Doctor Who featured a shocking surprise return – and a new Doctor?

(Image credit: BBC)

The new series of Doctor Who can’t be accused of playing it safe. A new version of the Master has already been introduced, while Gallifrey – the Doctor’s home planet – has been destroyed. Again. Now, the latest episode of season 12 has not only brought back a major fan favourite, but also introduced another new Doctor.

Spoilers for Doctor Who season 12 follow…

First, the return: Captain Jack’s back! Yep, Jack Harkness (played by John Barrowman and last seen in Torchwood: Miracle Day) returned in “Fugitive of the Judoon,” teleporting Graham (Bradley Walsh) on to his ship having mistaken him for the Doctor and relaying a warning: "Beware the Lone Cyberman."

Speaking to Radio Times about his comeback, Barrowman said, “I wouldn’t say vindication is the word. I’d say that I’m glad. I’m really chuffed by it. Put it this way – there’s a little grin on my face!”

(Image credit: BBC)

While Barrowman’s return (“One of the biggest,” he suggests) made shockwaves across time, space, and social media, it was the arrival of another character – Ruth (Jo Martin) – that may have the biggest long-term impact.

Towards the end of the season’s fourth episode, Ruth revealed the fact that she, too, is the Doctor in-between the First and Second incarnations – and even has her own TARDIS. Her appearance involved someone tracking her down to take back to a still-intact Gallifrey, indicating that some timey-wimey or multiverse shenanigans may be at work.

For now, though, the two Doctors go their own separate ways. Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteen is left to wonder if the pattern of returns and shocking new faces (ones from her own history that she can’t even remember) all point to a major event happening in her future.

We’ll have to wait and see but, in the meantime, there are several pieces – Captain Jack, Ruth, the Lone Cyberman – all still in play. And what comes next could change Doctor Who forever.

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Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.