Saturday 24 June 2023

M is for... Master (4)

At some point, in a new incarnation, the Doctor was captured and put on trial by the Daleks. Still humanoid in form, he had adopted certain reptilian characteristics - presumably the results of some other attempt to prolong his life or take on a new form. Some reptiles have restorative abilities, and he may have experimented with reptilian DNA.
The exact circumstances of his capture are unknown, but may have gone back as far as his failure to provoke the war between the empires of Earth and Draconia, which the Daleks had employed him to achieve.
Equally, the whole incident may well have been arranged by the Master in collusion with the Daleks, for they permitted the Master to make a last request. This was that the Doctor take his mortal remains back to Gallifrey. For the Daleks to conduct a formal legal process involving an alien, and to allow the Doctor free passage, the suspicion is that this was all planned from the start.
Once the TARDIS had left Skaro, the Master proved to be still very much alive - but in a gelatinous serpentine form. This broke free of its casket and infiltrated the console, sabotaging it and forcing a crash-landing on Earth - in San Francisco, December 1999.

The Doctor was mortally wounded by gunfire when he was caught up in a gang fight, and before passing out he witnessed the Master's form emerge from the TARDIS lock. It entered the coat of an ambulance driver named Bruce. That night, it entered his body and possessed him. In the morning, he murdered Bruce's wife, then set out to locate the Doctor. His plan was to take possession of a Time Lord's body. At the hospital he discovered that the Doctor had "died" and his body had disappeared from the morgue. 
His temporary host body was already beginning to disintegrate, and he could not conceal his serpent-like eyes so was forced to don a pair of dark glasses. On learning that a young gang member named Chang Lee had come in with the Doctor, and had possession of his belongings, the Master waited at the TARDIS in the expectation that he would turn up there out of curiosity. Chang Lee opened the TARDIS, and the Master slipped in behind him. He claimed that the Doctor was an evil alien who had stolen his intended new body, and the gullible young man agreed to help him. He used Chang Lee to open the Eye of Harmony on the ship to locate the Doctor in his regenerated form.

The form possessing Bruce's body had the power to possess others, as well as kill by smothering them in a toxic venom.
His plan was to use the Eye to power a transfer of his lifeforce into the Doctor's body. When the Doctor was collected by an ambulance, he recognised the Master from his reptile eyes. He spat out some venom which caught Grace Holloway - a doctor who had been assisting the Doctor after encountering him on the operating table prior to his regeneration. When the time was right, he would exert his mental influence over her and use her against the Doctor. Chang Lee was already under his influence without the need of toxins or hypnotism as he was easily manipulated - seeking wealth and power which the Master promised to him.
The Doctor was overpowered by Grace in the TARDIS, and the Master began his attempt to steal his body. When Grace and Chang Lee turned against him, at the Doctor's urging, he killed them both.
The process failed due to Grace's earlier efforts at the console, and the two Time Lords fought. The Master fell into the open Eye and was seemingly torn apart by the forces which he had himself unleashed.

Played by: Eric Roberts. Appearances: Doctor Who (The Movie) (1996).
  • The casting of Roberts came about as part of the bargaining between the UK and US bodies involved in the making of the film. With a relatively unknown British Doctor, it was agreed that the Master could be played by a better known American.
  • Roberts lived for a time in London and was familiar with Doctor Who, and with Roger Delgado's version of the Master.
  • He was nominated for an Oscar for the 1985 film Runaway Train.
  • He's one of the most prolific actors in film and TV, with more than 700 credits since he began his career in 1974.
  • For many years, copyright issues prevented the reuse of any character from Doctor Who save for the Doctor, but recently Roberts has been able to return to the role on audio.
  • The "Reptilian Master" executed by the Daleks was played by Canadian actor Gordon Tipple, who appeared in four different roles in The X-Files as well as other sci-fi TV series filmed in Canada, such as the Stargate franchise.

No comments:

Post a Comment