Hello and welcome to In Too Deep Into Doctor Who, where I over-analyse a certain section of my favourite TV show.

Well considering that last year I took an in-depth look at the Doctors, it’s only fair that I take an in-depth look at his arch nemesis. Now I’ll only be sticking to the TV versions, and some won’t be in depth as the others. But without further ado, here are my ranking at the Masters who have graced our screens.

Note for this list I’ll be referring to the Masters seen in the seventies: The first, as played by Roger Delgado, who often battled the Third Doctor; and the second, as played by Peter Pratt, who was only seen in The Deadly Assassin.

The Character

Roger Delgado: The first character to take on the name Master, Roger Delgado looked like the Devil. Seriously, if the Devil ever decided to come to Earth, this is what the Prince of Darkness would ultimately look like. As for the character, he was a rather suave gentleman. He was cool as a cucumber and would never be seen being wrong-footed. He was often wrong-footed, but yet always managed to come out on top. If there was one way of describing this Master, it would be ‘cool’. He really set the stage for the Masters to come. 8/10.

Peter Pratt: His character design has been uncharitable called a skull with ping-pong balls eyes on the end… and that certainly makes him the scariest looking of all the Masters. As for the character as seen in The Deadly Assassin, he is quite a horrifying monster. Here is a man who is so afraid of death he’s willing to destroy Gallifrey so he can live. While he spends most of the episode in the background, he’s quite dangerous when he’s at his most desperate. 7/10.

The Costume

Roger Delgado: A full black suit. Simple, yet pretty clever nevertheless. Much like the character himself, the costume doesn’t go to over-the-top. Simple and clean, that’s the way this Master rolls. 8/10

Peter Pratt: It helps that his robe is just as ragged and crumpled as the skin underneath it. In fact it’s hard to tell where the cloth stops and the skin starts… at least what’s left of it. Quite the stuff of nightmares. 7/10.

The Introduction

Roger Delgado: Terror of the Autons has the famous opening line “I am the Master. And you will obey me”. And Delgado spends the rest of the episode winning the audience over with his cool, ice-like nature. He casually kills a man with almost regret, as if that’s just the nature of the job he’s in. He takes an old foe from the past and manages to make them dangerous again. His scheme is a bit mad, but his threat is not. He helped solidify what made the Master so great. 9/10.

Peter Pratt: He only gets the one appearance, but boy does he make it count. When we finally see the Master is the bad guy all along it’s a brilliant twist that no one saw coming. Ever since the tragic death of Roger Delgado we presumed that it was the end, so to see him come back was pretty impressive. He comes in, he scares the pants off us, and then leaves to menace the universe some more. 7/10.

Best Story

(Note I’m putting all the Masters together per decade to judge them as one story, since some Masters only appear briefly).

Honourable Mentions: The Deadly Assassin gets a mention because it is a good story that I recommend you watch, but I wouldn’t say it was the best Master story of the seventies. The Sea Devils also gets a mentioned, if only cos of the sword-fight between the Master and the Doctor.

The Daemons is probably the best since the Master summons the devil and does a great job at just running around the set being all evil. It’s his tour de force where he really gets his chance to shine. This episode is often seen as a classic for a reason. 8/10

Worst Story

(Note I’m putting all the Masters together per decade to judge them as one story, since some Masters only appear briefly).

The Time Monsters is a bit of a mess. A fun mess, mind you, but a bit of a mess. The story is a bit over-the-top and the Master had grown a bit stale at this point, what with his constant appearance. This was probably the straw that broke the camel’s back in this regard. It’s a shame it’s Delgado’s penultimate appearance though. 5/10

Best Moment

Roger Delgado: I’ve already mentioned it, but I’m going to have to go with his first moment. He just oozes evil when he walks on screen, quickly taking control of the situation and showing the audience whose boss. It’s a fantastic scene that really sticks out and helps show why the Master is such a compelling character. 10/10

Peter Pratt: Difficult to chose, but I think it’d be when the Master is taunting the Doctor in the Matrix. It’s quite a chilling moment where the Master tells the Doctor who is in charge, showing why he’s such a menace. It’s a short moment, but it’s great. 7/10.

Overall

Roger Delgado: He helped set up the character and should be remembered for it. No Master ever tried to replicate him, since he plays it so well. It’s a shame really, since I’d like to see a suave Master once again. But no one can replace Delgado, can they? 9/10.

Peter Pratt: He doesn’t do a lot, but the little he does do helps significantly. He helped bring the Master back to the forefront and I love him for it. He’s easily the scariest looking Master out there. 7/10.

Final Tally

Roger Delgado:44/50

Peter Pratt: 35/50

So there you have it. My look at the Master in the 1970s. If you disagree with anything, or have anything to add, feel free to leave a comment. Till next time.

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