Doctor Who: The Legend of Ruby Sunday review: What legend?

The following contains spoilers for “The Legend of Ruby Sunday.”

In an episode full of misdirection, the biggest one has to be its title, given we’ve learned very little about what Ruby Sunday’s legend actually is. Instead, the first part of the series’ two part finale is essentially an hour to build a sense of dread that spills over in its final moments. I could cheat and say “The Legend of Ruby Sunday” is just “Army of Ghosts” — the first half of the 2006 season’s finale — with a bigger budget. Except the big bad that reveals itself at the end is a villain from a far deeper cut than the usual corners of Doctor Who’s history.

The Doctor and Ruby arrive at UNIT HQ to ask about the mysterious woman — Susan Twist — following them around the universe. UNIT, meanwhile, has been monitoring someone named Susan Triad, a British tech billionaire who will announce her gift to humanity later that day. Even the goofballs at UNIT work out that S.TRIAD is an anagram of TARDIS and the Doctor thinks Triad, or the mysterious woman more generally, could be his granddaughter.

But there’s also the matter of Ruby’s parentage to uncover, giving the Doctor a reason not to just confront Triad. The Doctor, Ruby and a UNIT soldier enter the time window — a low-grade holodeck — to try and see who left Ruby on the steps of the church. But the history’s a bit wonky, and Ruby’s faceless mother — unlike what we saw in “The Church on Ruby Road” — turns and ominously points toward the TARDIS. Not long after, the TARDIS is engulfed in a black cloud of swirling evil that nobody’s sure what to do about.

The Doctor then meets Triad just before she gets on stage, prompting her to remember all of her other selves. Whenever Triad dreams, she’s somehow aware of those myriad alternate selves. And while she takes to the stage, the Doctor asks the team at UNIT HQ to scan the TARDIS. It is similarly engulfed in an invisible cloud of malevolent stuff that’s threatening everyone in the area.

Susan Triad on stage during
Bad Wolf / BBC Studios

[ASIDE: This is the second time in four years that Doctor Who has tried to parody an Apple Keynote. And this is the second time that they’ve totally misunderstood how to stage one that looks even remotely evocative of what they’re parodying. I know the conventions of the tech keynote have mutated since the Steve Jobs era, but they’re not even trying.]

A UNIT staffer, Harriet Arbinger (Wait… H. Arbinger?) starts muttering about a dark prophecy while Triad goes off script. The Doctor, standing close by, watches as she turns into a skeleton monster while the TARDIS is menaced by a giant animal head surrounded by Egyptian iconography. Turns out Susan isn’t the Doctor’s granddaughter, or even a key component of the story, but an innocent. An innocent who has been co-opted by Sutekh, an all-powerful Egyptian God we first saw in 1975’s “Pyramids of Mars.” Cue the credits.

It’s a slender synopsis, mostly because these scenes are played slowly as the tension ratchets up. “The Legend of Ruby Sunday” takes its time, letting the screw turn gently until you’re almost happy when the big reveal happens. It’s a gripping ride on a first watch, although I imagine it’ll not have too much value when you go back to it a third or fourth time. But, then again, that’s often been an issue with episodes penned by Russell T. Davies. It’s also a good way to juice bookings for next week’s finale which will get a UK cinema release on June 21.

Was it easy to guess that we’d be getting Sutekh back after his one outing in “Pyramids of Mars?” The rumor mill certainly pulled in that direction over the last month or so, and it’s not as if we didn’t get a clue or two along the way. Longtime Davies fans will recall that Vince watches the part one cliffhanger at the end of the first episode of Queer as Folk. And we’ve already had a whole scene from “Pyramids of Mars” lifted — the jump into a ruined future — in “The Devil’s Chord.”

Image of Ruby, The Doctor and Mel.
Bad Wolf / BBC Studios

If you are unfamiliar, “Pyramids of Mars” is a classic, and another blockbuster from the pen of the series’ best 20th century writer, Robert Holmes. At the time, Holmes was the series’ script editor and had commissioned a story from writer Lewis Griefer. But Griefer’s material was so poor that Holmes and producer Philip Hinchcliffe decided a replacement was needed. So Holmes was tasked with writing a whole new episode in a tiny amount of time. The finished episode was credited to pseudonym Stephen Harris, but it’s all Holmes under the hood. Sadly, because of various rules around writing credits, “The Legend of Ruby Sunday” end credits actually give credit to Lewis Griefer as Sutekh’s creator and omit Holmes, which feels pretty rough.

But that one minor injustice aside, let’s bring on the finale.

Susan Twist Corner

  • Well, looks as if we have our answer that Susan Twist was something of a misdirect.

  • Gabriel Woolf, who voiced Sutekh in 1975, is back to give voice to him now.

  • When Mrs. Flood was left to look after Cherry, she was clearly aware of Sutekh’s return and seemed delighted by it. But she didn’t appear to be a harbinger, so it’s likely she’s representing another, different malevolent character from the series' past.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/doctor-who-the-legend-of-ruby-sunday-review-what-legend-120004162.html?src=rss

The Morning After: Microsoft pauses its creepy Recall AI feature

Microsoft has belatedly cottoned on to the whole “using AI to watch someone’s screen might be a bit creepy” thing. It has announced it will limit the launch of Recall, which was due to arrive alongside the first batch of Windows 11 Copilot+ PCs on June 18. Instead, it will limit previews to just members of its Insider program to better focus on their feedback. We all know what that means, right? It’s just going to fade into the ether until everyone forgets it ever happened.

— Daniel Cooper

Tesla shareholders have approved Elon Musk’s ‘unfathomable’ pay package

Overwatch 2 resurrects Pink Mercy cosmetic for a charity fundraiser

WhatsApp rolls out enhanced video calling

So long, Jabra earbuds, it’s not your fault

How Messages via Satellite will work on iOS 18 and how much it will cost

LinkedIn’s AI job coach can write your cover letters and edit your resumé

Skate Story hands-on: Kick, push, shatter

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Promotional image for the Galaxy Watch FE
Samsung

Samsung’s Galaxy FE lineup offers a lot of what’s available in its flagship products with a much lower price. The latest to join the gang is the Galaxy Watch FE, which gets much of the same health tech as the Galaxy Watch in a more modest package. The tradeoffs are sensible enough to make the price of $200 pretty darn compelling for some people.

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Image of Segway's Navimow i105 robo mower
Photo by Daniel Cooper / Engadget

Robomowers are expensive, require a lot of effort to install and aren’t exactly the set-and-forget dream you expect. Or at least, they used to be: Now, Segway’s Navimow i105 uses GPS instead of a fiddly ground wire, removing a lot of the hassle of installation. It’s not perfect by any means, but it’s an easy way to turn a patch of ground into a manicured lawn without much effort on your part.

Continue Reading.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/the-morning-after-microsoft-pauses-its-creepy-recall-ai-feature-111539438.html?src=rss

The Morning After: Microsoft pauses its creepy Recall AI feature

Microsoft has belatedly cottoned on to the whole “using AI to watch someone’s screen might be a bit creepy” thing. It has announced it will limit the launch of Recall, which was due to arrive alongside the first batch of Windows 11 Copilot+ PCs on June 18. Instead, it will limit previews to just members of its Insider program to better focus on their feedback. We all know what that means, right? It’s just going to fade into the ether until everyone forgets it ever happened.

— Daniel Cooper

Tesla shareholders have approved Elon Musk’s ‘unfathomable’ pay package

Overwatch 2 resurrects Pink Mercy cosmetic for a charity fundraiser

WhatsApp rolls out enhanced video calling

So long, Jabra earbuds, it’s not your fault

How Messages via Satellite will work on iOS 18 and how much it will cost

LinkedIn’s AI job coach can write your cover letters and edit your resumé

Skate Story hands-on: Kick, push, shatter

​​You can get these reports delivered daily direct to your inbox. Subscribe right here!

Promotional image for the Galaxy Watch FE
Samsung

Samsung’s Galaxy FE lineup offers a lot of what’s available in its flagship products with a much lower price. The latest to join the gang is the Galaxy Watch FE, which gets much of the same health tech as the Galaxy Watch in a more modest package. The tradeoffs are sensible enough to make the price of $200 pretty darn compelling for some people.

Continue Reading.

Image of Segway's Navimow i105 robo mower
Photo by Daniel Cooper / Engadget

Robomowers are expensive, require a lot of effort to install and aren’t exactly the set-and-forget dream you expect. Or at least, they used to be: Now, Segway’s Navimow i105 uses GPS instead of a fiddly ground wire, removing a lot of the hassle of installation. It’s not perfect by any means, but it’s an easy way to turn a patch of ground into a manicured lawn without much effort on your part.

Continue Reading.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/the-morning-after-microsoft-pauses-its-creepy-recall-ai-feature-111539438.html?src=rss

Segway’s robot mower spared me from my least favorite chore

I’m sure some of you have looked at robo mowers as Roombas for your yard but, sadly, many of them require you to install a boundary wire around the perimeter of your lawn. And any product that requires you to dig a trench is the opposite of what “low effort” means to me. That’s why I was interested in trying Segway’s Navimow i105, its £945 (around $1,200) GPS-equipped mower which eliminates that busywork. And keeping your lawn neat and tidy is a job that’s all busywork.

Ask a gardener and they’ll tell you the secret to a great lawn is to seed a piece of flat land and then mow it into submission. Regular, militant mowing kills off all the other flora, ensuring only grass can grow until everything looks well-manicured. But that relentless mowing requires a lot of time, a luxury I’ve never had. It’s the sort of job a robot mower was born to do, given it can scuttle around and trim grass without you there.

Segway’s i Series is the company’s latest, more affordable offering compared to its pricier S Series. The new units have a smaller battery and range, with the i105 able to handle areas up to 500 square meters. Unlike some GPS mowers, the i105 is equipped with a forward facing HD camera with a 180-degree field of vision. So while it relies on satellites for positioning, it’ll have enough sense to stop before it clatters into an obstacle. It’s not packing sophisticated computer vision smarts, but it’ll play safe lest it charge into a pet, inattentive family member or prized flower.

I wanted to test the Navimow because I have whatever you’d call the opposite of the platonic ideal of a Good Garden(™). My house sits at the base of a hill, with the garden built into tiers along its height, and the lawn 1.5 meters above ground level. There’s a sheer drop down its nearest edge and a foot-long drop along the side where the pathway has been cut into the ground. It’s a high-stakes test to see how accurate the unit’s positioning is, given what would happen if things went wrong. Plus, I’m not green-fingered and my lawn is usually overrun with an orgy of Borage that grows faster than I can cut it down.

Setup requires you to plant the Navimow i105’s docking station and connect it to a mains power and standalone GPS antenna. Once the unit is paired with the app, you’ll use your phone as a remote control to drive it around the perimeter of your lawn. You’ll also quickly learn that what you thought was a flat lawn has plenty of hidden bumps and dips. Which meant my first few mapping runs left with me a very wonky edge that I had to keep tweaking.

Image of the Navimow i105
Photo by Daniel Cooper / Engadget

You’ll also need to give your lawn a good mowing before you run the Navimow, because it’s obviously not built to clear masses of unkempt grass. Spare a thought for me, as I was testing this during a typical British April, where we get torrential rain and bright sunshine in equal measure. And that will give your lawn — and the weeds lurking therein — time and opportunity to spring back. The unit’s obstacle avoidance made it skirt even just a sprightly patch of grass and weeds, leaving me with a patchy cut that meant I had to get the lawnmower out again.

Setup took about half an hour, which didn’t feel too onerous given there’s a fair chunk of stuff to do. Staking the GPS antenna into the ground, running the cables and locking down the charging station are all easy enough. I’m fortunate enough to have no tall buildings or obstacles blocking my GPS signals, either. Once it was all working, all I had to do after the initial run-around was let it work its magic without supervision. And, on flat ground in fair weather, Navimow does all you could ask it to do.

Bear in mind that the Navimow will have the same limitations as any other robotic domestic aid (like a robovac). The cutting blades sit underneath the center of its body so it can’t do edges unless you opt to have the machine ride beyond its boundary. If you can’t do that, then you’ll need to get a weed wacker to trim the unreachable edges of your turf. But I’ll admit, I’m very much an edge case compared to most folks.

I was deeply concerned about leaving the Navimow out in the weather, but the company said its IP66 rating for water- and dust-resistance meant I shouldn’t worry. The company will sell you a canopy that can sit on top of the charging station to protect it from the elements. You’ll have to bring the unit indoors from the end of fall to the start of spring each year, but that’s hardly a shock.

That’s a relatively minor gripe, however, and I’ve enjoyed the ability to set this thing to run out on a regular basis. Once the inclement weather and weed growth subsided, the unit showed its worth eliminating around 90 percent of the busywork I would otherwise have to do. The fact I have a neat lawn that only needs a quick trim around the edges has been a delight. And I’ve spent more time in the garden now than I would otherwise given that it’s nice by default, rather than needing a mow.

Fundamentally, if you have a patch of ground you’d like to see become a lawn and don’t have time to do it yourself, take a look at this. It may not be the set-and-forget solution you could hope for, but it’ll reduce the amount of effort to almost nothing. And, while it costs a grand, if it lasts more than a couple of years, it’ll work out cheaper than hiring a gardener to do the same job.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/segways-robot-mower-spared-me-from-my-least-favorite-chore-163659951.html?src=rss

The Morning After: Musk sued for sexual harassment

A number of former SpaceX engineers are suing Elon Musk for sexual harassment, retaliation and creating a hostile workplace environment. The suit comes in the wake of a blockbuster WSJ report that lifted the lid on Musk’s treatment of SpaceX employees. This same group penned an open letter in 2022 highlighting Musk’s behavior which, they say, caused them to be fired. They have also filed complaints against SpaceX with the NLRB, another government agency Musk is waging war against.

— Dan Cooper

Chinese EV makers face additional tariffs of up to 38 percent in the EU

Music publishers accuse Spotify of ‘bait-and-switch subscription scheme’

Sony Pictures is buying Alamo Drafthouse

PlayStation Plus June offerings include Monster Hunter Rise and three Lego games

Astro Bot is a supremely silly and incredibly smooth platformer

ChromeOS will lean more on the same tech that powers Android

Jabra says it’s exiting the consumer headphones business just as it announces new earbuds

​​You can get these reports delivered daily direct to your inbox. Subscribe right here!


Apple may be coy about what it calls its machine-learning platforms, but it’s not as if everyone doesn’t know it’s leveraging OpenAI’s technology. Apparently, it pulled this feat off for free, getting OpenAI to share its wares for access to Apple’s vast user base. Not to mention that if it can get people to pay for an OpenAI subscription, it’ll more than pay for itself over time. Not that OpenAI is hurting for cash right now — it’s apparently raking in twice as much revenue as it did last year.

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A hacker has reportedly obtained the personal information of Tile customers, its parent company has admitted. Life360 says only their names, device ID, physical and email addresses were accessed — no government or credit card data. The breach may have also revealed Tile has a special tool used to process location data requests made by law enforcement.

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This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/the-morning-after-musk-sued-for-sexual-harassment-111501662.html?src=rss

The Morning After: Musk backs down from OpenAI lawsuit

Elon Musk has withdrawn his lawsuit against OpenAI, a day before a judge was set to hear a request for dismissal. Musk sued OpenAI, saying its founders had violated its nonprofit status, to become a de-facto part of Microsoft. OpenAI said there was no such violation, and the lawsuit was likely a way for Musk to gain access to its secrets. Despite ending the suit, Musk might be nursing this grudge, tweeting if Apple integrates OpenAI’s tools into its software, he’ll ban iPhones from his companies.

— Dan Cooper

X is officially making likes (mostly) private for everyone

You can’t mirror your iPhone while mirroring your Mac on Apple Vision Pro

Netflix drops a proper trailer for Arcane’s second (and last) season

General Motors revives its robotaxi service, Cruise, in Houston, with human drivers

Apple refuses to call Apple Intelligence AI

Apple Intelligence: What devices and features will actually be supported?

Netgear is releasing more affordable versions of its Orbi and Nighthawk routers

Apple ID is now Apple Account

​​You can get these reports delivered daily direct to your inbox. Subscribe right here!

Image of the Light Phone 3
Light

Light, makers of a “minimalist” handset that does most of what a dumbphone would do with an added layer of pretension, has launched its third-generation device. The Light Phone III gains a black-and-white OLED display, camera and a built-in NFC chip for mobile payments. But it’ll cost you $800, which should be enough to send you scrambling for a $40 Nokia instead.

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We might know how much more Spotify’s high-fidelity plan will cost, should the thing ever arrive. Rumors suggest the plan is coming by the end of the year and will cost $5 a month on top of an existing Premium subscription. Much as there are rumors of extra features thrown into that mix, it’s a significant charge on top of what Apple Music charges for the same thing.

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This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/the-morning-after-musk-backs-down-from-openai-lawsuit-111549227.html?src=rss

The Morning After: Musk backs down from OpenAI lawsuit

Elon Musk has withdrawn his lawsuit against OpenAI, a day before a judge was set to hear a request for dismissal. Musk sued OpenAI, saying its founders had violated its nonprofit status, to become a de-facto part of Microsoft. OpenAI said there was no such violation, and the lawsuit was likely a way for Musk to gain access to its secrets. Despite ending the suit, Musk might be nursing this grudge, tweeting if Apple integrates OpenAI’s tools into its software, he’ll ban iPhones from his companies.

— Dan Cooper

X is officially making likes (mostly) private for everyone

You can’t mirror your iPhone while mirroring your Mac on Apple Vision Pro

Netflix drops a proper trailer for Arcane’s second (and last) season

General Motors revives its robotaxi service, Cruise, in Houston, with human drivers

Apple refuses to call Apple Intelligence AI

Apple Intelligence: What devices and features will actually be supported?

Netgear is releasing more affordable versions of its Orbi and Nighthawk routers

Apple ID is now Apple Account

​​You can get these reports delivered daily direct to your inbox. Subscribe right here!

Image of the Light Phone 3
Light

Light, makers of a “minimalist” handset that does most of what a dumbphone would do with an added layer of pretension, has launched its third-generation device. The Light Phone III gains a black-and-white OLED display, camera and a built-in NFC chip for mobile payments. But it’ll cost you $800, which should be enough to send you scrambling for a $40 Nokia instead.

Continue Reading.

We might know how much more Spotify’s high-fidelity plan will cost, should the thing ever arrive. Rumors suggest the plan is coming by the end of the year and will cost $5 a month on top of an existing Premium subscription. Much as there are rumors of extra features thrown into that mix, it’s a significant charge on top of what Apple Music charges for the same thing.

Continue Reading.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/the-morning-after-musk-backs-down-from-openai-lawsuit-111549227.html?src=rss

The Morning After: Everything Apple announced at WWDC

Apple’s annual developer shindig kicked off with its traditional keynote outlining all the new tricks its products will soon do. There are big changes for iOS 18, iPadOS 18, macOS Sequoia and watchOS 11, not to mention visionOS 2. Some highlights include a standalone Passwords app, better health metrics on the Watch and Apple Intelligence, its own spin on AI. There’s more to learn about, so keep reading to learn all the biggest stories from the show.

— Dan Cooper

Blackmagic is developing a camera for immersive Apple Vision Pro videos

Yes, iOS 18 will include RCS support

Apple’s new AI-powered Siri can use apps for you

Apple may integrate Google’s Gemini AI into iOS in the future

iOS 18 embraces Apple Intelligence, deeper customization and a more useful Siri

macOS Sequoia will let you see your iPhone mirrored on your Mac’s screen

iPadOS 18 is getting a big boost with Apple Intelligence

​​You can get these reports delivered daily direct to your inbox. Subscribe right here!

Image from WWDC 2024
Apple

Apple has finally bowed to pressure, bringing AI to its devices in the form of Apple Intelligence, powered by OpenAI. The system will bolster Siri, offering its generative AI smarts to write emails, summarize news articles and offer finer-grain control of your apps. It’ll be interesting to see, given Apple’s long-held distaste for machine learning gimmicks, if this can win where Google and Microsoft have floundered.

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Image of apple passwords
Apple

Apple already has a dedicated password manager buried in its operating systems, but now it’ll be its own app. Passwords will act as a standalone password manager across every Apple platform and will even work on Windows via iCloud. Like iCloud Keychain, it’ll generate and record passwords to all of your sites and services, locking them behind biometric security.

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This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/the-morning-after-everything-apple-announced-at-wwdc-111550649.html?src=rss

The Morning After: Live from Apple’s WWDC event

Today’s the day you’ve all been waiting for: WWDC 2024 kicks off with Apple’s customary opening keynote. That’s where you’ll catch all the hot news about what the company is cooking up for the next 12 months. Fortunately for you, we’ll have (metaphorical) front-row seats to all the action, so point your browsers to our liveblog to learn all about what’s coming.

— Dan Cooper

Xbox’s Fable reboot will come to Xbox Series X/S and PC next year

Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 kicks it back to the ’90s on October 25

Gears of War: E-Day is the origin story of the Gears franchise

Perfect Dark reboot trailer shows Joanna Dark hunting bad guys in a near-future Cairo

Doom: The Dark Ages hits PS5, Xbox Series X/S and PC in 2025

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Microsoft thought it would be a good idea to constantly monitor everyone’s desktop activity with its Copilot AI. Now everyone has pointed out the litany of reasons that’s a terrible idea, the Windows maker is backtracking. It has pledged to make Recall opt-in and to lock the information about what you’re doing behind a biometric key via Windows Hello. Is that enough?

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Xbox
Microsoft

Summer Game Fest was an opportunity for Microsoft to refresh its console lineup with a new disc free Series X. The all-digital model comes in robot white and has 1TB of storage for all those beefy downloads. It’ll set you back $450 but, if you’re already in that territory, surely it’s better to wait for the disc-enabled Series X to go on sale, which it does quite frequently.

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This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/the-morning-after-live-from-apples-wwdc-event-111554178.html?src=rss

Doctor Who: Rogue review: Just kiss already!

The following contains spoilers for “Rogue.”

Doctor Who has always been gay.

From the get-go, many of its key creative figures were queer, and a large proportion of its fans are too. As Tat Wood explained in his essays in show guide About Time 6, the mix of science, fantasy and camp offered subtextual solace for queer youth in less tolerant times. Russell T. Davies returned and pledged to start saying the quiet part as loudly as he possibly could. As it stands, “Rogue” is probably the overtly gayest episode of Doctor Who ever made.

“Rogue” was written by Kate Herron and Briony Redman, the former best known as the director and executive producer of Disney’s Loki. Davies was loudly critical of Loki’s single nod toward the character’s pansexuality, calling it a “craven, feeble gesture.” This, then, is a chance to make amends by embracing all of the modern-day queer-geek touchstones. “Rogue” is an episode that sprints through slash fiction, D&D, cosplay, identity and, of course, the simmering erotic tension generated when two hot dudes face off against one another.

Doctor Who 'Rogue'
Bad Wolf / BBC Studios

As for the plot, it’s another modern-day Doctor Who that is carried by performances and vibes rather than mechanics. We open in 1813 at a stately home where two “gentlemen” are arguing in the night over a Lady’s Honor™. But the heroic figure breaks character, annoyed that his wimpy part isn’t as fun as playing the conniving, libidinous villain. Turns out he’s an alien that can absorb other people’s identities, leaving nothing but a desiccated corpse.

Inside the building, the Doctor and Ruby are dancing along to the Bridgerton-esque party, indulging their love of the Netflix series. Ruby is wearing a pair of Sonic Earrings that either control or inform her movements (it’s not clear) letting her partake in the formal dances. The earrings pick up interference, sending the Doctor off to investigate while Ruby immerses herself in capital-S Society. The source of the disturbance is a brooding figure lurking on a balcony above the dance floor: Rogue (Jonathan Groff).

Rogue is a bounty hunter sent to apprehend the alien — a Childer — who transforms into other people at the cost of their lives. The Doctor and Rogue slink off to discuss the matter in private and find the remains of the Duchess of Pemberton (Indira Varma). The pair accuse each other of being the Childer but, since Rogue has a gun and the Doctor doesn’t, he wins the argument. He marches our hero at gunpoint to his spaceship and uses a device to trap him in place, planning to dump him in an incinerator. The Doctor, however, is more interested in flirting with Rogue and hijacking the ship’s sound system to play Kylie Minogue.

Once Rogue has scanned the Doctor and discovered he’s not a Childer (complete with fan-baity images of past Doctors) they agree to work together. They talk about their lives, and the fact they have both clearly lost people along their journeys. After the Doctor has toured Rogue’s ship (it’s messy, he leaves his D&D dice on his main console) they visit the TARDIS. Both offer each other the chance at a better, or at least different, life, although we know deep down neither of them could ever leave what they have now. It doesn’t stop them from getting ever closer, but never quite being able to act upon their obvious impulse to lock lips. Now, with the help of the TARDIS, the Doctor modifies Rogue’s trap to more humanely exile them to an alternate dimension instead of an incinerator.

Meanwhile, Ruby is watching some Bridgerton drama, making friends with a character who behaves like she’s drawn out of a Jane Austen parody. It turns out that she is also a Childer, one of a handful that came to Earth to LARP their way through the evening. The gag being that, much like the Doctor and Ruby, they’re all Bridgerton fans who came to indulge in some fantasy. The night will end with a grand wedding, albeit one that just happens to descend into homicidal chaos.

After a chase, the Doctor and Rogue return to the house to see Ruby, now apparently the latest costume change for one of the Childers. Ruby's apparent death unleashes the Doctor’s vengeful side, and he prepares to sentence all of the aliens to a long and painful exile as a consequence. But when he does trap the Childers, it turns out Ruby was just playing along and had actually beaten her would-be attacker. But once the trap is sprung, it can’t be undone, and so the Doctor is faced with no choice but to condemn his friend along with his foes.

As a payoff, Rogue passionately snogs the Doctor and takes the trap controls out of his hand. Knowing that the Doctor can’t decide what to do, he sacrifices himself to push Ruby out of the trap, taking her place in the process. He triggers the trap, imprisoning himself in the alternate dimension with the Chidlers. As dawn breaks, the Doctor talks a good game about moving on, as we all must do in times of loss, but Ruby sees through it. There’s no way for him to rescue Rogue, and so he must accept what has happened and move on to pastures new. Which, in this case, is the next episode, the first part of the series’ two-part finale.

Doctor Who
Bad Wolf / BBC Studios

One downside of Doctor Who’s abridged season is that we’ve been deprived of a lot of Ncuti Gatwa. He was absent much of the last two episodes and only at the end of “Dot and Bubble” did he get his first showpiece moment. Given Gatwa’s generosity to share focus with his co-stars, it’s gratifying to see him getting a chance to shine. And while Groff has to play Rogue as a stoic for much of the episode, the interaction between the pair is joyful.

I don’t feel as qualified to talk about the queer representation in the episode, but their chemistry felt believable and grounded. I’ll leave it to better, more qualified writers to expand on these themes, but I was urging the pair to kiss every time their faces came close. It’s funny how time changes your opinion on things: When the Doctor kissed in the doomed 1996 TV movie, I hated it. The idea of a sexy Doctor enmeshed in such human trivialities outraged my 12-year-old mind. Now, I just want the Doctor to bang whoever they want, whenever they want.

The nature of a guest-starring role in a running TV series means that there was no chance Groff would not die or be exiled into the ambiguous “if you ever fancy coming back” void. But it does mean Doctor Who’s loudly, proudly queer era has embraced the “Bury Your Gays” trope. It’s sad to see two men who are attracted to one another not get a chance to embrace that future, even if Rogue’s sacrifice is noble and well-telegraphed.

None of that should detract from the fact “Rogue” is a delightful way to spend an hour, and yet another welcome swerve both across genres and tones. It’s a gloriously slashy and fun romp that should help show that Doctor Who is a vehicle through which you can tell almost any story it’s possible to tell. It’s one of the reasons I fell in love with it all those years ago, and I hope you have too.

Susan Twist Corner

I was on vacation and so couldn’t review “Dot and Bubble,” which was a magnificent episode of Doctor Who. Last week, the pair recognized Twist who was playing Penny Pepper-Bean, and the Doctor even took a picture of her face. They also both clocked where they’d seen her before, although Ruby’s memory was shakier given the time-bending weirdness of “73 Yards.”

Here, Twist is depicted in a portrait which, again, the Doctor notices and records. It does appear that the show has managed to find a way to balance the needs of each episode with the knowledge fans will scrub every frame for more meaning. But this isn’t Davies’ first time mining the show’s metatext and paratext to bait fans: 2008’s “The Next Doctor” played with audience expectations after David Tennant announced he would be leaving but information about his successor was kept quiet.

It might be nothing, but Rogue also mentions his bounty-hunting “paperwork” has gotten a lot more demanding since the “new boss” took over. Is that a hint about a big bad or just a character moaning about the admin side of their job?

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/doctor-who-rogue-review-just-kiss-already-130005431.html?src=rss