Doctor Who Season 14 Episode 6: ‘Rogue’ recap and ending explained

Jessica Cullen
Ncuti Gatwa and Jonathan Groff as the Doctor and Rogue

Here’s the lowdown on Doctor Who Season 14 Episode 6, including a full ‘Rogue’ recap and ending explained, so you don’t miss a thing.

If you’ve been craving a historical drama for the Doctor and Ruby in Doctor Who Season 14, then you’re in luck. ‘Rogue’ is exactly that, with the time-traveling duo stepping back into the Regency era à la Bridgerton.

There’s human-bird hybrids joining the ever-growing list of Season 14 villains, and there’s a new love interest for the Doctor in the form of the handsome bounty hunter Rogue. But there’s also body-snatching and plenty of TV show references, so you may be looking for a handy recap of what’s gone down.

Here’s everything you need to know about ‘Rogue’, including a full recap and a breakdown of how the new Doctor Who episode ends. (Warning: major spoilers ahead, obviously.)

‘Rogue’ recap

The episode takes place in 1813, in a setting straight out of Bridgerton. The Doctor and Ruby are attending a ball hosted by the Duchess of Pemberton (Indira Varma), though it’s clear that some of the guests — namely the arrogant Lord Barton — are not who they say they are. Indeed, some of these mysterious figures are stealing people’s bodies, leaving their victims dead and rotten in various places around the manor.

But the Doctor and Ruby haven’t clocked on to this yet. They spent the evening dancing, a skill that Ruby acquired by wearing a special pair of sonic earrings which the Doctor explains can inform her body’s ability to do the Regency-era dances. (He warns her not to switch on the “battle mode” — any guesses as to whether she’ll do that?)

The pair introduce themselves to the Duchess, who takes Ruby around the room to meet people. After the earrings sense another sonic presence, the Doctor spots a handsome man watching the scene from the top of the staircase. 

Ruby, while being shown around by the Dutchess, encounters Lord Barton, who insults her and demeans her. Ruby storms off, only to spot a portrait that depicts a woman. Alas: it’s Susan Twist! The Duchess explains that the woman was her late mother-in-law, before storming away after another guest. Ruby then spots Lord Barton storming off after another emotional young woman, prompting her to follow them into the study.

The Doctor meets Rogue

At the top of the stairs, the Doctor introduces himself to the mysterious man and makes fun of him for looking so brooding. It’s clear that Rogue isn’t just another guest at the ball — he seems knowing, like he’s from another time.

Meanwhile, the Duchess follows two women outside, insulting one by implying that she’s wearing the same dress she did at another ball. The women quickly go back inside, but before the Duchess can follow, she spots one of her maids lingering at the end of the garden. She’s furious and embarrassed that one of the help is visible, so she goes to tell her off.

However, the maid soon reveals herself to be one of the monsters occupying the episode, known as the Chuldur. She transforms and steals the Duchess’ appearance, leaving her corpse outside. 

Inside, Ruby is watching the argument between the young woman, Emily, and Lord Barton. They’re in the middle of a lover’s quarrel — Emily wanting to marry him and Lord Barton dismissing her — when Ruby knocks a book off the shelf. Lord Barton leaves in a huff, and Ruby then comforts Emily, amusing the woman with her modern lingo and ways of thinking.

The Doctor is captured

The Doctor and Rogue wander outside, where they find the Duchess’ body. Soon, they both turn on each other, each suspecting the other of being the Chuldurs’ mastermind. Rogue soon reveals himself as a bounty hunter, hired to track the Chuldurs down and kill them. He then holds the Doctor at gunpoint, escorting him to his large, impressive ship. (Impressive compared to the TARDIS, anyway.)

Back at the manor, Ruby and Emily try to get over Lord Barton by dancing with other men and having fun. The Chuldur attackers (Lord Barton and the Duchess) watch them, deciding that Ruby is the next person they want to inhabit since she’s “so different.” They also make mention of a “wedding”, which only they seem to know about.

Millie Gibson as Ruby Sunday, comforting Emily in Doctor Who: Rogue

Back on Rogue’s ship, the bounty hunter traps the Doctor in a tri-form trap (allowing for a great molecular bond joke) which will send him to an incinerator when fully charged. Even the Doctor can’t turn it off, though he is able to mess around with the ship’s system using his sonic screwdriver, and finds out that Rogue is a solo traveler. It’s here that things get really flirty, with the Doctor and Rogue clearly sharing a strong chemistry.

With the tri-form suddenly charged and Rogue about to kill him, the Doctor gets the ship to scan him, revealing a rotating collection of the Doctor’s past forms. He makes a rousing speech, telling Rogue who he is — and reminding us in a powerful way.

Ruby finds a body

In the manor, Ruby and Emily are running upstairs, giggling. When they reach the hallway, however, they find the body of the maid upstairs, causing them both to panic.

Back outside, the Doctor (now freed) shows Rogue the inside of the TARDIS. Rogue — despite his earlier insults — is impressed by the police box. (The TARDIS groans again, like we’ve heard in other episodes.) It’s here that the two men talk a little more profoundly, with Rogue revealing that he once travelled with someone, who he lost. The Doctor, admittedly, has lost everyone.

The chemistry becomes almost palpable as the Doctor and Rogue get closer, within inches of kissing. However, the tri-form is now recharged — the Doctor has altered it to banish the Chuldur to another planet, realm, galaxy, what have you. 

The Doctor and Rogue hurry back to the ball, where they encounter Ruby and Emily. It’s here they work out why people are being killed and what the Chuldur want. It’s no coincidence that the entire setting seems like Bridgerton — it’s because the Chuldur purposefully picked it for that reason. They’re cosplaying.

Jonathan Groff as Rogue in Doctor Who

They crave scandal, outrage, and plot twists. They’re taking over the bodies of humans to live out their fantasies, picking the characters who they think are the most interesting. The Doctor then devises a plan to capture their attention and takes Rogue to the dance floor. The two men dance, gaining shocked stares from the rest of the partygoers, including the Chuldur. 

The Doctor then stages a false argument between him and Rogue, much like the one between Emily and Barton that Ruby witnessed earlier. The onlookers are shocked when Rogue gets down on one knee and hands the Doctor a ring. The Time Lord, looking a little rattled, runs off, Rogue following him.  

The Chuldur advance 

The Chulder family follows the Doctor and Rogue, wanting to cosplay with their bodies next. They chase the two men through the garden, who only manage to evade them by hiding on the roof of a carriage. 

Outside, the Chulder discuss their plan: to cosplay the wedding, then London, then the whole planet. By taking over powerful entities (like the Royal family and parliament), they can start wars and literally cosplay the planet to death.

The Doctor and Rogue realize it’s a whole family of them, causing the Doctor to reboot the tri-form to capture multiple bodies. This, however, means they only have one shot to get rid of them all. 

In the house, Ruby finds Emily, who is (understandably) freaking out about everything she’s hearing from her and the Doctor. Ruby comforts her and admits that she’s from the future. This is when the episode’s twist is made clear: Emily is actually a Chuldur. 

She reveals this to Ruby and tells her that she wants to cosplay as her. From outside the room, we see a zap of electricity, implying that she’s now taken Ruby’s body.

Time for a wedding

Watching from the top of the staircase, the Doctor and Rogue watch as the Chulder appear in their true form to the rest of the party guests, who scream and panic. Rogue then tells the Doctor and the Chuldur to leave no witnesses, and will likely kill everyone at the party. 

The Duchess then announces the wedding, and the Doctor is horrified when Ruby, now a Chuldur in disguise, enters the room on the arm of Lord Baron. Distraught, he runs upstairs and sobs, remembering the promise he’d made to Ruby’s mother Carla — that he would keep Ruby safe. 

Indira Varma as the Duchess in Doctor Who Rogue

When Rogue tells him that the Chuldur live to be up to 600 years old, the Doctor replies: “Good. A long time to suffer.” 

With the wedding in full swing, the Doctor storms in and objects. He holds up one-third of the tri-form trap, revealing (somehow) the other thirds of the trap around them. He activates it, capturing them all. But his plan is foiled when, sheepishly, Ruby confesses that she’s still Ruby. 

We then flashback to when Emily attacked her, and we’re shown that Ruby activated the “battle mode” on her earrings, allowing her to fight and knock out Emily. Just then, Emily — in her Chuldur form — appears with a broken nose. 

How does ‘Rogue’ end?

‘Rogue’ ends with Rogue sacrificing himself to save Ruby, sending himself to an undisclosed prison location with the Chuldur. 

The Doctor is now at a crossroads. He can either activate the trap, sending Ruby into banishment with the Chuldur, or release her and them, effectively sentencing all the other guests to death. He cries, and Rogue asks if he can suffer losing his friend to save the world. The Doctor says no, and Rogue kisses him.

Rogue then pushes Ruby out of the trap, stealing the trap remote and taking her place all in one go. He tells the Doctor to find him before activating the trap and banishing him and the Chuldur to an unknown location. 

Later, the Doctor and Ruby sit on the steps outside the manor house. When Ruby asks why they can’t go looking for Rogue, the Doctor tells her: “there are as many dimensions as there are atoms in the universe.” Finding him would be almost impossible. He quickly tries to change the subject and keep his energy up, but Ruby tells him that he doesn’t have to be happy and move on.

She hugs him and he allows her to comfort him. He also allows himself to be sad. When Ruby walks away, the Doctor takes out the ring Rogue gave him and puts it on, before looking upwards and saluting to the sky.

For more, find out when the new episode of Doctor Who is out. You can also check out our recaps for other episodes, including ‘73 Yards‘ and ‘Dot and Bubble‘. Or, for some speculation, take a look at all the biggest Doctor Who Season 14 theories.

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