Doctor Who – Rogue

Ruby Sunday (Millie Gibson) and the Fifteenth Doctor (Ncuti Gatwa) in Rogue (Image courtesy BBC / Disney+)
Ruby Sunday (Millie Gibson) and the Fifteenth Doctor (Ncuti Gatwa) in Rogue (Image courtesy BBC / Disney+)

“Rogue” is an episode of the 14th season of the new “Doctor Who” series, also indicated as season 1, and follows “Dot and Bubble“. It’s available in the UK and Ireland on BBC channels and in many other countries on the Disney+ platform.

Beware that in various adverts and marketing materials, this season is promoted as season 1, marking the start of production by Bad Wolf and distribution by Disney+, hence the double notation. On BBC’s website, “Rogue” is indicated as episode 6 of 8 while Disney+ indicates it as episode 7.

Note. This article contains some spoilers about “Rogue”.

1813. The Fifteenth Doctor (Ncuti Gatwa) and Ruby Sunday (Millie Gibson) sneak into a ball in English high society but a bounty hunter (Jonathan Groff) who calls himself Rogue thinks the Doctor is a Chuldur alien. The situation becomes more complicated than either of them can imagine.

Bridgerton. From the moment the first information about “Rogue” started arriving, there were many comparisons with the TV show “Bridgerton”. During the episode, the show was even explicitly mentioned. I’ve never watched it because it’s not really my genre, in fact, the first part of this episode left me cold.

For me, the episode gets interesting with the interactions between the Doctor and the bounty hunter who calls himself Rogue. The two of them quickly start flirting and if this were an episode written by Russell T Davies we would have accused him of creating a character who’s almost a copy of Jack Harkness. Kate Herron and Briony Redman wrote the screenplay and Kate Herron was the executive producer of the first season of the TV show “Loki”, so she has experience with characters who have a morality that is dubious to say the least.

When Rogue examines the Doctor, various faces from his past are shown, including Richard E Grant’s face, which effectively confirms his version of the Doctor shown in the web serial “Scream of the Shalka”.

The plot of the episode plays on the moral rigidity of British society at the time with the Doctor and Rogue causing scandal. The tension between the two of them grows as they face the Chuldur, shape-shifting aliens whose natural appearance is bird-like. The growing tension seemed well constructed to me with a good mix between that given by the attraction between the Doctor and Rogue and that caused by the Chuldur, complicated by the fact that some of the participants in the ball are not what they seem.

I appreciated some surprises, perhaps due to the fact that this episode was written by two authors making their debut in “Doctor Who”. There are some similarities with other episodes but they put something different into it compared to authors who have become familiar. The actors contributed to the good outcome of an episode in which Ruby also has her space despite the centrality of the relationship between the Doctor and Rogue. For these reasons, I believe it’s an episode that can be enjoyed even by viewers who have never seen “Bridgerton” and are not fans of productions set in that historical period.

Rogue (Jonathan Groff) in Rogue (Image courtesy BBC / Disney+)
Rogue (Jonathan Groff) in Rogue (Image courtesy BBC / Disney+)

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