Doctor Who – Series 1, Episode 7: The Legend of Ruby Sunday

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We’ve now arrived at Episode 7 and there are two points to note. First: this is the penultimate episode of this new season series.

Who is she?

Second: it’s the first of a two-parter, with next week’s finalé, entitled ‘Empire of Death’ promising an ‘episode like no other’. And, if that wasn’t enough intrigue, they’re both being shown at cinemas too! Jo (fellow fan) and I, have already booked our tickets – next Friday at 11pm over at Cineworld, Rushden Lakes 👍😉😍

Well, that’s a first! Yes, I know, the 50th Anniversary episode starring David Tennant and Matt Smith in 2013 was technically the first DW episode to be shown at the flicks, but that one was just a SINGLE episode.

Successful season series so far?

With the majority of the episodes now aired, viewing figures are beginning to appear. It seems that each outing has attracted about 2 million viewers – that’s hardly stellar numbers, but the BBC are saying it’s because, like me, many are watching it on iPlayer. And that may be true, because once you include catchup viewing via iPlayer, numbers are up to around 5m. Hhhmmmm, they’re still not that impressive, where I’m not convinced that the whole ‘New Who Thing‘ has really caught on. Cue, the BBC marketing machine where there’s been some ‘spin’ put on the figures in the past week by Showrunner, Russell T Davies commenting:

“I mean, no, to be honest – I’m very proud of it! You know, they might not be the ratings we’d love. We always want higher. But they are building over the 28-day period.
Episode one, ‘Space Babies’, is already up to 5.6 million and counting. So it is getting there.”

Overall, I’m enjoying the return of probably my favourite Sci-Fi series – far more than during the Jodie Whittaker era – but it’s still been a bit of a mixed bag for me… 🤔

Episode 1 – Space Babies


Episode 2: The Devil’s Chord


Episode 3: Boom


Episode 4: 73 Yards


Episode 5: Dot and Bubble


Episode 6: Rogue


What’s this one all about?

YouTube player
Official preview
YouTube player

This dropped on YouTube the day before transmission (Friday) and maybe gives us a bigger clue as to the tone of the episode.

2.05pm: Having downloaded it this morning and after our visit to Lyveden New Bield earlier today, I’m going in! See you in 44 minutes! ⌛. As usual, I won’t spoil things by posting this early – it will appear AFTER tonight’s airing.

MILD SPOILERS AHEAD!

Wow! I think that was the best episode so far this series! Once I got over the overly sentimental opening scenes, that is! But at least that scene will please our cousins across the pond! – too much hugging and congratulatory back-slapping for this left-brainer – although it did serve to introduce a lot of characters, old and new, in quick succession so that the story could progress.

Stay awake at the back!

Talking of ‘story’, there’s an awful lot to unpack in this one, but I’ve attempted not to give too much away for those who’ve yet to watch it. Today’s top tip? Go to the loo BEFORE you settle down, because every scene seemed to have significance – absolutely NO FILLER whatsoever in this one! 👍👍

Who for everyone?

Serving up Doctor Who in 2024 is an increasingly difficult task. Stories that attract all ages, getting the balance right between ‘laying it on a plate’ and allowing the audience work it out for themselves, whilst expanding on using an already diverse group of actors and all wrapped up in a story that holds everyone’s attention for 45 minutes is a tricky one to pull off. Thankfully, I think this one worked really well and served fans from all camps admirably. Dare I say it: this story would be ideal for anyone who’s never watched DW before. The story ticked all the boxes for keeping the audience hooked, the SFX were some of the best you’ll see this year, whilst the unfolding mystery twisted and turned like a twisty-turny thing. All I’d say is that it’s a good job it’s a two-parter, as there are still lots of loose ends to tie-up😵‍💫).

For noobies: plenty of tension, a tardis-full of genuine surprises, some shocks and great special effects. Absolutely no sign of any wobbly sets and where the acting was delivered with conviction, (although the dialogue was a bit ‘script 101’ on occasions).

For us mature types: all of the above PLUS some great nods to past DW episodes, including ‘Time Windows’ (first mentioned in series 2, episode 4 – The Girl in the Fireplace) and the emergence of an adversary last seen in Who in 1975’s Pyramids of Mars. Whilst I’m naming names, it was good to see a reference to Alistair Gordon Lethbridge Stewart who has been in and out of ‘Who’ since 1968 (and last seen in Survivors of the Flux in November 2021). Other characters making a re-appearance were: ‘Rose’ (Star Beast shown in November, 2023), ‘Mrs Flood‘ (very sinister and still not sure how she fits in to all of this), Lenny Rush as the mysterious Morris Gibbons plus Mel Bush (companion to the 6th, 7th and 14th Doctors). Finally, the name ‘Susan’ as all Whovians know, already carries a lot of significance in the show’s history – tonight, maybe this name adds something extra?

…or not?!

Oh yes, all very fan-pleasing!

Answers and Anagrams

As has become the norm for this season series, each episode has generated more questions than answers – that’s left a few fans feeling frustrated! Sadly, this one won’t help very much to give closure (and some will surely say that tonight’s will have added to the frustration!!). Still, that’s what season finalés are for, ehh?!?!?! 😉👍.

Tonight’s plot looked pretty straightforward, but be prepared for a curved ball towards the end! Just when you thought you knew who this week’s ‘big bad’ was… they weren’t! DW has got a history of hiding significant clues using anagrams. For most Who fans, the two most memorable examples from past adventures are probably: Torchwood, and ‘Mr Saxon. Tonight involved another – S Triad – possibly the simplest one ever to solve?! But again, just when you think you know what’s going on, maybe you don’t… Just like buses, you wait for ages for one and then TWO come along at once (ish!) – anagrams, that is! If wordplay isn’t your thing, then just hang on in there – although students of Egyptian mythology will have an advantage.

44 minutes invested well?

So, all-in-all, whether you’re new to Who or have been following it for a while, there’s something for EVERYONE tonight, and it has a certain ‘timey-wimeyness’ about it. This isn’t a bad thing, considering the premise of the series. Everything therefore is positioned perfectly for next week’s final instalment, although in terms of ‘answers’ there’s still a fair bit to deliver – and they had better do that! 😉🤔

Next Week’s Teaser

Unusually, just before the credits rolled, we DIDN’T get a sneak peek at next week’s episode – the season series finale.

So, see you next week, where I will have already sneaked off to the cinema on Friday for the advanced screening! 😀

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