Spy Master

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Regenerating into a new body, a rather sadistic and wrathful incarnation of the Master, who once gleefully declared himself a "Spy Master", discovered that the entire Time Lord history had been "built on the lie" of the Timeless Child, as well as the true origin of the Doctor, in the Matrix. Embittered by his discoveries, and mad with jealousy of the Doctor, the Master took his revenge on Gallifrey, leaving it in ruin.

Wanting to inform and torment the Thirteenth Doctor with his discovery, the Master worked with a race called the Kasaavin and tech billionaire Daniel Barton to wipe out the human race. The Doctor thwarted his plan, but he eventually returned and revealed the truth about the Timeless Child to her on Gallifrey, just before he planned to use his army of CyberMasters, which he had built from the remains of the Time Lords he killed. The Doctor's ally Ko Sharmus defeated him by detonating a death particle that destroyed all organic life on the planet.

After escaping the death particle, the Master sought to ruin the Doctor's reputation, and so, teaming up his CyberMasters with the Daleks, he enacted a plan in which he forced the Doctor's regeneration and stole her body to become the Doctor himself. However, the Doctor's allies helped her reclaim her body from the Master, leaving him back in his now damaged and failing body. On the verge, he managed to mortally wound the Doctor and cause her to regenerate. He was later found by the Toymaker and played a game for his life, but lost and was imprisoned inside his gold tooth.


A day to come[[edit]]

Main article: The Lumiat's regeneration

Upon coming into contact with the Thirteenth Doctor, Missy branded the new female incarnation a copycat and suggested aloud that the "testosterone time" was behind them. However, from the Doctor's lack of a response, Missy reasoned that one of her future incarnations would again be a male, much to her dismay. (PROSE: The Wonderful Doctor of Oz) Upon being mortally wounded by her previous incarnation, which he indicated would disable her ability to regenerate, (TV: The Doctor Falls [+]Loading...["The Doctor Falls (TV story)"]) Missy would use an elysian field to bypass this and regenerate into the Lumiat. After being wounded by a younger Missy during a later encounter with her, the Lumiat would begin to regenerate herself. (AUDIO: The Lumiat)

Early life[[edit]]

This section's awfully stubby.

Random Regenerations

After regenerating into a new incarnation at some point after their time as Missy, they eventually returned to their dark ways and resumed calling themself the Master, looking down on Missy for trying to better herself after spending too much time with the Twelfth Doctor. (PROSE: The Doctor vs the Master)

Hacking into the Matrix on Gallifrey until he "got lost", (TV: The Timeless Children [+]Loading...["The Timeless Children (TV story)"]) this incarnation of the Master stumbled across the truth of the Timeless Child; (TV: Spyfall [+]Loading...["Spyfall (TV story)"]) the Doctor was the Child, having been found and adopted by the Shobogan explorer Tecteun, as well as the root of regeneration and the foundation of the Time Lord society. Enraged that the Doctor's childhood attitude of being "special" was apparently validated, (TV: The Timeless Children [+]Loading...["The Timeless Children (TV story)"]) the Master decided he had to "make them pay"; he ravaged Gallifrey and left the Citadel in a flaming ruin, having apparently killed all of the Time Lords. (TV: Spyfall [+]Loading...["Spyfall (TV story)"]) However, he chose not to destroy the Matrix. (TV: The Timeless Children [+]Loading...["The Timeless Children (TV story)"])

Alliance with the Kasaavin[[edit]]

This section's awfully stubby.

The Master and Margarita

Wanting to send a message to the Doctor about what had transpired on Gallifrey, the Master found a species known as the Kasaavin from another dimension had embedded across the universe as sleeper agents. Brokering an alliance with them, the Master recruited Daniel Barton into his plan to trap the Doctor by proposing that Barton and the Kasaavin turn the human race into hard drives. As part of the plan, the Master arranged for "the Silver Lady" to be delivered to Charles Babbage, and that it was passed on to those who would influence the development of computers through history until it ended up with Barton. The Master used his Tissue Compression Eliminator to kill a newly-recruited MI6 agent on his first day, and took his place. He was put to work as an analyst known as "Horizon Watcher", and given the codename "O" as a joke on how his superior, "C", would react to his presence. During his time at MI6, the Master crossed paths with the Doctor prior to her thirteenth incarnation. Not recognising the Master, the Doctor stayed in contact with "O" via text messages. "O" was eventually sacked by C sometime prior to 2020, and the Master went into hiding in Australia, using his TARDIS as a hideout.

By 2020, the Kasaavin began to attack spies from different agencies all across the Earth once the intelligence services started to realise their presence, leading MI6 to track down the Thirteenth Doctor. While the Doctor was at MI6's HQ, the Master personally assassinated C, and the Kasaavin forced the Doctor and her friends to flee to "O"'s alleged location in the Great Victoria Desert. Upon their arrival, "O" greeted the Doctor and Graham O'Brien. He assisted the Doctor by sharing his findings and, after a staged Kasaavin attack, travelled with Team TARDIS to confront Barton.

The Master reveals his true identity. (TV: Spyfall [+]Loading...["Spyfall (TV story)"])

At Barton's party, "O" blended in with the other guests until Barton fled, making the team pursue him to an airport. As Barton was about to take off, the team ran to the plane, with "O" almost not catching up, using the excuse that he was terrible at sprinting. This triggered the Doctor's suspicion, as "O"'s file said he was a champion sprinter. After being confronted over the inconsistency, the Master revealed his true identity, even showing Team TARDIS the shrunken corpse of the real "O". He then revealed he had been working with Barton and the Kasaavin, and left Team TARDIS on the plane as he detonated a bomb in the cockpit. Alerted to the Doctor's survival by Barton, the Master followed her to 1834 London, where he held a crowd at the Royal Adelaide Gallery hostage to draw out the Doctor. However, after a brief conversation with her, the Master was forced to flee when attacked by Ada Gordon.

The Master next chased the Doctor and Ada to 1943 Paris, where he set himself up as a German officer using a Teutonic psychic perception filter to hide his non-Aryan appearance from the Nazis. Once the Doctor made contact with him, the Master met her atop the Eiffel Tower, where he revealed his real plan had been to get the Doctor's attention and persuade her to return to Gallifrey. However, the Doctor had had Noor Inayat Khan leak information to the Nazis of the Master being a double agent, and, as they came to arrest him, deactivated the perception filter to ensure his capture while she stole his TARDIS. After seventy-seven years of waiting, the Master finally caught up to Team TARDIS back in 2020, just as the Kasaavin were enacting their invasion. However, the Doctor thwarted the Master's plot and exposed to the Kasaavin the Master's plan to betray them and Barton. Furious, the Kasaavin captured the Master, trapping him in their reality. (TV: Spyfall [+]Loading...["Spyfall (TV story)"])

With the psychic link between him and the Doctor still active, the Master, sometime later, was pressured into a mental conversation with her, during which they looked back on the state of their relationship and, as it were, "how it had all gone wrong". The Master once again taunted the Doctor with the knowledge he held over her, saying that he would only reveal it when he was "good and ready", and ended the chat. (PROSE: The Doctor vs the Master)

Joining with the Cyberium[[edit]]

The Master stands with the CyberMasters. (TV: The Timeless Children [+]Loading...["The Timeless Children (TV story)"])

Eventually, the Master was able to escape the Kasaavin, and returned to Gallifrey. He emerged from the Boundary when the Doctor and Ryan Sinclair arrived on the Planet of the Boundary. (TV: Ascension of the Cybermen [+]Loading...["Ascension of the Cybermen (TV story)"]) By threatening Ryan, Ethan and Ko Sharmus with his Tissue Compression Eliminator, the Master was able to force the Doctor to accompany him to the ruins of Gallifrey. Leading the Doctor into the Citadel, the Master reminisced about their times together there, before calling Ashad and inviting the Cybermen to Gallifrey.

Refusing her pleas to save her friends from the Cybermen, the Master trapped the Doctor in a paralysis field, telling her it was time for her to learn the truth of the Timeless Child. The Master sent the Doctor deep into the Matrix, accompanying her via a mental projection. Inside the Matrix, the Master showed the Doctor the history of Tecteun and her adopted daughter who underwent the first regeneration after falling from a cliff in a terrible accident, and was experimented upon for years to discover the secret of the power until Tecteun eventually gained the ability to regenerate and shared it with others of her race, who renamed themselves "Time Lords". The Master then explained that the Doctor herself was the Timeless Child in a life from before her first incarnation, the Time Lords having erased their memory to create a "great creation myth" for themselves.

Back on Gallifrey, the Master greeted Ashad, who revealed that he intended for his new army to destroy all organic life in the universe using a death particle, created using the Cyberium. However, the Master was less than pleased to learn that Ashad intended to turn the Cybermen into a fully-autonomous race, and offered Ashad another solution to becoming the dominant race in the universe. Taken to his Cybercarrier, the Master examined the cyber-conversion chambers and killed Ashad to acquire the Cyberium, though realised that the death particle was still usable from Ashad's remains and could be used as a weapon. He offered the Cyberium an alliance by combining all of the knowledge of the Cybermen with all of the knowledge of the Time Lords that he had absorbed from the Matrix, which caused the Cyberium to take him as a host. Using the bodies of the Time Lords he had killed on Gallifrey, the Master intended to use them to create a new race of Cybermen capable of regenerating, which he dubbed the "CyberMasters".

Sensing that the Doctor had escaped the Matrix, the Master telepathically led her to Ashad's remains. After sending the humans back to Earth in a TARDIS, the Doctor met with the Master in the Matrix chamber, where he revealed to her that he was the host of the Cyberium. Though he was impressed by the Doctor's resolve in the face of the Timeless Child revelation, the Master goaded the Doctor to detonate the death particle he had led her to, and was not surprised when she couldn't do it. As the Master gloated over the Doctor's "weakness", Ko Sharmus entered, intending to sacrifice himself to ensure the destruction of the Cybermen. The Doctor escaped in another TARDIS, while the Master ordered his CyberMasters to kill Ko Sharmus. However, Ko Sharmus was still able to detonate the death particle in his final moments. Before it could be detonated, the Master ordered the CyberMasters to follow him elsewhere. (TV: The Timeless Children [+]Loading...["The Timeless Children (TV story)"])

Becoming the Doctor[[edit]]

The Master as Grigori Rasputin. (TV: The Power of the Doctor [+]Loading...["The Power of the Doctor (TV story)"])

Having survived the death particle, the Master devised a plan to steal the Doctor's identity so that he could tarnish her reputation. Dubbing it his "Dalek plan", the Master created a clone of Ashad to act as his liaison with the Cyber-Warriors, while also recruiting the Daleks into his scheme, having them overtake Earth's volcanos so they could create multiple eruptions to weaken the planet for a Dalek invasion. This would leave the planet devastated and free to be turned into a foundry for the Daleks and Cybermen. The Master then had the CyberMasters invade a a bullet train to capture a Qurunx to use as a power source for a cyber-conversion planet that powered his regeneration chamber, and sent Tegan Jovanka a miniaturised Cyberman that hid Ashad and his Cyber-Warriors within so she would take it to UNIT.

The Thirteenth Doctor's forced regeneration. (TV: The Power of the Doctor [+]Loading...["The Power of the Doctor (TV story)"])

Deciding to impersonate Grigori Rasputin as part of his plan, the Master put "Rasputin's" face on fifteen of Earth's most famous paintings in 2022 to get Kate Stewart's attention, while drawing in seismologists that could alert the authorities of the Daleks' presence in the volcanoes so he could kill them with his Tissue Compression Eliminator at a seismology conference in Naples. Once the Doctor and Yaz Khan caught up to him, the Master was arrested by UNIT and brought to the Bunker at their headquarters. However, as per the plan, Ashad broke him out as his Cyber-Master took the base and the Master escaped to 1916 St Petersburg to take up Rasputin's identity, leaving Ashad to deal with UNIT. In Russia, the Master used hypnosis to convince Tsar Nicholas II to take his family on a holiday so he could use the Winter Palace to house his operations. After the Daleks captured the Doctor, the Master used the energy of the Qurunx while they were in connected chambers to hijack the Thirteenth Doctor's forced regeneration, while his own lifeless body was left in the other chamber. With Yaz accompanying in the Doctor's TARDIS, he then sought to ruin the Doctor's title and reputation by engaging in destruction throughout the universe.

However, with the assistance of the Holo-Doctor and Inston-Vee Vinder, Yaz used the CyberMasters' regeneration energy to trigger a "forced degeneration" back into the Thirteenth Doctor, returning the Master to his original body. Substantially weakened, the Master chased the Doctor to the metal planet just as she freed the Qurunx, emerging from his TARDIS as the Qurunx was destroying the planet with an energy beam. When the Doctor proclaimed the folly of his efforts to become her, the Master managed to use his TCE to redirect the Qurunx into striking the Doctor, mortally wounding her as he collapsed. While Yaz was able to carry the Doctor back to her TARDIS, the Master was left unconscious by his TARDIS as the planet imploded and, before averting her gaze, Yaz saw that a huge boulder had come loose and crushed the lower of half of him. (TV: The Power of the Doctor [+]Loading...["The Power of the Doctor (TV story)"])

Entrapment by the Toymaker[[edit]]

As the Toymaker disclosed to the Fourteenth Doctor, the Master survived the events of the failed body swap, but was mortally wounded and begged the Toymaker for his life, challenging him to a game. The Master lost and the Toymaker imprisoned him in a golden tooth as punishment. The Master, apparently still conscious in the tooth, later laughed when someone with red nails picked up the tooth after the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Doctors defeated the Toymaker. (TV: The Giggle [+]Loading...["The Giggle (TV story)"])

Psychological profile[[edit]]

The Master relishing in outwitting the Doctor. (TV: Spyfall [+]Loading...["Spyfall (TV story)"])

Believing "a little chaos [to be] a wonderful thing", (TV: Spyfall [+]Loading...["Spyfall (TV story)"]) the Spy Master could fall into unpredictable fits of rage, stating he could "relate" to a short-fused bomb, (TV: Spyfall [+]Loading...["Spyfall (TV story)"], The Timeless Children [+]Loading...["The Timeless Children (TV story)"]) to the point that he once attempted to strangle the Thirteenth Doctor with his bare hands. After taking a crowd hostage, he spontaneously focused on a cowering woman and demanded to know if she had moved, only to apologise for his "mistake" before killing her with the TCE. (TV: Spyfall [+]Loading...["Spyfall (TV story)"]) The Master once voiced a belief that nothing could "calm all [his] rage", though the Doctor countered her belief that he was actually "scared of everything". (TV: The Timeless Children [+]Loading...["The Timeless Children (TV story)"])

The Spy Master enjoyed playing long games, like tricking the Doctor into believing he was "O", gleefully clapping his hands at the Doctor's inability to deduce who he was despite giving clues and expressing he had had "a lot of fun" when she finally realised he had fooled her. (TV: Spyfall [+]Loading...["Spyfall (TV story)"])

While not above working with others to achieve his goals, the Master did not see his partners as equals, but as assets to use for his own gain and dismiss once they had served their purpose. (TV: Spyfall [+]Loading...["Spyfall (TV story)"], The Timeless Children [+]Loading...["The Timeless Children (TV story)"]) His arrogance was so profound that he did not even attempt to conceal his TARDIS in 1943 Paris, (TV: Spyfall [+]Loading...["Spyfall (TV story)"]) and felt he was justified in destroying Gallifrey when he learnt that the Time Lords owed their existence to the Doctor, himself included. (TV: The Timeless Children [+]Loading...["The Timeless Children (TV story)"])

Believing he had no "better nature", (TV: The Timeless Children [+]Loading...["The Timeless Children (TV story)"]) and looking down on Missy deciding to better herself, (PROSE: The Doctor vs the Master) the Spy Master had a passion for killing others, remarking how it gave him a "buzz", and that it felt right in his hearts to do so. (TV: Spyfall [+]Loading...["Spyfall (TV story)"]) His disregard for life was so great that he even threatened to kill to prove a point. (TV: The Timeless Children [+]Loading...["The Timeless Children (TV story)"]) His passion for death, when infused with anger, was reawakened in him when he discovered the lies about the Timeless Child that the Time Lords had committed, driving him to commit genocide back on Gallifrey. (TV: Spyfall [+]Loading...["Spyfall (TV story)"])

Despite not wanting her as his enemy again, the Master loved playing mind games on the Doctor and treating her as an inferior, (TV: Spyfall [+]Loading...["Spyfall (TV story)"], The Timeless Children [+]Loading...["The Timeless Children (TV story)"]) having her kneel before him when he was holding hostages. He chased her through time to force her to listen to him just to get a message across, but would express rage when she outsmarted him. He also looked down on her companions, likening his apparent killing of them to "swat[ting] flies".

However, beneath his charismatic exterior, the Spy Master hid a melancholy pain, recounting his ravaging of Gallifrey with sombre calm, though he was still petty enough not to divulge the entire truth of the Timeless Child to the Doctor, reasoning it should be as difficult for her to discover the truth as it was for him. He was also unnerved by the sounding of a four-beat rhythm that resembled "the Drumming". (TV: Spyfall [+]Loading...["Spyfall (TV story)"])

When Ashad's death particle failed to activate upon his death, the Master found himself disappointed and noted his acceptance should it have killed him. He later tried to persuade the Doctor to detonate the death particle to kill him and his CyberMasters. (TV: The Timeless Children [+]Loading...["The Timeless Children (TV story)"])


This incarnation of the Master was a short-standing, skinny man with dark skin, black hair, and brown eyes. He originally had stubble as "O", but once he revealed his true identity, the Master grew out a full beard. He regularly disguised himself as various individuals, such as an auction dealer and even a Nazi officer, shaving his hair off for the latter.

After being stranded on Earth for seventy-seven years, the Master took to wearing a double-breasted overcoat of plum purple cashmere, with external pockets on each hip and a chest pocket skewed at a forty-five degree angle under the left lapel, and metallic silver buttons attached to the coat; two on each side pocket, one on the breast-pocket, two on each sleeve, two on the back strap, and three on the front right side.

He also wore a plaid moleskin waistcoat and trousers with a pattern of three vertical stripes interlocking with three lines of horizontal dashes, in varying shades of orange over a navy blue background. The waistcoat additional possessed two blue chains, silver shank buttons and black style lapels. The end of his trouser legs were turned up slightly. Completing his ensemble was a midnight blue shirt, purple knee-high socks, and low topped leather lace-up shoes. (TV: Spyfall [+]Loading...["Spyfall (TV story)"])

During his trap for the Doctor, the Master wore a charcoal tweed suit and a burnt orange shirt. When posing as Rasputin, he wore a black overcoat and trousers. During his stint in the Doctor's body, he took on various articles of the Doctor's clothing. He wore a celery stick like that worn by their fifth incarnation, the jumper previously worn by their seventh incarnation, a tie previously worn by their tenth incarnation, the long scarf previously worn by their fourth incarnation, trousers previously worn by their second incarnation, the shirt previously worn by their twelfth incarnation and the trenchcoat previously worn by the Thirteenth Doctor. (TV: The Power of the Doctor [+]Loading...["The Power of the Doctor (TV story)"])

Other references[[edit]]

In a book she wrote for her successor, the Thirteenth Doctor mentioned the Master's merging with the Cyberium, even wondering if the union had been the Hybrid of legend. (PROSE: A Short History of Everyone)

Behind the scenes[[edit]]

  • The Spy Master's costume was conceived by Ray Holman, based on Sacha Dhawan's suggestions.[1]
  • In the previews of Ascension of the Cybermen, the Spy Master's return for the cliffhanger was foreshadowed by "Barack Stemis" being credited for a character called "Fakout" at the end of the cast-list. "Barack Stemis" is an anagram of "Master is back", while "Fakout" sounds like "fake-out".
  • The 2020 animated version of the Second Doctor serial The Faceless Ones retroactively makes this story the Master's first appearance, though they do not appear in person. He appears on two separate wanted posters, one showing his Sacha Dhawan incarnation, and another showing the first televised incarnation played by Roger Delgado.