By: Kent Bloxson - MSTv EIC (#mstv)
Doctor Who fans are all going nutter for a new and previously unseen incarnation of “The Doctor” named Ruth. (No, I’m gonna make that gag either.) To begin, the Series 12 episode, “Fugitive of the Judoon” brought some of the old excitement of the previous series, into the bore-fest that was Series 11 of this franchise.
To put it bluntly, current show-runner Chris Chibnall and current Doctor, Jodie Whittiker have made this once brilliant show, seriously boring. And while I have no problem with the Doctor being a woman, I do have one with our hero now being this weak and unsure of himself.
The Doctor has always been somewhat arrogant, cocky, alien and often aloof in all his incarnations. Sometimes, other personality traits like clownishness, eccentricities and coldness, have been evident as well. But, the 13th Doctor has shown none of these traits in the last two Series. And for someone who has lived for thousands of years, this Doctor’s actions and behaviour have been just dull, uninspiring and unseemly.
But, that seems to have changed now with this new episode, “Fugitive of the Judoon,”which introduced a new/former Doctor. And while this new Doctor is also a woman, there’s no mistaking that this one really is “The Doctor.”
Played brilliantly by British actress, Jo Martin, she nailed every aspect and nuance of our favourite Time Lord. She was cocky, smart, arrogant and totally in control of every situation she encountered in the episode. She completely upstaged Jodie in every respect, to the point she just wasn’t needed (or wanted) in this episode.
But despite Ms. Martin’s stellar performance, the elephant in the episode remains. Since neither Doctor recognized the other, where does “Doctor” Ruth fit within the show's 57-year history?
I thought to take a stab at matching wits with the former president of the Doctor Who appreciation society – circa 1986 – Chris Chibnell and see if I could think like him regarding “Doctor” Ruth’s origins. And after my 30+ year history of watching the show, I’ve come up with two possible answers:
1) She could be a transitional form placed on the second Doctor after the "War Games" serial. Its’ never been proven that the Time Lords actually "regenerated" the Second Doctor into his third form. They stated themselves that it was time to change his appearance again. Plus, during the Fourth Doctor’s serials, the Time Lady Romana proved a Time Lords can change their appearance without regenerating. (And no, she didn't regenerate. She wasn't dumb enough to waste those.)
Additionally, as the Time Lords were probably tired of the Doctor’s interference; wanted to take advantage of his experience in galactic occurrences or just wanted to have him pay his debt to the culture, they most likely drafted him into the CIA or Celestial Intervention Agency. Throughout the Doctor’s fourth incarnation, it was revealed that he had several dealings with that Agency – to the point that they may have altered some of his information in the Matrix – the Time Lord repository of information.
As "Doctor" Ruth stated herself in “Fugitive of the Judoon,” she's worked in a job you don't apply for, nor can ever leave. Plus, she’d work and trained with the operative chasing her in that episode, Gat. This would most likely make her an operative as well. These facts alone make it logical to surmise this “altered” Doctor might have had his/her memory wiped, once his usefulness was over, and eventually regenerate into his official third form.
And for those questioning that Doctor R didn’t recognize the sonic screwdriver, that’s not the case. She just stated she was too smart to need one. Now that sounds like the Doctor!
Well, that my theory. What do you fellow fans think?