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- NOTE: The article details The Master as depicted from "Classic Doctor Who" - which ran from 1963 to 1989; 1996, for information on The Master from the Revival Era of Doctor Who (2005 to present) see here
|“||I only need two things. Your submission and your obedience to MY WILL!||„|
|~ The Master|
|“||I am The Master and YOU WILL OBEY ME!||„|
|~ The Master's most famous quote while trying to hypnotise Peri Brown.|
The Master is the main antagonist in the Classic BBC science fiction series Doctor Who.
He was an immortality seeking renegade Time Lord who was continuously searching for new ways to survive and prolong his own life, all the while on a never-ending quest to conquer the entire universe and kill his archenemy and former best friend The Doctor.
The Master was the main antagonist for the tenures of the Third, Fourth, Fifth and Eighth incarnations of The Doctor, a major antagonist in the tenure for the Sixth incarnation and the final antagonist in the tenure for Seventh Doctor.
He appears as the main antagonist of seasons eight, nine, eighteen, nineteen and the 1996 film Doctor Who: The Movie. He also appeared as the secondary antagonist of season ten, the 20th anniversary special "The Five Doctors" and season twenty-three.
He also appears as the main antagonist of the additional individual stories "The Deadly Assassin", "The King's Demons" and "Survival" and as the secondary antagonist of the season 22 story "Mark of The Rani".
- In his first on-screen portrayal from 1971-73 he was portrayed by the late Roger Delgado.
- Two actors portrayed the disfigured version of his 13th incarnation; the late Peter Pratt in The Deadly Assassin who also played Reginald Bunthorne in Patience, and The Lord Chancellor in Iolanthe, and Geoffrey Beevers in The Keeper of Traken and Big Finish's audio productions.
- After stealing the body of Tremas and in his longest on-screen incarnation he was portrayed by the late Anthony Ainley.
- After stealing Bruce's body he was portrayed by Eric Roberts who also played Dark Danny in Danny Phantom and Sal Maroni in The Dark Knight
- A new incarnation appearing in various Big Finish audio dramas was voiced by Alex MacQueen.
- James Dreyfus has also portrayed an early Master.
The early incarnation of the Master was self-centred and arrogant, willing to manipulate a whole civilisation to aid himself, even being somewhat amused by it. This Master was somewhat calmer than his later selves, preferring to hypnotise rather than directly manipulate others. As well as this, he prefers to use others to kill, and only when he feels it necessary, rather than any sadistic glee. He looked down on humanity, seeing it as primitive.
The Master presented himself as a suave, debonair gentleman, with a sardonic sense of humour. However, his true nature was arrogant, and impatient, with no time for fools. The Master was willing to play the long game, spinning a web of lies while maintaining several back-ups in his schemes. The Master held himself in high-esteem, having full confidence in his abilities. The Master would casually murder those whom he could not control, or who were standing in his way. He claimed that those who died as a result of him were "necessary sacrifice[s]". The Master occasionally showed a more brutal side to him, when he killed a scientist by throwing him off a radio telescope, or running over reformed prisoner Barnham.
Given his haughty nature, he regarded most beings as his inferiors, but had a mutual respect for the Doctor as a worthy opponent and his near intellectual equal, and even showed a certain respect to the Doctor's companions, even if he still considered them inferior. He would only resort to killing the Doctor if he viewed him as an unmovable obstacle in his plans, considering his quarrel with the Doctor to be something of a game. The Master was not above working alongside the Doctor when necessary, and even offered to rule the universe with him. He seemed to believe his delusions of grandeur, proclaiming that he and the Doctor could "reign benevolently," over the universe and that, instead of democracy, the world needed "strength, power and decision."
Underneath his suave exterior, this Master had a somewhat childish side to him, revelling in sarcasm, watching children's TV, showing a sense of irony. He also had a sadistic side, taking particular pleasure in goading the Brigadier into attacking Axos when they both knew that it would put the Doctor and Jo in danger. He also took considerable delight in blackmailing the Doctor and Jo. Unlike his following incarnations, this Master was a gracious loser, though he once stated that destroying the Doctor's favourite species would "be a reward in itself".
The decayed Master was easily characterised by his sheer desperation and dwindling sanity during his attempts to extend his life. In spite of this however his intellect was as keen as ever, with him making up for his damaged body by manipulating from the shadows until the right moment. The Decayed Master felt a stronger hatred towards the Doctor than before, and showed a cold and vengeful side to his personality, often killing for the sake of it. . Preoccupied with his desire to extend his life, the Master is at his most selfish, willing destroy his own civilisation for the sake of his survival. The Master was also stubborn, dismissing the Doctor when he warned him that the Sash that was supposed to protect him from the Eye was damaged. The Master freely considered himself evil, but rejected being considered insane.
The Tremas Master was a flamboyant, ruthless and psychopathic man who always bore a smug or sadistic grin upon his face and revelled in the suffering of others. He had the sharp intellect and wit of his previous selves and a cool and collected demeanour which he rarely shifted from. In spite of this however his ego would often get in the way of his own plans and sabotage them. After being infected with the Cheetah Virus The Master showed a much more animalistic side to him, with his sadistic streak growing even larger than it was before.
Bruce's Master lacked the charisma of his previous selves, being a much more feral and volatile figure than before although still with his keen intellect and manipulative ways. This Master also had a very short temper and retained the sadism and coldness of the Tremas incarnation.
The Victor Magister incarnation of The Master had the appearance of a handsome, slim, fair skinned man in his late 40s with very sharp facial features, brown eyes and a large pointed nose. His most defining feature would perhaps be that of his slicked back, receding brown hair and matching goatee, a trait that many of his successors would adopt for themselves.
This incarnation regularly wore a navy blue Nehru jacket with matching trousers, a white tunic underneath his jacket and black leather gloves with matching shoes. Occasionally he adopted business suits as part of his regular attire instead however.
The decayed Master resembled nothing more than a charred, walking skeleton. With all of his skin burned completely off leaving behind the burnt remains of his flesh and skeleton with his bulging eyes and exposed teeth being particularly prominent. To hide this image the decayed Master was regularly seen in a tattered long, black, hooded cloak which covered his entire body. After being partially healed by the Eye of Harmony, the Master's injuries appeared less severe, with his skin looking badly burned rather than rotting, and his brown eyes being more human.
The Tremas incarnation of The Master was a handsome, tall, pale man with a thick head of short chocolate brown hair that was neatly slicked back and he sported a black goatee. After being infected with the Cheetah Virus The Master developed a prominent pair of fangs and his eyes turned a deep shade of orange and became cat-like.
For the majority of his appearances he wore the clothes the original Tremas was in prior to having his body stolen; a velvet Trakken style suit which consisted of black trousers, a shirt and a black, high collared tailcoat, he also added black boots and occasionally gloves to this outfit. While in The Death Zone he also added a black high collared cape to this outfit.
While using Kamelion and taking the form of Peri Brown's father The Master reverted back to his usual self however wore instead of his usual clothes a black business suit with a white shirt underneath. In "Survival" The Master adopted an entirely new wardrobe, wearing a vintage black belted, pinstripe suit with a silver waistcoat, white shirt and black ascot as well as standard black shoes.
Bruce's Master resembled that of a tall, handsome man with fair skin who had short black hair and brown eyes, however unlike with Tremas the body of Bruce failed The Master rather quickly, making his body decay rapidly upon The Master taking it over with his mouth regularly salivating and his fingernails quickly falling off. The Master's eyes in this form also appeared as very animalistic and sickly, forcing him to always cover them up with sunglasses so the remain inconspicuous.
This Master started off wearing a long black, leather trench coat with a casual suit underneath and black leather gloves however when preparing to steal The Doctor's remaining regenerations he switched to traditional regal Gallifrey robes.
|“||Death is always more frightening when it strikes invisibly.||„|
|~ The "Victor Magister" Master in "Terror of the Autons"|
|“||Doctor. Why don't you come in with me? We're both Time Lords, we're both renegades, we could be Masters of the galaxy! Think of it, Doctor: Absolute power! Power for good. Now, you could reign benevolently. You could end wars, suffering disease. We could save the universe!||„|
|~ The "Victor Magister" Master in "Colony in Space".|
|“||You do not understand hatred as I understand it. Only hate keeps me alive. Why else should I endure this pain? I must see the Doctor die in shame and dishonour. Yes, and I must destroy the Time Lords. Nothing else matters. Nothing!||„|
|~ The Thirteenth/"Decayed" Master in "The Deadly Assassin".|
|“||Rassilon's discovery, all mine. I shall have supreme power over the universe. Master of all matter! Bwhahahaha!||„|
|~ The Thirteenth/"Decayed" Master in "The Deadly Assassin".|
|“||I am now nearing the end of my twelfth regeneration.||„|
|~ The "Decayed" Master in "The Keeper of Traken".|
|“||Peoples of the Universe, please attend carefully. The message that follows is vital to the future of you all. The choice for you all is simple. A continued existence under my guidance, or total annihilation.||„|
|~ The "Tremas" Master in "Logopolis".|
|“||You are indeed a worthy opponent, Doctor. It's what gives your destruction its... piquancy.||„|
|~ The Tremas Master in "The Mark of the Rani".|
|“||I always dress for the occasion.||„|
|~ The "Bruce" Master|
|“||Life is wasted on the living!||„|
|~ The "Bruce" Master|
|~ The "De'ath" Master's catchphrase.|
|“||This is my masterplan! Every eventuality has been considered!||„|
|~ The "De'ath" Master in "Masterplan".|
- Anthony Ainley was the longest running actor to play The Master in the Classic series and to this day is the longest running actor as a whole to portray the character. According to several interviews the reason for this was simply because he adored playing the role and since he had a private income would have no scheduling conflicts unlike many of the other actors.
- Many producers have compared the relationship between The Doctor and The Master as something comparable to that of James Moriarty and Sherlock Holmes.
- In the episode "The Final Game", The Master was supposed to be revealed as the Doctor's dark side or his brother and he should die by sacrificing himself to save the Doctor. However, the episode was never made because the actor Roger Delgado died in a car accident in Turkey. Still the idea of a dark side of the Doctor was used for The Valeyard.
- The idea for the Master also saving the Doctor was used for the 2009-2010 two-parter The End of Time in which the Master (played by John Simm) saved the Doctor and sacrificed himself to defeat Rassilon.
- The end of the Delgado Master has been depicted in the Eighth Doctor book Legacy of the Daleks, which implied he was the same incarnation as the decayed Master. The audio The Two Masters contradicted this by featuring the decayed Master played by Geoffrey Beevers both before and after his disfigurement. The comic strip Doorway To Hell featured the Delgado Master regenerate, further contradicting the idea Delgado was the thirteenth Master.
- Roger Delgado and his co-star Jon Pertwee (who played the Third Doctor) were best friends in real life, with Pertwee suggesting Delgado for the role. They had also initially supported the idea for the Doctor to be the Master's brother until Delgado's death, which was one of the reasons Pertwee decided to leave the show.
- After the classic series was cancelled, the Master was first brought into Virgin's New Adventures novels with First Frontier where the Master, right after the events of Survival, was granted the ability to regenerate through nanites by the Tzun, a race he had allied with, and would go onto regenerate in the story. This incarnation, based on Basil Rathbone, would also appear in the short story Housewarming and the novel Happy Endings, where the nanites started to break down. This would be contradicted by novels and comics afterwards, which would feature the Ainley Master after the events of Survival, usually struggling with the Cheetah Virus. Adding onto this, the Big Finish audios Dust Breeding and Master depict the Master having been degenerated from his Ainley body into his decayed form due to the power of the Warp Core.
- In Series 10, the John Simm's Master now sports a goatee similar to that of Roger Delgado and Anthony Ainley's incarnations.
- The Renegade Time Lord the War Chief is often theorised to be an early incarnation of the Master, and some Expanded Universe stories do seem to imply as such.
- A common myth, originating in the Expanded Universe, is that the Master's real name is Koschei, named after the figure in Russian folklore. The name first appeared in The Dark Path, but the Doctor does not recognise it, implying it is another alias the Master has taken up. The later novel Divided Loyalties, featuring a nightmare about the Doctor's Academy days, the Master's name is given as Koschei, possibly as a parody of how some authors messed with character's backstories.
- While the cover of The Dark Path depicts the Delgado Master, there is no explicit confirmation in the novel itself that they are the same incarnation. Indeed, in the short story Rebel Rebel, Koschei is mentioned as having green eyes rather than Delgado's brown eyes.
- The Master on Pure Evil Wiki