Doctor Who fans think they have worked out who The One Who Waits is and it all ties back to the first Doctor

Doctor Who
(Image credit: BBC Studios/Bad Wolf)

Doctor Who fans think they may have identified the mysterious woman who keeps popping up in the new season, and the theory is wild, to say the least, and even calls back to the very first Doctor. 

If you have been watching the latest season of Doctor Who, known as season 1 starring Ncuti Gatwa as The Fifteenth Doctor and Millie Gibson as his companion Ruby Sunday, you may have noticed a mysterious recurring background actor who keeps appearing in different roles. The unnamed woman, played by actor Susan Twist, has appeared in four episodes so far starting with the 60th-anniversary special episode Wild Blue Yonder as a maid, the 2023 Christmas special as an attendee at Ruby’s band performance, and in season 1 episodes 1 and 2 as a former space station crew member and a tea lady. 

So, who is this woman? With Twist appearing at various points in time wherever The Doctor seems to be, many have assumed she may be a fellow Time Lord, but fans have a much more interesting theory up their sleeves. Due to the actor's name being Susan Twist, and the constant mentioning of ‘twists’ in the episodes such as "there's always a twist at the end," fans now believe the character is actually The First Doctor’s granddaughter Susan Foreman who subsequently may be the fabled The One Who Waits.  

Granddaughter Foreman was actually mentioned in episode 2 'The Devil's Chord' with The Doctor pointing over to the city of London telling Ruby that's where he lived with Susan, leading to further speculation.

Fans have taken to Twitter to discuss the theory, where one tweeted, "Why do I get the feeling Susan is The One Who Waits?" Another replied, "They cast a woman whose literal real name is Susan Twist in a mystery role."

"So Susan Foreman is absolutely The One Who Waits right? She's waited since her grandfather left her and has somehow been fractured across different instances," said another, throwing another spanner in the works with, "I suspect she's Ruby's birth mother." Others seem to agree as one fan made the connection again, "There's always a twist at the end + Susan Twist + The Doctor mentioning his granddaughter Susan + The One Who Waits + Ruby's mother."

Susan Foreman and The One Who Waits

Doctor Who

(Image credit: BBC Studios)

For those needing to brush up on their Whoniverse trivia, Susan Foreman is The Doctor's granddaughter and The First Doctor's first companion. Susan has had many different surnames over the years, which could explain the whole ‘Twist’ thing.

But what about The One Who Waits? The illusive character is one we have yet to properly meet but was referred to in the last anniversary special titled The Giggle, where Neil Patrick Harris’ Toymaker warns The Fourteenth Doctor of the seemingly mighty opponent saying, "I saw it, hiding, and I ran." Then again in the new season, Jinkx Monsoon’s villain Maestro threatens The Fifteenth Doctor with: "The One Who Waits is almost here."

Since the mysterious foe has only been mentioned by villains, it is safe to assume The One Who Waits is an evil character, but if it is indeed Susan Foreman, then maybe not. As for Ruby Sunday, it would make sense for Foreman to be her mother, as it would explain Sunday's abandonment and why she was chosen to be the new companion in the first place.

Whoever Twist really is, the character must hold some importance as showrunner Russell T Davies mentioned the mystery in an interview with TVLine, and his answer makes us think she may be quite pivotal to the season.

"The fascinating thing about Susan Twist is that she seems to be playing a different person every time. How can that be? I have no idea, you'll have to come back and watch…" teased Davies, before adding. "Don't worry, they (The Doctor and Ruby) will soon start looking the right way. We'll reveal a little bit more every single week. Again, there's a climax to that, which is not what you're expecting. It's great."

As Davies says, it looks like we will just have to wait for more episodes to drop to uncover Twist’s true identity.

Doctor Who season 1 episodes 1 and 2 are available to stream on BBC iPlayer and Disney Plus, with new episodes airing weekly as listed in our Doctor Who season 1 release schedule.

Editorial Associate, GamesRadar+

I am an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering TV and film for SFX and Total Film online. I have a Bachelors Degree in Media Production and Journalism and a Masters in Fashion Journalism from UAL. In the past I have written for local UK and US newspaper outlets such as the Portland Tribune and York Mix and worked in communications, before focusing on film and entertainment writing. I am a HUGE horror fan and in 2022 I created my very own single issue feminist horror magazine.