John Simm to Return as The Master!

The ‘brain melting’ spoiler is out!

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.

Earlier this week Steven Moffat introduced a ‘next time’ trailer which he said contained a ‘brain melting’ spoiler that was so incendiary that it came with a countdown. Well now we’ve gone from countdown to blast off, after The Sun decided to print the spoiler because of course they did.

Speaking to the BBC, John Simm said:

“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.”

Departing show runner, writer and executive producer, Steven Moffat added:

“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.”

John Simm was last seen as the Master on New Year’s Day 2010, and confirming that the spoiler would close a gap in Time Lord history, perhaps now we will get to see just how the Master regenerated into Missy – and perhaps a multi-Master story calls for multiple Doctors…

We’ll have to wait to see exactly when and how the Master will return to the new series, which starts on Saturday 15 April at 7:20pm on BBC One.

  • Philip

    I don’t care what people think – I love Simm’s Master. If he were given better writing, he’d be remembered far better. Saying that, I *really* don’t want to see him regenerate into Missy. Or indeed, at all. I wonder if this’ll restore him somewhat, make him more of a “current” incarnation, ripe for Chibnall to bring him back. Man, I hope so…

    • bar “B.I.”O.

      Time travellers are ALL ‘current’! Why shouldn’t Missy regenerate into Derek Jacobi? Meeting ‘out of order’ is well-established now. Or maybe Alex McQueen, so they can out-camp each other. 😉 Multi Doctor would be my preference, but multi Master is ok too.

    • Hello, Moo.

      To quote Moffat: 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 think that implies multi-Master rather than regeneration. So that’s good.

      • bar “B.I.”O.

        With the Doctor saying when both Masters meet: ‘This is the moment you’ve been waiting for since the day you were born!’

    • FrancoPabloDiablo

      “Man, I hope so”…
      ‘Man’ being the operative word there!

  • The Lazy Womble

    I do like Simm’s Master and am glad he is back.

    • Ranger

      I don’t mind Michelle Gomez’s character, I just don’t see her as the Master, But I did enjoy Simm’s antics, though he was not really the Master for me either. I’m a Delgardo girl followed by Anthony Ainley, there was more of a subtlety about their portrayal of the Master. Out and out frantic madness can be scary, but a character who you know to be mad, but is also charmingly plausible in their reasoning is a lot more worrying.

      • bar “B.I.”O.

        I’m Delgado followed by McQueen, who I think gets that balance you mention.
        (the disqus pic here is crocheted too – those eyes on your chest have an effect!)

        • FrancoPabloDiablo

          I do like McQueen but is it only me who can’t listen to him without thinking of The Inbetweeners – in which he was super funny in?

        • Dr. Moo (Cow)

          1 Gomez
          = MacQueen
          3 Delgado
          4 Beevers
          =Pratt
          = Jacobi
          7 Ainley
          8 Simm
          9 Roberts
          10 Tipple
          = Hughes

          • The Lazy Womble

            Delgado, Ainley, Beevers, Pratt, Roberts and then I don’t care

          • Philip

            Ooh good game, Moo! Pretty difficult though. I’ve not really heard MacQueen yet so I’ll skip him, and Tipple and Hughes because… well, because. But my list right now:

            1. Simm
            2. Delgado
            3. Ainley
            4. Beevers
            5. Roberts
            6. Pratt
            7. Jacobi
            8. Gomez.

            But 3 –> 8 are pretty much in flux depending on which story I’m watching!

          • Dr. Moo (ᵖᶦˡᵒᵗᶦⁿᵍ ᵗʰᵉ ᵗᵃʳᵈᶦˢ)

            So regarding 3-7 you might say…
            I can’t decide?

  • Hello, Moo.

    The best Master is Gomez followed by MacQueen. But Simm is one I really enjoy, his stories were somewhat disappointing to me but he was one of the best things in both. I’m actually not hoping for the regeneration here, at least not unless the Master herself triggers it. Which would t surprise me one bit actually. I want these two interacting.

    • Hello, Moo.

      It’s possible that Simm’s Master won’t regenerate and there will be two “current” Masters for just a little while on the TV show. Big Finish have that with Beevers and MacQueen, and just last year did a story with the Ainley incarnation, so it could work. Eventually we’d need to see how Simm becomes Gomez but what’s the rush?

    • The Lazy Womble

      Who is this Hughes of whom people speak?

      • Dr. Moo (Cow)

        The 1st Master, seen in flashbacks in series three.

  • Hello, Moo.

    Can we just ban The Sun from all press screenings from now on? They’ve gone and cocked-up what should’ve been one of the biggest jaw-droppers of recent years all to get some clicks on their website. Ugh. FFS!!!

    • FrancoPabloDiablo

      Well, I didn’t even have to read The Sun (though I do agree it and it’s tabloid kin should be banned from life in general – not just press screenings) – I just looked at that lovely shot of Simm and the headline here on The DWC and all basically fell into place. At least I don’t have to worry about closing my eyes now but it would have been a lovely surprise. We’ve had multi-Doctor stories so about time for a multi-Master story. I’d like to think the Master will finally get his tackle back at the end but am not holding my breath!

      • Dr. Moo (Cow)

        I wouldn’t hold your breath for that last bit.

        • FrancoPabloDiablo

          I did say I WASN’T holding my breath.

  • Peter Rabytt

    I am afraid I really didn’t like John Simm as the Master
    …it felt like mis-casting to me. May be it was the way he was written not matching John? For me he didn’t pull off the manic glee that was being asked of him or that he chose to ramp up. I am prepared to revise my opinion and hope he plays the role in a way that suits him this time. But personally I would rather Derek Jacobi was coming back.
    By the way, I know I have been rather absent from DWC lately but I’ve had a collection of diverting incidents, including my bathroom springing 2 hidden leaks that soaked into the floor and came through my kitchen ceiling…..causing a lot of damage to both rooms. I won’t bore you with the other calamities but suffice to say I have had my hands full! But nothing that can’t be fixed with a bigger overdraft! Really looking forward to the Doctor’s return to take my mind off it!

    • bar “B.I.”O.

      Good luck with the leak. Just beware of The Puddle – they can be dangerous 😉

  • Rick714

    Being in America, the Sun didn’t spoil anything, this site did. Ah well, I was never that big a fan of Simm’s Master but I like the two incarnations going head to head. I myself will be rooting for Missy.

    • bar “B.I.”O.

      Being in England this site ruined it for me too – few people actually read the Sun, which is why it is desparate for clickbait. Even those who do just look at the pictures!

  • Philip

    Hey everyone. How are we all? Just felt I should address concerns that we’re indulging in spoilers. I am really sorry if we’ve inadvertently spoiled it. Sorry Rick, sorry Bar, and sorry to anyone else. But there is a reason. Basically, The Sun leaked it a couple of days ago, and we were pretty annoyed; the press embargo is there for a reason. The Sun threw its weight around in order to get traffic. We refused to report on it. However, the BBC caved in, and announced it; once they did that, we felt we had to report it. We simply have to keep as up to date on the news as we can, especially big headlines like this. It’s basically keeping up with the competition. So I’m sorry, but I hope you can understand our reasoning.

    • bar “B.I.”O.

      Careful Phil – you’re beginning to sound like Ten! I can only reply ‘You’re forgiven, always and absolutely…’

    • Dr. Moo (Cow)

      Once it’s given a press release by an official source it should be fair game for reporting it, in my opinion.

    • FrancoPabloDiablo

      Not your fault at all! It WAS through this article I found out about it but if it wasn’t from here, then it being out there by the tabloids I, and others, would no doubt have found out pretty soon anyway! Sad, but not your fault.

  • Dr. Moo (Cow)

    Let’s play a game.

    Dr. Moo ranks the (canon) Master stories that he has experienced:
    34. Time-Flight (Ainley)
    33. Dark Eyes 4 (MacQueen)
    32. Castrovalva (Ainley)
    31. Planet of Fire (Ainley)
    30. The End of Time (Simm)
    29. The Dæmons (Delgado)
    28. The King’s Demons (Ainley)
    27. Dark Eyes 2 (MacQueen)
    26. The Doctor Who Movie (Tipple/Roberts)
    25. Dark Eyes 3 (MacQueen)
    24. Vampire of the Mind (MacQueen)
    23. The Five Doctors (Ainley)
    22. The Mark of the Rani (Ainley)
    21. Dust Breeding (Beevers)
    20. Utopia / The Sound of Drums / Last of the Time Lords (Jacobi/Simm/Hughes)
    19. Colony in Space (Delgado)
    18. And You Will Obey Me (Beevers)
    17. The Claws of Axos (Delgado)
    16. Logopolis (Ainley)
    15. The Two Masters (Beevers/MacQueen)
    14. UNIT: Dominion (MacQueen)
    13. The Trial of a Time Lord: The Ultimate Foe (Ainley)
    12. Dark Water / Death in Heaven (Gomez)
    11. The End of the Line (Ainley)
    10. The Mind of Evil (Delgado)
    9. The Keeper of Traken (Beevers/Ainley)
    8. Frontier in Space (Delgado)
    7. Terror of the Autons (Delgado)
    6. The Sea Devils (Delgado)
    5. Master (Beevers)
    4. The Light at the End (Beevers)
    3. The Deadly Assassin (Pratt)
    2. Survival (Ainley)
    1. The Magician’s Apprentice / The Witch’s Familiar (Gomez)

    • FrancoPabloDiablo

      Got to say I’m surprised you place The Daemons so low. That was one of the first Master stories I seen (along with The Sea Devils) and love it. Can you really say that MacQueen is ‘Canon’ though? I do love him but I wouldn’t go so far as to say he’s ‘canon’. And you say elsewhere that MacQueen is tied as your favourite incarnation along with Gomaz yet his highest rated story in your above list is 14th – more or less in the middle. You place a lot more Ainley stories above MacQueen ones.

      • Dr. Moo (Cow)

        I count him canon since Eight’s companion Molly is (see Night) and her story is intertwined with his. That’s good enough for me! 🙂

        And his stories are mostly lacking in quality, he suffers through some of the worst written stuff Big Finish have ever done (Dark Eyes 4 gives me vietnamesque flashbacks) but he’s just so utterly utterly perfect in the role that he somehow makes his scenes work.

        • FrancoPabloDiablo

          I see your point, and I accept the companions he mentioned but where do you draw the line? Are we meant now to include every single character that companion interacted with? That is one of the great things about all the spin-off material – we can pick and choose what we want to include and exclude according to our own wants! To me Frobisher is canon because of his two BF audios which I consider amongst the best Who stories ever made – despite the fact he’s never been ‘canon’ on-screen and I’d never try and make that argument – that is just the way I like it in my head. MacQueen though, like I say elsewhere, he’ll always be the dad from the Inbetweeners or the d*ck from The Thick Of It.

          • Dr. Moo (Cow)

            All hail the big talking bird.

          • Ranger

            They’re doing a Doctor Who/Sesame Street crossover?! It’s good Moffatt’s going, he’s clearly losing it.

          • FrancoPabloDiablo

            Chibs is planning on Bert and Ernie being the new companions and Oscar The Grouch is going to replace Michelle Gomez as The Master. And yes, Big Bird is going to be the 13th Doctor.

          • Ranger

            Lol! I can just see The Count: “One dalek, hahaha, two daleks, hahaha, three d….” Exterminate!”.

            How you doing Franco?

          • FrancoPabloDiablo

            I’m doing good thanks Ranger. Hope you and all our fellow commenters are too. If you are referring to my family’s recent cat problem I hope you’ll be glad to know she is actually her usual self again. Not sure what was going on there but the vet told us to expect the worst. She’s a strong furry girl though and we are delighted she’s back! Also, just heard on the grapevine that Cookie Monster is going to be the new Davros!

            C’mon, what other Sesame Street characters could play Doctor Who characters? That in itself is an article right there!!! Elmo as Alpha Centauri? Snuffleupagus as Rassilon? The choices are endless. 🙂

          • bar “B.I.”O.

            Woo hoo – glad the feline member of the family is up and purring.
            I don’t know about sesame st, but a certain pair of muppets will be out inforce from Saturday onwards…
            http://vignette4.wikia.nocookie.net/muppet/images/5/5d/Statler%26Waldorf5thseason.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20101102120504

          • FrancoPabloDiablo

            The only thing better than having the cat back to her usual self is seeing our daughter’s relief and delight at having her back! Like I said, hope ALL of you are doing well too and please feel free share with the rest of us if you need an outlet! We’re all here for each other even if some people prefer Fear Her over Love & Monsters (Moo, I’m looking at you) 🙂
            Am at work at the moment and your link doesn’t work. I’ll assume it is something funny and try again when I get home. Can’t believe it is only a matter of days before NEW WHO!!!
            I’m all up for Grover being the new Borusa!

          • bar “B.I.”O.

            fixed it thanks Franco 🙂

          • FrancoPabloDiablo

            I totally had a funny feeling it would be Statler and Waldorf! Still can’t play the video here at work but something to look forward to watching when I get home!

          • The Lazy Womble

            Big Bird as the Karkus

      • Dr. Moo (Cow)

        Regarding The Dæmons, I see why it’s popular but it just doesn’t do it for me. Needs to be a couple episodes shorter than it is.

        • The Lazy Womble

          5 for preference

  • krumstets

    This could be misdirection when in fact the surprise guest is not just Simm but Eric Roberts too.
    How cool would that be?

    • Dr. Moo (Cow)

      Nah. What we really need is a return for Gordon Tipple.

  • FrancoPabloDiablo

    No-one will ever better Delgado in my opinion. Pratt was good because The Master’s decay was written superbly into the script and he performed it accordingly. Beever’s portrayal was a good stab at the previous but was nowhere near as good as Pratt’s (perhaps because of the poorer script and the new make-up). Ainley had his moments but sadly only made the part his own in Survival. Too much Panto villain stuff going on there, Which is probably the reason for Robert’s OTT performance. Jacobi is a lost treasure as we only had him in Utopia. Simm was great but, like most of Ainley’s time, was let down by bad/OTT writing. Gomez is a strong, brilliant and funny actress who truly deserved an original character created for her (but heaven forbid an original strong female character be created). It will be interesting to see how Simm’s return turns out.

  • richo

    Okay, so the big question is – and I think we all know the answer to this one – will Missy and the Master have a big snog scene?

    • Dr. Moo (Cow)

      Yes please.

    • The Lazy Womble

      Good grief I hope not. But I am not optimistic.