The Master’s Ten Most Audacious Schemes

As we wait to learn just how the Master escaped the wrath of Rassilon and found himself on board a colony ship with the Mondasian Cybermen at the least-inviting hospital this side of The Evil Within, we thought that it would be a good time to go over some of the craziest ideas that the evil jackanapes came up with.

Some of you scamps may have only recently joined the Doctor Who fold, so coming over all inclusive, we’ve gaffe taped this quick cut out and keep guide about the Master’s ten most audacious plans.

He’s a Time Lord, just like the Doctor. He’s the Doctor’s greatest enemy and greatest equal. He has all of the Doctor’s intelligence but just happens to be a tiny bit mad. With that in mind, let’s have a look at some of the hair-brained and maniacal schemes that he’s come up with over the years.

1. Terror of the Autons

The Master’s first recorded appearance on Earth, he teamed up with the Autons and the Nestene Consciousness in a bid to take over the Earth. After cajoling the Third Doctor, hypnotising Jo Grant into carrying out an attempted multiple murder, trying to strangle the Doctor to death remotely with a telephone cord he then changes his mind at the last minute and sends the Nestenes back into space after realising that they won’t let him rule the Earth but will probably kill him instead. In the end he gets away by hypnotising some poor soul, getting said poor soul to pretend he’s the Master so he gets shot to death for his trouble and then driving off in a stolen van.

The madness begins.

2. The Sea Devils

After being arrested in the previous story The Daemons by UNIT, the Master finds himself locked up in small island prison. In no time at all, he’s convinced the misguided Colonel Trenchard to assist him in contacting the underwater cousins of the Silurians, nicknamed Sea Devils. He raises them from their prehistoric slumber in another bid to take over the Earth, convincing this particular breed of Homo Reptilia that there’s not enough space on Earth for them and mankind. The scale of this operation on the Master’s part is huge and shows the great lengths that this rogue Time Lord will go in order to rule the world.

3. The Deadly Assassin

One of the Master’s grandest and boldest plans that he has ever come up with was to try and drain the Eye of Harmony on Gallifrey in order to restore his regenerative cycle. Nearing the end of his natural life and trying to deal with a regeneration failure that had turned him from suave and sophisticated baddie into a desperate and psychotic madman. This is a version of the Master that we are more used to seeing in the newer series of Doctor Who but back in 1976, this was a bold and epic story that proved the Master could almost win.

4. Logopolis

“Peoples of the Universe, please attend carefully…”

The Master nearly ends the Universe. Having acquired a new body, although not technically through regenerating, the Master set out to give the Fourth Doctor one final problem to fix, stopping the end of everything. Having killed the race that kept the Universe in balance, the Master forces the Doctor to team up with him only to turn events to his advantage and actually hold the Universe to ransom. It doesn’t get madder than that. At the end of the story, he manages to be the cause of the Fourth Doctor’s death, which he gloats about several years later in The Five Doctors.

5. Time-Flight

The sheer madness of this scheme comes from the fact that the Master poses as a mystic called Kalid during Earth’s prehistoric era and then manages to lure the Doctor to said era where he forces him to fashion an escape route that the Master needs because his last hair brained scheme went a bit wrong. If you think that before the Doctor turned up, no one would have cared or known who the Master was or looked like so his reasons for disguising himself are about the same as a serial killer dressing up as Daffy Duck in order to carry out their crimes so that random targets “won’t know who they are”. Totally pointless, totally whacky, totally insane.

6. Survival

The last story to make up the classic era of Doctor Who ends on a fantastic high as the Seventh Doctor and his friend Ace wander around Perivale on a Sunday trying to work out why stray cats are looking dodgy and people are going missing. Of course it’s the Master and of course it’s Anthony Ailey’s best performance in the role. The Master is infected with a disease and needs to get off the Cheetah planet that he is stuck on in order to cure himself. His plan actually works and he and the Doctor eventually get cast back to where they came from. Quite where the Master ends up immediately we never find out but the point stands that he technically wins.

7. The TV Movie

Now reduced to nothing more than a pile of bitter and vengeful goo after having a nasty run in with the Daleks, the Master enlists the Seventh Doctor to take his remains to Gallifrey for what we can only presume the Doctor thinks will be a knees up in the Panopticon and chance to get off with Chancellor Flavia. However, the Master isn’t quite dead and manages to force the TARDIS to land on Earth at the turn of the 20th century. The Doctor dies and regenerates into his Eighth incarnation; the Master possesses the Doctor’s new friend friend Grace and then tries to steal all of the Doctors remaining regenerations whilst almost causing the end of the world. All to stay alive a little longer.

8. The Sound of Drums/Last of the Time Lords

The Master has been hiding for a very long time in order to escape the Time War. After an encounter with the Tenth Doctor at the end of the Universe, he steals the last TARDIS and heads to Earth where he plans and schemes for eighteen months. During that time he avoids the Doctor, gets married, becomes Prime Minister of Great Britain, creates a paradox machine through the Doctor’s stolen TARDIS so that future human beings can come back in time and wipe out one-tenth of Earth’s population, becomes the lord and master of Earth and nearly starts a war with the Universe. If only he could’ve resisted a ticking clock.

9. The End of Time

After being resurrected by the Cult of Harold Saxon, the Master finds that he’s slightly blonder, slightly hungrier and even more insane than usual. He then proceeds to use an alien medical device to turn every human being alive or dead on planet Earth into himself.

Once he’s done that little bit of business, he then locates the source of the drumming in his head which turns out to be coming from Gallifrey at the edge of the Time War in a desperate attempt to lift themselves from their inevitable doom. He’s also partly responsible for the Doctor’s death, again, which means that this mad two-part plan attack actually kind of worked.

10. The Glorious Dead

As a coda, we’ve included this wonderful ten-part epic comic strip from Doctor Who Magazine that saw the return of the Master after events in the TV Movie. He plans to rule the Omniverse but to do so, he’s had to have several plans taking place over several decades and on several different planets. The Master creates a new religion and destroys Earth just to get to his ultimate goal; it’s so crazy that it almost works. Almost. It’s only the Master’s vanity that unravels his entire plan… again.

So what is your favourite of the Master’s audacious schemes?

(Adapted from an original article published on Kasterborous in January 2013)

  • FrancoPabloDiablo

    And let us not forget the most ridiculous thing he has ever done – have a sex change!!! How box-tickingly and political-corectnessly absurd was that? So devious! He must have been paying homage to The Curse Of Fatal Death where that was the punch-line exactly because it is such a ridiculous, funny and stupid concept! And that was written by the Moff too – what a surprise! Am still praying that Michelle Gomez’s character is just another body he has taken over and not strictly a regeneration – just like Ainley and Roberts.

    • daft

      You better explore the world of slash fiction, then. 😉 I bet Romana II turns up in a schoolboy outfit. 😀

    • Dr. Moo-ondasian

      “How box-tickingly and political-corectnessly absurd was that? […] It is such a ridiculous, funny, and stupid concept!”
      Yes, because obviously that’s the only reason to do something like that. Have you any idea how sexist and homophobic that sounds? I guess not, and that’s a shame. The fact people have this view is all the more reason to start doing more and more gender-swap regenerations until people who think like that can get the hell away.

      “Still praying that Michelle Gomez’s character is just another body he has taken over and not strictly a regeneration.”
      Keep hoping that. If the next episode shows us the regeneration or references it in dialogue then I’ll be laughing in you bigoted face. I really hope that’s what happens now, hopefully the people who do think the way you clearly do will see that and leave this show to the people who are not arseholes. Frankly, people who think like your comment do not deserve such a progressive and inclusive show as this.

      • Philip

        Moo, calm down. Franco is allowed to have his opinions, just as you have yours, without being called a bigot or anything else; just because he doesn’t like/agree with one character doesn’t mean he’s a bigoted person in the slightest. There are LOADS of people who don’t want Missy to be the Master, because that means the Doctor might swap genders – myself included. Does that mean I’m a bigot then? No. Does that mean I don’t deserve a show like DW? Well, tough. The show belongs to everyone. The punchline in Curse of Fatal Death *was* a gender-swap regeneration. There are lots of people who don’t want the Doctor to be a woman. In fact, all the female friends I’ve asked are against the Doctor swapping gender. Are they sexist?

        Let’s be civil to one another. Let’s respect that we all have different opinions without calling anyone arseholes. That’s the foundation of the DWC.

        • FrancoPabloDiablo

          Here here!!!

      • FrancoPabloDiablo

        “Have you any idea how sexist and homophobic that sounds?”
        I really don’t care how it ‘sounds’ to you. You are entitled to your opinion as am I. I have quite a fondness for women. In fact, my mother and grandmother are both women, as are my wife and daughter – all of whom I love, admire and respect greatly. Not to mention all my female friends and colleagues. And I also have many gay friends and colleagues – some that are particularly close to me.

        “obviously that’s the only reason to do something like that”
        Where did I say that? It just happens to be Moff’s agenda to gender-bend the show to within an inch of it’s life. We even had his obligatory “Time Lords are above that” speech to which Bill asked rhetorically “but you still call yourselves Time LORDS”. If I recall correctly Romana was a Time LADY. And remember I say this as a big fan of Moff’s era in general. And I stand by the fact that a female Doctor WAS the punch-line in Curse Of Fatal Death.

        “I’ll be laughing in you bigoted face”
        C’mon Moo. Seriously? What is with the name calling? A bigot? An arsehole? You’re usually better than this.
        And I also think maybe people like you who revert to slanderous name-calling when they have no real argument or comeback and who are so narrow-minded to be so easily-offended by others who don’t share their opinions don’t deserve such a progressive and inclusive show as this.

        Just joking about that last part because you DO deserve Doctor Who because Doctor Who is for EVERYONE – regardless of differing opinions.

        • bar, justholdingon

          I hope you two are ok again Franco; and that tonight’s finale won’t infringe any social sensitivities, so we can all share a beer and a box of tissues…
          but just to be annoying, in S16 Romana 1 was frequently referred to as a Time Lord.

          • FrancoPabloDiablo

            I’m fine. Moo probably just had a bad day – we’ve all had them. The name calling and profanity really isn’t characteristic of his usual valued contributions. We enjoyed some bad puns shortly after so am hoping everything is cool.

    • Don’t Be A Bigot

      Been reading the site for a while but I had to sign up and create a profile because of that comment. You are an arsehole. You do not care about the real world. You seem to think people of the LGBT+ community are subhuman. I bet you’d support trump as well. You need to be educated about reality and see how wrong you are. I hope you learn from what the Gomez master stands for, but you’ve turned her into a chance for bigotry. Don’t Be A Bigot.

      • FrancoPabloDiablo

        Really no need for the name-calling there. If you have an opinion then please share it but don’t resort to the lowest of the low by just slinging profanities at others with differing opinions. I have a particular connection to the LGBT+ community for personal reasons I am not prepared to go into here. Please just know that I’m not offended by your ignorance.

      • Philip

        I’m sorry it’s taken a disagreement for you to sign up. That’s a shame. But also, please don’t call anyone names. This is supposed to be a place where we respect each other – of course, it’s a place to air disagreements, but such arguments shouldn’t include name-calling. Just because someone doesn’t like a character doesn’t mean they’re prejudice against anyone, doesn’t mean they’re not in touch with the real world. Let’s stay civil.

        • Cyberwomble

          “Let’s stay civil”- Civil Fawlty? Staying at Fawlty Towers?

      • bar, justholdingon

        Just got back after two days without internet access, to find two regular commenters having a storm-in-a-teacup exchange. As others have said, that’s not like this site, where terrible puns and kind interest in one another’s ups and downs is more the norm. We’ve had long, careful, mutually respectful exchanges about Missy elsewhere, so Franco and Moo’s exchange is only a tiny, and not entirely representative glimpse of their usual courtesy, humour and wisdom. Problem is, some of us have got to know each other so well on here that we forget others are viewing who are not yet part of the relationship, so can’t be expected to read any particular comment in the light of years’ previous experience.

        Everyone has their bad days, and shoot-from-the-hip moments. Thanks to the tone Phil and minions set, we get over them.

        • FrancoPabloDiablo

          If this person has read the site for some time he should know the banter we have. To sign up purely to spew ill-informed and hateful bile then I’m not going to lose any sleep over it. Maybe they were drunk when they wrote it – sure sounds like it. Anyhoo, I’m off to be educated about the real world and dust off my Trump-supporting hat so I can wear it while I’m out and about disrespecting and dehumanising the LGBT+ community. 🙂

  • daft

    ‘Audacious’, love it! 😀 He must have been miffed when Davros created the ‘reality bomb’ first.

  • Dr. Moo-ondasian

    You seem to have been sticking with the TV series (but strangely left out Gomez) but if we allow the expanded universe I’d give a shout towards UNIT Dominion.

    The Master, resurrected for the Time War after his TV Movie death, runs away. He steals some equipment from the Time Lords earlier on than the war and then goes to Earth. Here he poses as a future Doctor to both the staff of UNIT and to the 7th Doctor. He then starts to open up portals to increasingly-ridiculous parallel dimensions under the pretence that he’s the Doctor and he’s trying to save the world from these interlopers but is actually playing a long game towards conquering each of these universes.
    It’s a great story by the way. Little bit on the long side but well worth four hours of your life to check it out. Features my joint-favourite Master, as played by Alex MacQueen.

    • Philip

      I’m still to listen to Dominion, but I’ll make time for it soon! BF’s output is so great, I never get time to enjoy it all, sadly.

      Oh, and Gomez was missing because the list was originally published before her debut, but while we were updating, we wanted to keep it to 10, but couldn’t rule any of the above out. You never know, we might do a follow-up featuring Missy 🙂

      • Dr. Moo-ondasian

        I spotted the “adapted from an article published on Kasterborous” bit after writing that comment!

  • Cyberwomble

    What? No mention of Mark of the Rani and his audacious plan to turn miners (driven mad by the Rani’s drug) into trees, all the while disguising himself as Worzel Gummidge in some sort of homage to Jon Pertwee?

    • Dr. Moo-ondasian

      As cliffhangers go, they will never top Colin rolling down a hill on a plank of wood!

      • FrancoPabloDiablo

        You’re clearly forgetting Dragonfire episode 1! 🙂

        • Dr. Moo-ondasian

          A literal cliffhanger though, a bit too meta wouldn’t you say? 🙂

          • FrancoPabloDiablo

            What about the dramatic chess board ending to episode 3 then? Nothing more dramatic than sinister floor tiles! 🙂

          • Cyberwomble

            the lethal chess board that can only be crossed by Morris Dancers

          • FrancoPabloDiablo

            If only the Cybermen had been present in the city of the Exxilons then maybe they could have avoided their massacre in The Five Doctors!

          • Cyberwomble

            Or if the retained childhood memories from when they were human and understood the rules of hopscotch.

          • FrancoPabloDiablo

            Cybermen playing hopscotch! Now there is an episode I’d love to see. At the same time why not have them playing doctors and nurses with the Doctor!? 🙂

          • Cyberwomble

            Revenge of the Cybermen. The Cyberleader gives the Doctor a shoulder massage

          • FrancoPabloDiablo

            To be fair, I’ve had worse shoulder massages than that in my time.

          • Cyberwomble

            and to continue the vein of fairness, the Cyberleader also had hunched shoulders

      • Philip

        I live at the top of two hills, so that cliffhanger nearly gave me a panic attack! 😉

        • Cyberwomble

          Two hills? Not just one big hill with a funny shape?

          • Philip

            Did you just call me a funny shape? ;P

      • Cyberwomble

        It was a brave decision to place some of the cast in the proximity of so much wood. Some trees were indiscernable from who they were before.

        • Cyberwomble

          bit waspish but it has been a long week

          • FrancoPabloDiablo

            I understand where you are coming from but I think you are barking up the wrong tree! 🙂

          • Dr. Moo-ondasian

            Good pun. I’d like to come up with one but wood not be able to better it.

          • FrancoPabloDiablo

            If you can’t better it then just LEAF me alone!

          • Cyberwomble

            maybe we should branch out in another direction?

          • FrancoPabloDiablo

            I twig to that!

          • Dr. Moo-ondasian

            I’m laughing so hard that my sides are acorn.

          • FrancoPabloDiablo

            That’s just because you’re a sap!

          • Dr. Moo-ondasian

            Treemendous response and one yew should be proud of.
            This discussion has become barking mad.

          • FrancoPabloDiablo

            Maybe we should get to the ROOT of the problem!

          • Dr. Moo-ondasian

            We should leaf this whole debarkle here.

          • Cyberwomble

            Sounds oak to me

          • Cyberwomble

            It’s because the sonic has no effect on wood.

          • FrancoPabloDiablo

            Doesn’t anybody moderate these comments? It seems as though there is nobody at the elm!

          • Cyberwomble

            Wood yew lichen to teak on the job?

          • FrancoPabloDiablo

            Wood love to but am to busy making acorny puns!

  • Dr. Moo-ondasian

    FAVOURITE SERIAL FOR EACH MASTER:
    Often changes for some of them, but today it’s this.

    Delgado – Frontier in Space
    Crispy – The Deadly Assassin
    Ainley – Survival
    Roberts – TV Movie
    MacQueen – UNIT Dominion
    Jacobi – Utopia
    Simm* – Utopia / The Sound of Drums / Last of the Time Lords
    Gomez* – The Magician’s Apprentice / The Witch’s Familiar

    * If part two sticks the landing then World Enough & Time / The Doctor Falls could claim it for both of them.

    • Peter Rabytt

      Hey Moo I agree with you about Delgado. I was watching Frontier in Space two days ago, he is fantastic in that.
      I see you got upset earlier and it looks to me it was because your heart is good and you were trying to stand up for progressive values. I support you in that, though your anger came over in your post in a way that ended up in a bit of a row. It’s good to be angry about bigotry though we all know Franco is passionate about the Doctor and Master being male characters and that’s not necessarily about bigotry. Personally I think Missy is great and I don’t care what gender the lead characters are so long as those playing them have charisma and are good at the roles. However we all have right to a view and having different views makes the site and life more interesting. I hope you are both left feeling ok after the exchange and we can all share and explore each others thoughts about the show without feeling hurt or upset. Best wishes, Pete

      • Cyberwomble

        See? This is what’s so great about TDWC. This. Here. all this.

        • bar, justholdingon

          You’re a big part of this Womble; you have some of the Doctor’s talent for bringing out the best in others.

          • Cyberwomble

            awwww thank you bar 🙂 As do you