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The BBC this week announced John Simm’s return to Doctor Who series 10 as the Master.
“I can confirm that it’s true, thanks to the power of time travel I’m back,” Simm said in a statement. “It’s always a pleasure to work with this great team of people, and I can’t wait for you all to see what the Master gets up to in the next series.”
Driven insane at a young age after looking into the Untempered Schism on Gallifrey, the Master, hell bent on controlling the universe and making the Doctor suffer, flees his home planet in a stolen TARDIS.
“Nothing stays secret for long on Doctor Who, but you’ll have to wait a little bit longer to see exactly what the Master is up to and how he makes his return to face the Doctor,” showrunner Steven Moffat said.
First portrayed by Roger Delgado in 1971’s “Terror of the Autons,” the renegade Time Lord is stranded on Earth, where he becomes a recurring pain in the Doctor’s arse.
Since the program’s reboot in 2005, the mischievous character has been personified by Sir Derek Jacobi and Simm, who appeared in only five episodes of Doctor Who, including two-part Christmas special “The End of Time.”
During the holiday broadcast, Simm’s Master gets revenge on Gallifreyan Lord President Rassilon, who he blames for his troubles. But manages to send Rassilon, Gallifrey, and himself “back into [the] hell” of the final day of the Time War.
The botched resurrection leads to a gender-bending twist: Michelle Gomez appeared in the eighth series as Missy: “Well, [I] couldn’t very well keep calling myself ‘the Master,’ now could I?” she groans in “Dark Water.”
“It’s been a huge pleasure to have fan favorites John Simm and Michelle Gomez face to face in the same role,” Moffat said. “It’s not often you get to see a solo personality clash.”
But, as with most Doctor Who news, this week’s announcement raises more questions: How do we see two versions of the Master on screen at once? At what point in the timeline does Simm’s incarnation visit the Doctor? Do we finally get to see the off-screen regeneration from Simm to Gomez? Is this the “brain-melting” post-premiere spoiler Moffat warned us about?
“Viewers will have to wait to see exactly when and how the Master will return to the new series,” the BBC teased.
Tune in to BBC America at 9 p.m. ET on Saturday, April 15 to find out what’s in store for the Twelfth Doctor, companions Bill and Nardole, and the Master.
Simm also made headlines today for his new role in upcoming BBC 2 thriller Collateral, starring Carey Mulligan and
Rose Tyler Billie Piper. Simm and Piper, whose characters never met on screen in Doctor Who, have been cast as lovers in the four-part drama by David Hare (The Hours).
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