The beginning of the end
Everything you think you know is a lie. Chris Chibnall (Showrunner and Writer) is kicking off the newest season of Doctor Who by raising the stakes even higher than I thought possible. Not only do we have the return of our favorite psychopath The Master, portrayed brilliantly by Sacha Dhawan, apparently The Doctor’s (Jodie Whittaker) entire past was a lie.
I love a two-part episode and this was no exception. Kicking us off with a “where are they now” of our companions was a fun start to the season. It didn’t take long, however, to realize this was going to be a bit of a “Black Mirror” type episode. Seeing The Doctor now trusting Yas (Mandip Gill), Ryan (Tosin Cole) and Graham (Bradley Walsh) enough to split the team and send them investigating on their own was a great new development. It’s also nice seeing each of the companions getting more confident in themselves, and Yas actually having some really terrific emotional beats. I felt like she was really underused last season.
Sacha Dhawan, first playing the innocuous “O” was absolutely a blast to watch on screen and I really hope that they bring him back for more this season. Honestly, when the big reveal finally happens with his giggling “spy MASTER” I was open-mouthed and pounding on the chair arm with excitement. He plays The Master with some serious sinister impact. My biggest complaint about this opening came in the 2nd episode when he was working with the Nazis to try and find The Doctor. Part of what we love about The Master’s villainy is that he’s always so bad, but quirky and it never feels *real* for lack of a better word. Seeing him working with the worst real-life villains I can think of was jarring. However, Dhawan was so good in the role, so menacing and yet with that sorrowful (and ultimately snarly) message to The Doctor about their past, I truly pray for his return. What can I say, The Doctor is at her best when facing chaos.
With the devastating reveal that The Doctor, having only recently SAVED Gallifery, has now lost it again, Chibnall changed everything. What could The Master possibly have been talking about when he said that everything was a lie? Everything about who the Time Lords were? Where they came from? Their place in the universe? So many questions, fingers crossed we get answers to some of them!