Favourite Incarnation of the Master (In Performed Media)

Who’s your favorite incarnation of the Master? I’m only including incarnations that appear in performed media (so no comic- or novel-specific incarnations) and I’m listing them by actor for easy identification. Feel free to comment explanations for your choices, but you don’t have to. You can choose as many as you want.

  • Roger Delgado
  • Peter Pratt/Geoffrey Beevers
  • Anthony Ainley
  • Eric Roberts
  • Derek Jacobi
  • John Simm
  • Michelle Gomez
  • Sacha Dhawan
  • Alex Macqueen (Big Finish)
  • James Dreyfus (Big Finish)
  • Milo Parker (Big Finish)
0 voters
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Easy choices here for me - the classic Masters plus Sacha Dhawan.

I like Michelle Gomez but something just doesn’t compute in my brain to fit her into the Master pantheon.

Also, I ticked Pratt/Beevers but really I’m just voting for Beevers. His work for Big Finish as the Master is just wonderful. I still remember the absolute jaw-dropping thrill when he appeared in Dust Breeding.

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That’s probably true for nearly everyone. But since they’re technically considered the same incarnation, I figured I’d add Pratt in there.

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Since Jonathan Pryce isn’t in the poll, mentioning him here.

(And RIP William Hughes, though, admittedly, he wouldn’t have been a Master I would have voted for…)

Edit: Didn’t vote for Missy because I tend to consider her separate from the Master. Didn’t vote for Simm… but his last appearance does tempt me too, as he was at his most Master-y.

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Michelle Gomez is an absolute genius. She’s the best thing about Capaldi’s era. She has also been smashing it with the audios.

Her storyline was interesting and complex - a Master who wanted to redeem herself and be good. Such a breath of fresh air from all the megalomaniacs before her, and such a let down when Sacha was “reset to factory settings”.

I don’t think it’s fair to say she’s not a “true” Master. Why? Because she’s a woman? She also paved the way for a female Doctor.

Thank you for coming to my TED talk :laughing:

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To be clear, it isn’t about Missy being female for me. For me, the more like Roger Delgado’s iteration of the Master you are, the more you feel like the Master to me.

In fact, I kinda feel like in new Who, there’s been too much emphasis on the Master being crazy. I want more of the master manipulating people, disguising themselves, hypnotizing people, and so on.

Just saying I could’ve done with a few times of side characters turning out to be Missy in disguise, and, say, her hiding a tissue eliminator in her umbrella and filling a dollhouse with shrunken corpses, that sort of thing…

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Ok! Well she did pretend to be a robot when we first see her :joy:

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That’s a start!

(Same thing applies to Simm for me, btw. He instantly felt much more Mastery when he disguised himself as someone else, ripped off the disguise, and turned out to have finally grown a goatee. Sacha endeared himself to me by immediately having turned out to be in disguise as someone he killed with a tissue compressor… and the Rasputin scene left me with a great last impression, too.)

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I really like Missy in the her audios but it’s just this weird disconnect I have between Missy and the Master on screen that I just can’t quite compute. I do enjoy her appearances (even if a story like Dark Water/Death in Heaven is a bit of a dirge for me).

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Sure, Death in Heaven had its faults, but the idea of Missy wanting to show the Doctor that he’s no different to her is so interesting:

Quotes from Death in Heaven

DOCTOR: All of this. All of it, just to give me an army?
MISSY: Well, I don’t need one, do I? Armies are for people who think they’re right. And nobody thinks they’re righter than you. Give a good man firepower, and he’ll never run out of people to kill.
DOCTOR: I don’t want an army!
MISSY: Well, that’s the trouble! Yes, you do! You’ve always wanted one! All those people suffering in the Dalek camps? Now you can save them. All those bad guys winning all the wars? Go and get the good guys back.

I think that’s very powerful, and surely showing the Doctor how he’s a hypocrite sometimes is a good “win” over him, more so than some of the sillier plots the Master has had!

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I do quite like that confrontation at the end and the Missy/Osgood stuff is good.

But the Danny/Clara bits - ugh.

And the less said about CyberBrig the better (that’s Moffat’s biggest misstep, for me, and yet it’s hardly ever mentioned whereas I think it’s akin to RTD’s paving slab bit which is brought up all the time).

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I was going to mention CyberBrig but thought that’s best left unmentioned haha :sweat_smile:

And yeah I was never a fan of Danny Pink.

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Oh god the CyberBrig :roll_eyes:

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The problem with Danny Pink was two-fold: the ridiculous ‘I hate soldiers’ stuff from a person who could count soldiers among his best friends and making a love triangle between the Doctor, Clara and Danny.

The Caretaker is the worst for this - horrible episode - but it soured a lot of Series 8 for me.

Anyway - off topic! A mod will be along soon to separate this off :wink:

I also voted for Derek Jacobi here, because his one TV performance was just amazing, and I’ve heard great things about his audios.

Excited to listen to more!

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One issue with Danny Pink was that we ended up with questions because of having seen Orson Pink previously, too…

And yes, I was very disappointed when Derek immediately regenerated as the Master, because he was great, absolutely selling changing from a kindly old man into the Master! (At least I got to see him as Arthur Darvill’s mentor in Sandman.)

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I’ve never really gotten the level of hate for CyberBrig. It feels like the natural extension of the other things going on in that story.

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For me I just feel as if it lessens the impact of the Cybermen. The Brigadier is brilliant at what he does/did but I don’t think he should be more special than others. It’s like with Danny Pink, that somehow his love for Clara is so strong that it can hold the conversion at bay, does noone else feel that strongly about anyone else? It is the same with Craig in Closing Time.
Love is great, but I don’t think it should be able to overcome the horrific conversion process.
The whole CyberBrig thing just rubbed me the wrong way

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Oh yes “love overcomes evil” is one of my least favourite tropes. That reminds me, I was going to make a trope of that. I’ll do that at some point :grin: