Written by John Hussey
I know I said in my recently uploaded Doctor Who article that my next piece on the series would be delving into my opinions on a Female Doctor, but fuck it, because a new, and very exciting, piece of news has just surfaced. John Simm will be returning in Series 10 to reprise his role as The Master!
Holy shit I am so excited right now! I’ve gone on and on about how I felt that my passion for Doctor Who was fading away piece by piece. And so naturally I just needed to hear some good news. I guess the recent announcement of the Ice Warriors and the Mondasian Cybermen coming back was a nice indication that Steven Moffat was at least trying to win me back, but it still wasn’t enough to spark excitement. Only depression rested in my heart. Until now…
John Simm will return as The Master to battle The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), new companion Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie) and Nardole (Matt Lucas) in the forthcoming series of Doctor Who.
John Simm says: “I can confirm that it’s true, thanks to the power of time travel I’m back. It’s always a pleasure to work with this great team of people and I can’t wait for you all to see what The Master gets up to in the next series. “
Steven Moffat, writer and executive producer, says: “Nothing stays secret for long on Doctor Who but you’ll have to wait a little bit longer to see exactly what The Master is up to and how he makes his return to face the Doctor. It’s been a huge pleasure to have fan favourites John Simm and Michelle Gomez face to face in the same role! It’s not often you get to see a solo personality clash.”
I absolutely loved Simm’s take as the renegade Time Lord. The villain has done nothing but try to kill, or humiliate, The Doctor ever since his first onscreen appearance back in 1971, “Terror of the Autons” (originally played by Roger Delgado). Simm first appeared as The Master in a surprise return back in 2007, facing against David Tennant‘s Tenth Doctor, where upon Sir Derek Jacobi being revealed as The Master in disguise, he came into being after a forced regeneration.
Simm took the role into some dark, and amusing, territories during the events of “The Sounds of Drums” and “Last of the Time Lords”, to which he became Prime Minister, got married, and conquered the world, whilst The Doctor was rendered powerless. How more evil can you possibly get? It was thought that The Master had died but soon made a return in the 2009/10 Special “The End of Time” in order to help send off Tennant’s incarnation.
This story holds as one of my personal favourite Master tales simply because it tries to make us understand his internal struggle and meaning in life, which actually becomes extremely tragic. This is made even more pleasing when you get the poetic conclusion of him saving The Doctor, sacrificing himself to send Rassilon and the rest of the Time Lords back into the Time War.
I have been quite upset in recent years as I really wanted my favourite villain to return throughout Matt Smith‘s era, but this sadly never came to fruition, and so I was delighted to hear the rumours that Moffat would at last bring him back to face Peter Capaldi for Series 8. And then the shit hit the fan (or more accurately exploded through the fan and covered me head-to-toe in the biggest sloppy turd known to man, resulting in my brain exploding from the shock – which is still recovering by the way!)
I really don’t know what Moffat was thinking when he considered the premise of Missy, but I really, really, really wish that it would just go fuck off to the furthest reaches of space, kick itself hard in the bollocks, and then die painfully alone in the void of space where it can do no harm to me, and the rest of the sane world, ever again. Literally, I was beginning to think that my favourite villain was gone, buried in the ground with multiple bullets in the back of his head, never to see the light of day again. I even began to state to myself that Missy wasn’t The Master (and with Moffat announcing that the fans can produce their own idea of continuity to please their own view of the show I swiftly plastered my views as law to ease my suffering).
So naturally this whole bit of news does give me an enormous amount of hope that the future is looking bright for Doctor Who and that Series 10 will be a bucket-list of Moffat’s greatest tropes and creative ideas combined into one neatly packaged parcel of goodies which I can sit back and happily enjoy. Though I’m disappointed that Missy will be appearing alongside Simm’s incarnation of The Master, it could still play out in a good way (with me hoping that The Master calls Missy out on her bullshit, and the simple fact she acts nothing like him – mirroring the idea that she is a fan-fiction character dreamt up by Moffat).
In fact, I want it to go one step further. I want it to become canon that Missy has all along been a massive ploy set up by The Master to toy with The Doctor whilst he prepared his sinister schemes in the background, with Missy ultimately being revealed as a dedicated fan who is twisted to the core, to the point where she idolises The Master and wants to become him. And then is killed off once The Master has no more usage for her. Hurray!
But chances are this will never happen and I’ll probably be forced to accept the fact that Missy is Simm’s replacement. At the very least it would be nice to see what happened to Simm’s Master after the events of “The End of Time” and at the very least learn how Missy came to be. I’m still wanting it to be a forced thing rather than The Master willingly becoming a woman (which would be completely out of character).
I would also like to point out that Big Finish Productions have already beaten the television series to doing a multi-Master story-arc. They did this last year for a three-piece narrative consisting of “And You Will Obey Me”, “Vampire of the Mind”, and “The Two Masters”. These stories brought back Geoffrey Beever‘s incarnation of The Master (first seen in “The Keeper of Traken”) and had him encounter Big Finish’s own incarnation of The Master (set between Eric Roberts‘ incarnation and Jacobi’s) played by Alex Macqueen.
So I guess Moffat is trying to compensate for the fact that he was late for the party and that he has some mighty big shoes to fill because The Two Master Trilogy was fucking awesome (showcasing just how better Big Finish are at pleasing the fandom). But from what I gather “Extremis”, “The Pyramid at the End of the World”, and “The Lie of the Land” forms a three-part story featuring Missy, and so with this announcement I’m getting the idea that this could mean Simm will feature throughout them (or at least in one of these stories). It would be really great to have him feature across multiple stories in order to have ourselves an epic event.
At the very least I just hope Moffat does Simm justice and gives me a welcome return because damn I’ve been waiting eight years for this shit and I don’t want anymore unnecessary surprises that ultimately lead to me ripping my hair out and slamming my face against the wall until the idea either goes away or I see my brain slowly sliding its way down the wall as I continue to relieve my extremely, agonising headache.