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I only need two things. Your submission and your obedience to MY WILL!
~ The Master

The Master is the overall main antagonist of the Doctor Who franchise. He is a member of the Time Lord race and is the childhood friend turned archenemy of the Doctor. An insane megalomaniac, the Master's choice of name comes from his ultimate ambition, to conquer and reign supreme over the universe.

The Master has been portrayed by various actors, originally by the late Roger Delgado followed by the late Peter Pratt, Geoffrey Beevers (in the same incarnation), the late Anthony Ainley, Gordon Tipple (in the same incarination), Eric Roberts, Derek Jacobi, John Simm, Michelle Gomez as a female incarnation known as Missy (short for Mistress), and most recently Sacha Dhawan.

The late William Hughes also played a child version of the Master in flashbacks shown in the third series. Many voice actors have also voiced The Master in the Big Finish audio stories (i.e Alex Maqueen, Derek Jacobi and others).

Variations

  • Classic Who Master - The Master from the 1963-1989; 1996 series.
  • Modern Who Master - The Master from the 2005 revival show.
    • "Child" Incarnation - The 16th incarnation of the Master who appears in the Eleventh Doctor's comic story, and temporarily ally to the War Doctor.
    • "Saxon" Incarnation - The Master from the revival show portrayed by John Simm; the 18th incarnation.
    • "O" Incarnation - The Master from the revival show portrayed by Sacha Dhawan; an incarnation that has yet to be numbered.

Personality

The Master is deeply megalomaniacal and shows signs of psychopathic behavior as his greatest fear in the universe is being outdone by the Doctor - leading him to becoming obsessed with ruining everything the Doctor stands for. This has served to make the Master one of the Doctor's greatest and most recurring opponents and also the one that has caused the most emotional pain to the Doctor during the decades long feud between the two characters. Like every Time Lord, the Master changes his looks and personality slightly every time he regenerates to escape death. The Master is also extremely narcissistic - he seldom, if at all, did anything for others but himself, and heralded himself constantly. He is also extremely intelligent in terms of science, manipulation, technology, strategy and negotiation: his only intellectual rival is, of course, the Doctor.

Is "Koschei" their true name?

The 1997 novel The Dark Path shows the Second Doctor in one of his first encounters with the Master since leaving Gallifrey. Throughout the story, the Master is only called by the pseudonym "Koschei". In Russian folklore, Koschei (rus.Коще́й or Коще́й Бессме́ртный, "Koschei The Deathless") is a villain who hides his soul in an obscure location under many layers of protection so that he can never die.

Though the Second Doctor does not recognise Koschei by that name in The Dark Path, and the novel even goes so far as to state that the Master has only just begun calling himself Koschei, later stories like Divided Loyalties and The Face of the Enemy reuse the name in ways that suggest it is the true name of the Master. The 2018 short story Lords and Masters casts this theory into doubt, however, as Missy states that her real name contains thirty-two letters.

The comic Flashback was written with the intent that Magnus, an old friend of Theta Sigma who seems to be growing more and more corrupted, was an early incarnation of the Master. However, the comic did not explicitly confirm Magnus's identity, and later sources went on to use "Magnus" as a name for the War Chief, although the Master and War Chief are sometimes thought to be one and the same.

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