DOCTOR WHO Showrunner Says STAR WARS Sequels Inspired Ruby Sunday Twist; Teases Mrs. Flood Plans In Season 2

DOCTOR WHO Showrunner Says STAR WARS Sequels Inspired Ruby Sunday Twist; Teases Mrs. Flood Plans In Season 2

Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies has addressed the finale's big Ruby Sunday twist, revealing how Rey and the Star Wars sequels influenced his decision. He also teases season 2 plans for Mrs. Flood...

By JoshWilding - Jun 24, 2024 12:06 PM EST
Filed Under: Doctor Who
Source: BBC (via

The Doctor Who season finale, ominously titled "Empire of Death," wrapped up with Sutekh's defeat and the Doctor parting ways with Ruby Sunday after she'd finally found her mother (you can find a full recap here).

While it made sense for Ruby to leave the TARDIS behind so she could get to know her mother and track down her dad, many Whoniverse fans were shocked to see her time with the Doctor end so quickly. Set photos have confirmed actress Millie Gibson will be back in season 2, though Varada Sethu is expected to be the new main companion. 

Talking on Doctor Who: Unleashed (via showrunner Russell T Davies justified the decision to have the Doctor and Ruby part ways. 

"The whole thing builds towards a final scene in the TARDIS between the Doctor and Ruby, between Ncuti and Millie that is the heart of the show really, that’s what it’s always about. You can have all your monsters battling in the Time Vortex, and gods of death, and destroyed planets and all that stuff, but in the end, it’s kind of almost a love story between two people, between the Doctor and companion."

"It’s a parting of the ways, but they’re not being torn apart like Doctors and companions often are, their lives are just going in a separate direction. They just play that so subtly and so beautifully, I’m just proud to work with those two."

Davies also revealed how the Star Wars sequel trilogy played into the reveal that Ruby's mother is a normal person rather than anyone "special." You'll recall The Last Jedi revealed the same was the case for Rey, only for The Rise of Skywalker to quickly retcon that. 

As a result, the future Jedi ended up being revealed as the daughter of an Emperor Palpatine clone, making the villain her grandfather. Later, she'd name herself "Rey Skywalker."

"This is kind of my reaction to – bear with me now – the Star Wars films. I can’t remember their titles, but in the last trilogy. In the last trilogy, the second film said that Daisy Ridley was nothing special, there was nothing special about her parentage. That she just got the Force. She was just ordinary. An ordinary person with the Force - and then the next one, they changed it all so that she was the child of the Emperor, and they made her. She was, like, cosmic and had godlike powers – And I really loved the version where she wasn’t special. When she’s ordinary."

"So this is my reaction to that. She’s not the daughter of Sutekh. She’s not the daughter of the Time Lords or Rassilon or something like that. Her mum is Louise Miller, who was 15 years old and pregnant, from a dangerous home, abusive home, and left her child on the doorstep. And that’s my. That’s my reaction to it. Because I think it’s a better story."

For as many mysteries the Doctor Who finale did address, there were plenty of others it saved for another day. Among them was the identity of the mysterious - and clearly villainous - Mrs. Flood. 

Davies chose his words carefully but confirmed she had nothing to do with Sutekh. Clearly, the mysterious neighbour is part of a much greater threat to the Time Lord.

"In episode 8, she says 'I had such plans.' So she’s not part of what Sutekh was up to. She’s kind of trapped in whatever Sutekh was up to, in as much as the whole world is and says 'I had such plans.' I wonder what that means. I can promise you reveals, I can promise you astonishing reveals and a lot of fun with her as well. She’s so much fun to work with, so good times with Mrs. Flood to come."

You can let us know your thoughts on the Doctor Who showrunner's comments in the usual place. 

DOCTOR WHO Empire Of Death Recap: Ruby’s Mother Finally Revealed In High-Stakes Season Finale - SPOILERS

DOCTOR WHO "Empire Of Death" Recap: Ruby’s Mother Finally Revealed In High-Stakes Season Finale - SPOILERS

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WhateverItTakes - 6/24/2024, 1:12 PM
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braunermegda - 6/24/2024, 1:17 PM
oh Russel I love you but man you really had to seek inspiration in that trilogy
now we have a bad trilogy and a bad season finale
TheVisionary25 - 6/24/2024, 1:17 PM
I actually don’t mind Ruby just being an ordinary person but I do have issues with some of the build up and resolution to it could have been stronger (or just even answered even).

In hindsight , you could have done away with the cloaked hood and the finger pointing because it just felt dumb logistically and raised questions that it didn’t need to…

Also , why couldn’t Davina McCall then find any linkage to her parentage especially if her real mom is a nurse?.

However Doctor Who has always blurred the line with sci if/fantasy do it snowing in the present whenever Ruby thought about that night being that it meant the memory of that was so raw & powerful worked for me.

Anyway , it certainly had flaws but I did like the finale & series overall and it made me excited about the future of the show again which I haven’t been in awhile so that’s great!!.

Special shout-out to Ncuti Gatwa & Millie Gibson for being strong anchors for the audience and even elevating the writing at times to be better then it actually was!!.

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Apophis71 - 6/24/2024, 1:46 PM
@TheVisionary25 - Davina could only do a trace if a family member had a DNA test first, that isn't part of the requirements of being a Nurse. Typicaly they can do those DNA matches cos the parent submits their DNA as they are looking for the child they gave up or taken from them, they can't access medical or police records, even ancestry dot com ones they are unlikely to be able to match with if a consent box isn't ticked from a close family member.

Overall it has been the most I have enjoyed a season since at least the 11th even if it isn't without flaws but then Dr Who has never been perfect throughout an entire season, the flaws are oft part of it's charm. The pairing of Ncutti and Millie, for a fisrt season together has been the best duo ever for me even if some pairings got stronger after later on. ie Matt and Karen are still top, but due to three seasons togather, took them a while to get to the level of top spot.

In isolation the 15th hasn't surpassed any of my top 3 Doctors of all time, yet, but 4th out of 14 aint bad anyway and IS 3rd for NewWho for me and time yet to be able to move up a notch or two :D
TheVisionary25 - 6/24/2024, 1:54 PM
@Apophis71 - ahh , ok thanks for that

Honestly idk where Ncuti fits in right now for me but I do like him .

He’s probably the most emotional Doctor we have had in NuWho atleast which makes sense given 14’s resolution though I know some have issues with it

He’s youthful energetic and full of life but you do see that rage and darkness still come out now and then which I like.
h8red - 6/24/2024, 3:15 PM
@TheVisionary25 - that was my only complaint with Ncuti’s Doctor. He teared up quite a bit. But that’s just nitpicking. He was great and I’m looking forward to more seasons with him. Maybe more than 8 episodes please. Nitpicking.
TheVisionary25 - 6/24/2024, 3:35 PM
@h8red - oh I agree with you

It needs to be more then 8 , I feel like 10 would be better.
AC1 - 6/24/2024, 1:27 PM
I'd have been fine with the "normal person" reveal if it hadn't looked so ominous and mysterious in ways that just don't make sense even in the context of the narrative - Like, what 15 year old girl wears a massive cloak? Why did she point so dramatically and ominously, and how was that a way of naming her child? And why couldn't her face be seen in the Time Window?
TheVisionary25 - 6/24/2024, 1:45 PM
@AC1 - she could have just left a note that she wanted her daughter to be named Ruby laugh out loud

She could have been pointing it for the CCTV cameras there but even then , how would anyone know that’s what she wanted to name her daughter?.

I think some restructuring was in order in that they could have ended the first past like how they opened with Unit Dead and The Doctor ,Mel & Ruby on the run this the extra time would have allowed them the chance to explain that stuff better or more clearly

Overall , flaws in the conceptualization and resolution

RTD has apparently said there’s more to the story since he conceived this as a 2 series arc so we’ll see.
Nightwing1015 - 6/24/2024, 2:13 PM
@AC1 - They said her face couldn't be seen because they assigned a subliminal level of important to it in their own minds. Fair enough. But the rest is stupid and nonsensical - especially the name thing. How DID Ruby get her name, nobody actually saw that woman point at the sign....
Apophis71 - 6/25/2024, 6:03 AM
@Nightwing1015 - Also tend to feel they didn't fully explain the full picture with the Mum, for instance the memory/history was changing, the whole Goblin stuff about playing with probability/coincidence, the presence of Sutekh and a whole bunch of temporal paradox with Ruby being given a psychic connection to the TARDIS which would then means the circular nature of time means the baby could have been connected to it also, then then timewindow adding to that making timeloops within timeloops... sure, there was the added subconcious mystery was the big thing and part of you WANT te mystery not spoiled as it looses some of the magic but all those factors surrounding the 'magic' of that would amplify and did continuously alter the past.

As in the Mum didn't turn and point at all the first time, that was the first thing of the memory to change thus changing history. Thus originaly Ruby was likely named after the road the Church was on only (happens a lot) nothing to do with the Mum who didn't point and didn't look back...

...but that became circular with the changing memories, Sutekh by then had degrees of control of the TARDIS that has a psychic connection to Ruby thus could try to make it have a psychic connection to her Mum (and there was the whole death wave passing through bloodlines stuff)...

...thus the fact she was called Ruby after the road meant her Mum then pointed at the road name which meant she named her (even tho she didn't).

TLDR This, from experiance, is the bonkers way RTD's head tends to work with cause and effect, I could be wrong but it would be something similar going on in Russels head but he doesn't tend to want to over explain and let the Whovians do all the theorizing.
marvel72 - 6/24/2024, 1:33 PM
You definitely picked the wrong Star Wars Trilogy to get inspiration from.
Scarilian - 6/24/2024, 2:03 PM
Probably one of the worst written series of Doctor Who. Viewership has collapsed and I doubt Disney will renew their contract so chances are the show as a whole could end after Series 15/Season 2.

I think the subversion approach and the utter disrespect towards audiences is not going to magically result in an increased interest come the next season.
Nightwing1015 - 6/24/2024, 2:11 PM
@Scarilian - C'mon it's not worse than the last 3. At least its engaging
Nightwing1015 - 6/24/2024, 2:11 PM
Only problem is it makes no [frick]ing sense. Why is Ruby special then? Because its been shown she can make it snow, she has some link/power with that entity in 73 yards, Suteuk was equally interested in her, etc.
Lemons - 6/24/2024, 2:54 PM
I guess the idea he was trying to convey is that she becomes important because everyone made her important even though she was just ordinary. It was just poorly executed.

I think Fringe did it better with the episode, "August"
Radders - 6/25/2024, 5:48 AM
Awful idea, if you choose that as your inspiration, you're trolling the fans - but hey, most of the series has been derivative.

Beyond that, it makes literally no sense with what we've seen, so unravels a chunks of the series

It's just bad writing with a Doctor who's constantly scared or crying - this aint Doctor Who

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