Browse the WBW Podcast
Browse the WBW Podcast

Babies, boogers and fart jokes remain an unexpected way to inaugurate a new era of Doctor Who

Ruby Sunday is in for a fun day, a she-gon’-have-to-run-day, as the marvellous Fifteenth Doctor with his pearly whites full-beaming gives her a whistle-stop TARDIS orientation, a quick chaos effecting and un-effecting tour of the past, then whisks her into Babystationary orbit above the planet Pacifico del Rio. And she likes the jukebox.

However, turn this baby around and Doc is showing his new-found friend a stinking corridor and a bunch of inexplicably stunted infants who are kind of CGI but not nearly enough. They’re piloting the ship with a little help from Nan-E, and—Soiler alert!—all that, a howler of a Bogeyman and a steaming pile combine to kick off this new year with a literal gas leak.

Here's what we think of N180 Space Babies

We rate Doctor Who stories on a scale from 0.0 to 5.0. For context, very few are excellent enough to merit a 5.0 in our minds, and we'd take a 0.0 Doctor Who story over a lot of other, non-Whovian stuff out there.

Leon | @ponken


Drew | @drewbackwhen


Here's what we think of N180 Space Babies

We rate Doctor Who stories on a scale from 0.0 to 5.0. For context, very few are excellent enough to merit a 5.0 in our minds, and we'd take a 0.0 Doctor Who story over a lot of other, non-Whovian stuff out there.

Leon | @ponken


Drew | @drewbackwhen


Here's what you think 9 Responses to “N180 Space Babies”
  1. Kieren Evans | @kjevans2

    Hi folks
    Doctor Who is back with this….episode….
    Erm, yeah. Not the story I would have picked to open a season with. Ncuti and Millie are great together but I can’t say much else positive about this episode. Other than it looks nice, but so it should with the budget bump.
    I didn’t find this engaging and sat listening rather than watching it. Baby stuff doesn’t do it on telly. I have nieces and nephews for that.
    My fairly instant score is 2/5

  2. Adam Smart

    Hello Who Back When Gang!

    Welcome to Series 14 / Season 1 / Season 40 (delete as per preference or whatever reference websites you use regarding Doctor Who season titles – Disney has forever torn up the naming conventions it seems)! Anyway, Here’s “Space Babies”!

    • Visually, it looked great.
    • Fun interplay between the Doctor and Ruby. I remain loving Ncuti and Millie’s obvious on-screen chemistry.
    • Talking babies – although a silly idea, was well executed on screen and provided cute and funny moments from the Doctor in particular. (Leon, your thoughts on these child actors please?)
    • Eric, the baby in peril at the end was very sweet throughout the episode.
    • The fairy tale set up of the situation as explained by Ruby made for an interesting narrative if hardly the most attention grabbing season opener in New Who for me.
    • Nice foreshadowing regarding Ruby’s parentage – I loved the flashback scene which manifested into the snow falling in the corridor. I really hope the payoff at the end of this series is worth the build-up.
    • Acknowledgement of the Rani = Rani appearance this series confirmed.

    • A literal Bogeyman? This is one level beyond the awful sleepy dust monsters in “Sleep No More”.
    • I haven’t seen “The Devil’s Chord” at time of writing, but I wonder if both episodes being simultaneously released / broadcast was partly due to thoughts that this episode wasn’t the most effective or attention grabbing season opener so the BBC needed to prop it up with the musical Beatles episode? I would not have picked this as the first episode in a new series. Just my thoughts currently.

    RATING: Enjoyable but slight on plot (Space station temporarily powered by baby gas).

    Take care!

    Adam Smart.

  3. Andy Parkinson | @caffreys71

    Hi Gang

    We’ve missed you! And boy have we missed Doctor Who

    So, Space Babies is an interesting start. Obviously, it’s a mini pilot for this new era, but it’s also a bit bonkers. Now this story won’t be topping any polls I suspect but that’s not it’s job – it’s purpose is to introduce Doctor Who to a new audience whilst not boring the pants off us oldies who have always loved the show. Because of this it’s quite clunky with some of the exposition but otherwise it’s ok. There’s lots of things to love for sure –I love the Nan-E expletive translations like “This system is a crock of (waste matter)” and “Get away from them you (illegitimate person)”

    I also love the fact the bogeyman is indeed made of bogeys, but this is probably because in my head I’m 12!!

    My biggest like though is for Millie Gibson she is fast becoming my favourite companion. Her acting has been brilliant from the start and I’m so looking forward to the rest of the season.

    Overall, it’s a bit of a middling story and it’s got Disney’s influence all over it, but It’s an enjoyable enough start. I can see why they decided to go with a double header to start as on its own it might not stand up to the expectation.

    I award this 3.0 dribbles of snot out of 5

    Andy Parkinson

  4. Kyle Rath | @sinistersprspy

    Question: How do you make a tissue dance?

    Answer: Put a little boogey in it. Then flush it to the basement where it can evolve into the stuff of nightmares.

    Doctor Who is back, Babies.

    The effects of lepidoptera whilst parking in the Jurassic aside (RUUUBBYYYY!), The Doctor and Ruby travel to the year 21506, land on a space station, crack wise about a non-Disney affiliated IP, and discover the left behind members of a crew suffering from an extreme case of Wesley Crusher Syndrome.

    Welcome the the first episode of the new new new new new new new new new new new new new new new Doctor Who.(note to the hosts – multiple instances of
    “new” count as one towards the 250).

    Deja vu moments for the last of its kind (except for his twinsie kicking it old school at Chez Noble, of course).

    Closeted nannies with PTSD and a penchant for genocide.

    The miraculously shrinking RC prams that fit easily into turbo lifts.

    Still getting it wrong again, aren’t they? So…many…mouths.

    It was just sort of ok, and a weird yet gentle way to ease the D+ newbs into the Whoniverse proper.

    I’m sure neither Susan Twist’s appearance as Blue Shirt, nor this initial entry, will have any series-long implications for Doc and Rubes, what with this experience being almost like it’s out of a fictional children’s story.

    2.5/5 Generally, fillers go in the middle. Otherwise you’re just eating the squeezed cheese first.

  5. Tracey from America | @yecartniatnouf

    Hey guys. Gosh it’s been hard waiting for WBW. Here’s some of my thoughts on the episode.

    Lighter stuff:
    I loved the entire butterfly compensation switch exchange. I prefer Doctor Who on the whimsical side vs gritty. And anyone who knows me irl knows I like babies, so this ep is making me really smile.
    Husband from America noticed the NAN-E is the Queen from Bridgerton. Based on all the babies, he also asked me if I wrote the episode.

    Heavier stuff:
    The conceit here that babies forming must be preserved, but also can’t be supported in their needs as they grow DEFINITELY rings true for certain political groups. If the first issue is a stand in for abortion, we don’t even need to figure out where we stand on it to address the second issue. Can’t we just decide as a society to support children financially, medically, and nutritionally??

    Lighter again:
    Um did they need to make the back of the ship look so much like a butt?

    Thematic continuity question:
    So we are back on the theme of being sure everyone stays alive, regardless of how strange, ugly, or fangorious they might be. I’m very curious how this will play out later. Generally on Doctor Who things do need to be killed so our main characters can survive. Where is the line that something crosses between enemy threat and misunderstood creature? I guess we’ll have to stay tuned.

    Rating: AAHH BABIES!!

  6. Chris

    Nanny filter active:

    What the flying “reproductive act” was that? What a pile of “feces”! Honestly, I can’t remember a more “unintelligent”, “predictable” piece of “excrement”. Such a let down! “Unpleasant” babies, “poor” acting, “frenetic” pacing… There is not much to redeem this “gibberish”.

    One star because the monster looked cool and the butterfly joke was fun. This episode underserves its actors, its audience and the Doctor Who franchise in its entirety. I sure hope the rest of this series steps things up a notch.

    Nanny filter disabled.


  7. Guys, you’ve always had an outsized idea of how much production companies influence the show. You have, over and over again, assigned various elements you don’t like in “Doctor Who” episodes to the influence of “the BBC,” with no evidence at all of that being the case. And now you’re doing it with Disney — even though Disney is only *distributing* “Doctor Who,” not producing it. Everything you’re ascribing to Disney is 100% RTD’s doing. He’s 100% in control of this show now, and there’s no one to tell him “no.” THAT’s the problem. Look at the messages, like that everyone being unique as a “superpower.” Compare it to every other “message” delivered in the last 4 stories, and compare it to all his previous ham-fisted moralizing. There’s a consistency there, from the “specialness” of people, to the progressive values, to the Davros retconning, to the redesign of the sonic so it can’t be mistaken for a gun (instead of just, you know, going back to holding it vertically), to the complete lack of subtlety — it’s all RTD. This would be happening whether Disney had distribution rights or not. Look at the intellectual properties Disney does actually control — “Star Wars” and Marvel, for example. Regardless of what you think about those universes, none of it is remotely as over-the-top or on-the-nose as “Space Babies.” This is not Disney influence. You’re talking like conspiracy theorists! Occam’s razor guys: Is it RTD making decisions we know good and well from his entire history are 100% within his style and personality, and he’s completely off his leash? Or is there some vast corporate conspiracy in Los Angeles “influencing” RTD to do things he’s prone to doing anyway?
    /just sayin’

  8. Andy Smith

    After listening to your reviews for the past four stories, it’s pretty obvious that the RTD2 era just isn’t your cup tea. Which is fine, everyone’s got their favorite eras and Doctors, and Doctor Who big enough to accommodate lots of different tastes. But your past four review episodes have been kind of a tough slog to listen to with the all the negativity towards all aspects of the program. ‘Fraid I’m going to hop off this temporal road trip for the time being since and watch Doctor Who from the friendly confines of my own opinion. Catch ya later, it’s been real.

    • Hey Andy, I’m sorry to hear you’re leaving us, and also very sorry you feel we’ve been too negative lately. It’s a perfectly valid opinion, of course. Maybe Rusty raised the bar the first time round and we just can’t wait for the show to get a little better again. It’s not that RTD2 isn’t necessarily our cup of tea, though, and I promise we’re not just being haters. We still love the show! It’s a pity you’re leaving now, btw, as I bet we’ll have lots of positive things to say about ‘Boom’ and ’73 Yards’. (Just in case you are still tuning in, you may want to skip our ‘Devil’s Chord’ review, though, unless you want to hear us critique it…)

      Anyway, it was nice travelling down that temporal road together. Obvs you’re welcome back whenever you like. :) Thanks for listening!

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