[Describing the Doctor]”Do you know? He has an excellent brain, that man ……! Though a little pedestrian! But oh dear, what a bore the fellow is!” The Master
Like the Doctor….only darker
The Master was the next logical step up from the Meddling Monk, who had appeared in the First Doctor serial The Time Meddler – 1965 and the War Chief from The War Games.
The Meddling Monk himself – was a bumbling, time travelling opportunist; who was attempting to alter Earth history for his own ends.
The Master, on the other hand; was more ruthless, calculating and cunning – and every much the Doctor’s contemporary. They had both studied at the same Time Lord academy together and were both fugitive Time Lords.
However, that’s were the similarities ended, as the Doctor was looking for a quiet life. The Master on the other hand, was looking for total power – in one form or another, with himself at the centre – as absolute ruler. He was happy to use others as pawns in his diabolical schemes and sacrifice them to reach his goals.
He did, however – hold a begrudging respect for the Doctor (as the Doctor did for him) and on the few times the two agreed to work together, (to get each out of a pickle!) they bounced off each other brilliantly.
The Master also had a Tardis, (like the Doctor) but it was a fully functioning MK-II model, with a working Chameleon circuit; which allowed concealment within any environment it landed in.
The Master firdt official appearance was during the Third Doctor’s reign, in Terror Of The Autons – 1971, played by Rodger Delgado. However, some fans have linked the Master character (in a previous regeneration) with the War Chief from The War Games – 1969.
Following Terror of the Autons, the Master became very much a thorn in the Doctor’s side and one of the most featured – and most popular Who villains.
He appeared in 8 of the Third Doctor’s first 20 episodes and was a regular fixture right throughout season 8, underpinning the season’s story arc in The Mind of Evil, The Claws of Axos, Colony In Space and The Daemons .
[When asked how to survive a Nuclear explosion] “….Oh nothing very much…. I suppose you can take the normal precautions against a nuclear blast, like sticky tape on the windows and that sort of thing!” The Master
The Master would usually be revealed aiding and abetting an Alien race, for his own undisclosed purposes : Nestene, Daleks, Axxonss, Daemons, Seadevils. Usually manipulating and abandoning them to their respective fates; when the tide turned.
In Colony In Space – 1971 the Master masqueraded as an Adjudicator between warring Colonists and a Mining Corporation, on the planet Uxarieus. What he Master was looking for, was information on a buried Doomsday Weapon.
In The Time Monster, the Master summoned the Atlantian-worshipped god of destruction ; known as Kronos. The Master intended to use Kronos to mastermind his domination of all space and time but was unable to control the winged god and ended up destroying Atlantis.
Frontier In Space – 1973, was the Delgado Master’s last Who appearance, attempting to stoke up a war between Humans and Draconians, involving the Daleks – (Delgado died shortly after).
The Master character did not then figure again, until the Fourth Doctor’s reign. He did however, end Frontier In Space on something of a cliffhanger; by accidentally shooting the Third Doctor – in the head and leaving him for dead.
An unfilmed story – due to Delgado’s untimely death; which was to mark the exit of the Master and Pertwee’s regeneration. Would have revealed, that the Master was actually a manifestation of the Doctor’s darker side. Something later wrapped up into the Sixth Doctor – Valeyard character.
There was a problem, with retiring the Master character though – after Delgado’s death. He was too brilliant a prospect – to relegate to Who history. Due to the shared heritage with the Doctor and the ability to equal and even surpass the Doctor – this made the Master – the perfect foil.
“One must rule or serve. That is the basic law of life! Why do you hesitate? Surely it’s not loyalty to the Time Lords, who exiled you to one insignificant planet?” The Master
However, who could follow in Delgado’s footsteps? In The Deadly Assassin, the decision was made to bring the Master back but with a difference. His 13th and final body was dying but instead of accepting his Timelord fate, he was preserving his body – unnaturally; until it began decaying.
It worked around the Delgado problem, (somewhat) and this time the Master was behind a koo d’tau on the Gallifreyan High Council. Attempting to open the Eye Of Harmony and renew his body; whilst destroying all of the Time Lords.
The Master had since acquired tissue shrinking technology, for his sonic screwdriver and his discarded victims were usually shrunken to doll-size and their lifeless bodies stashed somewhere; usually for the Doctor – to find later.
The (Corpse) Master returned again, in the The Keeper of Traken – 1981. This time, using his Tardisto impersonate a worshipped alien-statue – on the planet Traken. The Master was attempting to harness Trakenite energy, (known as the Source) – to renew his regeneration cycle.
The Fourth Doctor was able to stop this scheme. However, the Master was able to secure a new temporary body; a Trakenite Scientist called Tremas – by melding his mind to the unfortunate victim. The new Master – played by Anthony Ainley; was re-invigorated enough in his new body; to set out to destroy the Doctor – once and for all.
“You killed my father? [Tremas]” Nyssa
But his body remains useful!” Master
In Logopolis – 1981 , the Fourth Doctor was visiting the Logopolitans, to use their advanced mathematical equations to repair his own Tardis Chamelion circut. Whilst the Doctor was busy with this, the Master struck again.
Using his tissue compactor to kill the Logopolitans – one by one; the resulting gap, left the Universe about to collapse in on itself (the Logopolitan’s mathematics balanced the Universe out – seemingly).
The Doctor returned to Earth, in a desperate attempt to use a deep space Satellite tracking dish, to close up a black hole, which was beginning destroying the Universe.
The Master followed and in the ensuing fight, on top the Satellite relay tower, the Fourth Doctor plunged to his death; where he was forced to regenerate into the Fifth Doctor. The Master looked on and then promptly escaped in his Tardis.
The new Fifth Doctor, suffering from serious post-regeneration stress disorder; took the Tardis to Castrovalva inCastrovalva – 1981, a planet of eternal peace and quiet – in an attempt to rest.
Castrovalva was another Master created 4D illusion; something the Master had learned from the doomed Logopolitans and the Doctor was lucky to escape being trapped in a temperal time loop, as the illusion crumbled around him and the Master.
The Master was lucky to escape from Castrovalva aswell and was bounced back into Earth prehistoric times in Time-Flight – 1982, his Tardis damaged.
The Doctor then sent the Master’s damaged Tardis on a one way trip to planet Xeriphas. It was here that the Master acquired Kamelion, a shape changing robot from an earlier invasion.
The Master then turned up in The King’s Demons – 1983, impersonating a French Knight called “Gilles De Estram” (Master) and using Kamelion’s shape changing abilities to impersonate King John. King John was then used to meddle in the signing of the Magna Carta.
The Fifth Doctor was able to wrestle Kamelion away from the Master after a telepathic battle and steal the robot away in his Tardis. Leaving the Master to escape, in his own iron maiden impersonating Tardis.
The Master was then summoned by the Time Lords in Five Doctor’s – 20th Anniversary Special – 1983 to go into the “Games Of Rassilon” – in the “Death Zone” and retrieve 4 incarnations of the Doctor. In return for saving the Doctor, the Timelord’s promised the Master a new set of Regenerations, something he couldn’t turn down – as he was still using the body of Tremas.
The Doctors had all been taken out of time and trapped in the Death Zone to do battle with a host of monsters. The end game, was surviving long enough to reach the Tower of Rasillon in the centre and gain the prize of immortality.
On entering the Death Zone, the Master was unable to persuade the third and fifth incarnation’s that he was there to aid them. Instead, he sidelined himself with the Cybermen – after being captured by them. Later double crossing and killing them all, by murdering them all in the Tower Of Rassilon – on an electrified floor trap.
The Master next appeared in Planet of Fire – 1984 sporting a black Tardis interior and uber-cool Delgado-style suit. Attempting to reconnect his mind with Kamelion (the shape changing robot) to help him, after a disasterous experiment with his tissue compactor shrank him and his Tardis to “Borrower” size.
With the Fifth Doctor’s interference, Kamelion was destroyed and the Master apparently burned or shrank out of existence; whilst trying to harness the Numismaton gas in a chamber.
The Master then returned again in The Mark Of The Rani, aiding the female renegade Time Lord – the Rani; to subdue an 18th Century Earth mining-village.
The Sixth Doctor was able to booby trap the Rani’s Tardis, whilst the Master and the Rani were busy bickering with each other. This sent it hurtling forward in time, at a great rate of knots, as a caged T-Rex specimen began to grow.
The Master returned again, wreaking havoc on the Timelord High Council in Trial Of A Timelord – 1986 by stealing control of the Timelord Matrix. This time, the Master wasn’t particularly out to get the Doctor, namely the Valeyard – the Doctor’s evil alter ego who he feared was more ruthless – than even him.
The Master stole control of the Matrix and plugged it into his own Tardis – the feedback overwhelmed the Master, causing time-and-space to slow to a near standstill. Afterward, the Doctor left the Master in the capable hands of the Timelords, to be punished.
The Master then appeared in the Seventh Doctor’s amd final serial called Survival – 1989. This serial was notable on two counts; it was Anthony Ainley’s last original series appearance and the very last broadcast episode of the original series of Doctor Who – before the show was axed.
The Master, having been trapped on an alien world populated by human-like cheetah’s, was slowly turning into one himself after being exposed to the strange planet’s atmosphere.
He used his resourcefulness to summon the Seventh Doctor through a time portal on Earth, for a final showdown.
“You are all animal now! You’re so weak, your will devoured!… a stronger mind will hold on to itself longer. A will as strong as mine… how much longer? If I am to suffer this degradation, this humiliation, if I am to become an animal then like an animal I will destroy you, Doctor! I will…. Hunt you, trap you, and destroy you. Probably my favourite of all!” The Master
As the planet began to break up around them, the Doctor and the Master fought for survival. The Doctor was able to escape the Cheetah world, leaving the Master to his fate.
The last appearance of the Master character played by Gordon Tipple and Eric Roberts, was in Doctor Who : The TV Movie – 1996. This was something of a confused twisting of the Doctor Who lore.
Judged by the Dalek’s on Skaro, the Master was sentenced to death and exterminated. His last request was for the Seventh Doctor to pop by and pick up his ashes and return them to Gallifrey.
Whilst transporting them, the master escaped the casket as an energy being in the shape of a snake and forced the Tardis to crashland in San Francisco.
The Seventh Doctor was then mortally wounded and regenerated into the Eighth Doctor, whilst the Snake possessed one of the Paramedics, that come to his aide and took over his body.
The Master then gained entry to the Doctor’s Tardis and attempted to open the Tardis’ central power source, known as the “Eye Of Harmony”.
The Eighth Doctor returned and in the struggle that followed, the Master fell into the Eye Of Harmony and was seemingly destroyed.
And that marked the end of the original series Master. There were hints that he and the Doctor had much previous history. The Master talked a lot of their times at the Academy, together – during their many meetings.
Indeed, in Planet of Fire, as the Master burned in the Numismaton fire, he was about to suggest that the Doctor and he might have even been related! Although, this could have been a reference to their shared Time Lord parentage.
But the Master was always a constant thorn in the Doctor’s side and always turned up like a bad penny – with another diabolical scheme to beat the last one.
The Master always tryed to tempt the Doctor to join in with his plans. One can imagine that sometimes the Doctor may have been tempted, even if it was only somewhat fleetingly. Especially, when the scheme was against the Time Lords themselves; who both the Doctor and the Master were on the run from and had initallly – had little love for.
Introducing the Master into the show, was a ‘master’ stroke. Simply because, he could out-think and out-manoveur the Doctor; which made him dangerous and interesting – as an opponent, to watch.
Sometimes, the Doctor could be arrogantly derogatory about lesser races but he couldn’t be about the Master, as in the end – they were much the same; only separated by a thin line of brilliance/insanity.
“[Anthony Ainley on playing the Master]
“It is an added hazard doing parts somebody else has done. The obvious risk is that you may be compared, thought not to be as good. I don’t think I was ever in real trepidation because the Master is such a good part and such a joy to do.”
Season Eight – 1971
Season Nine – 1972
Season Ten – 1972-1973
Frontier In Space(Delgado final appearance)🔵🔵🔵⚪⚪
Season Fourteen – 1976
The Deadly Assassin(Peter Pratt appearance)⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Season Eighteen – 1980-81
Season Nineteen – 1982
Season Twenty – 1983
Season Twenty-One – 1984
Planet of Fire🔵🔵🔵🔵⚪
Season Twenty Two – 1985
The Mark Of The Rani🔵🔵🔵🔵⚪
Season Twenty Six – 1989
Survival(Anthony Ainley final appearance)🔴⚪⚪⚪⚪