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Jinkx Monsoon is exhilarating as a scene-stealing 'Doctor Who' baddie

Jinkx Monsoon is exhilarating as a scene-stealing 'Doctor Who' baddie

Jinkx Monsoon on Doctor Who
BBC/Disney+

Longtime fans are already calling Jinkx Monsoon's Maestro one of the greatest villains in Doctor Who history.

Editor's note: this story contains spoilers for episode 1 ("Space Babies") and episode 2 ("The Devil's Chord") of Doctor Who season 14.

From the casting of Ncuti Gatwa to play the Fifteenth Doctor to the return of Russell T Davies as showrunner, we had already been preparing to experience a very queer era of Doctor Who starting with season 14. But the result is unlike anything we could've imagined.

Following the endearing and absurdist first episode, "Space Babies," higher stakes present themselves in episode 2, "The Devil's Chord," which introduces Jinkx Monsoon as the zany, brazen, and malevolent Maestro. It is instantly clear that our expectations are about to be blown out of the water, and indeed they are, with Monsoon delivering a thrilling, attention-grabbing, and lived-in performance as a terrifying but also irresistible villain. Every line is unleashed. Every choice is framed. Every scene is hijacked. Monsoon zig-zags, hee-haws, and shape-shifts through our screens as a pitch-perfect foe for Gatwa's saga as the Doctor.

Unlike other villains from past seasons, Maestro isn't so entirely preoccupied with the Doctor. Quite the opposite, actually. Maestro doesn't even seem to be that scared of the Doctor — laughing right in his face, taunting him, and posing challenges that the Doctor is legitimately afraid of. On social media, longtime Doctor Who fans are already calling Maestro one of the all-time greatest antagonists in the franchise.

Simply put, Maestro is one of the most exciting queer sci-fi characters we've seen in years, and we're on the edge of our seats daydreaming of what's to come.

Scroll through to see our favorite moments from Jinkx Monsoon's first episode on Doctor Who — and keep up with new episodes streaming every Friday on Disney+.

1. Maestro uses they/them pronouns.

Jinkx Monsoon on Doctor Who

BBC/Disney+

From the moment Maestro pops out of a piano and is officially introduced into the Whoniverse, another character misgenders them. "Them," Maestro responds, "Me. I'm them." Episode 2 of this very queer and campy season of Doctor Who already starts with a villain announcing their nonbinary pronouns. Inject this into our veins!!!

2. The 'Doctor Who' theme song is played on the piano for the opening credits.

Maestro starts playing the Doctor Who theme song on the piano, which serves as a transition into the opening credits of the episode. There's also a witty transition as the credits come to an end. The fans are gagging, and these little things are all setting the tone for what is clearly a very well-crafted season of television.

3. Something's up with TARDIS.

Diehard fans have taken notice that the TARDIS seems to be singing, humming, playing, or communicating some sort of message to the Doctor. Are you alright, babes? It's still unclear what's going on here, but we're putting a pin on it.

4. Maestro steals music from The Beatles and other artists.

Actors playing The Beatles on Doctor Who

BBC/Disney+

Episode 2 opens in 1925 — when Maestro is introduced — and then zooms to 1963, which is when The Doctor and Ruby Sunday (played by Millie Gibson) end up meeting this new villain.

Over the course of the episode, the Doctor talks to Paul McCartney (George Caple), and Ruby talks to John Lennon (Chris Mason). Both artists seem to be giving up on their music careers and just want to leave everything in the past, which is heartbreaking, given that the Beatles only released their first album in 1963.

It shows in the Doctor's face that he can't imagine a world without any music from the Beatles, and neither can we!

5. The parallels. The subtext. The commentary.

Sci-fi is always more poignant when it is set in a dystopian timeline that still offers some social commentary or parallels to the age and time that we're actually experiencing at the moment. Doctor Who does not disappoint this season, and we love to see it.

6. The Doctor is genuinely terrified of Maestro.

Jinkx Monsoon on Doctor Who

BBC/Disney+

Maestro is a direct descendant of the Toymaker, the first-ever villain in the Doctor Who series. The Toymaker returned to fight against the Fifteenth Doctor and was defeated, but also issued an alert that his "legions" would be on the way to torment the world. As the Doctor gets to know the almighty Maestro, there's no doubt that he is legitimately afraid of this villain.

7. Maestro is so powerful and unbothered that they even flirt with the Doctor.

Jinkx Monsoon on Doctor Who

BBC/Disney+

Fans had been craving a Doctor Who antagonist that wasn't so threatened by the Doctor. Well, not only is Maestro not threatened at all, but they're even literally flirting with the Doctor and teasing him at all times. Gatwa is a bona fide heartthrob, though, so who can blame ya?

8. Ruby has music hidden inside of her — and it's a Christmas song!

Considering all the holiday tours that Jinkx Monsoon and BenDeLaCreme have done together over the years, it's fascinating to watch this moment of Maestro hearing a Christmas song inside of Ruby and getting thrown off by that jolly melody. It's another whimsical connection between the Doctor Who series and Monsoon's long-standing career as an entertainer.

9. But seriously, though: we are TERRIFIED of Maestro.

Even as the episode comes to a close, we're clearly not saying goodbye (oh, at all!) to Maestro. "The One Who Waits is almost here," Maestro says as they are tucked away. It's another rather creepy scene from the villain, but we instantly start to miss them at the same time.

10. This season is total MADNESS, and we're officially OBSESSED.

Both new and longtime fans of Doctor Who are officially hooked after watching this first set of episodes and being introduced to Maestro.

Russell T Davies, sir, you are an absolute genius. Ncuti Gatwa, you are finally in the proper role of the leading man you've always been destined to become. And Jinkx Monsoon, mama… we knew that you would slay this character, but we weren't ready for this performance of a lifetime.

It's Monsoon season all over again, baby!

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Bernardo Sim

Bernardo Sim is a writer, content creator, and the deputy editor of Out. Born in Brazil, he currently lives in South Florida.

Bernardo Sim is a writer, content creator, and the deputy editor of Out. Born in Brazil, he currently lives in South Florida.