‘Fugitive of the Judoon’ (TV)


Please feel free to comment on my review.

Judoon with the Thirteenth Doctor, Graham, Ryan and Yaz

We’re now at a point where the series starts to become interesting. This is where the Chris Chibnall era of ‘Doctor Who’ finally makes its mark. So, you think you know all there is to know about the show? 😐

First off, I greatly enjoyed ‘Fugitive of the Judoon’, but WHAT THE HECK’S GOING ON?!!! That was my initial reaction to this episode upon seeing it first time on BBC iPlayer. I didn’t know what to expect.

Okay, okay, I shouldn’t be jumping ahead here, but this is one of the most insane ‘Doctor Who’ episodes ever made for the TV series! Twists, turns and surprises appeared in every corner of this! 🙂

I expected this to be a mundane Judoon TV episode with the Thirteenth Doctor and her team. I thought this was going to be for fan service to satisfy the people who watched the show for a long time.

Clearly it was something else entirely! I wasn’t sure what to make of it at the time. I heard positive things said about it and whilst I became excited from seeing the episode, I was also nervous about it.

The episode leaves with you wanting to know more about what’s going to happen next, yet you have to wait until the season finale! I imagine that should be a good thing in the grand scheme of things. 🙂

‘Fugitive of the Judoon’ is an episode by Vinay Patel and Chris Chibnall. Vinay Patel wrote for ‘Doctor Who’ before, writing the Series 11 episode ‘Demons of the Punjab’. Very different compared to this!

He’s also written a story for ‘The Target Storybook’ called ‘Letters From The Front’, which is a prequel to ‘Demons of the Punjab’. This episode would have been mundane just by Vinay Patel here.

But with Chris Chibnall co-writing the episode, a lot of mind-boggling and challenging revelations take place, especially following some surprise revelations in ‘Spyfall’. This is all really exciting indeed.

That appears to be the tone of what’s going to happen in the rest of the season by this point. It could all connect to the mysterious Timeless Child going on. And this is from me having watched Series 12!

Anyway, let’s talk about the episode. It takes place in Gloucester – present day, I believe – and it focuses on the characters of married couple Jo Martin as Ruth Clayton and Neil Stuke as Lee Clayton.

Neil Stuke has done a ‘Doctor Who’ Big Finish audio adventure already before this. In that, he played ‘The Crooked Man’ with Tom Baker and Louise Jameson. Could he the Crooked Man in this episode?

After watching this episode, I later saw Jo Martin in an episode of ‘The Brittas Empire’ which was made in the 1990s. It was amazing to see Jo Martin in that having watched her in ‘Doctor Who’ here.

Jo Martin’s character of Ruth Clayton happens to be a tour guide in Gloucester. It also happens to be her birthday on this certain day the episode takes place. All Ruth seems to want is her birthday cake.

But very soon, the rhino-like Judoon descend upon Gloucester as they put the city in lockdown – Ha, that word! 😀 – with a forcefield around it. The Judoon start hunting for a fugitive within the area! 😮

I was excited about the Judoon coming back to ‘Doctor Who’. I enjoyed them in the TV series and lately in the Big Finish audio stories. Chris Chibnall clearly liked them from the Russell T. Davies era. 🙂

It was great to have them voiced by Nicholas Briggs again. I believe the Judoon leader is a female this time round. I’m glad the Doctor established that as I would have just considered the Judoon as all male.

Whilst the Judoon are invading Gloucester, the Doctor is in her TARDIS with Graham, Ryan and Yaz. The Doctor is in one of her moods again. She’s on the hunt for the Master since the last time in ‘Spyfall’.

She believes that he may have escaped from the Kasaavin realm. Understandable as this is most likely. After all, how many times has the Master been thought dead before returning to cause havoc?

I liked it when Graham, Ryan and Yaz notice the Doctor’s moodiness and they raise their concerns to her. The Doctor is reluctant to give away too many answers, especially regarding with what she saw.

Recently, the Doctor saw Gallifrey seemingly destroyed. It’s a tough thing for her to go through. She struggles to share it with her friends. They’ll have to wait for their answers from her another time. 😐

The TARDIS soon stumbles upon a Judoon transmission and the Doctor sets the ship on its way to Gloucester. They arrive there where the Judoon are searching for their fugitive and by any means. 😐

They’re gunning down anyone who might resist them. Even an old lady and a cafe owner get killed in the process! WHOA!!! Just…WHOA!!! This is taking the Judoon violence factor to a whole new level!

I know the Judoon are trigger-happy, but even I was shocked by their reactions to people being afraid of them and lashing out on them! I liked it when the Doctor intervened and confronted them.

Being a peacemaker and peace-seeker, the Doctor challenges the Judoon regarding their tactics in matters to capture criminals. She passes herself off as some ‘mediator’ when confronting the rhinos.

I love Jodie’s performance as the Doctor in this episode. She stands out extremely well, balancing both the seriousness and wittiness of her character when it comes to attending to Judoon and such.

Jodie gets to portray some darker aspects of her character too, especially when she discovers a disturbing truth concerning her past. It was interesting how Jodie’s Doctor reacted to the revelation.

The Doctor sees the Judoon are about to attack Lee and Ruth Clayton at their apartment whilst she and her friends Ryan and Yaz try to stop them. Where is Graham though? I’ll get back to him in a bit.

I did like it when the Doctor used her psychic paper to stall the Judoon and whilst Ryan and Yaz were supporting her. The Judoon might be a challenge to stall though once they become pretty impatient.

As they stall the Judoon, the Doctor, Ryan and Yaz question Lee and Ruth. For a while, it did seem like Lee was the fugitive on the run. But as the episode progressed, it turns out to be more than that.

Lee is actually Ruth’s protector since she’s the one who’s on the run from the Judoon. But who is she? Is she an alien species disguised as a human? How can she not know this? More on this later! 😀

Anyway, back to Bradley Walsh as Graham. Unbeknown to his friends, he was teleported to a stolen spaceship. Piloted by whom you may ask? I wasn’t expecting him to appear in this certain episode!

No really, I wasn’t! Okay, maybe I did. Other guesses could’ve been Martha Jones, River Song and Amy Pond for all I knew. 😀 But the pilot turns out to be…John Barrowman as Captain Jack Harkness!

WOW!!! Captain Jack is back! I haven’t seen him for a long while. He hasn’t been in ‘Doctor Who’ for quite some time! What’s he doing in this episode? And how come he’s piloting a stolen spaceship! 😀

He hasn’t changed a bit! Okay, maybe a little. But still, it was amazing to see Captain Jack back in ‘Doctor Who’!!! I like it when ‘Doctor Who’ does this in bringing back old characters from the series.

There were teases about who would be returning in the episode from past seasons by BBC America. The choices were Captain Jack, Martha Jones or the Rani. I had hoped Nyssa of Traken would return!

As you saw in the clip, Captain Jack mistakes Graham for being the Doctor once he kisses and hugs him. Oh dear! Graham’s re-living ‘The Good Doctor’ all over again! I knew that this would happen! 😀

It was funny to how Graham reacted to meeting Captain Jack for the first time and learning how he knows about the Doctor. I’m pretty curious who was attacking Captain Jack in his stolen spaceship. 😐

It can’t be the Judoon. It must be somebody else. The Cybermen perhaps? Tosin Cole’s Ryan and Mandip Gill’s Yaz also get teleported to Captain Jack’s spaceship. They meet him along with Graham.

It’s a shame Captain Jack couldn’t teleport the Doctor to his ship like he did with Graham, Ryan and Yaz. This is due to his stolen spaceship unable to break through the Judoon’s bubble over Gloucester.

Jack’s ship also had an anti-theft system put in place. It’s pretty disappointing. Hopefully, Captain Jack will return to meet the Thirteenth Doctor someday soon. That would be pretty awesome to see!

Jack does give Graham, Ryan and Yaz a message though before he sends them back to Earth. The message is to ‘beware the lone Cyberman’ and to not give it what it wants. It’s a disturbing message.

I didn’t know what it meant at the time, but it’s foreshadowing of something to happen in the season finale. At least we know the Cybermen are returning to the series. The Judoon weren’t only teased!

Anyway, whilst Graham, Ryan and Yaz were with Captain Jack, the Doctor escorts Ruth Clayton to safety. Lee got killed by the Judoon’s employer, Rita Arya as Gat, when he surrendered in the story. 😦

I did wonder what Gat’s angle was in the episode whilst watching it. I was shocked by the reveal of who she was as she turned out to be a Time Lord from Gallifrey’s past. What could all of this mean?!

Escaping into a nearby church, the Doctor and Ruth soon become surrounded by Judoon. Ruth then suddenly tackles the Judoon, fighting like ‘Jackie Chan’. She even breaks the horn off from its leader.

The Doctor is shocked by how Ruth can do that. Ruth can’t explain how she’s able to fight like that either. Ruth also receives a text message from Lee on her phone and it triggers some memory in her.

In Ruth’s car, she and the Doctor drive off and end up at a lighthouse where Ruth used to grow up. As the Doctor investigates what’s going on in the area, Ruth finds an alarm box and breaks the glass.

Ruth gets engulfed in energy and…let’s be honest…it leads to the most insane and most shocking of all revelations to be featured in ‘Doctor Who’. I didn’t see it coming once watching the episode itself.

(deep breath) Here we go! Jodie’s Doctor discovers the TARDIS buried outside…and I mean her actual blue police box TARDIS buried outside…and it’s revealed Ruth happens to be…the Doctor!!!

I’m even not kidding here! Ruth introduces herself…as an unknown incarnation…of the Doctor! WOW!!! Freaking WOW!!! Like I said, I didn’t see it coming!!! I was gobsmacked once I saw that. 😀

I was perplexed and surprised by what was going on here. As you saw, Ruth…or as I should call the Doctor – the Fugitive Doctor in fact – teleports herself and the Thirteenth Doctor into her TARDIS. 😐

I like how the build up to Ruth actually turning out to be the Doctor was handled. There are echoes of ‘Human Nature’/’The Family of Blood’ and ‘Utopia’ with the Doctor’s memories being restored. 😀

It’s also quite interesting that the Doctor couldn’t see through Ruth’s bio-masking when she registered as human first and not Time Lord. Then again, that happened with the Master in ‘Utopia’.

The Fugitive Doctor’s TARDIS interior looks very different to the Thirteenth Doctor’s we know and love. The Fugitive Doctor doesn’t seem to be a future incarnation of the Doctor either as we expect.

She’s a past Doctor!!! But Jodie’s Doctor doesn’t recall being the Fugitive Doctor. So…what does that mean? Does this mean the Fugitive Doctor was an incarnation before William Hartnell’s Doctor?

Is she a Doctor from a parallel universe? Is she a spawn from the Doctor’s timeline? Like a clone or something? Is she the Timeless Child here?!!! I had no idea what was going on whilst I watched this!

Perhaps Jo Martin’s Doctor is the Timeless Doctor or something! Maybe Ruth isn’t the Doctor at all! Maybe she’s the Rani disguised as the Doctor or something? Maybe she is the Lone Cyberman here!

WHAT THE HECK’S GOING ON?!!! This twist in the story completely challenged my perception on how I’ve been watching the series. I’m sure this has done the same for many ‘Doctor Who’ fans here.

Who knows? Maybe the Timeless Child is Billy Walker. If only that were true! 😀 There’s so much going on in Series 12 that it’s a challenge to keep a straight head when everything feels really insane.

Where was I? Oh yes! So, the Fugitive Doctor and Jodie’s Doctor are taken aboard the Judoon ship where Gat is waiting for them. Gat confronts the Fugitive Doctor as she’s hunted for her all this time.

Jodie’s Doctor is against the Fugitive Doctor’s tactics as she gradually reveals her identity to Gat. Like I said, it’s mind-boggling once the Doctor discovers that Gat is a Gallifreyan herself in the episode. 😐

According to Gat, Gallifrey still stands. But the Doctor tells Gat that Gallifrey was destroyed twice over, both by the Time Lords and the Master. She shows her memories to her via a mind-meld here.

Gat is shocked by this and she’s about to shoot the Fugitive Doctor whom she was ordered to bring back to Gallifrey. But the gun backfires as the Fugitive Doctor did warn Gat not to open fire that gun.

The gun backfiring was the Fugitive Doctor’s doing of course. She brought the gun with her from the lighthouse into her TARDIS to give it to Gat, warning her not to shoot before she did and got killed. 😐

So yeah! The Fugitive Doctor uses guns! I was shocked by this! The Doctor would never use guns! I did wonder if the Fugitive Doctor was really the Doctor as I watched the episode for the first time. 😐

The Fugitive Doctor and Jodie’s Doctor soon leave the Judoon’s spaceship. The Judoon are angry since they were contracted to kill the fugitive that happened to be the Fugitive Doctor all along here.

Returning Jodie’s Doctor back to Gloucester on Earth, the two Doctors soon part ways. There’s clearly tension between these two Doctors, especially as the Fugitive Doctor asked Jodie to leave. 😐

Distracted and disturbed by what she’s been through, Jodie’s Doctor soon reunites with her companions Graham, Ryan and Yaz. They tell her they met Captain Jack and give his message to her.

Jodie’s Doctor is stunned that they met Captain Jack and is confused by what is happening. If only Nyssa, Tegan, Peri, Ace and Charley made an appearance in this episode to make it more exciting! 😀

Back in her TARDIS, Jodie’s Doctor shares to her friends who Captain Jack is and how she knows him. She also ponders on what’s going on with regards to the Master, Jack, the Fugitive Doctor and such.

Jodie’s Doctor senses that something’s coming for her and she’s clearly afraid about it. Graham, Ryan and Yaz support her whilst she worries, saying they will stand by her, whatever happens here.

At this point, I was curious about what was going on and how it connected together with ‘Spyfall’, the Master and such. It was pretty mind-boggling but in a way that was satisfying in wanting more. 🙂

I know I keep repeating this, but I had no idea what was going on with the new Doctor being introduced and played by Jo Martin as well as Captain Jack appearing and the mention of the Lone Cyberman. 🙂

Incidentally, the episode was filmed in Gloucester itself, including Gloucester Cathedral. I suppose that makes a nice change compared to filming in Cardiff, but surely they must’ve filmed in Swansea.

By the way, I quite liked hearing the Judoon going “Flo Blo Kno…” early on in the episode before we actually heard them speaking English. I must get around to writing my own Judoon story someday. 🙂

‘Fugitive of the Judoon’ has been insane to watch. I had no idea what was going on at the time and what was going to happen in the rest of the series. It geared me up to watch more in Series 12 here.

I hoped things would be resolved by the time we came to the season’s end. I hoped we would get satisfying answers to the questions concerning the Doctor’s past and who the Lone Cyberman was. 🙂

Again, at this point, everything seems to be building up to something dramatic and hopefully the two-part finale would satisfy me with Chris Chibnall writing it. I was happy with ‘Spyfall’ already by this stage.

The DVD/Blu-ray special features for this episode are as follows. On Disc 3 of ‘The Complete Series 12’ of ‘Doctor Who’, there’s a ‘Closer Look’ on ‘Fugitive of the Judoon’.

‘Fugitive of the Judoon’ rating – 9/10

The previous story

For the Thirteenth Doctor was

For Graham was

  • ‘Alternating Current’ (Comic)

For Ryan was

  • ‘Alternating Current’ (Comic)

For Yaz was

  • ‘Alternating Current’ (Comic)

For Captain Jack was

  • ‘God Among Us’ (TW) (Audio)
The next story

For the Fugitive Doctor is

For the Thirteenth Doctor is

For Graham is

For Ryan is

For Yaz is

For Captain Jack is

Return to The Fugitive Doctor’s Timeline
Return to The Thirteenth Doctor’s Timeline
Return to Graham’s Timeline
Return to Ryan’s Timeline
Return to Yaz’s Timeline
Return to Captain Jack’s Timeline
Return to The Doctors’ Timelines Index
Return to The Companions’ Timelines Index
Return to Doctor Who Timelines
Return to Doctor Who
Return to Sci-Fi

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