It’s been a long wait since Masterful was first announced back in December 2019 and Big Finish have spent the last year slowly revealing more information about the long awaited release marking 50 years since The Master’s first appearance.
But it’s finally here. Masterful is out now – available from the Big Finish website.
I am a huge fan of the Master, for reasons known only to my therapist, so a story uniting all eight of their incarnations is a dream come true. Especially when it features the audio debut of John Simm’s version, who (along with Derek Jacobi) was the first Master I encountered as a fan.
The Master’s finally done it. He’s won. He summons his other selves to a celebration of his ultimate victory. And they come -from across time and dimensions. But he’s forgotten to invite someone. And Missy’s not happy.
Has the Master really conquered the universe? Or has something more awful been unleashed? Something that even all the Masters cannot stop?
Missy is determined to reveal the truth. Because one fact about the Master’s existence never changes.
No-one can trust the Master. Not even the Master.Synopsis
Along with Simm and Jacobi, Masterful boasts an all-star cast including Geoffrey Beevers, Mark Gatiss, Michelle Gomez, Alex MacQueen, Eric Roberts and Milo Parker. Jon Culshaw appears as Kameleon and will, presumably, be voicing the Delgado and Ainley incarnations of the Master as he has on previous occasions.
Big Finish have handily provided a wealth of images and quotes from the cast, which shed a bit of light on the story and how each actor approaches the role…
We’ve already heard how Gatiss’ Master, an alternate-universe incarnation from the Unbound series, will play into the story from a exclusive scene released last month…
He seems to have exploited his prime counterpart’s link to Kameleon to track down his other selves. As a distinct version of the Master, separate from the others, he’s perfectly placed to serve as the antagonist.
I have profoundly scary memories of Terror of the Autons because it affected me forever, still does! I remember the Master being such a huge part of everything I loved about the show, and it just clicked so completely perfectly.Mark Gatiss
We’ve not heard from MacQueen’s Master since 2016 so it’s wonderful to have his audio-exclusive incarnation back. Resurrected from Beevers’ “walking corpse” form, this Master has a new lease of life and energy that only MacQueen can convey.
I’m biased but the Master is frankly the most terrific character, so it’s totally right to have this commemoration. It’s a massive privilege and I love it because it’s an incredibly creative experience in the booth.Alex MacQueen
This is the first appearance of Milo Parker’s version of the Master and it’s still not entirely clear what his role will be. The cover artwork strongly suggests that the 18 year old actor will be playing an early version of the Master in his Academy days. Possibly the only one at the Master’s party with any moral scruples left.
All the other characters I’ve done in the past have been relatively well-behaved, so playing the Master is an opportunity for me to broaden my horizons, to try something new, and I’ve really enjoyed it.Milo Parker
Having played the Master on television nearly forty years ago, Beevers has kept the Master’s story going on Big Finish since 2001. Beevers plays the desiccated walking corpse form of the Master and has even written a Short Trips story – I Am The Master – about his character, available on the special edition of Masterful or as a separate release.
It’s really different but it’s really good, because it explores who the Master might have been had he taken a different course in eternity. It’s beautifully written and it’s quite a challenge doing the transition into what that sort of person might have been – and back again – and what affect it has on him afterwards.Geoffrey Beevers
Only recently joining Big Finish after playing the Master for the 1996 television movie, the 64 year old Hollywood actor will soon headline his own audio series called Master! and recorded a couple of short videos in the role for social media.
It’s really different but it’s really good, because it explores who the Master might have been had he taken a different course in eternity. It’s beautifully written and it’s quite a challenge doing the transition into what that sort of person might have been – and back again – and what affect it has on him afterwards.Eric Roberts
Playing the first female Master – renamed Missy – in the Twelfth Doctor’s era and for numerous audio appearances, Michelle Gomez sees the character in terms relative to the Doctor.
Doctor Who couldn’t be Doctor Who without the Master. He gives the Doctor purpose in his plight for goodness, and the Master’s always there, shining a light on the Doctor’s dark side. The Doctor is a reluctant hero really, constantly being forced to be good because he can’t help himself but try and clean up the world of evil. The Master basically gives the Doctor work to do because he’s constantly in the background, undoing things and sabotaging goodness.Michelle Gomez
The Man born to play the Master whose television appearance was criminally short-lived, Jacobi reprised the role for audio in 2017 and has been a mainstay of Big Finish Mastery ever since. His ongoing series designates him the War Master as he fights for survival in the Time War.
He has a wonderfully wicked sense of humour which is lovely to indulge oneself in. The stories are very good, he usually comes out on top… heroic villains are the best things to play.Derek Jacobi
Making his audio debit, Simm played the Master opposite the Tenth Doctor from 2007 to 2010 with a guest appearance in 2017 alongside Gomez.
He’s an iconic character – he’s the nemesis of the Doctor, the evil Doctor, the baddie Doctor Who. He thinks he’s the equal to the Doctor; he’s a Time Lord, he’s everything the Doctor is, but evil. It’s a real honour to play him.John Simm
I’ll be back with more on Masterful very soon. Let me know your thoughts in the comments…