Doctor Who takes on Welsh Folk Horror in 73 Yards

The episode premieres on Saturday, 25 May

Doctor Who S1,25-05-2024,73 Yards,4 - 73 Yards,Ruby Sunday (MILLIE GIBSON),*NOT FOR PUBLICATION UNTIL 00:01HRS, SUNDAY 19TH MAY, 2024*,BBC Studios,James Pardon
Millie Gibson takes centre stage in Doctor Who's next episode 73 Yards. (BBC)

Doctor Who is heading to Wales in its next episode 73 Yards, with the BBC show presenting its regular filming location on camera in what has been described as a Welsh folk horror.

The episode sees the Doctor (Ncuti Gatwa) and Ruby (Millie Gibson) visit the Welsh coast where they will be faced with their strangest journey yet. The Time Lord is whisked away and his companion being left alone while a mysterious woman following her from a distance, and when she seeks help from the locals they tell her of the ancient legends that have recently started coming alive.

Russell T Davies has teased the episode in the Official Doctor Who Podcast, saying: "This is Welsh folk horror coming up, with an astonishing cast. It's spooky, it's strange, it's genuinely unlike any other episode we've ever done before.

"We all found ourselves fascinated by making this. We had to test so much and get so much exactly right. It's very strange, 73 yards is very significantly important."

Doctor Who S1,25-05-2024,73 Yards,4 - 73 Yards,*NOT FOR PUBLICATION UNTIL 00:01HRS, SUNDAY 19TH MAY, 2024*,BBC Studios,James Pardon
The episode sees the Doctor and Ruby visit the Welsh coast where the Time Lord is whisked away and his companion is plagued by a mysterious woman following her from a distance. (BBC)

The showrunner then told viewers that they should "pay attention to those scrolls at the beginning" because "you might wonder what the message means: 'Rest in peace, Mad Jack'."

Several details about the episode have been kept under wraps, with Dame Sian Phillips and Aneurin Barnard joining Gatwa and Gibson as Enid Meadows and Roger ap Gwilliam, respectively. Susan Twist is also set to appear in the episode as a hiker, the actor has already appeared in Space Babies, The Devil's Chord, and Boom in different roles.

Read more: New Doctor Who companion Varada Sethu makes surprise early debut

There is a mystery around Twist's continued appearance in Doctor Who as new character, and Davies has joked that the reason she keeps returning is there was a "shortage of actors" at union Equity. Despite his apparent explanation, some viewers have started to question whether she is actually someone more important to the franchise.

Watch the trailer for 73 Yards:

73 Yards has already been praised by critics, with Digital Spy remarking that the episode is "so nearly flawless" and that it gave Gibson time to shine by herself. Radio Times also praised Gibson, who they say delivers "an absolute masterclass" performance as she tackles "a new challenge thrust upon her in pretty much every sequence."

Radio Times' Louise Griffin wrote: "It's an absolute treat when the companions get to shine, and now is exactly the right time in the season for it, showing off Ruby's intelligence, wit and resilience. Gibson easily takes us through confusing sequences, tense moments and brutally soul-crushing scenes, as well as bringing her signature humour to the show, once again proving why she was the perfect choice for the role."

Dextero commended the series for returning to the horror genre again, and similarly celebrated Gibson as they wrote: "Gibson’s performance in 73 Yards is heartbreaking. As she is continuously hunted by this ever-distant presence, she transitions through confusion, curiosity, fear, and acceptance, all incredibly convincingly."

New Doctor Who episodes launch on BBC iPlayer at midnight every Saturday, and 73 Yards will premiere on BBC One at 6.50pm on Saturday, 25 May.