We should have known from the start that Gus, the Siri-from-hell villain in tonight’s Doctor Who was evil. He may have had no physical form, but still managed to sport a dashing monocle – a clear sign of a baddie.
The drawling posh voice of actor John Sessions presided over a trainful of mayhem tonight as he forced experts to discover the secrets of invisible mummy The Foretold – and turn its secrets into weapons.
The Doctor and Clara narrowly managed to save the day, leading to the apparent destruction of Gus himself – but was he part of a wider conspiracy?
It might sound unlikely, but here are three reasons to suspect that Gus was more than The Evil Train That Could.
He has the Doctor’s phone number
That’s arguably not much of an achievement these days – everyone from a random banker he met once to Winston Churchill seem to have the Time Lord on speed dial – but mysterious figures ringing the Tardis seems to be a theme recently, with the Doctor keen to find out who’s giving out his details.
A strange woman in a shop gave Clara the Doctor’s number back in The Bells of St John (evil wifi episode, remember – no?), with many assuming that said shopkeeper is probably Michelle Gomez’s Missy, the Gatekeeper of the Nethersphere (and frequenter of cryptic scenes at the ends of episodes in this series). If this is true, then could Gus be an acolyte of Missy, and thus part of the series arc? (For more theories on the identity of Missy, see here).
We’ve heard from him before
The Doctor and Clara’s jaunt on the train wasn’t completely ad hoc – in fact, the Doctor mentions in tonight’s episode that he’s been summoned to this train a few times, even being called at the Tardis:
“He has tried to entice me here before. Free tickets… mysterious summons… he even phoned the Tardis once. Do you know how difficult a number…”
Sadly we can’t vouch for the free tickets (the scenes where The Doctor idly flicks through his junk mail are usually in the DVD extras), but one of the moments he mentioned actually happened onscreen, way back in 2010’s series finale The Big Bang (when the Doctor was played by Matt Smith).
To save you scouring the internet for it, here’s a brief reminder:
“Hello? Oh, Hello.
“I’m sorry, this is a very bad line.”
“No, no, no but that’s not possible – she was sealed into the seventh obelisk, I was at the prayer meeting.
“Well no, I get that it’s important, an Egyptian goddess loose on the Orient Express… .in space. Give us a mo…”
“Don’t worry about a thing Your Majesty…we’re on our way.”
Those were the days.
Anyway, clearly Gus has been playing the long game here – tempting an earlier incarnation of the Doctor by impersonating royalty (probably some form of intergalactic treason), and promising him a wild adventure.
And in a very hiding-in-plain-sight style of deceit, the fake summons was actually pretty close to what actually awaited the Doctor and co. Audacious, really.
It’s clear the monocled monitor of doom has been gunning for the Doctor for a while – might we assume that there’s more to this than a bit of Mummy research?
And finally… his name could be short for sarcophaGUS…
Like the one that a mummy would live in, right? Right…? There’s even a sarcophagus in the episode. Also, you know, a Mummy. To make it even spookier, he was a bit sarcastic… sarcastic-Gus? Get it? It totally scans.
I don’t know about you, but that last bit really nails it for me. Big conspiracy.