Doctor Who cast - Why two Greater Manchester areas were namechecked in latest episode ahead of season finale

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Tameside and Cheetham Hill made an unlikely appearance in the latest episode of Doctor Who.

The show, currently in its 26th season, stars Sex Education’s Ncuti Gatwa as the titular Time Lord and the Tameside-born, ex-Corrie actress Millie Gibson, who plays his assistant, Ruby Sunday. 

In the series’ penultimate episode ‘The Legend of Ruby Sunday’, which aired on Saturday 15 June, the time travelling duo find themselves at the headquarters of UNIT, a fictional intelligence agency within the Doctor Whoniverse that deals with paranormal threats, as they investigate a mysterious woman. 

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Tameside born actress Millie Gibson stars alongside Ncuti Gatwa in the latest season of Doctor Who. Credit: BBCTameside born actress Millie Gibson stars alongside Ncuti Gatwa in the latest season of Doctor Who. Credit: BBC
Tameside born actress Millie Gibson stars alongside Ncuti Gatwa in the latest season of Doctor Who. Credit: BBC

When the pair are introduced to Colonel Winston Chidozie, the agency’s head of Time Window Security, Ruby asks: “Is that a Manchester accent?”, to which Chidozie replies: “Proud to say, ma’am – Cheetham Hill.” Ruby, played by real life Mancunian Millie Gibson, then goes on to say that she is from Tameside, repeating it later on in the show, when she describes herself as “Tameside girl.”

Mention of the Greater Manchester borough on the BBC’s flagship sci-fi show has excited local Doctor Who fans. Some have even taken to social media to express their delight. 

X user and culture writer Harrison Brocklehurst posted: “I was born in Tameside, all my family are from there, and I love hearing it said on the telly on a show this big. Can I get a hoyeahhh in Dukinfield!! #DoctorWho.”

Another X user, Helen, posted alongside screenshots from the episode: “Been waiting all day to post these! I’m born & bred & still live in Tameside (it’s actually the borough though not an actual town!) loved it though & the episode was fantastic too #DoctorWho.”

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And X user Aimie Jane jokingly commented: “ Love that doctor who is mentioning Tameside and not being linked to murderers or squalor which is quite nice for once.”

The final episode of Doctor Who season 26 will air on Saturday 22 June on BBC One. All previous episodes are available to stream now on iPlayer.

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