Monday 19 June 2023

M is for... Master (3)

The Master used the energies he had gained from his brief access to the bioelectric Source to steal the body of Consul Tremas of Traken, and his first goal in his new form was to pursue and destroy the Doctor.
He materialised his TARDIS within that of the Doctor in order to keep track of him, whilst he formulated his plans. On learning that the Doctor was going to materialise his ship around a real Police Public Call Box on Earth, in order to repair the damaged Chameleon Circuit, the Master jumped ahead and set up a temporal trap by arriving on the exact spot first. The Doctor and Adric were able to escape the trap, only to learn of his escape from Traken as they were confronted with the shrunken bodies of a woman and a police constable - victims of his matter condensing weapon. The Doctor and Adric fled, and attempted to flush the Master out of hiding by materialising at the bottom of the Thames and opening the doors. They were unaware that an Australian air hostess named Tegan had wandered aboard the TARDIS - niece of the murdered woman.
After an encounter with the Watcher - a projection of his next incarnation - the Doctor elected to travel on to the planet of Logopolis where the Monitor and his people would be able to repair the Chameleon Circuit, allowing it once again to disguise itself wherever it landed. 
The Master knew of this world, and that it held a great secret. He decided to force the Monitor to reveal this by suspending time in the Logopolitan city. 
Unfortunately, his tampering brought about the potential destruction of the universe. Logopolis maintained this by allowing energy to flow in via portals to pocket dimensions such as E-Space. A computer program had been developed to carry on this function, and the Doctor was forced to ally himself with the Master to travel to Earth and run this on a compatible system there. The Master attempted to benefit from events by blackmailing the universe into accepting his rule. The Doctor stopped him - but at the cost of his life as he fell from the radio telescope beaming out the program. He regenerated for the fourth time.

The Master abducted Adric, who had impressive mathematical skills, with the intention of using these along with the Block Transfer Computations developed by the Logopolitans. These allowed mathematical formulae to create and manipulate matter. A copy of Adric was used to programme the TARDIS to travel to the "Big Bang", to be destroyed in the greatest explosion in history. Witnessing the Doctor's destruction from afar was not ideal for the Master, and he had devised a more complex trap which he had hoped to initiate, which also used Block Transfer Computations. The TARDIS was saved when the Doctor had Tegan and Nyssa - Tremas' daughter, who had been brought to Logopolis by the Watcher - to jettison a quarter of the ship's mass to provide enough escape thrust.
The Master then got to make use of his more complex trap. The TARDIS was guided to a planet on which there was a settlement known as Castrovalva, which was entirely devoid of industrial technology. The newly regenerated Doctor needed such an environment in which to heal. This whole settlement had been created by Adric using the Computations. The Master was present, posing as the elderly Portreeve - a kindly figure who governed the realm. 
In his earlier incarnation he had often used physical disguises to hide his own features, or to disguise others as a decoy. Now, he had developed a new form of disguise using a form of holographic projection. The Castrovalva trap was sprung as the domain began to fold in on itself, but the Doctor had been able to free Adric who could guide them all to an exit point. The Master found his Castrovalvan creations to be capable of free will, and they caused him to be caught in his own trap.

Since gaining his new body, the Master had disguised his TARDIS as a column, a large plant, and an ornate fireplace. Having escaped his trap on Castrovalva he visited Earth in prehistoric times, where his ship suffered a disastrous systems failure. Fearing he would be stranded, he was fortunate to find evidence of previous alien visitors from the planet Xeriphas. They had fled their world as refugees after it had been caught in the crossfire of an intergalactic war. The beings had merged themselves into a single biological entity which was slowly regenerating in a sarcophagus-like structure within a great pyramid. The Master realised that he could harness this entity to replace his faulty TARDIS systems. He needed help, however, and so used a time contour to bring a Concorde aircraft back through time from the late 20th Century. The Doctor learned of this disappearance when his TARDIS landed at Heathrow Airport in order that Tegan to take up her new job. He used his UNIT connections to commandeer a second Concorde in order to replicate the flight path and so follow the first aircraft. Back in prehistory, he encountered the Master, who had disguised himself as a bloated wizard-like being called Kalid. In this instance, he resorted to physical disguise. He was able to purloin components from the Doctor's TARDIS for his own ship. The Xeraphin manifested itself as an evil half, and a benevolent half, and the Master naturally attempted to ally himself with the former - whilst the latter helped the Doctor and his companions.
A trade was arranged, allowing the Doctor to get his parts back and the Concorde crew and passengers would be freed if the Master could maintain his own link to the Xeriphan sarcophagus. The Doctor had programmed a limiter, however, which allowed him to get to Heathrow first and occupy the time-space co-ordinates which the Master was aiming for, on route to Xeriphas. This caused the Master's TARDIS to be deflected on to to Xeriphas itself, where the regenerated aliens would have the chance to free themselves from him.

The Master was eventually able to flee from Xeriphas with a repaired TARDIS, but he took the opportunity whilst there to pick up a piece of technology left behind by an earlier invader. This was an anthropomorphic android known as Kamelion. This robot could take on the appearance of anyone willed upon it by its controller. 
He brought Kamelion to mediaeval England where he caused it to take on the appearance of King John. This was part of a plan to undermine Magna Carta, by having the King deliberately antagonise his barons. This was a test as he planned to use Kamelion to undermine other civilisations.
The Doctor and his companions arrived at the castle of Sir Ranulf Fitzwilliam, where the Master was posing as the false King's French bodyguard Sir Gilles Estram. Once again he was using his holographic disguise to alter his features.
Other than when he pretended to be the Portreeve, as he expected the arrival of the Doctor, it is unknown why the Master elected to change his appearance on most occasions. It would appear simply to be some sort of affectation of this particular incarnation.
The Doctor was able to defeat the Master in a sword fight - having previously beaten him with rapiers whilst he was being held in prison on Fortress Island. When the King ordered him thrown into an Iron Maiden, it proved to be his disguised TARDIS.
The Doctor also defeated the Master in a battle of wills for mental control over Kamelion, allowing him to steal the android. He also sabotaged the Master's TARDIS using his matter condensing weapon, which he now called the Tissue Compression Eliminator (TCE). This would scramble the TARDIS's guidance systems.

When the Doctor in his first five incarnations were taken out of time and placed in the Death Zone on Gallifrey, the Master was brought in by the Inner Council of the Time Lords to help rescue him. In return he was offered a new regeneration cycle. The Master claimed that he would miss fighting the Doctor - wishing to destroy him himself - and so agreed to enter the Zone by transmat. He was given a copy of the Seal of the High Council to prove to the Doctor his good intentions for once. Recognised by the Third Doctor, though not immediately, the First Doctor failed to recall his one time school friend.
His assistance shunned, the Master decided to ally himself with the Cybermen in the Death Zone, whilst he considered how best to capitalise on the situation for his own ends. He happily lured the Cybermen into a deadly trap once they were of no further use to him. When he learned that President Borusa was behind these events, intent on gaining the secret immortality from Rassilon, the Master tried to steal it for himself. A well-placed punch from the Brigadier knocked him out, and Rassilon transported him away from Gallifrey.

The Master was able to re-establish mental contact with Kamelion following an accident involving his TCE. He had been attempting to make it more powerful. However, it had backfired on him in some way and caused him to be reduced to only a few inches in height. Knowing of a gas called Numismaton which was emitted by one of the volcanoes on the planet Sarn, he manipulated the android to divert the Doctor's TARDIS to that planet. Numismaton burned with a flame which had powerful restorative properties. He was already there, trapped within his own ship, and needed Kamelion to move around and act on his behalf. The plan was to place him in the flame during one of its eruptions, so that he would be restored to his normal state. Previous colonisers from the planet Triton, who had turned Sarn into a penal colony, had installed control equipment within the volcano to regulate the gas.
The Master was inadvertently aided in his scheme when he momentarily lost control over Kamelion, causing him to appear in his form but with silver skin. This coincided with the image of the deity Logar whom the people of Sarn worshipped. As such, he was able to manipulate them to act against the Doctor and his companions.
The Doctor destroyed Kamelion at its own behest, as it knew it would always be open to abuse by the Master. The volcano proved to be unstable, about to destroy the planet, so the Tritons evacuated it. The Doctor sabotaged the gas supply controls so that the Master was consumed by normal fire - apparently perishing in the process.

Somehow, he had survived. He next encountered the Doctor when he was attempting further meddling in the history of Earth. This time he positioned himself in the North East of England at the time of the early Industrial Revolution. His plan was to change history in order to reshape it for his own ends. He planned to assassinate a number of noted scientists and engineers who were due to gather there for a conference. However, his visit coincided with that of another rogue Time Lord - the Rani. She was using social unrest to disguise her experiments to harvest chemicals from the local workers - needed to placate the inhabitants of the planet Miasma Goria which she ruled. She had removed their need to sleep in order to maximise their workload - only to make them uncontrollable. The presence of two TARDISes caused the Doctor's to be diverted to the area, and his arrival was observed by the Master when disguised as a scarecrow.
He forced the Rani to join forces with him by stealing her supply of brain chemical. The Doctor sabotaged the Rani's TARDIS then engineered a rockfall to force them to use it to escape a collapsing mine shaft. Her ship began to hurtle forward in time, out of control, with dinosaur embryos rapidly maturing in the console room.
The Master next turned his attentions back to Gallifrey. He found a means of entering the Matrix unnoticed, where he stole many of the Time Lords' secrets in order to sell them to the highest bidder. He made use of a criminal named Sabalom Glitz to help him in this. He then discovered a plot by the High Council to eliminate the Doctor by giving his remaining regenerations to a mysterious legal figure called the Valeyard, who was to act as prosecutor in a new trial for the Doctor. The Valeyard, he found out, was really an amalgam of all the Doctor's negative aspects, originating from a point between his twelfth and final incarnations.
Faced with a ruthless, evil version of the Doctor, the Master realised that the original would be a better opponent as far as he was concerned - and once again he wanted the Doctor's demise to be at his own hands. He had Glitz and the Doctor's future companion Mel transferred to the trial location - a vast space station - in order to help him. Once again, the Master could not help but try to gain advantage of the situation for his own ends. He wanted to take over the High Council once the present corrupt one had been deposed.
When it looked like the Doctor was doomed, he tried to flee with all the Matrix secrets he had stolen - only to find that the Valeyard had tricked him. He and Glitz were frozen in time within his TARDIS by a Limbo Atrophier.
Once the Valeyard had been defeated, the Doctor asked the Time Lord Inquisitor to free them both once order was restored on Gallifrey.

The Master's final confrontation with the Doctor, in this incarnation, took place on the obscure planet of the Cheetah People. These creatures had a symbiotic relationship with their ancient world, which was close to destruction. Anyone spending any length of time on the planet was infected by it, slowly transformed into a Cheetah Person themself. The Master had become trapped here, cut off from his own TARDIS after being transported there by the small black feline Kitlings, which had the power to transport people across space - an ability shared with the Cheetah People. He had managed to use his hypnotic powers to control them to an extent, and had them ensnare the Doctor and his companion Ace.
Despite the fact that he was transforming into a Cheetah Person, with yellow eyes and fangs, he wanted to harness a human captive to transport him away from here. Those infected by the planet developed an innate homing ability, which allowed them to travel instantly to the place they regarded as "home".
The Master used a young human named Midge to take him to West London, where he took over the local self-defence class to act as his private army. The Doctor used a transforming Ace to follow him. Midge was killed trying to kill the Doctor, whilst the Master murdered Karra - a Cheetah who had befriended Ace. He then physically fought the Doctor, causing them both to be transported back to the now disintegrating Cheetah planet. The Doctor was able to return himself to Earth - leaving the Master behind on the dying world...

Played by: Anthony Ainley. Appearances: The Keeper of Traken, Logopolis (1981), Castrovalva, Time-Flight (1982), The King's Demons, The Five Doctors (1983), Planet of Fire (1984), Mark of the Rani (1985), Trial of a Time Lord (Parts 13 - 14) (1986), Survival (1989).
  • Anthony Ainley was the illegitimate son of the great Edwardian stage actor Henry Ainley, who had been Jon Pertwee's godfather. The resemblance to his father is remarkable.
  • He knew producer JNT from having worked on the drama series The Pallisers, in which Ainley had played the villainous clergyman Rev. Emilius and JNT had been production unit manager.
  • He had previously been lead in his own TV series - Spyder's Web.
  • Fantasy film roles included Blood on Satan's Claw (which also featured Wendy Padbury) and The Land That Time Forgot.
  • Of independent means, Ainley could afford to pick and choose when he wished to work, and acted as his own agent.
  • DWM editor Gary Russell tells of how he would sometimes allow his photo to be used almost for free one month, then charge an exorbitant fee the next. At one point he fell out with the magazine and refused to permit his image to be used at all.
  • He also fell out with JNT and the producer was determined to write him out of the series, only to bring him back - though less frequently.
  • Terrance Dicks was going to have him as the main villain in The Five Doctors, but Eric Saward pointed out that this would be too obvious.
  • After playing Tremas, attempts to conceal Ainley's / the Master's involvement in a story tended towards other anagrams such as Leon Ny Taiy (Time-Flight) or James Stoker (i.e. "Master's Joke") on The King's Demons.
  • His first love, even greater than acting, was cricket - both watching and playing.
  • His final performance as the Master was in the often bizarre links on the Doctor Who computer game - "Destiny of the Doctors".
  • He provided commentary on the DVD of The Keeper of Traken not long before he passed away.
  • Anthony Ainley died on 3rd May 2004, aged 71.

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