The latest season of Doctor Who is now in the books, and the events of the most recent season finale, “Empire of Death”, have definitely left fans with a lot of questions. One of the biggest reveals from the episode concerned the origin of Ruby Sunday (Millie Gibson), establishing that her long-lost parents whose identities have plagued the entire season were actually just ordinary people. In the BBC iPlayer commentary for “Empire of Death”, Doctor Who showrunner Russell T. Davies revealed that he was directly inspired by the way that Star Wars: The Last Jedi handled the parentage of Rey (Daisy Ridley), revealing her to be a Force user whose parents are “nobodies.” While this narrative decision was ultimately retconned in 2019’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Davies was still impacted by it.

“This is kind of my reaction to [that film],” Davies revealed. “The second film said that [Rey] was nothing special, there was nothing special about her parentage… She was just… an ordinary person with the Force. I really loved the version where she wasn’t special. When she’s ordinary. She’s not the daughter of Sutekh. She’s not the daughter of the Time Lords or Rassilon or something like that. Her mum is Louise Miller, who was 15 years old and pregnant, from a dangerous, abusive home, and left her child on the doorstep. Because I think it’s a better story.”

Who Are Ruby Sunday’s Parents?

Once everything is restored, U.N.I.T. are able to use the DNA to correctly identify Ruby’s parents — Louise Allison Miller and William Benjamin Garnett, two ordinary people who had Ruby as a teenaged pregnancy. Louise did not tell William that she was pregnant, and because she grew up with an abusive stepfather, she decided to get Ruby “out of that house” and leave her on the church steps. (The pointing she did when leaving the church, which The Doctor originally thought was targeted at him, was actually at the “Ruby Road” street sign she wanted her daughter to be named after.) The Doctor determines that this mystery was so enticing to Sutekh because Ruby and those in her life decided Louise’s identity was important.

Ruby then tracks down Louise — now a 35-year-old nurse — introduces herself to her, and folds her into her adopted family. U.N.I.T. is also able to track down William, who Ruby is preparing to go meet when she and The Doctor say their goodbyes (for now). While this answer of Ruby’s parentage still raises some questions — namely, was Ruby able to make it snow whenever she thought of her abandonment because of Sutekh, the TARDIS, or something else — it at least solves her central mystery in an unexpected way.


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