Surprise! Doctor Who‘s The Master continues to be an expert at refusing to die. The revelation that O is actually The Master threw most fans for a loop, especially after Missy’s redemption arc and death in Series 10. Sacha Dhawan’s already-brilliant version of this character brings all the expected diabolical campiness, unbridled chaos, and questions about his motivations.
Like The Doctor, there are always a ton of thoughts and theories about their past and how swirling timelines can make things super confusing. And, when you think about it, this Master may not be who we think he is after all. Let’s explore some questions that need answers about the return of The Doctor’s biggest frenemy.
Where does this incarnation fall in the timeline?
Some fans assumed that this Master follows Missy, but that doesn’t have to be the case. He’s likely an incarnation between John Simm’s version of The Master and Missy, which would explain why his personality is back to its homicidal norm once again.
This would be a great choice because it won’t negate the final moments of Missy’s arc and it explains why the Part 2 teaser includes Morse code that mimics the drumbeat from the Tenth Doctor era. Or, this Master might be before the Harold Saxon and Professor Yana. Perhaps he is the version that The Doctor thought he defeated during the Time War. There are a lot of fun and twisty turn that this could take.
Is this Master from another universe?
Multiple universes are all the rage in comics and on TV. Doctor Who hasn’t really explored parallel Earths in a while, but it looks like multiverses will be making a comeback this season. The Doctor saw several maps of alien spies on a few Earths, which means that whatever is going on right now is happening—or has happened—in several universes already. This Master may not be the one we know so well, but rather a Master from a completely different universe.
What if this Master has defeated other universes (and Doctors) and decided to infiltrate MI6 on this planet to learn more about how our Doctor works? It’s a wild thought but not completely out of the way. Maybe the Morse code seen in the Part 2 preview is a signal to other Masters to come together and cause chaos. If so, this could be The Doctor’s biggest challenge yet.
What does The Master know about The Timeless Child?
The who? The what? In case you forgot, Series 11’s Remnants monsters terrified The Doctor with the mention of the “outcast, abandoned, and unknown” Timeless Child. They said they could see what was hidden from The Doctor, which falls in line with The Master’s warning that what The Doctor thinks they know is a lie. This Timeless Child doesn’t fit The Doctor considering they are far from unknown. But, maybe it’s a reference to a deeper truth about The Doctor prior to the incarnations we have seen or Gallifrey as a whole. The light beings that The Master is working with might be tied to this Timeless Child entity.
Several fans, including Reddit user BigTiddyGothVVitch (haha!) suggested that The Master may either be or work with Omega, a Classic Who character who was revered as a hero but felt abandoned and lost his mind in a different universe. This would be a really cool tie back to the show’s earlier years and could create some great new lore in Gallifrey’s history.
There’s a lot of avenues that the show might take with this Master. Maybe he will end up being the Timeless Child or play a role in the unraveling of a dark truth about The Doctor. Is he a universe hopping menace? A previously unseen incarnation from this universe? Or will The Master turn out to not be the Time Lord we thought he was all along? Series 12 has certainly set a big story in motion and we are ready for more revelations.
Image Credit: BBC