Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Steven Moffat Confirms The Master Will Not Be Returning

You might recall some time ago that it was suggested the Master might be making a return to Doctor Who. Well, that rumour has been well and truly debunked as Moffat has come out and stated he will not be showing up. In the same Q&A that he spoke briefly about the potential for a Doctor Who/Sherlock crossover, the show-runner briefly talked about the possibility of the Master showing up. In his own words, Moffat made the following answer in regards of the Time Lord making a return any time soon:

"[Abruptly] No. [Laughter] I accidentally just said the truth! No, not really. I think the story’s sort of done. I thought what Russell [T. Davies] did with that was so brilliant, because I did think it was over. Once you’d lost Roger Delgado who was so brilliant, it was tough to keep it… it’s like Moriarty in Sherlock - yes, I know - you think, 'you’re a great master villain, you know what you do a lot, you lose! You’re always tremendously confident and then you’re humiliatingly defeated and you don’t remember that the next time you pop up with your ridiculous plan'. So no, the Doctor doesn’t really need an arch-enemy, so we’ll go for new ones. So, sorry John Simm."

It's an understandable stance to take, as while the Master has never had a truly bad actor (besides a horribly miscast Eric Roberts) the writing did let him down a great deal throughout the Classic series. After Delgado, Anthony Ainley was only permitted a few real opportunities to shine through with the character and limited to a far more cartoonish role. Combined with the news that the latest incarnation of the Doctor will be far darker and very different from the previous three incarnations in tone, and this could be a recipe for disaster. Better to get a handle on a new style of character and new direction for the protagonist first before adding a new villain.

Of course, Moffat has been known to lie in the past. For all we know, there could be some hidden truth in his words to wind up fans or misdirect them, but it honestly seems like this is the truth.

There's one more subject from this Q&A which I will be talking about, but that needs an article in of itself.


  1. That's a shame, the master was one of my favourite Doctor Who villains, but I respect why they chose not to bring him back, and you're right when you say they really need to get a handle on the character before reintroducing anything.

    1. Well, in fairness it will probably be fine for a second series onwards. Even in the Jon Petwee era, where he was sometimes showing up for damn near every story, they still waited until the actor had adjusted to the role before adding another renegade time lord into the mix. If they were to do it though, they would need to think carefully on how to use him for stories without diminishing his threat each time he's defeated.