| 2003 is the 40th
anniversary of Doctor Who and it wouldn't be an anniversary year without
a handful of The Doctor's oldest enemies trying to bring his travels to a final
As a precursor to the November 2003 anniversary adventure,
"Zagreus", Big Finish
Productions have released three stories where three Doctor's face three old
foes, but in unusual circumstances.
First it was the
turn for the Fifth
Doctor as he meets a mythical hero from Gallifrey's past in
Doctor has to endure yet again the evil scientist who created the
Daleks in "Davros".
finally the Seventh
Doctor comes face-to-face with his greatest archenemy again
than full-on fights against evil, a new loose trilogy of plays sees one Doctor
involved in a more character-based drama as they, and we, get to learn a little
more about these particular recurring nemeses.
"Master" is a four-part story and is the third in
the loose trilogy featuring The Doctor's old foes. Written by Joseph Lidster,
author of "The Rapture" that was
released in September, this story stars Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh
Doctor and has been directed by Gary Russell. It was recorded 30th and 31st July
This story will see the welcome return of Geoffrey Beevers
playing the part of
Master, who was last heard of in Mike Tucker's "Dust Breeding" which
was released in June 2001. Also staring is Philip Madoc who has appeared
previously several times in the television series, most notably in the 1969
Doctor story "The
War Games". Other cast members are: Daniel Barzotti, Joe
Bassett, Charlie Hayes and Anne Ridler.
On the colony
world of Perfugium stands a very old house. The current owner is the disfigured
and enigmatic Doctor John Smith who has been living on Perfugium for the past
ten years with no memory of his life before his time as the local doctor.
on a dark and stormy night, Doctor John Smith invites his closest friends,
Inspector Victor Shaefer and his wife, Jacqueline, to dine with him to
celebrate the tenth anniversary of his arrival on Perfugium. However, the
arrival of a mysterious stranger turns their world upside down, and for all the
occupants of the house life will never be the same again. Some die while others
become mentally scarred forever by the events of the night.
After inheriting the house from its previous
owners he lives alone except for a housemaid, who is more than she seems, and a
spiteful cat that is more interested in its master than the rats. But Doctor
John Smith is more interested in seeking out clues to help him solve his the
reasons behind his mysterious background and so discover who he really is.
is why he agrees to communicate with the spirits so as to find the past that
has been locked away. However, at the window just as lightening strikes
disturbs the evenings proceedings. Burnt by the lightening Doctor John Smith's
new patient becomes the centre of attention - especially as this stranger is in
fact The Doctor.
The Doctor is on Perfugium and he suspects the worst because
he alone recognises the man as his arch-foe, The Master. But what is The Master
doing? Has he reformed? Is he making up for past errors? Or is it The Doctor
who has finally misjudged his former school peer?
deaths connected with the house are too much of a coincidence especially with
The Master - albeit a seemingly changed Master - around. It appears that
Inspector Victor Shaefer is no longer nearer to solving the crimes as Doctor
John Smith is to finding out who he really is.
question though is why has this evil renegade become the good Doctor John
Smith? For Doctor John Smith is a placid and refined individual. He is honest
and kind and is well respected amongst the community for his work as a
physician. He also deeply values the friendship he shares with the
Not like The Master at all.
question is what made The Master the villain we know? Could it go back to a
single incident in his childhood with a bully or maybe it stems from something
external which influenced him into turning to the dark side. Maybe The Master'
childhood friend, The Doctor?
Surely The Doctor could not be involved in the
incident that changed his friend, which resulted in the murder of the bully,
and then gave The Master to Death in order to save himself from the guilt of
the act? But if the good Doctor John Smith is the evil Master why is he seen as
a romanticised ideal of perfect good? As described Jacqueline Doctor John Smith
is "the closest thing to perfection in this room".
that Smith is not The Master and that his whole life in Perfugium is a fiction,
created by The Doctor and Death at the bequest of the former, to see who The Master could have been had his life not been the victim of The Doctor's
Fiction or not this night is the end to one thousand years of
darkness and ten years of life for The Master - but could it mean the end for
The Doctor especially as it is up to The Master to decide his and The Doctor's
destiny? Is there no ending of this one night of Hell?
At least The Doctor's tale, to a mysterious man who it seems is a professional assassin
preparing for a kill, may prevent someone else from following the same path -
the path that leads to perpetual evil
- Featuring the Seventh
- Serial Number: 7Y
- Number of Episodes: 4
- Cover Length: 135 minutes
- Episode Lengths: 1 = 31'09", 2 = 26'03", 3 =
31'39", 4 = 43'43"
- Total Story Length: 132'34"
- This story takes place after "Survival".
- Cover Illustration: Clayton Hickman
- Recorded: 30th and 31st July 2003
- Recording Location: The Moat Studios
- Released: October 2003
- ISBN: 1-84435-031-2
|On the Back Cover:
Many years ago,
on a dark and stormy night, the disfigured and enigmatic
Doctor John Smith invited his closest friends, Inspector
Victor Schaeffer and his wife, Jacqueline, to a dinner
to celebrate his birthday. A few hours later all the occupants
in that house had been changed some were dead,
others mentally scared forever by the events of that night.
So, what happened to the
distinguished dinner guests on that evening? Perhaps,
we'll never know. But two clues have led to much speculation
found outside the study window, a charred umbrella
with a curved red handle and found inside the house, a
blood-stained of Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll
and Mr Hyde.
For one person,
this night represented an ending: an ending to one thousand
years of darkness and an ending to ten years of light.
But, for everyone else,
is there no ending of this one night of Hell?
|On the Inside Cover:
THE MASTER TERRIFIED
ME as a child He was Evil. So, when Gary Russell asked
me to pitch an idea featuring him, I was well chuffed.
Except that Big Finish wanted a character-based story
and when you think about it, The Master doesn't really
have that much of a character. He's just Evil.
With a capital 'E'. No
matter what theories I came up with to explain his character
or behaviour none of them seemed to fit. Yes, sometimes
he's fighting for survival and yes, sometimes, he believes
that the universe would he a better place if he ran it
hut at other times he's dressing up as an Oriental or
trying to stop the Magna Carta being signed. And he never
This set lie thinking,
what must it he like to he The Master? Always alone, laughing
at your own jokes, failing in everything you do... wouldn't
you just give up? Wouldn't you just retire to some backwater
planet and live a normal life?
But what if
you can't? What if something inside of you compels you
to act the way you do? In the same way that The Doctor
can't help interfering and trying to help those less fortunate,
what if The Master cannot help but kill?
What would you
be more afraid of? The Master? Or that no matter what
you did, no matter how hard you tried to escape, you were
Lidster submitted his first Doctor Who audio,
The Rapture, on spec and producer Gary Russell
liked it so much, he commissioned Master from
him as well. Joseph has also written two short stories
for Big finish’s Short Trips range of books, one
in Zodiac and the other in Past Tense.
Lazarus co-author Cavan Scott first proposed the idea
of a story that focussed on The Doctor meeting an amnesiac
Master, unaware of his past and being treated as a hero.
This caused The Doctor to question whether to help The Master fill in the gaps or leave things well alone...
then passed this idea on to one or two other writers to
develop further and amongst those was Joseph Lidster.
Joe wanted to focus very much on the darker side of The Master's nature rather than doing a generic story, featuring
The Master being evil. This suited Big Finish's theme
of three character-based "villain" stories, the previous
two being Omega and Davros. By
thinking along the confines of a stage-play (is limited
sets and characters) it enabled
him to cut away the extraneous, and more traditional, Doctor Who scenarios
and just focus on The Master, his friends and his old
enemy. Whilst not wanting to do
an origin story per se, we wanted to ensure that, as
with the Omega and Davros adventures, we added something
to our knowledge of what makes this so-masterful villain
| Full Cast List:
The Production Team:
|Gary Russell and
|Executive Producer for the BBC