The Master

The Master, much like the Daleks and the Cybermen, is a recurring enemy of the Doctor throughout the Doctor Who series, appearing in both the Classic and Revived episodes. The Master is a Time Lord from Gallifrey and used to be friends with the Doctor in early childhood. At the age of eight, the Master was taken to the gap in space and time known as the Untempered Schism as part of a Time Lord Initiation ceremony. It is said that this sent him mad and resulted in his malicious intent seen in episodes. It was during this glimpse at the Untempered Schism that the sound of drums, a four beat pattern, was planted into the Master’s head by the High Council of Gallifrey to free them from the Time Lock that would surround the Time War in later life. The Master is a would-be ruler of the universe, wishing to become the “master of all matter”, though he also wishes to kill or harm the Doctor, as the two are lifelong enemies. The Master first appeared in Terror of the Autons (Classic series) in his attempts to control the universe before being captured in The Daemons (Classic series).

The Master from the Classic Series in his first form

The Master escaped imprisonment and often used disguises and brainwashing techniques to operate normally within a society while setting up his intricate and evil plans, occasionally using other species to assist him. The Master disappeared briefly at the end of Frontier in Space (Classic series) after shooting the Doctor. The Master returned in The Deadly Assassin (Classic series), nearing the end of his thirteenth and final regeneration. The Master is attempting to cling onto life by stealing the symbols of the office of President of the Council of Time Lords, the artefacts of Rassilon. The process would have destroyed Gallifrey had the Doctor not stopped him, resulting in the Master having to choose a different path to staying alive.

The Master from the Classic Series in his Traken form

The Master is next seen in The Keeper of Traken (Classic series) and succeeds in extending his life by taking over the body of a Trakenite Scientist, Tremas. The process overwrote Tremas’s mind. The Master was seen frequently throughout the rest of the series on and off, attempting to further extend his life through his preferable route of gaining more regenerations. In The Five Doctors (Classic series), the Time Lords offer the Master a new set of regenerations in exchange for his help. In Survival (Classic series), the Master was trapped upon on the planet of the Cheetah People and been affected by the planet’s influence. This influence drove its inhabitants to savagery. While attempting to escape the planet, the Master tries to kill the Doctor, but this plan left him trapped on the planet as it was destroyed.

The Master from the Classic Series in the 1996 Television Movie

The Master then reappeared in the 1996 Television Movie (Classic series). On Skaro, under a Time Lord-Dalek treaty, the Master was executed for “evil crimes” by the Daleks. His last request was that the Doctor returned his remains to Gallifrey. The Doctor does so, but the Master survived the execution as a snake-like entity and causes the Doctor’s TARDIS to crash land in San Francisco on New Year’s Eve, 1996. Due to the morphant form being unsustainable, the Master took the body of human ambulance driver, Bruce, to carry out his latest plan to extend his life. The Master attempted to steal the last of the Doctor’s regenerations, however was defeated and he fell into the Eye of Harmony within the TARDIS.

The Master hiding as a human

The Master returned in Series 3 (Utopia, The Sound of Drums, Last of the Time Lords (Series 3 : Episodes 11, 12 and 13)), originally hiding in human form at the end of the universe to escape fighting in the Time War that killed every Time Lord and destroyed Gallifrey. It is revealed that the Time Lords resurrected the Master to use him as a weapon in the Time War, but following the Dalek takeover of the Cruciform, the Master fled to the end of the universe and used a chameleon arch to hide. The Master returned to his body as an aging scientist but was shot by his assistant, Chantho, after he fatally wounded her. The Master regenerates inside the Doctor’s TARDIS before stealing it and returning to Earth. In his plan for universal domination, the Master became Prime Minister of England as Harold Saxon, using his mind control abilities through the Archangle network he created. The Master recruits the Toclafane, creatures made from the humans that were supposed to be going to Utopia, as his allies, and after imprisoning the Doctor and aging him, orders them to kill ten percent of the Earth population. A year in an alternate time line sees the Master take control of Earth, but is thwarted when the people of Earth revive the Doctor, and takes him into custody while Captain Jack Harkness destroys the paradox machine built using the Doctor’s TARDIS, reversing time and removing the year the Master ruled from history. The Master was about to be taken prisoner inside the Doctor’s TARDIS but was shot by Lucy Saxon before such an exchange could take place. The Master refused to regenerate, and as this emotionally hurt the Doctor, he viewed this as a victory. The Master’s body was burnt on a pyre by the Doctor.

The Master after his regeneration in Utopia (Series 3 : Episode 11)

The Master returned again in his same body in The End of Time (part 1), however his resurrection was sabotaged by Lucy Saxon and results in the Master having a failing, undead body with a ravenous hunger for meat, including humans. He is also able to manipulate electricity and move with phenomenal agility and jump large distances. While scavenging in London, the Master is captured by Joshua Naismith to help repair the Immortality Gate. The Master sabotages the device and changes the DNA of every human being to resemble him and creating a “Master race”. The Master finally finds the reason for the drum beat inside his head as the signal planted by Rassilon. The Master succeeds in pulling the Time Lords out of the Time War, and planned to overwrite their DNA as he had to the humans. Rassilon stops this and reveals that the Master was just a pawn in his greater plan to destroy the universe and evolve the Time Lords to a higher plane of existence. The Master attacks Rassilon in an act of revenge for having manipulated him all his life and is sucked back into the Time War with the rest of the Time Lords.

The Faces of the Master



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