Doctor Who News Could Kenneth Branagh play The Master?

Published on July 20th, 2013 | by Andrew Reynolds

Could Branagh Be The Master?

When not being this generation’s Laurence Olivier, dazzling audiences of both stage and screen with his adaptations of Shakespeare’s finest plays, he can be found adding dutch angles to Marvel’s Thor and now, it seems like he’d like to try his hand at being a Doctor Who villain.

Could Kenneth Branagh play The Master?

Renowned Shakespearian actor and former Thor wrangler Kenneth Branagh was asked by fans gathered for his live Q&A over at The Guardian whether or not he would take on the role of the Master?

“I am a long-time hide-behind-the-sofa-in-the-early-Doctor-Who-in-the-1960s fan. The Master I remember was played brilliantly by an actor called Roger Delgado I don’t think I can get him out of my mind.”

However, he has ruled himself out of the role of the Doctor himself:

“Is there a leader of the Cybermen? Or even just a funny Cyberman?”

Is Branagh a worthy successor to Delgado? Who else would you like to see take on the role? Or Would you be happy to have John Simm back?

(Via Entertainment Wise)


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About the Author


Everyone has a favourite Doctor and mine - just for his honesty, his fairness and his ability to not notice the Master's awful, awful disguises/anagrams (Sir Gilles Estram!?!) - has to be the Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison. The stories didn’t serve him as well as his acting served those stories.

14 Responses to Could Branagh Be The Master?

  1. avatar Paul Blume says:

    This would be wonderful!

  2. Not sure about the Twelfth Doctor, but I can definitely see him as The Master

  3. avatar Simon Porter says:

    He name-checked Delgado. He is in!

  4. avatar Colin says:

    John Simm was excellent, so I wouldn’t mind seeing him return. And if he were to regenerate, I think Kenneth Branagh would be an interesting choice. He’s certainly up to it, and I think he’d do very well. And while we’re talking The Master, it’s a shame we only got a few precious television moments of Derek Jacobi in his full evil Masterliness. If he hadn’t already done it, he would be my next choice for playing the role.

  5. Bring back Simm for at least one story so the master can regenerate again

  6. avatar FrancoPabloDiablo says:

    John Simm was great in his first appearances. Sadly, due to poor writing, the character suffered greatly in The End Of Time. I don’t see any need to replace Simm as the incumbent at all (assuming he still wants to play the part of course). In fact, It would be interesting to see what The Moff as showrunner would contribute to Simm’s portrayal.

  7. avatar vortexter says:

    Branagh would be great in any Dr Who role. And behind the camera directing as well.

  8. avatar Lewis Seymour says:

    I am afraid I have to disagree regarding Simm – his Master was a showcase in truly horrendous overacting. Whether this was entirely his fault, or due to how RTD wanted the character played, is another matter. I felt that it was a very great loss that we saw Derek Jacobi for such a brief time in the part – he showed every sign he could have delivered a brilliant version.

    As for Branagh – well, at least he knew Roger Delgado’s name! This suggests he isn’t just another of these actors who likes to claim they are fans of the show then can’t name a single thing from it! (Eccleston for example, who had to ask RTD how to pronounce Troughton before appearing on TV to proclaim his fannish credentials)

    However, his “funny cyberman” follow up is a bit of a let down…

    As for the 12th – anyone even thinking it can stop now. He’s got far too many commitments to dedicate himself to a 9 month a year shooting schedule for DW.

    • avatar The Gentleman says:

      I thought by ‘funny Cyberman’ he just meant an individualistic Cyberman, hence his prior ‘leader of the Cybermen’ statement.

  9. avatar rickjlundeen says:

    A long time ago, I envisioned Branagh playing Ian Chesterton, along with Emma Thompson playing Barbara Wright, along side a William Hartnell’s type actor recreating the first Doctor in a black and white big screen Doctor Who film. The one that played out in my head was spectacular! :)

  10. avatar rickjlundeen says:

    For my money though, there will never be a Master in the same league as Delgado. Each subsequent incarnation has just become more insane and more and more like a joke. SIMM did an alright job for what he had to do but I prefer the classier menace to the nut job.

  11. avatar Tony Sobol says:

    Is KENNETH BRANAGH a worthy successor to Delgado? Is this a trick question?!? ;)

  12. avatar Adam says:

    I think he’d make a great master. Hard to compare to Delgado, so I’m not going to. You have to take every incarnation of a Time Lord as their own entity, any comparison to prior versions is pointless really.

  13. avatar Brian Stultz says:

    I would love to see a multi-Master story with more than 1 Master trying to defeat the Doctor. If the Doctors can team up to fight the likes of Omega, then why wouldn’t the Master do the same at some point. Bring on John, Jacobi, Roberts and Kenneth could be a future or past Master that has not been seen yet.

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