The Church on Ruby Road – Doctor Who Christmas Special 2023 – The DVDfever Review – Ncuti Gatwa

The Church on Ruby Road

The Church on Ruby Road is the 2023 Christmas episode of Doctor Who.

Hanging around for a while as The Doctor is Ncuti Gatwa, who I’ve only seen in the mediocre Barbie, and as a friend of mine speculated, if he bombs in his first full series, then that’s why David Tennant has been kept hanging around, ready to jump back in.

This Doctor’s first (and only?) companion is Millie Gibson, as Ruby Sunday, and I guess she’s called Ruby Sunday, not Tuesday, so no-one sings the Rolling Stones song, and they don’t have to pay royalties. As for the character’s home town, Ms Gibson hails from Tameside, near Stockport, so she’d say she was from Tameside, NOT – as Ruby says – from “Manchester“.

I misheard early on, when Ruby said she was fostered by a woman called Carla (Michelle Greenidge), thinking she said Clara, as in Jenna Coleman. So, no crossover on this occasion. Maybe later when RTD runs out of even more ideas. So far, the only idea he has is to pretend to be inclusive because, since it’s 2023 and it’s Russell T Davies writing, white Ruby was fostered by a black family. And the new Doctor is wearing a skirt in a nightclub. Of course…

That said, he can’t think of any names for an Indian male character, other than Abdul.

We first see Ruby interviewed on Davina McCall‘s awful family reunion show, looking for her Mum and Dad, when evil goblins cause problems including – for a change – Davina getting a smack on the back of the head from a stray flying plug, pulled out of the socket. I was hoping the eventual attempts to kill her would bear fruit but, sadly, not.

And that’s because, for want of a plot, bad luck is affecting anyone who met Ruby, although so far, she’s fine. I dig her skirt, tights & Chelsea boots outfit, however, although her eyebrows seem to be as thick as a blackboard rubber. Still, maybe she can stay and Gatwa can go?

The Weird Science Chet Monster

The Goblin King

Someone else who can stay is the awesome Anita Dobson as Mrs Flood, returning to BBC1 on Xmas Day, and it’s a massive 37 years since she was served divorce papers on Eastenders by ‘Dirty Den’ Watts.

But, the goblins are never far away, and the Goblin King looks like Russell T Davies on a good day… albeit, more accurately, a copy of the Chet monster from Weird Science.

A few asides:

    1. Since Ncuti Gatwa is from Rwanda, maybe he can point out that he doesn’t want any Tories coming over?

    2. That moment when Davina calls Ruby to tell her they can’t find her parents… As if Davina, herslef, would do that! Ruby would get a call from one of the researchers.

    3. In the clips from forthcoming episodes, I saw they were bringing back Donna’s Rose… ugh. Yasmin Finney couldn’t act to save her life. The first full series will start in May 2024, presumably from the first May Day weekend, which would make it Saturday May 4th.

    4. And just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, it turned into an awful musical with an insufferable song about eating babies, which I thought was by Sophie Ellis Bextor, but maybe she’s turning up in something else. I can’t remember.

As for the trailer for the forthcoming series, RTD is classing it as “Season 1”. Pardon? The UK has series, not seasons, and it’s 14 in the post-2005 ‘canon’, anyway.

Doctor Who returns on Saturday May 4th with an episode the name of which is to be confirmed. You can watch The Church on Ruby Road on the BBC iPlayer.

You can pre-order The Season 14 Specials Steelbook on Blu-ray, ahead of its release on December 18th.

There’s are also available in regular Blu-ray and DVD, on the same date.

The Church on Ruby Road – Doctor Who Christmas Special – The DVDfever Review – BBC

Director: Mark Tonderai
Producer: Chris May
Writer: Russell T Davies
Music: Murray Gold

The Doctor: Ncuti Gatwa
Ruby Sunday: Millie Gibson
Herself: Davina McCall
Denzel: Bobby Bradley
Trudy: Mary Malone
Mrs Flood: Anita Dobson
Abdul: Hemi Yeroham
Carla Sunday: Michelle Greenidge
Cherry Sunday: Angela Wynter
Ruth Lyons: Gemma Arrowsmith
Woman with pram: Belinda Owusu
Policeman: Barney Wilkinson
Goblin King: My ex-wife