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‘Doctor Who’ recap: 12×05 “Fugitive of the Judoon”

Doctor Who recap: Season 12, Episode 05, “Fugitive of the Judoon” Aired Jan. 26, 2020

Ho blo po po yo sho do plo co to plo ro sho wo ho plo sho do blo yo dro sho wo ho plo vo kro blo no so sco!

Lee Clayton

The main human character in this episode seemed to be Ruth Clayton, tour guide and wife of the titular “Fugitive of the Judoon.” The fugitive’s name is Lee Clayton, and Ruth was warned by a lovestruck barista that something was off about Lee. She didn’t listen, and the barista was soon executed for pushing a Judoon. I listened to the barista’s warning, but I was way off with any of my predictions of why Lee was a strange character.

However, it turns out Lee Clayton wasn’t the fugitive after all; it was Ruth the Judoon wanted all along. When she learned this, in response, Ruth dishonored a Judoon by taking its horn off. It was effective, getting rid of the whole squadron, even if Ruth claimed she didn’t know what she was doing. It was a subconscious instinct.

Another Doctor

Before he was executed, Lee sent Ruth a message: Follow the light. Break the glass. That message led Ruth and the Doctor to Ruth’s former residence, a disused lighthouse. While walking around the lighthouse, the Doctor noticed a blank gravestone. As she dug around, quite literally, and found the TARDIS in the not-grave, Ruth “broke the glass” and remembered who she is. Nice name-dropping of a chameleon arch, by the way. 

Ruth Clayton claimed she’s the Doctor, just like our Doctor is the Doctor, though neither Doctor remembered the other’s life, nor did Ruth recognize the sonic screwdriver. Ruth’s Doctor has a different TARDIS interior from our Doctor, and she’s running from Gat, who she claimed was her former employer. Apparently Lee was Ruth’s protector as Ruth’s Doctor hid on Earth from Gat. I don’t think I’ll ever be okay with the Doctor using a gun, though. Weapons aren’t her style – at least not the Doctor we know.  

“Platoon of Judoon near that lagoon”

It’s not a Judoon episode without a comical rhyme-y sentence. 

Turns out I was on the same page as the Doctor. After Ruth mentioned hiding from Gat, I figured Gat hired the Judoon to find her. Apparently there’s so much more to that story. Gat is Gallifreyan, which, considering Gallifrey was destroyed twice, seemed impossible. And Gat didn’t believe our Doctor when she showed her memories of Gallifrey reduced to ash. When Gat went to shoot Ruth, the gun shot back on herself; Ruth sabotaged the gun.

In the end, the two Doctors parted ways. The Doctor never really figured out how Ruth was a past version of herself. I suppose we’ll just have to stay tuned to see how these pieces fall together.

“You can get excited now”

Once again, Graham was mistaken to be the Doctor, this time by – wait for it – Captain Jack Harkness! Oh, and Captain Jack was as excited about the Doctor regenerating into a woman as we were.

In his attempts to reunite with the Doctor, Captain Jack pulled all three companions onto his stolen ship. With all three of them with him and no chance of finding the Doctor at that point in time, Captain Jack left the companions with a warning for the Doctor: Beware the lone Cyberman; don’t give it what it wants.

And, apparently, we’ll be seeing Captain Jack Harkness again this season! I can’t wait!


The BBC really promoted this one. There were posts of “if you thought bringing the Master back was exciting, wait for this.” However, I went into”Fugitive of the Judoon” thinking, yeah, the Judoon are cool and all, but not the Master levels of excitement.

And then Doctor Who surprised me once again, and they brought back Captain Jack Harkness! There were some “The Next Doctor” vibes with the Ruth plot, and a mention of nanogenes from the Eccleston years – basically, lots of callbacks to Doctors past.

So now we stick around and wait for answers to the many, many questions raised in this episode and for the Doctor’s reunion with Captain Jack Harkness.


Next week:

What did you think of “Fugitive of the Judoon”? Let us know at @PureFandom on Twitter!

Doctor Who airs Sundays on BBC America at 8/7c.


Jordan Alperstein

Jordy has a degree in English literature and communication studies. When she isn't attending concerts, she's watching way too much TV for her own good and fangirling over fictional characters. Jordy is a self-proclaimed optimist and bookworm, and she's a sucker for fantasy, superheroes, and good old-fashioned villains.

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