[SPOILERS for those not caught up on Doctor Who ahead.]
John Simm returns to his role as the Master ahead of the Season 10 finale of Doctor Who on the BBC. After some seven years away from the part, Simm will team-up with Michelle Gomez’s alternate iteration of the character, Missy, and take on Peter Capaldi’s eponymous Doctor.
With two heads better than one, Simm’s iteration of the Master is sure to cause more trouble – and a possible regeneration – when we see Capaldi’s Doctor leave the show. The last time we saw Simm, his Master briefly became Prime Minister, was killed off, and then later resurrected to create a race of his own clones. Fans of the rebooted era of the show are promised a chilling return for the man behind the Master and an unexpected end to Season 10.
The BBC has released a climactic promo image that features Gomez, Simm, and Capaldi marching to war (see below). It ironically mirrors the promo image for the show’s 50th anniversary, which focused on Matt Smith, David Tennant, and the late John Hurt all playing different iterations of the Doctor. 2013’s “The Day of the Doctor” had the three actors all play our central Time Lord and showed the last day of the infamous Time War, as well as Hurt’s “bad” Doctor.
As for the Season 10 finale, we will see the Doctor put against three of his most formidable foes, bringing together two versions of the Master and the Mondasian Cybermen. The Master has frequently worked alongside the Cybermen and the Daleks, but the Mondasian species of the metal monsters haven’t appeared on the show for 50 years (back at a time when William Hartnell ruled the roost).
The Master was famously played by Roger Delgado from 1971 until his death in 1973, but similar to the Doctor, the character has undergone several regenerations over the years. When the show was rebooted in 2005, it wasn’t until 2007 that the Master returned to our screens and was briefly played by Sir Derek Jacobi. The name Mr. Saxon had been hinted at throughout the run, but it turned out to be another clever alias for the show’s biggest villain and Simm was revealed as the ultimate man behind the mantle in Season 3’s “Utopia.” Although Simm only appeared in five episodes, the role is one of his best-known to date, and it means big news for the show to have him return.
Gomez was spectacularly revealed as Missy the “Time Lady” earlier in Capaldi’s run playing the Doctor, and she has been a thorn in the Time Lord’s side since. Recently, we have seen Capaldi’s Doctor guard Missy for 1,000 years in the hopes that she will turn over a new leaf, but with the arrival of Simm, expect things to go wrong for the TARDIS traveler. Both Gomez and Capaldi are departing after the current season, but with a new Doctor already cast and the show’s future shrouded in mystery, who knows whether Simm could carry on as the wronged Time Lord.
This season 0f the show is set to bow out in typical Doctor Who dramatics and a huge departure in the season 10 finale, as “World Enough and Time” and the extended “The Doctor Falls” air on June 24 and July 1.