Originally part of ‘Masterful’, the Jon Culshaw narrated audiobook will be available to download separately.
At the start of 2021, Doctor Who audio producers Big Finish released ‘Masterful’, a boxset which commemorated 40 years of the Master. While the centrepiece was a dizzying multi-episode, multi-Master tale, the late Roger Delgado’s incarnation was celebrated with a three-hour audiobook.
Set in the 1970s UNIT era of the show, ‘Terror of the Master’ set the villain against the Third Doctor and his UNIT allies. Placed after Jo Grant’s departure, the story provided a final standoff between the two rival Time Lords.
Here’s the synopsis for ‘Terror of the Master’:
Dr Derek Drake is a National Treasure – he’s going to solve the energy crisis and stop all pollution. Governments and businesses around the world are signing up to his environmentally friendly campaign. So why is the Doctor convinced this great humanitarian and darling of the media is really the Master in disguise?
What could his greatest enemy hope to gain by improving the lives of everyone on the planet? The Doctor must convince his UNIT friends that they now face the ultimate terror – and that the Master may be in as much danger as they are…
Formerly only available as part of the Masterful Limited Edition, Big Finish are making ‘Terror of the Master’ available for separate download from March 2023. This is fantastic news, as the three and a half hour story was the highlight of the boxset for us.
Here’s our review of the story, from its original release:
Set just after ‘The Green Death’, with everyone reeling from the departure of Jo, it finds the Doctor at a loose end; worried he might resume his travels, the Brigadier is keen to find an investigation to occupy his talents. When an international energy crisis looms, a noted celebrity scientist puts forward a nuclear plan to save the day. The Doctor, however, believes he sees the Master at work and UNIT are soon entangled in his latest takeover plan.
Trevor Baxendale’s story is a love letter to those UNIT years, with an ecological theme and steeped in pleasing references. We loved the trip to Television Centre and the introduction of the Whomobile, not to mention Mike Yates’ green leanings.
Performed by Jon Culshaw, we enjoyed the enthusiastic narration as well as his takes on all the principals; we know his Brigadier, Master and Doctor, here he adds affectionate takes on Yates and Benton to his arsenal too. Terrific sound design and music bring a true “Action by Havoc” feel to the proceedings. We enjoyed a tense standoff in the Doctor’s lab and a thrilling ride in Bessie, chased by motorcycle gunmen through Shepherd’s Bush.
Terror of the Master is a perfectly pitched send off for Roger Delgado’s original incarnation of the Master; one that we were sadly denied onscreen due to the actor’s tragic death. It is a delightful slice of 1970s action adventure.
The Worlds of Doctor Who: Terror of the Master is available to pre-order on download from Big Finish, priced £9.99.
Since the release of this tale, Big Finish have embraced the audio novel format with ‘Scourge of the Cybermen’, ‘Watchers’, ‘Emancipation of the Daleks’ and ‘The Dead Star’. Two further, as yet unannounced stories will arrive in July and January 2024.