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

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Geek Couples: The Master & Chantho

Chris Morley finds utopia.

Looking back over Sir Derek Jacobi's criminally brief time in the role of the Master, there's one aspect of his portrayal that is often unremarked upon - an attitude to women that verges on the misogynistic!

Poor Chantho, a female Malmooth and the last of her kind, Professor Yana's "assistant and good friend". In Utopia it's implied that she's been working with him for quite some time in a bid to get the human race of the future to a new home, though his interest in her is merely professional despite her hint that she'd been hoping for a little more.
MARTHA: How long have you been with the Professor?
CHANTHO: Chan seventeen years tho.
MARTHA: Blimey. A long time.
CHANTHO: Chan I adore him tho.
MARTHA: Oh right, and he...
CHANTHO: Chan I don't think he even notices tho.
MARTHA: Tell me about it.
CHANTHO: Chan but I am happy to serve tho.

That verbal tic will really set Professor Yana off once he reveals his true nature. Damn that fob watch, eh?
YANA: Did you never think, all those years standing beside me, to ask about that watch? Never? Did you never once think, not ever, that you could set me free?
CHANTHO: Chan I'm sorry tho. Chan I'm so sorry.
YANA: You, with your chan and your tho driving me insane.
CHANTHO: Chan Professor, please...
YANA: That is not my name! The Professor was an invention. So perfect a disguise that I forgot who I am.
CHANTHO: Chan then who are you tho?
YANA: I am the Master.
A brilliant reveal hidden in plain sight. Sir Derek did a sterling job, even though he knew nothing of his character's history, as he told one interviewer.
"I asked, actually, about the history of the Master, but they said they didn’t have time!"
Didn't have time? It's a show all about time! He did at least have some idea of the enormity of the project.
"My agent called up and said ‘You’ve been offered a part in ‘Doctor Who’, an iconic series, and of course I wanted to do it so I said yes, without knowing what the part was.

They said they’d send the script. And the script came, I read it, and I thought it was great, very well written, a lovely character, but not being an aficionado of ‘Doctor Who’, I mean I grew up with it but not having seen it for years, I didn’t know the significance of what I was being offered."

The short time he was on screen in the role was "brief but glorious", with Empire including it in a countdown of the biggest shocks in the then 50-year history of Doctor Who itself...
A nice bit of bait and switch here, as we meet kindly old Professor Yana (Derek Jacobi), who has been toiling away at the end of the universe with nary a restaurant in sight. He’s trying to help humanity leave for Utopia, but the Doctor’s arrival and discussion about Time Lords stirs something in the old man.

When he opens his fob watch (similar to one we saw the Doctor use to disguise himself as a human in Human Nature), the truth is revealed: the Professor is actually The Master. Switching from cuddliness to smooth arrogance, Jacobi’s character is shot, and regenerates into the lunatic John Simm.
The build up to Simm's arrival was quite Masterly, if you excuse the pun, as precisely nobody saw the reveal coming. Especially not after his introduction alongside his lady friend when he is simply yearning for a better cup of coffee...
CHANTHO: Chan I am happy drinking my own internal milk tho.
YANA: Yes, well, that's quite enough information, thank you.
The milk of true love would of course turn sour, as Chantho had a part to play at the final curtain, bringing about the end and the beginnings of a new younger, stronger body for the Master.
''Killed by an insect. A girl. How inappropriate. Still, if the Doctor can be young and strong, then so can I. The Master - reborn.'' 

Cue John Simm.
"Ooo, new voice. Hello, hello!" 
New voice and a new wife. But that's for a different Geek Couples article.

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