Spoilers are precisely defined here. Rules vary by the story's medium. Info from television stories can't be added here until after the top or bottom of the hour, British time, closest to the end credits roll on BBC One. Therefore, fans in the Americas who are sensitive to spoilers should avoid Tardis on Sundays until they've seen the episode.



Starship UK was a space ship built to carry and house the population of the United Kingdom when Earth was threatened by solar flares in the 29th century.

Geography and society[]

The whole of the United Kingdom of England, Wales and Northern Ireland — but not Scotland, who had wanted their own ship — was converted from an island nation into Starship UK. It was divided into huge blocks and sections named after the nation's counties, such as Surrey and Devon. The image of the Union Flag was placed on the ship. Transport was provided by "Vators" (elevators), modelled on the old London Underground. Citizens made their way around on bikes. Markets and schools existed. Order was maintained by the Smilers and Winders, if anyone broke the rules they got sent below the starship and devoured by the star whale. (TV: The Beast Below)


Starship UK lacked any kind of engine and relied entirely on the star whale for its ability to travel through space. Like any starship, it had airlocks and sealed environments. Rapid transport from one deck to another was provided by Vators manufactured by Vatorverse. Its system was modelled after the London Underground.

Most, if not all the technology inside the ship was clockwork, such as wind-up street lamps, and functioned thanks to the Winders, who used the keys on their necks to reporter the machines. Old phones, bicycles, clockwork robots, televisions and firearms existed and were still in use by people even three hundred years into Starship UK’s journey. (TV: The Beast Below)


When Earth was threatened by solar flares, the United Kingdom could not build a ship to escape. When the last star whale came to help, the humans captured it and built a ship around it. The creature had volunteered for this, but the humans did not know and enslaved it unnecessarily, torturing it with an electrical device in the Tower of London dungeon to keep it moving. (TV: The Beast Below) Starship UK was to be followed by the SS Lucy Gray, which had a course plotted behind it before it was changed by the Eleventh Doctor to avoid collision with the Moon which had changed position since Starship UK's departure. (GAME: Evacuation Earth)

A view of the skyscrapers. (TV: The Beast Below)

The head of state was Queen Elizabeth X, also known as "Liz Ten." Unable to stand such cruel treatment to another creature to save her people, she left orders for the government to continue running things as they were; she then erased all memory of the Star Whale from her mind. If she ever discovered the truth again, she would be brought to the Tower of London to choose to erase her memory or release the Star Whale. Liz Ten's cycle of learning and forgetting the truth continued in a ten year cycle for over 300 years, due to having her "body clock" slowed to the point she didn't age for centuries. Every five years, adults woulds be allowed to vote whether or not to free the Star Whale; those who protested were feed to the Whale, but it refused to eat children considered to have no value. (TV: The Beast Below)

In the 32nd century, the cycle was finally interrupted by the arrival of the Eleventh Doctor and Amy Pond. While the Queen believed she was being marginalised by her government and was unaware of things, she had instigated the capture of the star whale and continually chose to forget — having her mind wiped every time she found out; the government was still following her original orders. Amy resolved matters by making the Queen to press the button marked "Abdicate" rather than "Forget". This released the star whale. The star whale did not abandon Starship UK because it had volunteered to move the ship. With the star whale no longer tortured, the ship moved faster. As the Doctor and Amy left, a crack in time appeared on the hull of Starship UK. (TV: The Beast Below)

In the starship, there was a Royal Collection, in which River Song stole The Pandorica Opens, which Liz Ten held her at gunpoint. River showed Liz the painting, which was the TARDIS exploding, so she let her go. (TV: The Pandorica Opens)

Behind the scenes[]

  • According to The Brilliant Book 2011, a book that contains non-narrative based information, the government had suspended democratic elections in "this time of upheaval" and continued dictatorial rule for centuries after. However, the citizens were allowed to vote every five years (REF: The Brilliant Book 2011) on whether to protest the treatment of the star whale or forget about it. Those who protested were fed to the star whale. The star whale wouldn't eat children, so they were sent to work in the Tower of London.