Doctor Who Season 14 theories explained: Ruby Sunday, Susan Twist, and more

Jessica Cullen
Millie Gibson as Ruby Sunday in Doctor Who

Doctor Who’s latest season has introduced plenty of sci-fi mysteries and Easter eggs, leaving fans with countless theories as to what can happen.

It’s not unusual for Doctor Who to plant seeds for viewers, often leading to a huge payoff that makes rewatching all the more entertaining. From Bad Wolf to River Song, you’ll know that it’s usually worth paying attention to what goes on during the Doctor‘s adventures.

As such, many have had their eyes peeled throughout Doctor Who Season 14 to catch clues for what the future could hold, especially when it comes to Ruby, the new Doctor Who villains, and recurring cast members.

Here, we break down all the major Doctor Who Season 14 theories, starting with the biggest tease of the season: Ruby Sunday.

Ruby Sunday is the Doctor’s great-granddaughter

Millie Gibson as Ruby Sunday in Doctor Who

From her first appearance in the 2023 Doctor Who Christmas Special, it’s been clear that something is going on with Ruby Sunday. When he’s with her, the Doctor is often plagued with visions of falling snow and mysterious cloaked figures, all calling back to the night Ruby was abandoned outside of a church by her mother when she was a baby.

Since then, the identity of Ruby’s birth mother has been her driving force. It’s also a point of interest for viewers too, since every episode since has alluded to some deeper consequence behind her past. Even the Doctor appears fearful at times, and Maestro was shocked at seeing Ruby’s musical trance, knowing that something (or someone) was behind it all.

One of the leading theories behind Season 14 is that Ruby is the Doctor’s great-granddaughter, aka the daughter of Susan Foreman. Those in the know will already be familiar with Susan, but essentially, she’s the Doctor’s granddaughter and first-ever companion.

The Doctor made an unexpected mention of Susan in Episode 2, ‘The Devil’s Chord‘, which has led fans to believe that Susan could be turning up sometime soon. Ruby’s bleeding memories (which the Doctor can see) and her unidentified mother could imply that she has a deeper connection with the Time Lord than previously thought, and it might be revealed that Susan was the one who dropped Ruby off.

Susan Twist is either a villain or the Doctor’s greatest friend

Susan Twist, Ncuti Gatwa and Millie Gibson in Doctor Who Season 14

Anyone who’s been watching Season 14 will have noticed Susan Twist, an actress who has appeared in almost every episode from ‘Wild Blue Yonder’ onward.

She keeps cropping up as different characters but, instead merely being a result of convenient casting, the creative have made sure to point this out to us. She always gets dialogue, usually a close-up, and the big musical number in ‘The Devil’s Chord’ was about how “there’s always a twist at the end.”

It’s no accident that Susan Twist is purposefully appearing in every episode. But now the big question remains: is this a fun Easter egg or something more meaningful? This is Russell T Davies we’re talking about, and there’s reason to believe Susan Twist could have a much larger role to play. Namely, Susan Twist could be The One Who Waits.

This theory mainly revolves around the fact that the Doctor and Ruby have literally been followed through time by Twist, though this doesn’t account for the fact that Maestro gave them a warning, saying: “The One Who Waits is almost here.” Why would they say that if technically, Susan Twist was already in 1965?

An alternate take on this theory is that Susan Twist is Susan Foreman. Again, the Doctor’s mention of his granddaughter raised a lot of eyebrows, and it seems rather deliberate. We fully expect to see some mention of her again, if not Susan herself, and that could account for why Susan Twist is able to follow them anywhere: she already traveled through time with the Doctor, and she’s a Gallifreyan.

The name is also a heavy indicator that something’s going on, with “Susan Twist” literally telling us that there’s going to be a Susan-based twist.

The One Who Waits is a member of The Pantheon

Neil Patrick Harris as the Toymaker in Doctor Who

There are plenty of theories surrounding the impending villain, The One Who Lives. But if The One Who Lives isn’t a familiar face, then it’s very likely that they’ll be a member of The Pantheon. The Pantheon of Discord, more specifically. (Also known as the Gods of Chaos.)

This is a group of transcendental beings that the Doctor has known of since he was a child. Famed members include The Trickster, Krampus, the Toymaker, and Maestro.

We know two things about the The One Who Waits for certain: A) the Doctor doesn’t know them specifically, and B) they were scary enough for even the Toymaker to run away with his tail between his legs. (As he tells the Doctor in ‘The Giggle’: “There’s only one player I didn’t dare face. The One Who Waits. I saw it hiding, and I ran. That’s someone else’s game.”)

If the Toymaker is reluctant to confront The One Who Waits, then we know they must have immense power. The Toymaker is also clearly familiar with them, so all signs point to them being one intensely troubling figure.

The Doctor and Ruby, as mentioned above, also get a warning from Maestro — a sign of bad times to come. Since the Doctor has already faced-off against the Toymaker and Maestro, these prior Doctor Who episodes could have been training, in a sense.

Something’s wrong with the TARDIS

The Doctor and Ruby standing in the TARDIS

Aside from his two hearts, sonic screwdriver, and ever-changing companions, one of the Doctor’s most iconic associations is with his time-travelling police box. But we’ve been getting hints that something could be wrong with the TARDIS in Season 14, starting with the awful sound it makes when the Doctor and Ruby cross the famous Abbey Road crossing in ‘The Devil’s Chord’.

As they walk past it, the TARDIS makes makes a loud grounding sound — it’s enough to make them stop in their tracks. (This is after their initial confrontation with Maestro.) Don’t forget, the TARDIS was split into two after the Doctor’s bigeneration, which could have resulted in changes or malfunctions that the Time Lord isn’t even aware of yet. After their encounter with the powerful Maestro, the TARDIS could be struggling even more.

What’s more, the preview for the upcoming episode ’73 Yards’ suggests that the TARDIS turns against Ruby completely. In the trailer, Ruby tries to enter the machine after the Doctor disappears, but it won’t let her. The TARDIS typically doesn’t cause much trouble for the companions, so this definitely means something.

Those are all the biggest Doctor Who Season 14 theories for now. For more Who, check out our guides to all the Season 14 villains, the Doctor Who Season 14 release schedule, and Mundy Flynn. You can also find out when the new episode of Doctor Who is out.