The Tsuranga Conundrum


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The Tsuranga Conundrum

Serial Code


First Transmitted

4 November 2018

Final Ratings







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Regular Cast

Jodie Whittaker (The Doctor), Mandip Gill (Yasmin), Toshin Cole (Ryan), Bradley Walsh (Graham)

Guest Cast

Lois Chimimba (Mabli), Suzanne Packer (Eve Cicero), Brett Goldstein (Astos), Ben Bailey-Smith (Durkas Cicero), David Shields (Ronan), Jack Shalloo (Yoss Inkl)


Written by Chris Chibnall
Directed by Sallie Aprahamian
Produced by Nikki Wilson, Adam Friedlander & Alex Mercer


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.


While scavenging on an alien junkyard planet, The Doctor, Graham, Yasmin and Ryan are caught in a sonic mine’s detonation. They wake aboard the Tsuranga, an automated ship travelling to a medical space-station. Exploring the ship, The Doctor meets some of the patients being transported – Eve Cicero, a renowned general, her brother Durkas, Eve’s synth robot partner Ronan, and Yoss, a pregnant man. After gaining access to the ship’s systems, The Doctor, alongside head nurse Astos, notice something heading for the ship. They realise it is an alien entity, which gains access to the ship and starts damaging the it’s escape pods. Astos becomes trapped in one that he is inspecting, and dies when the pod is jettisoned into space and explodes.

Helped by Mabli, Astos’ colleague, The Doctor learns that the entity is a P’Ting, a creature that eats non-organic material and is classed as highly dangerous. Learning that the ship will be remotely detonated if the space-station detects the creature aboard, The Doctor works to prevent this happening. While Yasmin and Ronan defend the ship’s power source from the P’Ting, Ryan and Graham offer to help Mabli with Yoss as he enters labour. Meanwhile, The Doctor, Eve and Ronan focus on gaining manual control of the ship. During this time, The Doctor learns that Eve has a critical heart condition that could kill her if she interfaces with the ship. Despite this, Eve sacrifices herself to protect everyone aboard the ship by keeping it safe, before Durkas assumes control in her place.

The Doctor suddenly deduces that the P’Ting was attracted to the ship looking for energy sources, its true food source. With this knowledge, she returns to the ship’s power source where she rationalises it has a built-in failsafe bomb. Removing it, she primes the device and feeds it to the P’Ting, giving it ample energy before she jettisons it into space. Durkas safely brings the Tsuranga to the space-station, while Ryan and Graham help Yoss 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 protecting them.


The Doctor

The Doctor claims she is a doctor of medicine, science, engineering, candy floss, LEGO, philosophy, music, problems, people and hope, but mostly hope.


Graham mentions how he has watched every episode of Call the Midwife, although he looks away at the squeamish parts.


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 born with two umbilical cords.
Images of a Cyberman, an Ood, a Weeping Angel, a Raxacoricofallapatorian, a Sontaran, a Silent, a Silurian, and a Zygon appear on a console screen in rapid succession before Mabli selects a briefing on the Pting.
Time Lords possess an organ called an exo-spleen.


  • The Tsuranga Conundrum was the fifth episode in the eleventh series of Doctor Who produced by BBC Wales.
  • The Doctor notes that she has “only just” recovered her TARDIS. (The Ghost Monument)
  • The Doctor says “snap” when her and the general say the same thing. She has said this in her second, sixth, (The Two Doctors) tenth (Time Crash) and twelfth (Twice Upon a Time) incarnations.
  • Ryan mentions how his dad did not come to Grace O’Brien’s funeral. (The Woman Who Fell to Earth)
  • Graham still calls The Doctor “Doc”. (Rosa, Arachnids in the UK)
  • Graham once more tries to fist bump Ryan only for the man to refuse as it’s “uncool” of him. (Rosa)
  • Ryan elaborates on his mother’s death. (The Woman Who Fell to Earth)
  • Graham mentions the fact that Ryan spends time on YouTube. (The Woman Who Fell to Earth)
  • The Doctor’s sonic screwdriver is once again eaten. (A Christmas Carol, The Eleventh Hour)
  • Once again, the Thirteenth Doctor loses possession of her TARDIS. (Twice Upon a Time) She also lost it several times during her tenth incarnation. (The Impossible Planet, Blink, Utopia, The Poison Sky)
  • The Doctor loves the musical Hamilton, and has seen it many times throughout her lives. (The Long Con)
  • Graham mentions that Ryan is descended from an Earth nurse. (The Woman Who Fell to Earth)
    Pretty much every scientific fact about anti-matter given by The Doctor in this episode is true to real science.
  • Tim Price receives a creator cr for the Pting, the first time such a cr is given on a creature or character’s first appearance.
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