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Published on November 16th, 2004 | by Christian Cawley

Terrible Times – The Mischievous Master

Welcome to the first in a series of investigations into the history of 20th century earth. During this module, I will be demonstrating to you, the student, how the events of this key period in history lead to man’s first steps into the galaxy. We will be looking at several key events and profiling the main players – and we’ll be starting with a look at the criminal mastermind known as the Master.

While Europe recovered from two world wars, the Master arrived. Described as a rotter of the first degree, this mischief probably originates from the hidden planet at the centre of the Universe. You’ll notice I said “originates”…the Master is a character who has popped up constantly throughout the last 1000 years of Earth history. While some have speculated that the name “Master” is given to the head of this particular criminal syndicate, your lecturer has a different theory. I believe that the Master is one of the mythical Lords of Time; these beings are able to live for many years and regenerate their bodies prior to death. You might have heard of them. Of course, this would mean that the hidden planet, visible by its distortion of light, can only be Gallifrey, the home of the Lords of Time.

So, why “Master”? What did he do to give himself this honorary title? We simply do not know. However, what we do know is that this man committed heinous crimes against humanity, dastardly deeds to further his own quest for power. For instance, he unleashed a terrible force upon both the mythical land of Atlantis, and the England region of Europe. He aided an invasion by the Nestene consciousness (plastic manipulating alien gestalt) and helped an ancient race of amphibious reptile bipeds to attack naval targets. But was it just mischief? Was the Master just bored, trapped as he seemed to be for a time on Earth with nothing to do but antagonize? Certainly, it would seem that he’s an extremely intelligent being, yet the soldiers of the 20th century were often able to outwit him and even incarcerate him at one point. On another occasion, the tricksy Time Lord even unleashed an ancient god on a village of 75 occupants! Help from another extraterrestrial source has been suggested in other organs, however this idea is laughable; if this were the case, Earth was overrun with aliens some 75 years before first contact!

It has been suggested in earlier organs that the Master had a charm about him; he was able to talk people into doing anything for him. This of course is some gift – especially if you tour a planet for 500 years stirring up trouble! Returning to the point about his incarceration, however, naval records indicate that a criminal known as the Master was imprisoned for 6 months in an island facility. Knowing that the Master was able to bring about bizarre changes in some of the people he encountered – a Colonel Trenchard, governor of the facility, was said in medical records to have become “worrisome yet happy”. Such a strange diagnosis in your lecturers mind can only refer to hypnosis – and what better way to hold a master hypnotist than an island prison?

Further to these crimes, a passenger jet which vanished for several hours in the early 1980s was also attributed to the Master’s meddling, as was an invasion of a cat-like race that has since become extinct. He is believed to have involved himself with another race of homeless aliens in the mid 1990s and at almost exactly the same time is has been recorded as being on the planet Sarn. This information was uncovered just very recently by human scholars on the planet Sarn, who related to your lecturer evidence that some accident had befallen the Master, leaving him the size of a shoe!

More worryingly, however, is this mans relationship with humanity’s sworn enemies, the Daleks. More recently, in the mid 26th century, he masterminded a plot which brought Earth and her allies Draconia almost to full-scale war; this was a plot which would have allowed his employers, the Daleks, to take control of the Galaxy. One can only suppose that the Master gets bored easily by his ventures, as again this operation was easily overcome at a late stage. Perhaps he just likes a challenge, or enjoys the thrill knowing that he has such intelligence, such power that he in reality is calling the shots and not his apparently more powerful allies such as the Autons or the Daleks?

It was in researching this period that your lecturer discovered some more interesting detail on this character. Could it have been, perhaps, that the Master was so called because of his ability with disguise? To have successfully formulated a war, or even to have got extremely close to instigating one, the Daleks and their immortal ally would have had to be in contact with at least one party on a political level. Where better for a charming, alien, Master of disguise to work his magic? Although there is no evidence here, there are suggestions in other cases concerning him (notably the destruction of the Christian church at Devil’s End, England) that he was able to seamlessly adopt new identities whenever the need arose.

Whatever this mans motivation, it certainly seems to be more than just the acquisition of power, or revenge. Looking back through history at this long career it would seem to be more than survival too…

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About the Author

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A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.



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