Who Is Mrs. Flood in DOCTOR WHO? Ruby’s Mysterious Neighbor Raises Eyebrows

Spoiler Alert

“The Church on Ruby Road” gave us a really cute Christmas special starring the Fifteenth Doctor and Ruby Sunday. We met Ruby’s delightful family, including her loving adoptive mum Carla and her witty gran Cherry. Her neighborhood is also delightful, including her neighbor Mrs. Flood, played by Anita Dobson. The special teases an ongoing mystery about Ruby’s biological family but something strange is also going on with Mrs. Flood, too. She breaks the fourth wall at the end and it makes us all wonder what’s going on with her. Who is Mrs. Flood in Doctor Who? Let’s dig into how she appears in the episode and what she could do in the future. 

Mrs. Flood on Doctor Who stands in front of her flat in Christmas special
James Pardon/BBC Studios

Near the beginning of the episode, Ruby Sunday comes home with two handfuls of groceries. We watch her neighbor Mrs. Flood argue with Abdul, another neighbor, about a large object that she’s sure he put on the sidewalk. That object is none other than the TARDIS. Abdul insists he knows nothing about this blue box. Ruby comes up and Mrs. Flood, who calls her Rubes, complains to her as Ruby looks at the box with lots of curiosity. She asks Mrs. Flood what it is and her neighbor says it is a police box. She admits she hasn’t seen one on the streets of London in around 50 years… and doesn’t want to see one now. 

Later in the episode, Mrs. Flood is walking home when she witnesses the TARDIS dematerializing. Of course, she’s in shock and drops her shopping bags. After the Doctor returns from saving baby Ruby in the past, he parks the TARDIS on the other side of the street. Mrs. Flood is rather chipper and waves hello to him. When he comes back out, they have a short conversation, including Mrs. Flood asking who he is. Predictably, the Fifteenth Doctor just says he’s passing through and she tells him to take care. At the end, Ruby comes out to inquire about the Doctor and Mrs. Flood points her to the TARDIS. Strangely, she calls her Ruby and wishes her good luck. Mrs. Flood is even nice to Abdul, who is shocked to see the TARDIS disappear. She then turns directly to the camera and says “Never seen a TARDIS before?”

Doctor Who TARDIS interior (1)
BBC/Bad Wolf Studios/Disney+

What Is Going on with Mrs. Flood in Doctor Who?

So, what’s up with this lady? Well, she clearly didn’t know what the TARDIS was at the beginning of the episode. There would have been no reason for her to put on a front (and argue) with Abdul if she knew the truth. It’s plausible Mrs. Flood did a bit of research after seeing the TARDIS leave. She’s an older lady but that doesn’t mean she can’t use the internet, right? However, the Doctor was only gone for a short amount of time. Did she have time to even look it up? Hmmm.

It’s not impossible that Mrs. Flood could have seen the TARDIS when the Doctor went back to that church on Ruby Road. It was a dark and wintry night and other houses were around. This episode revolved around coincidences, after all. Some fans wonder if Mrs. Flood is Ruby’s mom and we aren’t sure that’s the case. Ruby is 19 years old while Mrs. Flood appears to be in her 70s or maybe even 80s. Yes, some women do have children later in life but it’s a little too coincidental that she’d abandon Ruby and then end up being her neighbor. However, she could know more about Ruby than she’s letting on. 

millie gibson as ruby sunday leans over a baby crib railing in doctor who christmas special
BBC Studios/Bad Wolf

Hell, maybe Mrs. Flood is a villain. A flood is an influx of rain and rain is an anagram for… RANI. (I’m kidding about the Rani… or am I?) Or, there could be no mystery with Mrs. Flood and she simply said that line for funsies. Anita Dobson grew up watching Doctor Who, so perhaps it’s just a fun nod to her being a fan. It seems a bit too deliberate to just be this but who knows what Russell T Davies has in store.

Will Mrs. Flood Return to Doctor Who?

Either way, it seems we will get more Mrs. Flood in the future. You don’t score a legend like Anita Dobson and only use her once, right? During a charity appearance, Dobson hinted that her character’s nosy nature could draw her into the Doctor’s adventures. We will surely return to Ruby’s home life in Doctor Who season one and that’s where Mrs. Flood is. Hopefully, the questions we have about her will get answers as the Fifteenth Doctor and Ruby Sunday’s journey continues. 

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