Ruby Sunday’s foundling mystery continues into the 2024 Doctor Who series

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Showrunner Russell T Davies explained to SFX Magazine how companion Ruby Sunday’s introduction in the Doctor Who 2023 Christmas special The Church on Ruby Road differs from the interruption of the ordinary life of companion Rose Tyler in her 2002 introductory episode Rose.

“Ruby’s different. It’s the sense of a story interrupted. She has a story. Scene one, she’s abandoned as a baby in the past, and enter a Time Lord. A Time Lord is obviously going to start winding himself into that story in the way that no one else can. Plus Davina [McCall] researching the story on behalf of a television show – so it’s that different kind of grafting together.”

Ruby Sunday (Millie Gibson) and the Doctor (Ncuti Gatwa)

Davies further described how the plot of the special focuses on Ruby, played by Millie Gibson.

“It’s unashamedly the story of Ruby, it’s called “The Church on Ruby Road” because that’s where the church is where Ruby is left as a baby in 2004. So she’s named after that church. She’s a foundling, so no one knows who her mother or father is.”

Ruby Sunday (Millie Gibson)

“She was named after the church on Ruby Road which does carry over into the series itself. Not every question is answered in the Christmas special and that continues all the way through to the most magnificent finale ever shot on planet Earth. No hype! I swear that’s true.”

Davies further explained that the expositions of the back stories of both the Doctor and Ruby will continue into the 2024 series.

“Actually an awful lot of this is dumped into Episode One of the new series. I found that the Christmas story is so strong that I found it was an impossible weight to carry the entire introduction of a companion to the Doctor.”

Stolen babies are part of a plot involving goblins in The Church on Ruby Road as Ruby attempts to learn the secret of her birth. Several babies were cast in Episode One of the 2024 series, which will air in spring of next year and continue the events of the special.

The Church on Ruby Road will be available globally on 25 December, 17:55 GMT. The special will transmit exclusively on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in the UK and Ireland at 5:55pm BT and stream exclusively on Disney+ outside the UK and Ireland.

A new 8-episode Doctor Who series starring Ncuti Gatwa and Millie Gibson will debut in Spring of 2024.

SFX Magazine is available at news stands in the UK and by digital issue.