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Spyfall was the two-part opening story to series 12 of Doctor Who. It saw the Thirteenth Doctor and company team up with MI6, and re-introduced the Master, now in a new incarnation played by Sacha Dhawan.

The Doctor's home planet Gallifrey also made a return, having not been seen since the Twelfth Doctor ran away once more in Hell Bent, with the Citadel now in ruins and the Time Lords implied dead at the Master's hand. In an ongoing story arc, the Master reveals that he has uncovered a secret about the Time Lords' history, connected to the Timeless Child.

The two-parter also saw two classic series features making a return: the Master's Tissue Compression Eliminator, and Time Lord telepathic contact, which the Doctor and the Master once again use to communicate via psychic link.

The story further introduced a new wall-breaking aspect to the Time Vortex. Now, when the TARDIS breaks into Gallifrey's "time bubble", the vortex changes from its normal appearance in purple to resemble an orange ball of flaming fire.

Synopsis Edit

The security of the entire world is at stake, so head of MI6, C, enlists the Thirteenth Doctor and her team to investigate former agent spy Daniel Barton to see if he's been turned against them. Meanwhile an alien threat that can pass through walls, even those of the TARDIS, known as the Kasaavin is wiping out spy organisations all over the planet. Can former MI6 agent "O" help them, or is he not who he claims to be?

Plot Edit

Part One Edit

This section needs a cleanup.

Plot summaries should be concise, and only include plot-relevant details. Most of the finer points included right now need to be moved to References.

On the Ivory Coast, a sniper observes a vehicle, presumably containing her target. However, before she can take a shot, she is attacked from behind by an unknown creature.

On a passenger aeroplane above the Pacific Ocean, en route to Tokyo, a passenger is handed a washbag by an older passenger. Hiding within the cabin toilet, she finds microfilm hidden within the bag, which she observes and swallows. After this, she is attacked from behind by another creature.

In Moscow, an American operative returns to his safehouse in an attempt to escape a pursuer. As he calls for extraction, he looks above to see one of the creatures phasing through the ceiling. Unable to move, he only watches in horror as it attacks him.

In Sheffield, Yorkshire, Ryan Sinclair is playing basketball with his friends. After a missed shot, Ryan and his friend Tibo have a chat, talking about his absence due to his TARDIS travels - all of which have been blamed on appendicitis, a hernia and a detached retina. They stop talking as they see a car parked in front of them and men in black suits standing by.

At their flat, Sonya is pestering Yasmin Khan for Ryan's phone number while Yaz is packing. Hakim attempts to get the Alexa to work, and Najia looks at a piece of paper, scorning, and says to Yaz that this is the third secondment she's been selected for, all during her probation period. Yaz is proud, but Najia pushes on.

Outside the Hallamshire Police station, Ramesh Sunder, Yaz's superior officer, does not approve, thinking he is losing his best probationer. He asks if this is undercover work but they stop talking as two men in suits appear requesting Yaz.

At his doctor's office, Graham O'Brien is rolling up his sleeve. His doctor notes how the time has flown since his procedure 4 years ago. He asks some routine questions, then offers condolences on his wife. He proffers a tablet for Graham to sign, which he does, and mentions that he's travelling. Graham leaves the office and sees a parked car with two men in black suits.

At M.O.T., the Thirteenth Doctor has her TARDIS up on a car lift. She's wearing dark-tinted goggles and a worker's apron. Cables and tubes are hanging down from the TARDIS's bottom. The Doctor is leaving a group voice message to her "fam" on her mobile phone, saying they are late. She hangs up and turns to see three parked cars and six men in dark grey suits, one of them approaching her. She greets them, noting they are "rocking the ominous look". The man says her friends are in the car. The Doctor goes with them.

With the companions in the backseat and the Doctor in the passenger seat, the man is driving them somewhere, guided by SatNav. Suddenly, the SatNav starts to fritz out, then a red beam shoots from it, killing the driver. The car stops in the middle of the road and the doors lock by themselves. The Doctor tries to use her sonic screwdriver, but the SatNav starts up again, noting that in 5 seconds, they will all die. The car then starts up again, driving in reverse while the Doctor tries to stop it. Red beams shoot from the SatNav. The Doctor grabs the rearview mirror and uses it to reflect a beam back to the SatNav, destroying it. The car stops just before falling off the end of the road. "C" talks over the car's speaker, and convinces the Doctor to come to MI6, in London.

The team arrives at MI6. As they climb the stairs inside, the Doctor sees the TARDIS and notes that it's arrived undamaged. Graham remarks in wonder that he's always wanted to be a spy, and Ryan banters with him that he would be a terrible spy. "C" greets them at the top of the stairs, but mistakenly addresses Graham as the Doctor. When his assistant Franklin corrects him, he notes "I read the files, the Doctor is a man." The Doctor replies that she's "had an upgrade". "C" verbally defends himself from the Doctor's and Yaz's accusations and slights, then announces that he is authorised by "every security agency around the globe" and asks for help.

While walking down the corridor, "C" tells the team that intelligence officers of all nationalities around the globe have been attacked, potentially by aliens. Arriving at a door, "C" uses a wall-mounted hand scanner to access the room and leads the team in. The passenger attacked from the Tokyo flight is present, on a hospital bed. "C" hands the Doctor a tablet, revealing the passenger's DNA has been rewritten. The Doctor mentions that this is beyond any human technology.

In his office, "C" provides Team TARDIS with three briefcases of spy equipment. "C" reveals that all of the assassinated agents were working leads related to Daniel Barton, the founder and CEO of VOR, a modern tech company that is more powerful than most governments. The Doctor says she'll need his best man, but C replies that he fired him, as alien issues are not MI6's area. Irritated, the Doctor sends the former agent a voicemail, receiving an fish image in reply. "C" warns that Barton is likely now a double- or triple-agent but an unseen sniper kills "C" before he can say more, and starts shooting at the team. The team flees to the TARDIS as Kasaavin start phasing through the office walls.

In the TARDIS, the Doctor analyses the steganography of the fish picture and determines the agent's location is the Outback. A Kasaavin starts to phase through the TARDIS door, but fails when the Doctor engages the engines. The Doctor scans the doors with her sonic screwdriver but does not get a reading. The Doctor decides the team should split up. She and Graham go to Australia to meet the former agent, while Yaz and Ryan go to VOR. Along with the spy equipment they got from "C", the Doctor also gives Yaz and Ryan a bioscanner disguised as a digital recorder.

Ryan hacks Barton's diary arrange a meeting with him. Ryan is getting panicky but Yaz calms him down. Yaz and Ryan enter VOR headquarters in San Francisco as a journalist and her photographer and are greeted inside by Barton and his assistant.

The TARDIS materializes in the Great Victoria Desert. Former MI6 agent "O" and two Australian Secret Service agents, Seesay and Browning greet the Doctor and Graham. The Doctor asks if she can look around, and proceeds into O's house without waiting for an answer. Inside, "O" and the Doctor discuss the situation, and Graham reveals "O"'s security setup. "O" states he is cautious, believing the threat will follow the Doctor to him.

In Barton's office, he confesses he only granted Yaz the interview because they are "Brits" and his mum reads their paper. Yaz uses the bioscanner discreetly while Barton electronically verifies Yaz and Ryan's false identities. With Barton's approval, Yaz proceeds with the interview, while Ryan photographs Barton and uses a spy feature of the camera to duplicate Barton's security badge. Barton's mobile phone buzzes and he cuts the interview short; before leaving, he invites Yaz and Ryan to his house for his birthday party the next day as an apology. Ryan notes that he has duplicated the ID badge, but Yaz is worried because her scan indicates Barton has only 93% human DNA.

Graham and the Doctor find O in the Australian outback. In their separate investigations, both groups encounter the same luminescent alien entities, who appear to be cooperating with Barton. In Australia, the Doctor is able to capture one of the lifeforms who reveals their intent to occupy the universe. While sneaking into VOR's headquarters with Ryan, Yaz is attacked by one such entity and transported to a strange environment. The captured alien frees itself by swapping with Yaz, leaving her in O's base. Ryan is brought to Australia and regroups with Yaz, Graham and the Doctor.

Joined by O, the four investigate Barton at his birthday party. After being confronted by the Doctor, Barton denies all accusations put to him and angrily leaves in his car. The Doctor and her companions pursue Barton on motorbikes to his private jet. Leaping aboard the jet, O reveals he is actually the Master – having been in control of Barton and the aliens, a race known as the Kasaavins, the whole time. Barton then disappears from the pilot seat, leaving a bomb in his place. The Master says to the Doctor, "One thing I should tell you in the seconds before you die: Everything that you think you know, is a lie". The device detonates, shattering the nose of the plane and sending it into a nose dive. The Master then manages to escape and two of the aliens cause the Doctor to disappear from the plane, reappearing in the same environment Yaz was in earlier, leaving the others in the falling plane.

Part Two Edit

In the aliens' dimension, the Doctor meets computer pioneer Ada Lovelace and grabs her hand when a Kasaavin appears, transporting them to an invention exhibition in 1834, where they encounter the Master. The Doctor realises the Master does not fully understand the Kasaavins when he asks her how she escaped their dimension. Ada takes her to the residence of polymath Charles Babbage, where the Doctor summons a Kasaavin via a figurine identical to the one in Barton's office, hoping to return to the 21st century. Ada grabs the Doctor's hand as she fades and they travel to Paris during World War II in 1943. They are rescued by British spy Noor Inayat Khan, with the Master posing as a Nazi officer through the use of a perception filter.

The Doctor meets the Master atop the Eiffel Tower, where the Master reveals that he had the Kasaavins kill spies to get the Doctor's attention. He also informs the Doctor that Gallifrey has been destroyed. With help from Ada and Noor, the Doctor destroys his filter and turns the Nazis on the Master, while her group uses his TARDIS to return to the present. Meanwhile, Ryan finds instructions to safely land the plane with help from a recording by the Doctor. Barton has made Graham, Yaz and Ryan persons of interest. They steal one of Barton's cars, taking them to a warehouse where they find his stern mother. Speaking at a conference, Barton reveals that the Kasaavin will rewrite humanity's DNA to utilise its storage capacity as hard drives. The Master, forced to live through the 20th century without his TARDIS, arrives in time to see the figurine device activate, only for it to fail after the Doctor meddles with the device and exposes the Master's treachery, sending the Kasaavins back to their dimension, taking the Master with them, while Barton calls for extraction.

After having set up the means for her companions to survive the plane crash, the Doctor returns Ada and Noor to their timelines and wipes herself from their memories. She visits Gallifrey's ruins, discovering a confession by the Master on how he ravaged the planet after realising their understanding of Time Lord history was a lie, mentioning the "Timeless Child". Afterwards, her companions bluntly request the Doctor explains who she is. She tells them of what she believes to be her backstory.

Cast Edit

Crew Edit

General production staff

Script department

Camera and lighting department

Art department

Costume department

Make-up and prosthetics

Movement

Casting

General post-production staff

Special and visual effects

Sound


South Africa crew
General production staff

Art department

Camera and lighting department


Sound

Not every person who worked on this adventure was credited. The absence of a credit for a position doesn't necessarily mean the job wasn't required. The information above is based solely on observations of the actual end credits of the episodes as broadcast, and does not relay information from IMDB or other sources.
          

Because this site places both episodes of Spyfall into one single article, it is slightly more difficult to properly represent the crew in the above framework. Episodes 1 and 2 did not share the same credits.  Most notably, Part One was directed by Jamie Magnus Stone, while Part Two was instead directed by Lee Haven Jones.


References Edit

Locations Edit

TARDIS Edit

Individuals Edit

Illness and injuries Edit

Foods and beverages Edit

Technology Edit

Games and sports Edit

Companies and organisations Edit

Popular culture Edit

Story notes Edit

  • This was the first multi-part television story to be given one overarching title since 2009-10's The End of Time, and only the second such story in the BBC Wales era.
    • Incidentally, both stories aired in part on New Year's Day, and both featured the Master.
      • Part One of Spyfall was, in fact, broadcast on the 10th anniversary of 1 January 2010's The End of Time: Part Two. Each aired on the first day of their respective decade, according to one outlook on the bounds of such a measurement, which this wiki follows.
  • This is the first story in the show's history to have its parts air four days apart rather than a whole week. 1 January and 5 January 2020, respectively.
    • It is also the first time two Doctor Who episodes have been shown the same week since The Twin Dilemma Parts Three and Four in March 1985.
SpyfallDedication

Terrance Dicks "Masterful" dedication.

  • The first part of this story was dedicated to the memory of the "Masterful" Terrance Dicks. Dicks was script editor for the Master's debut story, Terror of the Autons.
  • This story's title is a play on the 2012 James Bond film Skyfall.
    • According to one news source, the story also pays homage to Casino Royale, the first novel in the Bond series, which was centred on gambling and aristocracy.[2]
    • The concept of MI6 members being known by a single letter, namely "C" and "O", may also be in reference to a similar feature ("M" and "Q") seen throughout the James Bond franchise, introduced in the original novels by Ian Fleming.
  • Part One marks the first episode since Twice Upon a Time to include a "cold opening". Part Two, however used a re-cap of Part One rather than a new scene. "Cold openings" would be a fluctuating on/off feature in Series 12.
    • Part Two is the first "follow-up" episode of Doctor Who to feature a re-cap with an opening voiceover: "Previously on Doctor Who...", read by Thirteenth Doctor actor Jodie Whittaker. The prior norm for Doctor Who, and indeed its televised spin-offs, was the use of an on-screen caption which typically read "Previously".
  • Similar to The Return of Doctor Mysterio and its predecessor, Part One of this story aired exactly one year after the preceding episode.
  • This story marked the first time a villain has been capable of physically breaking through the sealed TARDIS doors.
  • This is the first multi-part television story to have more than one credited director since Planet of Giants in 1964.
  • Part Two was originally going to feature a scene in which Noor Inayat Khan is captured as an enemy spy and executed by the Nazis. It ended up being cut.[3]

Ratings Edit

  • Part One - 4.88 million (BBC overnight)[4]
  • Part Two - 4.65 million (BBC overnight)[5]
  • Part One - 6.89 million (BBC overall)[6]
  • Part Two - 6.07 million (BBC overall)[6]

Filming locations Edit

Production errors Edit

If you'd like to talk about narrative problems with this story — like plot holes and things that seem to contradict other stories — please go to this episode's discontinuity discussion.

to be added

Continuity Edit

Home video releases Edit

to be added

External links Edit

Footnotes Edit

  1. Dhawan is credited in Part One as "O", and in Part Two, as "The Master".
  2. Laford, Andrea (27 December 2018). Doctor Who Spyfall: new images and information. CultBox. Retrieved on 1 January 2020.
  3. https://cultbox.co.uk/news/spyfall-part-2-behind-the-scenes
  4. Ratings - Radio Times
  5. Ratings - Doctor Who News
  6. 6.0 6.1 Spyfall - Official Ratings
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