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)