I’m going to confess to you right now, that I love the Master. Plain and simple. He’s a fantastic creation and any story he’s in sparkles with intensity. At one point he was rumoured to be the Doctor’s brother but what we ended up with was so much better. Because really, when all is said and done, he’s simply the Doctor’s best mate.
How many times have we wound up our best friend in real life? Joked at their expense, laughed when they’ve fallen over in a drunken state, chortled when they’ve unsuccessfully tried to chat up a potential conquest at a bar? And then afterwards we’ve consoled them by giving them a distraction to take their mind off things. The Master has done all of the aforementioned.
He’s tried to end the lives of so many earthlings just to see the look on the Doctor’s face. He’s scoffed at the Doctor losing friends. He’s mocked him for growing old and he’s locked him in a cage whilst slapping him about a bit. Granted, there’s slight element of sociopathic tendencies – not to mention psychopathic – that we down-to-earth people wouldn’t trust but when the Doctor has reached his lowest, the Master will offer him a problem to put right. Putting the Axons into a time loop, stopping the Daleks from starting a galactic war, making sure the Magna Carta is signed or reversing time so that the Earth is not under tyrannical rule.
The last time we saw the Master, he realised he had taken things too far and so helped the Doctor to send Rassilon and his fellows back into the Time War. The Doctor was safe, the Master had sacrificed himself. Just the kind of thing a best friend should do.
Recently, rumours have started up that Benedict Cumberbatch, the leading man from Steven Moffat’s other successful BBC TV series, would be donning the nefarious black cape to resurrect the Master. The actor that was at one time in consideration to play the role of the Eleventh Doctor may now play his polar opposite.
I say bring it on. Cumberbatch would be brilliant, he would be cold, he would be calculating and above all he would embody the role of the Master. Since Matt Smith was going to try and play his best friend in Sherlock by auditioning for the part of Doctor Watson it seems ironic that these two should finally get to play at being friends in an altogether different way.
And what about including this new Master in the 50th anniversary? If the Doctor is going to have a massive party, it only seems right to invite his bosom buddy. But don’t stop at Cumberbatch; bring back all the surviving Masters to have a pop at the Doc! We’re all so concerned about seeing the Doctor’s previous incarnations at his birthday, what about seeing multiple Masters?
Let’s get Geoffrey Beevers, Gordon Tipple, Eric Roberts, Sir Derek Jacobi and John Simm to meet up with Cumberbatch for them to arrange the ultimate hootenanny! Whilst we’re at it, Tom Baker has always fancied a pop at coming back as the Master, so let’s give him a chance to act as a possessed Doctor, what a great way to bring him back to the series!
Whether Benedict Cumberbatch or Steve John Shepherd (seriously, that fella looks like a psychopath) or someone else gets to play the Seventh Master isn’t important. All that matters is that the Doctor’s oldest and best friend in the whole Universe makes it to his landmark birthday.
After all, what are friends for?