Who is Maestro on Doctor Who? Jinkx Monsoon's villain explained

The character makes their grand entrance in The Devil's Chord

Doctor Who (BBC)
Doctor Who introduces Maestro as a new villain, the character is played by Jinkx Monsoon. (BBC)

Doctor Who is back with a brand new season, and the BBC series' double bill premiere has continued what showrunner Russell T Davies began in the 60th Anniversary episodes by introducing a new villain to the roster: Maestro.

Played by Jinkx Monsoon, Maestro is able to control people through music and can attack them whenever they play a note, killing them by taking their inner song. On paper, Maestro may not seem all that terrifying but in practice they're a force to be reckoned with on the same level as the Daleks, the Cybermen and the Toymaker.

But who is Maestro and what do you need to know about them? Here's what we know.

Doctor Who (BBC)
Maestro is a dangerous celestial being who can control people through music. (BBC)

Maestro is introduced in The Devil's Chord, the second episode of Ncuti Gatwa's first season as The Doctor. The character is brought into the world by composer Timothy Drake, who performs the titular Devil's Chord that unleashes Maestro who gains strength whenever someone plays music and they have the chance to steal it from them.

The character is later revealed to be related to The Toymaker (played by Neil Patrick Harris in The Giggle), and is also a celestial being.

After discovering what Maestro has done when they decide to visit The Beatles at Abbey Road Studios, the Doctor and Ruby Sunday (Millie Gibson) must stop Maestro before Earth is destroyed for good. But, Maestro is an all powerful god-like being, so much so it'll take more than just the Doctor to defeat them.

This may seem dramatic, but it is revealed that by taking away music Maestro is ridding humanity of the one thing that brings them together, the thing that helps create meaning in their lives, and without it humanity turns on each other until there's nothing left by 2024. Talk about a melancholic note.

Doctor Who (BBC)
Maestro, like the Toymaker, is a dangerous adversary for the Doctor, and is part of a group of villains referred to as the pantheon. (BBC)

Monsoon spoke about the character in earnest ahead of the new season's release, saying: "Maestro is exceptionally powerful. When human rules don't apply to you you get to do whatever you want.

"You don't have to worry about whether your emotions make sense to people because you don't have to answer to them. And that's really freeing when you’re playing a character.

"The thing I love about a villain is that they can't think they're doing something wrong, or if they do think they're doing something wrong, it's justified because it's for something greater that they've planned. What I love about Maestro is that while objectively evil, they are an artist, they have a mission statement. And that was really lovely to play."

Watch the trailer for Doctor Who:

Maestro and the Toymaker are members of The Pantheon, it is revealed, and it seems that Davies is setting up the series so that the Doctor will come face-to-face with more in future episodes.

Like the Toymaker, the Pantheon appears to be beings who enjoy wreaking havoc across Time and Space and will prove to be difficult enemies to defeat because of how powerful they are. The Doctor was only able to beat the Toymaker by playing him at one of his games, while Maestro could only be sent back to where they came from through a melody that reversed the Devil's Chord.

The Pantheon has appeared in Doctor Who before, they were previously described as the Pantheon of Discord and represented a group of beings who hoped to alter reality in a similar way to Maestro and the Toymaker. In the past the Toymaker has been described as a Guardian, though the character said they defeated the Guardians of Time and Space in The Giggle.

Doctor Who (BBC)
The One Who Waits was first mentioned by the Toymaker in the 60th Anniversary special The Giggle, by Neil Patrick Harris' Toymaker. (BBC)

The 60th Anniversary episode The Giggle marked the first mention of a new dangerous villain, The One Who Waits. The Toymaker said that the being is so dangerous he dared not them, and Monsoon's Maestro also references the villain again.

What do we know about The One Who Waits? Well, not a whole lot right now but they are clearly the big villain of the series. Davies has seemingly paved the way for the character for a few episodes, with the Meep referencing a "boss" whose legions will soon come for The Doctor.

Fan theories around the character suggest that The One Who Waits is a celestial being that predates the universe, and the most likely candidate in Doctor Who lore is Fenric.

It is also entirely possible that the character will turn out to be someone new, and it seems that the villain will remain an ominous presence throughout the new season before making their grand entrance.

New episodes of Doctor Who season 1 will land on BBC iPlayer at midnight every Saturday, and will air on BBC One at 6pm.