Doctor Who's Ruby Sunday reveal was inspired by Russell T Davies' biggest Star Wars frustration

Doctor Who
(Image credit: BBC)

Doctor Who finally answered a big question during its Empire of Death finale: who is Ruby Sunday’s mother

As it turns out, it was no one ‘important’ in the grand scheme of the show. Instead, it was Louise Miller, an NHS nurse who gave her baby up to shield it from an abusive home after a teenage pregnancy.

If the whole ‘no one special’ parentage motif rings a bell, that’s because it should. As showrunner Russell T Davies explained in the BBC iPlayer commentary of Empire of Death (H/T CinemaBlend), it was a response to an infamous retcon in a galaxy far, far away…

“"This is kind of my reaction to – bear with me now – the Star Wars films. I can't remember their titles but, in the last trilogy, [The Last Jedi] said that [Daisy Ridley’s Rey] was nothing special. There was nothing special about her parentage," Davies began.

"That she just got the ordinary person with the Force. And then, in [the Rise of Skywalker], they changed it all so that she was this child of the Emperor...and I really loved the version where she wasn't special."

Davies, it seems, took umbrage with the Rise of Skywalker’s decision to take The Last Jedi’s apparent arc for Rey, that she was a Jedi with no exceptional background, and mold it into the fact she descended from Emperor Palpatine – a decision that was decried by parts of the fanbase.

Rise of Skywalker frustrations aside, Doctor Who fans can start speculating on a whole new mystery: who is Mrs Flood? Anita Dobson’s coat-wearing portent of doom has already sparked one compelling theory. Let’s hope Davies doesn’t get any big ideas about bringing back a classic villain via Fortnite…

For more, check out our guide to 2024’s new TV shows and the latest on upcoming Star Wars movies heading your way.

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.