Fugitive of the Judoon was the fifth episode of series 12 of Doctor Who.

It featured the introduction of a new incarnation of the Doctor, wrapped in mystery, with her own TARDIS, though neither Doctor can remember living the life of the other. This other Doctor is said to have used a Chameleon Arch to hide on Earth in her "Ruth Clayton" identity, and has a history working for the Time Lords, in an undisclosed capacity. As a result of this revelation, Jo Martin makes history by becoming the first non-white actor to be cast in the role of the Doctor, as well as the first to receive credit in this role.

This episode also saw the return of Captain Jack Harkness, who last made a televised appearance at the end of Torchwood series 4 in 2011 with The Blood Line. This was also his first appearance in televised Doctor Who in just over a decade, last having been seen in 2010's The End of Time. Although Jack does not interact with the Thirteenth Doctor in this story, he warns her companions about the Lone Cyberman, setting up a story arc that came to fruition in The Haunting of Villa Diodati.

True to its title, this story also saw the reintroduction of the Judoon, who became the first of those monsters first introduced in the Russell T Davies era to make an appearance under new showrunner Chris Chibnall.

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

The Judoon are on the hunt for a runaway and they have narrowed their search down to modern-day Gloucester. The Thirteenth Doctor and her friends decide to step in before anyone can get hurt, but things are far more complex than they seem. A complex web is about to unfold, featuring a surprising new face and a worrying prophecy from an old friend.

Plot[edit | edit source]

In a flat in 2020 Gloucester, a woman called Ruth Clayton wakes up on her 44th birthday and makes herself breakfast. Her husband, Lee Clayton, goes to collect her cake as she heads to work. Advertising her guided tours of the city, she greets various passersby with a smile and eventually manages to hook one tourist with a mention of Harry Potter. Sitting down with an elderly acquaintance called Marcia, they both agree that the tourist will not be coming back.

Later, Ruth visits a café where the barista, Allan, gives her a coffee and shares his suspicions about Lee. He shows Ruth a dossier of information about Lee's strange activity, but she laughs it off. Meanwhile, in a Judoon spaceship hovering above Earth, platoon captain Pol-Kon-Don targets the city.

In the Doctor's TARDIS, Graham, Yaz, and Ryan gather on the steps and discuss the Thirteenth Doctor's distant behaviour. Confronting her, she explains she is searching for the Master, concerned that she cannot track him since the Kasaavin took him because of the message he left her. Just then, a Judoon warning transmission sounds and she explains about them. She notes they have put up a zonal enforcement field on Earth so nobody can enter or exit the city. She decides to try and slip the TARDIS through.

In Gloucester, the Judoon appear and cause mass panic, scanning the public and stamping a red X on their hands. Marcia confronts them and they disintegrate her knitting, learning to speak human by scanning her. As Ruth faces up to them as well, the Judoon introduce themselves. Marcia runs away straight into the enforcement field and is disintegrated by it. The Judoon explain they are searching for a fugitive in the city.

In the coffee shop, Lee enters to receive Ruth's birthday cake and Allan presents him with one topped with "You can do better". Annoyed, Lee mutters about humans as the TARDIS materialises in the back room. The Doctor and friends explain the situation and Lee runs away before Allan can lock the shop. As the Doctor, Yaz, and Ryan leave, Graham stays behind to look at Lee's cake as he is teleported away. Outside, Lee meets up with Ruth and tells her they need to go home. Meanwhile, the Judoon arrive at the coffee shop and scan Allan. However, as they make a mess of the shop, he shoves Pol-Kon-Don and is immediately sentenced to execution.

Back in Ruth and Lee's flat, Lee begins packing some suitcases. Ruth finds herself very suspicious of his behaviour as the Judoon gather outside the apartment block. However, the Doctor faces up to Pol-Kon-Don and uses her psychic paper to convince them she is an Imperial Regulator. She tells them they do not have jurisdiction in the area and the temporal isolator they are planning to use on the flats is outlawed. Although the Judoon say that the fugitive is highly dangerous, the Doctor tells them to stand down, pretending that Earth laws state "any potential arrestee is entitled to arbitration with a third party." Identifying Pol-Kon-Don as female, they haggle to get five minutes talking time as the Doctor realises Graham is missing.

Graham wakes up on the floor of a very wide and light spaceship. A male American voice tells him to not move until the movement sensors are calibrated and that he is "looking good." Finishing his preparations, the owner of the voice teleports in, revealing himself to be none other than Captain Jack Harkness. He runs up and snogs Graham, asking "how you been, Doctor?" In the apartment, the Doctor and friends meet Ruth and Lee, where Lee believes he has been part of a case of mistaken identity. With three minutes left, the Doctor, Yaz, and Ryan explore the flat as the sonic screwdriver shows both Ruth and Lee as completely human.

In the spaceship, Jack explains he has stolen the ship and its owners are shooting at them to get it back. As Graham explains he just travels with the Doctor, Jack says he was trying to get to "him" to warn him that the future of the universe is at stake. Finding out the Doctor is now female, Jack gets excited; saying "This I gotta see!". Back in the apartment, Yaz discovers a box that is not from Earth as the Judoon prepare their final warnings. Lee asks for the box despite claiming to never have seen it before and tells the Doctor to escape with Ruth out the back while Yaz and Ryan make a diversion to prevent the Judoon from attacking him. With the time up, they split up and Ruth promises to meet Lee at the cathedral. Yaz and Ryan tell the Judoon they can come in if they are peaceful, but the two of them are teleported away. Lee begins texting Ruth and surrenders to the Judoon.

Yaz and Ryan appear on the spaceship with Graham and Jack. Confusing first Ryan then Yaz for the Doctor, Jack curses missing her three times. In the apartment, a woman called Commander Gat beams in next to Pol-Kon-Don. Gat squares up to Lee, revealing that they know each other and she believed him to be dead before trying to track him down, and she found him because of his otherworldly medal box. Despairing of Lee, Gat tells them Judoon to kill him. They scan him and realise he was not the fugitive after all. Calling him a "faithful companion", Gat disintegrates Lee.

In Gloucester Cathedral, the Doctor interrogates Ruth. She receives the text from Lee, reading "Follow the light. Break the glass. Happy birthday" and sees brief visions of a lighthouse. However, the Judoon reappear and surround them. Pol-Kon-Don reveals to Ruth that Lee has been killed but explains that she had right to as she has decrypted Ruth's biological shielding and identified her as the fugitive. Acting unnaturally fast, Ruth attacks the Judoon, steals a weapon from them and threatens Pol-Kon-Don, before tearing off her horn. She yells in pain before Ruth activates their communicator and teleports them away. Back in the spaceship, Jack realises he was unable to scoop up the Doctor due to the Judoon interference as the attacks on the ship intensify.

Meanwhile, the Doctor realises the Judoon have evacuated and freed the city, which she views as a bad sign. Although she is convinced both Ruth and Lee were bio-shielded, Ruth is adamant she is not hiding anything. The Doctor believes that Lee's text was some kind of activation for the real Ruth and Ruth recalls the memory of the lighthouse, which was her childhood home where her parents are buried. The Doctor decides they must go there immediately. On the spaceship, the ship's nanogenes begin fighting back against Jack and he has one minute before having to teleport off. He sets his scoop to send the Doctor's friends back, but not before giving them a message for her. Promising to see her again, he tells them to "beware the lone Cyberman. Don't give it what it wants. At all costs." Jack vanishes and the trio are returned to Gloucester.

In Ruth's car, the Doctor quizzes her on her memories. Opening the old lighthouse, Ruth sets up a fire as the Doctor looks around. On the viewing platform, the Doctor notices Ruth's parents' grave and sonics it. Finding something strange, she walks down to it and realises it is not a grave at all. Inside, voices in Ruth's head urge her to break the glass as Lee said. Finding a fire alarm with strange markings on it, she smashes it and golden energy encompasses her. As the Doctor collects a spade and starts digging, she eventually hits something solid. With Ruth recovered, she visibly changes personality, finding a very large alien gun in a nearby basket and changes her outfit. Finally, the Doctor uncovers the buried object: it is the roof of the TARDIS. Utterly baffled, the Doctor is only made more confused when Ruth arrives and introduces herself as the Doctor as well. The Thirteenth Doctor can barely speak as "Ruth" explains she is a traveller in space and time and warps them onboard her TARDIS.

"Ruth" gets into action to wake the TARDIS up, with a Chameleon Arch nearby, and prepares to stand up to Gat. The Thirteenth Doctor introduces herself as the Doctor as well but "Ruth" insists that she is too. Both are dumbfounded at each other as neither can remember the other from their respective pasts and know that it should not be possible. Now "Ruth" has had her bio-shield removed, the Thirteenth Doctor sonics her and it confirms they are the same person, even if the other Doctor does not recognise the sonic. The Fugitive Doctor explains she worked for Gat once and the Thirteenth Doctor realises she hid on Earth, disguised as a human, to escape Gat. As they prepare, a Judoon ship grabs the TARDIS and drags it onboard. The Fugitive Doctor orders the Thirteenth Doctor to not get involved.

Approaching Gat and the Judoon, the Fugitive Doctor hands her rifle back to its original owner. Gat wants to be finished with the Doctor but Pol-Kon-Don insists she must be delivered to their contractee and someone higher than Gat is after her. Although the Fugitive Doctor urges the Thirteenth Doctor to be quiet, she reveals her identity to Gat anyway and the Judoon scan her to confirm it. Gat states it is impossible, as they could not return to Gallifrey together, leading the Thirteenth Doctor to realise they must be from her past, as Gallifrey is destroyed in her time. The Thirteenth Doctor makes psychic contact with Gat to prove it, but she does not believe it and goes to shoot the Doctors. However, the gun backfires, disintegrating her before she can regenerate. The Fugitive Doctor reveals she knew that would happen and the Judoon prepare to arrest her, but she calculates their ship just entered interstellar space where there are no laws. Returning to her TARDIS, the Fugitive Doctor warns the Judoon to never come for her again.

The Fugitive Doctor homes in on the Thirteenth Doctor's TARDIS and drops her off at the Gloucester docks. They part ways knowing that they cannot both be wrong about their pasts. Eventually, the Thirteenth Doctor meets back up with her friends who share the news about Jack, baffling the Doctor even further.

Back in her TARDIS, the Doctor listens to Jack's message and explains her history with him and the Cybermen. She also tells them about what she discovered with "Ruth" and figures that with her, the Master, and Jack all appearing, something is centring on her, but she snaps at Ryan for barely knowing the real her. However, her friends band together to say that she is the best person they know right now and they are family, which is all that matters. Suddenly, an alarm sounds, alerting the Doctor to major separate events on three continents of Earth. They decide to have a quick look and spring into action.

Cast[edit | edit source]

And introducing Jo Martin as the Doctor

Crew[edit | edit source]

to be added

References[edit | edit source]

Locations[edit | edit source]

Events[edit | edit source]

TARDIS[edit | edit source]

Organisations[edit | edit source]

Food and drink[edit | edit source]

Jargon, slang and colloquialisms[edit | edit source]

Individuals[edit | edit source]

  • Ruth has a swan-friend that she calls Reggie.
  • Marcia is an old lady that knits.
  • Allan works at the coffee shop. He has a dossier on Lee Clayton.
  • The Doctor is looking for the Master.
  • The Doctor and Yaz note that the arrestee is entitled to arbitration with a third party under the "made-up" local Earth law Rule 12. They get away with it due to Yaz being a Liaison Officer.
  • The Doctor flippantly says that Ruth "turned into Jackie Chan" after fighting off the Judoon.
  • Jack tells Graham, Yaz and Ryan to tell the Doctor to beware the Lone Cyberman.
  • The Thirteenth Doctor gets offended when the "Fugitive" Doctor gives her points, claiming it as her thing.

The Judoon[edit | edit source]

Species[edit | edit source]

Technology[edit | edit source]

Story notes[edit | edit source]

Ratings[edit | edit source]

  • 4.21 million (BBC overnight)[4]
  • 5.57 million (BBC final)[5]

Filming locations[edit | edit source]

  • West Usk Lighthouse served as a filming location for this story. Since 2012, this lighthouse-turned-bed and breakfast has had a Dalek in the foyer and a TARDIS as changing room for the hot tub on the roof.[6]

Production errors[edit | edit source]

If you'd like to talk about narrative problems with this story — like plot holes and things that seem to contradict other stories — please go to this episode's discontinuity discussion.
  • When the two Doctors exit the "Fugitive" Doctor's TARDIS, as they open the door, the backside of the police box prop is visible.
    • This is the first such error since the early days of the Classic era of the show.
  • When in the "Fugitive" Doctor's TARDIS, the wide shots with the "Fugitive" and Thirteenth Doctors show that the doors in the background appear to be slightly open.

Continuity[edit | edit source]

Home video releases[edit | edit source]

to be added

External links[edit | edit source]

Footnotes[edit | edit source]

  1. PROSE: The Tourist from Adventures in Lockdown reveals that the Judoon invasion of Gloucester took place in the month of January.
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