The Master

**If you have not seen the latest episodes of Dr. Who, there may be some spoilers ahead**

I love Dr. Who. I think that The Doctor needs no introduction, but just in case:

1. Where have you been?

2. There is a comprehensive Wiki Fandom page should you want to become familiar with the show.

The Doctor incarnation(s) that I am most familiar with came to be in 2005 with the revival of the series. Even though I have heard of Dr. Who, I never watched the series until my youngest son introduced me to it, for which I will forever be grateful. This son of mine is something else, by the way 😊.

Briefly, The Doctor belongs to an alien species, the Time Lords, whose individuals have more than one chance to live. When they die, they regenerate, not like a flatworm (Incidentally, I have a soft spot for these cute animals; if you are interested to know why, you can check some of my other posts), but rather, they get another body, same mind and memories, but different personalities. Time Lords can pull this trick up to 12 times (kind of; longish story). By the way, the latest incarnation of The Doctor is a woman!

Credit: BBC

One of the many charms of the series is that regardless of how attached you are to a particular Doctor’s regeneration, you invariably come to love the next one. This “cycle” is perfectly represented by this meme:

Credit: TV.com

This fact is in great part due to how carefully the showrunners choose the actors, and more importantly, it is a testament to the brilliant writers of the series. All Doctors have their particular quirks, personality, character, strengths and flaws, and each and every of them is charming. This being said, there is a Doctor that will always have a special place in your heart. Mine is the Ninth Doctor, played by Christopher Eccleston. It is true, you never forget your first Doctor.

Credit: BBC

I have written a couple of posts about the show, which you can see here, and here.

But enough about the Doctor.

Almost every hero has a main Nemesis, and the best Nemeses are the ones who equally match the hero’s intellect or powers. In my mind, one of the best examples of such arch-enemies is Sherlock’s Moriarty, and surely Moriarty was at least one model for the development of the most serious anti-heroes in TV and cinema.

Well, The Doctor has their own Nemesis, named The Master. This time Lord was The Doctor’s best friend since childhood, but through a series of circumstances explained in the series, The Master went mad (as in crazy mad), and bad, very bad, evil bad in fact, becoming the Doctor’s “Best Enemy” as the latest incarnation of The Master stated recently (more on him below). The Master’s intellect, drive and resourcefulness rival the Doctor’s, but The Master cannot be bothered with concepts like morals, compassion, or respect for life among many other related concepts.

This fascinating character has been played by a series of actors since the 1970s, but I am most familiar with the ones of the revived series. Perhaps my favorite version of The Master is Missy, who was a deceptively vivacious and bubbly Master. Missy is the first female incarnation of The Master and was masterfully (yep, I said it) played by Michelle Gomez and is the only version of The Master so far who used her own name. She was as evil as expected, but as her character developed in the series she showed inklings of efforts to redeem herself, sometimes with more success than others. Alas, her efforts were cut short (Go.Watch.The.Show).

Now, about the most recent Master…

I didn’t see him coming, and based on what I see now, he is the most dangerous Master ever. This Master is played by Sacha Dhawan, and oh boy, did this Master fool me! When I saw him first, he played a government agent with a slight (well a BIG) nerdish bent; precisely my kind of person. He was an friendly guy who seemed to have the wonder of a child and a love for science and technology. He was charming, end of story. Alas, he was a true (there’s no other way to say it) master manipulator, whose cruel and sociopathic character became well evident mere seconds after revealing his true identity. In a moment he went from a nice person to someone with no regard—whatsoever—for life other than his own, no pretense of decency, and yet, a couple of episodes later we get a glimpse of how truly aware and tormented he is of his true nature and character. This fact was kind of explored before with previous incarnations, but we truly get how damaged The Master really is, in this latest version. One almost feels sorry for him.

Almost.

I will not spoil how the latest episode ends, But I am sure we will see this Master again. If you ask me, Mr. Dhawan will win an award for his performance of The Master. I am very much looking forward to see what else happens with his character in the series. I only wish that the hiatuses between seasons weren’t so long! You see, I am writing this on March 2020, and the next (possible) time when I’ll see these characters again is this coming December.

Sigh…

Missy and the new Master. Credit: BBC

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