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Jodie Whittaker
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The Praxeus Virus
The Praxeus Virus
 What connects a missing astronaut in the Indian Ocean, birds behaving strangely in Peru and a US naval officer who washes up on a Madagascan beach?

 Team Tardis investigate.

Source: BBC Website

General Information

Season: Thirty Eight (New Series 12)
Production Code: 12-6
Story Number: 291 (New Series: 135)
Episode Number:857 (New Series: 161)
Number of Episodes: 1
Percentage of Episodes Held:100%
Production Dates:
Broadcast Date: 02 February 2020
Colour Status: HD Colour
Studio: BBC Wales (Roath Lock Studios, Cardiff)
Location: South Africa
Writers:Chris Chibnall and Pete McTighe
Director:Jamie Magnus Stone
Producer:Alex Mercer
Series Producer:Nikki Wilson
Executive Producers:Chris Chibnall and Matt Strevens
Executive Producer (for the BBC):Ben Irving
Assistant Directors:Jennifer Day and Rosey-Pepper Mortley
Script Supervisor:Aina Sabaté-Giralt
Script Editors:Fiona McAllister and Caroline Buckley (Assistant)
Series Script Editor:Sheena Bucktowonsing
Editors:Rebecca Trotman, David S J Davies (Assistant), Hayley Williams (Assistant), Alastair Gray (Assistant VFX) and Georgina Careless (VFX)
Colourist:Gareth Spensley
Head of Production:Radford Neville
Production Executive:Tracie Simpson
Production Manager:Delmi Thomas
Production Assistant:Ariana Scott
Post Production Supervisor:Ceres Doyle
Supervising Location Manager:Iwan Roberts
Location Manager:Gareth Roberts
Production Designer:Dafydd Shurmer
Director of Photography:Catherine Goldschmidt
Casting Director:Andy Pryor CDG
Line Producer:Steffan Morris
Costume Designer:Ray Holman
Make-Up Designer:Claire Pritchard-Jones
Cameramen:Dan Patounas (Assistant), Gwilym Jenner (Assistant), Joshua Montoro-Bailes (Assistant), Scott Waller (Assistant), Sophie Hardcastle (Assistant) and Mark McQuoid (Operator)
Incidental Music:Segun Akinola
Special Sounds (SFX Editor):Harry Barnes
Sound Recordist:Deian Llyr Humphreys
Dubbing Mixers:Howard Bargroff and Kiran Marshall
Visual Effects:DNEG
Special Effects:Real SFX
Prosthetics:Millennium FX
Stunt Co-ordinator:Crispin Layfield
Stunt Performers:Chris Morrison, Joel Conlan and Rick English
Title Sequence:Ben Pickles
Title Music:Ron Grainer and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Arranged by Segun Akinola
Creature Designer: Ray Holman
Music Mixed By: Goetz Botzenhardt
South Africa Crew - Producer: Adam Friedlander
South Africa Crew - Line Producer: Samantha Putter
South Africa Crew - Production Manager: Simon Rhodes
South Africa Crew - Production Designer: Darryl Hammer
South Africa Crew - Camera Operator: Michael Carstensen
South Africa Crew - Sound Mixer: Ivan Milborrow
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) Additional Cast: Warren Brown (Jake Willis), Matthew McNulty (Adam Lang), Joana Borja (Gabriela Camara), Molly Harris (Suki Cheng), Gabriela Toloi (Jamila Velez), Soo Drouet (Joyce), Tristan de Beer (Zach Olson), Thapelo Maropefela (Arumu)Setting: Madagascar, Hong Kong, Indian Ocean (2020s) Villains:Praxeus and Suki Cheng

The Episodes

No. Episodes Broadcast
Duration Viewers
In Archive
857Praxeus02 February 202049'57"5.1Yes

Total Duration 50 Minutes

Audience Appreciation

Average Viewers (Millions) 5.1


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

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"Praxeus" is the fifth story of Season Thirty Eight (New Series 12) and was written by Pete McTighe and Chris Chibnall, and directed by Jamie Magnus Stone.

Pete McTighe wrote the previous season story "Kerblam!".

Jamie Magnus Stone directed the stories in the first recording block of this season which included this story and the first part of the opening story "Spyfall". He also directed "Ascension of the Cybermen/The Timeless Children" - the final two-part story of this season.

This story marked the first television role in any licensed Doctor Who media given to a Brazilian actress, Gabriela Toloi.

Parts of this story were filmed in South Africa along with "Spyfall".

The Doctor and her three travelling companions, Graham O'Brien, Ryan Sinclair and Yasmin Khan, are investigating three separate distress signals received by the TARDIS (see the end of the previous story "Fugitive of the Judoon"). The Doctor has travelled to Madagascar and sent Graham and Yasmin to Hong Kong. While Ryan has been sent to Peru.

According to Gabriela, Peru has the most beautiful river in the world but they discover it has been polluted with rubbish.

The Doctor's opening monologue places this story as taking place ‘early in the third decade of the 21st century’.

The Doctor and her three travelling companions keep in contact with each other using Comm Dots. In the 2018 story "The Tsuranga Conundrum" the Tsuranga crew used Comm Dots to communicate over great distances.

Yasmin and Graham have a set of skeleton keys that they use at the warehouse in Hong Kong. Jake wonders if they are from Interpol or ESA.

The Doctor indicates she has more than one brain and describes herself as ‘a romantic’.

Zach Olson, the US naval officer who is washed up on a beach in Madagascar, is from a US submarine that went missing in the Indian Ocean. Before dying he tells The Doctor that he tried to rescue his entire navy team before he succumbed to the virus.

Gabriela and Jamila are vloggers on the channel Two Girls Roaming. At the end of this story Jake and Adam go on their honeymoon at last, with Gabriela following. She wants to vlog about it, which Graham suggests calling Three Idiots Roaming.

The Doctor informs Adam Lang that his bloodstream has been infected with an alien pathogen. A pathogen is a microorganism that carries disease.

The Doctor discovers that the Praxeus virus is transferred to humans through contact with infected birds. The Doctor discovers though that the bird enzymes are trying to fight back Praxeus.

This story had fans pointing out the parallels between the fictional bacteria Praxeus and the real-world Coronavirus. The real virus was discovered in December 2019 and spread in 2020, notably after this story was filmed and initially during the week that this story was broadcast – creating a strange coincidence.

The Doctor briefly entertains the possibility that the Autons might have taken over the world's discarded plastic. In fact, the Nestene Consciousness recently did take over the North Atlantic garbage patch, with ongoing plans for world domination through Bakin Petrochemicals. Rhys Williams took care of this threat in the short term in the Torchwood audio story "Sargasso".

When the TARDIS materialises around Jake, he appears in the interior. This has been seen before (see "Bad Wolf/The Parting of the Ways", "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship" and "Let's Kill Hitler").

Gabriela asks if the TARDIS is an optical illusion, while Jake believes the interior of the TARDIS is a building.

The TARDIS has a holographic screen that can be extended away from the console it also has a bioreading table that The Doctor uses to synthesise the Praxeus antidote.

After using the teleport device Yasmin thinks she has found an alien colony which The Doctor reveals to just be an alien construct. Yasmin is relieved that she and Gabriela didn't teleport into an active volcano.

Astronaut Adam Lang is onboard a Soyuz spacecraft while calling Control. The spaceship suffers automatic system failure with a failed DMP, unable to switch to ballistic descent and maintain trajectory. Soyuz spacecrafts, as the one seen in this story, exist in the real world.

Adam Lang is heard to state that while in orbit he enjoyed watching Earth from above, seeing hurricanes and the aurora borealis, and the turn of the planet.

Suki and Aramu are working on a marine filtration system connected into a Crystal Oceans Initiative; Microversion. In Suki’s lab there is a broad-spectrum antibiotics, a high-power microscope, blood cultures, rapid genome sequencing, a spectrophotometer, and a super-fast incubator.

The Doctor uses a Chemical Analyser on Suki's computer to check the chemical data on Adam's Blood Analysis.

The climatic moment of the story, where The Doctor desperately saves Jake Willis from certain death in the exploding spacecraft after he sacrifices himself to destroy Praxeus, made fans recall the climatic death scene of former companion Adric in the 1982 story "Earthshock" in which the Fifth Doctor was unable to save Adric due to the Cyber-Leader damaging the control console of the TARDIS, resulting in Adric plummeting towards Earth, being the reason the dinosaurs becoming extinct.

This story contains an error - as The Doctor is standing in the TARDIS doorway, watching Yasmin and Gabriela leave, it is obvious that the interior of the TARDIS is just a photo pasted onto the back wall.

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Story Images

Show Text
Gabriela and Jamila
Gabriela and Jamila
Jake Willis
Jake Willis
Graham and Yasmin in Hong Kong
Graham and Yasmin in Hong Kong
Suki and Amaru
Suki and Amaru
Rescuing Adam Lang
Rescuing Adam Lang
The Doctor
The Doctor
Suki Cheng
Suki Cheng
Suki is Infected
Suki is Infected
Jake Saves the Day
Jake Saves the Day
Adam and Jake Reunited
Adam and Jake Reunited

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Release Information

FormatTitleRelease Date (UK)Code NumberCover ArtRemarks
The Complete Twelfth Series Box SetApril 2020Photo-montageDVD boxed set containing 9 stories
The Complete Twelfth Series Box SetApril 2020Photo-montageBlu-Ray boxed set containing 9 stories
The Complete Twelfth Series Box Set (Amazon Limited Edition Steelbook)April 2020Photo-montageLimited Edition Blu-Ray Steelbook boxed set containing 8 stories
Original Television Soundtrack - Series 12April 2020Photo-montageMusic by Segun Akinola

In Print

No Book Release
Doctor Who Magazine - PreviewIssue 547 (Released: February 2020)
Doctor Who Magazine - After ImageIssue 550 (Released: May 2020)

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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 Amazon Limited Edition Steelbook
Complete Series Blu-Ray Amazon Limited Edition Steelbook

Original Television Soundtrack Cover
Original Television Soundtrack Cover



Doctor Who Magazine - Preview: Issue 547
Doctor Who Magazine - Preview: Issue 547

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - After Image: Issue 550
Doctor Who Magazine - After Image: Issue 550

Marvel Comics

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