At the end of the series 12 premiere, Doctor Who fans were shocked to find out that the true identity of Sacha Dhawan’s character was the latest incarnation of The Master, but things were almost very different.
Speaking about his new role on the long-running sci-fi show, Dhawan revealed that executive producer Matt Strevens had asked him to play a different character in series 11, but he had been unable to do so due to a schedule conflict.
He said: “I didn’t audition which was amazing as I’ve never been offered a part. I’d worked with Matt Strevens on [Doctor Who origins drama] Adventure in Space and Time and he’s a great friend of mine.
“He had asked me to play another character in the last series of Doctor Who but I was away filming. I think in hindsight it’s the best thing that could have happened because I wouldn’t have been able to play this iconic character.”
It’s unclear which specific role Dhawan was up for in the previous series, Jodie Whittaker’s first in the role of the Doctor, but it’s unlikely to have been a character with quite the same legacy as iconic nemesis The Master.
At a London Film & Comic-Con panel in 2017, Dhawan expressed interest in being Whittaker’s successor in the role of the Doctor, but this may not be possible now that he’s taken on such an established villain instead.
The conclusion to Doctor Who’s Spyfall airs on BBC One at 7pm on Sunday 5th January