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Doctor Who (2024) Season 1 Episode 6 Review

Three people stand on stairs wearing historical clothes in Season 1 Episode 6 of Doctor Who

Season 1 Episode 6 of Doctor Who (2024) treads new water for the show with a bold, entertaining romance given a sci-fi twist.

Showrunner: Russell T Davies
Genre: Adventure, Sci-Fi
Number of Episodes: 8
Episode 6 release Date: June 7, 2024
Where to Watch it: on Disney+

As we near closer and closer to what’s sure to be an explosive finale for Doctor Who Season 1, the show takes a break from its high stakes and recurring storylines for a more standalone adventure through Regency Era England as The Doctor (Ncuti Gatwa) and Ruby Sunday (Millie Gibson) find themselves entangled in a royal affair of shapeshifting aliens with dangerous intentions.

After the extremely bleak and solemn ending of last week’s ‘Dot and Bubble’, episode 6 of Doctor Who feels like a much-needed step towards a more comedic and lighthearted tone for the show. ‘Rogue’ is essentially an all-out comedy, parodying shows like Bridgerton with its melodramatic affairs and orchestral pop covers, but it maintains those sci-fi roots that make Doctor Who so unique.

Season 1 Episode 6 of Doctor Who introduces the character of Rogue (Jonathan Groff, of Mindhunter), an intergalactic bounty hunter who finds himself at the same royal ball as The Doctor in search of a shape-shifting alien hidden amongst the crowd. With Groff’s charming performance and his complicated storyline, the character of Rogue is a brilliant addition to the show who immediately sets this story apart from the rest. His dynamics with the Doctor and Ruby are constantly engaging, toying with the stereotypes of existing bounty hunters like Star Wars’ Han Solo while keeping himself very distinct and fitting perfectly into this exaggerated world of regality and eloquence. It’s his inclusion that makes ‘Rogue’ such a comedic and entertaining episode, contrasting with the more serious inclusions in this season. 

What makes episode 6 really stand out as one of season 1’s most enjoyable stories is its willingness to poke fun at itself without sacrificing the emotional heart of the show. Where stories such as ‘Space Babies’ and ‘The Devil’s Chord’ suffered as a result of leaning too far into their silliness, ‘Rogue’ maintains an air of mystery and emotional integrity that makes it such a captivating story to watch. It’s the first Doctor Who adventure (ever!) written by Kate Herron and Briony Redman, with the former best known for her work on Marvel’s Loki. The pair are an excellent fit for Doctor Who, understanding these characters on a fundamental level and knowing how to effortlessly introduce this world and pull everything neatly together in just 45 minutes, which is an area where the rest of the episodes in this season have mostly struggled. 

Season 1 Episode 6 of Doctor Who
Season 1 Episode 6 of Doctor Who (2024) (Disney Plus)

Season 1 Episode 6 also features plenty of charming moments between The Doctor and Ruby, whose relationship has struggled to flourish on-screen as a result of Gatwa’s major absence from a third of the stories so far. The upside of this decision is that Ruby has almost become the protagonist of the show, which pushes the boundary of Doctor Who’s format in an incredibly interesting way – but the downside is that they don’t quite feel as close as many of The Doctor’s previous friendships. ‘Rogue’ basically fixes this problem by focusing intensely on their growing fondness for each other, showing how The Doctor reacts to his own pride putting Ruby’s life on the line twice now (re: “Boom”). Since every indication seems to point towards this season’s two-part finale being another Ruby-forward episode, their character work in episode 6 crucially fills a hole and ensures that those upcoming emotional beats will hit even harder.

There’s no denying that Doctor Who Season 1 has been pretty up-and-down so far, but episode 6 is a huge step in the right direction that marks one of the season’s best stories yet. It might not have the huge stakes of ‘Boom’’ or the sprawling narrative of ‘73 Yards’, but it proves how naturally comedy can fit into this universe when it’s done right. Rogue’s character also does a great job of complicating The Doctor’s story in a very unexpected way, but it’s one that’s mostly fitting with the character and should take fans by pleasant surprise. This is the exact kind of story that Doctor Who needed before making the final push to that closing two-parter, which sees Russel T. Davies back in the writers room for another of his beloved Doctor Who finales.

Season 1 Episode 6 of Doctor Who (2024), named “Rogue,” will be released on Friday, June 7 at 7:00 p.m. ET on Disney+ where available.

Doctor Who (2024) Season 1 Episode 7 Review – Loud And Clear
Season 1 Episode 7 of Doctor Who (2024) is the first part of an explosive finale that begins to unravel the ongoing mystery of Ruby Sunday.
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