This past Christmas Day, Disney and the BBC released a brand new “Doctor Who” holiday special called “The Church On Ruby Road”, which was the full adventure with Ncuti Gatwa as the new Doctor and is joined by a new companion, Ruby Sunday, who Millie Gibson plays.

In this special, the Doctor comes face-to-face with the mythical and mysterious goblins as his life collides with Ruby Sunday. Little is known about Ruby Sunday, as she was abandoned on Christmas Eve as a baby. Now living with her mum, Carla and grandmother, Cherry, her world is about to be turned upside down when she encounters the Doctor, and the two set off on their first adventure together.

The multi-year deal between Disney and the BBC sees the two companies working together to create the show, with the show being produced in Wales by Bad Wolf with BBC Studios Production.

There has been much speculation about how much creative control Disney has over the new “Doctor Who” series, as they are helping fund the creation of the show for an international audience.

Following the release of the special, the BBC released a new episode of their behind-the-scenes series, “Doctor Who: Unleashed” on the iPlayer, where the showrunner Russell T. Davies revealed how Disney was involved in creating the Christmas special.

Russell explained that after the Disney+ executives had seen an early screener of “The Church Of Ruby Road”, they passed along some creative notes that included how they wanted audiences to see Ncuii as the Doctor much earlier, which resulted in the addition of the early scene involving the Doctor stopping a giant snowman decoration from falling onto Ruby’s taxi and also convincing a nearby police officer that his girlfriend will accept a future marriage proposal.

“This was the very last scene to be added.  Disney always tests a first episode, and they tested this and people wanted to see the Doctor earlier, simple as that. They came back with that note, and I was like, ‘Well, actually, OK, who doesn’t want to see Ncuti?'”

The addition of this scene at the start of the show, allows audiences to connect with the title character much quicker, seeing what he is like, how he is a hero and cares for other people.   This little addition helps, especially as this new Christmas special was basically the introduction to the character for many around the world.  

All four of the “Doctor Who” specials from 2023 are now available to stream on the BBC iPlayer in the UK and on Disney+ around the world.  The new season of “Doctor Who” will return in May.

What did you think of Disney’s suggestions over the Christmas special?  Let us know on social media!

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Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Twitter: Facebook:

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