Not only deliciously ironic, but it feels very Master-y, to boot.
This current season of Doctor Who kicked off on New Yearâ€™s Day with one hell of a twist: the surprise return of the Doctorâ€™s longtime frenemy, the Master, now played by Sacha Dhawan. It was a twist no one saw coming, especially as Chris Chibnallâ€™s debut season of the show had been marked by a distinct (and deliberate) lack of callbacks to Doctor Whoâ€™s long and winding past. Well, no one but the production crew, obviously. Oh, and apparently former Doctor Who master of secrets himself, ex-showrunner Steven Moffat.
Moffat revealed that he got spoiled on the Master twist to the Radio Timesâ€”saying it was none other than Dhawan himself (who at the time was also working on another genre project with Moffat, his take on Dracula with Mark Gattiss). â€œChris [Chibnall] didnâ€™t give me the heads up, no, but Sacha accidentally did,â€ Moffat recalled. â€œI was having dinner with him. I said â€˜Look, donâ€™t tell me anything about what youâ€™re doing on the show. Because I donâ€™t want to know. But are you enjoying it?â€™â€
Dhawan didnâ€™t just immediately spoil the moment for Moffat, however. He did it accidentally, and it was only because Moffat himself is such a Doctor Who nerd did he realise he was getting spoiled. â€œ[Dhawan] said â€˜Oh itâ€™s great,â€™â€ Moffat continued. â€œâ€˜Apart from all the really complicated dialogue like, oh, Tissue Compression Eliminator.â€™ I thoughtâ€¦ I know exactly what part youâ€™re playing, just from that! Just from that I know!â€
â€œI slightly regretted I didnâ€™t get the reveal on camera,â€ Moffat concluded, noting the irony that having been the twist-master of Doctor Who for years, even after leaving the show he canâ€™t avoid them. â€œBecause Iâ€™ve had years of knowing whatâ€™s coming. I would prefer not to know.â€
Hey, look, Moff. You know the Masterâ€™s a rogue element of chaos. You shouldâ€™ve seen it coming!