Sir Derek Jacobi is to reprise his title role for three more series of The War Master with Big Finish Productions.

Last year, Big Finish announced a standalone four-part boxset which would see Sir Derek Jacobi return as The Master after a decade-long break. The resulting first series – Only the Good – was lauded for its strong writing to match the calibre of Jacobi’s performance.

You can read our review of ‘The War Master: Only the Good’ here.

Today we can reveal that Sir Derek has signed on for an additional twelve episodes across three boxsets. The second series – The Master of Callous – is slated for release in December 2018 with series three, Rage of the Time Lords, to follow in July. Series three will be written by Tim Foley and David Llewellyn with the concluding fourth series, Anti-Genesis, in December 2019 penned by Nicholas Briggs and Alan Barnes.

The Master of Callous

We already have a synopsis for The War Master: The Master of Callous…

On the mining colony Callous, Elliot King struggles to meet the demands of its governor, Teremon. The odds are stacked against him, and his options are running low. The world that once promised dreams now offers only despair.

A wild Ood stalks the forests, carrying an antiquated phone. The caller promises much – he claims he can change the world – but he always speaks a devastating truth.

He is the Master and the Ood will obey him… but to what end?

James Goss will pen the two opening episodes, ‘Call for the Dead’ and ‘The Glittering Prize’ while Guy Adams concludes with ‘The Persistence of Dreams’ and ‘Sins of the Father’


Alex Kingston and Derek Jacobi
Alex Kingston and Derek Jacobi

The War Master is not only appearing in his own series, of course. As well as already making guest appearances in the ‘Gallifrey’ and ‘UNIT’ ranges, he’ll come face-to-face with River Song. Along with some of his past and future incarnations, Jacobi has already recorded his role in ‘The Diary of River Song: Volume Five‘ for release in January. If the War Master is set to make a cameo in any other Big Finish range remains to be seen.

Sir Derek Jacobi

For those who need a refresher, Sir Derek has a long and storied history with the Doctor Who universe and with The Master in particular. But his first TV appearance as The Master came in 2007 opposite David Tennant in ‘Utopia’. Despite appearing for the entire story, he only got to sink his teeth into The Master properly for a few minutes before regenerating into John Simm.

Script editor and executive producer Nicholas Briggs said, “As we travel further with the Master through the Time War, there are epic implications as well as very personal stories. There’s a distinctly dark and mystical feel to some of the episodes, but ultimately we discover that the Master laid some truly dastardly plans before it all started, and that his warped ambition knows no bounds. It’s been such a pleasure script editing this series. Working closely with producer Scott Handcock, my aim has been to create a balance of the epic and the deeply personal.”

Scott Handcock, Sir Derek Jacobi and Nicholas Briggs - (c) Big Finish
Scott Handcock, Sir Derek Jacobi and Nicholas Briggs – (c) Big Finish

“Even before we finished recording The War Master: Only The Good, Derek had told us how much he wanted to come back, and another series of brand-new adventures for the War Master got an instant green light!” said producer and director Scott Handcock. “We’ve some really exciting stories in store over the next three box sets, kicking off with The Master of Callous by James Goss and Guy Adams, which also features the return of the subservient Ood. It’s a grand four part masterplan, and I can’t wait for people to hear it come December!”


Each War Master series can be pre-ordered today individually for £20 on download or £23 for CD. A specially-priced War Master bundle is also available with all four series at £80 on download or £90 CD. If you’ve previously purchased The War Master: Only the Good, you can get series 2–4 at £60 on CD or £68 on download.

What are your hopes for another War Master outing? Which Doctor would you pit him against? Let us know in the comments.


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