Welcome to the villain post. Each week we’ll be taking a look through the history of villains throughout the years of Doctor Who. Some will be better known than others. We start with one of my personal favourite villains, The Master.
When coming up with the idea of The Master the creative team wanted a Moriarty to the Doctor’s Holmes. The Master became the Doctor’s arch nemesis (well, he was his arch nemesis until The End of Time but I’ll talk about that more when we get there). They are similar as they are both Time Lords and both have names that reference academic degrees but their personalities and goals are very different.
The Master was first played by Roger Delgado on Barry Lett's recommendation. Although it was really the combined efforts of Lett's and Terrance Dicks who created him. He first appeared in Terror of the Autons facing the Third Doctor and in his first season appeared in every adventure. He manipulate, sneaked around and always got away until his capture in The Dæmons but he escaped in The Sea Devils. Delgado’s Master was suave, charming, occasionally a joker and a sociopath. He used disguises at times and brainwashed people. The Master used a weapon known as the Tissue Compression Eliminator. It compressed the targets body until life functions ceased, leaving them as doll like corpses. The Master also tended to work with other villains of the Doctor to achieve his own personal gain. The final scene of Delgado’s was in Frontier in Space. The Master shot at the Doctor before getting away again scot free.
The next time the Master appeared was in The Deadly Assassin. Played by Peter Pratt under a heavy amount of make-up this Master resembled a walking corpse. The Master was coming to the end of his thirteenth life, his final regeneration. This Master was much darker than his previous version due to this situation. He tried to restore his full life by using the artefacts of Rassilon. However, the Doctor stopped him because the restoration process would have destroyed Gallifrey. After this episode, the Master once again left the series.
The Master returned in The Keeper of Traken. He was played by Geoffrey Beevers with slightly different makeup but was supposed to be the same incarnation as Pratt. This Master was successful in restoring his body by taking over the body of the Trakenite Tremas played by Anthony Ainley, who then went on to play the new Master.
Ainley’s Master, despite his new body still strove for a new regeneration cycle (he was granted this wish in The Five Doctor’s when the Time Lord Council needed his assistance). Ainley’s Master was the one to kill the Fourth Doctor in Logopolis and went on to terrorise the Fifth Doctor straight after in Castrovalva. Ainley’s Master like Delgado used disguises on many occasions. Notable disguises included The Portreeve, Kalid and Sir Gilles Estram. Ainley’s Master was last seen in Survival, the last story of the original series. He was more restrained this time than his previous manic appearances. He was trapped on the planet of the Cheetah People and after a failed attempt at killing the Seventh Doctor he was trapped on the planet and it was destroyed.
Just as a warning. This next part is about the TV Movie so be warned of my own opinions coming through at this point. Okay, so the Master returned played by Gordon Tipple in the TV Movie (I guess he got off the planet that got destroyed then) and was executed by the Daleks for evil crimes, which really makes no sense as the Daleks shouldn’t really care about evil crimes. Don’t they have better things to be doing? Ah well! He transformed into a snake like entity thing which also makes no sense and it is never explained why he could do that (I know that they try to explain it in other material but it’s still really weird). This snake entity slithers into the TARDIS console and made the Doctor crash land the TARDIS in San Francisco. He got into the TARDIS console, had power over it and decides on San Francisco? Okay..... moving on. Apparently the snake entity was unstable and possessed a guy named Bruce (played by Eric Roberts) who then proceeded to dress up as an obvious villain and get super powers such as acid bile. He also had the Master’s usual hypnotism skills. The Master attempted to access the link to the Eye of Harmony in the Doctor's TARDIS but got sucked into it and was left for dead just like Doctor Who itself. Okay, rant over.
I started watching Who in 2005 like a lot of people but I went and watched the classics. Already watching the Master I naturally got super excited when he came back for series three of new Who and I love these episodes a lot. The Master was resurrected by the Time Lords. The Master was to serve as the ultimate front line soldier but fled the war in fear when the Dalek Emperor took over The Cruciform. The Master transformed into a human using a Chameleon Arch and went to the end of the universe using the name Professor Yana (played by Derek Jacobi). Plagued by incessant drumming in his head and hearing Time Lord related words caused Yana to recall his Time Lord essence. Yana opened the fob watch concealing his Time Lord form. Then he became the Master once more and The Face of Boe’s prophecy to the Doctor “You Are Not Alone” came true. Yana Master was shot and had to regenerate, turning into John Simm. He stole the Doctor's TARDIS but the Doctor locked the ships co-ordinates via his sonic screwdriver so it could only travel between where they were and present day Earth.
So Mr Simm became Mr Saxon. working through the government and becoming Prime Minister. VOTE SAXON, VOTE SAXON, VOTE SAXON, VOTE SAXON, VOTE SAXON, VOTE SAXON, VOTE SAXON, VOTE SAXON, VOTE SAXON, VOTE SAXON, VOTE SAXON, VOTE SAXON, VOTE SAXON, VOTE SAXON. Ahem, sorry about that. I don’t know what came over me. Mr Saxon was quite, erm, hypnotic and I liked his policies. Don’t really remember them now but they were really good!!
Okay. Now let’s keep going. The Doctor, Captain Jack and Martha returned to present day Earth and found that the Master was Prime Minister. The Doctor was not very happy about this. The Master took over the world. Made floating orbs out of the people at the end of time and cannibalised the TARDIS. The Doctor was able to reverse the chaos but the Master was shot by his “wife” and he decided not to regenerate. Seriously, how many times does this guy get left to die?
The Master returned again in The End of Time, still as John Simm. He was brought back to life by the power of prison guards, his wife’s lipstick, some blue gloop, a ring and a piece of tissue. He gained electric powers and an eating disorder as displayed here.
He created The Master Race (turning humans into duplicates of himself) with a big machine and used the White Point Star the Time Lords despatched from Gallifrey to bring it out from within the time lock. But then when the Time Lords arrived they changed The Master Race back straight away. The Master got mad because he found out the Time Lords had manipulated him by installing the drumming in his head and ended up helping the Doctor. He used energy blasts from his hands to blast them back into the Time War (which is out of character for him as the Master was always more of a coward) going back into the Time War with them at the close of the story. I suppose he’s been left for dead once again. I hope you enjoyed my first villain post and I hope that there will be many more.