‘Doctor Who’ Mid-Season Theory Roundup and ’73 Yards’ Explainer

[This story contains spoilers from the Doctor Who season up to and including “73 Yards.”]

There aren’t many tv reveals that might, within the matter of only some episodes, characteristic a monster made from boogers that terrorizes infants, a killer drag queen defeated by the ability of music (with a bit assist from The Beatles) and a pointless spiritual warfare catalyzed by a capitalist algorithm.

However, not all reveals are Physician Who.

And since Disney+ acquired the long-running BBC science-fiction present, the Time Lord — now performed by Ncuti Gatwa — within the quintessentially British present stays as quirky as ever.

The most recent episode, penned by showrunner Russell T Davies, continues its unpredictable streak by donning the guise of folk-horror in an eerie decade-spanning epic that may have Whovians tapping their keyboards in boards for years to return.

Under, THR breaks down some questions viewers might have about “73 Yards” and the Disney+ season to this point.


Ncuti Gatwa because the Physician with Millie Gibson as companion Ruby in Physician Who episode “73 Yards.”


Is that this the primary time the opening title sequence has been omitted?

No. 2015’s “discovered footage” episode “Sleep No Extra” was the primary. Written by Mark Gatiss (BBC’s Sherlock), it starred Peter Capaldi because the Twelfth Physician throughout the Steven Moffat period.

What was the importance of “73 Yards”?

Seventy-three yards, 219 toes or 66.7 meters — take your choose. We’re as baffled as you’re. No motive was found or given as to why The Lady stayed that distance away. If you happen to add all of them up, you get 358.7 — however, that’s all we’ve acquired.

Who was The Lady following companion Ruby (Millie Gibson), and what did she do to make individuals run away in terror?

In case you missed it, the closing moments revealed that The Lady following Ruby from 73 yards away was Ruby all alongside. However the younger Ruby manages to keep away from an countless cycle by not breaking the fairy circle. What does this imply for the longer term, although? Will Roger ap Gwilliam (performed by Welsh actor, Aneurin Barnard) nonetheless come on the scene in 2046, provided that the Physician was conscious of him each pre-breaking circle and in addition pre-circle not breaking?

And we’re sorry to report that we’re none the wiser in the case of what The Lady did/mentioned to the assorted individuals who approached, together with her personal mom and the educated UNIT workers. All of them turned to Ruby, violently screamed and ran as quick as they may. (Possibly she mentioned that Ruby was a Star Trek fan.)

A neighborhood pub for native individuals and an costly Coke.

Followers of the Physician Who spinoff sequence Torchwood might have acknowledged the inside of the pub Ruby visited, because it appeared in season one episode, “Countrycide.” In “73 Yards,” it goes by the catchy moniker, “Y Pren Mawr” (coincidentally — or most likely not — this roughly interprets as “the useless wooden” in Welsh).

Based on the signage, Y Pren Mawr was established in 1863 — the identical yr Welsh politician and future U.Ok. prime minister David Lloyd George was born. It’s a neat nod from author Davies, given the episode encompasses a future Welsh politician who turns into PM (Roger ap Gwilliam). U.S. historians may also be aware that this was the identical yr Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Tackle — a second that was watched by the First Physician and his companions on the TARDIS’ Time-House Visualizer throughout the 1965 journey, “The Chase.”

Eagle-eyed Whovians (and ones with a number of levels in Whoology) may have loved the truth that one of many beers on sale within the pub was known as, “Llanfer Ceiriog.” As these discovered followers will bear in mind, Llanfair Ceiriog was one other fictional Welsh village, this time visited by the Seventh Physician and companion Ace within the Physician Who novel, Cat’s Cradle: Witch Mark printed in 1992. Discuss a deep lower.

Lastly, Ruby pays 5 British kilos for a Coke (round $6.34 USD). For these outdoors the U.Ok., that is most positively not regular and he or she’s been swizzed right here. (Nevertheless, Londoners could be considering, “Gosh, she acquired that low cost!”)

The return of Kate Stewart!

After her first look in 2012’s Eleventh Physician outing, “The Energy of Three” (written by Chris Chibnall, who would turn into the subsequent showrunner), Kate made quite a few, to not point out memorable, appearances; together with the fiftieth anniversary particular, “The Day of the Physician,” and the sixtieth anniversary particular, “The Giggle.” She is performed by Jemma Redgrave, a part of the Redgrave performing dynasty.

Because the Chief Scientific Officer to UNIT, a company which first appeared in Physician Who in 1968, Kate can be the daughter of one of many Physician’s oldest pals, The Brigadier (or Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, to present him his full identify), who appeared in lots of episodes from the Nineteen Sixties up till the basic run’s last season in 1989 (the Physician was instructed of his dying in 2011’s “The Marriage ceremony of River Tune”).

The Notion Filter is again!

This phenomenon was truly first talked about within the debut episode of Torchwood in 2006 and was utilized in Physician Who the next yr. A notion filter enabled an merchandise or individual to be unnoticed by others round them: “Folks kind of discover however kind of don’t,” as Ruby says of The Lady.

“Mankind noticed the dawn and created God. Or we noticed the arrival of a Sontaran.”

Warlike race the Sontarans debuted within the 1974 serial “The Time Warrior” and have made common returns ever since being final seen throughout 2021’s “Flux” season with Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Physician.

Who’s Roger ap Gwilliam meant to be?

The Physician (Gawta) revealed spoilers to Ruby (Gibson) in the beginning of the episode when he mentioned {that a} unhealthy instance of the Welsh individuals was a person known as, Roger ap Gwilliam — a harmful Prime Minister who would actually go nuclear within the yr 2046. We meet Gwilliam later within the episode when he’s the chief of the political occasion, Albion, a gaggle who share the colours of the Conservative occasion within the U.Ok. and veer in direction of the correct of the political spectrum. Pledging to defend borders, promising to make the U.Ok. the “best nation” and demanding independence from NATO, Roger ap Gwilliam (who additionally has a penchant for the women) isn’t one million miles away from U.S. presidential candidate and former president Donald Trump.

Now that we’re on the mid-season level, there are a number of themes and characters proving to be pivotal.

Jinkx Monsoon as Maestro in “The Satan’s Chord.”


Generally it snows in…  each episode.

As you’d count on, the 2023 Christmas Day particular, “The Church On Ruby Highway,” noticed fairly a little bit of snow and its follow-up, the season-opener “House Infants,” even had snow in an area station and, unbeknownst to the Physician and Ruby, within the TARDIS. The Time Lord claimed this was a warning, to not return to the time when his companion was discovered as a child. Protecting the festive theme, in episode two “The Satan’s Chord,” snow falls to the sounds of “Carol of the Bells,” which galvanized the pan-dimensional being Maestro to no finish and leaving them to marvel at Ruby’s energy.

And, in third instalment of Gatwa’s first season, snow falls on Kastarion 3, one thing that was “not doable” as we’re instructed as a result of it “by no means snows” on that planet. The snow begins after Ruby is shot and whereas it falls, the Physician feedback that that is “good.” Nevertheless, when her vitals start to deteriorate, the snow curiously stops in mid-air.

In “73 Yards,” snow begins to fall not lengthy after Ruby is left alone after the Physician disappeared. Although, it’s Wales, so that might have been your regular, on a regular basis, actual snow. Ruby tells us that after she despatched Roger ap Gwilliam, it by no means snowed once more.

Is Ruby controlling the snow by means of her unconscious? Or is there an exterior pressure inflicting this meteorological anomaly to attach along with her? Preserve your eyes peeled on Snow Look ahead to the remainder of the season, as Davies has promised there’s a “particular reply” to this.

Fairy tales.

Child-eating trolls and a literal Bogeyman front-ended this season’s nod to kids’s tales. The latest instalment, “73 Yards”, noticed the Physician and Ruby break a fairy circle — filled with charms and spells, and hopes and desires. The component of the fantastical and unreal is definitely robust in 2024. Is it doable that this season could possibly be one lengthy fairy story instructed by means of the lens of a mischievous pressure, akin to the Toymaker?

A return for Maestro?

As Davies solely revealed to THR earlier this month, the character (as performed by Jinkx Monsoon in “The Satan’s Chord”) is “ripe” for return. May they be again to wreak havoc as soon as extra? Possibly. Or is their son, Henry Arbinger, a doable returnee, given his mysterious reappearance throughout the track and dance denouement of mentioned episode? A harbinger of doom, maybe?

Who’re The Pantheon and The One Who Waits?

Since being named-checked a pair occasions early on within the run, we’ve had no additional references. As we beforehand speculated, the Pantheon (an unlimited energy past the universe) could possibly be a reference to the Pantheon of Discord, whom the Physician may be very acquainted with and barely frightened of. Undoubtedly, all will likely be defined within the finale.

Right here comes the (Mrs.) flood.

Performed by Anita Dobson, well-known within the U.Ok. for taking part in Angie Watts in long-running cleaning soap EastEnders (she’s additionally married to Queen guitarist Brian Could), Mrs. Flood first appeared within the 2023 Christmas Day particular, the place she would give fairly the fourth wall-breaking wink to the digicam after revealing she knew what a TARDIS was. Ruby’s neighbor additionally makes an look in “73 Yards,” however fails to ignite any additional theories in regards to the character.

Different massive winkers within the Whoniverse embrace The Toymaker (performed by Neil Patrick Harris within the 2023 particular, “The Giggle”) and the aforementioned Maestro. Is Mrs. Flood a part of this race, so feared by Time Lords? If she is, she’s definitely maintaining it on the lowdown.

UNIT will likely be again.

Created to analyze the extra-terrestrial, the Unified Intelligence Taskforce will return for the season finale — we’re glad that the massive set constructed for “The Giggle” didn’t go to waste! Nevertheless, in “73 Yards,” Kate Stewart feedback that UNIT are more and more investigating the “supernatural” today. What meaning isn’t but clear, however let’s hope for a Ghostbusters or X-Recordsdata crossover.

“There’s all the time a (Susan) Twist on the finish…”

Thus far, actor Susan Twist has appeared in each episode of the brand new season (in addition to popping up in 2023 specials). And we totally count on her to characteristic in every episode to return. This yr, we’ve seen her within the far future (as a crew member aboard the “House Infants” area station and because the “face” of the unhelpful ambulance on Kastarion 3), previously (a tea girl in London, 1963) and within the current — a useful hiker whom Ruby meets and speaks to. The latest assembly was curious, because the Physician’s companion appears to acknowledge her however then dismisses the notion.

However, how might somebody with the identical face (named otherwise every time we must always be aware) journey by means of area and time? And, why do they appear to be following Ruby? Like Maestro or the Toymaker, is she a being who is solely having enjoyable, or is there one thing extra sinister at play?

And ,is the actor’s identify a red-herring? Whovians will know that the Physician’s granddaughter is named Susan. In “The Satan’s Chord,” the Time Lord reminisces to Ruby about their time collectively in London. Too apparent? Maybe.

Physician Who, “73 Yards” is presently accessible to stream on Disney+ (excluding U.Ok. and Eire). New episodes debut weekly on Fridays. Learn THR’s tackle the two-episode premiere.