'Doctor Who: Spyfall' Part 2 preview: Could the Master's insanity-fueling drumbeat return?

'Doctor Who: Spyfall' Part 2 preview: Could the Master's insanity-fueling drumbeat return?
Sacha Dhawan and John Simm in 'Doctor Who' (BBC)

Though the Master has been part of the Whoniverse since its Classic era in the 20th Century, what turned the Master into the Doctor's "best enemy" was not revealed until 'Doctor Who' returned with Russel T Davies as the showrunner.

In the Episode 12 of Season 3 of NuWho, it was revealed that "the drumming" was a condition that afflicted the Master since his time at the Time Lord Academy. At age eight, the Master stood before the Untempered Schism, looking into the Time Vortex. The Tenth Doctor later said: "Some would be inspired, some would run away and some would go mad." The Master went mad.

For the Master, this manifested in the form of constant drumming that he heard, which worsened with each day. The drumming consisted of four beats and eager 'Doctor Who' fans would notice that it is the same four beats heard in the theme song for 'Doctor Who'. The drumming turned the Master into “one of the most evil and corrupt beings this Time Lord race has ever produced” according to the episode ‘The Five Doctors'.


In the preview for 'Spyfall: Part 2', we see Sacha Dhawan's Master continuing with his plan — which we are not clear of yet except that he years for chaos. In the trailer, we see someone key in the same four beats into a telegraph machine.

We see it twice, and the signature beats of the drumming are hard to miss. It is likely that Sacha Dhawan's Master is an incarnation between John Simm's and Michelle Gomez's and considering that the Doctor met O before "when she was a man", this Master could be from a different timeline — or as Part 1 of 'Spyfall' seems to suggest, a different universe.

So what is the Master's end goal here? It cannot be just to kill the Doctor. She's still alive as we see in the final moments of the Season 12 premiere. That the Doctor will save the day, we are sure, but it could be a long way ahead.

'Doctor Who: Spyfall Part 2' will air on BBC America on January 5th on BBC America.


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 Doctor Who BBC Spyfall Part 2 preview Master insanity fueling drumming returns