the doctor shaking susan's hand with mel on doctor who

‘Doctor Who’ Introduced the Final Big Bad of the Season

This season of Doctor Who has introduced us to a whole new bunch of monsters, villains, and even a brand new Doctor. But the penultimate episode began tying all the loose strings together by introducing the big bad of the season.

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We met many of the gods in recent episodes of Doctor Who. Starting with the Toymaker (Neil Patrick Harris) and then introducing Maestro (Jinkx Monsoon), the season has had the Doctor (Ncuti Gatwa) against them all, and it was leading to the god of death himself, Sutekh.

The Doctor brings Ruby (Millie Gibson) to meet Kate (Jemma Redgrave) at UNIT to try to figure out who this woman is that they see everywhere. The Doctor explains how he and Ruby see this same woman (played by Susan Twist) all over time and space and as they’re explaining her to Kate, the employees of UNIT reveal that Susan Triad (Twist) is about to do a speech to address the entire nation. But more importantly, her name feels like an intentional calling card to the Doctor.

S. Triad has the same initials as the TARDIS and her name being Susan is hitting with the Doctor. He thinks that this is somehow his granddaughter Susan and that this was her way of reaching out to him. What we learn, instead, is that it is a trick from Sutekh to free himself.

With the Doctor and Mel (Bonnie Langford) off with “Susan” and Ruby, Rose (Yasmin Finney), Kate, and everyone else trapped back at UNIT, we leave the episode on the reveal that a harbinger has once more ushered in the god and things are not looking great for the Doctor and his team.

Sutekh is here, and he’s ready to bring death to the Doctor’s front door from his perch on top of the TARDIS.

The big bad is here and it feels like one of Russell T. Davies’ best seasons yet

I am a fan of Russell T. Davies as a writer and a showrunner. I am, admittedly, more of a fan of Steven Moffat’s era of the show, but I don’t dislike what Davies did. This season, however, feels like his strongest yet. I think taking a break after his first few seasons helped, because the show grew and changed, and Davies could come back knowing how to structure the seasons as a whole a little differently.

My biggest complaint in his first run was that we’d have a big bad at the very end of the season that just showed up randomly, and it didn’t feel like there was any connective tissue. On the flip of that, Moffat tried too hard to connect everything at times, and he didn’t have as many “fun” episodes. What Davies has done with this season is even that balance a bit.

We got to see Gatwa’s Doctor have fun, but there was still a connective tissue running through each episode. He had an entire episode where the Doctor and Ruby were trying to lead a girl with a social media bubble on her head through town, but this “Susan” was still there. We had the episode with the Maestro to bring us back to the gods, but then we’d also get to go to something like “73 Yards” that was just highlighting Ruby Sunday.

All this to say that while I am excited to see where Sutekh will take the Doctor (and Ruby), I am more happy about the fact that the season has all felt like one big story with some fun side adventures thrown in, and I love it.

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.