WARNING: This article contains spoilers

Doctor Who aired its season finale tonight after a screening in cinemas at midnight for super fans of the show. However despite the huge hype many complained of feeling "underwhelmed" and finding the episode, entitled Empire Of Death, "boring".

The penultimate episode of Ncuti Gatwa's first season playing the Time Lord in the long-running BBC sci-fi drama had left things on a cliffhanger as The Doctor's old foe Sutekh returned and planned to destroy all life. The mystery of Ruby Sunday's (Millie Gibson) parentage was also unanswered as was the true identity of her neighbour Mrs Flood (Anita Dobson).

As the episode opened, the members of UNIT faced the wrath of Sutekh as he reduced them all to dust including the Doctor's friends Kate Lethbridge-Stewart (Jemma Redgrave) and Rose Noble (Yasmin Finney). He managed to escape on a Vespa with former companion Mel Bush (Bonnie Langford) as Sutekh's reach destroyed every planet the Doctor had ever visited as his "death dust" spread.

Believing Ruby's parentage to be the key to destroying the villainous God, they were determined to figure it out. The key came in the form of a news broadcast from two decades in the future in which the then Prime Minister revealed he was introducing DNA testing for everyone.

Although the world was destroyed, The Doctor was able to visit that point in time in a "remembered TARDIS", made up of elements from all the previous incarnations of The Doctor as he had been there before. They got their answer and desperate to know who the mystery woman who had abandoned Ruby was, Sutekh possessed Mel and forced her to bring The Doctor and Ruby to him.

Once they were in front of Sutekh, they were able to capture the malevolent being with items found in the remembered TARDIS when Ruby lassoed him with "intelligent rope".

Meanwhile, the Doctor used a whistle to unleash the heart of the TARDIS, vanquish Sutekh's harbinger (Genesis Lynea), and regain control of the ship. The Doctor then dragged Sutekh into the vortex and left his nemesis to die burning up in the vortex.

With life restored in the universe, the question of Ruby's parentage still lingered and it turned out that none of the fan theories were correct. While it had been speculated that she was her own mother, or the daughter of the Doctor's granddaughter, or even that she was his child from his relationship with River Song (Alex Kingston), the truth was much more mundane.

Her mother had been a 15-year-old teenager called Louise Miller (Fay McKeever) when she abandoned her. She wasn't an alien or supernatural entity but just an ordinary woman. Mother and daughter were reunited and the Doctor took flight without Ruby.

Mrs. Flood's identity also remained a mystery as the character left viewers with a cryptic message. Fans found the whole experience frustrating and took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to share their thoughts.

@Eye_Coaster fumed: "I still think this reveal was very underwhelming. It was built up to be so much, yet led to so little. How on earth could she make it snow if she was just... Human? #DoctorWho." @DoctorDanAlsop commented: "First 25 minutes I really enjoyed. The rest... just didn't really sit right. Performances were all brilliant though, and production wise was on edge if my seat..... but the last half just didn't do it for me #DoctorWho." (sic)

@GoodGodBhanu raged: "#DoctorWho finale was so boring! The entire storyline of Ruby and the mystery behind her birth is just useless. They kept building as it is some universe-altering event and ended up being a big bowl of nothing. This is what happens when the writers don't know how to end a story!" Another user chimed in: "No even kidding this was one of the worst finales ever, At least the Timeless Child was eventful. #DoctorWho." (sic)

@JohnnySpandrell said: "I loved lots about Empire of Death, but the mystery of Ruby's Mum must surely also be #DoctorWho's biggest anti-climax. I'm trying to think of other works of fiction that use that narrative technique and whether it's ever actually worked."

@TheWhoDrew disagreed though and confessed they enjoyed the episode: "This is probably a controversial take but the episode only got BETTER as it went on, with the ending being easily the best part for me! #DoctorWho."

Doctor Who is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

2024-06-22T19:58:25Z dg43tfdfdgfd