DOCTOR WHO - The Second Doctor's encounters with The Master - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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DOCTOR WHO - The Second Doctor's encounters with The Master

Christopher Morley takes a look at the Second Doctor's meetings with a Time Lord once known as Koschei.

Think of the Master in a classic Who context & your mind probably jumps straight to the battle of wills between his first incarnation (Roger Delgado) & the Third Doctor. But to skip straight ahead would be to forget a larger than you'd think chunk of his early life- he wasn't even always the Master! Before he made cunning, charming evil a full-time concern he was Koschei, a renegade Time Lord whose modus operandi was something of an inversion of the Doctor's ( while both were renegades, even then Koschei had far too much potential interest in things he shouldn't meddle with).

One of his earliest meetings with his old friend/ foe, by then in his Second incarnation, occurs in the novel The Dark Path ( by David A.McIntee). They've not set eyes on each other in 200 years, & Doctor Two's initial suspicion upon hearing that his old nemesis is present on Darkheart ( a planet which can also be turned into a weapon should it fall into the wrong hands) is that he's about to be hunted down on behalf of the Time Lords in a direct foreshadowing of the events of The War Games. And if you believe/support the Season 6B timeline, that could lead directly into his service as a Celestial Intervention Agent ( World Game, Players, The Two Doctors).

Before all that though, he's got to deal with Koschei's rapidly developing evil. His grander plan is to put Darkheart to nefarious use- in the midst of the chaos of the switchover of a future Earth from Empire to Federation. Why does he want it? It can be used to change time! Its residents haven't aged in 300 years, & the man who will become the Master is intrigued by the possibilities it offers him. Far from being an agent of the Time Lords, he's actually being spied on- they're keeping an eye on his activities by placing a spy as his companion! Travelling with him in his Type 45 TARDIS ( a slight improvement on the Doctor's own Type 40, with the inbuilt ability to remotely control other TARDISes- Two himself taking advantage of this at one stage) is Ailla. He believes her to be human.....

Indeed, the revelation that she isn't who she's told him she was all along is one of the seismic events that causes him to become the Master in the first place! A second concerns the fate of Terileptus, which he persuades Terrell, the Adjudicator of Darkheart, to destroy. His hypnotic power is also evident even then- he uses it on Victoria Waterfield, no less. She's gone by the time of his next encounter with the 'cosmic hobo', though. Only Jamie remains as 'Sexy' is drawn into the heart of an ancient grudge between the Time Lords & the Archons in The Nameless City, Michael Scott's contribution to the Eleven Doctors, Eleven Stories anthology. If you're a fan of one Howard Phillips Lovecraft, the title may be familiar!

That's because it is- H.P used it for his own tale, of the ruins of a city in the middle of the desert, built by a pre-humanity reptilian race of Earth-dwellers. The Necronomicon ( another Lovecraftian device, & also the name of a well-known anthology of his collected Cthulhu Mythos works ), an ancient tome of arcane knowledge- put simply, the most evil of relics of the time of the Great Old Ones ( the Archons being the last remaining vestige of them)- comes in handy as a means of delivering the TARDIS right into the heart of Scott's own Nameless City. And who's the instrument of its deliverance? That's right. The Master!

Posing as the elderly bookseller Professor Thascalos, he engineers a ' theft'. Taking advantage of Jamie, who sees him as a victim, he presents McCrimmon with the Necronomicon as a gift for his help. Of course, the book finds its way to the Doctor- opening it quickly proves one of the worst decisions Two will ever make. Why has the Master sold one of his own kind out to the Archons so readily? They've promised him the sort of power he craves in return for him gifting them a TARDIS, the roots of the prime mode of Gallifreyan transport lying in ' seeds' grown by the Archons & stolen by the Time Lords earlier in their history. The famous old Type 40 is thusly drawn out of the known universe.

Not surprising perhaps. Why would the Master want to give up his own, after all? If we look elsewhere in the Second Doctor's timeline, there's another Master to grapple with, too! This one's slightly different, though- he oversees the Land of Fiction ( The Mind Robber).

As the name implies, it doesn't exactly obey real-world laws. Among its residents are Princess Rapunzel & Lemuel Gulliver ( later revealed in the novel Future Imperfect to be an undercover Goth, then a Celestial Intervention Agent- some time later he'll rise to become Chancellor in The Deadly Assassin. It's he who sends Two off to meet his past & future selves in The Three Doctors just in time to thwart Omega). Escaping from the volcanic chaos of Dulkis ( The Dominators), the Doctor is forced to take the TARDIS out of normal time & space into the White Void...

Which explains how he, Jamie & Zoe Heriot could end up in such a Land. Its clear things won't exactly be plain sailing from the start...

Hunted by clockwork soldiers, somebody's after them & its all joyously surreal. Who is this Master? He's a writer headhunted from Earth at some point during 1926 from his own perspective, enslaved to the Master Brain- a very nasty computer..& perhaps understandably he wants out from the job, eyeing up the Doctor as his replacement with a little help from a guard of White Robots.

The Brain has bigger ideas, though- it wants Earth! And so begins quite possibly the most wonderfully absurd adventure the Doctor will ever face. He rises to it with aplomb, though...

If he can survive a ruthless pinching by a gang of children, he can get through anything, he most likely tells himself! Rather embarrassingly he does, though, manage to get Jamie's face a bit wrong when challenged to rearrange it...the indignity, eh? Still, at least he gets a close-quarters meeting with the lovely Princess later on! Makes up for his disappointment upon finding out he's not actually back home in the Scotland he left behind ( The Highlanders), the simulation of such created by the Land.

A similar dirty trick lures Zoe out- where Jamie sees Scotland on the TARDIS scanner screen, Zoe sees her own home, in her own time ( The Wheel In Space). Naturally curiosity gets the better of the both of them, forcing the Doctor's hand somewhat. It does at least teach the valuable life lesson that you can will away any threat whatsoever by declaring that it doesn't exist! A fine pearl of wisdom from a fine Doctor, that. All of which sets him in fine stead for more regular dealings with the Master- not of the Land, unless the Twelfth Doctor is planning a return visit- following his regeneration into his Third self!

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