The Machavellian character of The Master, has long been a thorn-in-the-side of the Doctor; and a staple part of the show.
It’s perhaps surprising then, that The Master character, wasn’t actually introduced into the show, until Doctor Who was in it’s Seventh Season – in Terror Of The Autons.
Some fans, like to hypothesise – that the Master character first appeared, in the final Troughton episode – Wargames; under a previous regeneration – but this has never been clarified.
Roger Delgado was a revelation. Playing opposite his longtime friend; Pertwee. The Master gave the Doctor, a recurring enemy of some standing. Dangerously knknowledgeable (being a fellow Time Lord) and completely scheming and ruthless.
The Doctor and The Master had been contemporaries and friends from their Gallifreyan Academy days. Indeed, it was later hinted at – that they might have, even been related!
An unfilmed story – due to Delgado’s untimely death, which was to mark Pertwee’s regeneration and the Master’s exit; would have revealed the Master – was actually a manifestation of the Doctor’s darker side. Something, which was later cannibalised in the Sixth Doctor’s -Valeyard antagonist.
Apart from a brilliantly ruthless mind, the Master was also a gifted impersonator (with a line in life-like rubber masks) and a hypnotist. Which The Master used to recruit other beings, to act out his will. Later on, developing a deadly tissue-compacting device; which left enemies – like shrunken dolls.
The Master even had a more advanced (and Chameleon circuit functioning) Tardis, which regularly blended into the surroundings – to maintain secrecy and cover.
The Master has been played, by 6 different actors between 1971 and 1996. Roger Delgado from 1971-73, Peter Pratt – in 1976, Anthony Beevers – in 1980, Anthony Ainley – 1980-89. Gordon Tipple & Eric Roberts – in 1996.
Season Eight – 1971
Season Nine – 1972
Season Ten – 1972-1973
Season Fourteen – 1976
Season Eighteen – 1980-81
Season Nineteen – 1982
Season Twenty – 1983
Season Twenty-One – 1984
Season Twenty Two – 1985
Season Twenty Six – 1989