Recap: Doctor Who 12.5, Fugitive of the Judoon

It’s been more than a decade since the Doctor has crossed paths with the Judoon, very brutal police for hire. They’re looking for someone in Gloucester, and the Doctor is trying to keep the damage to a minimum.
What happens leads to the most shocking twist in years, even bigger than finding out River Song is Amy Pond’s future daughter. It’s THAT big.
Oh, and an old friend’s back.

SPOILERS BELOW

The Judoon are looking for a fugitive, trapping Gloucester in a deadly force field. They also cause a lot of damage, and even kill an old lady after they mistake her knitting for a weapon,
They seem to target a guy named Lee (Neil Stuke), who may or may not be from town. He’s married to Ruth (Jo Martin), a local tour guide. Ruth has no idea what’s going on, and Lee seems to play innocent. The Doctor tries her best to protect both.

At one point, Graham disappears, and finds himself in a ship. It’s not the Judoon’s ship, but it’s flown by someone who might have stolen it.
He doesn’t recognize the voice, but some fans do….

Welcome back, Jack Harkness!
Too bad he mistakes Graham for the Doctor. Not only that, he’s attacked by someone. Seems Jack stole a ship before he found out it didn’t have a bar. He eventually scoops up Yaz and Ryan, but he was hoping to get the Doctor. Apparently the Judoon’s signals screwed up his attempt.
Anyway, he’s got a message for the Doctor, but we’ll get to that later. It is a blast to see John Barrowman as Harkness again, and he hasn’t lost any of his swagger and cheesiness. Here’s hoping he might return by the end of the season. He left a message on Instagram.

Back in Gloucester, the Judoon are still after Lee and a box he claims isn’t his. A woman named Gat (Ritu Arya) shows up, and seems to know him. He admits the box has a service medal he’s been trying to fix.
He won’t get the chance. Gat calls him a “loyal companion” before killing him, but that doesn’t mean the search is over. He sends a text to Ruth just before he dies: “Follow the light, break the glass”. This will reveal something no Doctor Who fan ever expected.

The Judoon find the Doctor and Ruth at a church, and identify Ruth…as the fugitive. She suddenly goes Jason Bourne and removes the horn from the lead Judoon. The Doctor is shocked, and so is Ruth.
The truth is at a lighthouse where Ruth grew up, but it has a blank gravestone. Ruth does break the glass and suddenly remembers a lot of things, like the fact she has a big scary gun.

Now, to quote Amy Pond in “The Big Bang”, “Okay, kid, this is where it gets complicated”…
The Doctor finds a TARDIS buried under the gravestone. She knows this because Ruth told her….because SHE IS ALSO THE DOCTOR!!

The TARDIS that RuthDoc has looks more like the classic one from the previous century. Our Doctor sees a Chameleon Arch that allowed RuthDoc to forget who she was. Lee was her “loyal Companion” to make sure she didn’t remember her past.
RuthDoc admits to the Doctor she was working for the Judoon, and tried to get out. Now Gat and her crew have both Doctors thanks to a tractor beam.

Meanwhile, Harkness thinks it’s getting a bit too dangerous, especially when he get attacked by nanobots who don’t like spaceship thieves. He tells the Companions to tell the Doctor “Beware the lone Cyberman”. He explains the Cyberman Empire has fallen but apparently is using time travel to stop this. This is likely to happen very soon.

As for the Doctors, Gat confronts them after getting the big gun RuthDoc had. RuthDoc warns Gat not to shoot her, while the Judoon just want their cash. It’s also revealed that while they work for Gat, she works for someone else. The Doctor soon reveals herself (which RuthDoc is not happy about). Gat is stunned because two Doctors in one place would ruin the time streams and affect Gallifrey.
What?
Yes, Gat is from Gallifrey, and even she wonders what Doctor is which when she finds out what happened (or will happen) to her home world. It seems Gat is from the Doctor’s past, but how far back? Maybe before the crotchety old man two teachers met in 1963?
In any case, Gat fires the gun at both Doctors…and it fires in reverse. The Doctor is surprised RuthDoc allowed it to happen, but both have to worry about the Judoon about to kill them. Fortunately, they’re in interplanetary space, which mean no rules or laws. So, both Doctors leave and the Judoon wisely let them. The Doctor also leaves her other self, and wonders what just happened.
So do the fans.
Another Doctor we never knew about before, like the War Doctor that existed between Eight and Nine?
The show pulled off a great move choosing a woman of color as the Unknown Doctor, and Jo Martin was truly up to the task. We must know more about this Doctor, and where she exists in the Time Lord’s complete timeline.

She is soon reunited with her Companions, and she gets the message from Jack. It’s almost too much for her. “Time is swirling around me,” she says. “The Master, Captain Jack Harkness, Ruth. Something’s coming for me.”
She may doubt herself, and might be scared about what’s to come, but Graham, Ryan and Yaz aren’t. They say they know who the Doctor is, and they’ll stand by her.
Good thing, too, because suddenly three emergencies pop up on Earth.
The next adventure awaits.

This is the biggest shake-up the Doctor Who-Verse has had in years, and opens up a lot of possibilities that will be part of this season and hopefully 2021 and beyond. Another Doctor? A hidden history of Gallifrey? A possible connection to the “Missing Child”? That just might be the start.
At least one thing is constant: Jodie Whittaker has confirmed she’ll be back for another season in 2021.
One more thing: a look at RuthDoc’s TARDIS. It hints maybe she pre-dates the First Doctor. A lot of people hope that is still true once the season ends.

Next week: the Doctor not only battles the Super Bowl, but also tries to connect three strange events.

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Post Author: David Mello

Worked nearly eleven years at a radio station as a board operator, news reader, and assistant producer for baseball broadcasts. Have been a staff writer for Whedonopolis since July 2008