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7 Questions We Had After DOCTOR WHO’s “Spyfall”
The following contains spoilers for Doctor Who’s “Spyfall” parts 1 and 2

The long-awaited return of Doctor Who is finally here. The British sci-fi series came back into our lives this week with “Spyfall.” The two-parter is a welcome return to form after a somewhat shaky series 11. The big shiny new toy is Sacha Dhawan’s newest incarnation of The Master, giving us a proper villain again. But while we were about as full of fannish glee as the Master was during his reveal at the end of part one, the two-parter did leave us with just a few questions. 

Why is The Master… The Master?
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Image: BBC/Doctor Who


When we last left the Master he was a she, in the form of Michelle Gomez’s Missy. Gender-swapping Time Lord regenerations are now an established part of the series’ continuity of course. But what about all that character development that Missy went through in series 10? Missy’s face turn was a huge part of that season. She so far as to betray her own former self, John Simm’s Master, only to have her shoot her in the back in return. This double murder/suicide scene implied that Simm’s Master had dealt his future self a final death rather than side with the Doctor.

Now, Dhawan’s Master is back to chaotic evil at a level that rivals Simm and Anthony Ainley’s classic series scenery-chewing. We know that whatever the Master learned about showrunner Chris Chibnall’s potentially game-changing mystery box, the “Timeless Child,” seems to have enraged him but what could be so devastating to have forced such a dramatic heel turn again? Is he even the incarnation after Missy at all?

(We do love his Missy meets Patrick Troughton look, though.)


When do we learn more about the Timeless Child?

The rumor mill was rampant before this season that a big reveal about the Doctor and her history was on the way. Doctor Who rumors are a bit flimsy on the accuracy scale, so let’s instead think about what we do actually know. The concept of the “Timeless Child” was first introduced by the Remnants invading the Doctor’s mind in “The Ghost Monument.” If you’d forgotten about that, “Spyfall” conveniently edited in a flashback reminder.

Now that it’s come up again it seems Chibnall’s meta plot for his tenure as showrunner is gaining steam. But will it dangle over us for just this season, coming to a head in the finale like Russell T. Davies’ disappearing planets in series four? Or will it take all of Jodie’s Doctor tenure, like Steven Moffat’s “silence will fall/Trenzalore” plot did for Matt Smith? We’re hoping sooner rather than later as mystery boxes can be a somewhat tedious device for moving the plot forward. Let’s find out what’s going on and deal with it instead of dangling it in front of the Doctor for years.


Is Gallifrey really toast for good?
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Image: BBC/Doctor Who

It feels like we just got Gallifrey back after it having been “destroyed” but not really during the Time War and then missing but not really after the “The Day of the Doctor.” We just can’t have nice things apparently because the Master went and blowed it up. But are we truly back to a last of the Time Lords situation again or can we expect to find a New Gallifrey somewhere down the line, or an arc that restores the planet once again? It would be a bit of a shame to just discard the planet once again after the Doctor went through so much to find it again.


Can the Doctor not use the Nazis as a weapon ever again, please?
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Image: BBC/Doctor Who

The Master is a baddie, we get that. But seeing Sacha’s Master in an SS uniform felt like a bit much, to begin with. Then we add in that the Doctor, a blonde white woman, defeats him by removing his perception filter as the Nazis close in so that they see him as a man of color? That’s a yikes from us. It also doesn’t even make sense. The whole point of her telegraph code trick was to make the SS think the man he was posing as was a secret British spy. Why make him look like a different man to them? The character whose last face emphasized “be kind” as a motto as his dying words should absolutely not be employing even the hint of racist genocide as a tactic for defeating her enemies.


Also, can the Doctor please stop erasing people’s memories willy nilly?
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This has been a recurring trope on the show. The Doctor erased Donna’s memory against her will to save her life. He tried to do it to Clara Oswald only to have her refuse and explain why. He realizes the harm it does when Bill pushes him on it “The Pilot.” So why is Jodie’s Doctor back at it again? It’s not like we don’t have loads of examples of historical figures with whom the Doctor is flippantly BFFs. It was cool of the show to highlight two historical women of STEM, but Ada Lovelace vocally begged to not be erased and the Doctor just did it anyway.


What did the Doctor do with the Master’s TARDIS?
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Image: BBC/Doctor Who

The Doctor used the Outback hut TARDIS to get back to the present day after leaving him to the Nazis (again, yikes.) But what does she do with the spare TARDIS once she’s done with it? This also begs the question of just how many random Master TARDISes are just strewn about the place from all the other times they’ve squared off. And did the Master seriously not even attempt to help out his previous regenerations in the decades he was stranded on earth and attempt to foil the Doctor’s previous foiling of his own plans? He must have at least wanted to meet up with Delgado’s OG Master at some point, right? Who wouldn’t?


Where do we get Yaz’s shiny tux jacket?
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Image: BBC/Doctor Who

For real though. Maybe our most pressing question.

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