Doctor Who: The identity of The One Who Waits is revealed!

The mystery carrying us through all season has finally been explained, and it dates back to the Fourth Doctor.
Doctor Who. Credit: BBC Studios
Doctor Who. Credit: BBC Studios /

After months of speculatio, Doctor Who has finally let down the mask that has been shrouding this season's big bad. In the first part of this season's two-part finale, things got a bit wild and zany.

I will say if you aren't an OG Doctor Who fan, you may be wondering what the heck is going on. But don't worry, some research on the internet will tell you exactly what is happening, and how far back it goes: to the Tom Baker days!

There is a lot to uncover, so let's not spend another minute talking about anything else. Here's what went down in the first part of the Doctor Who Season 1 finale. Remember: MAJOR SPOILERS ahead!

The Time Window takes the Doctor and Ruby one step closer to learning it all

Back during the Doctor Who 60th anniversary special, audiences met the Toymaker (Neil Patrick Harris) who made mention of someone named "The One Who Waits." It appeared as if he was actually afraid of whoever this might be, and now we know why.

As this episode begins, the Doctor (Ncuti Gatwa) and Ruby (Millie Gibson) are solving two mysteries: who is Ruby's mother, and who is that woman (Susan Twist) that they've run into throughout time and space in every episode?

There is no one else but UNIT (Unified Intelligence Taskforce) that can help them, and luckily they have an entire floor dedicated to something called a Time Window. Kate Stewart (Jemma Redgrave) is there to usher in the Doctor and Ruby and provide them access to the Window.

So what exactly is the Time Window? It essentially serves like a virtual reality experience, except you aren't wearing those ridiculous goggles/eyepieces. Instead, you're standing within the window as you watch a moment in time play out. You can't interfere, but you can watch.

In this case, the Doctor and Ruby go back to Christmas Eve 2004, the day Ruby was born and left at the church on Ruby Road. There's video footage of her birth mother wearing a hood.

The hope is that the Time Window helps everyone learn who Ruby's mother is, but what they learn is much more than they bargained for.

The One Who Waits is revealed

Unfortunately, the Time Window reveals something sinister and unsettling. A dark cloud of red and black smoke emerges as the Doctor and Ruby look in on Christmas Eve 2004. It appears intertwined in something which we soon learn is the TARDIS itself. It is somehow weaved into its very fabric, and may have been for a very long time.

The presence even takes hold of UNIT officer Chidozie (Tachia Newall), who reveals that he is lost within this being and that he is in hell. Things get still stranger as another one of the UNIT officers, Harriet (Genesis Lynea), begins to chant and reveal herself to be Harbinger, or at least as a possession of him. Harbinger, as you may recall, is the son of Maestro and the Toymaker's grandson. He is also the messenger of a God-like being called Sutekh.

This moment comes crashing together as we learn that "The One Who Waits" is actually Sutekh, who is the "God of all Gods" and the head of the entire group of Gods we have come to know on this season of Doctor Who.

According to, Sutekh first appeared nearly 50 years ago during the tenure of the Fourth Doctor, aka Tom Baker! So, yes, Russell T Davies took it all the way back to the original days, and we are loving every moment of it.

In "Pyramids of Mars," Baker's Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen) met Sutekh after he was unleashed from under a pyramid. Thanks to the Doctor's involvement, Sutekh was banished through a time tunnel where it would eventually die.

However, it may not have died at all; instead, it wrapped itself into the TARDIS to avoid death (hence the weird noses coming from the TARDIS all season). And that is where Susan Twist plays in.

Ending of Doctor Who Season 1, Episode 7 explained

We've seen Twist's mystery character appear all season throughout space and time. The Doctor assumed this woman was actually his granddaughter, but as we learn during this episode, that is not the case at all.

Another version of this character, Susan Triad, is an entrepreneur on the brink of releasing game-changing technology to the world. But through the episode, it becomes clear that something is unsettling about this person. She's kind and she's nice, but also eerie and strange.

Moments before the episode comes to a dramatic close, we learn that this woman is actually Sutekh herself, who can kill someone with a mere touch and turn them into dust. She is the "God of all Gods" after all!

That is where we leave things off in this week's episode as the Doctor's heart is crushed learning this is not his granddaughter, but rather a God-like being who has followed him and Ruby through space and time all season.

With us finally knowing who this mystery character is and learning about Sutekh's re-emergence, now there is only mystery left: who is Ruby's mother? Tune in next week to find out during the epic finale of Doctor Who!

Grade: B+

dark. Next. Doctor Who meets Bridgerton in this week's enchanting episode, "Rogue". What do you get when you mix a little bit of Doctor Who with Bridgerton? Something quite magical, indeed.

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