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‘Doctor Who’ recap: 12×06 “Praxeus”

Doctor Who recap: Season 12, Episode 06, “Praxeus” Aired Feb. 2, 2020

“Praxeus” takes a lesson from Dirk Gently tonight. Everything is connected. There’s a washed up US Naval officer in Madagascar, a downed astronaut in Hong Kong, and something wrong with some birds in Peru. And, yes, it’s all connected.

There’s a lot going on, and Team TARDIS splits up to investigate it all. 

“His body just disintegrated”

The Doctor is in Madagascar looking for survivors of a downed US submarine. One officer washes up onshore, but with claims that something was in his submarine. Right before the Doctor’s eyes, the rash of teeth-looking scales on the officer’s hand spreads over his body, and he’s pulverized.

At the same time, Ryan runs into two travel bloggers in Peru. One of the bloggers went missing, and when found by Ryan and the other traveler, Gabriela, she has the same rash as the officer, but on her face. When Ryan touches her, her eyes open a glassy white, the rash spreads, and she also disintegrates. That’s two victims so far.

Sucker for a scientist

Yaz and Graham run into a missing astronaut in Hong Kong, but Adam Lang, the astronaut, was attached to an alien device. He gets sicker when they detach him, so the group heads to Madagascar to a lab to help him. Meanwhile, Yaz and Gabriela stay in Hong Kong to examine the device.

At the lab, the Doctor learns the victims were infected with an alien pathogen, and that pathogen is also inside of Adam. With the strangely behaving birds all over the place, it turns out the pathogen honed in on the plastic the birds have eaten and took them over, then did the same to humans through the microplastic that’s in all of us. The virus loves plastic, and it’s all over Earth. And this season continues to be preachy.

At the same time, Yaz and Gabriela are teleported through the alien device to the bottom of the Indian Ocean below a ton of plastic pollution, but they do find that the aliens were sending signals to a couple places, including the lab the Doctor was in. Apparently the chief scientist there – plot twist – is one of the aliens.


Suki, the alien scientist, told the group her species calls the virus Praxeus. It’s smart and relentless and knows the Doctor’s onto it. All those birds in Peru and Madagascar are spreading the virus, making it extremely dangerous, as birds can pass it on rapidly. If they don’t come up with an antidote, the whole Earth would be decimated.

Some backstory – Praxeus devastated Suki’s planet, and she was sent to find a cure for the few survivors. Suki’s ship crashed into the Indian Ocean and the Praxeus virus radiated from it. The Earth has so much plastic, it’s clearly the right place to test out various antidotes. When the Doctor found a potential antidote for humans, Suki took it for herself, thinking it would save her species. Sadly, Suki succumbed to the virus because it wasn’t meant for her biological makeup.

Luckily, the Doctor tested that antidote on Adam, and it can work on humans. After an autopilot failure in the ship that was supposed to spread the antidote, Jake, Adam’s husband, takes control of said ship and saves humanity. The Doctor saves Jake right as his ship was breaking down, and it’s happily ever after for him and Adam. 


Another preachy episode, but that’s just the way this season seems to be going. Also, Chibnall seems to like his aliens with teeth-looking scales. Still, I thought this episode was generally enjoyable. I was pretty confused through most of it, but I think they pulled it together at the end.

Two more episodes left before a two-part finale. I’m more than ready for next week!

Next week:

What did you think of “Praxeus”? Let us know at @PureFandom on Twitter!

Doctor Who airs Sundays on BBC America at 8/7c.


Jordan Alperstein

Jordy has a degree in English literature and communication studies. When she isn't attending concerts, she's watching way too much TV for her own good and fangirling over fictional characters. Jordy is a self-proclaimed optimist and bookworm, and she's a sucker for fantasy, superheroes, and good old-fashioned villains.

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