Doctor Who: The Star Beast Review - 9 Ups And 3 Downs

Turns out it is possible to recapture lightning in a bottle…

Doctor Who The Star Beast David Tennant Fourteenth Doctor
BBC Studios

We’ve been waiting patiently for what feels like forever for Doctor Who to grace our screens again, but the day is, at long last, here.

The first of the 60th anniversary specials had a lot of expectation riding on it, and we’re delighted that, for the the most part, all that hype was entirely warranted. From the moment the new Whoniverse splash kicked in, this felt like something special, a homecoming moment for the show.

If five years ago, you told us we’d be getting a reunion of Tennant, Tate, Davies and even Murray Gold, we’d have laughed in your face, but here we are, like 2008 never ended and Doctor Who is mainstream again. The buzz is simply contagious.

We’re about to get into the nitty gritty with our Ups and Downs, but for now, we’ll say this: if The Star Beast is an indicator of what is to come, Doctor Who is in very safe hands (again).

12. DOWN - The Cold Open

Doctor Who The Star Beast David Tennant Fourteenth Doctor
BBC Studios

It pains us to start this list with a down, but unfortunately the very first moments of this special were, frankly… a bit weird.

We’re aware that a lot of viewers weren’t watching the show in 2008, and that casual fans of the show might not be able to recall the trauma of Journey’s End off the top of their head, but the style of this recap did not gel at all with the style of the show.

Starting with both the Doctor and Donna delivering expository monologues direct to camera was an interesting choice, and we can’t help but feel that this would've been better as a pure voiceover, or maybe even a montage of clips like the beginning of Twice Upon a Time.

And that full-length green screen shot of Tennant standing in front of a space screensaver like he’s Brian Cox doing a PowerPoint presentation… what on Earth were they thinking?!

Not the best first impression.

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Alex is a sci-fi and fantasy swot, and is a writer for WhoCulture. He is incapable of watching TV without reciting trivia, and sometimes, when his heart is in the right place, and the stars are too, he’s worth listening to.