Doctor Who Season 1, Episode 4 Recap With Spoilers: 73 Yards

Russell T Davies wrote the new Doctor Who episode, "73 Yards."

A new episode of Doctor Who, starring Ncuti Gatwa as the Doctor and MIllie Gibson as Ruby Sunday, debuted tonight on Disney+. Showrunner Russell T Davies wrote the latest episode, "73 Yards." We're here with the recap of the new episode of Doctor Who, Season 1, Episode 4, "73 Yards."

SPOILERS follow for Doctor Who Season 1, Episode 4, "73 Yards." Recap begins now:

(Photo: BBC, Disney+)

The episode skips the usual opening, showing the title over a shot of the TARDIS materializing on the coast of Wales. The Doctor (Ncuti Gatwa) and Ruby (Millie Gibson) exit and begin talking about Welsh history. The Doctor tells Ruby about Roger ap Gwilliam, a future prime minister from Wales who will bring the world to the brink of a nuclear apocalypse in 2046.

They stop after Ruby accidentally steps into a fairy circle. She reads one of the messages that was placed inside of it, telling someone called "Mad Jack" to rest in peace. When Ruby looks up, the Doctor is gone and the TARDIS is locked from the inside. Looking around, she spots an older woman in the distance, but whenever she approaches, the woman gets further away.

Ruby treks along the coastline, the older woman seemingly following her, somehow always in view and always the same distance away. It begins to snow, and Ruby runs into a hiker walking through the area. Ruby finds the woman to be familiar (because it's Susan Twist in her latest mysterious Doctor Who role). The woman points Ruby to a nearby town and agrees to talk to the woman in the distance that's been following her. However, after the two women speak, the hiker quickly runs away screaming.

In town, Ruby finds her way to an inn and tavern with patrons who aren't too inviting of outsiders. She gets herself a room. A man agrees to go to talk to the woman for her, but he runs away like how the hiker reacted. Ruby tells the patrons about how she broke the fairy circle and about Mad Jack. They play a prank, acting terrifying as if some spell has been broken until there's a knock at the door. They play scared, but it turns out they were just giving Ruby a hard time. Ruby stays at the inn for a while, but eventually, the innkeeper gets word that the man who talked to the older woman won't be coming back while Ruby is there, and so Ruby needs to leave. Ruby says goodbye to the TARDIS and the Doctor and then returns home to London. Even on the train, she can always see the woman outside the window.

At home, Ruby's mother and grandmother give Ruby support after seemingly being abandoned by the Doctor. Ruby tell her mother about the woman, and they hatch a plan to have her mother go to the woman with a phone so they can talk from a distance, but Ruby's mother has the same reaction to the woman as everyone else. She turns hostile to Ruby, kicking her out and changing the locks on the door.

A year later, the woman is still following Ruby, always at exactly 73 yards distant. She meets with Kate Lethbridge-Stewart of UNIT, who says there may be something wrong with Ruby's timeline after the TARDIS' perception filter interacted with the fairy circle. They hatch an operation to bring the older woman in, but the woman causes the same hostile reaction in all the UNIT soldiers who approach her and, eventually, Kate as well.

Years pass. The woman continues to haunt Ruby, distracting her from all her relationships. In 2046, Ruby notices the emergence of Roger ap Gwilliam on the political stage. During a debate, he says he used to go bay the nickname "Mad Jack."

Ruby volunteers with Gwilliam's campaign to get closer to him. During an interview, he goes off script and starts talking about being eager to fire a nuclear missile. After, Gwilliam takes an uncomfortable interest in another volunteer named Marti. Gwilliam is elected Prime Minister. While the rest of the campaign team celebrates, Ruby talks to Marit, who looks traumatized and calls Gwilliam a monster.

The campaign team heads to a stadium in Cardiff to prep for Gwilliam's big speech. Gwilliam is across on the other side of the pitch. None of them are allowed at the afterparty except for Marti, who he asked for by name. Ruby learns that Gwilliam is acquiring Pakistan's nuclear arsenal and decides to take action. She apologizes to Marti for not acting sooner but says she had to be sure. She positions herself on the pitch, exactly 73 yards from Gwilliam. That lines the woman up with Gwilliam, who sees her, screams, and runs away. He goes into hiding and resigns as Prime Minister.

40 years later, an elderly Ruby is taken to visit the TARDIS, which is still in Wales where the Doctor left it. Talking to the TARDIS, Ruby says she assumes her mother is gone, she never found her birth mother, and it never snowed again. The woman remains and has been 73 yards away this whole time. Ruby is then taken to a hospital where she rests. She sleeps but is awoken in the night by the woman growing closer to her, but she can only see her back. As the woman gets closer, Ruby moves backward in time to the moment she first arrives in Wales.

Ruby is the older woman, looking on from a distance. This time, younger Ruby notices the older woman before stepping in the fairy circle. The woman impresses on her, from a distance, to not step in the circle and Ruby stops the Doctor from doing so, seemingly changing the timeline so that the event seen throughout the episode never happened.