6 of the Master’s most evil moments in ‘Doctor Who’

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We love The Master.

The Doctor’s wayward childhood friend has been a bearded cigar-smoking charmer, a snarling cross between Keith Richards and Marty Feldman, a giggling silent movie baddie, Julia Roberts’ less talented brother, a manic flesh eating jack-in-the-box and most recently a Scottish Mary Poppins.

And each incarnation comes with a moment that shows what a total a-hole the villainous Gallifreyan can be.

With Michelle Gomez confirmed to be returning as Missy in Season 10 next year, here are some of the Master’s most evil moments…


Roger Delgado’s Master in ‘Terror of the Autons’ (1971)

Doctor Who Roger Delgado Master Terror of the Autons

You could write a PhD thesis on Delagdo’s most Masterly crimes, choc-full of empirical examples of evilness.

But this sums him up in a nutshell; getting poor little Rex Farrel to disguise himself as him, sending him out to UNIT to surrender, whereupon Rex raises a gun and gets bulleted by Captain Yates. One unmasking later, and the cackling Master escapes to live several other days. He doesn’t care who he offs, as long as he’s back next week.


The Master’s Corpse in ‘The Keeper of Traken’ (1981)

Doctor Who The Keeper of Traken Master

There’s a case that Peter Pratt’s boiled egg eyed Master in ‘The Deadly Assassin’ (1976) does more nasty stuff (poor Runcible’s backstabbing comes to mind), but Geoffrey Beevers five years later traps a man and steals his entire body so he might live on. Talk about selfish.

And so the Ainley era begins, with quite an impact.


Anthony Ainley’s Master in ‘Logopolis’ (1981)

Doctor Who Anthony Ainley Master

This Master loves turning people into Action Men for a laugh, and whilst this is not the first time it’s happened, to shrink Tegan’s Aunt Vanessa and a poor policeman for no reason is pretty unfair to say the least.

Sometimes the innocent victims left in the Master’s wake have more impact than his actual universe-ruling schemes (as we’ll see).


Eric Roberts’s Master in ‘Doctor Who: The Movie’ (1996)

Doctor Who TV Movie

I don’t have the same downer on Eric’s Master others have, and he gets some decent moments even if you get the sense that he hasn’t researched anything to do with Doctor Who showing up.

But the way that the Master, like snot crawling back inside someone, takes over Bruce the ambulance driver is genuinely creepy and the subsequent execution of Bruce’s wife is a shock in an adventure that doesn’t have many (though the continuity liberties could be described as such).


John Simm’s Master in ‘The Sound of Drums’ (2007)

Doctor Who the Master John Simm Sound of drums

Taking his cue from Jack Nicholson’s Joker in Batman (being as manic and grinning as possible = evil) John Simm doesn’t so much chew the scenery as have a three Michelin star tasting menu out of it.

The moment where he murders the entire cabinet – now there’s an election time thought – is arguably his best evil moment, especially the thumbs up at the end. He’s doing what we’ll frequently be thinking over the next month.


Michelle Gomez’s Master in ‘Death in Heaven’ (2014)

Doctor Who Death in Heaven Missy Osgood

A plane. Osgood. “Say something nice.” Need I say more?


What’s your favourite Master moment? Let us know below…