In Review: Doctor Who (S1 – EP2) The Devil’s Chord

The Doctor and Ruby meet The Beatles but discover that the all-powerful Maestro is changing history.

Synopsis: In The Devil’s Chord, The Doctor and Ruby meet The Beatles but discover that the all-powerful Maestro is changing history. London becomes a battleground with the future of humanity at stake.


The Story

The pre-credits sequence does a great job of setting this story up and introduces us to Maestro who is manifested when a piano teacher plays The Devil’s Chord for his young student Henry. The teacher explains to Henry that the Devil’s Chord is referred to as a Tritone and proceeds to demonstrate it, which brings Maestro into the world. 

The story jumps forward to the early 1960s on the same day that The Beatles are recording their first LP.  The Doctor and Ruby are at the studios to witness the iconic moment, but when the Beatles start to sing some rather uninspired Nursery rhymes they realize that something has gone wrong. When Ruby and the Doctor question the Beatles about this and suggest that they could be a bit more daring with their music they are met with absolute disgust.  It would seem that something or someone has stolen all the world’s music. As the investigate The Doctor and Ruby recognize that darkness seems to be enveloping the world. To see what will happen The Doctor suggests that Ruby play one of her songs on a piano to see what happens. At this point, people start to open their windows to hear the new music, but the music is short-lived when Maestro makes them self known and proceeds to chase after Ruby and the Doctor in order to take their music. At this point, the Doctor realizes that Maestro is a child of the Celestial Toymaker and likely the first of many such adversaries.


The Acting

Jinkx Monsoon puts in a monsoon of a performance as Maestro who is a larger-than-life villain that the Doctor and Ruby face. George Caple and Chris Mason are quite good as Paul McCartney and John Lennon while Josie Sedgwick-Davies makes for a fairly convincing Cilla Black.



I enjoyed this episode and think that Maestro is potentially a Doctor Who villain that could well become as embedded in the Whoniverse as The Toymaker or even The Meddling Monk. I loved the visual effect used for the musical notes that Maestro was shooting from their hands in order to try and capture Ruby and the Doctor.

I enjoyed this story. It has to be one of the best Doctor Who stories that have seen in quite a while.

Doctor Who (S1 - EP2) The Devil's Chord
  • Story
  • Acting
  • CGI & Stunts
  • Incidental Music

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at:
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  • Dominic Walsh
    11 May 2024 at 5:34 pm - Reply

    I wonder if The One Who Waits could actually be the Master of the Land of Fiction? And Maestro and the Toymaker (and maybe even Ruby) are fictional characters whose world the Doctor has entered?

  • dalek01012
    11 May 2024 at 5:48 pm - Reply

    Ouch this theory is hurting my head lol. I reckon Ruby is a Time Lord that was dropped on Earth for The Doctor to find. As to the one who waits. I haven’t a clue. But it might be more fun if it was an old time lord rival of the Doctors. Maybe The Monk cos we haven’t seen The Monk brought back to New Who. Heck could even be The Rani, which would also be fun. Or it might be someone or something new.

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