To mark a half century of the Master, Big Finish has created a special multi-disc release: Masterful!
Today is exactly 50 years since Roger Delgado made his dastardly debut as the Master in Terror of the Autons. And Big Finish have released the Masterful box set to celebrate the malevolent Time Lord in all their regenerations. Masterful stars Geoffrey Beevers, Mark Gatiss, Michelle Gomez, Derek Jacobi, Alex MacQueen, Milo Parker, Eric Roberts and John Simm. It also features guest appearances from Jon Culshaw as Kamelion, and Katy Manning as beloved Doctor Who companion Jo Grant. Meanwhile, Abigail McKern, Aurora Burghart and Zaqi Ismail also appear in other roles.
Eight incarnations of Doctor Who’sfavouriteother Time Lord unite for the anniversary celebrations
Geoffrey Beevers, who originally played the Master in 1981’s The Keeper of Traken, discussed the special premise of Masterful. “It’s really different but it’s really good, because it explores who the Master might have been had he taken a different course in eternity. It’s beautifully written and it’s quite a challenge doing the transition into what that sort of person might have been – and back again – and what affect it has on him afterwards.”
The Master from 1996’s Doctor Who TV Movie, Eric Roberts, described the attraction of returning as the renegade Time Lord. “As a character in the story, it’s what we all should fear – all of our worst everythings, all of our worst wants, all of our worst behaviours and, for an actor, he’s just plain fun! How often do we get to play the extreme in evil?”
Three 21st century Masters – Jacobi, Simm and Gomez – also join in the dastardly fun
“He has a wonderfully wicked sense of humour which is lovely to indulge oneself in,” agreed the War Master himself, Derek Jacobi, as first seen in 2007 in Utopia. “The stories are very good, he usually comes out on top… heroic villains are the best things to play.” Meanwhile, Jacobi’s successor on TV, John Simm, summed up the Master. “He’s an iconic character – he’s the nemesis of the Doctor, the evil Doctor, the baddie Doctor Who. He thinks he’s the equal to the Doctor; he’s a Time Lord, he’s everything the Doctor is, but evil. It’s a real honour to play him.”
Michelle Gomez, who played the Doctor’s best frenemy from 2014 to 2017, described their relationship. “Doctor Who couldn’t be Doctor Who without the Master. He gives the Doctor purpose in his plight for goodness, and the Master’s always there, shining a light on the Doctor’s dark side. The Doctor is a reluctant hero really, constantly being forced to be good because he can’t help himself but try and clean up the world of evil. The Master basically gives the Doctor work to do because he’s constantly in the background, undoing things and sabotaging goodness.”
Big Finish’s own trio of Masters round out Masterful’s legion of evil
Masterful also includes a number of incarnations created by Big Finish themselves over the years. Alex Macqueen was originally unveiled as the Master in the 2012 audio series UNIT: Dominion. “I’m biased but the Master is frankly the most terrific character, so it’s totally right to have this commemoration. It’s a massive privilege and I love it because it’s an incredibly creative experience in the booth.”
Mark Gatiss, meanwhile, plays the ‘Unbound Master,’ an incarnation who has escaped from a dying universe, first introduced by Big Finish in 2003. Describing his own memories of the Master, Gatiss said, “I have profoundly scary memories of Terror of the Autons because it affected me forever, still does! I remember the Master being such a huge part of everything I loved about the show, and it just clicked so completely perfectly.”
Masterful even adds a brand new version of the Master, played by eighteen year old Milo Parker. “All the other characters I’ve done in the past have been relatively well-behaved, so playing the Master is an opportunity for me to broaden my horizons, to try something new, and I’ve really enjoyed it.”
The Master’s finally done it. He’s won. He summons his other selves to a celebration of his ultimate victory. And they come -from across time and dimensions. But he’s forgotten to invite someone. And Missy’s not happy.
Has the Master really conquered the universe? Or has something more awful been unleashed? Something that even all the Masters cannot stop? Missy is determined to reveal the truth. Because one fact about the Master’s existence never changes.
No-one can trust the Master. Not even the Master.
The limited edition of Masterful contains
Discs 1-3: Masterful by James Goss
Disc 4: Masterful – Behind the Scenes
Disc 5: Doctor Who – Short Trips: I Am The Master by Geoffrey Beevers and Short Trips: The Switching by Simon Guerrier (both previously available on download only)
Discs 6-8: Doctor Who: Terror of the Master by Trevor Baxendale, a brand new, narrated audiobook featuring the Third Doctor, the Master and UNIT.
Masterful is available as a limited edition box set, standard edition, or download
Masterful is now available as a limited edition 8-CD box set (priced at £44.99), or on download (at £39.99), exclusively at the Big Finish website. A standard edition of Masterful (featuring only the content of discs 1-3 above) is also available, priced at £24.99 (on CD) or £19.99 (as a download).
The box set edition is limited to 3,000 copies only.
Please note that Big Finish is currently operating a digital-first release schedule. The mail-out of collector’s edition CDs may be delayed due to factors beyond our control, but all purchases of this release unlock a digital copy that can be immediately downloaded or played on the Big Finish app from the release date.