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Doctor Who Thread of Space and Time: Discussing Twice Upon A Time (SPOILERS)


I’m not making a judgement on Moffat’s take on the Master either way - just trying to explain where I think he’s coming from with his comments.


We can safely assume that I understood Moffat’s motivation, even if he didn’t understand The Master’s. I’m taking issue with his rationalisation of how he changed the character.

“Oh that doesn’t work for me, so I’ll make him into someone else.”

Or, just a thought, you could carry on creating new characters Steven? You’re pretty good at that!


I think that, generally speaking, it’s a given that a new writer is going to offer a fresh take on an established character to a greater or lesser extent.

It’s why we get might get excited in comics about seeing a favourite writer take on a classic character: we want to see their own interpretation of that character. We don’t expect them to simply rehash the character as seen in previous stories with no additions or innovations - what would be the point of that?

Of course, you can then argue about how faithful their take is to what has gone before, and whether it works for you (both in the context of the character’s history and in terms of the story being told). It’s the audience’s prerogative to decide whether they enjoy that take or not.

But I don’t think it’s the audience’s prerogative to tell a writer that they shouldn’t be trying to offer their own take on a character, and explore an angle that they find compelling. That’s one of the attractions of long-running properties like Doctor Who: seeing new takes on classic concepts, as well as seeing new creations.


The other thing Moffat is missing is that you can quite easily set up The Master having a scheme that the Doctor only stumbles into, rather than actively setting a trap for the Doctor. Half of the Pertwee/Delgado stories are like that, plus Keeper of Traken, Survival I think. In fact, I reckon there are fewer instances of him actively trying to set the Doctor up than being caught doing something.


That’s a good point.

I get the impression from Moffat’s writing that he’s very interested in exploring the direct relationships between the Doctor and his supporting cast, so I can see why he would want to play up the personal relationship between the Master and the Doctor. But I can also see why that approach might become tiresome and people might want a more traditional villain-hero relationship.


Well there we definitely disagree, because that’s how entertainment works. Creative people offer us their ideas in one form or another and we, in return tell them what we think of them.

That’s how it’s always been.


See my point immediately before that in the same post:



Here you go you can have your cake and eat it too;



In fairness, The Master, The Rani and The Monk all apparently went to the Academy with The Doctor…I know that in a school some years just go off the rails, but seriously…


Don’t forget Drax!


How could I? Nothing goes over his head. His reflexes are too fast. He would catch it. :wink:


When it comes to archenemy dynamics, the idea that it’s actually a form of unrequited love isn’t really that far out*. Obsession does have to have some basis, after all.

Um, I say love because that was very clearly RTDs angle; Moffat is exploring it more as friendship, but it’s still a form of unrequited love, even not the kind of erotic love that was in play with RTD’s version.

At this point, that angle has been a bit overused, and I would like to see them develop a different motivation for the master.

*Most recent example: the Lego Batman movie.


I was under the impression that his motivation was pretty much in his name. He wants to be the master of all things and revered as such. Simply to be that.

But on a deeper level, basically, both he and the doctor have a God complex. Both think they are right. One complex manifests itself as the need to be worshipped, the other in the need to guide and heal. Both think the other is completely wrong. The juxtaposing views mutate the mutual respect and love they have for each other to the point where it’s closer to hatred.

As as for why the Master would keep on trying to take on earth while the doctor is around or literally make sure he is there to see… if you’ve been beaten in any game over and over by someone then’ll you know the answer.

Earth and human life is a game to the Master… he thinks it is a game to the Doctor to and is confused as to how the Doctor acts like it’s not.

I think the best metaphor for them is two leading stars of a band who end up hating one another despite having started close… John and Paul, Pete and Carl, Liam and Noel… ego is nearly always the main thing at play, but it’s creative differences in how things should be done that really fuck things up. It’s hard to reconcile over clashes of who’s vision is better.



I may do a video about this it’s a great subject and… ~ahem~ …Very timely.


Probably worth it, as I think you have a good take on it.

I can understand why Moffat would want to push that relationship into a more obsessive, even vaguely romantic mode, but I agree with those who think it’s a bit of an odd fit for the character.


Thanks, I think it could definitely make an interesting piece.

The romantic edge makes certain sense within a Timelord gender change I guess (or if you were talking about Pete and Carl), as there’s an element of admiration for someone that is highly attractive and I guess could manifest as sexual attraction. I guess it would maybe be different again if both Timelords were female.


Yes - but at the same time I think it makes it a bit odd. Does a Timelord gender change also alter a longstanding relationship with another character in that way? Or is it a case of suggesting that the attraction element was always there with the previous (male) Masters, and has just become a bit more overt with the Missy incarnation? Do Timelords even have relationships in the same kind of way that we’re used to?

There is a lot there that could be explored, but I don’t think Moffat wants to do so in any serious way. It’s more just a straightforward hook for the character’s antics and love/hate relationship with the Doctor.


I agree, there is alot to explore there and probably won’t be, though I do hope that there’ll be a certain amount we can infer if we have a male and female Master working alongside one another in the way they discuss him (the Doctor) which will make for interesting viewing.


And they have been fairly unspecific about where Missy comes in the list, haven’t they?