12.1. Spyfall

Series 12 - 2020

Writer: Chris Chibnall
Series Producer: Nikki Wilson (credited for 1)
Producer: Alex Mercer (credited for 2)
Director: Jamie Magnus Stone (1), Lee Haven Jones (2)
Music: Segun Akinola


All around the world intelligence officers are being killed. An MI6 spy is attacked on board an aeroplane heading to Tokyo leading the head if MI6, codenamed C, to track and bring the Doctor, Yaz, Ryan, and Graham, to the MI6 headquarters in London. The journey is disrupted when the Sat Nav is hacked and the driver of the vehicle that the Doctor and her companions are in is killed. The car's controls are overridden until the Docor disables the Sat Nav, and the Doctor drives the rest of the way.

In MI6 headquarters the Doctor is reunited with her TARDIS, and C tells her that he has been given the authority of all intelligence agencies across the world to speak with her. C tells the Doctor that none of the rival agencies has carried out the attacks, and it's doubtful any agency has the ability to carry out the attacks, or even knows how the attacks were made. C shows the Doctor the spy from the aeroplane who had been found unconcious. When the Doctor sees the spies scans she sees that although the body looks human there is no human DNA left. And realises that what has happened is beyond human technology.

C asks for the Doctor's help, and offers up a range of James Bond gadgets such as laser shoes and rocket cuff links. C hands Yaz a file about a man that all the assiniated agents had been tracking: Daniel Barton, originally from Bromsgrove and now living in San Francisco, and the founder of VOR, a tech company that has a large portfolio of applications including a search engine, mapping, analytics, and advertising.

The Doctor wants to talk to MI6's top man - codenamed O. C says he fired O, and now they can't find him. All the Doctor does is call O and receives an image of a fish from which the Doctor can get O's location. Moments before he is also killed C reveals that Daniel Barton used to be an MI6 agent. Under fire the Doctor and her companions head back to the TARDIS. The Doctor and Graham head to O's location, the Australian outback, whilst Yaz and Ryan head to San Francisco to infiltrate Vor and get all the information about Daniel Barton.

In San Francisco, under the assumed names Sofia Afzal and Logan Jackson, Yaz and Ryan meet Danial posing as a reporter and photographer. Yaz pretends to record the interview, but she actually has a DNA scanner. When a call comes through Barton invites them to his party the next day as an apology for cutting the interview short. As Barton leaves Yaz checks the DNA scan: only 93% human. Ryan managed to scan and duplicate Barton's id, and they wait until after hours. From Barton's office Yaz is able to download information from Barton's computer. When Barton returns to his office Yax and Ryan hide, and watch as he talks to some bright humanoid aliens. After Barton leaves Yaz is caught by one of the aliens and transported to a strange realm.

In Australia the Doctor and Graham meet O, who has two Austrailian Secret Service, Seesay and Browning, for security. Inside O's house there are pictures over the walls - a full MI6 record of the unexplained compiled by O. Even though O had been hiding he had been monitoring chatter and knew MI6 has been shot. O is cautious and has cameras and movement sensors around the house. The sensors detect movement, but outside the Doctor doesn't get any readings on her sonic screwdriver. The Doctor is told to get back inside as Seesay and Browning investigate further. They see several bright humanoid alien creatures before they are killed.

O has some defences around his house and when the creatures are attacked all but one retreat and walks through the wall into the house. O has a trap for the creature that is just powerful enough to contain it. The Doctor tries talking to it and the creatures tells the Doctor it only takes human shape to mock, and that it's species is ready to take the Universe.

In San Francisco Ryan leaves the office block and watches as more bright aliens appear at various office windows. In Australia the energy from the aliens increases, threatening to overload the system. In the realm a burst of energy hits Yaz and she is transported to Australia.

The Doctor collects Ryan from America, and then starts to look through the data Yaz collected. When she finds an obscure piece of code she uses the TARDIS to decrypt the data. When a map of Earth is revealed the Doctor realises the creatures are spies embedded in Earth. O asks a simple question: Who is the spy master. Assuming it to be Barton the Doctor hacks some extra invites to Barton's party.

Whilst Yaz, Ryan, Graham, and O, try to blend in the Doctor talks to Barton alone about the assassination of C and the alien code. With the Doctort acting weird Barton leaves. Spotting some motorbikes the Doctor and her companions chase Barton's car from his house to a private airport. As Barton starts to take off in one his aeroplanes the Doctor and her companions sneak on board via a cargo ramp. O struggles, saying he's nbot much of a sprinter, and is the last to get on board.

In the passenger area, whilst they are getting their breaths back, the Doctor tells O she has read his file: he was a champion sprinter at school. O admits that the Doctor has "got him". O tells them to look outside where his house is flying alongside them. It suddenly hits the Doctor who O really is. O tells her he did say she should be looking for the Spy... Master.

The Doctor goes into the cockpit to warn Barton, but he's no longer there. Instead there is a bomb after the Master says he was called away. At the same time the Master summons more of the aliens, claiming he's in control of them. The Master and the creatures vanish as the bomb explodes. One of the creatures grabs the Doctor and transports her to the realm as the bom explodes, taking off the front of the aeroplane.

With the Doctor gone Yaz, Ryan, and Graham are stuck on a crashing aeroplane. Luckily Ryan finds a leaflet in a seat pocket: "HOW TO LAND A PLACE WITHOUT A COCKPIT". Following the instructions on the leaflet, and from a recording of the Doctor on a screen in the aeroplane Ryan is able to connect his phone to the aeroplane's computers. Ryan's phone has an app installed that will let him control the plane. Once Ryan gains control the aeroplane stabilises and flies along a predetermined flight plan.

Inside the realm the Doctor, thinking she is alone, is talking to herself when she meets another woman dressed in 19th century clothes. The woman talks about how her Earthly aspect has been paralysed, during which time she is able to visit the realm. The woman, Ada, tells the Doctor she assumed the realm was her mind, and that the strange lights place a word in her mind: Kasaavin. When one of the creatures appears Ada tells the Doctor not to worry, it is her guardian. Ada offers to help the Doctor leave the realm, and the end up back on Earth in 1834 and a science event as the Adelaide Gallery, London, where the Doctor's sudden appearance causes a commotion.

In the Master's house/TARDIS Barton gets a notification that his aeroplane is landing - despite he and the Master beliving it to have been destroyed. The Master drops Barton at his plane then, annoyed, follows the Doctor to 1834. The Doctor thought she was stranded until the Master appears with his new tissue compression elimionator - which he demonstrates by randomly shrinking and killing atendees of the event. The Master asks the Doctor how she escaped, and the Doctor realises the Master is not in complete control of the aliens - the Kasaavin. With the Master distracted Ada uses a steam powered machine gun, one of the exhibits at the event, on the Master, and a personal home grenade.

Having escaped from the Master the a man takes the Doctor and Ada back to his house, and she realises who Ada really is, Ada Lovelace (nee Gordon), and the man is Charles Babbage. A number of years ago the Master gave a sculptuer, the Silver Lady, to Babbage. And since she was 13 Ada has been suffering paralysis during which time she is transported to the Kasaavin realm where they can study her. The Doctor uses her sonic screwdriver to activate the Silver Lady and summon a Kasaavin to take her back to the 21st century. But as she's about to leave Ada grabs her hand.

But instead of the 21st century they end up in Paris, 1943, the middle of the second world war. A woman spots the Doctor and Ada and hides them from a passing German patrol. Leading the patrol is the Master. Once the Master leaves the Doctor realises who the woman is: British spy Noor Inayat Khan. Using the wireless equipment of Khan's the Doctor sends a message for the Master: Four quick beeps; the heartbeat of a Time Lord. When the Master responds the Doctor and the Master communicate telepathically, and they agreee to meet at the top of the Eiffel Tower. The Master tells the Doctor that the Kasaavin have sleeper agents around the Earth, and the Universe, and only became active when they started being noticed.

With the Doctor and the Master busy Ada and Noor manage to find the Master's TARDIS. When the Doctor arrives she breaks in. The Doctor sees that the Master has been tracking people involved with the development of the computer.

At the airport Barton finds his plane but is told it is empty. In a hangar Yaz, Ryan, and Graham, watch Barton. Ryan still has access to Barton's diary and find he's giving a keynote speech the following day. As they sneak off Barton gets his people to start tracking them. Once Barton lets Yaz, Ryan, and Graham, know they are being tracked they decide to go off grid, destroying their phones. They manage to hide out in some houses being built where there is no CCTV. Ryan and Graham admit they may have kept a few of the spy gadgets. Even in the new housing estate he Kasaavin find them, and Graham is able to fire his laser shoes at them.

After evading the Kasaavin Yaz calls her sister from a payphone, and they are soon tracked by Barton's men. Graham uses his laser shoes to threaten Barton's men and he, Yaz, and Ryna, steal the men's car. Following the GPS they arrive at an airfield hangar where they find the body of Barton's mum, and a tablet which Barton uses to communicate with them. He tells them that he has been letting the Kasaavin experiment on him, and that now his plan is about to come to fruition.

During his speech Barton sends a message to every device on Earth letting people know they have three minutes left. He tells the people at the conference that human DNA is the most efficient way of storing data, and that he is going effectively reformat the human race, as all the devices start to rewrite human DNA. In the hangar Graham tries to use his shoes to stop the Silver Lady but the Master appears after living on Earth for the last 77 years. He tells them that the Silver Lady is using Kasaavin energy to rewrite human DNA across the world. As the energy builds it suddenly cuts out.

The Doctor, Ada, and Noor, appear, and the Doctor tells the Master she went back in time and embedded a virus in the Silver Lady to shutdown when it detected Kasaavin. When the Kasaavin arrive thre Doctor tells them the Silver Lady will exile them to their own realm. And when she plays a recording of the Master talking about betraying the Kasaavin they take him back to their realm.

With the Kasaavin and the Master gone the Doctor has a few loose ends to tie up: returning Ada and Noor back to their timezones, and creating instructions on how to land a plane without a cockpit. On her way back from 1843 the Doctor thinks about something the Master said: he had returned to Gallifrey and found everyone dead and the planet had burned. The Doctor returns to Gallifrey and sees for herself a dead world. Inside the TARDIS a hologram of the Master appears and reveals the Master destroyed Gallifrey after learning that he and the Doctor are not who they think they are, and that the whole existence of their species was built on the lies of the Timeless Child.

Regular Cast

  • Graham O'Brien: Bradley Walsh
  • Ryan Sinclair: Tosin Cole
  • Yasmin Khan: Mandip Gill

Guest Cast

  • O / The Master: Sacha Dhawan
  • Daniel Barton: Lenny Henry
  • C: Stephen Fry (1)
  • Najia Khan: Shobna Gulati
  • Hakim Khan: Ravin J. Gantra
  • Sonya Khan: Bhavisha Parmar
  • Sniper: Melissa De Vries (1)
  • Passenger: Sacharissa Claxton (1)
  • Older Passenger: William Ely (1)
  • Operative (US): Brian Law (1)
  • Tiba: Buom Tihngang (1)
  • Sergeant Ramesh Sunder: Asif Khan (1)
  • Mr Collins: Andrew Bone (1)
  • Rendition Man: Ronan Summers (1)
  • Ethan: Christopher McArthur (1)
  • Seesay: Darron Meyer (1)
  • Browning: Dominique Maher
  • Voice of Kasaavin: Struan Rodger (1)
  • Ada Lovelace: Sylvie Briggs (2)
  • Noor Inayat Khan: Aurora Marion (2)
  • Charles Babbage: Mark Dexter (2)
  • Inventor: Andrew Pipe (2)
  • Airport Worker: Tom Ashley
  • Perkins: Kenneth Jay (2)
  • Barton's Mother: Blanche Williams (2)

Original broadcast on the BBC

Channel Title Date Viewers Rating
BBC 1 (HD) 1. Spyfall - Part One Wednesday, January 1, 2020 6:55 PM - 8:00 PM 6.89M 82
BBC 1 (HD) 2. Spyfall - Part Two Sunday, January 5, 2020 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM 6.07M 82

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