Orphan 55

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PRODUCTION INFO

Name

Orphan 55

Serial Code

Episode 3

First Transmitted

12 January 2020

Final Ratings

5.38m

BLU RAY RELEASE

Blu Ray

DVD RELEASE

DVD

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CAST

Regular Cast

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

Guest Cast

Amy Booth-Steel (Hyph3n), Julia Foster (Vilma), Laura Fraser (Kane), Julia Elizabeth Fogle (Bella), Gia Ré (Bella), Col Farrell (Benni), Lewin Lloyd (Silas), James Buckley (Nevi), Will Austin (Vorm), Lead Dreg & Creature Movement (Spencer Wilding)

CREW

Written by Ed Hime
Directed by Lee Haven Jones
Produced by Nikki Wilson, Adam Friedlander & Alex Mercer

sypnosis

The Doctor and her friends discover that the luxury resort where they are holidaying is hiding a number of deadly secrets. What are the ferocious monsters attacking Tranquillity Spa?

plot

In the TARDIS, the Thirteenth Doctor, Yaz, and Ryan are mopping up the tentacle of a deep-space squid. The Doctor apologises while Graham arrives, having collected the sixth and final coupon from the Bandohzi Herald to reward them with a free holiday. The group agree to it, as it may help The Doctor cheer up from recent events, but Graham gives them no time to prepare as they are all teleported away.

Team TARDIS appears outside the luxurious Tranquility Spa where they are met by a furry humanoid called Hyph3n. She insists that they can return to where they came from at any time, but they are booked in for two weeks, all-inclusive. As their rooms are prepared, Yaz visits the pool, Ryan looks inside, and Graham decides to do as little as possible, while The Doctor goes to explore alone. Meanwhile, the teleport station glitches as a computer tells the holidaymakers to relax.

Inside a dark technological command centre, a man called Vorm and a woman called Kane react to this. He focuses on the virus in the system while she is more concerned how “one of them’s got in” and the two take weapons. Outside, an older man on oxygen called Benni and his partner Vilma enjoy the view. Benni prepares to propose to her after 46 years together but he is interrupted by the arrival of Yaz.

Inside the hotel lobby, Ryan prepares to get some free refreshments from a vending machine and the Doctor arrives as he gets hurt by it. She finds a hopper virus crawling under his skin and tells him to not panic. She uses her first-aid training to make him sneeze the virus out and leaves him with the advice to “suck your thumb until the hallucinations stop. And remember, they’re not real bats.”

In the command centre, the two workers are notified of a breach of the hotel perimeter and proceed to protect the guests. Yaz and Graham are forced to their closest muster zones. The Doctor decides to investigate while Ryan recovers with a young woman named Bella: a hotel critic also recovering. As Ryan bumbles, the two hit it off. Seeing Vorm walk past with a gun, the two decide to check it out.

The Doctor spots Hyph3n walking up to what she describes as a linen cupboard, but The Doctor is not convinced that such a room would need to be so heavily guarded. Questioning her about the hopper viruses, The Doctor uses her psychic paper to let herself in as a resort inspector, where she meets Kane inside the command centre. The Doctor questions why a spa would need a defensive ionic membrane as, down the corridor, Vorm witnesses a guest get dragged away by an unseen creature. Hyph3n insists on teleporting the guests out, but The Doctor explains that the hopper virus has entered that too, so they are stuck there. In the corridor, Vorm shoots at a ferocious, vaguely humanoid creature but gets outnumbered.

In a bar, Graham searches for a mechanic to fix the teleports and meets a man called Nevi and his son Sylas. As Kane’s computer shows more guests dying, The Doctor uses the intercom to demand all remaining guests come to her. Ryan and Bella, however, hide in the steam room as some nearby guests are attacked. The two admit to each other that they lied about their jobs to impress each other.

Meanwhile, The Doctor writes up a debug script to sort out the hoppers, but notes it will take some time to work and installing a new ionic membrane and removing the creatures is more urgent. Hyph3n leads Yaz, Graham, and their acquaintances to The Doctor. However, Benni waits outside to recover Vilma’s hat and Ryan and Bella still have not arrived. In the steam room, they both attempt to make a break for it just as The Doctor reinstates the ionic membrane, destroying all the creatures in the resort. Ryan finally stumbles upon Graham in the corridor and they hug.

Outside, Kane describes the creatures as Dregs, the locals which the shields are there for, but the hopper virus must have been the work of something else. Kane and Vorm display a grid in mid-air hiding an invisible wall, revealing the spa to be a “fakation” resort, with the wall hiding the real desolate environment, but is the first one to be held off-world, accessible only by teleport. Yaz and Vilma arrive, saying that Benni has made it past the shields, which should be impossible except for his oxygen tank. The Doctor orders Kane to arrange help. The group gets fitted up with oxygen canisters that refill themselves when in a breathable environment. As they leave, Kane names the planet as Orphan 55. The Doctor is horrified they would build on an orphan planet, but Kane insists “it’s safe in short spells.”

Inside the truck, the large group moves out. The Doctor explains that an orphan planet is one where life is unsustainable, usually then sold off by the ruling elite. Kane says that she plans to terraform the planet, increase oxygen levels, and make the planet hospitable again, but The Doctor reasons she is only in it to get rich. Meanwhile, Benni has changed direction and Vilma forces Vorm to continue the mission. The Doctor reasons that the Dregs can adapt to anything, even gunfire, and she breaks up a moment between Ryan and Bella to share her deductions. As she does, the truck ends up stranded, leaving them trapped, with the surface only being safe to walk on for ten minutes. They decide their only chance is to make their way to a nearby tunnel as quickly and quietly as possible.

However, as they venture onto the surface, Vilma starts calling for Benni, and as the Dregs amass, they are forced to retreat to the truck. When there, the Dregs start attacking. Kane and Vorm plan to deal with them as the rest escape, but Benni’s voice appears from outside. Calling to Vilma, he asks both to marry her, to which she agrees, and for someone to shoot him. As the Dregs attack the roof, everyone leaves from underneath, but both Hyph3n and Vorm are captured and killed in the process and Kane is injured. They barely make it to the tunnel.

Making it down, they check their oxygen as Kane plans to get them to teleport back to the resort, but it can only be used once. She also casually reveals she killed Benni like he asked, leaving Vilma horrified. Bella then grabs Kane’s gun and threatens her to reveal the teleport. Bella states she wants to burn the resort to the ground now that her father is dead and her mother does not recognise her – her mother being Kane herself. Kane threatens her in return and as a Dreg approaches, Ryan accidentally teleports himself and Bella back to the resort. While he plans to help the rest get back, she continues her plan to destroy the spa.

In the tunnel, the group now plan to walk back to the resort, but the path takes them through a Dreg nest. As their oxygen falls dangerously low, Kane reveals she was planning on gifting Tranquility Spa to Bella – something The Doctor dryly notes she should have said earlier as Bella arms several bombs with twenty-minute fuses. As Vilma worries about slowing the group down, Kane makes the rest take cover. While there, The Doctor uncovers a sign in Russian. Their tunnel takes them through what used to be Siberia, and Orphan 55 is Earth. With no choice but to run, Vilma stays behind to buy them some time, and she is killed as the rest escape.

Meanwhile, Bella reveals herself as the cause of the hopper viruses, but Ryan tries to stop her as a smaller bomb in the bar blows up the resort’s mainframe. As The Doctor’s group returns to the resort, The Doctor stays behind with the Dregs to explore how they arrived on Earth. Realising they breathe out oxygen, she refills her tank and telepathically contacts them, revealing images of a modern-day Earth in crisis. Shaken, she is grabbed by a Dreg but helped out by Kane. As The Doctor escapes, Kane stays behind and tells The Doctor to pass on her apologies to Bella.

The remaining members of the group – The Doctor, Graham, Yaz, Nevi, and Sylas – return to find Ryan and Bella, with the Dregs in hot pursuit. Finding anything they can to block off the passage, Ryan notes a vending machine has “made in China” written on it and the Doctor’s friends understand how the planet is future Earth and the Dregs are the mutated forms of the few remaining humans. The Doctor simply states “you had warnings from every scientist alive” and they run as fast as they can to the command centre.

Inside, Nevi attempts to secure the door but Sylas loses his temper over having to always cover for him. The Doctor turns to Nevi to fix the teleport, but the fuel they need to leave is absent – it can only be obtained via a hopper virus. Frustrated, Sylas locks himself out. The Doctor decides on a plan to overload the oxygen and keep the Dregs out. She tells Nevi and Graham to fix the teleport and Yaz and Ryan to keep the Dregs at bay while she and Bella go to find Sylas.

While Graham struggles to help and the Doctor tries to formulate a plan with Sylas in view, Yaz uses an air hose of oxygen to keep the Dregs out. Letting Bella take Sylas to safety, The Doctor distracts the alpha Dreg that she nicknames Wheezy. Sylas makes up with his father and gets to work on fixing the teleport. Meanwhile, The Doctor locks herself and Bella in a cage in the command centre so she can talk to Wheezy. She explains that both species need the existing air to keep each other alive, so their mutual survival is vital. Understanding, Wheezy steps back and enters the cage in their place.

At the teleport station, Sylas fixes the systems as the hotel blows up. However, there are too many people to teleport at once, and as the Dregs advance, Bella kisses Ryan and insists on fighting. Nevi and Sylas are first to leave, but Bella’s weapon fails on her. However, she is saved by the rearrival of Kane and the two fend them off together. With no choice but to escape, The Doctor and friends teleport away as Ryan and Bella say goodbye by putting their thumbs in their mouths.

In the TARDIS, the group is shaken, not knowing how Kane and Bella will live. They are equally shocked about Orphan 55 being Earth, but The Doctor insists it is only one possible future. She cannot ensure Earth’s safety but points out how 21st-century humans need to face the facts to avert that future from happening. She leaves them with a harrowing message: “Lives change worlds. People can save planets or wreck them. That’s the choice. Be the best of humanity.”

REFERENCES

HISTORY


The Doctor states that Earth’s fate as Orphan 55 is”one possible future, one timeline.” In this timeline, Earth has become an orphan planet.


Food


Ryan buys a bag of crisps.


Locations


The underground tunnel historically served residents of Novosibirsk in Siberia.
Tranquility Spa has security cameras on the Aqua Spa zone, the Ocean View zone, the Tropical Vista zone and the Peaceful Paradise zone.


Medical ailments and remedies


The symptoms of a hopper virus in a human include wiggling fingers, which immediately signal the legs giving out, and hallucinations.
Graham briefly wonders if he is having a stroke after bumping his head on an invisible void panel.

NOTES

  • The Doctor is still in a bad mood, which Team TARDIS have picked up on. (Spyfall)
  • Ryan mentions that he works in a warehouse. (The Woman Who Fell to Earth)
  • The Doctor previously identified a planet as Earth thanks to an underground station in her sixth incarnation. (The Mysterious Planet)
  • The Doctor previously investigated a holiday resort, Paradise 5, which was hiding a secret with Peri Brown. (Paradise 5)
  • Bernice Summerfield previously visited Gigamarket where the humans were hidden behind a forcewall to stop the Borvali from hunting them down. (The Greatest Shop in the Galaxy)
  • Graham says “cockle.” (Kerblam!, Mission of the KaaDok)
  • Ryan mentions his mother’s death. (The Woman Who Fell to Earth, The Tsuranga Conundrum)
  • Graham says that he is a bus driver. (The Woman Who Fell to Earth, Rosa)
  • The Doctor says “When I say ‘run’, run” a favourite saying of her second incarnation. (The Power of the Daleks, Kill the Moon)
  • The Doctor instructs her companions to be the “best of humanity.” (Cold Blood)
  • The Doctor previously witnessed a devastated future Earth in her second incarnation (The Apocalypse Mirror).
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