Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

This Was The Master That Changed Doctor Who

Ah, Doctor WhoThe BBC's flagship of British science-fiction debuted in 1963, and much like its main character, it has regenerated from a seemingly certain demise to a cool, slick, new incarnation that still has enough familiar elements to keep fans happy. 

The modern version of Doctor Who started in 2005, and after Christopher Eccleston's sole season as the Doctor established the show's rediscovered worth, more and more elements of the old Doctor Who started trickling in. As such, it was only a matter of time before the Master made an appearance. After all, apart from the Daleks, the villainous renegade Time Lord is arguably the biggest name in the good Doctor's rogues' gallery.

To date, the regenerating Doctor Who mastermind has been portrayed by no less than nine actors, four of whom have appeared during the show's modern era. But which one of them has been the most transformative force on the show? Let's take a look at the Master that changed Doctor Who.

John Simm's Master changed the game by resembling the Doctor

Doctor Who fans always have plenty of mysteries to speculate on and questions that have troubled them for years. However, seeing as though David Tennant's Tenth Doctor is the fan favorite, it may not be the greatest shock that his arch-nemesis, John Simm's manic version of the Master, ranks quite highly among the villain's incarnations. 

Simm's take on the Master is very different from Roger Delgado's classic version because he's not an inversion of the Doctor — he's a commentary on the hero. Both Tennant's Doctor and Simm's Master are cartoonish, dangerous, larger-than-life characters with a motor mouth and a mercurial nature. Their biggest difference is that the Master chooses to be all those elements to the absolute maximum, while the Doctor reins in his worst tendencies. This juxtaposition creates a huge villain who's more boisterous than Eric Roberts' iteration of the character and campier and more effective than the classic Masters, and who takes Tennant's performance as the Tenth Doctor and turns it up to 11. 

As such, Simm's version of the Master is a perfect storm of danger and ludicrousness — and his extreme similarity with the Doctor ushers in an era of high-stakes Master-Doctor confrontations in which the relationship between the two Gallifreyan survivors is an all-important element. Not bad, Mr. Simm!