“Doctor Who” is one of the longest-running shows in history, and over the years, millions of British fans every Saturday night to watch the latest episode and now it’s back once again!
I’ve been a Doctor Who fan since I was a little kid, because my Dad’s an even bigger Doctor Who fan who’s been watching the show since it first aired in the 1960s. Sylvester McCoy is the Doctor I remember the most as a kid, though due to re-runs, I’ve seen many episodes of the previous eras, which is a little scary with a franchise that’s sixty years old.
Much like with any character that’s been around for decades and played by different actors over the years, be it James Bond, Batman or Spider-Man, everyone has a favourite doctor. But if you asked me who my favourite doctor is, it would be David Tennant.
This year, “Doctor Who” celebrates its 60th anniversary and kicks off the celebration with the first of three specials, which have seen David Tennant and Catherine Tate return as the Doctor and his faithful companion, Donna Noble.
So getting back David Tennant for three new adventures is fantastic, and “The Star Beast” is very much like slipping into some of your favourite slippers. It’s comforting and instantly at home.
There’s some good news for anyone who’s thinking about jumping into “Doctor Who” for the first time, because the special kicks off with a quick introduction, before jumping straight into the action. Along the way, everything is explained as either a reminder to older fans or to set things up for beginners.
This episode is a self-contained stand-alone story, so you don’t need any background before watching it, but there are plenty of references to past events, characters and lore, that will make more sense if you have some knowledge.
As someone who loved the David Tennant era of “Doctor Who”, I really enjoyed “The Star Beast”, and it still feels like the Doctor we all know and love. There are plenty of action scenes to keep you entertained, with aliens, explosions and gun fights. There has been a significant increase in the budget for these specials with Disney’s involvement in the show, so it’s certainly one of the best-looking episodes I’ve seen.
However, there’s little doubt that this is still “Doctor Who”, as there are lots of physical effects and sets, which might not put the show on the same level as a Marvel or Star Wars show, but that’s part of the charm. It’s still got that classic British camp vibe to it, the walls might not wobble anymore when a door is closed, but it doesn’t look its charm.
There are plenty of comedic moments throughout the episode, especially involving Catherine Tate, who has a very unique take and no matter how many times I’ve seen the clip of her reacting to seeing Meep for the first time in this special, when I saw it in the special, I still reacted in the same way.
I’ve got a sweet spot for Miriam Margolyes, who provides the voice of Meep in this episode; whenever she appears on TV, you never know what she’s going to do or say next. And this episode certainly didn’t disappoint. I also thought Yasmin Finney did a fantastic job in this episode, and fans of her work in “Heartstopper” should be pleased with how things are handled in this episode, too.
I know many fans of “Doctor Who” have been worried about Disney’s involvement in the show, but bar a little logo at the end of the credits, I wouldn’t have really thought it was much different, though maybe it’s been able to take advantage of a bigger budget.
Overall: “The Star Beast” is a classic David Tennant “Doctor Who” era; it’s got the classic British humour, its got the physical special effects and a fun adventure. It’s not to be taken seriously, it’s fun, it’s great to see David Tennant back, and I can’t wait for the next special! For a 60th anniversary special, you want it to feel special and to give you that nostalgic hit, which this one did in spades. Really enjoyable!
Rating – 4.5 Out Of 5
“Doctor Who: The Star Beast” arrives on Saturday, 25th November 2023, on the BBC in the UK & Ireland and on Disney+ around the world.
Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom.