Who Is Jinkx Monsoon’s Maestro in DOCTOR WHO? The Musical Villain, Explained

Spoiler Alert

Spoilers ahead for the first two episodes (following the Christmas special) of Doctor Who season 1.

Doctor Who season 1 is ushering in a new era of adventures with the Fifteenth Doctor and Ruby Sunday. There are fun places in the universe to explore and so many places in time to touch. The Doctor has lots of fun and friends but this character also has an endless list of enemies. The latest one is Jinkx Monsoon’s delightfully campy and musically inclined Doctor Who villain Maestro (pronouns: they/them). Let’s get into this character and their potential future in the Whoniverse. 

Jinkx Monsoon’s Maestro Is the Child of the Toymaker in Doctor Who

Jinkx Monsoon villain character Maestro leans over the top of a piano in doctor who episode
BBC Studios/Bad Wolf Studios/Disney+

In this season’s second episode, aptly titled “The Devil’s Chord,” we finally see Jinkx Monsoon in deliciously evil action. People speculated that Monsoon could be playing anyone from the Rani to another version of the Master to a somehow regenerated version of the Toymaker. It turns out that final theory wasn’t too far off base. At the end of the 60th anniversary episode, the Toymaker warned the Doctor(s) that a legion would head their way.

In “The Devil’s Chord,” Maestro reveals that they are the child of the Toymaker. While the Toymaker’s jam was playing deadly games as a living game himself (of sorts), Maestro is the essence of music. Maestro is happy that the Doctor (whom they oddly refer to as the Lord Temporal) trapped their father so they can truly play.

Is Jinkx Monsoon’s Maestro Really the Toymaker’s Child or Are They the Master?

Well, we can only assume that Maestro is being truthful about their origins. Interestingly, when you Google search “Doctor Who Maestro,” the results reveal that Maestro is a word that can also mean master. The word literally means a master of art, particularly music, which is true in this episode. It seems like more of a clever ode to the Doctor’s enduring enemy so that’s what we will believe for now. Jinkx Monsoon isn’t playing a new version of the Master as far as we can tell.

What Does the Villain Maestro Want in Doctor Who

At the beginning of the episode, we see Maestro invade 1925 and suck the musical life out of a prolific composer. It’s not clear what that means until the Doctor takes Ruby Sunday to 1963 to hear The Beatles record their first album. They are all decked out in ‘60s gear and ready to witness music history but they soon discover that the songs, well, suck because Maestro is sucking music out of humanity. (Now that’s a clever way to have the Beatles in the show and work around music licensing issues.) 

The Doctor knows that something is amiss, so he takes Ruby to the rooftop of the recording studio to play the piano. When she does, Maestro literally pops out of the piano and begins to wreak havoc. Later on, Ruby asks why Maestro is doing this. Beside the obvious answer that they are the child of an agent of chaos, Maestro likes to hear the sweet music of a nuclear winter. They call it the purest music of all because it is “Aeolian tones,” which means music without the need of people. Every song that goes unsung feeds Maestro, who wants to get stronger so they can steal the music of the entire universe so it will stop turning and “keen in a minor key.” Maestro plans to “go solo” and have this be their greatest symphony of all. This is a wild plan, indeed. 

What Does Maestro Know that the Doctor and Ruby Sunday Don’t Know? 

ncuti gatwa and millie gibson as the fifteenth doctor and ruby sunday in doctor who season one
BBC Studios/Bad Wolf

Maestro is a being of many mysteries and secrets. The biggest one comes later in the episode. Ruby is caught up in Maestro’s musical chains. They want to consume the music left in her heart. Maestro unveils Ruby’s hidden song, which is “Shepherd’s Bell Carol,” the Christmas song playing the night she was born. Similar to the space station, snowfall begins to fall in that room. Maestro says, “How can a song have so much power? And power like him?” The Doctor questions who “him” is and Maestro says it is “the oldest one.”

Maestro questions how the oldest one could have been there on Ruby’s birth day and why. They almost get the upper hand on Ruby and the Doctor but two of the Beatles—Lennon and McCartney—come together to play the right chord to defeat Maestro. Upon banishment, Maestro warns the Doctor and Ruby that “the one who waits is almost here.” 

Will Jinkx Monsoon Return as Maestro in Doctor Who?

We don’t know what any of that means at this point. But we are pretty certain that this won’t be the last of Maestro. Doctor Who said that this character was one of the Doctor’s greatest foes yet. And, with Maestro and Toymaker’s stories setting the foundation for Fifteen’s arc, it would be odd to only have the former in one episode. We will see how Maestro affects Doctor Who’s future.

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