Doctor Who: Season 3, Episode 12

The Sound of Drums (23 Jun. 2007)

TV Episode  -   -  Adventure | Drama | Family
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.8/10 from 2,525 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 3 critic

The Doctor, Martha and Jack return to the 21st Century eighteen months after the Doctor and Martha left. They find they've missed the election, and the new Prime Minister, Harold Saxon, is someone they've met before by another name.


0Check in

Watch Now

$0.00 with Prime Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 39 titles
created 23 Sep 2012
a list of 42 titles
created 16 Jun 2013
a list of 46 titles
created 9 months ago
a list of 30 titles
created 1 month ago
a list of 52 titles
created 2 days ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Sound of Drums (23 Jun 2007)

The Sound of Drums (23 Jun 2007) on IMDb 8.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Doctor Who.
« Previous Episode | 40 of 125 Episodes | Next Episode »


1 video »


Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Trevor Laird ...
Nichola McAuliffe ...
Nicholas Gecks ...
Sharon Osbourne
Ann Widdecombe ...
Ann Widdecombe


With the Master having regenerated himself and taken the TARDIS, the Doctor, Martha and Jack Harkness manage to return to Earth. When they arrive, they see the new British Prime Minister, Harold Saxon, on television and Martha immediately recognizes his voice: it's the regenerated Master. He announces that he has been contacted by alien beings and that they will arrive in two days' time. Despite an attempt by the American President to take over the situation, the Master is very much in charge. The situation is particularly stressful for Martha in particular as the Master has taken her family as prisoners. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

23 June 2007 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (50 episodes)


See  »

Did You Know?


Mister Saxon (the Master's pseudonym) is an anagram of Master No. Six. Excluding Derek Jacobi's brief moment of glory, John Simm's Master is the sixth incarnation of the character seen on television. However, according to executive producer Russell T. Davies in an interview with the Radio Times, the anagram is merely coincidental. Derek Jacobi played the master twice: once as Professor Yana (aka the master) and in the Doctor Who: Scream of the Shalka (2003) mini-series (voice). See more »


After bullets shatter the rear window of the car that Martha is driving, the next interior shots of the car show an undamaged window. See more »


President: My name is Arthur Colman Winters, President Elect of the United States of America and designated representative of the United Nations. I welcome you to the Planet Earth and its associated Moon.
Male Toclafane: [complaining] You're not The Master!
Female Toclafane: We like the Mister Master!
Male Toclafane: We don't like you!
President: [confused] I... can be Master, if you so wish. I will accept mastery over you, if that is God's will...
Male Toclafane: Man is stupid! The Master is our friend!
Female Toclafane: Where's my Master? Pretty-please?
The Master: Oh, all right then, it's me! Ta-da!
See more »


References Torchwood (2006) See more »


Doctor Who Theme
Written by Ron Grainer
Arranged by Murray Gold
Performed by BBC National Orchestra of Wales
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Just when you think, "Surely, the series can't be any better?"...
23 June 2007 | by (England) – See all my reviews

With "The Sound of Drums", Russell T. Davies shows that despite a smörgåsbord of treats throughout the season, there's still a lot more surprises in his TARDIS-like bag.

A dark, tense and highly original episode, "The Sound of Drums" is so good it's difficult to know where to begin. Davies' teases fans with references to The Doctor's brother (a few seconds pause seemed like an eternity in this scene), jelly babies and so on, while giving long-term viewers the best Gallifrey treat they could ever wish for in this episode. The short, beautifully shot clip of The Master's back-history is informative and manages to honour the memories of anybody who has grown up with "The Deadly Assassin" and the various subsequent Time Lord tales. This is epic stuff - there's a legendary feel to "The Sound of Drums" and the show appears bigger in scale than a television programme, having an almost movie-like feel to the proceedings. After watching this series of "Doctor Who" other science fiction offerings are going to feel tired and drawn-out compared to this lean and mean, multi-faced beast. We have seen a diverse number of stories this year but the quality has remained constant throughout.

John Simm steals the show as the psychopathic Master. He has all the best lines and eats the part up like the world's most scrumptious meal. Simm is the very picture of a maniacal genius and it's hard to imagine anybody delivering a better performance in this role. His scenes with the cabinet and the President of the USA will be difficult to forget.

The Jones family are proving more entertaining and likable than the Tylers - Trevor Laird and Adjoa Andoh are excellent as Martha's parents and Gugu Mbatha-Raw is wonderful as younger sister, Tish.

The episode finishes on the ultimate cliffhanger. This is black as night "Doctor Who" and it's an absolute delight.

10 out of 10. Again, thank you Russel T. Davies and Phil Collinson for delivering such a treat to fans everywhere, young and old. This is more than anybody could have ever expected and as each season progresses, the creative envelope is pushed ever further. Genuinely jaw-dropping entertainment.

43 of 67 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Somewhat OT - Matt Smith in Terminator GamingTatertot
Is this River Song timeline correct? sn939
Was The Trial of a Timelord the worst idea in the classic show? andrew-balshaw-167-386759
Which Companion would you like to see return? andrew-balshaw-167-386759
Do you think Clara will be killed off? andrew-balshaw-167-386759
Is Mel the most hated companion of the classic series? andrew-balshaw-167-386759
Discuss The Sound of Drums (2007) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: