Review by Chlo Hickman

Here we are at last, it’s been a wild ride of ups and downs with Doctor Who series 14/Season 1 coming to an end with ‘The Legend of Ruby Sunday’ and ‘The Empire of Death’. Doctor Who finales often succeed with their first parts but fall flat on their second halves. But how did this finale do? To find out, let’s dive into ‘The Legend of Ruby Sunday’ and ‘The Empire of Death’.

This was by far the best Doctor Who episode of the season, and probably the first time that it genuinely felt like we’re in the RTD era. Also the first time in an extremely long time that I’ve wanted the next episode immediately.

Starting off with Ncuti Gatwa’s Doctor, I love that when the Doctor was going through the images of Susan Triad and he mentions Penny Pepper Bean with a disgusted look on his face, the Doctor not even acknowledging Lindy is a good way to show this and this just helps to repeat the ending of ‘Dot & Bubble’.

I’m honestly confused with the idea that the Doctor can have a granddaughter before a child, obviously this is a time travel show but he has mentioned children from 2005 onwards so are these retconned or is he going to have some more? He’s married plenty of times but the only wife we know of is River Song and obviously he didn’t have children with her, so I always assumed that Susan’s mum or dad was the Doctor’s child from before he left Gallifrey. I hope Davies makes this clear.

Also relating to Susan I like the Doctor’s fear, it’s heartbreaking to hear someone have that kind of concern for someone they love whether that’s a valid concern, I wouldn’t think so, but I understand the fear and the fear felt sincere.

There’s a great performance by Gatwa as the Doctor lashes out in anger over the death of Colonel Chidozie, which even Kate blamed him for as the Doctor was the one to order him to investigate further only for Chidozie to be a victim of Sutekh. I like this moment of anger from the Doctor, showing his guilt and fury for sending yet another person to their death and its nice how its Mel to give him a pep talk and tells him to get himself together and make up for the mistake rather than beating himself up for it. It’s a great use of Mel and a good scene showing the Doctor keeping himself going with the help of his companion.

I do think it’s really sad when the Doctor comes face to face with Susan Triad and he desperately wants her to be his Susan, only to find out he’s wrong and she doesn’t know who he is. You can tell he was hoping that his theory was right, and he’d get to see Susan again even if it was a trap.

We’ve seen the Doctor cry countless times throughout this season, but on this occasion I’m with him. I could see and feel his soul breaking apart at how much disaster he unintentionally caused. Also with this scene, can we give Gatwa all the awards?

During the battle with Sutekh the Doctor says ‘We fought a monster, now I must become one’ although the line is a bit cheesy this is one of the things I like about Doctor Who, the fact that the Doctor does no harm and no matter the devastation and pain and terror, Sutekh has inflicted and caused the Doctor takes no joy, no pleasure, no satisfaction out of having to kill him and that it the most important element of the Doctor. The Doctor doesn’t carry weapons, he is better than these creatures and despite everything they do he won’t become them. He will not stoop to their levels and when he has to do that, he really hates it and holds it close to his hearts and acknowledges the fact that this makes him no better. This scene was absolutely fantastic and has made Gatwa earn his Doctor status (if he hadn’t before). This was definitely the Doctor. This is what the Doctor is all about. You can do all these terrible things but I’m better than that and I’m not going to do to you what you did to them, and the fact that I do have to do that will weigh heavy on my hearts.

This is also something that’s very consistent with the 15th Doctor, he’s very moral in his thought process.

I really hope that when Ruby tells the Doctor that she loves him its platonic. If not, it literally came out of nowhere. Either way I expected the Doctor to tell her that he loved her too as he’s more open with his emotions, but when he smiled and turned away and we saw him upset because he still can’t say it … Wow. Another brilliant moment.

I love Millie Gibson’s Ruby in ‘The Empire of Death’, her standing up to Sutekh and calling him a great big god of nothing was great. It’s honestly a shame we didn’t have more companion moments like this before. On a similar note, it was great to finally see the dynamic between Ruby and the Doctor. This Doctor/companion duo that we’re used to seeing, there’s been a lot of telling us that these two are best friends but not a lot of showing us. The moment that the two of them trick and trap Sutekh that is the moment we’ve been looking for, there’s the moment that shows us they trust each other, there’s the moment that shows us they work well together, they can defeat these villains by working together. I just wish we’d had this earlier on. Where was this earlier on in the season? We want to see their relationship, don’t tell us it’s there! That’s the point, show don’t tell. Better late than never Davies.

I think it’s weird that they decide to try and figure out Ruby’s origin here, especially when the Doctor said in ‘Space Babies’ they can never look for her biological mum.

I wish that they’d have Ruby half recognise Kate as they had previously showed that she still maintained some memories from events in ’73 Yards’ so I think this is a bit of a weird detail to miss out on, either way it’s nice of the Doctor to quickly introduce Ruby – and new audiences – to everyone at UNIT who might not have met them in ‘The Giggle’, although there are a few new members like Morris Gibbins and Rose. I think UNIT has a nice presence in ‘The Legend of Ruby Sunday’, although because of them getting “thanosed” early on in ‘The Empire of Death’ they lose that in part 2.

I think the reason UNIT was introduced in this episode isn’t the best with the Doctor asking for their help on the mystery of this season, who is Susan Triad? I think there’s a scene missing from ‘The Legend of Ruby Sunday’ where the Doctor and Ruby were on an adventure and they specifically needed UNIT instead of the Doctor trying to working it out on his own as this has been a common problem this season, the Doctor hasn’t been solving the problems himself all season which to me isn’t right.

Although I do love the moment when the Doctor tries to explain everything that’s been going on only for them to say, ‘yeah we know’. Moments like this are great with people being ahead of the Doctor and he ends up looking a bit stupid in comparison.

Does anyone think that UNIT getting “killed” should’ve been the cliffhanger to ‘The Legend of Ruby Sunday’? Either that or the Doctor looking down at the dead planets screaming? Then we get the time jump which would equal us having to wait a week for ‘The Empire of Death’.

Susan Triad is a technology billionaire UNIT has been keeping their eye on for a while. I do really like how Triad technology was set up all the way back in ‘The Giggle’ with UNIT using Triad technology, it’s a good piece of world building similar to ATMOS appearing in ‘Partners in Crime’ before becoming significant in the Sontaran two parter in series 4 (2008).

Something I love about Susan Triad is her name being an anagram which the Doctor immediately points out as spelling TARDIS, which is another thing UNIT noticed way before the Doctor. I also love that this red herring was RTD predicting the fan base looking for clues, although I think he underestimated how quickly people would predict that Sutekh was the villain but it’s great that he put it into the show, so all the characters focus on it as well. The episode even doubles down on the character’s name being Susan drawing parallels to the Doctor’s granddaughter, I do think this is too heavy on a supposed reboot of the show so it’s weird that they go all in on Susan’s existence this season.

Twist plays the role really well, with sincerity and vulnerability. Suggesting that Triad isn’t a threat after all, it creates a sense of tragedy after her ultimate fate since in the end she’s just a puppet to help Sutekh. Her life has been created and manipulated, she suffers all these dreams of being various people even with the short exchange with the Doctor she shows us how she carries the burden of all these sleepless nights and has fears of what she doesn’t understand.

Susan generally had plans to help people but in the conclusion to ‘The Legend of Ruby Sunday’ she has her voice stolen from her. It’s a haunting scene as she curls up all while the tele-prompter glitches hijacked by supernatural forces, almost toying both her and the Doctor. This climatic scene is done so well with Harriet listing off all the gods of the Pantheon until we get to Sutekh, its so good. Honestly one of the best Doctor Who cliff-hangers in many years. The Doctor realising he was focusing on the wrong anagram when the Sue tech word play was right in front of him the whole time. The cliff hanger works so well, obviously a lot of people worked out or speculated that it was Sutekh – myself included – but the reveal still works even if it’s expected because it feels satisfying with how its executed.

I’m glad that we saw Susan and Harriet as the Harbinger puppets with their horrific masks and sunken eyes, it’s a nice visual thing. Even though I don’t think Harriet had any lines in ‘The Empire of Death’?

I think this is a huge rehabilitation for Mel on the show, Bonnie Langford has done some absolutely fantastic work on audio, she was great with what she was given in the ’80s but this is given with how Mel was approached as a character now. When it was announced she was coming back Melanie Bush wasn’t the companion you thought was right to come into the new series but the fact that they’ve done it and done it so well is a great sign.

I like Mel’s role in ‘The Legend of Ruby Sunday’, she suits the role of a friendly helpful PA to Susan Triad, smiling and shaking hands to get what UNIT needs on Susan.

It was good that Mel had a companion role in ‘The Empire of Death’ with her joining the Doctor and Ruby, there wasn’t a lot for her to do as it still focused on the other two but it was great seeing her with the 15th Doctor. If I’m being honest, she was mainly there to be Sutekh’s spy so she does feel a bit underused in this regard.

Another person we have to welcome back is Gabriel Woolf. I honestly get goosebumps whenever I hear Woolf’s voice. Getting the iconic man that voiced Sutekh 49 years ago… This is why I love the 60-year legacy of Doctor Who.

I like when Carla says it’s the Beast, because that’s a name we know from within the Whoniverse. Is that who is coming? No, but it’s not irrelevant. That’s sneaky Russell. Very sneaky.

The cliffhanger for ‘The Legend of Ruby Sunday’ reminded me of the same for ‘The Impossible Planet’, I think RTD took inspiration from that episode with him listing all the names and it worked. That still creeps me out. Apart from ’73 Yards’, I haven’t got the creeps from Doctor Who for ages, but this did it for me. Wow. I feel like this is one of the most intense episodes of the show, I literally get goosebumps whenever I re-watch it. I’m going to need more episodes like this.

I love ‘Pyramids of Mars’ and I love Sutekh as a villain, so I absolutely love that they brought him back to the actual show, and they’ve somehow made him more terrifying than he already was. Though it would’ve been nice for him not to be hanging onto the TARDIS nearly the whole episode, make him do something! He’s not paralysed like he was in ‘Pyramids of Mars’ so there isn’t exactly an excuse apart from the budget, but I can’t see it costing that much to have him sitting like Anubis or something. Just give me anything. For the people who are complaining about his design that is how he looks without his mask on in ‘Pyramids of Mars’, they have obviously just made it up to date and have made him into his god form – or evolved form, as he’s more powerful. They explained it in the show – plus that is what Sett, that’s the correct spelling Doctor Who, looks like in Egyptian mythology.

The idea that Sutekh has been wrapped around the TARDIS since ‘Pyramids of Mars’ is a funny idea to get your head around but, I don’t like saying this about a Doctor Who writer, what Russell T Davies has written here is fan fiction. He admits he wrote this based of an idea he had as a kid while watching ‘Pyramids of Mars’ on Doctor Who Unleashed, that when the Doctor banished Sutekh in the time corridor he latched onto the TARDIS. How would that even happen? The time corridor and time vortex are two different things, so he wouldn’t be able to get a hold of the TARDIS that way. I’m sorry but this is just stupid. Narratively, it makes more sense that he got a hold of the TARDIS in ‘Wild Blue Yonder’.

The sparks in the vortex of the title sequence were one of our clues, I understand that… But with the title sequence changing so much in the past few years since ‘Pyramids of Mars … I don’t know about that one. Like I said before, it makes sense if Sutekh jumped on during the 60th anniversary specials because then it’s all tied together but this is going a bit too far.

I’m just going to sidestep and talk about Sutekh as a character for a moment, and how fan misunderstandings might have effected their enjoyment of the episode – well that and Ruby’s mother reveal but I’ll get to that later.

I have been speculating and speculating that Sutekh was the overarching villain of season 1, he was the number 1 villain I wanted to return to the show – well, him and Fenric – and I got my wish. The day after ‘The Legend of Ruby Sunday’ was released the comments were wild everywhere on social media celebrating Sutekh’s return but the day ‘The Empire of Death’ aired the comments were silent with nothing but hate, I’ve seen barely anyone praise this episode and it has been relentlessly torn to shreds by the fans, but where did the episode go wrong? For me, I really enjoyed it.

I can’t help but think fans have completely misunderstood the character. In ‘The Empire of Death’ we see him wipe out all life in the universe. It was revealed that after he was banished in the time corridor at the end of ‘Pyramids of Mars’ he secretly clung to the TARDIS where he has remained ever since. Sutekh says he grew stronger over this time, so my understanding is that when he clung onto the TARDIS originally he was a fragment of power but all that time has mutated him, turning him into the jackal we see now making him stronger than ever before.

Problems with the TARDIS and appearances of the Susan Triad woman started happening from ‘Wild Blue Yonder’ so we can assume that it wasn’t until this point that Sutekh had a proper body, before than he was still too weak and wouldn’t have been able to emerge. This would also explain how the Doctor has never bumped into Susan before these events. People have joked saying that the Doctor has encountered bigger mysteries that Sutekh clearly didn’t care about, though like I’ve mentioned Sutekh wasn’t powerful enough to manifest until ‘Wild Blue Yonder’ where we began to see Susan so I think this is where the misunderstanding lies.

I have seen loads of people question how powerful Sutekh is because of how easily he was defeated with many saying that he is the god of all gods, but they are missing a key detail, who was it that described Sutekh as the god of all gods? Himself. Sutekh is an Osirian, a race of highly telepathic aliens, he wasn’t a god. It was just due to the Osirians abilities did people worship them as such which makes the cultural appropriation line weird, as that implies that Sutekh based his own imagery on the Egyptian culture but it’s the other way around. Ancient Egyptians based their gods on the Osirians. All that time and all that power gave Sutekh delusions of grandeur to the point that he believed he was generally a god, this was why he had to be imprisoned in the first place. Sutekh has a lot of power, we literally see him destroy all life in the universe so what more could he do to show this? To say the god of all gods wasn’t powerful enough is ridiculous, yes by wiping out UNIT so early in the episode we knew their fates would be reversed but surely, we knew that already?

Seriously what more could he do? I’ve seen people say that his destroying the universe is one thing but how easily he was defeated was what ruined the episode, he was actually defeated the same way he was defeated in ‘Pyramids of Mars’ and yet no one complains about that, at the end of both of these episodes he was banished to the time vortex by the Doctor – even though I don’t see them as the same thing I’m going with it because that’s what Davies said happened –  I don’t know why the Doctor did this as Sutekh being in the time vortex is what led to his return in the first place but this time we did see him disintegrate so maybe he’s really dead this time. Again, to say that Sutekh was made weak because of this conclusion is ridiculous as it’s exactly the same method he used before.

I have also seen people critique Sutekh for wanting to find out who Ruby’s mum is and I think this is the greatest misunderstanding of his character, as I said previously he isn’t a god he just believes himself to be. He believes he is the most all-knowing god of the gods, so what does he do when he comes across something he doesn’t know? Yes, there have been many mysteries before in Doctor Who but continuing on from the manifesting thought he wasn’t able to appear until the 14th/15th Doctors, so none of those would have bothered him. It was when the entire universe was destroyed and under his control where there was one remaining question left in creation. His vanity and ego caught up with him, an all-knowing God can’t be all knowing if he doesn’t know everything. That small curiosity was enough for Sutekh to halt his own plans just to get answers and I actually like this. All it took was the small mystery of Ruby’s mum for Sutekh to be defeated.

It was only Sutekh who believed himself to be the god of all gods and as with all master manipulators, all powerful all-knowing beings, it’s one tiny insignificant error that causes their downfall.

I think Sutekh was handled perfectly with RTD demonstrating a clear understanding for this character. While I do question some things about the episode relating to Sutekh I have no problem with the actual characterisation we were given. I think if fans reconsider some of their issues with ‘The Empire of Death’ they’d appropriate it a lot more. Getting rid of Ruby’s arc, as that was the second story they were telling in this two parter, I loved the Sutekh story. It was the Sutekh return I always dreamed of, although he didn’t have his iconic appearance.

The reason the finale felt so messy was because it didn’t commit to either the Sutekh story or the Ruby story. Sutekh’s character was handled perfectly but it was clear that Davies struggled to find a way to address Ruby’s parents in the process, this overshadows the good stuff in the episode.

The TARDIS is seen as the safest, most reliable – well, kinda – thing in the show. However there have been hints that there’s something wrong with the TARDIS, in ‘Wild Blue Yonder’ it started to make these weird groans, and this continued into the season, ‘The Legend of Ruby Sunday’ revealed the presence of this black fog following everywhere. Maybe even seducing the TARDIS and turning her evil. In a 60-year history showcasing how something is so powerful and impressive time and time again, then one day just to be asked ‘What if it was against you?’ And it doesn’t have to do anything because just the thought is scary enough? Russell, you are a genius.

I love how this episode makes her feel so villainous and ominous in such a great way it’s never been before, the directing makes it look so unbelievably sinister it’s just brilliant.

The TARDIS has had creepy moments in the past, but this time it’s the way it’s framed to give off that feeling that for the first time it is the threat.  Also, the fact that it felt scary while nothing happened to it. The windows didn’t turn red, no smoke, no cloister bell, no blinking lamp. The windows did pulse a little bit but it’s extremely subtle and can easily be missed.

We get told in ‘The Empire of Death’ that everywhere the Doctor landed, everywhere the TARDIS has been, one of these manifestations of Susan Triad has been created and therefore every single planet etc is in danger, is now destroyed. It’s honestly clever.

There’s loads of times when the villain wins and we have the heroes saving the day, but honestly Sutekh won and we stuck with that for a long time. We didn’t jump to the Doctor saving everyone; we had a moment of defeat where we saw the impact of the realisation on the Doctor. We saw his rage; we saw him thinking back to all those times that he’s been on the planet and all the places he’s visited and he’s responsible for it. The fact that we stuck with it highlights the significance of what Sutekh has managed to achieve. We didn’t just hear that the planets are dead we saw it, we saw Ruby realising that her family is dead and there’s nothing they can do about it.

I did have a critique about Sutekh not taking the rope off himself, as it looked like he pulled it a little bit then left it on but I recently found out that the rope was a molecular bond as previously seen in ‘Rogue’ – the device that traps the Chulder – so Sutekh literally couldn’t have gone anywhere.

The other mystery that got solved – or honestly, did it? – was who was Ruby’s mum?

I’ve got to say this was a compelling mystery and the show explored it well showing us how her biological mum disappeared without a trace, the snow appearing around Ruby, the carol of the bells playing, having literal gods being scared of Ruby … But it was all for nothing. I mean the time window even glitches looking like the woman is doing it herself.

It’s cool to have characters who are ordinary but if she’s ordinary why does she have this unknowable cosmic energy that gods themselves have been seen to be afraid of? If her power is to be ordinary why are gods not scared of literally everyone?

In the context of the mystery, it’s a complete let down but hyping it up in this way was a mistake. Davies implied it was the fans that did this, but it clearly wasn’t, I mean look how much evidence we had to work with! By all means have this type of story in the show, but don’t hype it up as something that it isn’t. With that out of the way, the scene where Ruby and her biological mum are reunited in the coffee shop is perfect, the score is great in the background as well. I mean its Murray Gold.

In the commentary for ‘The Empire of Death’ Davies said that he was actually inspired by The Last Jedi‘s Rey arc for Ruby Sunday, with the story logic that you aren’t going to get the answers you hope you get and honestly – never thought I’d say this – Chibnall did this better then Russell and whoever wrote that plot in Star Wars as that was terrible too (though they should’ve kept her a no-body instead of turning her into a Palpatine but that’s another franchise).

I’m just hoping that we’ll get more answers when we meet the dad, but I’m not getting my hopes completely up.

I love the twist with Harriet being a harbinger. It’s really sinister as Harriet becomes possessed warning people of the god she is the harbinger of, the camera work, make up and sound design works together so well to make her believable to be an otherworldly entity and it’s such a creepy moment. The speech is absolutely incredible. I just love this climax so much, Genesis Lynea does such an incredible job turning so evil out of nowhere, unblinking and emotionless as her voice gets deeper and more demonic as she becomes this manifestation of death. Almost like Sutekh himself is speaking through her – I mean, he probably was – the Harriet twist is perfectly executed as this puppet of the gods playing this long game to await Sutekh’s arrival. Especially the touch as a tear runs down her cheek, almost like she has no control which is heartbreaking in a way. Was she a different type of harbinger to Henry?

Even though I would’ve preferred Shirley – where did she even go? I know about outside of the show, but it would’ve been nice if they acknowledged her like we had Kate on the phone to Osgood in Flux, which again where did she go? But never mind – I like Lennie Rush’s Morris Gibbins who had some good comedic lines about calculating the possibility of a trap, each time increasing the number.

I love the scene where Colonel Chidozie steps behind the TARDIS he disappears and Morris points out an absolutely terrifying visual where the TARDIS previously was, I honestly adore this. It’s so creepy, just this mass of smoke and cloud lurking there. It’s so horrifying that Kate wonders if its in 2004 or in 2024 because everything is going wrong, and they don’t know what’s real anymore.

We get another appearance by Mrs Flood in ‘The Legend of Ruby Sunday’ and she turns quite sinister as she warns us of a storm coming and that the one who waits, waits no more. I find this really interesting, and I hope that it’s something that’d actually be paid off.

What is Rose Noble even doing in this two parter? Don’t get me wrong it was nice to see her, and I loved the interaction between her and the Doctor, with the Doctor asking her how’s her uncle who is obviously the 14th Doctor but I just thought she was so unnecessary. I mean, to give her a little credit because of her commenting that Donna is working at UNIT Carla wants to come and see what’s happening but other than that she literally doesn’t have a part to play. It’s worse in ‘The Empire of Death’ as she’s just pressing buttons on an iPad while everyone else is shooting Sutekh and Harriet, it’s probably controlling the big gun but it looks like she’s playing an online game while everyone else is working.

I seem to be in the minority here and this is going to sound awful, but I actually liked the scene with the ‘kind woman’ as it shows us what Sutekh is actually doing to all these planets. I don’t think people are understanding the implication of the scene and are just dismissing it as a “random scene” but honestly, it’s really important to the episode. These kinds of scenes grip you emotionally and allow you to breath for a moment, letting you take in the severity of what’s happened. It’s the more human side of this tragedy. The moment where the woman realises that her daughter actually died is heartbreaking and highlights how evil Sutekh is. He created this death wave, he made it so that a child would die before their parents and forces them to watch their child die first and know they will be dying next, but to after pretty much die twice by witnessing the death of their child? That is truly evil. The scene was chilling, and I think that some people didn’t like the scene because they couldn’t see the point. The point is to highlight to you how devastating this destruction is. Don’t skip past it and get to the solution, let’s stay with it for a bit and actually look at what’s happening. Its honestly a powerful scene.

I don’t want to be negative, so I’ll get my positives out of the way first. The final scene between the Doctor and Ruby, this is kind of a departure for Ruby even though we know she’s sticking around for season 2 – this is where knowing events about the next season ruins the current a bit – but it was nicely done, brilliantly performed by Ncuti and Millie. I have got to say two of the stand outs for me in these episodes are Jemma Redgrave’s Kate Lethbridge Stewart and Bonnie Langford’s Melanie Bush. Kate has a lot of great moments in ‘The Legend of Ruby Sunday’, taking charge of situations with authority and butting heads with the Doctor in a believable way. I really like the way Kate cares about all of her team, she’s clearly upset when Colonel Chidozie dies, she seems to be immediately angry at the Doctor especially as she told him not to send this guy behind the TARDIS and I like her not treating these people as disposable. This could actually be Kate’s best episode, finally felt like she had a lot to work with. I’d like to also add that I love what RTD has done with Langford’s character, stripping her off all her 80’s issues and giving her another go, I’d honestly love to see more of her in the TARDIS. Her and Ncuti together is just perfect. After all, she’s dealt with the 6th and 7th Doctor’s moodiness, so the 15th Doctor is easy in comparison. Her moment in the memory TARDIS with the coat and jumper had the biggest emotional payoff for me. There’s just something right and comforting about Mel recognising and finding comfort with the outfits worn by her Doctors. Bonnie was brilliant the whole time, honestly good to have her back. I’m also loving the appreciation that Mel is receiving after this finale, it’s about time. Gatwa was on top form in both episodes. Looking at them as one story, it was a good character driven episode. I had a lot of fun during this finale and as I adore Sutekh there was a lot for me to love. Even if you still don’t like ‘The Empire of Death’ you can’t deny that the cliffhanger for ‘The Legend of Ruby Sunday’ holds up amazingly by itself. I just wish, while critiquing the episode, fans would think who Sutekh actually is and not who he describes himself as being. The best compliment I can give is RTD made the TARDIS, of all things, scary … That is incredibly impressive. Now for my negatives. The big reset button. It was underwhelming, you just had Sutekh scratch the vortex and everything is back to normal? Eh? How does death cancel out death? Doesn’t that make more death? The big reset button is a trope in Doctor Who that is used far too many times, I think you needed some sort of lasting effect. Someone didn’t come back; I mean you decided to have the god of death in the show … It’s in the name. Susan Triad, the Vlinx, especially Colonel Chidozie and Bailey as they were the first people to get killed. There’s got to be a lasting impact to remind people that this happened. Everyone lived except Sutekh and Harriet (I think?). This question is directed to Russell, why are there three endings? If you had to find the mum end it there, I would’ve cut that – it was a nice moment but seriously? You named your child by pointing at a sign? – Come on Russell, I know you can write better than that – not have Ruby leave the Doctor as she’s in season 2 and then have Mrs Flood deliver her ominous message as she does, maybe like she did last time then it matches? I don’t know. I just know we didn’t need three endings to one episode. Apart from the few criticisms I have addressed about ‘The Empire of Death’ I thought it was honestly a brilliant ending, though I do understand if it wasn’t for you.

Also, one final thought before I give my score … Is Sutekh a toxic fan? He was latched onto the TARDIS, stuck around, feels entitled to answers and if he doesn’t get any, everything can die (in this context meaning the show). Something to think about, after all that was what the Absorbaloff was.

‘The Legend of Ruby Sunday’ 5/5

‘The Empire of Death’ 4/5

I’d like to add that if you didn’t like either both episodes or just ‘The Empire of Death’, or like me just felt a bit underwhelmed by the experience then listen to Big Finish’s The Triumph of Sutekh you won’t regret it.