Fugitive Doctor


Once, Upon, Time



Fugitive Doctor

Main Aliases:

Ruth Clayton


The Doctor’s species

Affiliated With:

The Division

First Seen In:

Fugitive of the Judoon

Other Appearances:

The Timeless Children
The Tourist
Once, Upon Time
The Power of the Doctor

Main Actor:

Jo Martin


click on images to enlarge


The Fugitive Doctor was an incarnation of the Doctor who, against her will, worked for the Division on behalf of Gallifrey until she tried to desert her responsibilities, becoming a fugitive.

No longer willing to play her part in the Division’s designs, The Doctor slipped away from Gat, her superior officer, and hid out on Earth using a Chameleon Arch, taking on a human identity as Ruth Clayton. She had her TARDIS buried near the lighthouse where she stored her Time Lord essence, and trusted Lee Clayton to protect her, undercover as Ruth’s husband. When the time was right, Lee gave her the cue which would bring her back to the lighthouse, to become The Doctor again: “Follow the light and break the glass.” (Fugitive of the Judoon)

Although both the Judoon and the Thirteenth Doctor’s own sonic screwdriver identified her as truly The Doctor, the Thirteenth Doctor was unsure how the Fugitive Doctor fit into her biography, as she had no memory of being the Fugitive Doctor, nor the other way around. (Fugitive of the Judoon)

After learning about her forgotten past lives as the Timeless Child, the Thirteenth Doctor was certain this incarnation was from her past. Indeed, by securing the planet Time during the Siege of Atropos, the Fugitive Doctor played a monumental role in bringing an end to the Dark Times. (Once, Upon Time)


For a period of time, having been consigned or recruited, The Doctor worked for the enforcers of Gallifrey. While working for the Time Lords, The Doctor became acquainted with Gat. (Fugitive of the Judoon) Working for the Division forced The Doctor to make difficult moral decisions. They used her to effect the capture or even execution of those wanted by the Division. (Once, Upon Time)

At one point, Doctor and Karvanista were sent on a mission to the Temple of Atropos to capture two Ravagers, Swarm and Azure. The Siege of Atropos was meant to be The Doctor’s final mission. Throughout the assault, she experienced visions of a far-future self who was lost in a time storm; The Doctor’s team noticed her behaving disoriented, but dismissed this as a symptom of temporal hazing. (Once, Upon Time)

Eventually The Doctor ran away from Gallifrey, stealing a gun from Gat in the process, in her TARDIS. Fleeing to Earth, she used a Chameleon Arch to disguise herself as a human named “Ruth Clayton“, with Lee Clayton acting as her protector in case of trouble. Taking up residence in Gloucester with Lee posing as her husband, Ruth made a living as a self-employed tour guide. She believed herself to be a 44-year-old human and remembered being brought up by her parents in a disused lighthouse. (Fugitive of the Judoon)

According to her constructed memories, Ruth moved away from home to Gloucester in mid-December 1999, seeking a life of her own. Her parents died after this point and Ruth inherited the lighthouse from them, though she did not wish to live there. (Fugitive of the Judoon)

By 2020, (Can You Hear Me?) she was a regular customer at a coffee shop where she had become friendly with the barista, Allan. Allan tried to convince Ruth that Lee was not good enough for her, even keeping a dossier which recorded his suspicions regarding him. She also made a friend in elderly resident Marcia. (Fugitive of the Judoon)


On Ruth’s supposed 44th birthday, the Judoon, under contract with the Division, came to Gloucester to retrieve The Doctor, having pinned down her location due to Lee keeping hold of his old service medal. When another incarnation of the Doctor, the Thirteenth Doctor, haggled a brief reprise from the Judoon to investigate matters herself, Lee distracted the Judoon to allow Ruth to escape with The Doctor. He was ultimately executed by Gat, but not before sending Ruth a cryptic text message that briefly reawakened her Time Lord persona to defend Ruth from the Judoon. In an act beyond self-defence, Ruth pulled off Captain Pol-Kon-Don’s horn, escalating the Judoon’s hostility and causing the Thirteenth Doctor to inquire after her true identity.

As memories began surfacing unexpectedly, she and the Thirteenth Doctor then travelled to the lighthouse, where Ruth followed her imperative to “break the glass”. After shattering the biodata module with the push of a button, Ruth’s Time Lord personality was reactivated and she became “The Doctor” again. (Fugitive of the Judoon)


With her true self restored, the Fugitive Doctor retrieved the rifle she had stolen from Gat, quickly changed into herold clothes, and went outside to introduce herself to the Thirteenth Doctor, who had dug up her TARDIS. The Fugitive Doctor then teleported the two of them onboard, where she learnt of the Thirteenth Doctor’s identity. Since she didn’t recognise the Thirteenth Doctor, she assumed she was encountering a future incarnation of herself, only to learn that the Thirteenth Doctor had no memory of ever being her either.

Before either Doctor could figure out what was going on, the Fugitive Doctor’s TARDIS was captured by the Judoon. Onboard the Judoon ship, the two Doctors encountered Gat and the Fugitive Doctor returned her rifle to her. She attempted to pass off her thirteenth incarnation as “nobody”, but the Thirteenth Doctor ultimately revealed who she was. To the Fugitive Doctor’s surprise, the Thirteenth Doctor also claimed that Gallifrey had been destroyed by “a lunatic”, sharing her memories of this with Gat as proof that she was not lying.

Gat tried to execute both Doctors, despite the Fugitive Doctor’s pleas for her to stand down. The rifle had previously been sabotaged and it backfired on Gat, killing her. Setting aside the Thirteenth Doctor’s horror at her actions, the Fugitive Doctor retrieved the firearm and reversed her alterations. Using the weapon, she threatened the Judoon with it, pointing out that, now that they were in interstellar space, crime was not defined, and they had no jurisdiction. After the Judoon let them leave, the Fugitive Doctor returned her thirteenth incarnation to Earth, noting that they couldn’t both be right about each other’s place in their chronology. (Fugitive of the Judoon)

At some point later in her timeline, this Doctor returned to Gloucester, claiming that she “like[d] to check back from time to time, whisper in the right ears, help out some lost souls”. On one such occasion she encountered George in a cat home, and declared that she couldn’t take a cat on board the TARDIS because “she’d get all over the place”. On asking George where he was from, he replied that he was from “around here” and the Doctor smiled a smile that reassured him that “everything would be OK”. (The Tourist)


After being trapped in the Matrix by the Spy Master, the Thirteenth Doctor encountered a projection of the Fugitive Doctor, whom she speculated was the Matrix playing more games with her. The Fugitive Doctor reminded her that she had never been limited by who she was before, telling her that the universe needed The Doctor too much for her to be tired. She mentioned how Ashad had said something that was nagging her, hinting at the death particle, and told her to “blow the mind” of the Matrix before disappearing. (The Timeless Children)


The Fugitive Doctor’s actions against Gat and the Judoon got her marked for arrest. However, it became a cold case. The Judoon eventually found the Thirteenth Doctor and imprisoned her. (The Timeless Children)

After falling into a time storm by taking the place of a broken Mouri at the Temple of Atropos, the Thirteenth Doctor entered her personal time stream and experienced the capture of Swarm and Azure at the Siege of Atropos from the Fugitive Doctor’s perspective. She also briefly interacted with the Fugitive Doctor directly, as they saw one another in their reflections. (Once, Upon Time)

Whilst helping Yasmin Khan reverse the forced regeneration the Spy Master had used to take The Doctor’s body, The Doctor’s AI hologram assumed the appearance of the Fugitive Doctor whilst distracting the CyberMasters. Yaz recognised her as the tour guide she’d met in Gloucester, whilst The Master failed to recognise this incarnation. (The Power of the Doctor)


The Fugitive Doctor had a low opinion of the Thirteenth Doctor’s sonic screwdriver, terming it a “gizmo”, and arrogantly claimed she was too smart to use one for herself.

She exhibited a more violent persona than many of her other incarnations, threatening to kill a Judoon platoon, and arming herself with a gun as well as programming Gat’s gun to blow its user up. She did however give Gat repeated warnings about using the gun, practically begging Gat not to do it. The Fugitive Doctor also agreed with the Thirteenth Doctor’s statement that The Doctor never used weapons, suggesting either that she was bluffing (Fugitive of the Judoon) or that she had learned she did not have the luxury of non-violence during her time with the Division. (Once, Upon Time)

While her mission at Atropos was to recover the hostages and capture the Ravagers, she was prepared to fight fire with fire, telling Swarm she would kill him if she had to. Swarm pointed out that this was a dubious moral high ground. (Once, Upon Time)

She also showed dislike for the Thirteenth Doctor. After instructing her to keep quiet and let her do all the talking, the Fugitive Doctor was furious with her for interfering in her plans for Gat. She showed her contempt by adopting a cold manner, coldly telling the Thirteenth Doctor to leave her TARDIS after the pair debated about the mystery of how they didn’t recognise one another.

However, she also had an excitable streak, proclaiming, “You’re gonna love this,” to the Thirteenth Doctor before showing off her TARDIS. (Fugitive of the Judoon)

While working with a team, The Doctor was a strong leader, making plans but allowing room for those under her to supply their own ideas as the situation developed. She was calm and authoritative, and maintained her composure around enemies, even when they showed an understanding of her insecurities.(Once, Upon Time)


The Fugitive Doctor spoke in a traditional London accent, both while under the impression of being Ruth Clayton, and as her true self.

In a manner similar to the Thirteenth Doctor, she gave out points as people got something right. (Fugitive of the Judoon)


The Fugitive Doctor had the combat skills to overpower a platoon of Judoon with her bare hands, and even had the strength to remove Captain Pol-Kon-Don’s horn with one hand.

She could drive a car. (Fugitive of the Judoon)


The Fugitive Doctor resembled a dark-skinned middle-aged woman. She had black hair, which she wore in braids. (Fugitive of the Judoon) while potentially describing her, her smile was described by George as “a smile that let you know everything would be OK”; he further observed that she seemed to know how to smile “better than anyone [he] had ever known”. (The Tourist)


The Fugitive Doctor wore a frock coat of navy tweed with seven silver buttons on the left side and one on the right. She wore a kente shirt with frilled stand collar and cuffs under a double-breasted waistcoat of Prussian blue tweed with sixteen bronze buttons. She also wore black combat trousers tucked into black Doc Marten shoes.

The Fugitive Doctor also wore yellow sunglasses with gold branches and two gold hoops with complicated design. (Fugitive of the Judoon)


While Fugitive of the Judoon and the Timeless Children both left it unclear where the Fugitive Doctor fits into The Doctor’s life, Chris Chibnall confirmed to The Mirror that, as stated in the episode, “She is definitively The Doctor.” He went on to say that “There’s not a sort of parallel universe going on; there’s no tricks.”[1] Meet The Doctor, a piece of prose from Doctor Who The Official Annual 2021, suggested strongly that this Doctor was one of the Timeless Child’s regenerations from before The Doctor was mind-wiped and forcibly regressed into a child. However, it was a fourth-wall-breaking and non-narrative effort, and is as a result not considered a valid source by this website. Once, Upon Time established her as a past incarnation with the Thirteenth Doctor referring to herself as “[her] future”.

When designing the costume, Ray Holman initially went in with how it should have references to previous Doctors, such as tweed and a waistcoat from the Eleventh Doctor, a period cut in reference to classic Doctors, and having boots and trousers reminiscent of the Twelfth Doctor. There was also a plan to put the whole attire together with a seventeenth century linen shirt with frill stand collar and frill cuffs. When Jo Martin was cast, she and Ray conversed with each other and it was decided that the shirt should be a more vibrant Kente with African wax-print fabric, rather than cream, to be more reflective of Martin’s personality. The yellow sunglasses were picked out by Martin herself, from an opticians in Covent Garden. (DWM 549)


The Fugitive Doctor is often cited as the first televised incarnation of the Doctor to be played by a non-white actor, namely Jo Martin. However, this widely-hailed status of the Fugitive Doctor as the first BAME or POC Doctor, full stop, is not quite accurate, and merits a few caveats.

Without question, the first instance of the Doctor being played by a non-white actor in a BBC production was in an untitled skit which premiered on The Lenny Henry Show in 1985. In it, Lenny Henry portrayed a seventh incarnation of the Doctor, with a “regeneration” sequence explicitly transitioning Colin Baker into Henry. While certainly not being “mainstream” or part of the core Doctor Who Universe, another unambiguous and unique non-white incarnation of the character would not appear in sanctioned Doctor Who media for another 33 years.

Russell T Davies’ Rose novelisation, released in 2018, showed that Clive Finch possessed a photograph of, among other known incarnations, a tall, bald, black female Doctor who wields a flaming sword.

Within the same televised season to debut the Fugitive Doctor, an exploration of an era of the Doctor’s early life before the First Doctor showed several of the Timeless Child’s lives, including the first one, to be played by non-white actors, male and female. This child first appeared in visions within Spyfall and Can You Hear Me?, though she was not revealed to be an incarnation of the Doctor until The Timeless Children, after Jo Martin’s introduction.

Other stories had also previously shown The Doctor briefly taking over the bodies of non-white humans, and so getting played by those who were cast for those characters. Daniel Anthony briefly played the Eleventh Doctor in the Sarah Jane Adventures television story Death of the Doctor while he occupied the body of Clyde Langer, and Damian Lynch played the Third Doctor in the audio story Ghost in the Machine while he was using the body of Benjamin Chikoto to communicate.

At the time of production for Silence in the Library and Forest of the Dead, Steven Moffat secretly intended Doctor Moon to be a future Doctor. This would have made Colin Salmon the first POC to play The Doctor, though no story arc revealing this ever came to pass, in any medium. In Showrunner Showdown in 2020, Moffat commented that he thought a version of this idea could still work and Russell T Davies revealed that he always thought of the character as The Doctor while watching the episode.


The charity publication Forgotten Lives featured fleshed out backstories for each of the Morbius Doctors with various known Doctor Who writers contributing. The Morbius Doctor’s costumes were designed by artist Paul Hanley who posted a promotional picture of all the Morbius Doctors – this promotional picture featured Jo Martin’s incarnation.


The Thirteenth Doctor invited many of her other incarnations for Christmas dinner, including the Fugitive Doctor. (The Daft Dimension 559)

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