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.



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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)

Sound Mix:

(Dolby 5.1)


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Did You Know?


Russell T. Davies considered using the aliens that became the Toclafane in "Dalek" and "The Satan Pit" when those stories ran into issues with their monsters . See more »


When the Master runs to the window to watch the spheres descend, he presses against the wall, which visibly bows out. See more »


The Doctor: Master, just calm down. Just look at what you're doing, just stop! If you could see yourself...
The Master: [to the press] Oh, do excuse me, little bit of personal business. Back in a minute. Let him go!
[the guards throw The Doctor to the floor]
The Doctor: It's that sound, the sound in your head. What if I could help?
The Master: Oh, how to shut him up! I know! Memory Lane!
See more »


Featured in Doctor Who: The End of Time: Part One (2009) See more »


Voodoo Child
Performed by Rogue Traders
See more »

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User Reviews

Strange Mixture Of Good And Bad
21 August 2008 | by (Isle Of Bute , Scotland) – See all my reviews

Watching this episode is like someone giving you all your favourite food . Salmon , steak , pasta , , curry , blancmange and apple crumble all on the same plate . Seeing as the chef is Russell T Davies he'll also give you everything you don't like such as rabbit , marmite and appropriately tripe on the same plate as your faves .

The Sound Of Drums gets off to a bad start with a quite terrible resolution to the previous week's cliffhanger . What is with episodes dovetailing in to one another ? The writers can't seem to make an effort at all with The Doctor Dances and Age of Steel both suffering from ridiculous resolutions and this episode is no different . The story continues with aspects that left me thinking I was watching a children's programme . We see a bunch of red sticks with the word " Dynamite " written on them which is kind of like seeing a cannonball with a burning fuse , and we're treated ( RTD's words not mine ) to umpteen ridiculous examples plot contrivance like " perception filters " , what a load of nonsense

There are good aspects too such as John Simms take on a Tony Blair type of character and the use of The Rogue Traders rave track Voodoo Child which shows Nu-Who in a radical light . Imagine away back in 1973 we had Roger Delgado's Master as a prime minister who was in to sailing and conducting orchestras battling against Jon Pertwee against a Slade soundtrack . You'd never be able to conceive that would you ? All this helps The Sound Of Drums but it's far from being a classic episode

22 of 34 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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