The Doctor’s Unwavering Need for Companionship: Exploring Russell T Davies’ Insightful Revelation in the Christmas Special

The recent Doctor Who Christmas special not only introduced fans to the Fifteenth Doctor, portrayed by the talented Ncuti Gatwa but also unveiled an intriguing revelation by showrunner Russell T Davies. The episode, titled “The Church on Ruby Road,” not only showcased Gatwa’s impressive acting skills but also offered a compelling explanation as to why the Doctor can never work alone.

Russell T Davies’ Insight

In the aftermath of the Christmas special, Russell T Davies clarified a crucial aspect of the Doctor’s character development. Drawing upon the events of the episode, Davies explained that the Doctor’s relentless pursuit to save Ruby Sunday underscored a fundamental need for companionship. The Doctor, portrayed by Gatwa, exhibited a vengeful determination in thwarting the goblins’ sinister plans, emphasizing the character’s evolution.

Ncuti Gatwa’s Involvement

Ncuti Gatwa, renowned for his vibrant portrayal of Eric Effiong in Netflix’s Sex Education, stepped into the iconic role of the Doctor’s new incarnation. Despite the emotional baggage of his predecessor, Gatwa’s Doctor is freed, paving the way for a fresh perspective in the upcoming fourteenth season.

The Plot Unfolds

The episode introduces Ruby Sunday, an orphan under the care of her kind foster mother, Carla. As the Doctor reveals the existence of goblins traveling through time to find babies to consume, a perilous journey ensues. Gatwa’s Doctor confronts the Goblin King, showcasing his determination and resilience in the face of otherworldly threats.

Russell T Davies’ Commentary

During a video commentary for the 2023 Christmas special, Davies expounded on the Doctor’s character evolution. Responding to a remark about the Doctor’s vengeful demeanor, Davies concurred and Millie Gibson, who played Ruby Sunday, added that the Doctor’s need for a human companion becomes evident in such moments. The Doctor’s historical tradition of traveling with human companions continues with Ruby set to join the fight against otherworldly adversaries in the upcoming season.

Ncuti Gatwa’s Impressive Audition

Despite his success in Sex Education, Gatwa approached the audition for Doctor Who with little expectation. Davies, in an ode to Gatwa’s acting prowess, likened his audition to a “thunderbolt,” expressing confidence in Gatwa’s ability to embody the essence of one of the “Crown Jewels” of U.K. television.


The Doctor’s unwavering need for companionship, as revealed by Russell T Davies in the aftermath of the Christmas special, adds a layer of complexity to the iconic character. As fans eagerly anticipate the upcoming season, Ncuti Gatwa’s portrayal and the Doctor’s continued reliance on human companionship promise an exciting continuation of the timeless Doctor Who legacy.

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