This article contains spoilers for Doctor Who: The Legend of Ruby Sunday


David Tennant might have insisted that his latest Doctor Who encore in the show's 60th anniversary specials was "very much the end of the story", but the latest episode nevertheless appeared to gift fans the tiniest of updates on the fate of his Fourteenth Doctor.

Uniquely, rather than regenerating into Ncuti Gatwa's Fifteenth Doctor, Tennant's Fourteenth experienced a "bi-generation" which allowed both incarnations to co-exist.

With Fifteen taking flight in his own TARDIS, heading out into the universe to battle monsters and fight against injustice, Fourteen opted to take a well-deserved break and was last seen enjoying his retirement – well, semi-retirement, with the occasional jaunt through time – at home with companion Donna (Catherine Tate) and her family.

In new episode The Legend of Ruby Sunday, the Fifteenth Doctor and Ruby (Millie Gibson) arrive at UNIT HQ in 2024 seeking to solve twin mysteries – the identity of Ruby’s mother, and the secret of a woman (played by Susan Twist) who keeps appearing across time and space in different guises.

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There, the Doctor shares a joyous reunion with Donna's daughter Rose (Yasmin Finney), who is now employed by UNIT chief Kate Lethbridge-Stewart (Jemma Redgrave).

"How is your mum? How is your uncle?" asks the Doctor, with Rose confirming that both are doing "good".

Catherine Tate as Donna Noble, David Tennant as The Doctor and Bonnie Langford as Mel in Doctor Who. All three are leaning down, Mel and Donna are holding the Doctor's hands on either side as his head lights up with regeneration energy
BBC Studios/Bad Wolf/Alistair Heap

Given this is the first we've heard of Rose's "uncle", it seems safe to assume this is a reference to her *surrogate* uncle, the Fourteenth Doctor – and the good news is he's still alive and out there, despite showrunner Russell T Davies joking that the character had "died".

"He went to Venice, 2063, when the city sank, and he went into a whirlpool, which is really sad..." Davies said back in May.

Not a bit of it... the Fourteenth Doctor lives! Even if, again according to Davies, he's "parked and retired" and Tennant is "absolutely not coming back", we can at least take solace in the knowledge that he's still out there, thriving, in the Whoniverse...

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Doctor Who continues on Saturday 22nd June on BBC iPlayer and BBC One. Previous seasons are available to stream on BBC iPlayer.


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