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Russell T Davies Praises “Stunning” Millie Gibson in Doctor Who: 73 Yards

Russell T Davies, showrunner of Doctor Who, has confirmed that 73 Yards was a Doctor-lite episode because Ncuti Gatwa’s schedule clashed with Sex Education, but the writer says it worked out for the best as it let Millie Gibson shine on her own.

And we have to agree!

Gibson plays companions, Ruby Sunday, and Davies was glowing about her “stunning” performance in the episode. He explained:

“[T]he marvellous thing was, I’d had this idea kicking around for ages, of the Doctor and his companion stepping outside the TARDIS and seeing someone in the distance. But I could never make it work with two people. So when it became Doctor-lite when it was just Ruby, and we were able to follow her whole life it sort of freed itself. Also, I thought there was a nice balance, pairing it with Boom, which is such a character piece for the Doctor. That ended up dictating the shape of the series: a Doctor-heavy episode, followed by a Ruby-heavy episode.”

“And I have to say, Millie is absolutely sensational. She walked in, from Coronation Street, onto leading this. No offence to Coronation Street, but that’s a big old runaway train, where you’re part of a cast of 70 or more. And suddenly, you’re in a cast of one, practically.”

Indeed, Millie carried the episode beautifully, and 73 Yards was really well received.

And while it’s a shame that Ruby left the TARDIS at the end of Doctor Who Series 14, i.e. in Empire of Death, she will be back in the next series, alongside the Fifteenth Doctor and a new companion, played by Varada Sethu.

Philip Bates

Editor and co-founder of the Doctor Who Companion. When he’s not watching television, reading books ‘n’ Marvel comics, listening to The Killers, and obsessing over script ideas, Philip Bates pretends to be a freelance writer. He enjoys collecting everything. Writer of The Black Archive: The Pandorica Opens/ The Big Bang, The Silver Archive: The Stone Tape, and 100 Objects of Doctor Who.

Russell T Davies Praises “Stunning” Millie Gibson in Doctor Who: 73 Yards

by Philip Bates time to read: 1 min
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