybody does. At least that’s what Mandy says.
So, the voting process is this: Starting at 16 they can vote, and then every five years after that. In all that time nobody has ever chosen to protest.
Mandy just can’t believe these people have never heard of their voting system before and asks if the Doctor is Scottish too. This leads to some uncomfortable questions on Amy’s part about whether or not there are more Time Lords running amok in time.
This makes the Doctor *sadface* for a second, and he reminices about what a bad day that was when there were no more Time Lords.
But then he’s all -NEVER FORGET!- and slams the protest button down. Because that is how Time Lords roll.
The Smiler goes hellfaced and the Doctor is all “Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee!” as the chasm of doom opens up. Amy just screams in terror like a normal person would in this situation.
Luckily for Mandy, she got locked on the outside before this happened. She watches as the sign on the booth goes from “Occupied” to “Empty” Hmmm, I wonder if that would happen in a future port-o-let? That’s one chasm of doom that’s even more terrifying than this one.
Anyway, Mandy runs into Liz X.
She reveals herself! Mandy isn’t quite so scared of this visage as she is of the mask, and she actually smiles, so maybe this shadowy figure isn’t as mysterious as we’re led to believe.
Meanwhile, the Doctor and Amy find themselves in some kind of sludge pit or something. Directly in the Heart of Darkness.
They are in some kind of organic food dump or something, and are standing on a “Squidgy” surface. The Doctor figures out what it is quickly, and tries to calm Amy down before he tells her.
The Doctor is excited that they are on… *drumroll please* a Tongue.
Amy cannot believe this shit.
The Doctor sonics around and wants to come back and visit the stomach at a later date. Eventually he lands on the toothy area of the mouth, but they’re all shut in.
The Dotor has to find a way out quick though, because the mysterious creature is about to swallow. He sonics something…presumably creating some kind of gag reflex so that they may be expelled.
Amy is still not believing this shit.
The Doctor “Geronimo!”s and the creature unceremoniously barfs them back out. Good times with the Doctor! Alright!
The Doctor informs Amy that she is alright, if covered in sick, and they are now on the outside of the mouth.
He even makes sure to inform her that she is the one who stinks, and not the pipe that they landed in.
Ahhh, they even have a failsafe on the exit door for those protesters that survive the gaping jaws of death. If they’re so keen on making everybody forget or die, why even go through the motions of pretending to give them a choice?
Dear god, there’s even smilers in this random ass drainage pipe in the middle of nowhere! There was some serious forethought that went into this sinister plan.
The Doctor decides to ask the smilers what is up with this as if they’re going to answer. They just get all angry*hellfaced at him.
The Doctor is of the same opinion as me and he basically taunts them, because what can a mechanized dude in a box… OH.
Good thing Liz X is there to save them with her blazing gun.
Liz introduces herself to Amy, and it seems she has brought Mandy along for the ride.
Seems Liz here has been trying to figure out the mystery too, and she hasn’t voted, so she’s never seen the film. The Doctor wants to know why this is, and how does she know him? Well, she has grown up with stories of the Doctor, but there’s no time to be more specific, because the Smilers are coming back to life.
They run out of the tunnel, bypassing the forget button as they go.
Liz tells a little bit of his history with Royalty as they walk away. He’s starting to get the picture.
She instructs them to duck and she kills the smilers that have been following them.
Yes. This Liz X is the Queen. “Basically, I Rule” <--- She may be the Queen, but her tagline is pretty much the worst pun I've ever heard. (I can see the Movie poster now.)
They try to find a way out of there and stumble upon a cage full of those stabby tentacle things like Amy found in the tent earlier. She compares them to roots breaking through the pavement…If roots were alive and trying to stab you.
Well, Liz X is just disgusted that someone is helping this pointy tentacled, hell-mouthed beast by feeding it all the waste…and you know, the people. She stomps away.
The Doctor lingers with the tentacles and seems to have figured something out, because he doesn’t think they should have visited the Space UK after all.
Amy remembers the words of her future self that she saw on the tape.
Specs, here is monitoring things from some secret area of the ship. He issues some sort of protocol that is extra mysterious like everything else in this episode!
Back in the Queen’s luxurious abode, Liz X is all bundled up her bed explaining why she keeps the water glasses to the floor. It’s a reminder of the bad stuff that’s going down.
The Doctor notices something amiss with the mask and asks Liz’s age in a roundabout way. She was crowned ten years ago and is now fifty by all accounts. Amy wants to know what her secret is, because girl is lookin’ fine!
Apparently they have the ability to slow down your body clock in the future.
As it turns out this mask is porcelain and is a perfect match for Liz’s face. This appears to be the key ingredient for solving this mystery!
Of course, we don’t get to hear about it at the moment, because the gatekeepers arrive with their protocol.
Well, Liz isn’t about to go quietly into the night. She’s about to put up a fight but her minion turns into a smiler! They’re hybrids! (Do we even want to know HOW that happens? ;))
Liz is so not pleased with this. She wants to know who ordered this action…the Smiler/Dude reveals that it was she who ordered the action.
Say what, now?
Liz still isn’t happy but since she gave the order, they all have to go to the Tower now.
There is some pulsating beam action going on up in this dank tower of doom.
Amy spots some more stabbies down in a hole. She wants to know where they are now.
The Doctor has the answer! They are at the lowest point of the Space UK in the dungeon.
It’s Specs! His name is Hawthorne, but I’m still going to call him specs. The Queen demands an explanation from him.
Right, so there’s a bunch of children down here. Turns out they feed protesters and “Citizens of Limited Value” to the Beast (I shall call them CLIVEs) That is why Timmy got sent on a trip down the chasm of doom for getting 0s in class.
In any case the beast won’t eat the BB CLIVEs.
Specs thinks the Doctor’s lucky to have escaped the Jaws of the beast. The Doctor goes all sarcasmo on him and is like: -yeah, we’re so lucky to be in a tourture chamber! Woohoo!-
Right, so, that pulsating beam we talked about earlier? It is BRAIN ZAPPING the poor beast. The Doctor is going on about it being a gas peddal, or a torture device, or a gass pedal or a tourture device, depending on how you look at it. Liz doesn’t quite get the picture yet.
The Doctor reminds her of the impossible truth and the whole thing about there not being an engine. Seems like this beastie is supplying the muscle for this trip to the cosmos.
And boy is the Doctor’s angrypants now. Look what you did Space UK.
The Doctor can see that everybody is dubious about this impossible truth, so he lets the tentacle out of the hole.
And he sonics the area, which somehow makes the high frequency of the creature’s noises audible to the human ear. It is naturally a horrible screaming noise that comes out. Y’know, because of the Pulsing Electric Beam shooting directly into its EXPOSED BRAIN.
Every one stands around in awkward silence after Liz X puts a stop to it.
Liz is once again demanding to know who’s briliant idea this was…and again is told that it was hers basically.
She’s not going to face up to that because it makes no sense, and she orders the beast to be released. Nobody moves.
Much like the shed in the last episode, the Doctor has figured out that the mask is far older than it should be to have been molded from Liz X’s face. Hey, At least he didn’t taste it this time.
Surprise, Liz! You’re 300 years old! Amy & Mandy: Whoaaaaa.
Liz does not believe this shit! Hey, if some dude came and told me I was three hundred years old after I thought I was fifty, I wouldn’t believe it either.
Check it out! There’s a voting booth here in the dungeon. Liz has been choosing to forget for 300 years.
Her only other option is to abdicate the throne. She’s horrified, but Specs tells her that he was only following her orders.
She sits down to watch the video that she recorded herself, and tells the story of the Starwhale.
It is the last starwhale. The Doctor knows what that’s like.
People were dying, children were crying…what else could they do? All the other nations had taken to the skies already. (Did Scotland get the last engine?)
They really take “VOte or die” to the extreme here, because that’s what’s going to happen. Amy wants to know why on earth she would vote for this!
The Doctor knows she did it all for him though, because it’s a tough call to make between the human race and the aliens we enslave.
He gets all dadly on her and tells her that it’s not her decision to protect him from himself. He gets to decide what he gets to know.
In fact, he’s so angry with her for choosing to forget that he’s going to send her to her room. (That being, back to Earth and that wedding she isn’t quite so sure about.)
Amy pleads with him to let her stay because she doesn’t even remember pressing the button.
He’s just irate now because he thinks there are only three solutions: Let the beast go and kill all the people, let the beast stay and suffer for the rest of its life, or turn it into a vegetable so it can’t feel the pain anymore. He picks the last option, but it’s still terrible and goes against everything he believes.
He screams at everybody to shut-up.
As he readies the console to submit the proper amount of electrocution for brain frying, Amy and Mandy sit by. A bunch of BB CLIVEs enter the room
Timmy doesn’t seem to recognize her, so she says her name, but it’s not her name he’s worried about. The Tentacle the doctor has let out of the cage is hovering abover her. But it dosn’t try to stab her. It just wants to be petted!
Amy thinks this is weird since the thing has previously tried to impale her, so she has a little brain flashback to try and figure out why.
It all has to do with the crying children.
Amy tries to stop the Doctor, then she grabs Liz and slams her hand down on the “Abdicate” button. Oh, no!
The Starwhale is released! The Space UK shakes and a dude with a sweet mohawk tumbles to the ground.
Eventually everything reverts back to normal. In fact…they are going faster now. Amy is all pleased with herself because she figured it out.
It’s going faster because they stopped torturing it.
Amy explains that the Starwhale volunteered, because starwhales love BBs and doesn’t want to see them cry. All the torturing and capturing and 300 years of totally unnecessary pain for this poor whale, that was all you guys .
Amy explains how this starwhale is the Doctor of all the starwhales. It just wanted to roam around space all gigantic and help crying children in need.
That’s right guys. Think about what you’ve done.
Later, in the observetory, Amy joins the doctor. She has the Queen’s mask and offers it to him, because Liz delcared Space UK Secret Free, which I have to say is much better than the “nothing BUT secrets” UK of earlier on in this recap.
The Doctor is still kinda angry, because Amy very well could have killed them all. Amy says the Doctor could have killed the last of the starwhales. This is what we call a Catch 22, or a no win situation. Somehow, everybody ended up winning. What is that called?
Amy talks about how the starwhale being all alone and in misery and pain only made it more kind. I don’t really think she’s talking about Starwhales though.
Then she just blatantly tells him, it is his old, loney butt that gave her the idea. She knew how it would react, because she has prior experience with kindly loners answering the call of weeping children.
Amy wants to stay and say goodbye for a minute, but the Doctor says it’s better this way. They’ll have lots of odes written about them the more mysterious they are.
The Doctor declares tomorrow a big day, because he skips all the little ones. For a moment Amy thinks he’s talking about her terrifying impending nuptials.
She sort of explains that she’s running away because she scared, and maybe not ready for it and wants to know if he has any experience with cold feet. He has. Once.
So, she wonders what happened? He ended up traveling the galaxies through time saving crying children, with no other Time Lords left in existence. She’s about to tell him she’s getting married in the morning, but is distracted by the…ringing phone.
Amy answers the call.
Hey, it’s the PM! The Doctor wants to know which one, so Amy asks and comes back with “The British One.” Which is very helpful for a time traveler.
Seems as if he needs some help with the tricky infestation that will never die!!!!! The Doctor is on his way!
Until next time! Let’s say goodbye to the Starwhale!
But Wait! There’s more! It seems we have a little future crack going on. Hmmmmmm. The plot thickens!
And War Rooms!
And Daleks…Oh, My!