‘Doctor Who’: Questions We Have About Season 12 Episode 5

Doctor Who Season 12 Episode 5 continued to delight and intrigue sci-fi fans. The episode, titled “Fugitive of the Judoon,” left us with some complex questions to ponder — and possibly some clues about where Doctor Who is going.

[Spoiler alert: The following contains major spoilers for Doctor Who Season 12 Episode 5.]

Will Captain Jack Harkness be back after ‘Doctor Who’ Season 12 Episode 5?

This episode of Doctor Who saw the return of an old friend of the Doctor: Captain Jack Harkness. Jack came to warn the Doctor about something but wasn’t able to find her. He only succeeded in transporting her companions onto a ship he had stolen. He gives them a message to share with the Doctor: “Beware the lone Cyberman.”

Jack also tells the Doctor’s friends that he’ll be there when she needs him — perhaps not right away but relatively soon. That makes us wonder: How soon will Captain Jack be back? Well, according to showrunner Chris Chibnall, it won’t be right away.

Chibnall told the Mirror that Jack won’t be back this season. Of course, that could just be a way of preserving the surprise if he does come back. Chibnall also said, “Who knows when he might pop up again?”

So we probably haven’t seen the last of Captain Jack Harkness. At some point he might meet the Thirteenth Doctor.

What is so dangerous about the lone Cyberman?

Captain Jack Harkness didn’t just come back to accidentally abduct the companions. He had an important message for the Doctor, and according to him “the future of the universe is at stake.”

The message included warning the Doctor to “beware the lone Cyberman” and not to give said Cyberman what it wants. This makes us wonder: What is so dangerous about this Cyberman?

Cybermen do tend to be dangerous, and typically they travel in groups, making them even more difficult to deal with. Cybermen usually want to take over and convert people into Cybermen.

So it’s possible this particular Cyberman wants to convert everyone in the universe into Cybermen or has an even more sinister unknown motive. We can only guess at this point. But if Jack had to warn the Doctor — who has defeated groups of Cybermen before — about one single Cyberman, there’s probably something different about it.

Where does Jo Martin’s Doctor fit into the continuity of ‘Doctor Who’?

Tosin Cole, Jodie Whittaker, and Mandip Gill of Doctor Who Season 12 Episode 5
Tosin Cole, Jodie Whittaker, and Mandip Gill at a Doctor Who screening and panel | Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

In Doctor Who Season 12 Episode 5, fans meet a woman named Ruth Clayton. She is a tour guide and is married to a man named Lee. The two of them live in Gloucester, England, and end up involved in an alien problem when the Judoon come to their city. The Doctor tries to help them and in the process has to unravel another mystery: the mystery of Ruth’s origin.

Ruth, played by Jo Martin, ends up being another incarnation of the Doctor, which is revealed near the end of the episode. According to Chibnall’s Mirror interview, “she is definitively the Doctor.” So there are no parallel universes or alternate dimensions going on here — at least if Chibnall is telling the truth.

That makes us wonder where she would fit in with the continuity of the show. Based on what we know so far, it seems she is not a past incarnation of the Doctor, as the Thirteenth Doctor doesn’t remember her. However, because she doesn’t recognize the Thirteenth Doctor, she can’t be a future incarnation either. She could be another secret incarnation of the Doctor, much like John Hurt’s War Doctor in “The Day of the Doctor.”

What could be so secret that even the Thirteenth Doctor doesn’t know? Hopefully we’ll find out soon.