Rogue

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PRODUCTION INFO

Name

Rogue

Special

F

First Transmitted

8 June 2024

Final Ratings

3.52m

BLU-RAY RELEASE

Blu-Ray

DVD RELEASE

DVD

GALLERY

CAST

Regular Cast

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

Guest Cast

Jonathan Groff (Rogue), Indira Varma (Duchess of Pemberton), Paul Forman (Lord Barton), Camilla Aiko (Emily Beckett), Michelle Greenidge (Carla Sunday), Maxim Ays (Lord Galpin), Susan Twist (The Portrait), Debra Baker (Housekeeper), Ashley Campbell (Butler), Nancy Brabin-Platt (Miss Talbot), David Charles (Mr Price)

CREW

Written by Kate Herron & Briony Redman
Directed by Ben Chessell
Produced by Vicki Delow

SYPNOSIS

The Doctor and Ruby land in 1813, where guests at a duchess’s party are being murdered and a mysterious bounty hunter called Rogue is about to change The Doctor’s life forever.

PLOT

In 1813, in the midst of the night, a ball is underway at a mansion in Bath, England. Two men are walking in the gardens outside. Lord Galpin is angry with Lord Barton, declaring he has tarnished his sister’s reputation but Barton only mocks him back, remarking he should challenge him to a duel instead of talking. Galpin suddenly stops and remarks that Barton is an exciting man fun of scandal and affairs, remarking he wants to be him. Galpin grabs Barton, causing electricity to crackle into the area. In a flash, Barton’s body is charred while Galpin transforms into a copy of Barton, shapeshifting into him and leaving the corpse behind.

Back in the ballroom, the Fifteenth Doctor and Ruby Sunday dance together among the other guests, both able to dance in perfect synchronisation with the others thanks to the psychic earrings The Doctor gave her, including a hidden battle mode too. Once the song ends, the hostess, the Duchess of Pemberton, congratulates them and asks Ruby to come meet the suitors rather than remain dancing with a doctor. Ruby goes to do so but feels feedback in her ear. The Doctor reasures her he will look into it, urging her to go with the Duchess, as long as she doesn’t cause them to invent tarmac before its time. The Doctor then draws his sonic screwdriver and scans for alien technology, leading him to notice a well-dressed, handsome man brooding atop a balcony, observing rather than partaking in the event. The Doctor leaves the ballroom.

Elsewhere, Ruby is mingling with the Duchess when the Lord Barton copy returns to the room and begins flirting with Ruby. While initially impressed by his appearance, the man’s words irritate Ruby, leading her to dismiss him as “Lord Stilton” and push past him, shocking the man. Ruby notices a portrait of an old woman in the room; the woman in the portrait is identical to the Villengard Ambulance’s hologram, Penny Pepper-Bean and others that she and the Doctor have encountered throughout their travels. The Duchess approaches and explains the woman was the mother of the duke whose mansion this once was, though she finds her disturbing. The pair then notice Barton trying to flirt with Lady Emily Beckett, the pair soon leaving the room together. Ruby chooses to follow them to the library while the Duchess pursues another guest outside.

Meanwhile, The Doctor reaches the man on the balcony and jokes with him about his brooding nature. He asks his name, the man replying Rogue, The Doctor also revealing his chosen title. The Doctor asks if the man expects trouble to come, hence him not partaking in the celebrations. Smiling, the man asks him to follow him outside, the pair doing so.

Outside, the Duchess spies one of her housekeepers nearby. Outraged a woman of such low social standing would dare to stay near the house during her party, she approaches and lambasts the woman. However, the housekeeper only replies that she hates being staff and wants to be the Duchess instead. She then grabs the Duchess, lightning flashes, and she is now a copy of the Duchess. Like the Barton copy, she leaves the corpse in the garden.

Back in the mansion, Ruby reaches the library, hiding behind a book shelf as Barton and Emily argue. Barton reveals he can’t marry Emily despite Emily’s feelings for him, but suddenly claims he is still tempted by her. The pair come together but Ruby knocks a book over, causing them to notice her. Barton pulls away, and excuses himself. Upset, Emily cries out that her reputation is now ruined since Ruby caught them about to have an affair out of wedlock. However, Ruby comforts her and eventually convinces her they should dance in the ball room to take their minds off of the incident.

In the gardens, The Doctor remarks about the constellations in the sky and how the Regency era is when they are being given names. However, he stops speaking upon spying the Duchess’ shoe and then her corpse nearby. He assesses that she died from alien intervention, noting that Rogue is unsurprised. The pair quickly exchange remarks, confirming they are both not from Earth or this time period and insist the other was the one who killed her. Rogue then draws his gun, holding The Doctor at gun point, forcing him to march to the outskirts of the garden. He reveals he believes The Doctor is the Chuldur – a shapeshifter killing guests at the party to become them – that he is being paid to assassinate. The Doctor tries to convince him otherwise as Rogue reveals his cloaked ship, parked a few steps from the Doctor’s TARDIS.

Once in the ship, Rogue contains The Doctor inside a triform, intending to incinerate him. The Doctor tries using his sonic to reverse it, but it is deadlocked. The Doctor also deduces Rogue’s name is an alias, taken from the game Dungeons & Dragons, evidenced by the dice on his console. Still, Rogue’s scanner confirms The Doctor is a shapeshifter too, so still intends to kill him. Thinking fast, the Doctor tosses his psychic paper on the scanner, causing it to reveal his numerous incarnations and that he is a Time Lord from Gallifrey, not a Chuldur. Impressed, Rogue lets him go.

Back in the ballroom, the Duchess copy meets with the Barton copy and observe the dancers, discussing their plans. The Duchess remarks she had hoped that royalty would have appeared but she will settle for Ruby Sunday, the woman’s personality making her interesting to her. Ruby and Emily then depart the ball room, wandering the mansion until they encounter a charred corpse. Worried, Ruby remarks they have to find The Doctor.

Now free, The Doctor takes Rogue back to his TARDIS to use its console to adapt the triform so it will send the Chuldur to a random but isolated dimension in the universe, rather than kill them. Meanwhile, Rogue admires The Doctor’s TARDIS, leading him to offer to take him traveling. However, Rogue reveals he did used to travel with someone he cared deeply for, but lost them during a terrible day. The Doctor empathises with him, remarking he lost “everyone” but they must keep going. The pair move close to each other until the TARDIS dings – the triform is ready.

The Doctor and Rogue return to the ballroom, meeting with Ruby and Emily, both realising the other is caught up on the Chuldur’s presence. The Doctor deduces, from Ruby’s remarks about how very Bridgerton the entire scenario is, that the Chuldur are taking the forms of people to cosplay as them, inspired by the show’s drama and the scandals within the era it is loosely based upon. The Doctor suggests that he and Rogue dance to draw out the Chulder as that would be “scandalous”.

They do so and, as they dance, everyone in the room notices, the other patrons leaving the dance floor in shock at the two men dancing together. Eventually, The Doctor breaks the dance up by starting an argument with Rogue, the pair soon creating a scene resembling two lovers, a scandalous affair and ending in a marriage proposal from Rogue that the Doctor rejects, both running from the room. The entire scene grips the Chuldur’s attention, four of them transforming into their natural avian forms and chasing the pair, Rogue having wrongly thought they only had to catch one. They manage to hide in a carriage, the Chuldur ending their pursuit to return to the ball. Rogue and the Doctor deduce that the Chuldur intend to cosplay across the country, London and then wage war against the world by becoming royalty and government leaders. The Doctor adjusts the triform to now contain six people, albeit stretching its power so they only have one attempt to catch them all.

Back in the mansion, Ruby finds Emily has fled to the library in shock at the Chuldur revealing themselves. Ruby consoles her but soon chooses to reveal that she came from the future, 2024. Suddenly, Emily’s demeanour turns from sadness to strength, the woman grabbing Ruby’s hand, revealing she is a Chuldur too. Now, she wants to cosplay as Ruby. Lightning flashes.

The rest of the Chuldur return but remain in alien form, the Duchess copy declaring a wedding must occur. The guests cower in fear as one of the Chuldur grabs a nearby vicar and forcefully kills him and turns into him to cosplay for the wedding. The Doctor and Rogue watch from the balcony above as the Barton copy enters from the other side, revealing Ruby by his side. Devastated, The Doctor leaves the room, believing Ruby has been killed; he remembers he once promised Carla Sunday he would keep Ruby safe. Embittered, The Doctor enquires Rogue to tell him how long Chuldur live for. Rogue confirms it is six hundred years. The Doctor is satisfied; “Good. That’s a long time to suffer.”

Returning to the ball room, The Doctor interupts the cosplay wedding. He then setups the triform around the Chuldur wedding party, trapping them. Suddenly, Ruby reveals she is actually herself, having used the psychic earrings’ battle mode and shielding to fight off the Emily copy and pretend to be a Chuldur. At this, the Emily copy appears, her nose broken from where Ruby hit her, charging at the Doctor only for Rogue to intervene and force her into the triform trap. Rogue orders The Doctor to press the button and send them away, but The Doctor breaks down; doing so will condemn Ruby, something he can’t do. Rogue moves towards The Doctor and comforts him, kissing him. However, on doing so, he takes the remote, leaps onto the triform and pushes Ruby from it, taking her place. He presses the button, the Chuldur disappearing into an unknown dimension. As his turn comes, he tells The Doctor to find him then vanishes.

By morning, The Doctor sits outside, using his sonic screwdriver to have Rogue’s ship orbit the Moon. Ruby suggests they use the TARDIS to rescue Rogue but the Doctor rebukes her, stating there are endless number of dimensions; finding Rogue is not possible, especially since he never even revealed his real name. Still, The Doctor jumps to his feet, insisting they press onwards. Ruby insists he is not though, forcing him into a hug. The Doctor’s false smile fades and he allows himself to mourn losing Rogue. Before they depart, The Doctor takes out Rogue’s ring from his pocket and puts it on his own pinkie finger.

NOTES

The Doctor sings part of the song “Pure Imagination”, originally written for the film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (based on Roald Dahl’s novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory).
Rogue’s favorite tune is “Can’t Get You Out of My Head”.
This episode heavily references the Netflix period drama Bridgerton, which is acknowledged by name throughout the episode. There are additional, subtle nods and connections to Bridgerton:
The music playing during The Doctor and Rogue’s first meeting is an instrumental of “Bad Guy” by Billie Eilish, and the track during the “Battle Mode” scene is an instrumental of “Poker Face” by Lady Gaga. This is a nod to a common trope in Bridgerton where contemporary songs are arranged to be performed by string quartet. The covers are by the group Vitamin String Quartet, whose music is also used on Bridgerton.
Bridgerton choreographer Jack Murphy choreographed the dance sequences for this episode.
Rogue’s favourite song is “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” by Kylie Minogue, who guest-starred on Doctor Who as Astrid Peth in Voyage of the Damned. Minogue has previously been confirmed to exist in-universe.
The Fifteenth Doctor shows romantic interest in the same sex, much like how his predecessor noted Isaac Newton was attractive. This is the third time The Doctor has shown interest in same-sex romance; the first was the Thirteenth Doctor, who showed attraction towards Yasmin Khan, but did not fulfill it as she knew she would inevitably regenerate.
The Fifteenth Doctor once more uses his psychic paper, last seen in The Church on Ruby Road.
The Fifteenth Doctor refers to himself as a “Lord of Time”. The Tenth Doctor once called himself this in The Girl in the Fireplace.
The Doctor recalls a conversation with Carla Sunday about promising to keep Ruby safe, echoing similar conversations that the Ninth Doctor had with Jackie Tyler about her daughter Rose’s safety while traveling with The Doctor in Aliens of London and World War Three.
The Doctor remarks that Ruby is his best friend. He previously said this of Donna Noble in The End of Time.
Rogue’s mentions that he got a new boss. Beep the Meep was also serving under a boss in the episode The Star Beast.
Rogue’s wrongly mistakes The Doctor as the enemy he has been paid to kill because of his alien DNA revealing he can shape shift; the Tenth Doctor was similarly misidentified as the wrong target because of his alien origin by the Judoon in Smith and Jones. When proving he is a Time Lord to Rogue’s, images of the Doctor’s prior incarnations appear, starting with the Fourteenth Doctor as he was his most recent regeneration in The Giggle. Other incarnations shown include the Thirteenth Doctor from The Woman Who Fell to Earth, the Twelfth Doctor from Deep Breath, the Eleventh Doctor from The Eleventh Hour, the Tenth Doctor from The Christmas Invasion, the Ninth Doctor from Rose, the War Doctor from The Night of the Doctor, the Eighth Doctor from The TV Movie, the Seventh Doctor from Time and the Rani, the Sixth Doctor from The Caves of Androzani, the Fifth Doctor from Logopolis, the Fourth Doctor from Planet of the Spiders, the Third Doctor from Terror of the Autons, the Second Doctor from The Power of the Daleks, the First Doctor from An Unearthly Child, and the Fugitive Doctor from Fugitive of the Judoon. Furthermore a version of the Doctor from Scream of the Shalka was visible as well, although the television show has never formally established them as an incarnation of the Doctor before.
The Doctor remarks that his homeworld of Gallifrey is a “long lost world”, recalling its destruction in Last Great Time War in The Parting of the Ways and, more recently, its destruction in The Timeless Children.
Rogue grabs The Doctor’s hand and declares they run from the Chuldur, leading The Doctorto quip that they are usually the one doing that, recalling times he did, such as in Rose, Smith and Jones, Partners in Crime and The Doctor’s Daughter, The Doctor kisses Rogue, a man, something his ninth incarnation did with Jack Harkness in The Parting of the Ways and his eleventh incarnation did to Rory Williams in Dinosaurs on a Spaceship.
Ruby recalls to The Doctor that she met space babies in Space Babies, that her mother is Carla Sunday and her grandmother is Cherry Sunday, as established in The Church on Ruby Road and that she has the ability to generate snow, as demonstrated in Space Babies, The Devil’s Chord and Boom.
The Doctor once again rejects the idea of being called ‘Doc’, as seen in The Time Meddler, The Five Doctors, The Twin Dilemma and The Ultimate Foe. However the Thirteenth Doctor regularly allowed Graham O’Brien to call her that during their adventures, like in The Ghost Monument, Kerblam!, Spyfall, and The Power of the Doctor.
The TARDIS once more makes a mysterious groaning sound, which The Doctor jokes is it suffering with indigestion. The Doctor previously thought it was because the ship was broken in Wild Blue Yonder and The Devil’s Chord.
A portrait in the house of the Duke’s late mother bears a resemblance to a woman’s likeness The Doctor and Ruby have seen throughout the series, starting in The Church on Ruby Road. The Doctor and Ruby have noted this pattern occuring, as noted in Dot and Bubble and by Ruby’s alternate self from another timeline in 73 Yards.

TRAILER

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