Rita was an English medical student who was abducted as her shift was starting and brought aboard the prison ship. She was astute, quickly diagnosing a situation based on her observations. The Eleventh Doctor immediately took a liking to her.
Rita was a devout Muslim. Though she accepted the Eleventh Doctor's claims that the "hotel" did not exist on Earth, Rita thought it was actually Jahannam. She was observant and told the Doctor he had a "god complex". Her admirable qualities led the Doctor to jokingly fire Amy and offer Rita her place in his TARDIS.
Rita had already become the third human the Doctor encountered to be possessed by the Minotaur. Her fear was revealed to be her father, a medical doctor whose constant berating her over her grades made her feel deep shame.
Subsequently, Rita hid her devotions to the Minotaur from the Doctor and the others. She separated herself from them. She asked the Doctor to turn off the camera before she died, to remember her as she had been, before her faith was stolen from her. The Doctor shut off the camera so they could not witness her death. The Doctor expressed anger and grief at her death. (TV: The God Complex)
Behind the scenes
- Rita is one of the many characters in the revived series of Doctor Who to be offered the chance to travel with the Doctor and die before they can do so. Others include Lynda Moss, Madame de Pompadour, Astrid Peth, and Osgood.
- DWMSE 31 revealed Rita's surname to be "Afzal". This name can also be seen on her father's name badge.