Although the recent Doctor Who season finale Empire of Death provided direct answers to many of the run's most burning questions – including the identity of Ruby's mother – other mysteries were very much left unsolved.


Perhaps the most notable is the identity of Anita Dobson's character Mrs Flood, who made another enigmatic address to camera at the episode's close, telling viewers: "And what happens, you might wonder, to that mysterious traveller in time and space known as the Doctor? I'm sorry to say his story ends in absolute terror."

Ever since, there has understandably been a lot of speculation as to both what Mrs Flood means by this and who exactly she is, with Dobson herself revealing that we should "find out quite a lot about her" in the next season.

She went on to say: "I’ve been in the dark for so long that I quite like it now! I never know what’s going to happen and that’s part of the fun."

Now, showrunner Russell T Davies has teased that fans can expect the "ride of a lifetime" when it comes to solving the mystery – and even hinted that we could find out more as early as Christmas special Joy to the World, which has been penned by Steven Moffat.

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Appearing in a video message on The Official Doctor Who Podcast, he said: "Christmas is mad and brilliant and exciting! I can tell you that the story as we go into 2025 of Ruby's family is not quite at an end. There's more revelations to come.

"But why was Mrs Flood standing on a rooftop making those pronouncements? All I can say is, you are literally in for the ride of a lifetime. Please come back!"

Anita Dobson as Mrs Flood holding an umbrella in a white fur style coat with a hood and smiling wearing red lipstick as in Doctor Who episode Empire of Death.
Anita Dobson as Mrs Flood in Doctor Who episode Empire of Death. BBC

That should be enough to further excite fans about what lies in store, and follows earlier comments from the showrunner that there would be some "astonishing reveals".

"I can promise you reveals," he said on Doctor Who: Unleashed. "I can promise you astonishing reveals and a lot of fun with her as well, she's so much fun to work with. So good times with Mrs Flood to come."

Mrs Flood was first introduced as a seemingly innocent neighbour of Ruby but it soon became clear there was more to her than meets the eye when she ended the Christmas special, The Church on Ruby Road, with her shock line: "Never seen a TARDIS before?"

In The Legend of Ruby Sunday, she confronted Ruby's nan Cherry Sunday (Angela Wynter), with it being made clear that she's not to be trusted.

Mrs Flood also clearly knew Sutekh's identity, as she delivered an ominous warning, saying: "I'd be very careful, Mrs Sunday – there's a storm coming in… He waits no more."

As to who she is, theories have ranged from the idea that Mrs Flood is actually the Doctor's first ever companion and his granddaughter, Susan Foreman, to the notion that she's one of the Pantheon of Discord.

It seems we'll have to wait until next season for more details...

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