SNEAK PEEK – Doctor Who “The Legend of Ruby Sunday”

    It’s nearly the end of Season One of Doctor Who! The seventh and penultimate episode, “The Legend of Ruby Sunday” by showrunner Russell T Davies, is dropping worldwide this weekend! The plot remains shrouded in a lot of mystery, with many questions still in the air. However, we will finally delve into the origins of Ruby Sunday (Millie Gibson), thanks to the help of UNIT. Meanwhile, the Doctor (Ncuti Gatwa) has a billionaire tech mogul, Susan Triad (Susan Twist) who bears a very familiar face.

    As far as the plot goes, that’s all we know. That’s it. However, perhaps the episode’s clips and pictures reveal more than meets the eye? It’s that time of the week, as I pour through all the promotional materials for the upcoming episode to try and decode what I can. At the end, I’ll theorise and stretch the imagination to try and paint a picture of where all these story arcs have been leading.

    WARNING – There are real pictures and clips of The Legend of Ruby Sunday below, so if you’d rather go in spoiler-free, now’s the time to click away.

    Millie Gibson as Ruby Sunday, Ncuti Gatwa as The Doctor, and Bonnie Langford as Mel in Doctor Who: The Legend of Ruby Sunday (via BBC Press Office)

    Preview Pictures

    The episodes official preview pictures mostly emphasise what we already know. There’s a big emphasis on the characters we already know are in the episode. Rolling back into the UNIT Tower HQ first seen in “The Giggle”, the Doctor and Ruby run into Kate Stewart (Jemma Redgrave). I do wonder if Ruby will need to be introduced to her, or if a memory of “73 Yards” will leak through. Filling out the UNIT cast are Rose Noble (Yasmin Finney), Colonel Ibrahim (Alexander Devrient), and newcomer Morris Gibbons (Lenny Rush) as the new scientific advisor.

    We know UNIT has a thing for hiring friends of the Doctor, but they’re now hiring kids. We need a reform of child labour. Although there is an actual former companion returning, Mel Bush (Bonnie Langford), who looks to be assisting the Doctor with Susan Triad. After a surprise appearance during “The Giggle”, I hope that she gets something to do. Susan’s tech presentation seems a little ominous, too. There’s an obvious acronym with “S TRIAD”. I’d love for a misdirect here. Could she somehow have access to TARDIS technology? Who could give her knowledge like that? Very intriguing.

    One of these pictures does stand out, however. There’s a photo of Mrs Flood (Anita Dobson) sitting on the bed of Cherry Sunday (Angela Wynter). Setting aside the fact that we’re looking at two Eastenders legends acting side by side, this does raise a lot of questions. What’s Mrs Flood doing in Ruby’s apartment? Given her fourth wall breaking abilities, I do wonder what she knows about the series’ big questions. With Carla (Michelle Greenidge) helping Ruby at UNIT, perhaps Mrs Flood’s more sinister intentions are about to come out?

    Preview Clips

    A couple of clips for this week’s episode have been released around the internet. Starting with the preview clip at the end of the Official Doctor Who Podcast. It’s an extended version of the Doctor’s arrival at UNIT, which opened the season’s trailers. We see Kate call for a “Gold Protocol” (presumably some procedure for the Doctor’s arrival), with the camera cutting to Rose, Morris, Ibrahim and even the Vlinx getting ready for the Doctor’s arrival. Not a lot to see here, unfortunately.

    Thankfully, the clip from Doctor Who Unleashed shows us a little bit more. For starters, Ibrahim calls out “Doctor on the Bridge”, a little corny, but I’ll allow it. The Doctor then exits the TARDIS, screaming the all-familiar “give me the loving!” line and hugging Rose. It’s a cute scene, and quite the dramatic entrance. Although with the amount of trailers that have come out, we have seen it a lot. It seems like the creative team are playing their cards very close to their chest as far as clips go. No hint of the episode’s actual plot anywhere.

    Although the “Next Time” trailer from the end of “Rogue” changes that. We get a glimpse of all the Susan Twist roles, then a glimpse at Susan Triad. But before I can ask if Triad remembers these roles, we get brief flashes of Susan Twist as an alien, as well as horrifying android figure. The rest of the trailer features Mel saying “there’s something wrong”, as we flash to our heroes looking a little scared looking into the distance. A horrifying growling noise is in all these clips, followed by Kate, soldiers with guns out, saying “whatever it is, here it comes”. It leaves me incredibly hyped.

    YouTube player

    “The Legend of Ruby Sunday” Theory Time

    A lot of speculation surrounds the identity of the episode’s the villains. After all, they’d presumably be the “big bads” of the series. Every previous series arc written by Davies has brought back a classic villain, the Dalek Emperor, the Cybermen, the Master, Davros. It’s no surprise that people are expecting that here. It was reported in Doctor Who Magazine that the villain was referred to with a codename, making this all the more likely. It’s been said a staff member confused this name for Poiroit, narrowing down the results further.

    A lot of people have jumped on the Sutekh return hype train, a villain who’s not been seen since “Pyramids of Mars” in 1975. Considering the vague similarity between Sutekh and Poirot actor David Suchet‘s last name, I can see where it’s coming from. But that’s about all the evidence there is for that. Same as how a Susan (Carole Ann Ford) return has been theorised due to her being namedropped in “The Devil’s Chord”. As a massive fan of the Classic Series, I’d love for either of these to happen. Although I don’t think they’re particularly likely.

    The series’ mysteries are slightly more compelling. I can see Ruby’s mother being a massive reveal, possibly with a very famous actress in the part. Wouldn’t be at all surprising if we get the biggest snowstorm of the series yet, as the mother emerges from the snow. On the other hand, the Doctor looks shocked as he watches Triad’s performance, she’s definitely set to do something crazy. Could she be some harbinger of a god like Sutekh who’s about to make their grand entrance? It’s a concept we’ve seen earlier in the series.

    Susan Twist as Susan Triad in Doctor Who: The Legend of Ruby Sunday (via BBC Press Office)


    One thing’s for certain, we are in for a hell of a ride this weekend. The Whoniverse looks set to be shaken to its core. Davies’ series finales through the 2000s never disappointed, and with the series’ increased budget this could be bigger than ever before. No matter who the villain is, who Susan Triad is, who Ruby’s mum is, I’m sure it’ll be a cool series of reveals regardless. Hopefully some of those answers will tie into one another, leaving us with three massive cliffhangers leading into next week’s finale. Fingers crossed, but it looks like a very fun time.

    Doctor Who started its new era on Christmas Day 2023 with “The Church on Ruby Road.” The episode saw Ncuti Gatwa and Millie Gibson debut as the 15th Doctor and Ruby Sunday. Doctor Who premiered at midnight on Saturday, May 11th, on BBC iPlayer with a double-episode bill. The episodes will stream internationally on Disney+, Doctor Who‘s exclusive home outside the UK and Ireland, giving audiences a simultaneous global launch. Episodes will also air on BBC One each week in a primetime slot on Saturday evening.

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