Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Countdown - The Satan Pit

To celebrate the fact that 2013 is the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who, we'll be taking a look back at all of the episodes of the show which featured David Tennant as the Doctor. At the end of our look back we'll be asking you, the fans, to vote for what you think is the ultimate David Tennant episode of Doctor Who....
We continue with the next David Tennant episode.... The Satan Pit.
Read our previous Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Countdown posts here.
For more on the Ood and the Beast read The Impossible Planet article here.

10. The Satan Pit
First Broadcast on 10th June 2006. Running Time: 45 Minutes. Viewing Figures: 6.08 million.
Written By Matt Jones.
Directed By James Strong.
Executive Producers Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner. Rating: 9/10


Rose battles the murderous Ood and the Doctor finds his every belief being challenged to the core, as the Pit beckons. The Doctor must make the ultimate sacrifice.

Extras: Promotional Photos | Screen Caps | Videos

Production Notes:
The design of The Beast was inspired by the paintings of Simon Bisley. Russell T Davies sent the designers at The Mill copies of Bisley's images to help their creation.
More details on filming locations etc can be seen in The Impossible Planet 
article here.


  • The Beast: And the lost girl, so far away from home. The valiant child, who will die in battle so very soon... 
  • Rose: It said I would die in battle. 
  • The Doctor: Then it lied. 
  • The Doctor: If they get back in contact - if you talk to Rose - just tell her... tell her... oh, she knows. 
  • The Doctor: So that's the trap, the great test, the final judgement, I don't know. But if I kill you, I kill her. But that implies, in this big grand scheme of gods and devils, that she's just a victim. Well, I've seen a lot of this universe. I've seen fake gods and bad gods and demi-gods and would-be gods. I've had the whole pantheon. But if I believe in one thing... just one thing... I believe in her! 
  • The Doctor: Gravity schmavity, my people practically invented the black hole. Well, in fact, they did. 


  • The confrontation between the Doctor and The Beast was filmed at Clearwell Caves, previously used as the Sycorax ship in The Christmas Invasion. 
  •  The last creature the Doctor discovered in a pit was the Tythonian ambassador Erato in, aptly, The Creature From The Pit (1979). 
  •  The virtually indestructible TARDIS rarely suffers any damage when falling from great heights. It fell off a mountain in The Curse Of Peladon (1972). 
  •  The episode suggests a connection between The Beast and the Dæmons of Dæmos, referred to in The Dæmons (1971). Russell T Davies later claimed that the aim had been to create a "Russian doll" effect, wrapping this episode's mythology around that of The Dæmons. 
  • Claire Rushbrook went on to appear in a special Doctor Who edition of quiz show The Weakest Link, which was won by Camille Coduri. 
  • The TARDIS has previously used a form of tractor beam to tow a spacecraft in Delta And The Bannermen (1987) and hold a neutron star in Creature From The Pit (1979). 
  • Russell T Davies intended for the Ood to resemble the Sensorites, and that he liked to think that they came from a planet near the Sense Sphere. This was later confirmed in Series Four's Planet of the Ood. 
  • Before settling on The Ood, the creatures that would eventually become The Toclafane were considered as the monsters for this story. The Toclafane were originally created as a potential replacement for the Daleks in Series One, when negotiating rights to use the latter hit a sticky patch.

  • David Tennant - The Doctor
  • Billie Piper - Rose Tyler
  • Danny Webb – John Maynard Jefferson
  • Shaun Parkes – Zachary Cross Flane
  • Claire Rushbrook – Ida Scott
  • Will Thorp – Toby Zed
  • Ronny Jhutti – Danny Bartock
  • Paul Kasey – The Ood
  • Gabriel Woolf – Voice of the Beast
  • Silas Carson – Voice of the Ood

What do you think of the episode? Tell us below....


  1. Terrifying and brilliant. I love seeing the Doctor as "just" a Time Lord, facing the same metaphysical questions as the rest of us. He may be over 900 years old and "clever" and saviour-like to us, but it was fascinating to see him questioning his own beliefs, making them up as he went along, the same way he made up so many rescues as he went along. It's difficult to relate to someone who is completely omniscient. The doubt and uncertainty in this episode build nicely towards the Waters of Mars, in which The Time Lord Victorious ends up realising he's gone too far; if he alters "fixed" points in time, they will reknit around his actions. I'm so glad this episode ended unresolved as it did. If belief in love and the quest to keep exploring are enough to satisfy a rogue Time Lord, then perhaps that ought to be enough for us, no?


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