Doctor Who – The Master (Part One)

roger-delgado-amo-the-daemons-los-demonios“I am usually referred to as the Master… universally.”

Originally conceived as the Moriarty to the Doctor’s Sherlock Holmes, the Master was played originally by the talented actor and polymath, Roger Delgado. For three seasons, the Master dabbled in world domination allied with the Autons & the Sea Devils, consorted with demons, and otherwise created all sorts of diabolical mischief for the Third Doctor, Earth, and anyone else who happened to be in the way of  his machinations.

Since 1971, when he first appeared hopping out of a horse trailer in ‘The Terror of the Autons,’ the Master has been the black hearted equivalent to our beloved Time Lord. He is cool, calculating, debonair, and psychopathic. Who else would threaten the Universe with destruction just to enjoy a bit of a power play.

doctor-who-colony-in-space-master-jon-pertwee-roger-delgadoBut that’s why we like him, isn’t it? It’s enthralling to root for the bad guy, whether said bad guy is in the suave form of the a universal gentleman, a crumbling and degenerated figure forced to steal other people’s bodies to survive, or a driven-mad coward who finally (albeit briefly) gains control over his most hated, most revered foe.

Of all the Masters that has passed by on our screens (nine of them, would you believe?), Delgado’s portrayal is quintessentially superb. From scene one, his Master is immediately sinister, yet appealing, charming, yet calculating.

draconia_4551Delgado’s last appearance as the Master was in 1973’s “Frontier In Space.” In this story, the Master is yet again fomenting chaos by driving the planet Earth into a devastating war with the lizardly samurai Draconians. Not long after this story was aired, Delgado was killed in a car crash while on location in Turkey. A planned closing to the Master’s story arc, in which the Master was revealed to be the Doctor’s brother and sacrificed his life to save his arch foe, were scrapped and the character faded away, never to be heard from again.

Or did he?

As we shall found out in our next installment, you can’t keep a good villain down.

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