Doctor Who's centenary special brought another epoch of the sci-fi series to a close – and alongside old Doctors, classic companions and returning villains, one of the most iconic creations of the Jodie Whittaker/Chris Chibnall era was back for a grand farewell.
2020 episode Fugitive of the Judoon was a game-changer for the long-running show, introducing a previously unseen version of the Doctor (played by Jo Martin). The Thirteenth Doctor (Whittaker) had no memory of this incarnation, with that year's finale The Timeless Children revealing that this "Fugitive Doctor" was from a period in the Doctor's past that had been erased from her memory by the Time Lords.
This incarnation returns in The Power of the Doctor, after a fashion...
With the Master (Sacha Dhawan) having constructed a device that allowed him to take over the Doctor's body, Yaz (Mandip Gill) is assisted by an emergency hologram of the Doctor conjured up by the TARDIS.
Along with the returning Vinder (Jacob Anderson), Yaz confronts a cocky Master, who has back-up in the form of a legion of CyberMasters. But the villain gets a big surprise when the Fugitive Doctor strolls into the room...
The CyberMasters attempt to blow the Fugitive Doctor away, but their energy blasts pass right through her and flatten their counterparts instead, neutralising their threat. (Don't feel bad, CyberMasters, it happened to the Daleks at the end of the Time War too...)
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This "Fugitive Doctor", it's revealed, is simply another interface of the TARDIS hologram, used to confuse the Master and his goons. With both subdued, Yaz and Vinder are able to channel the regenerative energy of the CyberMasters into the Master's device, reversing the forced regeneration that had allowed him to occupy the Doctor's body.
In a flash, the Fugitive interface is gone, with a final sign-off: "See you round..."
Interestingly, though The Power of the Doctor marks the fourth appearance of the Fugitive Doctor in the series, the character has only actually appeared in the flesh once, in Fugitive of the Judoon. Her first encore in The Timeless Children was as a projection of the Matrix on Gallifrey, while her appearance in 2021 episode Once, Upon Time was as a figment of the Doctor's mind as she recovered a portion of her lost memories.
It's unclear if the genuine Fugitive Doctor will return to Doctor Who on television now that the show is entering a bold new era for its 60th anniversary and beyond under returning showrunner Russell T Davies – but the character's further adventures will be explored in a new series from audio drama producers Big Finish.
Jo Martin had previously hinted at further appearances from her incarnation following her Once, Upon Time appearance, teasing: "Will you see me again? What I will say is... I'll be hard to get rid of!"
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