first_img HBO Max Scores Exclusive ‘Doctor Who’ Streaming RightsJo Tro Do Plo Plo No: ‘Doctor Who’ Welcomes Back Familiar Monster Stay on target Despite its deep roots in traditional science fiction and drama, Doctor Who actually takes many of its cues from American buddy comedies of yore.By pairing childhood frenemies the Doctor and the Master—two contrasting personalities—the show creates a particular on-screen dynamic: good vs. evil, light vs. dark, clever vs. cleverer.Both renegade aliens mad with power, the two Time Lords use their gift—the ability to travel through space and time—in very different ways.Driven insane at a young age after looking into the Untempered Schism on Gallifrey, the Master, hell bent on controlling the universe and making the Doctor suffer, flees his home planet in a stolen TARDIS.“The pleasure of seeing the human race exterminated, Doctor,” Roger Delgado’s Master said in the 1972 episode “The Sea Devils.” “The human race of which you are so fond. Believe me that’ll be a reward in itself.”IncarnationsFirst portrayed by Delgado in 1971’s “Terror of the Autons,” the character arrives on Earth to wreak havoc but finds himself stranded on the planet, where he becomes a recurring pain in the Doctor’s arse.Just like the show’s regenerating titular character, the Master has been played by multiple actors over nearly five decades. Delgado (pictured) originated the part, which he reprised in many Third Doctor serials until his death in 1973. Peter Pratt took over in late 1976, and was succeeded by Geoffrey Beevers (1981) and Anthony Ainley (1981-89).Gordon Tipple and Eric Roberts stepped into the role for the 1996 Doctor Who TV movie, playing “the old Master” and “the Master,” respectively. Since the program’s reboot in 2005, the mischievous Time Lord has been personified by Derek Jacobi and John Simm.In 2007, camouflaged as a human named Yana, the Master returns to his true identity (in the form of Jacobi). But when he is fatally wounded, the Master crawls into the Doctor’s TARDIS and regenerates into a younger body (Simm). Transported back to earth, he takes on the alias of “Harold Saxon,” Minister of Defence of Great Britain—soon to be elected Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.During a two-part special broadcast on Christmas 2009 and New Year’s 2010, the Master gets revenge on Gallifrean Lord President Rassilon, who he blames for his troubles, but manages to send Rassilon, Gallifrey, and himself “back into [the] hell” of the final day of the Time War.The botched resurrection leads to a welcome surprise gender-bending twist: Michelle Gomez appeared in the eighth series as Missy (pictured), a mysterious “woman in the shop” who brings Clara and the Eleventh Doctor together. She is later unveiled as a new, female incarnation of the Master: “Well, couldn’t very well keep calling myself ‘The Master,’ now could I?” she groans in “Dark Water.”Gomez decked out in Missy’s steampunk Mary Poppins costume, and a sly smile recently confirmed her return to the show’s 10th season, scheduled for April 15.TARDISWhile the Doctor’s TARDIS is stuck in the shape of a 1960s London police box, his counterpart’s ship has shape-shifted into dozens of disguises. These disguises include a horsebox, a white cupboard, a red rocket, a grandfather clock, a police box, a plant, a column, a fireplace, and a Concord.last_img read more