- The article details The Master as depicted from "Modern Doctor Who" - which ran from 2005 to present , for information on The Master from the Classic Era of Doctor Who (1963 to 1989) see here.
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The Master is a recurring antagonist in the Doctor Who revival series who is the archenemy and former friend of The Doctor. While still being the same character as the Classic Who versions these variations are vastly different from them. The character appeared as the main antagonist of series three, series eight, series ten (the Saxon incarnation) and series twelve, as well as being the central antagonist of the 2009 specials finale "The End of Time" and a supporting antagonist in series nine.
There have been four actors who have portrayed The Master in Modern Who. Sir Derek Jacobi, John Simm, Michelle Gomez (who also portrayed Madame Satan in The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina) and Sacha Dhawan (who also portrayed Steel Serpent in Marvel's Iron Fist). The younger version of the Master was played by the late William Hughes.
The Master's madness begun at the age of eight 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 continued doing evil until he met the Doctor again when he was already in his Twelfth incarnation.
- Main article: The Master (Classic Who)
- Main article: The Master (Child)
The Master of Callous
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As seen in Big Finish's UNIT story Cyber-Reality: Master of Worlds, the Master battled the Cybermen alongside Kate Stewart and UNIT, eventually returning to "the fray" of the war.
Rage of the Time Lords
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Only the Good
The Master managed to retrieve his TARDIS on Gardezza while posing as the Doctor. Inside, he received a call to return to Gallifrey and left to answer it. Romana and Narvin sent the Master alongside Leela to interrogate Finnian Valentine, and said that they would pardon him for his crimes. during which he discovered Arcking had a power source that could fuel the Time Lords energy banks. On the way back to Gallifrey, the Master expelled Leela into the time vortex and headed to Arcking. Travelling to hospital planet Arcking multiple times, the Master attempted to possess an ancient power, known as the Heart. Here he met the pilot Cole Jarnish, and took him on as a companion.
After manipulating Cole to turn his life into a paradox, the Master travelled to Stamford Bridge in the 1970s, where he located a Time Lord repository and killed Cole. Using Cole's life as a paradox to power it, he took control of the Heavenly Paradigm, wanting to use it to end the War. The plan backfired, and the Master unintentionally caused both the Time Lords and Daleks to win several battles they had once lost. Because of this, he then saw the Dalek Emperor took control of "The Cruciform", the Master, horrified by the intensity of the the war, decided to flee, and remained ignorant of the war's outcome as he used a Chameleon Arch which stored his Time Lord nature and memories in a fob watch and allowed him to become biologically a human baby, in order to disguise himself.
- Main article: The Master (Harold Saxon)
- Main article: The Master (Missy)
- Main article: The Master (O)
- 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
- In the 2007 episode "The Sound of the Drums", the Tenth Doctor's companion Martha Jones asks him if the Master is an evil brother of his, in which the Doctor replies she has watched too much TV.
- The Master is the first Time Lord to change gender via regeneration on screen. However the previous episode 'The Doctor's Wife' mentioned a Time-Lord named The Corsair who was also said to have done this.
- 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).
- In Series 10, the John Simm's Master now sports a goatee similar to that of Roger Delgado and Anthony Ainley's incarnations.
- The Harold Saxon (John Simm) Master is seen as one of the most vile Masters.