Millie Gibson as Ruby Sunday in the Doctor Who season 14 finale

Ruby’s Story in ‘Doctor Who’ May Not Actually Be Over

Last Saturday, Doctor Who aired the finale of the Fifteenth Doctor’s first season and the reaction was a bit mixed.

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You see, Ruby Sunday (Millie Gibson) finally discovered the identity of her birth mother, and she was just an ordinary person. Despite multiple hints throughout the season that Ruby was something more than human (why could she make it snow?!) it turned out that her parentage was only important because Sutekh thought it was important.

In truth, Ruby’s mother Louise was an abused 15-year-old who hid her pregnancy and then abandoned the child at the church in Ruby Road. She wore a cloak to hide her identity (that cloak got a lot of people going wild with speculation) and pointed to the “Ruby Road” sign in an attempt to show anyone watching what name she wanted for her daughter. This was all shown in the most mysterious light possible … but it turned out to be perfectly simple. And when Ruby finally approached the mother who’d given her up, they had a heartwarming reunion and Louise was able to integrate herself with Ruby’s adoptive family.

Ruby was no one after all

If this all sounds a bit familiar, yes, showrunner Russell T. Davies created this storyline for Ruby partly as a reaction to Rey’s arc in the Star Wars sequel trilogy. He was frustrated by the fact that Rey’s “no one” background was retconned so that she was someone after all—the granddaughter of Palpatine—and set out to write a better story. Fair enough. And yet, at the same time, he seems to now be hinting that the mystery of Ruby Sunday isn’t actually done yet.

Speaking on the official Doctor Who podcast, Davies said,

“I absolutely can tell you that Ruby Sunday has not finished her story. Millie Gibson’s coming back. That’s not a spoiler, it’s absolute fact. We’re very excited. Christmas is mad and brilliant and exciting! I can tell you that the story as we go into 2025 of Ruby’s family is not quite at an end. There’s more revelations to come.

He indicated that some of those revelations might involve Mrs Flood (Anita Dobson), who we last saw standing on a rooftop giving a fourth-wall-breaking speech. We got a few tantalizing details about Mrs Flood during the last season, but we’re no closer to finding out exactly what she is and why she speaks directly to us the audience.

And we’ve also got the mystery of Ruby’s other parent to follow up on. She learned in the season finale that her biological father was named William, and he had also been 15 years old at the time Ruby was abandoned. Ruby was planning to contact him and that was one of the things that made the Doctor leave her behind on Earth to be with her family. Could there be more to Ruby’s father, perhaps? We’ll just have to wait and find out.

A new companion is coming along

Russell T. Davies said on the behind-the-scenes show Doctor Who Unleashed:

“This is a pause, I genuinely thought Ruby’s story paused there. She couldn’t get all that information about her family, and all that emotion overload, and run off in the TARDIS. It pauses there, she’s coming back. A new companion is coming in, but you’ll see the three of them together. Three people in this TARDIS fighting evil.

That new companion will be Varada Sethu, who we’ve already seen in Doctor Who—she played the role of Mundy Flynn in the episode “Boom.” Her arrival may mean Millie Gibson becomes more of a guest actor, as was the case with Freema Agyeman during season four of Doctor Who after she had a starring role as Martha in season three.

So we probably won’t be seeing as much of Ruby in the next season of the show, but she’s not left us yet.

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Sarah Barrett
Sarah Barrett (she/her) is a freelance writer with The Mary Sue who has been working in journalism since 2014. She loves to write about movies, even the bad ones. (Especially the bad ones.) The Raimi Spider-Man trilogy and the Star Wars prequels changed her life in many interesting ways. She lives in one of the very, very few good parts of England.