1.4. 73 Yards

Season 1 - 2024

Written by: Russell T. Davies
Executive Producers: Russell T. Davies, Julie Gardner, Jane Tranter, Joel Collins, Phil Collinson, Julie Anne Robinson
Producer: Vicki Delow
Director: Dylan Holmes Williams
Music performed by: BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Music by: Murray Gold

Ruby Sunday and Kate Lethbridge-Stewart


73 Yards

 Ruby: I keep wondering how the world survives without him.

 Kate: Well, that's classified. I think I can say, skin of our teeth.


The TARDIS materialises on a cliff-top in Wales. The Doctor tries to big up Wales, but tells Ruby about Roger Ap Gwilliam who becomes the most dangerous UK Prime Minister in 206, taking the world to the brink of nuclear war. Not paying attention the Doctor disturbs a cotton circle in the grass containing charms, bird skulls, and messages. Ruby reads some of the messages, including one for Mad Jack to Rest in Peace.

When Ruby looks for the Doctor he is nowhere to be found, and the TARDIS won't open. In the distance she sees a woman whispering and gesturing. As Ruby moves towards the woman, asking about the Doctor, the woman appears to move away from her. Ruby asks the woman questions but the woman repeating the same gesture.

Ruby starts to make her from the cliff to a village - Glyngatwg. As she walks she notices the woman changes position. On the way to the village, as snow starts to fall, she meets another hiker. She asks the hiker, who seems familiar, for help and asks the hiker to apologise to the woman on her behalf. Ruby watches as the hiker talks to the woman before shrieking and running off.

It's evening before Ruby reaches an inn in Glyngatwg. Before entering she looks back and sees the woman is still following her. Inside the inn is quiet and there are only a few people inside drinking, and Ruby books a room for the night. When Josh leaves he tells them he will send the woman inside. Ruby watches s he approaches the woman, the runs off in a yelling. Ruby tells the people in the bar that the woman appeared after her fried disturbed a cotton circle. Enid says it is known as a fairy circle, and asks if she broke it. Ruby admits they did, but dismisses it as being magic. Enid says the cliff-top is a liminal space where normal rules are suspended and that spell that the ring was protecting has been broken and Mad Jack is unbound. The people in the bar keep trying to spook Ruby with tales and they hear a knocking at he door.

Ruby opens the door - for a delivery driver. The people in the bar start to laugh at Ruby thinking the Welsh are all witches and druids.

Ruby stays at the inn whilst patiently waiting for the Doctor until she is thrown out by the landlady who is upset after talking to Josh who said because of her, referring to either Ruby or the woman, he's never returning. Ruby takes a train to return to London. Whenever she looks out of the window she sees the woman gesturing to her.

Back at her home in London she tells her mum about the woman. Carla comes up with a plan to approach the woman whilst on a phone call to Ruby so she could hear what the woman is saying. Ruby can't hear what the woman is saying but she does see her mum look back before running off. Ruby runs to where her mum was. The woman has moved, and Ruby watches as her mum rides past her in a taxi.

Ruby keeps trying to contact her mum, even whilst shopping. On returning she finds herself locked out of her house. Eventually Carla does answer the phone - to tell Ruby to stop calling and go away.

Over a year later Ruby is sat outside at a cafe staring at the woman who is still following her around. She is interrupted by Kate Lethbridge-Stewart and undercover UNIT soldiers. She explains about the woman, and the injunction her own mother has taken out against her. Kate tells Ruby that UNIT has a tradition of helping the Doctor's former companions once they return to a normal life. After Kate mentions a perception filter Ruby thinks the woman must have one, as no-one ever seems to notice her. Ruby says she has measured the distance between her and the woman - and it always 73 yards.

Kate tells Ruby that they are going to bring the woman in, despite Ruby's protests. Kate issues the command an UNIT soldiers approach the woman. Kate orders the soldiers not to engage with the woman, but over the comms she can hear what the woman says. Kate looks at Ruby with horror before ordering the soldiers to disengage before leaving Ruby alone.

Alone Ruby continues to live her life, including dating, the woman always 73 yards away. After many years she sees a party political broadcast for Roger Ap Gwilliam bidding to become the leader of their Albion party where Rogers says people in the earlier years called him Mad Jack. Ruby starts to form a plan that involves the woman. Ruby offers herself as a volunteer for Roger's campaign. After becoming the leader Ruby continues to volunteer for the 2046 General Election where his party wins on an agenda of taking control of nuclear missiles.

At a nearby football stadium there are plans for a celebratory party. During preparations the one rule is to stay off the pitch - at least until the Saturday. Ruby can see the woman still 73 yards away in the stands. On a platform Roger is meeting some of the people on his staff rehearsing for the celebrations. Ruby learns that Saturday is the day Roger will declare the UK independent from NATO after purchasing nuclear weapons and getting the nuclear codes.

Despite warning Ruby walks onto the pitch, even with security trying to stop her. Using an app on her phone she moves to exactly 73 yards from Roger. The woman moves accordingly, and when Roger hears her he immediately runs off and resigns as Prime Minister.

Nothing seems to change for Ruby. After a further 40 years, and with a carer to help, Ruby returns to see the TARDIS, now covered in moss with flowers left by hikers.

One night Ruby sees the woman in her room, getting closer. As she holds her arms out time seems to reverse, and Ruby sees herself looking out from the old woman - and the younger Ruby and the Doctor arriving on the cliff-top. Only this time the young Ruby calls out the Doctor before he stands on the fairy circle.

Regular Cast

  • Ruby Sunday: Millie Gibson

Guest Cast

  • The Woman: Hilary Hobson
  • Hiker: Susan Twist
  • Lowri Palin: Maxine Evans
  • Enid Meadows: Sian Phillips
  • Joshua Steele: Sion Pritchard
  • Ifor Jones: Gwion Morris Jones
  • Thin Lucy: Elan Davies
  • Eddie Jones: Glyn Pritchard
  • Carla Sunday: Michelle Greenidge
  • Cherry Sunday: Angela Wynter
  • Mrs Flood: Anita Dobson
  • Kate Lethbridge-Stewart: Jemma Redgrave
  • Frank Hinchley: Graham Butler
  • Sanjay Miah: Ali Ariaie
  • Rufus Bray: Albey Brookes
  • Roger Ap Gwilliam: Aneurin Barnard
  • Craig Deloach: Miles Yekinni
  • Amol Rajan: Himself
  • Marti Bridges: Sophie Ablett
  • Akhim Patel: Shane David-Joseph
  • Groundsman: Jason May
  • Security Officer: Dylan Baldwin
  • Armed Policeman: David Constant
  • Newsreader: Deeivya Meir
  • Old Ruby: Amanda Walker
  • Elizabeth Campbell: Rhyanna Alexander-Davis
  • Nurse: Vee Vimolmal

Original broadcast on the BBC

Channel Title Date Viewers Rating
BBC 1 4. 73 Yards Saturday, May 25, 2024 6:50 PM - 7:35 PM 4.06M

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