Dot and Bubble


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Dot and Bubble



First Transmitted

1 June 2024

Final Ratings








Regular Cast

Ncuti Gatwa (The Doctor), Millie Gibson (Ruby Sunday)

Guest Cast

Callie Cooke (Lindy Pepper-Bean), Tom Rhys Harries (Ricky September), Eilidh Loan (Cooper Mercy), Aldous Ciokajlo Squire (Harry Tendency), Niamh Lynch (Hoochy Pie), Millie Kent (Valerie Nook), Billy Brayshaw (Blake Very Blue), Pete MacHale (Gothic Paul), Max Boast (Dr Pee), Elloise Bennett (Rotterdam Twin 1), Olivia Bennett (Rotterdam Twin 2), Jack Forsyth-Noble (Weatherman Will), Milo Callaghan (Alan K Sullivan), Susan Twist (Penny Pepper-Bean), Ellie-Grace Cashin (Suzie Pentecost), Jamie Barnard (Brewster Cavendish)


Written by Russell T Davies
Directed by Dylan Holmes Williams
Produced by Vicki Delow


The world of Finetime seems happy and harmonious. But an awful terror is preying on the citizens. Can The Doctor and Ruby make them see the truth before it’s too late?


Lindy Pepper-Bean awakens in her room from her night’s sleep in the city of Finetime on a sunny morning. She announces “Dot and Bubble”, which triggers a Dot on her bed side table to activate and surround her head in an electronic Bubble. Within the Bubble are a constant cycle of different people, also online in their own Bubbles, each one wishing her good morning in their own way. She reciprocates their hellos but notices one friend is missing. Gothic Paul voices his worries that more people in Finetime has gone offline recently but Lindy ignores his remarks, instead following the others recommendation to exit her bed and brush her teeth. She does so, the Dot’s AI directing her where to walk as she can’t clearly see anything with the Bubble wrapped around her. Once at the sink and brushing her teeth, Lindy then cycles through her friends to listen to the latest song released by Ricky September, an artist whom everyone in Finetime follows. However, as she listens, a request comes in within her Bubble from a man – the Doctor. He tells her that there are monsters around her in Finetime but Lindy blocks him as she does not recognise him and goes back to listening to the song. In the background a large slug-like creature watches her.

Once ready, Lindy walks to work, while telling her friends about the clothes she is wearing, the Dot directing her each step of the way as she remains ignorant to what is actually outside of her Bubble. While in work in her office, she gets another call in her bubble, this time from Ruby Sunday, claiming to work for Finetime Industries. Lindy is initially put off by her but relents when Ruby insists she answers her questions about her job and her co-workers. Ruby then asks Lindy to confirm her co-workers are also at work, since Lindy didn’t exit her Bubble to check when she arrived. Lindy refuses to lower the Bubble but does peer out between the thin gaps only to notice her co-workers are not actually in the room and can only see one of the slug creatures ingesting her co-worker to her right.

Lindy remarks she wants to continue working and flicks Ruby away to listen to Ricky September’s song again. Ruby forces her way back in front of Lindy and convinces her to listen to the Doctor, the man she had blocked earlier, as he can help her. The Doctor reveals the creature is but one of many that have infested Finetime and that she needs to walk without using the Bubble as the Dot does not appear able to recognise them. Lindy tries to do so but keeps knocking her desk, as she is incapable of walking, having become reliant on the Dot’s instructions. She turns her Dot and Bubble back on and does use it to leave the office.

Lindy proceeds down the corridor only to encounter one of the creatures exiting the elevator. Paralysed in fear, she can’t run from the creature, but it decides to leave her be and walks by her. Confused, The Doctor ponders why Lindy is ignored while she tries to call the police using her Dot, but to no avail. Once outside the building, The Doctor and Ruby convince Lindy to check her surroundings again without her Bubble. She does so, seeing several people falling prey to many of the creatures. Scared, she turns her Bubble back on and instructs it to find her a hiding spot. Once hidden, she reveals the environment around Finetime is hostile, speculating that the creatures have come from the wild woods. She also plays a message from her mother, Penny Pepper-Bean. The Doctor and Ruby remark they recognise the woman; the Doctor remembers her as the face of the Villengard Ambulance while Ruby remembers her from elsewhere. The two decide to worry about this later as they accidentally reveal they are in the same room and that The Doctor is able to call her despite her blocking him thanks to his sonic screwdriver.

Lindy then starts a group call with her closest friends, finding many more have now disappeared too. Gothic Paul then speaks up, trying to voice his suspicions but one of the creatures eats him, cutting him from the call. The Doctor takes charge and reveals he has discovered that the residents can escape through the tunnels under Finetime if they can reach the conduit in Plaza 55. However, Lindy’s Dot runs out of power, cutting off before she can learn the next step.

Lindy tries to reach the plaza but keeps walking into objects as she struggles to walk without the Dot’s guidance. She is then faced with three of the creatures blocking her path. As she nearly walks into one, a voice calls out to her with instructions like the Dot’s. She looks to see it is Ricky September, also without his Dot and Bubble on. Once she reaches him, she hugs him as he reveals he secretly doesn’t use the Dot and Bubble much because he prefers to read. Ricky then takes Lindy’s hand and they run to the conduit in the plaza together. Once inside, Lindy charges her Dot while Ricky tries to contact their homeworld only to find it too has fallen prey to an invasion from the creatures. He lies to Lindy that their people will save them soon before leading her to the tunnels downstairs.

Once below, they find it sealed off. Lindy reactivates her Dot and Bubble, recommencing her communication with The Doctor and Ruby. She is devastated to see her friends have not yet moved to join her, with one having also been eaten too, but remarks at her joy at now befriending Ricky. The Doctor sends the codes needed for the door to Ricky to input; there are a hundred to complete but Ricky knows how keypads work thanks to all of his reading. The Doctor then remarks that he has figured out the order in which the creatures are eating the residents: alphabetically. Using his sonic screwdriver, he reveals the list of residents now dead, with the creatures having reached the letter “P”; only one user before Lindy remains, Suzie Pentecost, but she is killed just as they manage to connect their call to her.

The Doctor then also deduces the creatures are not from the woods outside Finetime, but must have been created by the AI within by the Dots all of them use, theorising the AI has grown to detest them. Panicked, Lindy tries to turn her Dot off but it does not and instead turns off the Bubble and attacks her, as she is next to die on its list. Seeing Lindy struggle, Ricky picks up a metal bar and fights off the Dot while Lindy inputs the numbers instead. The Dot outsmarts Ricky though, knocking him down. However, just as it reaches Lindy, she reveals Ricky’s real surname to be “Coombes” and that he changed his name to “September” upon becoming a famous singer in the Bubble. Ricky looks at her in disappointment as the Dot follows its programming and kills him instead. Lindy then exits through the door just before the Dot can strike her too.

Eventually, Lindy reaches the end of the tunnels to find other refugees from Finetime with Ruby and the Doctor. After trying to avoid them, she lies to the Doctor and Ruby that Ricky stayed behind to find more survivors before coming through himself. She then learns the refugees plan to leave the tunnels and try to colonise the wild woods, their leader claiming it is their chance to thrive as their ancestors did. The Doctor, knowing that they have no chance of surviving if left to fend for themselves, intervenes telling them how dangerous the woods still are and that he can take them in his blue box to a safer world. However, Lindy and the other refugees all refuse his help as, because of his skin colour, he isn’t one of them. Lindy tells him that she can barely justify accepting his help when he was on a screen and the idea of allowing him to save them now is reprehensible to her. The refugees insist they have a standard of living to maintain and they won’t allow him to ‘contaminate’ them using his ‘voodoo’ box… even being in the same room as him disgusts them.

The Doctor and Ruby are both horrified at hearing this, and the Doctor begs the residents to let him help telling them they can think what they like as long as they’re safe. The refugees ignore him completely, and Ruby leaves in tears, disgusted by the refugees’ racist and ungrateful attitude, as The Doctor can only scream in frustration as the group leave for the wild woods. Forced to accept that Lindy and the others would rather die than accept his help, The Doctor returns to the TARDIS filled with sorrow and anger.


The Fifteenth Doctor recognises Penny Pepper-Bean as the face of the AI on the Villengard Ambulances from Kastarion 3, as depicted in Boom, while Ruby Sunday says she recognises her from elsewhere, recalling other characters with similar appearances that were seen in The Church on Ruby Road, Space Babies, The Devil’s Chord and 73 Yards.
The Doctor still calls the TARDIS a “ship”. He previously did so in Twice Upon a Time.
The Doctor is wearing the outfit he wore in The Church on Ruby Road
The Doctor describes the Dot as an “antigrav” psychocombination device. However, he previously remembered his predecessor’s changing of the word “gravity” to “mavity” after his and Donna Noble’s encounter with Isaac Newton during the events of Wild Blue Yonder.
The Doctor remarks that his TARDIS can’t enter Finetime because of its high shielding. The TARDIS was previously unable to enter the Black Archive in London for similar reasons in The Day of the Doctor.
Lindy tries to call the police from her homeworld but is consistently dismissed by the automated message that the lines are busy. The Tenth Doctor faced a similar dilemma in Gridlock.
The Doctor experiences racial prejudice from the residents of Finetime. Martha Jones and the Tenth Doctor previously dealt with racism in 1599 during the events of The Shakespeare Code, and in 1913 during the events of Human Nature and The Family of Blood. Bill Potts and the Twelfth Doctor also talked about racism during the 1814 frost fair, as seen in Thin Ice, Ryan Sinclair and Yasmin Khan also had to deal with racism for much of their lives, as presented in The Good Doctor and Rosa.
The locals of Finetime refusing The Doctor’s help because of prejudice is similar to how Drahvins refused the help of Rills for a similar reason in Galaxy 4; and also how many Kaleds rejected the idea of many including Major Brogan and Scientist Shan making peace with the Thals in Innocence and Corruption.
Both Ruby and the Doctor are attracted to Ricky September.
The song by Ricky September that Lindy Pepper-Bean enjoys listening to, is a rendition of “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini.”


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