Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Countdown - The Sound Of Drums

To celebrate the fact that 2013 is the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who, we are taking a look back at all of the episodes of the show which featured David Tennant as the Doctor. At the end of our look back we'll be asking you, the fans, to vote for what you think is the ultimate David Tennant episode of Doctor Who....
We continue with the next David Tennant episode.... The Sound Of Drums
Read our previous Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Countdown posts here.

27. The Sound Of Drums

First Broadcast on 23rd June 2007. Running Time: 45 Minutes. Viewing Figures: 7.51 million.
Written By Russell T Davies.
Directed By Colin Teague.
Executive Producers Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner. Rating: 10/10.

Harry Saxon becomes Prime Minister, and his reign of terror begins. But this is only the start of his ambitions, as he announces mankind's first contact with an alien race, the Toclafane. An audacious plan, spanning the whole of time and space, begins to close around Planet Earth.

Extras: Promotional Photos | Videos | Articles | On Set Photos

Production Notes:
Russell T Davies had always wanted to introduce a Doctor Who monster which would appear as a small flying spherical object. The sphere would have the soul of a sadistic child, a human from the very end of time itself, horribly mutated and transformed beyond recognition. For a long time the concept remained on the drawingboard with no name and no story to appear in. Davies did consider introducing them in Dalek or The Satan Pit, due to issues with the monsters in those episodes, the rights to the use of the Daleks was temporarily lost and the costs of the CGI Beast caused budgeting issues, but these issues were resolved and the sphere monsters remained unused.
In the end, it was decided, the monster would form part of the 2007 series finale. Originally named the Roclafane, but changed due to the similarity to the Racnoss,  the Toclafane were born.

Davies took inspiration from the Rogue Traders song Voodoo Child. He drew upon the beats in the song and it's lyrics "Here it comes, the sound of drums" which provided the title of the episode The Sound Of Drums. Even before he had finished writing the script Davies sought clearance to use the song in the episode.

Wanting to contrast the Master and the Doctor again, as with Utopia, Davies introduced the character of Lucy Saxon, who was the Master's alter ego Harold Saxon's wife and companion. 
The Master took on various characteristics of not only his former self, but of previous Doctors. His penchant for jelly babies harking back to Tom Baker's portrayal of the Fourth Doctor. Meanwhile his love of the children's TV series The Teletubbies picked up on The Master watching the children's TV show The Clangers in 1972's The Sea Devils and his speech that began "“Peoples of the Earth, please attend carefully..." was reminiscent of his speech in Logopolis.

The home of the UK Prime Minister, Downing Street in London, was originally intended to play a much larger role in the finale episodes, where it would be the last location for Martha's decoy chemicals. During the planning stages, Milligan, who went on to become Martha's love interest in the story, was to be a traitor who would hand Martha over to the Master and then meet his untimely end. Davies decided against this plot line and decided to explore Professor Docherty instead. An elaborate car chase sequence was also cut from The Sound Of Drums due to costs.

The Archangel network that featured throughout the series finale was originally to be known and Angel One.

Davies had always planned that Martha Jones would leave the show at the end of the 2007 series finale. Her unrequited love for the Doctor was an ongoing story for her character throughout her travels with him and Davies felt it was best for Martha to have a break away from him with plans for her to return, as an older and wiser travelling partner for the Doctor , for episodes in the future. Martha would also join the Torchwood team in the interim between her Doctor Who episodes.

Martha's reference that The Doctor and The Master could be brothers, which is denied by the Doctor, was a nod to speculation by fans on internet forums. 
Dialogue were the Doctor made a joke about Captain Jack's (John Barrowman)  voiceover from his spin off series Torchwood was removed as it was decided the comment could be seen as blurring the lines between fictional characters and the actors themselves. 

As with previous series the finale boasted several celebrity cameos, with pop group McFly, The X Factor judge Sharon Osborne and Conservative MP Anne Widdicombe appearing as themselves to pledge their support for Harold Saxon in his campaign video. 

Meanwhile Davies had completely forgotten about his intention to use the track Voodoo Child in the episode and had to be reminded about it by his script editor Simon Winstone.

The Sound Of Drums and Last Of The Time Lords were the eighth and final production block for the 2007 series. 
The director Colin Teague had previously worked on the Torchwood episodes Ghost Machine and Greeks Bearing Gifts as well as The Sarah Jane Adventures episode Invasion Of The Bane.

Filming began at Upper Boat on 7th February 2007 with David Tennant's performance of the shrunken ancient Doctor being motion captured as part of the animation process.
The 9th February saw flash backs of Professor Yana's lab filmed at Upper Boat and BBC Wales studios were used to record the various news items that would be inserted in to the episodes.

From 15th - 17th February the cast and crew decamped to Castle Hensol in Mid Glamorgan.
Various scenes were recorded there including the inside of Harold Saxon's Downing Street residence, Vivien's study, the Toclafance address, and the USA University dormitory. 

On the 19th and 20th February filming at Clive and Francine's homes took place using houses on Cwrt-Y-Vil Road in Penarth. The scene of a mother and baby was also shot in this road and Teague's own wife played the role of the mother. 
The 19th also saw the scene were Leo receives the warning from Martha filmed at the Esplanade in Penarth. And Sharon Osbourne's cameo was recorded in Buckinghamshire on the same day.

Recording for the scene were the Doctor, Martha and Jack return from the future was filmed in Cardiff at The Friary on 21st February followed by Jack's farewell sequence at Millennium Square in Cardiff Bay and The Master's election victory speech inside the Millennium Centre.

On 22nd February Roundwood in Cardiff was the scene of Martha's car being abandoned, whilst in London McFly and Anne Widdicome shot their cameo roles at Universal Studios and outside the Houses Of Parliament. 

23rd February saw the action move back to Upper Boat for scenes in the TARDIS and Martha's flat.

From 26th February until 1st March scenes inside The Valiant and the TARDIS were recorded at Upper Boat. The 1st March also saw Freema Agyeman filming in the Caerphilly Mountains for Martha's escape sequence. 

2nd March saw scenes filmed outside University Place in Cardiff for the shots outside of Martha's flat and then it was over to the NEG glassworks in Cardiff Bay to film shots of Valiant again. 

5th to 7th March was spent back at Upper Boat covering more TARDIS console and Valiant flight deck scenes. The last scene to be shot on the 7th was the TARDIS apparently colliding with The Titanic. This scene was the lead in to the 2007 Christmas Special Voyage Of The Damned. 
This scene was taped with a skeleton crew in order to keep it top secret.

Vaynor Quarry in Merther Tydfil was the location on the 8th March for scenes of Martha and Milligan spying on the rocket silos and for the Doctor and the Master's dramatic confrontation. 
The Master's funeral pyre scenes were also filmed here, a late addition being the scene where the woman's hand picks up the Master's ring and evil laughter is heard. The hand actually belonged to Production Manager Tracie Simpson. The idea behind the scene was Davies' in order to give the Master a way of coming back.

On the 9th March filming took place at RAF St Athan's airstrip and shots of Professor Docherty's shed and the exterior of the factory were also recorded. 

The 10th March was the final day of filming for David Tennant and John Barrowman. They recorded scenes of the Doctor, Jack and Martha's hideout, which was actually a British Railways warehouse in Cardiff.

On 12th March Freema Agyeman began filming scenes for Martha's journey across Earth at Barry Island beach. The shots of the elder Time Lord and the young Master were also shot.

The 13th March was the final day of filming at Upperboat with further scenes of the Valiant's flight deck being shot.

On the 14th March two further locations in Cardiff were visited for Martha's travels including Cathay's Park were Martha meets Professor Docherty and South Luton Place were Martha visited to tell the people of the Doctor.

On 15th March Teague was injured in a fall and so Graeme Harper was drafted in to direct the final scenes . It was back to NEG Glass in Cardiff Bay on the 15th and 16th for more scenes this time the interior of Professor Docherty's shed, Milligan's hospital and the factory. 
Freema Agyeman's final scenes as Martha were recorded on 16th March. 

The shoot concluded on 19th March with scenes in the cafe filmed at Forte's cafe in Barry Island. 

A Captain And A Gentleman:
Captain Jack Harkness was originally a Time Agent from the Boeshane Peninsula in the 51st Century, he awoke one morning to find that all his memories had been erased by his employers leaving him with no knowledge of what had happened to him during this period. On account of this Jack set himself up as a freelance conman, travelling to places such as first-century Pompeii and Second World War London, salvaging alien spcae junk and selling it back to the Time Agency before pre-known and natural causes resulted in their destruction. 
Basing himself in Westminster in 1941, Jack served as an American volunteer for the Royal Air Force; assuming the identity of the real Captain Jack Harkness. Having previously stolen a Chula vessel for himself, Jack conned the Ninth Doctor and Rose Tyler into believing the Chula hospital ship was actually a warship. A German bomb was scheduled to destroy it soon after. Jack prevented this bomb from falling on the crash site by suspending it in statison board his own ship but he was unable to jettison it. He was then rescued from his ship's destruction by the Doctor and Rose who invited him on board the TARDIS as their companion, even giving him his own key. (The Empty Child / The Doctor Dances)
He helped the Doctor and Rose to stop the Slitheen destroying Cardiff (Boom Town) and was then transported from the TARDIS to to the Game Station and a sinister recording of an alternative version of What Not To Wear. After a failed attempt to rescue Rose Tyer from The Weakest Link he was arrested alongside the Doctor and Lynda Moss and sentenced to imprisonment on Earth's Lunar Penal Colony. 
When they eventually escaped and uncovered an army of ships hidden from Game Station transmitters, Jack recognised them as Dalek ships, which he had seen during the Tenth Dalek Occupation. Jack served as the Doctor's last line of defence, ultimately being exterminated by the Daleks, although he was later resurrected by Rose, who used the power of the Time Vortex to bring him back to life, making him immortal in the process. The Doctor instinctively reacted against Jack's immortality and abandoned him on board the Game Station (Bad Wolf / The Parting Of The Ways).
Stranded in the year 200,100 Jack used his Vortex Manipulator to travel to Earth in 1869 but, when the Manipulator burnt out, was forced to live in the 20th Century, waiting for a version of the Doctor that coincided with his own timeline. 
Jack took the opportunity to visit his loyal friend Rose Tyler when she was growing up on the Powell Estate in the 1990s, though he would just watch her and not make contact with her. Knowing that the Doctor would have to return one day to refuel Jack based himself in Cardiff, on top of the rift that ran through the city.  Jack joined Torchwood in Cardiff and, following the Battle Of Canary Wharf, rebuilt it in the Doctor's honor to defend the Earth. He had retrieved the Doctor's severed hand after the Sycorax attack and kept it in order to detect the Time Lord's presence. He then travelled to the end of the Universe clining on to the exterior of the TARDISas it dematerialised from Cardiff in 2008 (Utopia), before helping the Tenth Doctor and Martha Jones defeat the Master upon their return to Earth. Though the Doctor asked him to come travelling in the TARDIS again, Jack returned to his team at Torchwood, but before the Doctor had disabled his Vortex Manipulator's travel abilities for a second time.
Charming and flirtatious to everyone he met Jack revealed that he had been the poster boy where he had grown up in the Boeshane Peninsula and was the first of his people ever to be signed up for the Time Agency. As a result, he told the Doctor and Martha that he had been nicknamed The Face Of Boe, leaving them to realise that their immortal friend would live to be their other old friend billions of years in to the future.
Although Jack said farewell to the Doctor and Martha at the end of Last Of The Time Lords it was not to be their final meeting...

Time Lord And Master:
Plagued by the never ending sound of drumming in his head, the Master was one of the Doctor's childhood friends, driven insane by looking in to the Untempered Schism on Gallifrey when he was just 8 years old. Just as the Doctor did, the Master chose his own name, and stole a TARDIS in order to escape Gallifreyan society and explore the universe. Unlike the Doctor, however, the Master craved domination and sought alliances with a number of alien races during his early attempts to conquer Earth - including the Nestene Conciousness, Axons, Daleks and the Sea Devils. It was also during this time that he and the Doctor came to the attention of organisations such as UNIT and Torchwood. 
Despite running out of regenerations and eventually dying, the Master's conciousness was revived by the Time Lords during the course of the Time War, when he was resurrected to serve as the perfect warrior. The Master was present when the Dalek Emperor took control of the Cruciform, but fled to the end of the Earth to escape, making himself human in the process.
After years as Professor Yana hiding on Malcassairo, it was a chance encounter with the Doctor, Martha Jones and Captain Jack Harkness that caused the Master to regain his identity, encouraged by echoes of his past incarnations contained within the Professor's fob watch. He promtly seized the opportunity to steal the Doctor's severed hand and the TARDIS and returned to Earth, but not before delivering a fatal gunshot to Chantho the Professor's friend and companion of many years. (Utopia)
Abandoning the Doctor in the far future the Master travelled to Earth in 2007, shortly after the downfall of Harriet Jones. He then met Lucy Saxon and took her to the end of the Universe to see Utopia, where the human race had devolved and converted in to Toclafane. 
Returning to Earth the Master married Lucy and assumed the role of Harry Saxon, creating an entire history for his alter ego. As Saxon, the Master claimed to have graduated from Cambridge University, gone into business, succeeded in a career of athletics and even to have written a novel entitled Kiss Me, Kill Me.
During this time The Master cannibalised the TARDIS and converted it in to a Paradox Machine, as well as starting work for the Ministry Of Defence, where he was responsible for launching the Archangel mobile phone network, shooting down the Rachnoss Webstar on Christmas Eve (The Christmas Invasion) and funding Richard Lazarus's rejuvenation experiments (The Lazarus Experiment).
He also assisted in designing the Valiant aircraft carrier for UNIT. He would later incorporate Lazarus's findings in to the functions of his own sonic screwdriver, enabling it to age individuals beyond their natural life spans, whilst also dispensing deadly laser bolts at his attackers.
The Master was elected as Prime Minister of the Great Britain  in 2008, assisted by the mesmeric Archangel mobile network, which tricked the Earth in to believing his lies, whilst also concealing his presence from the Doctor.
As Saxon, the Master ensured that Martha's sister, Tish Jones, secured jobs with both Lazarus and himself, whilst simultaneously using his agents to spread lies about the Doctor to Martha's mother Francine.
In his role as Prime Minister, his first unofficial role was to oversee the execution of the Cabinet in his office before announcing his relationship with the Toclafane to the world.
It was during first contact with the Toclafane on board the Valiant that the Master revealed his true identity and ordered the assassination of US President Winters by the Toclafane. Assuming authority over Earth, the Master then used the Paradox Machine to allow the Toclafane to invade from the end of the Universe, and ordered the decimation of the planet's populace, keeping an aged Doctor, Jack and the Jones family prisoner aboard the Valiant in order to watch his victory.
Over the course of a year, the Master constructed an army of 200,000 war rockets in shipyards around the world, and was planning to open a rift in Braccatolian space as part of his bid to launch a new Time Lord Empire, and adopt a new Gallifrey alongside it. Egotistical and overindulgent, the Master had his own likeness carved in the face of Mount Rushmore and recreated across the globe in the form of colossal statues. He also collected wives from across the continents in addition to Lucy, and would insist upon receiving a massage every day at 3 O'Clock. It was through such predictability, the Doctor knew he wouldn't be able to resist a countdown, that the Doctor was able to rejuvenate himself and defeat the Master, restorinf time to a point before the Toclafane ever invaded. 
As a fellow Time Lord the Doctor took responsibility for the Master's actions and intended to spend the rest of his lives caring for him within the safety of the TARDIS. When the Master was shot dead by his abused wife, Lucy, he refused to regenerate despite the Doctor's wishes, willingly allowing himself to die and seeing it as a final victory of his opponent. His body was then set upon a funeral pyre and burned by a devastated Doctor, though his ring was later removed from the embers by the mysterious Miss Trefusis....


The Master: This country has been sick, this country needs healing, this country needs medicine - in fact I'd go so far as to say that, what this country really needs, right now, is a Doctor.

The Master: Laser Screwdriver. Who'd have sonic? And the best part is he isn't dead for long, I get to kill him again!

Captain Jack Harkness: Still, at least we made it. Earth, twenty-first century by the looks of it. Talk about lucky.
The Doctor: That wasn't luck. That was me.

Voodoo Child by Rogue Traders got to No.3 in the UK charts in 2005. The song contains the lyrics, 'So here it comes, the sound of drums. Here come the drums, here come the drums!'
Winters is the second US President that the Doctor has seen killed. A photo seen in Rose implies that he also witnessed the assassination of JFK in 1963.
Popular in the Southern United States, Grits is a type of maize porridge which is traditionally served at breakfast.
Teletubbies isn't the only children's programme that the Master has enjoyed. In The Sea Devils, he whistled happily along with The Clangers!
The War Games episode 10 featured the very first appearance of the Time Lords in Doctor Who. Here, they wore simple black and white garments like the one worn by the young Master. The opulent robes worn by the senior Time Lords were first seen in The Deadly Assassin.
Time Lords love jelly babies. The second Doctor had a bag of them as early as The Three Doctors, and they were a favourite snack of his fourth incarnation. The Master has never displayed a fondness for the sugary treats until now.
The Doctor also suffered problems with premature aging in The Leisure Hive, when a sabotaged machine caused him to age decades in seconds.
  • David Tennant - The Doctor
  • Freema Agyeman - Martha Jones
  • John Barrowman - Captain Jack Harkeness
  • John Simm - The Master
  • Adjoa Andoh – Francine Jones
  • Trevor Laird – Clive Jones
  • Gugu Mbatha-Raw – Tish Jones
  • Reggie Yates – Leo Jones
  • Alexandra Moen – Lucy Saxon
  • Elize du Toit – Sinister Woman
  • Nichola McAuliffe – Vivien Rook
  • Nicholas Gecks – Albert Dumfries
  • Colin Stinton – President Arthur Colman Winters
  • Olivia Hill – BBC Newsreader
  • Daniel Ming – Chinese Newsreader
  • Lachele Carl – US Newsreader
  • Sharon Osbourne – Herself
  • McFly – Themselves
  • Ann Widdecombe – Herself
  • Zoe Thorne, Gerard Logan, and Johnnie Lyne-Pirkis – Sphere voices