Doctor Who: The Master's TARDIS... Reborn - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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Doctor Who: The Master's TARDIS... Reborn

Oh, for a working Chameleon Circuit... Christopher Morley is your guide to the many different forms the Master's TARDIS has taken over the last 49 years.

The reintroduction of the Master at the conclusion of Spyfall brought with it the reveal of yet another new form for his TARDIS- a rebirth for both. What at first seemed like a simple Australian Outback hut was instead the choice of his trusty temporal steed's chameleon circuit as it blended into proceedings as well as the man everyone assumed was O before he outed himself as a double agent in a sense!

More agent of chaos than Wizard of Oz, most would say - & his TARDIS has been taking him exactly where he's needed to be to spread that chaos ever since the first time he touched down on Earth in Terror Of The Autons. Stepping from what looked, to all intents & purposes, like a horsebox to the punters of Luigi Rossini's circus..... 

ROSSINI: Who the heck are you? Well?
MASTER: I am usually referred to as the Master.
ROSSINI: Oh. Is that so?
MASTER: Universally.
Having been stranded for a time, he eventually recovers the dematerialisation circuit by the final act of The Mind Of Evil after the Doctor steals it from him.
“I made the safety of my TARDIS which, thanks to your generosity, is in perfect working order.”
Something which later retrospectively becomes a recurring theme across incarnations, in a sense, first rears its head during The Claws Of Axos as the Master tries to go one better than pinching a mere component & hatches a plan to steal his former friend's own TARDIS, stuck of course as a police box - Axos having stolen the Master's own space/time steed which at that point takes the form of a white cube.

Colony In Space finds it impersonating a spaceship as the man in charge of it poses as an Adjudicator, as it begins a run of similar such synchronisation with him. In The Time Monster it's a very Seventies computer bank in keeping with its owner's cover as Professor Thascalos, seeking to harness the power of Kronos!

Its next redesign occurs at a point where the Master is hunting for a new body, The Deadly Assassin seeing him flee Gallifrey inside a grandfather clock before stepping out on Traken to nab himself a more flesh & blood body - having earlier used a model disguised as a Melkur statue, arguably the most radical redesign up to that point in that it can walk & fire lasers from its eyes!

KASSIA: You listen so patiently, and who else could I speak to of my unhappiness? To be Keeper Nominate, they regard it as a great honour, but when the Keeper's Dissolution comes it will take Tremas from me forever. And I know his time will be soon. I know it will be soon.
KASSIA: You spoke to me!
Settling into his new body, it then seems that the latest man to step up to the Masterly plate settles on an early default setting for his TARDIS, modelled on a Doric column & first appearing in Logopolis before returning for Castrovalva & Time Flight, during which it goes one better than later appearing alongside an aeroplane by actually taking the form of one!

Pseudo-historical The King's Demons positions it as an iron maiden opposite Sir Giles Estram, who by the time he reaches Sarn blends in once more using a simpler three- sided column.

In turning up for The Trial Of A Time Lord, it seems his transport has decided to try a hut look for the first time before then going on to assume the guise of a statue of Queen Victoria.

Speaking of revisits to a familiar exterior, we might go on to look back at seemingly kindly old Yana - arguably the first “hidden in plain sight” Master - & his pulling off the mother of all hijackings in actually managing to steal the Doctor's own TARDIS, having first copied the police box as an exterior for his during part of Logopolis......

“Let me in. Let me in!”
His first act having deadlocked it? Regeneration!
“Still, if the Doctor can be young and strong, then so can I. The Master reborn....”.
After another such change of face & personality, possibly the biggest surprise of all pre-Spyfall in Dark Water was the sheer size of Missy's implied new TARDIS, both inside & out with the hint having been dropped that what those people too busy fleeing from the Cyber-dead probably thought was St Paul's Cathedral really wasn't in the slightest!

Where he'll go post-Spyfall, having broken in the latest model, & whether it stays stuck as the hut or retains its chameleonlike ability to sit back in an appropriate configuration while the latest incarnation of its operating agent causes merry hell, remains to be seen...

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