- NOTE: The article details The Master as depicted from "Classic Doctor Who" - which ran from 1963 to 1989 , 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|
The Master is a majorly recurring and arguably the main antagonist in the Classic BBC science fiction series Doctor Who, and appeared far more evil than he did in the series revival. He was an immortality seeking renegade Time Lord who was continuously searching for new ways to survive. He is also the archenemy and former friend of The Doctor.
He was portrayed by the four actors primarily in Classic Who; the late Roger Delgado, the late Anthony Ainley, Eric Roberts (who also voiced Dark Danny) and Alex MacQueen.
Two actors also portrayed the disfigured version of his 13th incarnation (Peter Pratt and Geoffrey Beevers). As well as this, James Dreyfus has portrayed the "First" Master.
The Master's madness begun at the age of 8 when he was taken before Untempered Schism, a gap in the fabric of space and time, as part of a Time Lord initiation ceremony. Since then, the Master has been plagued by the four-beat sound of drums, believing them to be the "drums of war", and became into a would-be universal conqueror. Like the Doctor, he got his own TARDIS and flee Gallifrey
Because his TARDIS was broken when he stole it, it fell apart around him almost instantly, stranding the Master on the furthest arm of a galaxy in the "earliest Segments of Time". He took charge of the planet Destination, becoming its hero. He assumed the title of "The Inventor", and developed the planet's technology for his own ends, pitting the human colonists against the Dalmari, saving them each time, and urging them to pursue an arms race should they come back. This was to manipulate the colonists into develop nuclear technology, to refuel his ship's engines. When the First Doctor arrived, he changed his plans and tried to steal the Doctor's TARDIS to escape. He was briefly able to trick Ian and Barbara into leading him to the ship, but the two were able to work together and overpower the Master, subsequently using the fast return switch to take the TARDIS back to Destination. The Master ultimately became trapped in his own laboratory after the Doctor had rerouted its power to help Destination to rebuild. The Master would escape and continued doing evil until he met the Doctor again when he was already in his Twelfth incarnation.
The Master encountered the Doctor during his Third incarnation when he was trapped on Earth. Wanting to make the Doctor suffer, the Master embarked on various schemes, such as allying with the Nestene Consciousness, using a mind parasite and stealing a missile to disrupt a peace conference, working with Axos to destroy Earth, trying to steal a doomsday weapon on the planet Uxarieus before being arrested by UNIT after trying to summon a Daemon Azal. After a period of imprisonment, the Master escaped after working with the "Sea Devils", a mutated version of the Silurians. After this, the Master tried to summon the Chronovore Kronos. After the Master's scheme to provoke a war between the Human and Draconian Empires on behalf of the Daleks (though he was planning to betray them) failed, the Master retreated. After this, he noticed the Doctor's TARDIS malfunctioned, stranding him in the 70s, and incorrectly believed the Doctor had regenerated. The Master then kidnapped the Collins Family, who had taken the Doctor in, and used them to access another dimension, where he could gain massive temporal abilities. He battled the Twelfth Doctor for them and his abilities were blasted back onto him, causing his regeneration.
In search for a new way to survive
The Master, in his thirteenth and last incarnation arrived on a Time Lord base on Tersurus to infiltrate their database. There he encountered a future incarnation (see below) of himself, who burned his body, leaving him a fraction above death. Fueled by his burning hatred, the Master was able to will his body into staying alive, despite it being a rotting husk of his former self. The future Master tried to allow history to take it's course. Before Goth could arrive, the Cult of the Heretic switched the Master's mind with that of his future self.
While he remembered being in great pain, the process left gaps in his memory. He returned to a prison in the south of England, setting up the Dominus Institute in order to lure the Doctor to him, planning to use a Mind Leech to absorb his intellect. The Sixth Doctor made a deal with the mind leech, one which had the leech only take the Doctor's short term memory. This was enough to sustain the Master but ruined his overall plans and he fled from the prison in his TARDIS.
Realising what had happened to him, the Master hired assasins to kill the older Master. The act of having a Time Lord inhabiting the body of his past self led to the universe beginning to break down. Realising this, the Seventh Doctor helped them get back into the right bodies. After this, history was allowed to run its normal course.
In this state, the Master come across the fellow Time Lord, Chancellor Goth. Sensing that Goth was hungry for power, the Master was able to mentally influence and use him for a scheme to steal the artifacts of Rassilon, in order to steal energy from the Eye of Harmony, which he hoped would help him to restore his damaged body to a healthier state, as well as getting revenge on the Time Lord and the Doctor, by also using the artifacts to destroy Gallifrey. The Fourth Doctor was, however, able to foil this scheme, but could not stop the Master from escaping once again in the aftermath.
Following the Doctor's trail, the Master arrived in Victorian England, and battled the Doctor's friends Jago and Litefoot, and eventually plotted to use their energy to heal himself, but was thwarted by them, with the help of the Sixth Doctor. While hunting for the mysterious White Worm in Derbyshire in 1979, the Fourth Doctor Doctor once again happened upon the Master, and was surprised to see him in a still damaged, but also notably less decayed form. The Master revealed that he had managed steal a small amount of energy from the Eye during his previous scheme. While it was not enough to completely restore himself, it allowed the Master to heal himself into a more stable state.
The Maste began a series of battles with the Doctor, such as battling the first 8 Doctor's and erase his adventures from the timeline, stealing gold and hynotising Leela to kill the Doctor, and getting involved with the Rocket Men, during which he kidnapped Leela and used her as his champion in the Death Match.
The Master would next encounter the Doctor, as he was scheming to take the mighty powers of the mythical Keeper of Traken for himself. Though the Doctor was able to prevent him from accomplishing this, the Master would still achieve a triumph of sorts as he was able to find a more permanent way to cheat death; namely by transferring his being into the body of a Trakenite scientist named Tremas.
In his new body he headed to Logopolis in hopes of discovering the mysterious purpose the planet's people was working towards. Halting the operations of the planet, he demanded answers from its leader, but through this interrogation he discovered that the purpose of Logopolis was to keep a entropy field which threatened to destroy all the universe at bay, and his through his meddling he had inadvertently brought all of existence in danger. He sought out the help of the Doctor, who reluctantly agreed to work together with him, as he saw as the only way to save the universe.
However, after they stabilized the Charged Vacuum Embodiment and thereby stopped the entropy field, their uneasy alliance quickly ended, as the Master immediately decided to exploit the situation. He send out a message to the people of the universe threatening to unleash the entropy field again, unless they all submitted and accepted him as their supreme ruler. The Doctor was able to stop him, but was seriously injured in the process and had to regenerate into the Fifth Doctor. To get revenge, the Master lured the Doctor to the city Castrovalva where he posed as the librarian Portrevee. After the Doctor foiled his plan the city disappears along with the Master. But the Master would return by unexplained means, still searching for a way to extend his life.
After his TARDIS was damaged after his escape, the Master decided to use the Xeraphin to his advantage, but was defeated by the Doctor, being stranded on their home planet. Hoever the Master repaired his TARDIS and escaped with Kamelion, a shapeshifting robot, who the Master used in a scheme to sabotage the signing of the Magna Carta.
When the five Incarnations of the Doctor were kidnapped by Borusa, the Time Lords promised the Master new regenerations if he could save the Doctor. The Fifth Doctor didn't trust him and was teleported away, so he allied the Cybermen to get to the Tower of Rassilon, hoping to receive immortality.
Although the Doctors can capture him, the Master is able to continue with his evil deeds at the Doctor's future incarnations: This includes teaming up with the Rani and interfering in the trial of the Valeyard against the Sixth Doctor. After which, the Master was attaacked by the Chronoves as revenge over his TOMTIT scheme, and realised the Source that was keeping his body stable was fading, leading to his decay. The Master decided to embark on a scheme that would destroy the Chronovores and grant him omnipotence. This ended up creating the Quantum Archangel. He and the Doctor worked together to rectify his mistake, and the Master used it to his advantage to restore his body.
Eventually, the Master was trapped on the Cheetah Planet, and brought hunting specimens from Earth to their planet, while being turned into one of them by the cheetah virus. Eventually, he found a pliable young man called Midge and used him to escape. Using Midge as his "hunting dog", the Master recruited a gang of Perivale youths to defeat the Seventh Doctor and Ace. The Master teleported the Doctor to the Cheetah World, which had begun to break up. The Doctor escaped, but the Master was trapped on the dying world. Somehow escaping from the planet this incarnation of The Master lived on although he was still plagued by the virus even in his next body.
The Master's Apparent End
Eventually, the Master is executed by the Daleks as a punishment for his "evil crimes". But he survives his execution by transferring his mind into a small, snake-like morphant that slithers inside the Seventh Doctor's TARDIS console, forcing the vessel to crash land in San Francisco on December 30, 1999 where it enters the body of a paramedic named Bruce. But as Bruce's body is unsustainable and begins to slowly degenerate, the Master attempts to access the Eye of Harmony with help of a teenager named Chang Lee, who he has convinced the Doctor is evil, to steal the Doctor's remaining regenerations, but instead is sucked into it and seemingly killed. In truth though, the Master was once again saved by his strong will. The Maser fell though the Eye, going into the Time Vortex, while an echo was left behind. Instead of being pulled apart by the destructive forces inside the Eye of Harmony, he managed to keep his consciousness together, and eventually he learned to extend his mental abilities outside the Eye and into the Doctor's TARDIS, hoping to find a way to escape.
Fight for the Glory
After the Master passed through the Eye of Harmony, his essence was left wandering the Time Vortex. Nearly dying, he was rescued from the Vortex by a being named Esterath, the controller of the Glory, the focal point of the Omniverse. The Master was told that it was time for the Glory to gain another controller, but the power had to be fought for. The Master assumed that the battle would be between himself and his greatest foe, the Doctor.
The Master was resurrected into the body of a recently deceased vagrant on the streets of 2001 Brixton. Some weeks afterwards, due to a symbiotic link he had formed with the Doctor's TARDIS when it consumed part of his essence after he passed through the Eye of Harmony, the Master witnessed one of the Doctor's adventures. The symbiotic link between the TARDIS and the Master had also given the latter the ability to influence the flight of the TARDIS, which he used to send the craft to times and places which would weaken the Doctor's self-belief and confidence. The Master subsequently used this link to trail the Doctor for some time without his enemy suspecting.
He was present in London during the crisis resulting from Grace's attempt to merge human and Time Lord DNA with the DNA of a Morphant. He killed Duncan, an MI6 agent, with his TCE.
The Master later made contact with Sato Katsura, a Japanese samurai unwillingly rendered immortal as a result of his involvement in the Doctor's adventures. The embittered warrior became the Master's follower. At his behest, Sato adopted the identity of Cardinal Morningstar and became the leader of the Church of the Glorious Dead, instigator of a holy war that altered the history of Earth, to become "Dhakan". After revealing his plot to the Doctor, the Master won a sword fight with the Doctor by stabbing him, but then learned that the true battle for the Glory was between his companion, Sato, and the Doctor's, the Cyberman Kroton, of which Kroton won. Amongst his first acts as the controller of the Glory were to cleanse the TARDIS of the Master's influence and to place the Master somewhere inescapable. The Master declared he would survive and return. Presumably this was the Eye, as karmic punishment.
Living As a Body Snatcher
One day, as the TARDIS was floating at night time over London in the early 20th century, he had luck with subconsciously influencing one of the Doctor's friends as he was sleeping, leading the companion to sleepwalk to the Eye and open it, allowing the Master to escape, though in a severely diminished, insubstantial form.
Following his escape into Edwardian London, the Master was once again able to possess a human, but he also faced the problem of the body gradually decaying into uselessness, forcing him to continuously possessing new bodies over the years, while trying to keep a low profile to keep the Doctor from detecting him. Knowing that the time of World War I was approaching, the Master eventually decided to emigrate to America to stay out of the conflict. He boarded the Titanic, oblivious to the ship's infamous fate. The Master, though taken by surprise by the accident striking the ship, was able to survive by cheating himself to a spot on the lifeboats, and he eventually reached the shores of the United States, landing in New York, just as his latest host body was about to give out. Here he had a chance encounter with a lieutenant in the infamous Hudson Duster's gang, and was able to possess him.
Determined to make his host body last longer this time, the Master decided he need money and power. Using his devious mind, he was able to climb to the top of the Hudson Dusters hierarchy, taking to calling himself "Don Maestro". After 20 years of living in his current body, he occupied the body of his host's son, Michael, and moved to Las Vegas where he owned a casino, the profits from he accumulated to fund experiments with the short term goal of elongating of the lifespan of his host body and, in the long term, finding a way to restore his Time Lord body. Fearing the eventual decay of his body, the Master used his money to buy a penthouse to isolate himself from infection. After years living in isolation, his host's son confronted him with the knowledge that he had possessed both his father and his grandfather in some way. He then trapped the Master in the penthouse.
After UNIT were alerted to the presence of penthouse, they discovered the Master in a comatose state, which he later revealed he had entered voluntarily as it was the only way to preserve his decaying body during his isolation. He was imprisoned in the UNIT Vault, awakening every 5 years for one hour, before returning to a coma. After 15 years living in the Vault, the Master awoke for a third time, and was interrogated by two UNIT officers. However, he managed to hypnotize both of them and escape his imprisonment. Discovering that UNIT had recovered his TARDIS from a sealed tomb in the Valley of the Kings, he used it to escape from the Vault.
A New Lease of Life
The Master was eventually saved from his predicament by the Time Lords. Due to the growing danger of the Dalek Empire, the Time Lords came to see his savagery as a useful trait in a pawn they could use against them, and so they granted him a fully-restored Time Lord body as well as a new regeneration cycle, in return for him becoming an agent in their employ. When the Time Lords detected a possible timeline where the Eminence, a sentient gas that took control of humans, would become the final life-form in the Universe, they saw a potential in using the Eminence against the Daleks and the Celestial Intervention Agency gave the Master the information he needed.
The Master traveled to the Nixyce System and stole an Eminence Teleportation casket, integrating it into his TARDIS console. In 1970s London he posed as Dr Harcourt Diath and performed experiments on human immunity to the Eminence, hoping to remove it so the Eminence wouldn't be defeated. He saved Dr Sally Armstong from being hit by a taxi and recruited her. The Master took up posing as a ophthalmologist who, under the pretense of curing blindness, removed people's eyes and replaced them, enabling him to see through their eyes and control them. He encountered the Eighth Doctor, who told an Eminence located in his mind how to pilot a TARDIS. Using the casket in the Master's TARDIS it piloted it away with the Master and Sally. However using the telepathic circuits of his TARDIS the Master isolated the Eminence and Sally expelled it into the Time Vortex.
Some time later, Sally and the Master kidnapped Molly O'Sullivan from her home in 107 Baker Street, and took her to a world on the edge of humanity's war with the Eminence. There, the Master ran an experiment, using the retro-genitor particles in Molly to fight the Eminence's breath of forever. The Master then destroyed Ramosa, kidnapping all of the planet's human colonists on board his TARDIS. The Master infected the human colonists of Ramosa with retro-genitor particles, planning to expose them to the Eminence, and gain control of all of them using the fragment of the Eminence contained in his mind.
The Master unleashed his plans for humanity on Earth. He allied himself with the Eminence and allowed them to conquer Earth. He subsequently activated the retro-genitor particles in the humans and asserted his psychic influence over them. The Doctor escaped the Master's clutches and helped a group of humans overcome the Master's influence and stop his plans. Whilst the Celestial Intervention Agency erased his work from history, the Master escaped in his TARDIS, which was disguised as a palm tree.
At some point, the Master made a deal with the Cult of the Heretic to regenerate the universe using their anomaly cage. The Cult manipulated the Master into coming into contact with his younger self, whom he disfigured with a staser. The Cult then betrayed the Master by switching the minds of the younger Master and the older Master. The paradox of having a Time Lord inhabiting the body of his past self led to the universe beginning to break down. The Cult intended to execute the future Master to make the paradox unbreakable, but the future Master was able to escape. After a period trapped in the 1980s, to the point where he spent twenty years trapped as a disembodied mind in his own TARDIS, the future-in-past Master was able to restore his body after a confrontation with the Fifth Doctor.
The Seventh Doctor encountered both of the Masters and helped them get back into the right bodies. The two Masters then stole the Doctor's TARDIS to trap him on a battlecruiser about to crash, before destroying the Cult, planning to use the animaly cage to bend the universe to their will. but the Doctor managed to track them using the Master's own TARDIS, and the Doctor used the Masters' discarded weapons to immobilize the two Masters before using the Cult's equipment to restore the universe as it was, with his only changes being to send both Masters back to their original locations in time and space.
- Main article: The Master (Modern Who)
|“||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 decease. We could save the universe!||„|
|~ The "Victor Magister" Master.|
|“||I am now nearing the end of my twelfth regeneration.||„|
|~ The Thirteenth Master.|
|“||There is some evil in all of us, Doctor – even you. The Valeyard is an amalgamation of the darker sides of your nature, somewhere between your twelfth and final incarnation, and I may say you do not improve with age.||„|
|~ The "Tremas" Master.|
|“||I always dress for the occasion.||„|
|~ The "Bruce" Master|
- 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 (in his thirteenth incarnation) 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 Delgaldo 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 Delgaldo Master regenerate, further contradicting the idea Delgaldo 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 wiht 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.
- Although stories featuring multiple Masters at once has been depicted in other media such as comics and audio adventures, the series 10 two-part finale episodes "World Enough and Time" and "The Doctor Falls" is the first time in the history of the show in which multiple Masters have featured in the series proper. The episode featured the current incarnation Missy (Michelle Gomez) and the Harold Saxon Master (John Simm).