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Jodie Whittaker
The Tsuranga Conundrum
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The Pting
The Pting
 Injured and stranded in the wilds of a far-flung galaxy, The Doctor, Yaz, Graham and Ryan must band together with a group of strangers to survive against one of the universe's most deadly - and unusual - creatures.

Source: BBC Website

General Information

Season: Thirty Seven (New Series 11)
Production Code: 11-5
Story Number: 280 (New Series: 124)
Episode Number:845 (New Series: 149)
Number of Episodes: 1
Percentage of Episodes Held:100%
Production Dates:
Broadcast Date: 04 November 2018
Colour Status: HD Colour
Studio: BBC Wales (Roath Lock Studios, Cardiff)
Writer:Chris Chibnall
Director:Jennifer Perrott
Series Producer:Nikki Wilson
Producer:Alex Mercer
Executive Producers:Chris Chibnall and Matt Strevens
Co-Executive Producer:Sam Hoyle
Executive Producer (for the BBC):Ben Irving
Assistant Directors:Lauren Pate and Sion Eirug
Script Supervisor:Nicki Coles
Script Editors:Fiona McAllister and Hannah Mason (Assistant)
Series Script Editor:Sheena Bucktowonsing
Editors:Ulrike Munch, David Davies (Assistant), Hayley Williams (Assistant) and Martyn Western (VFX)
Colourist:Gareth Spensley
Head of Production:Radford Neville
Production Executive:Tracie Simpson
Production Manager:James DeHaviland
Production Assistant:Alexandra Bahiyyih Wain
Post Production Supervisor:Ceres Doyle
Production Designer:Arwel Wyn Jones
Director of Photography:Simon Chapman
Casting Director:Andy Pryor CDG
Line Producer:Steffan Morris
Costume Designer:Ray Holman
Make-Up Designer:Claire Pritchard-Jones
Cameramen:Cai Stephens (Assistant), Gethin Williams (Assistant), Scott Waller (Assistant) and Mark McQuoid (Operator)
Visual Effects:DNEG
Special Effects:Real SFX
Incidental Music:Segun Akinola
Special Sounds (SFX Editor):Harry Barnes
Sound Recordist:Deian Llyr Humphreys
Dubbing Mixer:Howard Bargroff
Music Mixed By:Goetz Botzenhardt
Title Sequence:Ben Pickles
Title Music:Ron Grainer and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Arranged by Segun Akinola
Pting Created By: Tim Price
Number of Doctors: 1
The Doctor: Jodie Whittaker (The Thirteenth Doctor)
Number of Companions: 3The Companions: Bradley Walsh (Graham O'Brien), Tosin Cole (Ryan Sinclair) and Mandip Gill (Yasmin Khan) Guest Cast: Suzanne Packer (Eve Cicero) Additional Cast: Brett Goldstein (Astos), Lois Chimimba (Mabli), Ben Bailey-Smith (Durkas Cicero), David Shields (Ronan), Jack Shalloo (Yoss)Setting: Tsuranga (67th century) Villain:Pting

The Episodes

No. Episodes Broadcast
Duration Viewers
In Archive
845The Tsuranga Conundrum04 November 201850'40"7.5Yes

Total Duration 51 Minutes

Audience Appreciation

Average Viewers (Millions) 7.5


 This story exists and is held in the BBC's Film and Videotape Library.

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This is the fifth story of Season Thirty Seven (New Series 11). It was written by showrunner and Executive Producer Chris Chibnall and was directed by Jennifer Perrott.

Australian director Jennifer Perrott came over to the UK to film this story, along with the seventh story "Kerblam!".

After the premiere story, "The Woman Who Fell to Earth" of this season was broadcast, it was announced that Brett Goldstein, Lois Chimimba, and Ben Bailey-Smith would be among a number of guest actors that would appear in this season They play Astos, Mabli and Durkas Cicero respectively. This story also guest stars Suzanne Packer as Eve Cicero, David Shields as Ronan, and Jack Shalloo as Yoss Inkl.

The Pting creature was created and named by writer Tim Price, who worked in the story room early in this season's development. It has been reported that Chris Chibnall told Marcus Hearn of Doctor Who Magazine that the team loved the ‘brilliant and unusual name for the alien’.

Tim Price receives a creator credit for the Pting, the first time such a credit is given on a creature or character's first appearance.

Pretty much every scientific fact about anti-matter given by The Doctor in this story is true to real science.

When The Doctor tells Mabli You're a medic, I'm the Doctor’. Malbi queries this by stating ‘A doctor of medicine?’. This prompts The Doctor to clarify this by saying ‘Well, medicine, science, engineering, candyfloss, Lego, philosophy, music, problems, people, hope. Mostly hope’.

The Doctor reveals that Time Lords possess an organ called an exo-spleen which when damaged can cause pain.

Graham O'Brien is heard calling The Doctor ‘Doc’ as he has done previously in "Rosa", and "Arachnids in the UK".

Graham is heard to say how he has watched every episode of Call the Midwife, although he always looked away at the squeamish parts.

It is revealed that Gifftan males and females can become pregnant, with males only birthing male children and vice-versa. Gifftan young are gestated for a week in a pregnancy sac before the sac is painlessly cut open during birth. Gifftan babies are also born with two umbilical cords.

Images of a Cyberman, an Ood, a Weeping Angel, a Raxacoricofallapatorian, a Sontaran, a member of The Silence, a Silurian, and a Zygon appear on a console screen in rapid succession before Mabli selects a briefing on the Pting.

Once again, The Doctor loses possession of her TARDIS (see "Twice Upon a Time"). She also lost it several times during her tenth incarnation (see "The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit", "Blink", "Utopia" and "The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky").

The Doctor is heard to say ‘snap’ when her and the general say the same thing. The Sixth Doctor, Tenth Doctor and Twelfth Doctor said this previously (see "The Two Doctors", "Time Crash" and "Twice Upon a Time").

The Doctor's sonic screwdriver is once again eaten (see "A Christmas Carol" and "The Eleventh Hour").

First and Last

The Firsts:

 The first Doctor Who story to be directed by Jennifer Perrott.

 The Thirteenth Doctor’s first encounter with a Cyberman, an Ood, a Weeping Angel, a Sontaran, a Silurian and a Zygon (albeit as images on a screen).

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The Plot

WARNING: May Contain SpoilersHide Text

On an alien junkyard planet called Seffilun 27, The Doctor with her three travelling companions, Graham O'Brien, Ryan Sinclair and Yasmin Khan, are hunting for something that The Doctor desires with special detectors retrieved from the TARDIS which can be seen nearby.

As The Doctor is scavenging through all the space junk she finds something of interest. But suddenly realises that what she has discovered is a sonic mine and she has accidentally triggered it. Before any of them have the opportunity to escape, to a safe distance, it explodes.

The Doctor awakes aboard the Tsuranga, an automated hospital spaceship travelling to a medical space-station. She is relived to discover that the others are all okay. Despite her own apparent pain in her side she starts to explore their new surroundings, meeting some of the other patients being transported - Eve Cicero, a renowned general; her brother Durkas; Eve's synth robot partner Ronan; and Yoss, a pregnant Gifftan male.

Bomb Disposal
Bomb Disposal

After gaining access to the spaceship's systems, The Doctor and head nurse Astos notices something heading for the spaceship. Realising that it is an alien entity which has now gained access to the spaceship, the pair find it damaging the escape pods. Astos becomes trapped in one as he is inspecting it, and is killed when the escape pod is jettisoned into space and explodes.

Helped by Mabli, Astos' colleague, The Doctor learns that the alien entity is a Pting, a creature that eats non-organic material and is classed as highly dangerous. Also learning that the spaceship will be remotely detonated if the space-station detects the creature aboard, The Doctor therefore works desperately to prevent this happening.

Astos Helps The Doctor
Astos Helps The Doctor

While Yasmin and Ronan try to defend the spaceship's power source from the Pting, Ryan and Graham offer to help Mabli when Yoss enters labour. Meanwhile, The Doctor, Eve and Ronan focus on maintaining control of the spaceship.

During this time, The Doctor learns that Eve has a critical heart condition that could kill her and that she has lied to her brother about what she is suffering from. Despite this, Eve sacrifices herself to protect everyone aboard the spaceship, before Durkas assumes control in her place.

As The Doctor works on her plan, she suddenly discovers that the Pting is attracted to energy sources, its true food source. Realising that the spaceship must have a built-in bomb in its power source, The Doctor removes and primes it. Tricking the Pting into eating it, she ensures the energy of the blast feeds it, before jettisoning the Pting into space.

Shortly afterwards the Tsuranga safely arrives at the space-station, while Ryan and Graham help Yoss with his labour to produce a healthy baby. Before leaving to recover her TARDIS with the others, The Doctor joins Mabli and the patients in honouring the death of Eve for her courage in saving them.

Exploring the Spaceship
Exploring the Spaceship
Eve Cicero and Ronan
Eve Cicero and Ronan
The Expectant Father
The Expectant Father
The Doctor, Yasmin and Graham
The Doctor, Yasmin and Graham
The Pting
The Pting
Nurse Mabli
Nurse Mabli
Taking the Bait
Taking the Bait

Quote of the Story

 'I'm really trusting you on this bomb, but I don't know what you're doing.'


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Release Information

FormatTitleRelease Date (UK)Code NumberCover ArtRemarks
The Complete Eleventh Series Box SetJanuary 2019BBCDVD 4296Photo-montageDVD boxed set containing 10 stories
The Complete Eleventh Series Box SetJanuary 2019BBCBD 0437Photo-montageBlu-Ray boxed set containing 10 stories
The Complete Eleventh Series Box Set (Limited Edition Steelbook)January 2019BBCBD 0455Photo-montageLimited Edition Blu-Ray Steelbook boxed set containing 10 stories
Original Television Soundtrack - Series 11January 2019Photo-montageMusic by Segun Akinola

In Print

No Book Release
Doctor Who Magazine - PreviewIssue 531 (Released: December 2018)
Doctor Who Magazine - ReviewIssue 532 (Released: Winter 2018/2019)

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Photo Gallery

The Doctor and Companions

Jodie Whittaker
The Thirteenth Doctor


Bradley Walsh
Graham O'Brien
Tosin Cole
Ryan Sinclair
Mandip Gill
Yasmin Khan

On Release

Complete Series DVD Box Set
Complete Series DVD Box Set

Complete Series Blu-Ray Box Set
Complete Series Blu-Ray Box Set

Complete Series Blu-Ray Limited Edition Steelbook Box Set
Complete Series Blu-Ray Limited Edition Steelbook Box Set

Original Television Soundtrack Cover
Original Television Soundtrack Cover



Doctor Who Magazine - Preview: Issue 531
Doctor Who Magazine - Preview: Issue 531

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - Review: Issue 532
Doctor Who Magazine - Review: Issue 532

Marvel Comics

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