Doctor Who: returning villain rumour

News Louisa Mellor 19 Jun 2014 - 08:18

Pinches of salt at the ready, The Daily Star has published its latest Doctor Who exclusive...

Potential spoilers for Doctor Who series 8 if there's the slightest chance this rumour is true.

First off, there might be something to this one, even if it does come from The Daily Star's wonder emporium.

Noises have been heard for a while now about the planned return of The Master to Doctor Who, and now a tabloid has thrown its er, weight behind them. As reported by Doctor Who TV, The Daily Star has announced that Who "bosses have secretly plotted to bring back the Time Lord's arch enemy for a big cliffhanger", adding "it's rumoured that they're looking for a Hollywood actor to take on the role".

John Simm was of course the most recent actor to take on the role of the Master in Doctor Who, the latest on a list that started with Roger Delgado and went on to include Geoffrey Beevers, Anthony Ainley, Derek Jacobi (briefly) and more.

That would mean a new Master to face series eight's new Doctor. All plausible stuff, if not necessarily from the most iron-clad of sources...

Doctor Who TV

Follow our Twitter feed for faster news and bad jokes right here. And be our Facebook chum here.

Disqus - noscript

I hope the Charles Dance rumour is true.

So do I!

Here's one from left field: how about Matt Smith?

Leave Clara all conflicted between the man she's known as the Doctor and the man he now is.

I was never really a fan of John Simm's Master. He was a bit too wacky. I prefer my master's to be Machiavellian and moustachioed

You could class Benedict Cumberbatch as a Hollywood actor, and he certainly has the gravitas to take on a role like The Master...
However, given the source I remain sceptical.


Who is Tyres playing?

I still think that the Dream Lord is the Master, trapped in the Time War with Gallifrey, and lashing out at the Doctor the only way he can. My suspicions were mainly raised when the Doctor said that he knew who the Dream Lord was, and that there was only one person who hated him that much. While he does go on to say that it's himself, this, and the psychic pollen explanation at the end, seem to be something of a deflection for Amy and Rory's benefit, to stop them asking any more questions about the Dream Lord's identity.

Also, pretty sure we see a reflection of the Dream Lord's face in the TARDIS console after the Doctor has blown the pollen out of the TARDIS, so make of that what you will.

After all, the Master has always made use of of hypnotism and mind control, playing the role of the Dream Lord should be right up his street.

How is this news? Everyone has known about these rumours for months.

Not forgetting Peter Pratt, who played the Master in The Deadly Assassin

To me it was clear that this was the Doctor's dark side. Dressing like him, looking like the older man he really is, mocking himself, flirting with Amy... Of course it's the Doctor. That makes so much more sense, and reveals a lot about the Doctor's own insecurities and self-awareness. Turning this into the Master diminishes all that. The reflection in the control panel at the end means he'll always carry it with him and it might come back... In the form of the Valeyard.

Last time Sylvester McCoy said he'd already seen the actor playing the Master, and now it's rumoured they're still looking?

Rule one: the Doctor lies.


Hope not. Cumberbatch is a fine actor and great as Sherlock but don't want him in Doctor Who. Stretches credibility a little. Also when will casting directors realise there are many other great actors out there?

Does this news tie in with RTD and Moff's plan to explain why the Doctor looks like an existing person?

Could we have Capaldi as Master and Doctor?

Charles Dance is finished for good with Game of Thrones so he could feasibly be the Master. I'd love to see Capaldi's Doctor face down a deliciously evil Master played by Dance

Brother Numpsay! Hello!

Have you seen Anthony Ainley's Master, or the Master from the Eight Doctor movie? Those are way wackier. Simm also added a degree of menace and intelligence to rival Tennant. He was clearly created as a foil to Tennant, which is even acknowledged by Jacobi's Master wishing for a younger body like the Doctor. I wonder what kind of Master Smith's Doctor would have faced. Dr Gideon and the Intelligence came closest to such degree of suave and menace, but the difference is the Master likes chewing scenery and having fun. In that regard, Simm was perfect IMO.

I'm going to throw a name out there as, in my mind, the PERFECT candidate to play the Master.

Tom Hiddleston.

(I know there's probably zero chance of it, but my god it would be sensational.)

Oh, Dance would be brilliant in the role. Never knew about those rumours, but colour me excited for the possibility!

Don't forget Eric Roberts.
Actually, maybe we should. :)

Don't remember him being particularly wacky in the 8th Doctor movie, but it has been a looooooong time since I saw that.

I can why they wrote John Simm as they did, but I didn't like it. He had his moments, but he went completely off the rails when they had him do things like dancing around to the scissor sisters. It was just a bit.......crap. Waste of a talented actor I thought

If anyone has actually seen the 'scoop' then it gets its facts wrong and doesn't actually include anything other than the rumours that have been doing the rounds since filming got under way (Steve John Shepherd sporting a beard pics got the ball rolling if memory serves).

I have to disagree, because that dancing scene is one of my favourites: very well choreographed (look at all the actors in that scene, all serving a function and showcasing in a split second all that has been going on for the past year aboard the Valiant), and the song encapsulates the Master's relationship to the Doctor so well. Just listen to the lyrics. And what else would you have the Master do, basking in his own glory, celebrating his victory, not caring about anything, getting away with everything, dancing like he just don't care and mocking the Doctor in his wheelchair to boot! I loved it.

I'd love to see Simm come back for his regeneration scene. I've heard he's keen to come back, even just to pass on the torch. Fingers crossed for Charles Dance!

I don't watch Doctor Who for the choreography though. It just seemed out of place and tacky to me. The whole Harold Saxon storyline was set up so well (loved the Derek Jacobi stuff), but was probably the worst conclusion to any story in the RTD era (in my own humble opinion, of course).

Still, would not complain if Simm wanted to come back for a regeneration. He is a great actor. Just imagine how awesome he would look with an evil goatee

I thought exactly this, then thought that basically, that would be Loki.
Which would be awesome, but would have associated nerd over-indulgence guilt.

Branagh. Simples.

Although Charles Dance would indeed be amazing!

I always thought Simm played the Master like Heath Ledger played the Joker, as a completely unhinged villain. This made him unpredictable and far more dangerous than his predecessors IMO. That said, Dance is an inspired choice :)

I mentioned the choreography because the best scenes give you a lot of information without you noticing it, and this was one of them. I also disagree about 'Last of the Timelords' having the worst conclusion, its actually really well done despite popular opinion. I consider Donna Noble flipping switches and crippling all the Daleks in the next season worse, but nobody cares because all the actors/companions are together having so much fun.

And yes, the next Master should have a beard.

Maybe it could be Craig Ferguson. Scottish comedian. Starred in TV shows on both continents and wrote and starred in movies. Plus he's Peter Capaldi's old band mate.

I thought Heath Ledger worked so well because he wasn't completely unhinged. His philosophy was twisted sure, but he was personally fairly lucid and rational. His actions were all for a reason, and he break out in manically laughter at the drop of a hat like most Jokers.

Compared with Jack Nicholson, he seems positively hinged

I think actually my issue, which i recognise is in part personal and in part rather unfair, was that of gravitas and age. For me Simm lacked both and thus didn't do the job of a truly sinister Master which is my prevailing (if no doubt rose-tinted) memory of previous Masters (particularly Delgado).

Yeah, that's my take too (although I think John Simm is more than capable of playing the role with more gravitas, if it had been written like that)

If The Doctor can 'choose' to revisit old faces then so could the The Master which means we could have Derek Jacobi back. He was bloody amazing

Given I'm rather hoping they get him for Doctor Strange and would like to see series 4 of Sherlock sometime before 2050, I rather hope not.

I agree about the lack of maniacal laughter being a welcome change to this Joker but for me actions like proving man's worse nature by expecting one group of hostages to blow the other up and then as your back up plan blowing both up anyway or sewing a bomb into a henchmen's torso then deliberately getting caught so you can detonate it is pretty crazy at the best of times!

Hasn't Colin Firth expressed an interest in taking part in the series. Would be an interesting 'against type' role for him...

Fassbender would indeed be awesome. As would Idris Elba :)

Timothy Dalton would be a great master but he played Rassilon in The end of time. Hey that would be twist if he was the master after all......

oh the 8ths Master was completely out there.. almost as camp as a gang member in an 80's action movie. I did like John Simm though.. he did make me giggle.

He was brilliant as Lord Vetinari. I hope he is the Master and he plays it similar to that. He needs to grow a goatee though.

Really hope they don't 'explain' that. Along with answering 'Doctor Who?' they seem intent on explaining things that no fan is actually arsed about. At all.

He must've left the Paddington film for a reason...

Ian McShane, Jeremy Irons, Bryan Cranston, Charles Dance

any of these, i'm happy

I agree it was a terribly written finale, I agree with the points above about choreography, and I love John Simm - and would love him to get another episode or two under Moffatt.

or perhaps even


This rumor can't be true because when people die in the Doctor Who
universe they stay dead. Did I just say that with a straight face?

The Master hell yes!!!!!!!!

I've thought for a long time that this is more or less guaranteed. This is a team that knows their history and the original Master first appeared in the original Series 8,

I'm with you guys on that. However,with his connection to the production team via Sherlock, it could be a possibility.

Oh that'd be good. As Tyres he was prone to suddenly randomly get all up in someone's face threateningly, and then stop and change to his normal cheery self when everything turned out cool. This made him quite sinister at time. He'd be a good Master.
And then there's Kill List...

Eric Roberts is a passable actor at best. He was an absolutely ridiculous choice to play The Master though

That would be wicked. I would thoroughly thoroughly enjoy that. But Matt is on to other things.

Jacobi's transformation from the kindly Professor Yana to The Master gave absolute chills.

There have been persistent rumours for a long time now that Benedict Cumberbatch was due to take over the role which make a lot of sense considering that he's already in Moffat's stable of regular actors and he's also now what you could call a Hollywood star. Another odd/interesting possibility that stems from a ( probably fan made ) video that featured on the Doctor Who YouTube channel a whiles back which features the face of John Simm morphing into that of Steve John Shepherd who English readers might know as Michael Moon from EastEnders. It's not a choice I would have made because I don't think he could convey the necessary gravitas but he's certainly oddball enough. Given what crap Moffat pulled towards the end of the last season, anything's possible. He'd just as likely cast Shane Richie instead!

The Masters in my own personal order of choice, Least Best to Absolute Best:

6. Eric Roberts
5. John Simm
4. Anthony Ainley
3. Peter Pratt/Geoffrey Beevers (portrayed the same decrepit version)
2. Derek Jacobi
1. Roger Delgado

(And I think that's really saying something for Derek Jacobi's acting ability, being that he was "The Master" himself (and not Professor Yana) for about 5 minutes total.)

My choice for the next Master:

Idris Elba

I'll be disappointed if it's not him now! Would be a great antidote to the OTT, superpowered Simm version.

The Master didn't die - he's trapped on Gallifrey with Rassilion

Well Charles Dance is free now. He would be an awesome choice to square off with Peter Capaldi.

***GoT Spoiler*** Michelle Fairley should be considered for the role of The Master. Since she's in no rush for her part in GoT as Lady Stoneheart and the filming for the new season of 24 should be over or over soon, she has plenty of time and would be an amazing Master.

It's news to the Daily Star!

Good to see DoG hasn't given up on the time honored custom of peddling tabloid rumours about this show.

I recall watching Arc of Infinity back in Jan 83, a time when my family didn't own a video and later that year Colin Baker was announced as the new Doctor. I think the repeats that used to fill the vacant Nationwide slots in the summer were Kinda, The Visitation and Black Orchid,(yet weirdly The Visitation was shown first). Significantly Arc wasn't repeated that year. Consequently, I have to say I didn't immediately think "oh hang on, that's the guy who played Maxil, they really need to explain that one" I just thought "oh, that guy who used to be in The Brothers is the new Doctor." I think we are little spoilt with such easy access to old shows today and in turn this is potentially informing too much/spoiling the future of TV.

True, but he's said he's keen to come back - granted, he was on about a multi-Doc episode, but they only usually happen at anniversaries and there aren't any significant ones coming up (bar 10 years since the series was revived, but that's too soon).

A bit Dennis Potteresque I thought.

He's great in Kill List and a Field in England.
"You lucky people."

But its not going to happen.

Something occurs to me about Idris Elba, can you imagine the accusations of racism that will follow? An entirely white cast fighting the ultimate embodiment of evil who just happens to be Black. However I would like to see him as a companion. Unit Special forces guy for example, you could have an interesting interplay in Philosophies about how to deal with certain situations. A more proficient less annoying Captain Jack if you will!

Dance would be good, but surely if you want a plausibly charming-but-evil goatee'd GoT man, Aidan Gillen?

Oh lord no

Hugh Laurie.

Stunt casting, again?

Just make the Master good and suspenseful again. The sub-camp comic routines from 2007 and 2009 have not aged very well...

Or since it's hollywood, why not Matt Smith since he's working there now? :)

Why not Tom Baker, in 2007 he said in a DVD commentary about the role...

I've seen Ledger's Joker. He makes the creepy factor work. Simm has NONE of that to compensate for the daffy elmer antics. Unless Simm was trying to make the most he could with the hackneyed writing he had to deal with?

So now we need pop culture muzak to tell stories instead of what the writers should be doing? Oh, wait, giving him magical powers like lightning bolts from his fingers has far more menace and intelligence, supposedly...

Since when did Classic Who resort to such idiotic levels of nonstorytelling?

Oh, you mean a wife that really isn't one? (about the beard, real award-winning comedy, that line was... not.)

Oh, wait, the brilliant writing behind the Master living on Earth for several years while waiting for the Doctor to return (like the Doctor ever really left Earth during RTD's run and absolutely no reason was ever given, unlike the third Doctor's reason for being stuck there...) Actually, series 3 sees the moon, an alien planet where Christianity's "Beast" lives, and... that's about it, but at the time it seemed far more common than it really was...

Thanks to Jacobi by and large. At that point, nobody knew how bad the Master would quickly become after the regeneration...

Oh, you're one of those people.

"The Beard" I love that line. And yes, Moffat has earned plenty of awards for his comedy.

The Master wasn't stuck on Earth. Didn't you pay attention? He could travel between two points, Earth and Utopia, and even took Lucy to see the future, to entrap her in his nihilism and get her to help him.

Also, budget-wise RTD had the Doctor come to Earth more often, because they simply didn't have the money. Give them some slack. They did wonders with what they had.

I think he was cast for his looks, as Hollywood might have considered him quite handsome. His Master ruined the movie for me.

Read More About:

Sponsored Links