DOCTOR WHO Showrunner Reveals How Disney+’s Feedback Changed Christmas Special; Teases Mrs. Flood Mystery

Doctor Who‘s Christmas Special, “The Church on Ruby Road,” properly introduced us to Ncuti Gatwa’s Fifteenth Doctor and his new companion, Millie Gibson’s Ruby Sunday. It was a fun adventure and one which set the tone for returning showrunner Russell T Davies’ new “season 1.”

Despite it initially appearing as if the Doctor might leave Ruby behind, the Time Lord’s desire for a companion got the better of him and they left in the Tardis together.

However, in a mid-credits scene, Ruby’s neighbour, Mrs. Flood, seemed positively non-plussed as she watched the time machine dematerialise. With a wink, she then spoke to viewers by asking, “Never seen a Tardis before?” 

Some fans believe this was little more than a cheeky way to end the light-hearted Christmas Special, while others are resolute in their opinion that there’s something more to the character and that she was perhaps changed when the Doctor travelled back in time and saved Ruby as a baby. 

Talking on Doctor Who: Unleashed (via SFFGazette.com), Davies added further fuel to the fire by saying, “Mrs. Flood is a mysterious character. You will eventually find out more about her. She’s a slow burn, Mrs Flood. Who is Mrs Flood? Come back and find out!”

Actress Anita Dobson also chimed in to add, “Today what you see is a friendly neighbour. What the future may be, no one knows. Russell is writing it as we speak.”

Theories currently range from her being the Rani, another version of River Song, and even an older Ruby, so we’ll see whether this leads anywhere. Davies has set up a lot of compelling mysteries for this new era of Doctor Who, anyway, including the identity of Ruby’s parents and the unknown woman who retrieved The Toymaker’s gold tooth (which contains The Master’s essence).

There’s also the matter of an unidentified older woman who showed up in the 60th-anniversary special’s “mavity” scene, the nightclub where Ruby’s band was performing, and the trailer for the show’s return next May as three different characters…or the same one in different guises.

Of course, you’ll be aware that Disney+ is now involved with Doctor Who and it turns out they’re giving it more than just a home on streaming outside of the UK. Talking on that same episode of Doctor Who: Unleashed, Davies revealed that their notes led to a big change to “The Church on Ruby Road.”

“This was the very last scene to be added,” he said of the memorable opening sequence which sees a giant snowman fall on Gatwa’s Doctor. “Disney always tests a first episode, and they tested this and people wanted to see the Doctor earlier, simple as that. They came back with that note, and I was like, ‘Well, actually, OK, who doesn’t want to see Ncuti?'”

Davies is still thought to have the final say, but the streamer’s input may well prove beneficial to Doctor Who in the long run based on how effective this scene was. 

The long-running sci-fi series returns with a new batch of episodes next May. You can watch the trailer by clicking here.