If you enjoyed last week’s premiere episode of Doctor Who, “Spyfall – Part Two” will leave you saying, “Wait… WHAT?”
“Spyfall – Part One” felt like a return to what makes Doctor Who so much fun… until The Master (Sacha Dawan) showed up. It seemed like we were watching another technology-fueled invasion, right? Tech mogul Daniel Barton (Lenny Henry) is in league with a mysterious race of alien light beings, and they’re targeting the international intelligence community. Then it turns out The Master is behind it all, and we wind up with “Spyfall – Part Two”: adding one million ingredients to the recipe.
In brief– and let me preface this with the disclaimer that this episode was SUPER convoluted and I may have misunderstood some of this– The Master has joined forces with Barton and a race of spies from another dimension, the Kasavin. He has made a deal with them to help him trap and kill The Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) in exchange for helping make it easier for the Kasavin to remain stable in our dimension and erase humanity. He created a dancing wireframe sculpture of a woman that is also a machine/portal that allows the Kasavin to travel from their dimension, the lice shampoo close-up place we visited last week, to ours. It is his intention to double-cross his allies once he’s achieved his goal, and then the cheese will stand alone.
When The Doctor was zapped into the Kasavin’s dimension at the end of last week’s episode, and The Master told her that nothing she believed was true, it seemed like maybe the whole “Doctor and Fam are on a crashing plane” thing might wind up being an illusion. That is not the case. Instead, The Doctor is really in the alternate dimension, where she meets Ada Lovelace (Sylvie Briggs). The Fam is really on a crashing plane, but they’re saved by some “dad’s keys” shenanigans (see below for reference) from The Doctor, who guides them through landing the plane safely via handy tools hidden in the plane and Ryan’s (Tosin Cole) phone, as well as a pre-recorded video presentation.
The Doctor discovers that Ada not-yet-Lovelace has traveled to the Kasavin dimension from 1834, and that it’s been happening since she was a teen. She’ll go all paralyzed, travel into what she believes to be her mind, and then wake up fine. She also believes the light beings to be her guardians.
In fact, the Kasavins transport Ada inter-dimensionally to study her, because they’re unstable in our dimension. When one comes to return her to her own place, The Doctor grabs on and rides with her to an exhibition of new, early 19th Century tech hosted by Charles Babbage (Mark Dexter).
Babbage owns the silver lady sculpture, which leads The Doctor to figuring out that pointing her sonic at it will summon a Kasavin and give her a possible portal back to her own time. She’s mostly successful, except Ada grabs her as she passes through the light and inadvertently throws her off course to Paris in 1943, in the full heat of WWII.
The Doctor and Ada meet a woman in the street as they land, and it turns out to be Noor Inayat Khan (Aurora Marion), the first female wireless operator to be sent from Britain into occupied France to aid the French Resistance during World War II. Noor hides the women from The Master, who has been tracking The Doctor through time and space, and she also gives The Doctor the means with which to summon The Master so she can meet him on top of the Eiffel Tower.
Sur La tour Eiffel, The Master explains that he’s passing as a Nazi soldier through a perception filter that works like psychic paper for his face? He tells The Doctor his plan, and then also says he visited Gallifrey in its bubble universe and someone had nuked the whole thing.
The Doctor uses her new allies to trick the Nazis into coming for The Master, and uses her sonic to disable his perception filter and record him saying he plans to betray Barton and the Kasavins. Once the Nazis have him in hand, she meets her allies to steal The Master’s TARDIS, conspicuously shaped like an outback cabin and parked on a Paris street.
They get back to our time just in time to stop Barton from successfully deploying the thing he and the Kasavin have been working on, which is using all devices on Earth to delete the DNA of humans… somehow without ever using the word “upgrade,” and with no mention at all of the Kasavins actually being Cybermen. Because they aren’t? Even though this whole plan is eerily reminscent of “Rise of the Cybermen“?
Graham (Bradley Walsh), Yas (Mandip Gill) and Ryan have been on the run from Barton’s global Big Brother eyes, surviving by the grace of the laser shoes (?) and rocket cufflinks (??) Graham and Ryan took from MI6. The Doctor and her new allies find them in Barton’s hangar, along with the corpse of Barton’s mother, the first human to be deleted by the Kasavins. (Because she wasn’t demonstrative to her son, or so we gather from the one minute in which we see him have her killed by aliens because she never told him “well done.”)
The Doctor arrives just as Barton has initiated the device-driven deletion of humanity, wherein the spinning silver lady statue beams the Kasavins into people’s technology, paralyzing them while they get deleted? The process halts abruptly as The Doctor walks in, because she used The Master’s TARDIS to “dad’s keys” the silver lady with an override in the event of full-blown invasion. The Master is there, just returned from 70+ years of living through the 20th Century since the Nazis trapped him. He’s hoping to witness his triumph, but instead The Doctor’s tinkering with his statue summons all the Kasavin to the hangar so she can play them the recording of his intended betrayal, so they leave and take him to their dimension.
Also, The Doctor figures out the the Kasavin had been spying on everyone who made a significant contribution to the development of computers throughout history, like Ada Lovelace, because of the plan to use devices to overwrite humanity?
In the end, the Fam is threatened by The Doctor’s secrecy and her two new friends. She takes the new friends home, then erases their memories of their adventures with her by touching their temples, which seems like “Oh, I guess The Doctor can do THIS all of the sudden?,” except that he *did* erase Donna’s memory to save her brain from burning up, so…
Then, The Doctor visits Gallifrey and finds it as described. While she’s reeling from the shock, a thing in her pocket goes off with a geo-triggered holo-message from The Master explaining that he’s the one who nuked Gallifrey, and it was to punish everyone in their species for lying about their origins. The Doctor has a flash of a “timeless child” that The Master explains is a myth and embedded in all Time Lords.
So Gallifrey is destroyed again, and The Doctor and The Master are the only Time Lords again and now we’re back where we started in 2005?
The Doctor picks up her Fam, and they confront her on the TARDIS about how she never shares anything with them about herself, so she gives them a QUICK Doctor Who 101.
The end. My head hurts from this episode.