DOCTOR WHO Stories From The Scrapheap - THE FINAL GAME

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Christopher Morley begins a new series examining some of the unmade Doctor Who stories, starting with the Third Doctor/Master adventure The Final Game.


In the first of our 'stories from the scrapheap', we head into what could have been a very different end for the Third Doctor. You see, Planet Of The Spiders wasn't first choice as Jon Pertwee's send-off. But for the tragic death of Roger Delgado ( which was one of the spurs for Jon's decision to leave), we would have actually seen the Master face off with his old foe once more. The stakes were high for The Final Game! Just how high will become apparent...

The original plan for the ending of Season 11 was to reveal that the Master was either brother to the Doctor, or his darker side personified- the idea of which was of course recycled in the form of the Valeyard for the Sixth Doctor's Trial Of A Time Lord arc. Earlier, vaguer hints to the idea that the goatee bearded agent of chaos was a 'dark half' of the Doctor's personality had also been included in Logopolis by the Fourth Doctor himself while explaining the nature of his exact relationship with his old foe to Adric & Nyssa. Of course, there's also the Dream Lord from Amy's Choice....

In a then unthinkable twist the Master was to have sacrificed himself, followed shortly after by the Doctor's regeneration into his newest incarnation! So while we actually saw this as Third became Fourth...



...the original idea was to have something similar to what the Tenth Doctor would go through in The End Of Time- John Simm's Master dragging himself back into the Time War, allowing for the Doctor's survival & subsequent changeover into his Eleventh incarnation...


Serves Rassilon right for basically using the Master as a stooge, we say! There was also a hint at a brotherly link between the two enemies in Planet Of Fire, the Master making the suggestion to the Fifth Doctor & Peri. Shame on you if you thought the trip to Sarn was only worth it for the sight of Ms Brown in a bikini! Rumour has it the Twelfth Doctor may be returning in Kill The Moon ( written by Peter Harness), Episode Seven of Series Eight- keep your eyes peeled.

Had he not died in a car accident in Turkey, Roger Delgado had previously expressed a desire to leave the series anyway, having told producer Barry Letts he would make a final appearance in the role after Frontier In Space but no more.


The character of the Master would of course return in The Deadly Assassin, but Roger left an indelible mark on the part over the four seasons he played the role. Indeed, it's this part which made his reputation- he & Jon Pertwee were close friends off-screen. His death came after a car he was traveling in during shooting on an unfinished & never completed film named Bell Of Tibet fell into a ravine- and so Planet Of The Spiders was made in place of The Final Game.

It's testament to the Who crew that the substitute story is so well remembered today- Delgado's widow Kismet lending her vocal talents among the spidery throng...



A certain crystal as first seen in The Green Death makes its return, the Brigadier gets embarrassed by the clairvoyant Professor Clegg & the Doctor is forced to risk life & limb to stop those nasty arachnids...what's not to like?


The knowledge that the Master might have been involved had Roger survived might lead some to speculate as to whether or not he'd try to seek an alliance with the Spiders, as he did with the Autons & Axons. Instead we get Lupton, eager to gain power beyond his means by working with them. We also get two Time Lords for the price of one! The Doctor's old mentor K'anpo Rimpoche ( or the Hermit) left Gallifrey to live in peace on Earth as a Buddhist monk- a reflection of Letts's keenness to explore aspects of the faith. His 'assistant' Cho-Je is actually his future self, too. Trippy! You might notice that the ritual/incantation used to bring Spiders to Earth is remarkably similar to Buddhist spiritual meditation/chanting...



Of course, if you've had the pleasure of taking a gander at The Abominable Snowmen, you'll know this isn't the Doctor's first experience of the teachings of the Buddha. Back then he was in his Second incarnation, footloose & comparatively fancy-free.

Arriving in 1930s Tibet he, Jamie McCrimmon & Victoria Waterfield quickly find that the Yeti are so much more than just a myth. He'd only come to give the monks of the Det-Sen Monastery their Ghanta ( a holy relic, a sort of sacred bell) back after 300 years of taking care of it for them, too! But the furry beasts are acting under the orders of the Great Intelligence in its maiden outing on Who- later of course to return in The Web Of Fear, The Snowmen & The Name Of The Doctor.

All well before he needed a little push to help him regenerate. You can't help but think he'd have preferred that to his eventual enforced fate in The War Games, really! And of course it's the Master who kills off the Fourth Doctor in Logopolis, shoving him off a radio telescope. But if rumour is anything to go by it's the Master who'll be making something of a comeback for Series 8!

How he escapes the Time War if the numerous accounts telling of his predicted return are true we don't yet know. Early indications are that if he does make an appearance once more he'll have a new face, which has in turn set off more frenzied speculation. But amidst the hubbub we shouldn't forget the man who made the Master what he is...



Nor indeed those who followed him, from young William Hughes to his latest body, John Simm. To whomever may follow him we say two simple words - good luck.
Warped Factor
Words in the key of geek!