Doctor Who fans blast Ruby Sunday reveal as a ‘real letdown’ after finale

Fans are not happy with the finale reveal of Ruby Sunday’s birth mother (Picture: James Pardon/Bad Wolf/BBC Studios)

Spoilers ahead for Doctor Who finale, Empire of Death.

The eighth and final episode of Ncuti Gatwa’s debut season as the Fifteenth Doctor has finally dropped and fans have never been more confused.

The latest episode picked up from the grand reveal that 1970s villain Sutekh – aka the God of Death – had escaped captivity and was ready to reign terror after clinging to the Tardis and travelling throughout time and space with the Doctor.

As most of humanity is turned into dust, the Doctor, 80s companion turned UNIT employee Mel (Bonnie Langford) and current sidekick Ruby Sunday (Millie Gibson escaped to the memory Tardis.

Soon the Doctor realises the trio is being kept alive for a reason – so that Sutekh can finally uncover who Ruby’s biological mother (the cloaked woman who left her newborn on a church doorstep on Christmas Eve) truly is.

They travel to the future where they find a government DNA system that can give them the answer Ruby has been searching for.

Doctor Who companion Bonnie Langford joined the two-part finale (Picture: Sophie Mutevelian/Bad Wolf/BBC Studios)

The Doctor and Ruby’s journey has come to an end… or has it? (Picture: James Pardon/Bad Wolf/BBC Studios)

Although Sutekh is defeated before he can find out, at the end of the episode the audience is told Ruby’s mother is actually just an ordinary woman named Louise Alison Miller.

Louise became pregnant at 15 and decided to leave Ruby for her safety due to her abusive stepfather. Now she is a nurse.

After an emotional reunion in a coffee shop, Louise re-enters her daughter’s life alongside Ruby’s mum Carla (Michelle Greenidge) and nan Cherry (Angela Wynter). Ruby soon decides to leave the Doctor in order to get to know her new family members.

This is how Ruby’s mother was introduced to us in the Doctor Who Christmas special (Picture: BBC)

And this is who it ended up being (Picture: BBC)

Despite Doctor Who fans finally getting closure on the season-long mystery surrounding Ruby’s birth mother, many were dissatisfied with the reveal.

Viewers pointed out several things still don’t add up, including Louise’s clothing choices, her decision to name Ruby by dramatically pointing at the road sign on a lamppost, and why Sutekh was so desperate to discover her secret.

And, all importantly, in the Christmas Special last year Davina McCall was put on the case to find Ruby’s parents and failed, implying they were more than just ordinary humans.

What did you think of the Doctor Who finale?Comment Now

Ruby left the Doctor at the end of the episode to spend time with her family (Picture: BBC)

‘I don’t want to [seem] miserable but that was a real letdown. After such a big buildup, Ruby’s mum being just a ‘normal’ woman feels like it cheats the audience,’ @danthepeters wrote on X.

‘If Ruby’s mum and dad are so ordinary, why couldn’t Davina find them last year,’ @co95_l added.

‘I am disappointed in this finale. There was so much build-up, but the Doctor was able to defeat Sutekh pretty easily and a lot of the mysteries were tied up pretty sloppily,’ @acageddreamer echoed.

Although not all fans were annoyed by the plot twist.

‘I actually liked the payoff of who Ruby’s mum was. Doctor who has always been about making the extraordinary out of the ordinary, and the fantastical out of the everyday. She’s important because you made her important,’ @sophy_muses wrote.

Although it is implied that Ruby has now left the show, showrunner Russell T Davies confirmed in Doctor Who: Unleashed that this is not the end for her character.

‘You’d have to be mad to say goodbye to talent like that and a character like that,’ he said on the behind-the-scenes BBC series.

‘This is a pause. I genuinely felt Ruby’s story paused there. She couldn’t get all that information about her family, all that emotional overload and run off in the Tardis. It pauses there.’

There is still the mystery of Mrs Flood to uncover (Picture: James Pardon/Bad Wolf/BBC Studios)

But he added ‘she’s coming back’ and shared a sneek peak of her season two scene in which she is urging pub patrons to ‘stay indoors’.

After the 2024 Christmas special, written by Steven Moffat and starring Nicola Coughlan, season two will kick off with a new companion played by Varada Sethu (who has already featured in an episode earlier this season, Boom).

And there is still plenty to uncover with the mystery of Mrs Flood (Anita Dobson), Ruby’s enigmatic next door neighbour, who knows more than she’s letting on.

Doctor Who is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

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