British science fiction institution Doctor Who finally returns with month, with a familiar face in John Simm's Master along for the ride. The upcoming tenth season since the show's return in 2005 will see Peter Capaldi's Twelfth Doctor line up alongside new companion Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie) and the returning Nardole (Matt Lucas), while the BBC have also confirmed the return of both the original Cybermen and the Ice Warriors.
Another figure who is set to return is Michelle Gomez' maniacal version of The Master aka. Missy. The veteran Doctor Who villain first appeared in the relaunched series during David Tennant's reign in the TARDIS played by Derek Jacobi, who soon regenerated into the more-recognized John Simm incarnation. Simm's Master took part in several episodes that saw him becoming Prime Minister of Great Britain, before returning to help bring the Time Lords to Earth. And it seems he isn't quite finished yet.
The BBC has confirmed that Simm is returning in Doctor Who season 10 to reprise his role as The Master. The actor himself responded to the announcement, claiming:
“I can confirm that it’s true, thanks to the power of time travel I’m back. It’s always a pleasure to work with this great team of people and I can’t wait for you all to see what the Master gets up to in the next series."
Show-runner Steven Moffat adds:
"Nothing stays secret for long on Doctor Who but you'll have to wait a little bit longer to see exactly what the Master is up to and how he makes his return to face the Doctor. It’s been a huge pleasure to have fan favourites John Simm and Michelle Gomez face to face in the same role! It’s not often you get to see a solo personality clash."
Although not confirmed, it seems highly likely that Simm and Gomez will appear in the same story. After all, if the Doctor can meet up with different versions of himself and team-up to take on a greater foe, why can't The Master pull the same trick? If this is the case, The Doctor will absolutely have his work cut out attempting to outwit whatever plan The Masters have in store for him. He can only just keep up with one of them, let alone two.
The return of John Simm is likely to have fans ever more excited for the show's return, as the actor's take on the villain was widely lauded and struck just the right balance between insane criminal and genius megalomaniac. The prospect of him siding with his Michelle Gomez regeneration is arguably even more tantalizing - as although she portrays a quite different interpretation of The Master, both actors are joyous to watch and clearly have a strong handle on their role. It will also be very interesting to see John Simm's Master under the guidance of Moffat, since the actor previously only worked with predecessor, Russell T. Davis (who had a very different style of storytelling).
With that said, some fans might interpret this news as Doctor Who attempting to recapture former glories by looking back to more successful periods in its history. Despite receiving critical acclaim, the Twelfth Doctor's reign has seen a drop in viewership compared to the likes of Tennant and Matt Smith - and with season 10 set to be both Capaldi and Moffat's last term on the series, some may argue that the BBC are trying to boost the show's popularity before the new guard come in.
Doctor Who season 10 premieres April 15th with 'The Pilot' on BBC and BBC America.