Doctor Who’s Russell T. Davies Told Me What We Can Expect From The Pantheon Of Villians This Season, And I’m So Stoked

 From left to right: Neil Patrick Harris as The Toymaker leaning against a table and Jinkx Monsoon as Maestro stretching her hands across a piano.
From left to right: Neil Patrick Harris as The Toymaker leaning against a table and Jinkx Monsoon as Maestro stretching her hands across a piano.

Spoilers for Doctor Who’s “The Devil’s Chord” are ahead. If you haven’t watched the episode, you can stream it with a Disney+ subscription

Doctor Who is in a new era on Disney+, and that means a new legion of villains has arrived too. That’s right, along with Ncuti Gatwa taking his place as the Fifteenth Doctor in Doctor Who’s cast, actors including Neil Patrick Harris and Jinkx Monsoon have also joined as members of a league of gods called The Pantheon. So, since we’ve met two big bads from this group, I had to ask Russell T. Davies if we’ll see more, and his response has me stoked!

Jinkx Monsoon on Doctor Who
Jinkx Monsoon on Doctor Who

Russell T. Davies Revealed How Many More Villians From The Pantheon We’ll Get This Season

Ahead of Doctor Who’s premiere on the 2024 TV schedule, I had the chance to speak with the series' showrunner Russell T. Davies about the first two episodes. While talking about Jinkx Monsoon’s character Meastro, I had to ask about what it’s like creating this legion of gods, and the writer told me exactly what we can expect moving forward.

Giving me the “scoop” about how many more Pantheon members are coming, Davies said:

Believe you and me, there are more of these gods to come. I can promise you at least three more. That's a scoop. Haven’t said that before, that I very much enjoy them.

Isn’t that exciting! Along with Neil Patrick Harris’ Toymaker – who was the man who caused the Doctor to bi-generate in the 60th Anniversary special – and Jinkx Monsoon’s Meastro – who can literally steal music and cause world-ending damage – we can expect “at least three” more gods from this group. That means more A-list guest stars on Doctor Who and more campy villains for the Fifteenth Doctor to take on.

While we don’t know who will play these three characters or when they’ll come, it’s exciting to know that the Timelord will be taking on Pantheon members in so many episodes. It helps create a bigger overarching story for the season, and who wouldn’t want more of these incredibly creative characters?

Along with dishing about the number of Pantheon villains coming, Davies also told me that they will be mixed into the season, noting that other sci-fi-heavy episodes are coming too. Here’s what he had to say about balancing this season’s bad guys and what we can expect as new installments come out:

They're allied with stories that don't have gods in them. When you get to Steven Moffat's episode called ‘Boom,’ which is so brilliant – I mean, the man is a master of the art and, it's my honor to work with him – that [is] very much hard science fiction, very technical rules, which pin The Doctor down with as much terror as any God could do. So we do keep telling those stories as well.

I’m so excited about how these characters will up the stakes of Doctor Who, and this balance of hard sci-fi and fantasy we'll be getting.

In “The Devil’s Chord” The Doctor says he can’t fight beings like The Toymaker and Maestro, and since he’s not one to say he can’t do something, you know this challenge is unlike anything he’s faced before. To that point, Davies told me that these villains make you feel like you’re on a roller coaster, and I can’t wait for the ride to keep going:

But when the gods arrive with that laughter, with the giggle, I think all rules are off. And I think it's like being strapped into a roller coaster. I think the audience gets taken on a hell of a ride. I'm glad you like that.

As we’ll talk about more, gods like The Toymaker and Maestro open a creative door for Davies to explore as he makes episodes, and that makes the stories even more fun to watch on screen.

Neil Patrick Harris wearing a tuxedo as The Toymaker in Doctor Who
Neil Patrick Harris wearing a tuxedo as The Toymaker in Doctor Who

Russell T. Davies Explains Why He Loves Incorporating The Pantheon Into Ncuti Gatwa’s First Season As The Doctor

With at least a trio of villains from The Pantheon coming, it’s exciting to know that we’re going to get at least three more wildly creative big bads that all connect somehow. Davies said he’s had fun crafting these stories, and in a lot of ways it’s been freeing.

When I asked him about writing episodes with antagonists like the ones played by Jinkx Monsoon and Neil Patrick Harris, the showrunner said:

It was the freedom, that's exactly what – take the wheels off the bike and take the roof of the room and lift things into the world of fantasy. The hard thing is finding a way to defeat them. I mean, it becomes very hard for me to think of ways for them to be defeated. And therefore it becomes hard for The Doctor to think of ways for them to be defeated. So I love that. Even now I'm having to invent rules that will pin them down.

In a world of science-fiction and fantasy that’s existed for decades, it’s always so fun to see The Doctor take on new challenges. I love that Davies is creating new rules and finding fresh ways for the Timelord to defeat his adversaries, and I can’t wait to see how the season continues!

To see the three Pantheon gods Russell T. Davies teased, make sure to stream the new season of Doctor Who as it airs every Friday at 7 p.m. ET on Disney+.