Geek Couples: The Doctor & The Master - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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Geek Couples: The Doctor & The Master

With "Hold me closer, Lady Master" ringing in his ears, Chris Morley explores the love/hate relationship between the Master and the Doctor.


Roger Delgado planting a smacker on the lips of Jon Pertwee. Anthony Ainley puckering up with any of Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker or Sylvester McCoy. Eric Roberts offering to show Paul McGann his Eye of Harmony.

Of course, these never actually happened to anyone's knowledge! New-Who, though, seems to delight in giving the Master just as much chance for romance as the Doctor. And sometimes with the Doctor!


Beginning with the series three finale and the John Simm Master, The Sound Of Drums would stop short of revealing the Doctor and Master are brothers, even though Russell T Davies script looked like it was going that way, but clearly a bromance is shared between them. One which was never so apparent in early stories.

This is in part because the Tenth believed he was the last of his kind and discovering he wasn't, only to think he would be again, was a hard blow to take. But perhaps this bromance was also a foreshadowing of the approach his Twelfth self would adopt for series ten?

Certainly the Master's supposed death scene in Last Of The Time Lords was played out like one half of a couple losing their significant other...
DOCTOR: There you go. I've got you. I've got you.
MASTER: Always the women.
DOCTOR: I didn't see her.
MASTER: Dying in your arms. Happy now?
DOCTOR: You're not dying. Don't be stupid. It's only a bullet. Just regenerate.
MASTER: No.
DOCTOR: One little bullet. Come on.
MASTER: I guess you don't know me so well. I refuse.
DOCTOR: Regenerate. Just regenerate. Please. Please! Just regenerate. Come on.
MASTER: And spend the rest of my life imprisoned with you?
DOCTOR: You've got to. Come on. It can't end like this. You and me, all the things we've done. Axons. Remember the Axons? And the Daleks. We're the only two left. There's no one else. Regenerate!


Of course, he didn't die, and the Simm Master returned for The End Of Time, only to seemingly sacrifice himself. An act purely to punish the Time Lords? Or a gesture of love for his old friend?...



His regeneration into a female body and her fixation on her old enemy, added a whole new dimension to their relationship. Michelle Gomez took her predecessors' fascinations with the Clangers & Teletubbies and turned them up to eleven as she whirls by St Paul's Cathedral in the midst of an invasion by the Cybermen, having seemingly decided to take inspiration for her new look from Mary Poppins!


Now, who could she possibly want to play Bert to her Mary? That's right, her intellectual equal and moral opposite. Although he's not sure who she is at first...
MISSY: You know who I am. I told you. You felt it. Surely you did.
DOCTOR: Two hearts.
MISSY: And both of them yours.
DOCTOR: You're a Time Lord.
MISSY: Time Lady, please, I'm old-fashioned.
DOCTOR: Which Time Lady?
MISSY: The one you abandoned, Doctor. The one you left for dead. Didn't you ever think I'd find my way back?

Something of the state of their long-term relationship is revealed when talk turns to their home planet.
DOCTOR: Why are you still alive?
MISSY: You saved me.
DOCTOR: I saved Gallifrey.
MISSY: Yes, Gallifrey too, I suppose. There's always collateral damage with you and me. It's our Paris.
Ah, Paris. The Doctor had of course visited the French capital as a younger man, with Romana in tow. If his Twelfth incarnation also had a swift Eurostar excursion to the continent with Missy then that happened off-screen. in a tenuous link, he did however keep her locked in a vault, a word we get from the old French term voute, for much of series ten.


How she came to be beneath the campus of St Luke's University in Bristol in a Quantum Fold Chamber is entirely the Doctor's doing, and something of a mercy situation. The Doctor having been given the duty of executing Missy, yet unable to do so.

The Doctor swore to watch over her for 1000 years, but after about 70 set about rehabilitating his old friend. It seemed to have ultimately worked as, once again and without doubt this time, she fatally stabs her previous self after realising that being the Doctor's friend was all she ever really wanted - this after batting away the Simm Master's hints at being more than a bit aroused by his future incarnation.


Alas, a rekindling of the Doctor/Master bromance was not to be, as one good fatal wounding beget another. Perhaps it was because the Simm Master could not accept Missy returning to help the Doctor and doing the right thing. Or perhaps it was a case that if one Master could not be with the Doctor, then no Master will...


It seems the latest incarnation of the Master, as played by Sacha Dhawin, has dropped, for now at least, any pretense of friendly intentions towards the Doctor. An opening gambit of attempting to kill the Thirteenth Doctor and her 'fam' on a plane with a bomb instead of a pilot not exactly coming from a place of love.

But as we have seen from his two predecessors, there's a thin line between love and hate.

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