*Warning: Spoilers for Doctor Who's season finale, Empire of Death, ahead.*

Advertisement

It's the mystery that has plagued viewers for the entirety of Doctor Who season 14 but we finally know the identity of Ruby Sunday's (Millie Gibson) biological mother.

The Church on Ruby Road, the 2023 Christmas special, introduced us to companion Ruby and began her mission to find her biological mother after she was adopted by Carla (Michelle Greenidge) - even enlisting the help of Davina McCall!

Now, as Ncuti Gatwa's first full season draws to a close with season finale Empire of Death, that mission is finally complete. Here's everything you need to know!

Who is Ruby's mother in Doctor Who?

Ruby's mother is a woman named Louise Alison Miller.

More like this

After defeating Sutekh and bringing life back to the universe, Ruby, the Doctor and Mel Bush (Bonnie Langford) return to UNIT HQ, where they're able to trace Ruby's DNA to her mother.

"Louise Alison Miller," Morris (Lenny Rush) tells Ruby. "Thirty-five years old, 15 when she gave birth to you."

Kate Stewart (Jemma Redgrave) adds: "Records say her stepfather... well, he was trouble. I think she did the right thing getting you out of that house."

Rose Noble (Yasmin Finney) goes on to say: "She must have hidden the pregnancy."

Millie Gibson as Ruby Sunday in Doctor Who, struggling to move through a snowstorm
Millie Gibson as Ruby Sunday in Doctor Who. BBC Studios/Bad Wolf/James Pardon

Kate adds that the identity of Ruby's father is known, and then goes to on to say that Louise is a nurse.

Ruby is left stunned at how "ordinary" her mother is, wondering how she stayed invisible from Sutekh.

"She was important because we think she's important," the Doctor says. "That's how everything happens - every war, every religion, every love story.

"We invest things with significance. So while the whole of creation was turning around her, it made her sheer existence more powerful than Time Lords and gods.

"In the end, the most important person in the universe was the most ordinary. A scared little girl making her baby safe."

Millie Gibson as Ruby Sunday in Doctor Who. She is holding her hand up and there are cracks in front of her
Millie Gibson as Ruby Sunday in Doctor Who BBC Studios/Bad Wolf/James Pardon

With Rose reminding the group that Louise pointed at the Doctor on the night she left Ruby at the Church, the Doctor reveals she wasn't actually pointing at him, but at the road sign for Ruby Road, effectively giving Ruby her name.

The Doctor and Ruby go on to visit Louise, keeping a distance from her as they watch her from outside a coffee shop.

"She has had over 7,000 days to come and find you and she never has," the Doctor tells Ruby. "Louise will have made her choices and I think we should leave that alone."

But, after so many years of wondering, Ruby can't leave it there. She orders a coffee and, when her name is called, reveals her identity to Louise in an emotional exchange.

The pair share a hug, and we later see Louise at home with the Sundays, poring over photos of Ruby's childhood.

By the end of the episode, not only has Ruby reunited with her birth mother, she's on her way to meet her biological father.

We had previously only known Ruby's mother as a hooded figure, and were able to recreate the night she left Ruby at the Church using UNIT's Time Window.

Faye McKeever
Faye McKeever Mike Marsland/Mike Marsland/WireImage

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 – The Legend of Ruby Sunday saw the Doctor (Ncuti Gatwa) and Ruby (Millie Gibson) arrived at UNIT HQ in 2024.

The pair use UNIT's time window – a device that allows you to experience, though not interfere with, moments from the past, "like 3D history" – to enter a virtual representation of Christmas Eve, 2004, the night an infant Ruby was abandoned outside the church on Ruby Road.

The hooded figure who left baby Ruby appears – but despite their best efforts, none of the assembled team – the Doctor, Ruby, or various UNIT officers – are able to glimpse the figure's face.

In fact, any time they get close, the figure shifts and reappears – as though a force is preventing their face from being seen. "That is more than just a glitch," says the Doctor. "It's like she's shadowed."

Millie Gibson as Ruby Sunday, Ncuti Gatwa as The Doctor and Bonnie Langford as Mel in Doctor Who, stood next to each other and looking concerned
Millie Gibson as Ruby Sunday, Ncuti Gatwa as The Doctor and Bonnie Langford as Mel in Doctor Who. BBC Studios/Bad Wolf/Sophie Mutevelian

In the episode’s final moments, Ruby returns to the time window and this time it appears she might be about to succeed where she previously failed as the hooded figure approaches once more.

Who plays Ruby's mother in Doctor Who?

Faye McKeever
Faye McKeever Anthony Devlin/Getty Images

Ruby's mother is played by Faye McKeever.

McKeever's early credits include Donna Marie in the Hollyoaks spin-off series In The City. She's also starred as Marie in the BBC Three sitcom Massive, Linda in Trollied, and Claire Olssen in drama series Little Boy Blue.

The actress has also appeared in Unforgiven, Shameless, and The Street.

Doctor Who will return at Christmas. Previous seasons are available to stream on BBC iPlayer.

Advertisement

Check out more of our Sci-Fi coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guideto see what's on tonight. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to The Radio Times Podcast.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement