Doctor Who: The Future or Past Doctor

Doctor Who | Season 12 | Episode 5 : “Fugitive of the Judoon”
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For a quick read, go to Review. For a complete summary, go to Recap.

KBear Recap [Read  time: 5-7 min]

“Enforcement field perimeter at maximum strength.” Judoon Captain

Ruth Clayton (Jo Martin) looks at her watch in a daze. She snaps out of it and cheerfully eats her breakfast. Her husband Lee (Neil Stuke) joins her. It’s her birthday, she doesn’t want a present but she does want a cake. He promises to pick one up. He looks apprehensive. It’s Monday morning and Ruth goes to work, she gives city tours of Gloucester. She stops at the café to get a cup of coffee, its owner Allan (Michael Begley) draws a heart in her coffee and tells her to leave Lee. He thinks Lee is shady and tries to hand her a dossier he compiled on him.

Out in space is a Judoon ship. The Judoon Captain (Paul Kasey) prepares to take a platoon down to Gloucester to hunt down a fugitive. Aboard the TARDIS, the Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) is quietly looking for something while her companions, Graham O’Brien (Bradley Walsh), Yasmin Khan (Mandip Gill), and Ryan Sinclair (Tosin Cole) watch her. The Doctor has been doing that a lot lately and they finally decide to ask what she is looking for. She tells them the Master. Ryan is surprised she’d want to see him. The Doctor is worried he’d escaped from the Kasaavin. Yaz presses the issue. Yaz: “Is that where you go? When you leave us to explore and you say you’ll be back in an hour, but you never are. Are you out looking for him? Where do you go?” Doctor: “Home. On my own.” Yaz: “Why? Why not with us?” [Doctor flashes back to the destroyed Gallifrey.] Doctor [annoyed]: “Cause you ask too many questions.” She picks up a Judoon message. She discovers they are sending a platoon to Gloucester. The Judoon teleport in the middle of town and terrify the citizens. They scan people to find the fugitive. Ruth’s friend Marcia (Judith Street) confronts the Judoon. They disintegrate the knitting and the needles she had in her hand. They compensate her for it. When they try to scan her she runs from them and disintegrates. Judoon Captain: “Enforcement field perimeter at maximum strength.”

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Lee goes into the café to pick up Ruth’s birthday cake. Allan has written on the cake in frosting, “You Can Do Better.”  Lee asks what his problem is. Allan tells him he knows he’s shady. The Doctor and the Companions appear and tells Allan and Lee about the Judoon and asks them to stay in the café, Lee leaves quickly Allan calls him a coward. Yaz asks what his problem is, Allan expresses his suspicions and tries to show them his dossier on Lee. The Doctor, Ryan, and Yaz leave. Graham grabs a cupcake and comments on how ugly Ruth’s birthday cake looks, suddenly he is teleported out of the café.  The Judoon enter the café and scan Allan. They tell him they are looking for a fugitive, he tells them he can help and points to his dossier on Lee. The Captain knocks over somethings to get it; Allan pushes the Judoon Captain. The Captain shoots him for assaulting an officer.

Lee rushes home and finds a frightened Ruth. She tells him about the Judoon. He tells her they have to get out of there. The Judoon have surrounded their apartment building. The Doctor shows up with Yaz and Ryan and shows the Captain her psychic paper pretending to be an inspector. She tells them they aren’t allowed to set up a class seven enforcement field and it’s unlawful to use a temporal isolator [it’s a cannon]. The Doctor convinces them to give her five minutes to arbitrate this matter. The Doctor asks Ryan where’s Graham, he doesn’t know.

Graham wakes up on a spaceship, a voice tells him to stay still; he has to adjust some security functions. The voice belongs to Captain Jack Harness (John Barrowman). Captain Jack: “You can get excited now. Ha! You missed me right.” Jack kisses Graham and tells him the touch of grey in his hair looks good. Jack thinks that Graham is the Doctor. Someone is shooting at Jack’s ship, it’s probably the people he stole it from. He has a message for the Doctor. Captain Jack: “He needs to know the future of the universe is at stake.” Graham: “Not he. She.” Captain Jack [chuckling]: “Oh! This I gotta see.”

“Khan and Sinclair with the key questions.” The Doctor

The Doctor persuades Ruth to let them in. She tells her they don’t have long and they need to know why the Judoon are after them. Ruth doesn’t know. Lee says they haven’t done anything but he looks suspicious. Yaz: “If you’re both so innocent, why’re your bags packed?” Ryan: “Yeah, like you’re about to go on the run.” Doctor: “Khan and Sinclair with the key questions.” Ruth says they are scared of those aliens, who wouldn’t want to get away from them. The Doctor sends Ryan and Yaz to search the apartment. They find a box hidden in Ruth and Lee’s bedroom, the Doctor scans the box; it’s not from Earth. The Judoon fire a device into their kitchen, counting down how much time they have. The Doctor tells them they have to come clean before others living on the block get killed. Lee asks for the box, but he won’t tell them what it is. Lee: “I’ve made a mistake. You’re the most important thing in my life. I can’t let others lose their lives. I need to make sure you’re safe.” Ruth: “What do you mean, ‘a mistake’”? He asks the Doctor to take Ruth with them while he stays and talks to the Judoon. Ruth says she won’t leave him but he begs her to go with the Doctor. He tells them to go to the Cathedral. Yaz and Ryan will go to the Judoon to stall them while the Doctor and Ruth slip out the back. Ryan and Yaz meet with the Judoon and tell them the matter has been arbitrated. They can go up to the apartment but they have to turn their cannon off. The Judoon turn it off and the Captain and some of her troops head up to the apartment. Yaz begins to lecture the Judoon who were left behind, but she and Ryan are teleported away in mid rant.

The Judoon crash into the apartment, Lee waits for them and surrenders. Before he surrendered, he sent Ruth a text. Commander Gat (Ritu Arya) teleports into the kitchen. Gat: “Hello old friend. See you’re back from the dead.” Lee had faked his death to escape with Ruth. The way that they found them was through the box Yaz and Ryan had found. They were able to track Lee by the chronotelluric alloys in the box. His box contains his medal for valor, he tries to reach for a weapon but Gat is a step ahead of him, they have the same training. Gat: “Sorry it had to end this way. You got so close to escaping. Faithful companion.” Gat shoots him. The Judoon Captain freaks out, since their contract states they capture the fugitive, Gat tells them Lee wasn’t the fugitive.

The Doctor and Ruth are in the Cathedral. Ruth gets Lee’s text, “Follow the Light, Break the Glass. Happy Birthday X”. In her mind she sees a lighthouse. The Judoon surround them and tell the Doctor that Ruth is the fugitive. The Doctor tries to talk them out of this but they are prepared to take Ruth. Suddenly Ruth attacks the Judoon in hand-to-hand combat and defeats them. She breaks off the Judoon Captain’s horn. The Judoon teleport out of the Cathedral. In complete shock, the Doctor asks, “Do you know what you just did? Who are you?”

Ryan and Yaz arrive on Jack’s stolen ship. Jack thinks that she Yaz is the Doctor, but is quickly corrected. He and Ryan trade insults and he tells him that he’s his favorite now. Jack asks if the Doctor is surrounded by the Judoon, they say she is. Jack says that’s why he couldn’t scoop her, the enforcement field messes up his readings.

“Look at me. I know my own life. I’m Ruth Clayton. I am 44. I’m married. I’m a tour guide. And I am scared.” Ruth Clayton

The Doctor tells Ruth that the Judoon have evaluated the planet. Ruth thinks that’s a good thing, the Doctor tells her it isn’t. When Ruth took the Judoon Captain’s horn, she dishonored her. Now this is personal. The Doctor knows she isn’t human, her and Lee’s biological shielding was so good that her sonic screwdriver couldn’t detect it. She still doesn’t know what species Ruth is. The Doctor asks about the text, it must have activated her hidden identity. Ruth: “Look at me. I know my own life. I’m Ruth Clayton. I am 44. I’m married. I’m a tour guide. And I am scared. But then, that was not me. My hands, they just moved. They…” Doctor: “But if it wasn’t you, who was it?” Ruth remembers the lighthouse where she grew up. The Doctor wants to go there.

The ship’s anti-theft system activates, Jack has to leave before he is attacked by Nanogenes. He’ll use the scoop to send the companions back to Gloucester. He has a message for them to give to the Doctor. Captain Jack: “Just tell her this. I’m gonna see her again. Maybe not soon, but when she needs me, I’ll be there. In the meantime, tell her – – Beware the lone Cyberman.” The Nanogenes begin to attack him. He continues, “Tell the Doctor, the lone Cyberman… don’t give it what it wants. At all costs.” Jack teleports out, the companions soon follow.

“Tell the Doctor, the lone Cyberman… don’t give it what it wants. At all costs.” Captain Jack Harness

Ruth and the Doctor are driving to Ruth’s childhood home. The Doctor keeps asking her questions, Ruth figures out the Doctor is testing her. She has a vision of the lighthouse, a light, her fighting the Judoon. Ruth says her parents are buried on the property. She hasn’t been back home in years. They finally arrive. Ruth tells the Doctor she’ll build a fire while the Doctor looks around. The Doctor goes up to the top of the lighthouse and sees Ruth parent’s gravestones. She goes down to examine them. Doctor: “Why have a blank graveside. [Scans it] It’s not a grave.” She grabs a shovel and starts digging. Ruth can hear Lee’s text message, she sees what looks like a fire alarm and breaks the glass. Light comes out of it, the type we see when a Time Lord regenerates. The light goes inside Ruth and her eyes light up. Soon her total demeanor changes and she changes clothes. The Doctor keeps digging until she finds a buried blue police box. She is totally confused now. Ruth appears. Ruth: “You’re probably a bit confused right now. I broke the glass. It’s all come back to me.” Doctor: “This. What is this?” Ruth: “That’s my ship.” Doctor: “What?!” Ruth: “Let me take if from the top. Hello. I’m the Doctor. I’m a traveler in space and time. And that thing buried down there is called a TARDIS – – Time And Relative Dimension In Space. You’re gonna love this.” They teleport inside Doctor/Ruth’s TARDIS.

Doctor/Ruth is trying to get ready for Gat, because she knows she is right behind them. The Doctor is trying to figure this out. Doctor/Ruth isn’t paying her any attention until the Doctor tells her she is the Doctor. Doctor/Ruth doesn’t believe it. The Doctor tells her she must be from her future because she doesn’t remember her, Doctor/Ruth tells her she must be from her future, because she doesn’t remember her. They are both confused, the Doctor scans Doctor/Ruth and herself and determines they are the same person. Soon they begin talking in unison and realize they have the same brain. The Judoon use a tractor beam to drag the TARDIS into space. Doctor/Ruth grabs the lazar rifle she brought from the lighthouse and tells the Doctor not to tell them she’s the Doctor, just let Doctor/Ruth handle this.

The TARDIS is inside the Judoon ship. They walk out of the TARDIS and Gat is waiting for them. Doctor/Ruth points the lazar rifle at Gat, the Judoon surround them. Gat wants the lazar rifle back, Doctor/Ruth stole it from her. She gives the lazar rifle back to Gat and she points it at Doctor/Ruth. Doctor/Ruth keeps telling her not to fire the weapon. The Doctor is trying to figure out what’s going on. Gat and Doctor/Ruth worked for the same people, they are the ones who hired the Judoon to arrest Doctor/Ruth. The Doctor reveals to Gat that she is also the Doctor. Doctor/Ruth: “Is there even a word for how dumb you are?” Doctor: “Doctor!” The Judoon scan the Doctor, they want to be paid twice since they are the same fugitive. Gat doesn’t believe her, it would be an abomination for the two to be together. It would mess up the time stream going back to Gallifrey. The Doctor realizes that Gat is a Time Lord too. The Doctor tells Gat they can’t be from her future because Gallifrey is destroyed. Both Gat and Doctor/Ruth are shocked. The Doctor shows Gat the destruction telepathically. Gat has had enough and fires at Doctor/Ruth, but the rifle back fires and kills her. The Doctor tells Doctor/Ruth she sabotaged the lazar rifle. Doctor/Ruth points out she kept telling her not to use the weapon, the Doctor tells her she knew Gat would use it. Doctor/Ruth tells her not to act so high minded. She repairs the rifle and points it at the Judoon. The Doctor reminds her the Doctor doesn’t use weapons, Doctor/Ruth whispers back she knows. Doctor/Ruth holds the Judoon off with the rifle until they are back in interstellar space, the Judoon have no jurisdiction there. She and the Doctor get back in the TARDIS and leave.

“We do know who you are. You’re the woman that brought us together. The woman that saved us, and loads of other people. You’re the Doctor.” Ryan Sinclair

Doctor/Ruth is taking the Doctor back to Earth. The Doctor is shaken. Doctor: “You can’t be me. I know what I’ve done. I know my own life.” Doctor/Ruth: “One of us has to be wrong.” She wants the Doctor off her ship. Doctor/Ruth drops her back in Gloucester. The Doctor is walking in a daze when Yaz finds her. She tells the Doctor about Captain Jack. Back in the Doctor’s TARDIS, Graham tells her what Jack said about the Cyberman. The Doctor explains how dangerous they are. She tells them about her and Ruth being the same person. Doctor: “Time is swirling around me. The Master. Captain Jack Harkness. Ruth. Something’s coming for me. I can feel it.” Ryan: “Let it come. You’ve got us.” Doctor: “Ryan, I’ve lived for thousands of years. So long, I’ve lost count. I’ve had so many faces. How long have you been here? You don’t know me. Not even a little bit.” Yaz: “Don’t talk to him like that.” Ryan: “Yeah, I’m not having that. We do know who you are. You’re the woman that brought us together. The woman that saved us, and loads of other people. You’re the Doctor. Whoever you were in the past or are in the future, we know who you are right now. Right?” Yaz: “Right.” Graham: “The best person we know.” Yaz: “And whatever is coming for you, we’ll be here, cause we’re your mates.” Graham: “Well, not just mates – – family.” This cheers the Doctor up a little. An alarm goes off, there are three incidents on three continents. She asks if they’d like to check it out. The companions smile and nod in agreement.  

KBear Review [Read time: 1-3 minutes]

The Judoon go to Gloucester to capture a fugitive. They zero in on a couple, Lee and Ruth Clayton. They appear to be two ordinary humans. Lee appears suspicious, but Ruth appears to be a completely average middle aged woman. Appearances can be deceiving. The fugitive is Ruth. Lee ‘s suspicious behavior was just him trying to protect her. The main villain calls him a faithful companion. Little did I know that was quite literal. Ruth turns out to be the Doctor, the same Doctor as Thirteen. No one could identify Ruth because she was using the Chameleon Arch, the same one the Tenth Doctor used in Human Blood and The Family of Blood. The Doctor thinks that Ruth is her future, but Ruth doesn’t remember our Doctor and thinks Thirteen is her future. Soon the Doctor faces the possibility that Ruth is from her past and that there are parts of her past she doesn’t know about and remember. Captain Jack Harkness makes his first appearance in Doctor Who since The End of Time Part II. He scoops Graham, thinking he’s the Doctor, and later scoops Ryan and Yaz, thinking she’s the Doctor. He never scoops the Doctor but he gives the companions a message to give her, “Beware the Lone Cyberman…don’t give it what it wants. At all costs.”

Since the Master revealed that he destroyed Gallifrey and made her remember the Timeless Child, the Doctor has been on an emotional rollercoaster. She has been distant from her companions, secretly searching for the Master. In this episode she meets another Doctor, but it appears to be a Doctor from her past. With the Timeless Child and other secrets Gallifrey hid from her, the Doctor can’t be sure what her past is. How could she forget Doctor/Ruth? What else doesn’t she know about her past. She is at her lowest point, but fortunately for her, she has Graham, Ryan, and Yaz, who are her family. They have her back and whatever comes, they’ll be there for her. It proves again that all of the Doctors have needed their companions.

Great episode, it was good seeing the Judoon again. They aren’t a great villain like the Daleks or Cybermen, but they make a fun villain. It was cool that the Judoon captain was a female. Just a nice little touch. It was great seeing John Barrowman again. He is the definition of a fan favorite. I hope that means more former companions might show up in the future. It’s too bad he didn’t share a scene with Jodie Whittaker. Hopefully he’ll be back again. The big revelation was meeting a new Doctor. Jo Martin did a great job as both human Ruth Clayton and as The Doctor. I didn’t see that coming until she broke the glass. She had the proper authority to play the Doctor. She is more vicious than our Doctor. It appears Gallifrey was a bit rougher than we’ve imagined. I’d like to know what Doctor/Ruth and Gat were up to. The episode gave Jodie Whittaker a lot to work with, and she was magnificent. I knew she was a great actress from Broadchurch, and now Doctor Who is giving her the type of material that is letting her shine. I’m really enjoying this season.  

Anthony (Kbear!) Nichols | Editor-in-Chief
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