First appearing to menace him in 1971’s ‘Terror of the Autons’, the Doctor’s best friend turned best enemy is seemingly impossible to kill and keeps coming back for more.
With a penchant for disguises and elaborate schemes, the villainous Time Lord often used to reel the Doctor in over an intimal episode, with a dramatic reveal for the cliff-hanger. The trick still works as Steven Moffat employed it once again, albeit with a gender-switching twist, for the end of last year’s ‘Dark Water’.
Here are five of the most bonkers Master plans…
“Sharaz, sharaz tumal. Balor, balor. Sharaz, sharaz tumal balor balor. All things come to their appointed end soon. Soon.”
This not particularly fondly remembered tale which ended Peter Davison’s first season found the Master disguised as a random oriental stereotype named Kalid, stranded on prehistoric Earth.
Trapped with a damaged TARDIS, his rescue plan involved the creation of an exponential time contour to draw a Concorde back from the 1980s. Using its hypnotised crew as a slave workforce, he then attempted to gain access to an alien power source (also on a crashed ship).
Of course, he did not bank on the Doctor arriving in a second time travelling Concorde and disrupting his plans, plus the alien power source turned out to be gestalt entity with a split personality. Unlucky.
‘The Time Monster’
“Kronos! I, the Master, welcome you! I, the Master, bid you do my will! I command you to destroy these men! Obey me! I command you! I order you to obey! ”
Clearly learning nothing from his attempt to gain power from the Azal in ‘The Daemons’, the Master’s plan involved an attempt to enslave the power of a Chronovore, a god-like being which feeds on time.
Operating under the pseudonym Professor Thascalos, he invented a machine called TOMTIT (really) to break down solid objects and transmit them as light waves, using it as a sort of time teleport.
Attracting the Chronovore’s attention, and causing the destruction of Atlantis along the way, he was once again found wanting in a reckoning by a superior creature. Luckily, the Doctor begged for clemency and the Master escaped to fight another day.
‘The End of Time’
“The human race was always your favourite, Doctor. But now, there is no human race. There is only the Master race!”
Flying by the seat of his pants, and in fairness he had just been resurrected by a distinctly dodgy potion, the Master’s plan for planet Earth involved seemed mainly to exist to spite the Doctor.
Seizing the chance while fixing the Immortality Gate, a misused alien medical device, he opted not to just dominate the population of the Earth but to imprint his genetic template on every person on the planet – creating a race in his own image.
Where he was going next with this plan rather gets overtaken by other events, namely the return of Gallifrey and Timothy Dalton’s baddass Rasillon – who transpires to be the source of the Master’s drumming madness all these years.
‘The King’s Demons’
“With Kamelion’s unique ability at my command, it’s only a matter of time before I undermine the key civilisations of the universe. Chaos will reign, and I shall be its emperor.”
Much more in the time-meddling league than his usual plans, the scheme in ‘The Kings Demons’ seemed set to reorganise British history books rather than anything else.
The Master’s plan threatened to disrupt the signing of the Magna Carta and the foundations of Parliamentary democracy by having his new toy, the shape-shifting android Kamelion, impersonate King John.
As the Doctor says this is “Small time villainy” but to be fair, it was only a two-parter and he did suggest it was a bit of a trial run as the overall plan was to put the universe into chaos and then rule it… however that works.
‘Doctor Who: The Movie’
“I’ve wasted all my lives because of you, Doctor, and I will be rid of you!”
Though we can’t be sure, it seems his plan to steal the Doctor’s remaining regenerations may have hinged on a classic ‘fake your own death’ scenario.
Exterminated for his crimes by some pre-pubescent sounding Daleks, he survives as a zombie snake. It all seems a bit of a risk, but luckily on arrival in San Francisco in 1999 the Doctor is shot and an ambulance is called. The Master is then able to take over the body of its driver in the short term.
As part of his plan, he opens the Eye of Harmony in the Doctor’s TARDIS and it threatens to suck the whole planet through. Like much of the story, it is an entertaining ride despite not making a great deal of sense… but when has that ever stopped the Master? (Cultbox)