The Ghost Monument
14 October 2018
Susan Lynch (Angstrom), Shaun Dooley (Epzo), Art Malik (Ilin), Ian Gelder (Voice of the Remnants)
|Written by||Chris Chibnall|
|Directed by||Mark Tonderai|
|Produced by||Nikki Wilson, Adam Friedlander & Alex Mercer|
Still reeling from their first encounter, can the Doctor and her new friends stay alive long enough in a hostile alien environment to solve the mystery of Desolation? And just who are Angstrom and Epzo?
Floating in the vacuum of deep space, Ryan has difficulty breathing whilst staring into the stars when a large spacecraft shoots into view before he falls into unconsciousness. Blurred and disorientated, Ryan is awoken from a pod by Graham in a dark spaceship, being piloted by Angstrom. She tells them they are on descent to the ‘final planet’, and warns Graham and Ryan to brace themselves. Meanwhile, on another spaceship, Yaz wakes up inside a MediPod outside of the control deck and walks in to find the Doctor arguing with the pilot, Epzo, about how to steady the crashing ship. The planet the ship was heading for is no longer in it’s orbit and rescuing the Doctor and Yaz depleted the ship’s fuel. The Doctor suggests the the back half of the ship be ejected to make it down to the planet, which Epzo identifies as Desolation.
On the planet’s surface, Graham and Ryan take in their surroundings while Angstrom takes readings of the planet. The Doctor makes attempts to stabilise their descent, but cannot restore the failing shields and attempts to land the ship herself. Below them, Graham, Ryan and Angstrom notice the ship headed straight for them and run for it. The Doctor narrowly manages to stop the crash before they are crushed underneath it.
While the Doctor’s party try and determine where they are, Epzo and Angstrom talk about others who failed to emerge from hyperjump, making them the last participants of something. Hearing an alarm in the distance, the group trek over the desert to find a tent at the bottom of a sand dune. Going to investigate, the interior of the text and the occupant, a strange man calling himself Ilin, are just holograms. Illin explains Angtrom and Epzo are the remaining two participants in the final Rally of the Twelve Galaxies. On the last leg, they have to survive the dangers of the planet with no sabotage, injuries or killing one another, to a site known only as the Ghost Monument. The winner will receive 3.2 million Krin and be taken off-planet while the loser will be stranded. After Angstrom and Epzo take their trackers and are sent on their way, the Doctor insists that Ilin show her what the Ghost Monument actually looks like. Ilin lifts another hologram on the table to show the Ghost Monument when it appears. To the Doctor’s joy, it’s her TARDIS, their only way off-world. Ilin’s hologram then disappears and the Doctor’s group follow Epzo and Angstom.
While her companions discuss whether or not the Doctor will be able to get them home, the Doctor finds Epzo threatening Angstrom over the boat supplied as their only means of transport. The Doctor uses Venusian Aikido to disarm him while Ryan and Graham look at the boat’s engine. Scanning the water, the Doctor an Yaz find it infested with millions of flesh-eating microbes. On the boat, while examining the engine, Graham tries to get Ryan to open up about the loss of Grace, to no avail, when they have a breakthrough about how to repair the boat. Outside, Angstom has a discussion with Yaz about her planet, but stops herself short, when the Doctor tells them the boat is fixed and they make way.
On board, Epzo relays a story about when he was young, when his mother told him to jump from a tree and be caught by her, only for her to step out of the way as he fell. He deemed it the most important lesson he’d ever been taught and has since trusted no-one. Later, as Epzo is napping, Angstrom explains the stages of the rally and that she entered the race at her family’s request so that she can return after winning and bring them all back together again. Exhausted, Graham, Ryan and Yaz go to sleep, while the Doctor remains awake.
When they get off the boat, they make their way to the ruins of a building. While Epzo and Angstrom go their separate ways, the Doctor and her companions press into the ruins cautiously when the readings on the sonic screwdriver aren’t clear. While they all explore different parts of the building, Epzo trips a hidden sensor which activates a platoon of SniperBots. While initially inactive, Epzo fires at one while it fires back and both are hit. The shot actives the rest of the robots which shoot at the Doctor, Graham, Yaz and Ryan. Running into an enclave, they find an inactive SniperBot and discover that everything in the perimeter is target practise, including the shooting range in which they’re standing.
Opting to fight back, Ryan, against the Doctor’s express instructions, picks up one of their guns and and worsens the situation by going out to shoot at them but can’t reload and runs back inside. After the Doctor reprimands him, the robots enter the shooting range and they hide behind targets. Dragging the broken SniperBot with her, the Doctor rewires it and takes out all the robots with an EMP.
Everybody regroups and the Doctor hacks Angstroms tracker, inputs the SniperBot’s information which leads them to a hatchway that takes them into an underground tunnel beneath the ruins. Noting the surroundings, they find the entrance to an experimentation facility. Angstrom wants to leave but the Doctor, remembering Ilin’s warning about travelling at night, advises against it. Epzo, tired of listening to her, goes off to have a nap, while everybody else explores.
Syncing Angstrom’s tracker to the facility’s computer, they find the entire tunnel system mapped out, giving them the chance to navigate underground and avoid the threat up top. Yaz and Ryan look at the surveillance and find that the SniperBots have found the hatch. Making their way into a chamber, the Doctor, Graham and Angstrom find a form of writing scorched into the floor, left by whoever ran the facility. Translating, the Doctor reads that the facility was ran by a group of scientists, captured, tortured and made to work, under duress and threat of harm to their families, to create new weapons. With their work having destroyed most of the planet, the scientists opted to destroy all of what they’d created rather than let it fall into the hands of the Stenza. Angstrom reveals the Stenza destroyed most of her planet and sent millions of her people, including her family into hiding.
Elsewhere, the Remnants of the scientists experiments attack Epzo in his sleep, nearly killing him, but the Doctor, Graham and Angstrom hear his cries out and save him. Yaz and Ryan run in to tell the Doctor about the SniperBots and they all flee. The SniperBots shut down the life support in the tunnels, leaving them all with no choice but to go to the surface. Up top, they are confronted and encircled by the Remnants, who coax the Doctor by cryptically referencing something from her past. Telling everybody to dig themselves into the ground, the Doctor has Epzo throw his Albarian cigar into the air, which the Doctor lights by snapping her fingers, combusting the Acetylene gas in the air and destroying the Remnants.
By daybreak, the party have made it to the site of the Ghost Monument, but Epzo and Angstrom can’t agree on who really wins, so the Doctor has them enter at the same time and declared joint winners. Ilin is displeased by this arrangement but concedes nonetheless; in spite of this, he refuses to take the Doctor and her companions off planet and the hologram, along with Epzo and Angstom, vanishes around them, stranding them on the planet. With no apparent means off-world, the Doctor despondently apologises for letting her friends down and breaking her promise to get them home. As her companions remain positive, they hear the TARDIS materialising nearby. Using her sonic screwdriver, the Doctor manages to stabilise the TARDIS and is emotionally reunited with her beloved ship, invites her friends to come inside and see for themselves, warns them it might be bit of a mess.
Upon entering, she is overjoyed to discover that the TARDIS has rebuild and redecorated its control room in her absence. Graham, Yaz and Ryan are in shock and awe at the ship’s interior and the revelation that it’s a time machine. With that, the Doctor starts the engines to take the others home, even having a custard cream dispensed to her from the console and the blue box vanishes from Desolation
The Doctor has met Pythagoras and Audrey Hepburn.
The Doctor tells the Remnants she has “a dozen” lifetimes worth of fear.
The Doctor once spent three weeks as a hologram.
The Remnants mention “the Timeless Child” of the Doctor‘s past.
The Doctor says her TARDIS can translate alien languages.
The TARDIS is stuck in a loop, phasing in and out of time and space.
The Doctor says she has lost the key.
The Doctor says the TARDIS is bigger inside due to dimensional engineering.
The TARDIS control console now has a custard cream dispenser, which activates via stepping on a pedal by the floor.
Angstrom is an Albarian from the planet Albar.
Epzo is a Muxteran.
Although both are humanoids, Angstrom and Epzo know nothing of humans or Earth.
The Doctor says the Venusian nuns were clever.
The water on Desolation is filled with flesh-eating microbes.
Albar had previously been subjugated by the Stenza.
The Remnants can smell fear.
The Doctor uses Venusian aikido to paralyse Epzo temporarily.
Acetylene smells like garlic, is lighter than air and ignites very easily.
The prize of the last Rally of the Twelve Galaxies is 3.2 trillion Krin.
One krin is worth 200 kavlons, 90 forvalars, or 4,000 trynties.
Unfamiliar with the currency discussed, the Doctor notes that she is “a bit behind” on exchange rates.
Food and beverages
The new TARDIS console dispenses custard cream biscuits.
Angstrom and Epzo are competitors in the last ever Rally of the Twelve Galaxies. They have reached the final stage.
Other competitors included Kornlite and Fythen.
The Doctor compares the event to Paris-Dakar, but in space.
Desolation is out of orbit.
A rally is being held throughout the Twelve Galaxies.
Yaz compares the Doctor’s TARDIS to the police box on Surrey Street.
Albar is a tiny planet.
Graham mentions Sheffield.
The Doctor and friends are about to suffocate in space.
Angstrom has a tattoo on her neck.
People have written songs about the Cerebos because she is the envy of millions.
The Doctor states that people will write an opera about their pointless deaths should Ezpo not jettison the rear section.
The Doctor gives Graham a pair of glasses which belonged to Audrey Hepburn, though the Doctor fails to remember and states that they could have belonged to Pythagoras.
The Doctor has seen Pythagoras with a hangover.
mentions Karl Wright and Tim Shaw, and how the Doctor jumped off a crane.
Ryan still refuses to befriend Graham and call his granddad. Even mocking him sarcastically saying to not argue with his wisdom and politics.
Graham suggest Ryan uses his NVQ studies to repair the boat.
Epzo mentions Angstrom‘s family.
Graham and Ryan talk about Grace and her death.
Epzo’s mum was untrustworthy.
Angstrom made Yaz miss her family, saying her dad drives her crazy and her sister attempts to get her to move out.
Graham calls Epzo Sleeping Beauty.
Angstrom‘s wife was killed by the Stenza.
Angstrom‘s spaceship was in Hyperjump.
Epzo’s ship is named the Cerebos.
Cerebos and Angstrom‘s ship have medi-pods.
The Doctor says that the Cerebos should be on Antiques Roadshow because of its manual shield activation.
Medi-pods check for Universal translators in their patient and implant them if needed.
The Doctor wonders if Ilin is projection reality or AI interface and compliments his nose hairs.
Epzo has a blaster.
Ryan states that he has played enough Call of Duty to know how to handle a gun.
- The Ghost Monument was the second episode of season 11.
- This story marks the debut of the new title sequence for Series 11.
- It also marks the first time since The Snowmen in 2012, with the exception of The Day Of The Doctor, Death in Heaven and Sleep No More in 2013, 2014 and 2015 respectively, in which the Doctor’s face or eyes does not appear.
- It also marks the first time since Time and the Rani in 1987, with the exception of Day and Sleep respectively, that the TARDIS does not appear.
- It also marks the first time since Partners in Crime in 2008 that there is no scene shown before the title sequence.
- Cosmetic changes as of this episode include a new TARDIS interior design and slight modifications to its exterior.
- This is the first episode since The Husbands of River Song to not have any scenes on Earth.
Timeslice Cinematography provided all the aerial shots.
- The Doctor has come across a space rally before. (Enlightenment)
- The Doctor reiterates her dislike of guns, (The Sontaran Stratagem, The Doctor’s Daughter, The Impossible Astronaut, The Curse of the Black Spot, Into the Dalek, The Doctor Falls)
- The Doctor uses Venusian aikido. (Inferno, The Sea Devils, Robot of Sherwood, World Enough and Time, Faith Stealer, Last of the Cybermen)
- The Doctornotes how her TARDIS has redecorated. (The Eleventh Hour) In contrast to her predecessors, she actually likes the new design. (The Three Doctors, The Day Of The Doctor, Twice Upon a Time)
- Ryan reminds the Doctor about how he dislikes climbing ladders. (The Woman Who Fell to Earth)
- Graham mentions Grace‘s death. (The Woman Who Fell to Earth)
- The Doctor mentions the Stenza. (The Woman Who Fell to Earth)
- The Doctor disables robots using an electromagnetic pulse. (The Age of Steel, Voyage of the Damned)
- Ryan still prefers not to call Graham “grandad”. (The Woman Who Fell to Earth)
- The new TARDIS dispenses a biscuit, similar to that of the function of the Food machine. (The Daleks, The Edge of Destruction, The Space Museum)
- The Doctor warns everyone about the water in a similar way to the Tenth Doctor did on Mars. (The Waters of Mars)