Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Doctor Who - The Church on Ruby Road

The last of the four holiday specials, "The Church on Ruby Road" marks the first adventure of the Fifteenth Doctor (Ncuti Gatwa) and the introduction of his next companion in Ruby Sunday (Millie Gibson) and her adopted mother (Michelle Greenidge). Ignoring for now the rather obvious comparisons between Ruby and Rose, Gibson's story also comes with a mysterious heritage whose foreshadowing looms large over the episode. While I think it's possible the identity of her parents won't play a major role in her arc, I don't think it's all that likely. While that provides one mystery, another is raised in the identity of the Sunday's neighbor (Anita Dobson) who knows more than your average person about time travel and the TARDIS.

The introduction of those larger mysteries, and the general awkwardness of The Doctor with a new companion, which is almost always fun, work better than the plot. The crux of the episode deals with bad luck and coincidence, and our Pirate Goblins playing on that in order to feast on a young baby that makes its way into the Sunday home. As concepts go, it's one of the more awkward of the series (including a CGI dance number reminiscent of the "special" edition of Return of the Jedi). While there are some interesting ideas at play involving manipulating the timeline to draw power on luck and coincidence, it's hard not to feel a bit afraid that the Disney-fication of Doctor Who may already be underway.

  • Title: Doctor Who - The Church on Ruby Road
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