Doctor Who News The Master returns to Doctor Who?

Published on March 8th, 2014 | by Christian Cawley

Sylvester McCoy Knows Who The Next Master Is…

The Newcastle Film and Comic Con has taken place today, and among the guests were Seventh Doctor Who star Sylvester McCoy, who has some very interesting things to say about the new Master.

It seems as though the presence of the Doctor’s most persistent rival renegade Time Lord is something of an open secret as far as Series 8 is concerned, with or without the confirmation from BBC Wales.

McCoy has, apparently, been told who the next Master will be, adding that he will be ‘Very, very scary.’

We previously reported how Charles Dance has supposedly been cast already as the Master, but there are various other names in the hat that we’ve also been told about.

Who would you like to see step into the big shoes of John Simm, Derek Jacobi, Eric Roberts, Anthony Ainley, Geoffrey Beevers, Peter Pratt and Roger Delgado?

(With thanks to John)


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About the Author


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+.

62 Responses to Sylvester McCoy Knows Who The Next Master Is…

  1. avatar FrancoPabloDiablo says:

    My mother-in-law would give them all a run for their money :)

  2. avatar drewboynton says:

    This may sound like I’m wearing a tin-foil hat, but I would not be surprised if it were Peter Capaldi! We may be looking at the biggest switcheroo of all time–Capaldi IS wearing The Master’s coat, after all. And surely “Danny Pink” is an anagram of “Doctor Who”?!

    • avatar iLikeTheUDK says:


    • avatar vortexter says:

      I did wonder if Danny Pink was more a villain than a friend. Perhaps he is a Master in the wings..
      Who would I like to see as the Master? Terrance Stamp or Kevin Spacey.

      • avatar Simon Magellan says:

        Terence Stamp would be good – or Malcolm McDowell perhaps – certainly someone of that generation. I suspect it might well turn out to be Anderson, but would prefer if it was someone of the same generation as Capaldi as it would look a bit odd for an older Doctor to be going up against a young Master.

        • avatar Dana says:

          Why? Granted, he only had one episode’s worth of time, but Derek Jacobi was an old Master up against a young Doctor while he was on. It could work in reverse as well.

        • avatar Anonymous says:

          During the entire Jon Pertwee era, Doctor 3 was constantly up against a fairly young Master…

        • avatar Geoff says:

          I hope not. I do like McDowell in Gangster No 1 and Stamp is of course always General Zod (who is kind of like The Master with super powers) but they are both in their 70′s by now which I think is just a bit too old. To be fair they are both actors who you could turn to if you needed an up to date price of ham as well!

    • avatar Zack Ethridge says:

      Danny Pink is not an anagram of Doctor Who haha.

    • avatar Wez says:

      I think only your fishing hook is made of tin-foil. :)

  3. avatar prisonertom says:

    Chales Dance. Masterly Rocks!

  4. avatar Joe Simons says:

    Going by the rumours, I’d love to see Charles Dance play The Master. He looks like he could play the part. But I’d also love to see Alex Macqueen (Who has played The Master in several Big Finish audios) play him on screen as he is a fantastic Master.

  5. Charles Dance would be an amazing choice.

  6. avatar J W says:

    I was never happy with the way Simms portrayed the Master. He played him like a buffoon (which I’ve come to understand was more RTD’s fault than Simms himself) I hope whoever steps into those shoes returns the Master to his sinister roots.

    • avatar Lozzer says:

      They tried something different and it didn’t entirely work. Heath Ledger’s Joker was apparently an inspiration for Simm’s interpretation of the Master, but he went a little too over the top. Bits of it worked really well, and, in retrospect, I rather enjoy the sillyness.

      • avatar francis cave says:

        Considering Simm’s first appearance as the Master was a full 12 months before the Dark Knight was released I am not sure how that works…

        • avatar matthew walton says:

          Time travel!

        • avatar TonyS says:

          a very long production period for The Dark Knight?

          • avatar Francis Cave says:

            It did have a long production period but how would anyone apart the production team known how Ledger was going to play the joker until it was actually released?

    • avatar Dana says:

      Maybe I’m in the minority amongst Master fans, but I find sinister boring. I hate villains who are obvious in that way. I put up with the classic Master, but I don’t need it spelled out that loudly for me. Also Delgado/Ainsley were too Svengali, also obvious to certain audiences. I like ordinary-looking and prone to outbursts of homicidal behavior.

    • avatar John Miller says:

      Eh? Do you also get upset whenever a new Doctor doesn’t play the character exactly the same way that his predecessor did? Simm played the Master brilliantly. He had all the Master’s views on life, the universe and everything, but he had his own personality, his own appearance, his own tastes in music etc. It %!#@es me off whenever somebody seems to think that every Time Lord (other than the Doctor?) must be identical from incarnation to incarnation. How boring would that be? And before Simm, we’d already SEEN the Master with different personalities. It would be the actions of a buffoon to want someone to try and be Delgado, which would be both tedious and totally unsuccessful.

    • avatar Geoff says:

      I know what you mean about John Simm’s Master, it never quite worked for me but I don’t think you can criticise him for being too silly. After all this is a guy who in the classic series spent the whole day dressed as a scarecrow once just on the off chance the Doctor wandered by, not to mention all his other daft antics over the years. He’s always been a bit of a comedy villain which is what I don’t like about him whoever plays the part.

  7. avatar krzysztof says:

    I think Jaime Murray would be an excellent Master. Put a.twist on a request.for.a. female time lord regeneration.

    • avatar lozzer says:

      Just like casting a female Doctor it would be a mistake I don’t think the show could recover from – I’d personally walk away from Doctor Who forever. Character integrity over political correctness and tokenism for the sake of it.

      • avatar Victor says:

        You would walk away from the show forever? And people say we fans overreact…

        • avatar Lozzer says:

          I would, you can’t just change the rules for the sake of it. There are currently much better shows on TV than Doctor Who (Game Of Thrones being one) so it wouldn’t be the end of the world. I’ve been watching since the early Tom Baker years so I’ve probably seen the best years of the show anyway. Look, I love DW, and I can forgive it for occasionally being a bit rubbish, but to change a characters sex for absolutely no reason other than pandering to the media and political correctness is utterley ridiculous and the worst form of tokenism. I wouldn’t go along with it – absolutely no way. Thankfully we’ve not yet had the show entirely ruined, but come that day I will walk away and not look back.

          • avatar Dana says:

            Now I hope they’ll do it just so we never have to see you here again.

      • avatar Dana says:

        There is just one reason I can think of that a female Doctor wouldn’t make sense, and that’s that it would be more difficult for him to blend in when in a historical setting where there was much prejudice against women. I mean more than in modern-day America.

        Otherwise it’s not squat to do with political correctness, you’re just sore at the idea of GIRLS getting into your tree fort. Grow up.

        • avatar Lozzer says:

          Err no. I just do ‘t want a character I care about ruined.

    • avatar Simon Magellan says:

      Surely it would make more sense to revive the Rani in that case than cast a female “Master” ?

  8. I think it would be INCREDIBLE if they could convince Christopher Eccleston to do it. Think about it. How Sinisterly COOL would it be for the MASTER to steal one of the DOCTOR’S faces?!?!?!?!

    • avatar Dana says:

      I don’t see Eccleston touching the show again with a ten-foot pole. His snubbing of the 50th anniversary was pretty clear sign of that. However, he is usually known for playing bad guys, so it wouldn’t be much of a stretch.

  9. avatar lozzer says:

    How long till the media start the female Master speculation…?

  10. avatar spoiled says:

    I didn’t know the master was in the new season. I didn’t know the Master was regenerating either. As you say – it’s not official so – why no spoiler warning? Once again you have broken your own rules.

    • avatar Geoff says:

      so why do you even come here if the mere mention that The Master might be returning spoils the show for you? I’d get back into your lead lined bunker pronto before you find out some other terrible spoiler like: The Daleks might be coming back…

    • Who said the Master was regenerating? Who said he was in the new season? That’s right – someone who doesn’t work for BBC Wales. This isn’t a spoiler, it’s speculation.

      • avatar spoiled says:

        Yet. The same speculation exists in the next article and you apologise and add spoiler warnings….. at least your consistent in your inconsistencies.

        • avatar spoiled says:


        • No, names exist in the next article.

  11. avatar rickjlundeen says:

    Guh, more endless, groundless speculation for the next several months. Will he be young, old, female, black, etc., etc., etc….what will he think of the missing episode omni-rumour?!?!?!?

    Hope they just announce it soon. I too, hope whoever it is plays it right and sinister like Delgado. I’m guessing with the Moff at the helm,that will be the case.

    • avatar Lozzer says:

      Personally I’d love to see a Master of non-white origin, just keep him a him. I’m not thinking about this now until we hear for sure – I found the speculation over the Doctor’s casting unbearable – prior to all the sex change nonsense I used to really enjoy it.

      • avatar Dana says:

        It wouldn’t make any more sense to make him a person of color than it would to make him female.

        • oh god i know. AS if a woman wouldn’t have the same PERSONALITy as a man, and be able to carry it off. Some women are more manly then the men. Frankly. And some men are more womanly then the women. It’s a matter of the PERSON, not the sex. There are some things that would have to be juxtaposed, but both sexes still experience their versions of the same thing. It’s just the face that’s looking at it. I completely agree with you and everybody else when we say that there CAN and COULD be a female lead. CAst the Doctor, not a set of boobs. GOOD GRIEF all these mysos make me sick. I gotta leave right now before I start angry-posting. MY GOD these little prats.Thes types have called me very nasty things… defending their sad little fort. very sad. I mean good GOd it can be a black/yellow/green/purple polka dot heffalump in a yellow polka dot bikini, but GOD FORBID the Doctor have breasts. ARGHHHH. nice guys are nice, you know? not all ofthem think this way, and that is a very special and pleasant thing. SO all you NICe men out there, you’re my bros. ARGHHH to all the rest.
          and the women who do it? even WORSE. brainwashed sheeple.
          oh my. guess i DID do it anyway. oops. I just get mad when they do htsi stuff, as if the character could NEVER work as a woman. simply untrue. he is a CHOIce candidate for a gener swap. the endless comedic value ALONE should see to that.

  12. avatar Simon Magellan says:

    If – and it’s very much if (McCoy is hardly likely to be in Moffat’s confidence after all) – there is a new Master, I’d hope it was played as a serious villain, in the Delgado tradition, rather than a madman. Dance would be good – I always felt it was a big mistake not to let Jacobi do it properly – his “I AM The Master” gave a taste of what he could do with it without the overacting Simm brought to it.

    Wouldn’t be surprised if it turns out to be Anderson though!

  13. Pingback: Doctor Who: Series 8 - Page 2

  14. avatar Maria says:

    How and why would Sylvester McCoy know when and who will be playing “The Master”? How and who gave him the information?

    • avatar Simon Magellan says:

      A Hobbit perhaps?

  15. avatar Phil Smith says:

    Just a thought, but Sylvester M is in NZ on The Hobbit. And so is Benedict Cumberbatch. Like I said, its just a thought

    • avatar Simon Magellan says:

      Given his identification with Sherlock, the chances of BC appearing in DW at all, let alone as The Master, is fairly remote I’d say.

  16. Pingback: Has the next Master been cast? | Calli Arcale's Fractal Wonder

  17. avatar DonnaM says:

    I’m in the camp that didn’t care for the demented hopping flea Master; I don’t blame John Simm, for that: he’s a fantastic actor who was doing exactly what he’d been asked to do, but personally I prefer my villains sinister, suave and with a bit of dry humour about them, panto types just don’t do it for me. More Delgado’s Master more than the more recent incarnation!

    I don’t suppose there’s any chance Simm could de-generate into Derek Jacobi? :-)

    Failing that, Charles Dance would be brilliant, of course. Being left-field – John Hurt could be even better! And of course, Capaldi vs Capaldi – implausible as it must be with shooting schedules etc – would be something to behold!

    • avatar Simon Magellan says:

      Ah, if only Jacobi could come back! But then, we are talking Steven “Timey Wimey” Moffat, so anything’s possible!

      Wonder if Kenneth Branagh’s doing anything at the moment?

  18. avatar Yanto says:

    I think the only rule with DW is “There are no rules!” For starters, The Doctor should now be dead and The Master, has died at least twice!
    When paradoxes are cleverly written in to allow anything to happen, anytime – that’s what I love about the show. Unfortunately, some of the more recent scripts have not lived up to expectations.

  19. avatar James says:

    This should have a spoiler tag…

    • It’s purely speculation and conjecture. Hardly a spoiler unless confirmed.

  20. avatar Geoff says:

    I’ve read all the comments here now and its apparent we are all quite wrong. Its quite obvious now that the new Master is Sylvester McCoy! He will spend his debut running around in the old Masters clothes (which will be 5 sizes too big for him) and rolling his Rs like a man possessed!

  21. avatar Andrew G. Dick says:

    Awww, c’mon Steven Moffat, please make it Charles Dance! He would be amazing. Just the thought of Capaldi v Dance in shouty dialogue would be epic.

  22. avatar Jeff G says:

    Forget the Master, why in 8 seasons, no return of The Rani? A regeneration is in order before we lose the awesome Kate O’Mara, who has expressed interest in returning anyway.

  23. avatar Jeff G says:

  24. avatar dalekdave says:

    Are we all going to wish Olaf Pooley Happy Birthday on Thursday 13th March?

    I do hope so as he will be 100 Years old.

  25. avatar Jayman says:

    Personally I would like to see the return of the Guardians. In “Enlightenment”, the White Guardian told the Doctor that the Black Guardian would try a third time to get the Doctor. This next time has not happened yet.

    • avatar John Miller says:

      I would like to see the Megara return, after they found out the Doctor tricked them. But that’s not really relevant to the discussion about the Master.

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