It seems something of a tradition that with every new series of Doctor Who comes the rumoured return of a classic-era monster - happily that shows no sign of abating. The latest seems to centre around a possible comeback from murky waters for the Sea Devils, as last seen alongside the first of the Peter Doctors alongside their land dwelling cousins the Silurians in Warriors Of The Deep.
And with Michelle Gomez having confirmed her own return to the role of Missy for Series Ten, could we see the current lady Master attempting an alliance with them as her first & considerably more male/bearded incarnation once did?
At the outset, of course, he's in the clink.......
MASTER: I wish that something like this had happened a long time ago.Luckily for him his jailer is a little too sympathetic - Trenchard led to believe that his clandestine activities are in fact action against enemy agents. He has, though, become a pawn in the Master's scheme to summon the Sea Devils from the briny deep! Not that it ends particularly well as all sides dealing with the odd fishnet-rocking reptiles are badly let down by him, the Third Doctor & the Royal Navy.
JO: Surely you don't like being locked up?
MASTER: No, but, it's given me a chance to reconsider my life.
DOCTOR: Am I to take it that you're a changed man?
MASTER: Is that so very incredible? After all, I do have a great deal of which to repent.
JO: You're telling us.
DOCTOR: In that case, perhaps you'd like to tell me the whereabouts of your TARDIS?
MASTER: So that you could use it in order to escape from this planet, Doctor?
DOCTOR: No, so that I can make absolutely certain that you can't.
MASTER: No, I'm sorry. That is too much to ask.
As were the Silurians in what was only the second outing for Jon Pertwee. The Eocenes, or homo reptilia as they were first named in incoming showrunner Chris Chibnall's Eleventh Doctor two-parter The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood, were blown to kingdom come on the orders of the Brigadier, an event referenced during their triumphant return.
DOCTOR: Long time ago, I met another tribe of Homo Reptilia. Similar, but not identical.
RESTAC: Others of our species have survived?
DOCTOR: The humans attacked them. They died. I'm sorry.
And if the pre-humanity residents of Earth can return, then surely it is indeed about time the Sea Devils did as well?
If it comes to pass that Missy is involved too, it could prove to be a great last hurrah for the hellish Mary Poppins into the bargain - with Peter Capaldi announcing his departure & speculation rife over who will take over the TARDIS as the Thirteenth Doctor it would seem everyone's forgotten to ask what the implications could be for the yin to the Oncoming Storm's yang. For what if Gomez were to announce her own exit stage left?
Cast your mind back to the hubbub over seemingly everyone bar Steven Moffatt himself being surprised by the casting of a member of the fairer sex as the replacement for John Simm, and you might recall two popular candidates for the part. To use Sir Derek Jacobi's Professor Yana Master's phrase, the young & strong choice was rumoured to be Steve John Shepherd - most famous for playing Michael Moon on Eastenders.
Speaking to Wales Online, Kristian Berry of Cardiff's Comic Guru appeared to throw his weight behind him with favourable comparisons to two previous incarnations.
"There’s the same unscrupulous, Machiavellian vibe Ainley had during the Tom Baker days. That was such a golden period for the show and Ainley really played up to the whole panto villain thing. He was great fun to watch and if Shepherd can harness that, coupled with the darker, quieter moments which made Simm’s portrayal such a stand-out, then he’ll be brilliant."But if the decision is taken to use an older body for a potential new Master, Charles Dance has support from no less than Eighth Doctor Paul McGann.
"The Master is never going to go away, is he? Rather like the Doctor himself he can take any guise, so I suppose he could look like an ageing roué from the depths of space."
Another man who perhaps could have delivered a great turn in opposition to the potential new Doctor is apparently out of the running, though it didn't stop the rumour mill. And he has previous with Moffatt, too. The Daily Express led the way on this one.
"It’s felt Benedict ( Cumberbatch) is the perfect choice if schedules can work. Fans will love the idea of the man who plays Sherlock Holmes taking on the Doctor."But considering he turned down any chance of playing the title character, saying...
"I thought it would have to be radically different. And anyway I didn't really like the whole package - being on school lunchboxes."...that's quite unlikely.
What might the odds be on a Warriors-ish similar alliance between Sea Devils & Silurians? Better than the Cumbermaster, possibly!
Though it went a bit belly-up last time?
VORSHAK: He did it!And perhaps there now could be another way - what if the current Peter Doctor finds himself in the midst of a more successful attempt at taking back Earth from the apes who stole it from them, similar to the Seventh Doctor novel Blood Heat ? Something similar to the negotiations between the human race & Silurians could take place while a certain rogue element- Missy- attempts to foul it up & take advantage of the resulting chaos?
TEGAN: He's alive.
TURLOUGH: The Commander wasn't so lucky, I'm afraid. He's been shot.
DOCTOR: Did I succeed?
TEGAN: Yes, Doctor.
TURLOUGH: They're all dead, you know.
DOCTOR: There should have been another way.
"Okay. Bringing things to order. The first meeting of representatives of the human race and Homo Reptilia is now in session. Ha! Never said that before. That's fab. Carry on."Carry on indeed...