DOCTOR WHO’s Fifteen and Ruby Space Story Pays Homage to Nine and Rose

Spoiler Alert

Spoilers ahead for Doctor Who’s “Space Babies” episode.

The Fifteenth Doctor and Ruby Sunday are officially off towards great adventures. “Space Babies” picks right up where the Christmas special left off. After a quick foray into the past with dinosaurs, the duo end up on a strange space station full of babies. It’s quite the odd adventure, to say the least, that shows how this Doctor and companion will stand out for their predecessors. However, Doctor Who season one tips its hat at the Ninth Doctor and Rose in a couple of sweet ways. 

split image of fifteenth doctor and ruby and ninth doctor and rose
BBC/Bad Wolf Studios/Disney+

These odes to Nine and Rose aren’t shocking considering the parallels between them and the Fifteen/Ruby pairing. Nine and Rose’s first season (also known as season/series one) began a fresh slate and era for the show for new fans to enjoy while referencing the show’s rich history. Fifteen and Ruby’s era is doing the same thing, obviously.

Ruby Sunday and Fifteenth Doctor in space babies episode
BBC Studios/Bad Wolf Studios/Disney+

Ruby is slightly reminiscent of Rose. They are both 19-year-old blonde girls from working class neighborhoods who seem to be down on their personal luck when they begin traveling with the Doctor. The Ninth and Fifteenth Doctors are coming off some pretty dark eras but know that they don’t want to be alone. Their first adventures are on Earth while the second one takes place on a space station. So, it’s only right for Doctor Who to callback to Nine and Rose. 

Much like Rose when she was billions of years in the future, Ruby is excited but also sad about the realization that her mom is dead at that time. The Fifteenth Doctor takes Ruby’s phone and boosts the signal so she can call her mom on the spot, thereby easing her anxiety. This is a direct callback to “The End of the World” when Nine does the same thing for Rose. 

The end of the episode also gives us another Nine and Rose ode. The Doctor takes Ruby to spend Christmas with her mum and grandmum. She invites him to come and say hello and he says, “tell your mom not to slap me.” Of course, this references “Aliens of London.” In that episode, Nine brings Rose back to her mom only to discover that an entire year has passed. Jackie is angry and slaps him really, really hard in response. Thankfully, Ruby was gone a very short time but her mum probably wanted to slap him for landing in her kitchen.

We will see if Fifteen and Ruby’s journey mirrors Nine and Rose’s adventures in the future.

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