Rank the Masters

Discussion in 'Doctor Who' started by DalekJim, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jun 22, 2009
    Great Britain
    The evil counterpoint to that other thread....

    1) Peter Pratt/Geoffrey Beevers

    Creepy zombie Master. The Deadly Assassin is my favourite Master appearance. A being of pure hate and cunning that uses his intellect to almost tear Gallifrey apart.

    2) Anthony Ainley

    I'm referring mainly to his turn in Logopolis/Castrovalva but also his masterful performance in Survival. JNT made him ham it up in other stories but he could be a real, genuine threat if given the right story.

    3) Roger Delgado

    Love him, easily the most iconic. I think he's a bit too cuddly and cosey at times though and prefer the more menacing above incarnations.

    4) Eric Roberts

    Oh, wonderfully over the top and silly. The liquid snake thing was pretty cool too.

    5) Derek Jacobi

    Not on-screen nearly long enough but showed real danger and menace for the 4 minutes he was around. Would have liked to have seen more.

    6) John Simm

    Unlike most fans, I actually like him in the Series 3 finale. Then we get End of Time and a Master plotline/performance that Simm has repeatedly expressed shame of in interviews. Still, I really liked him in Series 3, when he didn't have stupid CGI superpowers, so hopefully Moffat can rehabilitate him.
  2. Nagisa Furukawa

    Nagisa Furukawa Commander Red Shirt

    Dec 26, 2012
    TV wise, my list would be the same as yours (maybe switch Delgado and Ainley's positions cause of those middle Ainley stories like The King's Demons or Mark of the Rani, though he was excellent in the stories you mentioned). So how about a little extended universe love? I'd rank the non-TV Masters as:

    The War King (from the Faction Paradox range)
    The once-again decrepit Master (from Dust Breeding and Master)
    The Man with the Rosette (from The Adventuress of Henrietta Street)
    The robot Master (from Scream of the Shalka)
    The comics Master (from The Fallen and The Glorious Dead)
    The Tzun Master (from First Frontier and Happy Endings)
    The ghost Master in the TARDIS (from Sometime Never...)

    I'd take any of them over Simm shooting laser bolts, getting weepy around Tennant and screaming "DINNNNNNNNNATIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIMMMMME!" though.
  3. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jun 22, 2009
    Great Britain
    Christ, that was shit.

    Also, you missed Mark Gatiss in that Big Finish Unbound ;).
  4. Cutter John

    Cutter John Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Roger Delgado The definative Master. Full of charm, yet still deadly as a snake.

    Anthony Ainley - He hammed it up at times, but he got the job done when they gave himn a break from mustache twirling. Its a damn shame he didn't live to do any audios.

    Derek Jacobi - I could watch him read the phone book. A pity they couldn't keep him on for at least one full story.

    John Simm - Sorry guys, I liked him (even though in my reality, I would have tapped Anthony Head for the part, but ah well).

    Peter Pratt/Geoffrey Beevers - Was never a big fan of the corpse Master. Sorry.

    Eric Roberts - Ugh, the less said the better.
  5. Konata Izumi

    Konata Izumi Commander Red Shirt

    Jan 11, 2013
    Helsinki, Finland
    The End of Time Master's completely acceptable to me both as a stylistic choice, and continuity-wise. Driven into a corner with no escape, or something (I call it surrealism), together with his greatest love in the same situation, both of them falling apart mentally; of course they would cry together, and of course the already insane wacky Master would eat hamburgers in that masterful instance of black comedy. As a stylistic choice, it's great fun.

    I too would like to see Simm at full strength with 11, grown into a very different person. Someone's going to play the continuation anyways so it wouldn't ruin the ending in any way.


    I can't send private messages here until 2 weeks and 50 posts, DalekJim I sent you some emails through Gallifrey Base a while ago, blame Nagisa for guiding me this far lol (wherever that quote's from). They're not too coherent mind.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2013
  6. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jun 22, 2009
    Great Britain
    I think my GB profile probably has a really old email address I don't use any more. Hell, I don't think I've checked or sent an email in like a year. Facebook kinda killed the need for it.
  7. diankra

    diankra Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jun 22, 2005
    Oh god, I'd blotted Go-Go-Gadget Master leaving comedy skeletons behind from my mind. Simm goes straight to bottom of last now I've been reminded, until such time as he's given a chance to redeem his portrayal.
  8. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Jun 22, 2009
    Great Britain
    Him and Tennant stare longingly in to eachother's eyes for the sake of YouTube fanvids set to Coldplay.
  9. Konata Izumi

    Konata Izumi Commander Red Shirt

    Jan 11, 2013
    Helsinki, Finland
    ^Is Coldplay any good? :D

    Are you going to read the emails? :shifty: Unless you can't access them at all. Facebook addition most welcome.
  10. All-Seeing I

    All-Seeing I Commander Red Shirt

    May 26, 2001
    Renfrewshire, Scotland
    I didn't really rate Geoffrey Beevers' performance in The Keeper of Traken, but he has more than redeemed himself in the Big Finish audios - his overripe, rich and yet rotten tones conjure up the decaying Master far better than the second-rate makeup he wore on the show.

    Roger Delgado could be a bit too likeable at times; it was hard not to, he had such style and panache! But his relationship with the 3rd Doctor was actually the most disturbing thing - I got the distinct impression that the Master was really just playing at being the villain to keep his exiled friend amused, coming up with bonkers schemes for the 3rd Doc to foil. That scene at the end of Terror of the Autons, when the Doctor grins that he's quite looking forward to his next encounter with the Master, despite the fact that UNIT soldiers and civilians had died during their skirmish, was, I thought, chilling; they were just two gods amusing themselves.

    I quite enjoyed Eric Roberts camp, hammy turn in the TV Movie; Anthony Ainley, although the most evil of the Masters I thought, was hamstrung by the limitations imposed upon him, as well as a rather silly outfit. Not nearly enough Derek Jacobi, but what we got was superb. John Simm's was a refreshingly different take - loved the phone call between him and the Doctor in The Sound of Drums, great bit of eye acting from Simm when he realizes Who's on the other end of the line! I had no real problem with his End of Time iteration of the botched regeneration Master, and would welcome a different return performance, but is there really much more mileage in the character? His storyline was pretty much resolved, and before that we had 30-odd years of him just fighting for survival. Maybe, like in the novel The Adventuress of Henrietta Street, he should realize that his time is over and the universe is ready for another type of villain.
  11. Konata Izumi

    Konata Izumi Commander Red Shirt

    Jan 11, 2013
    Helsinki, Finland
    Supposedly Moffat rips off the books quite a bit.:shrug:
  12. The Borgified Corpse

    The Borgified Corpse Admiral Admiral

    Jun 4, 2000
    Ouch! Forgotten already? You were just down ther
    Of course, Roger Delgado is the master at being the Master and always will be. His combination of charm & menace was always perfect.

    Anthony Ainley is kind of like Brandon Routh to Delgado's Christopher Reeve. He's not as good but he's the best we could ever expect considering his predecessor is dead.

    Derek Jacobi is always brilliant in everything. If only we could have kept his Master around a little longer.

    John Simm is far from my favorite. He'll never be an icon on par with Delgado or Ainley. Some of his scenes are way too over the top. But then, what wasn't over the top in "The End of Time"? Overall, Simm acquitted himself well considering the material he was given. And I love his final scene where he saves the Doctor by attacking Rassilon, the man who was responsible for driving him insane in the first place. It was such a fitting end for the character, IMO, that they would need a REALLY good reason to bring him back at all.

    Eric Roberts was half decent doing the flamboyant Master. I just didn't care for him as the black leather clad "Terminator" Master.

    Personally, I have a hard time even counting the "zombie" Masters Peter Pratt & Geoffrey Beavers.

    Anthony Head as the Master becomes Prime Minister? So, would that mean that Doctor Who would exist in the same continuity as Little Brittain.

    Really? I'm not really aware of a lot of book rip-offs in the Moffat era (except for River Song being kind of a rip-off of Bernice Summerfield). I do recall some actual adaptations/rip-offs in the RTD years. "Human Nature" was adapted from Paul Cornell's novel of the same name. The Cybermen in a parallel universe plot of "Rise of the Cybermen" bears certain similarities to the 7th Doctor novel "Loving the Alien." That's about all I can think of so far.

    I just want to know when will Moffat adapt "An All-Consuming Fire" as a crossover special with Sherlock?
  13. Konata Izumi

    Konata Izumi Commander Red Shirt

    Jan 11, 2013
    Helsinki, Finland
    I think it was something to do with the large Series 5-6 arc. I guess that might be it though. It's tv stories he rips off the most. :p
  14. Josan

    Josan Commodore Commodore

    Feb 11, 2007
    London, Canada
    I'm too tired to type much and since this is my exact ranking with essentially the same reasons... Thanks for reading my mind, Cutter John.
  15. Chris3123

    Chris3123 Vice Admiral Admiral

    Jul 31, 2001
    Pensacola, FL
    1. Ainley
    2. Delgado
    3. Jacobi
    4. Roberts
    5. Simm

    I can't place Prat or Beevers because I can't really remember their portrayals, and I'm too lazy to look them up. ;)

    Simm is last because his incarnation was portrayed just way too silly sometimes, especially in The End of Time with his crazy superpowers.
  16. Cutter John

    Cutter John Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Drat, I didn't realize he was already well known for a show in the UK already (I only know him from Buffy and DW). Pity that. When I think of him, I imagine the administrator from "School Reunion". Particularly that scene by the pool with Tennant. He has that smooth, yet slightly mad quality that makes a good Master.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
  17. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Apr 15, 2000
    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
    Little Britan is what Anthony was doing 10 years ago before his stint on Merlin.

    Oh god.

    They're making another Percy Jackson Movie.
  18. Orac Zen

    Orac Zen Mischief Manager Super Moderator

    Mar 14, 2000
    Roger Delgado. The original and best. As I've mentioned elsewhere, the way he, Jon Pertwee and Katy Manning played off each other greatly added to the appeal of the Master's appearances.

    (large gap)

    everyone else.

    Jacobi was pretty good, but then again he's a marvelous actor and always eminently watchable. Ainley had his moments, mostly when he wasn't hamming it up. I didn't find Pratt and Beevers particularly interesting and the little I remember of Roberts in the role is...err...not good. And I dislike Simms' ludicrously over-the-top Master every bit as much as I dislike Tennant's Doctor.
  19. ToddCam

    ToddCam Captain Captain

    Jul 15, 2003
    Philadelphia, PA, USA

    I'm only going to go with the TV ones, since I am just starting to get into audio, and novels are a distant goal.

    Let me preface that I don't mind goofiness in my TV or my Doctor Who specifically, but the Master seems to me to be someone of great dignity.

    6. Seventeenth Master (the most recent one/"Harold Saxon")
    Too ridiculous. Before I started watching classic Who, he was all right, but now I find him to be way too ridiculous a version of the Master.

    5. Fifteenth Master (the one from the TV movie)
    Somewhat menacing at first, then just a little too goofy and camp.

    4. Thirteen and a halfth Master (the burned one)
    It's hard to say about this version. I found him so unpleasant to look at it was kind of difficult to catch his performance. Seemed ok.

    3. Sixteenth Master ("Yana")
    Only very briefly actualized as The Master, but he was pretty menacing there. I liked him as Professor Yana too.

    2. Fourteenth Master (Nyssa's dad's body)
    Anthony Ainley's Master was a little silly, but he was a pretty cool villain. I actually like his little chuckle. I actually preferred his performance as Tremas, though.

    1. Thirteenth Master (the first one)
    The original Master, Roger Delgado, did a really great job. I thought he was a perfect foil for the Doctor.
  20. Emh

    Emh The Doctor Premium Member

    Jul 20, 2000
    Durham, North Carolina
    1. Roger Delgado. Exquisite, elegant, shameless and the perfect foil for The Third Doctor. There is no beating him. He's, well, the master.

    2. Anthony Ainley. The extra (JNT-induced) hammy performances aside, Ainley was wonderfully charming with a sinister chuckle. I'm constantly quoting "Oh, my dear Doctor, you have been naive." It's just a shame JNT forced Ainley to ham it up when Ainley wanted to play the character straight with a darker feel. It's a pity he didn't get the opportunity to perform for Big Finish.

    3. Geoffrey Beevers. This is mostly in regard to the Big Finish audio plays than his performance in The Keeper of Traken. He drips with cunning and manipulation and creepiness in all of his performances, but especially in the atmospheric Master.

    4. Derek Jacobi. I wish he had more time as The Master because every moment he was on screen as The Master (and Yana) was sheer joy. His performance as The Master in Scream of the Shalka is also very good.

    5. Peter Pratt. Actually prefer his burned to as crisp version of The Master over Beevers (but part of that was due to the make-up), but he only had one appearance, whereas Beevers continues on with Big Finish.

    6. John Simm. I'm really torn with him. I love John Simm as an actor and there are many moments in his performances that pure brilliance, but there other moments that are downright embarrassing (although I blame RTD mostly on this count). Like Ainley, I wish RTD let him the character more straight and I can only hope Simm gets the opportunity in the future.

    7. Eric Roberts. There's not much to like about his performance. Ugh.