Doctor Who star Sacha Dhawan has teased an out of control Master in the upcoming Centenary Special. The Doctor and the Master first met at the Prydonian Academy on Gallifrey, and they initially became firm friends. Their friendship soured after the two turned renegade, however, and they became the most bitter enemies. They have clashed on countless occasions, with the Master desperately attempting to prove himself the Doctor’s superior.
The Master’s hatred has increased after the Timeless Child reveal. He learned the Doctor was not a Time Lord at all, but rather she is the Timeless Child, a being over a billion years old whose power of regeneration made her the base genetic code for the entire Time Lord race. This means the Master can never be the Doctor’s equal; he would not exist without her, for the Master’s power of regeneration is owed to the Doctor. In Doctor Who: Flux, the avatar of Time itself prophesied a coming storm in which the Master led an alliance of the Doctor’s greatest foes against her.
The BBC has released an official interview with Dhawan ahead of next week’s Doctor Who Centenary Special (via TVZone) and in it the actor promises a version of the Master who is dangerously out of control. It stems from one fascinating line, which Dhawan says indicates the Master’s shifting mindset. Dhawan explains:
“There is a line that The Master says to the Doctor, ‘This is the day you die.’ In fact, it’s the day that puts both their lives on the line because The Master has no real control over its outcome, which makes it all the more terrifying. The Master will set out his masterplan with plenty of room for spontaneity and chaos. He’s really pushes the dial to its limits, because the truth is, he has nothing left to lose.“
Why Does The Master Have Nothing To Lose?
Dhawan’s Master has already established himself as an iconic version of the Doctor Who character, with a manic energy evoking the best of Anthony Ainley and John Simm. Dhawan’s comment hints that something has changed, something has pushed the Master to the brink, and that he believes this time only one of the time travelers will walk away alive. It’s possible this flows from the end of Doctor Who season 12, which saw the Master apparently die when Gallifrey was destroyed (again). The Master has cheated death so many times, but it is possible that this time his survival came at a cost. It’s interesting to note the Master isn’t the only unexpected survivor from season 12 to appear in the Doctor Who Centenary Special; the Lone Cyberman is returning as well, and that makes even less sense, given he was actually killed by the Master on-screen.
The Master has often been compared to Sherlock Holmes’ nemesis Professor Moriarty, and the comparison seems more appropriate than ever before. In “The Final Problem,” Holmes successfully brought down Moriarty’s entire empire – leaving him with nothing left to lose. This led to a fateful confrontation at the Reichenbach Falls, where Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty grappled, and apparently both fell to their deaths. It sounds as though “The Power of the Doctor” is intended to be the ultimate fulfillment of the Moriarty parallel, with the Doctor and the Master battling for what each believes to be the last time. This could be the most explosive story for Dhawan’s Master to date, bringing a tremendous conclusion to Jodie Whittaker’s tenure as the Thirteenth Doctor in Doctor Who.
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