Feeds

What a plot of nonsense: Ten Master master plan FAILS

The Doctor’s nemesis just keeps getting it wrong and wronger

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Doctor Who @ 50 “I am the Master, and you will obey me.”

He was the Professor Moriarty to the Doctor’s Sherlock Holmes, another renegade Time Lord and always out to conquer the universe - or destroy it.

The Master

The vicar of diaboly
Source: BBC

There’s a fan theory that the Master was no megalomaniac at all, but an agent of the Time Lords sent to keep the exiled Doctor from growing bored. Certainly, every time the Master appeared, plots to conquer the universe or destroy the Earth were increasingly implausible and always signalled with a nom de guerre that rather gave the game away - Magister, Thascalos; all words meaning ‘master’ - and chose allies whose strength and duplicity always forced the Master to co-operate with the very man who was supposed to be his sworn enemy.

It’s a compelling theory. Certainly, the Master’s plots inevitably ended in abject failure. But if he was an intentional foil for the Doctor in the early days, after his catastrophic final regeneration he became rather more serious about it, even though his schemes became ever more lacking in imagination. And no more successful.

Ersatz adversary or a real one, here are ten of the Master’s greatest FAILS in broadcast order.

The War Games

Reg Hardware retro numbers

You’re right, the Master didn’t make his official Doctor Who debut until the first story of Jon Pertwee’s second year as the Doctor, Terror of the Autons (see below), but it’s hard not to conclude that the face fungus-sporting, suit-wearing and unhinged renegade Time Lord in Patrick Troughton’s swansong, The War Games isn’t actually the Master. Sure, he calls himself the War Chief, but lending Gallifreyan dimensional transcendence tech to an alien race in order to get them to go off and conquer the universe is pure Master plotting. Besides, ‘War Chief’ is clearly a rank not a nom de guerre.

The War Chief and the Doctor

Looking the part: The War Chief and the Doctor
Source: BBC

And, in classic Master style, he’s soon double-crossed by the very aliens he himself planned to do the dirty on and is forced into temporary alliance with the Doctor in a bid to put his mess-up right. It fails, of course. The Doctor is forced to seek the help of the Time Lords - their first appearance in the series - and the War Chief gets zapped by the aliens. Off camera, Edward Brayshaw regenerates into Roger Delgado.

“Edward Brayshaw?” you ask. Yes, indeed. So after Roger Delgado’s final appearance as the Master, in 1973’s Frontier in Space, he promptly regnerates into Harold Meaker, the South London landlord who rents office space to a company called Rentaghost.

Terror of the Autons

Reg Hardware retro numbers

And it was such a good plan, too: to bring about “the destruction of humanity” by allowing the ethereal Nestene consciousness to establish a second bridgehead on the planet, using the alien energy’s ability to animate plastic to conquer the globe. What could go wrong? Hand out hundreds of thousands of artifical flowers and then, at the right moment, trigger their in-built polymer projectors to target the human body’s “basic weakness”.

Doctor Who: Terror of the Autons

It’s a fair cop, guv’nor. It was a stupid scheme, anyway
Source: BBC

Well, let’s consider, how long would it take a dozen or so Autons to distribute enough plastic daffs to ensure that every man, woman and child - and not just the British housewife - was caught in the first attack? And would they all really be joyfully sniffing odourless plastic flowers ALL AT THE SAME TIME? Even with the help of a pre-prosthesis Davros?

No, on second thoughts, it was a bollocks idea. Been better off asking world+dog to all sit in Habitat black plastic armchairs...

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Next page: The Mind of Evil

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE
Warning: Likely to cost a lot even for a Mac
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.