Doctor Who '73 Yards' ending explained: Who was the woman?

For the whole of Doctor Who's Season 14 episode titled '73 Yards,' Ruby deals with a wmoan constantly following her. Who was the woman, and what does this mean moving forward?
Doctor Who. Credit: BBC Studios
Doctor Who. Credit: BBC Studios /

We got a whole episode focused on Ruby Sunday in Doctor Who Season 14, Episode 4. We still didn’t get any answers as to who Ruby is, though.

Titled ’73 Yards,’ Ruby ended up on her own for her whole life after The Doctor stepped into a fairy circle. This was a huge disrespect of fae kind, and it led to The Doctor disappearing. A woman appeared at the distance of 73 yards from Ruby, never allowing Ruby to get any closer to her.

Anyone else could go to the woman. When they would go to her, they would look at Rudy and run away. Even Ruby’s own mom and Kate Stewart from UNIT changed in their demeanor toward Ruby, abandoning her at her time of need.

Who was the old woman in Doctor Who?

We learned who the woman was at the end of the episode. We watched as Ruby got older, turning into an old woman and going back to Wales, where the TARDIS still stood, now with flowers around it and moss growing up it. The TARDIS became a relic in the area, hinting that The Doctor never returned.

The night after that, Ruby talked about how she was always abandoned but never alone. The woman then started getting closer, but with her back to Ruby now. We never saw her face, but we soon learned that this woman was Old Ruby all along.

We were then taken back to the start of the episode. This version of Ruby could already see the woman, and there was a whisper of “don’t step.” Ruby managed to stop The Doctor from stepping into the fairy circle, preventing it being broken and preventing The Doctor from disappearing. With that Old Ruby disappeared.

What does this mean for Ruby in Doctor Who?

This Ruby has no memory of the alternate timeline. However, she did feel like she’d been to Wales three times, but couldn’t recall the third.

The Doctor still mentioned Roger ap Gwilliam becoming prime minister and being a dangerous man, which suggests that that is still going to happen. The version of the timeline of Ruby on her own led to Ruby being able to force Gwilliam to resign before he could do harm thanks to Old Ruby following her. That’s not going to happen now, so will we see this future play out with Gwilliam becoming Prime Minister?

What did the woman say to people?

Everyone who encountered the woman ran away in fear. They abandoned Ruby. The most surprising two were arguably Carla, Ruby’s mom, and Kate Stewart, who has seen everything!

According to Radio Times, we’ll never get to know what the woman said. That’s left for us to decide. What’s clear is that Old Ruby needed to make sure Young Ruby stayed on the path to be able to close the loop and get back to where The Doctor is to stop him from stepping into the circle.

dark. Next. Why is The Doctor so scared in Doctor Who?. Why is The Doctor so scared in Doctor Who?

Doctor Who airs Fridays at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on Disney+.