traken_master: (calm)

Master of All

You will obey me.

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Created on 2012-01-06 22:15:32 (#1390470), last updated 2013-02-06 (241 weeks ago)

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Birthdate:Aug 15
Location:United States of America
This is a roleplay journal. The muse and mun are both over eighteen.

Canon: For starters, I want to heavily emphasize that I make no distinction at all between Classic and New Who. I don't know of anyone who disagrees with that, but I wanted to get it out there. As far as I am concerned, it is the exact same show, with the exact same continuity, characters, universe, etcetera. Really, imho, for a show that's run this long, they do a wonderful job at avoiding continuity problems. I don't think it'd be humanly possible to run a show for any length of time and have zero continuity problems and most of the Who ones can be explained away. (Don't worry. I'm getting back to the Master shortly.)

That being said, I have to bring up the subject of the secondary media, like novels and the Big Finish audios. I haven't seen much directly, but I have read The Dark Path and listened to Zagreus. I loved both to absolute pieces! That being said, imho, television canon *always* trumps everything else. I'll take bits and pieces from secondary canon, essentially cherry picking the bits that I like and ignoring anything that contradicts tv canon or that I don't like. :D Here they are.

Like: Koschei. I do like that as his Academy nickname and I roleplay a young Koschei from his Academy days. Whether my Koschei and my Master are from the same reality is situational, depending on the game where I'm playing.

Ailla: I do like the premise of a young, pre-Master Koschei getting his hearts broken by a young woman he thinks is human, when he believes she dies. It would explain his disdain for humans. I've had my Master make oblique references to her on comms. That said, the drums are canon and therefore my Ainley!Master is afflicted with them.

Oakden and Lungbarrow: Why not? It's a good name for a House and we know the Master came from a great family with estates. This was confirmed in The End of Time, part one.

Dislike : Looming. Well, I dislike them as the primary or socially acceptable means of reproduction. I don't object to the tech existing or being commonly used per se. It's just the whole looming thing ties into another major dislike that I'll get to later. Suffice to say, I fully believe Time Lords to be perfectly capable of sexual reproduction and that it wouldn't draw nasty stares in their society. On the other hand, I do like the idea that any two Time Lords can have a baby, if they choose. I can see the Time Lords wanting to combine and preserve certain strands of DNA, regardless of gender. The Master and the Doctor both refer to their fathers in canon, as well. The Doctor stresses he has only one father in Kinda (because the alien girl has seven!) and the Master refers to his father's lands in End of Time.

The novel Legacy of the Daleks. Now, please, don't get me wrong. I haven't read the book and I'm sure it's well written and entertaining. As an AU, what-if story, I'm sure it's fine. Still, I can't accept it as canon for my character. The reason for this is that it would take place before The Five Doctors for both Susan and the Master. Yet, in The Five Doctors, Susan doesn't recognize the name the Master. After hearing the name, she still asks if he's a friend of the Doctor. Now, in the book, he murders her husband. I'm fairly certain Susan would remember the name of the man who made her a widow. The Five Doctors cannot take place before Legacy of the Daleks from Susan's point of view, because she is, according to TARDIS wiki, supposed to still look eighteen in Legacy of the Daleks. Obviously, Susan did not look eighteen in The Five Doctors.

Now, yes, I could cherry pick this and say she didn't look eighteen and, for her, The Five Doctors took place first. Really, though? I just plain don't want to. I don't like the idea of the Master killing her husband and her almost killing him. Strangely, it just seems a bit out of character.

One, Susan always struck me as very gentle, although her husband's death would certainly give her an excuse to do an about face.

Two, the Master might kill random people, in fact does so a LOT, but have you noticed that he usually spares anyone who is close to the Doctor? The Master has yet to do permanent damage to one of the Doctor's companions. Heck, Tegan threw a knife at his HEAD and he just grinned and went about his business. He never even hinted at retaliating! Yes, he did kill Grace and Chang Lee in the television movie, but...he was more out of his head than usual and they came back. I'm not saying he's unwilling to hurt them. I'm just saying he usually can't be fussed to do so. Sure, he threatens a lot, but the Master tends to bluster and be melodramatic.

Three: The Master has displayed that he has a hard time letting go of people he once had affection for. He can't leave the Doctor alone. He'd rather fight with him, than be ignored by him. Once he attaches to a person, he's stuck on them for good and all! I think it's very possible, if not probable, that he knew Susan as a child and probably still feels affection for her. That affection may be twisted and unhealthy, but I'm betting it's there. For canon evidence of this, beyond the Doctor, look at Lucy Saxon. She shot him dead, but he still seemed to be trying to win her over in The End of Time, referring to her as "sweet" Lucy and holding his hands out to her. He keeps and cares for what he considers his, as a general rule.

Death's champion: In the audio The Master, Seven at one point tells a story of how he and his friend Koschei were viciously bullied. The bully starts to drown Theta, but then Koschei kills him with a rock. Or, it might be that Koschei is being drowned and Theta kills him, but then Koschei ends up believing it was him? Something else happens and Theta offers Koschei as Death's champion instead of himself. Seven says the boy bullying them wasn't evil, but Koschei went on to spread death everywhere. I have major problems with this. One, can you really see those brilliant, stubborn boys being bullied? Can you picture the Master at any age putting up with that? I can't. Seriously. They'd have twisted any would-be tormentor into knots. They'd have outwitted him and probably knocked him down so far he'd never get up again. Yes, they were supposed to be children, but personalities develop earlier than that so, yeah, no. Second of all, the bully was drowning one of them! That's evil, Seven! Pure and simple. The whole dedicated to Death thing I don't mind so much, but how it came about leaves me cold, so no. Gotta pass.

Pythia's curse: Evidently, according to secondary material, a powerful seeress in Time Lord history, Pythia, cursed the Time Lords, making them unable to reproduce sexually, hence the looming. I do not accept this as canon. There is too much in television canon that contradicts it and I'm not interested in convoluted explanations that would make it work. Individual asexuality is fine, but making the entire race asexual is a disservice to viewers who interpret the Doctor and Master as sexual beings. It doesn't work. I've discussed asexuality below, a bit, and this really doesn't work for me. It would make it very hard for me to relate to the Doctor and Master, if this were canon.

Childhood: I try to stick with canon, or my interpretation of canon, as much as possible. In my mind, the Doctor and the Master started off as very close friends. This is now canon, based on comments by Simm!Master, who refers to them running across fields of grass, shouting at the sky. I not only take this to mean they were close, but that, from an early age, they dreamt of leaving Gallifrey. Probably together.

I do think there is a very good chance that there was more than just "friendship" involved at this point. This is strongly hinted at by Three, who says to Jo: "We used to be friends. Very good friends. In fact, you might say we were at the academy together." Now, those three little sentences represent a progression, with the Doctor admitting to greater and greater closeness to the Master. First, he admits to friends, then very close friends. Then, he admits to being "together" at the Academy. True, he does not say "we were together at the Academy." But, he also doesn't say, "We went to the Academy together. In fact, we were friends. Very close friends." Something more than mere school chums is being hinted at in Three's canon statement. It could be taken as roommates, as well as romance, but well. There has to be some foundation for the Master's obvious obsession.

We know nothing of his parents, really, or whether he had siblings. I'm assuming he was the oldest son, since the Master says he had estates, so apparently would have inherited. He says his childhood was one of duty and, imho, he didn't sound particularly fond of his father. According to Three era serials, he graduated at a higher level than the Doctor.

Age: Speaking of Three era, in more than one serial, Three claims to be several thousand years old. This is my canon, since at least one of those times, Three was speaking in angry indignation and didn't actually mean to admit that. So, my Master is several thousand years old. That whole nine hundred years old thing of the Doctor's? That's just him being vain and refusing to see the onset of Gallifreyan middle age. :D He's such a liar!

The Doctor: The Master's most important relationship is, of course, his relationship with the Doctor. As I've said, canon says they started off friends. I don't like the line in The Dark Path that said they hadn't seen each other in ages, I believe it said two hundred years, so I discard that. It weakens the emotional impact of the rest of the story. I believe the Master and the Doctor kept in relatively close contact, until their split in The Dark Path or when the Master proved that his intentions were no longer benign.

I am a Doctor/Master shipper. I believe there is as much love as there is hate between them, if not more. Yes, each has tried to kill the other, but each has also shown the other mercy. I think the Master might wish he could kill the Doctor, but I offer five separate instances from canon to prove he doesn't really want to.

One: Delgado!Master offered to give Three half the universe. HALF THE UNIVERSE That's one heck of an offer, my friends. Really, that's not the sort of offer you make to someone you don't like, no matter how capable they are. Heck, even someone you just sort of admire...probably not. Co-ruling is a lot like marriage, don't you think? There's an intimacy to it.

Two: In The Five Doctors, he tells the council that "A cosmos without the Doctor scarcely bears thinking about." This seems to put the Doctor directly at the center of the Master's universe, doesn't it?

Three: He goes out of his way to protect the Doctor from the Valeyard. Now, yes, the Master does also scheme to overthrow the High Council and steal the Matrix and pretends to want the Doctor dead. He may even believe he means it himself. For me, this is all a reaction to the Doctor's treatment of the Master, during The Five Doctors and Planet of Fire. He knows the Doctor will refuse to believe that the Master just wants to help and believes the Doctor will also not show a lick of gratitude. So, the Master has a scheme running so that he will get some sort of reward, in lieu of the Doctor's praise, and to preserve his own dignity. Really, how embarrassing is it to come running to the rescue of a man who let you burn to death? (Planet of Fire)

Four: The Master is a very intelligent man. He's crazy, he's obsessive, and he's blind, at times, but not stupid. Even the Doctor admires the Master's intellect! So, why does he keep using methods that he knows fails? Maybe part of him wants to fail? My evidence for this is Mark of the Rani. Throughout the episode, he insists on doing things his way. He doesn't just want the job done; he wants it done in a particular manner...a manner that has failed him for centuries! He teams up with the Rani, yes...but then proceeds to handicap her, in every possible way he can think of! I really think this was deliberate. If he wasn't careful, he knew the efficient Rani might actually carry out his threats.

Five: The Year that Never Was Simm is the Master most likely to try and genuinely kill the Doctor. He's crazy, the drums have taken over, essentially, and he's almost utterly without constraint. He's even lost the thick veneer of civility and manners that marked his earlier incarnations. Yet, he still doesn't kill the Doctor! He holds him prisoner for an entire year and doesn't kill him. He humiliates him. He mentally and perhaps even physically tortures him, though there's no evidence of that last, beyond the extreme aging. He doesn't kill him. For an entire year! That's a long time to get some gloating out of your system. To me, this shows he much prefers to keep the Doctor alive as a captive audience. He desperately needs to impress the Doctor, one way or another.

Now, you might argue that their scenes show a distinct lack of affection. I beg to differ. I've already used the cosmos quote, but I'd like you to take a second look at Castrovalva. Four has just regenerated into Five and Five is suffering from regeneration sickness. The Master lures him to a world he has created, especially for the Doctor, supposedly as a trap. What does he do? He gives the Doctor medicine and tucks him into bed to recover! Tucks him in! In fact, Castrovalva itself ensures that the Doctor won't have to worry about Cybermen, Daleks, or other nasties showing up. It's just him, his companions, the Master, and some constructs--who turn out surprisingly benign, given they came from the Master! The Master only even starts pretending to intend the Doctor harm, once he is back on his feet and almost recovered. Even then, the Master practically reveals his entire scheme to the Doctor, making sure the Doctor sees both the books and the tapestry that reveal what the Master is plotting!

In many serials, the Doctor and the Master tend to...stand a bit too close for politeness. Really, they get up in each other's personal space and the Master touches, whenever he can get away with it!

Imho, the Master is very much in love with the Doctor...all incarnations. But, he feels he has to hide it and he really doubts his affections are returned. He sees the Doctor as deliberately, even cruelly, oblivious to the Master's affection. He does enjoy challenging the Doctor and the games he plays with him. The Master and the Doctor are both highly intellectual and the Master feels these games keep them sharp and from getting soft. To him, the challenges they give each other are necessary mental stimulations. Still, he genuinely wants healing between them, but he sees the universe as chaotic and disturbing. He can't just walk away from his ambitions, especially with nothing offered in return.

This is not to say that I think the Doctor is the bad guy in their relationship. Far from it. The Master has made plenty of mistakes with the Doctor, beyond the overt attempts at killing him. The Master might have meant offering half the universe as a marriage proposal, but all he talked about was ruling the universe. I think the Doctor took this as evidence that the Master's personal feelings were not engaged and the Doctor was probably very angry and hurt.

I think the Master does too good a job of pretending to mean serious harm to the Doctor. We have two men who are so intent on protecting themselves that they fail to see the other is doing the exact same thing! The Master makes feints at attempting to kill the Doctor, so that the Doctor won't see how badly the Master wants to impress him and how upset the Master is at his supposed rejections. The Doctor hides his love from the Master, because he believes the feelings will be met with contempt. He believes the Master wants him dead and is appalled at his old friend's cruelty. Each misunderstands the other, so they do their little dance, both aching for the other.

Sexuality: The Master is, I believe, bisexual. He's shown interest in women in canon, plus his obsession with the Doctor. This is another reason I dislike the looms. I think they were an effort to show the Time Lords as asexual and I don't think that's interesting or necessary. I like sex! LOL To me, asexuality in the Doctor undermines an entire layer of motivation and personality! It just doesn't work for me. I think its better to leave the sexuality of characters ambiguous, so it's easier for viewers to relate to them.

Now, I can perfectly understand why the Doctor would not have sex with humans. So, I can understand a certain functional asexuality...a chosen asexuality, if you will. Humans die fast by Time Lord standards. I can understand, if the Doctor kept off his companions for that reason. Still, that wouldn't apply to other Time Lords. I like to think the Doctor feels sexual desire as intensely as anyone else...but has more self control...or is getting it on with the Master offscreen. :D

Really, to me, the science fiction concept of ancient races evolving past sex is a bit illogical. In nature, lower lifeforms reproduce asexually or through egg laying, with no sexual contact. In higher lifeforms, reproduction means sexual contact between at least two genders. I don't believe that humanoids who once reproduced sexually will become asexual. If they did, I think they would also become genderless, with their form changing to match their function. This obviously hasn't happened to the Time Lords. They still have at least two genders.

If looming were standard, it would be because of one of three reasons: the Time Lords choose to loom, over having sex; the Time Lords evolved beyond sexual reproduction; or a catastrophe occurred, making them incapable of sexual reproduction.

There's nothing in canon to suggest a catastrophe occurred to the Time Lords that would leave them incapable of sexual reproduction. Anyway, wouldn't looming them fix any such problem? If you can build a person from the DNA up, I think you'd be able to restore sexual reproduction. Television canon makes it pretty clear that the Time Lords have always been fairly powerful, destroying any serious threats and once using many species for entertainment in the Death Zone.

If Time Lords had merely evolved beyond sex, then they would still have a natural method of reproduction and looming would not be necessary. All species, from the tiniest amoeba to humans, have an urge to procreate and propagate their species. Nature is not going to remove that drive, no matter how complex or intelligent the species. The method of reproduction, if anything, will probably only become more complicated and involved.

It is possible that the Time Lords are perfectly capable of reproducing sexually, but choose looming, but I don't see it becoming the norm, except perhaps as a fad. I can see times where looming would be preferable, or even the only option, but I think it would take something extraordinary to convince an entire species to give up sex for an artificial means of reproduction. The Time Lords are shown as being far from passionless. They are corrupt and conniving. Political intrigue and pageantry seem common. Sex is a powerful tool and motivator and I can't see the Time Lords we see onscreen abandoning it.

Character: The Master's personality is complicated to say the least. Now, I try not to be an apologist for the Master. He's done some truly horrible, even heinous, things. His actions have been evil, at times. On the other hand, just writing him off as evil turns him into a two-dimensional, cartoon villain and I think the character deserves more than that. Of course, I readily admit, I love the character. Without making him seem emo or woobie, which he would detest, I do think the Master is something of a tragic figure. This is a man with a tremendous potential for good, for being a true light in the universe. Sadly, between anger at parts of his past, his estrangement from the Doctor, and the tormenting drums, that potential has become very deeply buried within him.


One of the Master's greatest strengths is his genius. The Doctor admits that the Master has a stunning intellect, so this implies he is above average by Time Lord standards. He has a vast amount of knowledge that a human just can't match. For one, the Master has thousands of years of experience. Two, according to canon, a Time Lord's mind is so powerful, it would burn out the human brain, literally. Whatever he bothers to learn, he probably knows thoroughly. In canon, it is implied that Time Lords can speak all languages and all of the ones shown are brilliant scientists.

Now, this isn't to say that the Master is all knowing. The Master can be very blind at times and some knowledge he probably just wouldn't see a need for. The Master tends to underestimate people, circumstances, and his own weaknesses. He's far too self-satisfied and it gets him in trouble. He also tends to be obsessive, so I imagine that he knows almost everything about certain subjects, like mechanics, engineering, temporal mechanics, and almost nothing about other things, such as sports or farming.

The Master is a very powerful hypnotist. He can, using only his voice and/or eyes, bring others under his direct control. This is one area, where I ignore television canon. Pip and Jane Baker wrote some wonderful stuff, but I think they didn't really understand the Master and needed to do a canon review of Roger Delgado's Master, before writing Ainley. I ignore that they made Ainley use a bauble to hypnotize people. :( He's the bloody Master, he does not need some shiny thing on a piece of string!

The Master is described in canon as being a strong telepath. Now, I think this means he is strong by Gallifreyan standards. He's not the most powerful telepath in the panfandom multi-verse, but he's not a pushover either! Granted, anything he can do, the Doctor can do too and sometimes better. The Doctor is, after all, the hero and the Master's equal. I believe the Time Lords probably live very interesting mental lives. :D Both of them can sense the thoughts of stronger telepaths and can read or control people's minds, though touch seems to strengthen this ability. They can share memories as well.

This hypnotic ability might partially account for another strength of the Master, his personal charm. Despite the terrible things he does, the Master is very charismatic and, when he wants, is very good at getting people to trust him, at least temporarily. He is very urbane, presenting himself as a gentleman. He can be very reasonable and even soft-spoken, when it suits him. Of course, in the end, people tend to see through his charm, once the bodies start hitting the floor! I do think, however, that, if it weren't for his insanity and need to punish/control the universe, the Master would probably have been a very kind and sensible person. I think he uses that part of himself to function, when he needs to.

The Master's weakness in this area is his habit of severely underestimating others. He believes a bit too much in his own ability to control others through hypnotism, given that it tends to fail miserably on those who are very intelligent or who have strong wills of their own! NO, Master, you are not the only remarkably stubborn being in the universe! In fact, underestimating others and being blind to their potential and strengths is one of the Master's greatest weaknesses. His arrogant conviction of his own superiority has gotten him into trouble...just about every serial he has ever been in! LOL He just can not see his own weaknesses and adjust his plans accordingly.

The Master is also a master of disguise. Now, granted, the Master's disguises do seem cheesy at times, to viewers. Was anyone fooled by Giles Estram?? Still, in universe, his disguises are very effective and he employs a broad range of them. In Castrovalva and The King's Demons, the disguises sort of waver and fade away, so they seem to be a projection of sorts, though this is never explicitly explained. He also can do perfect imitations of other people's voices.

The Master's weakness here is assuming that changing his features and name can conceal his nature. The Doctor tells him in The King's Demons that he can disguise his features, but never his intent. Also--the Master is a ham. The disguises are a serious affront to his own dignity and he doesn't even realize it. Kalid was just bizarre. I'm really not sure why he bothered, especially before the Doctor showed up. LOL The Portreeve wasn't much better, either. That hat!!! Seriously, the clothes he gave people to wear in Castrovalva were just silly1 And, of course, he usually gives himself away by taking an alias that is a play on the word Master. Silly man. Also, he does slip up and use his own mannerisms, such as calling Benton, dear fellow, or somesuch, when he was imitating the Brigadier.

The Master is also very organized, clever, and cunning. He is a brilliant strategist who comes up with complex plans and shows a great deal of patience in waiting for them to pay off. His thinking is very complex and he seems able to predict the Doctor's behavior, laying traps within traps. He is very controlling of details. Sadly, he leaves himself very little room for improvising. When his plans fail, they fail big! His thinking is rigid and, according to the Doctor, unimaginative. The Master does not do spontaneity well.

As a Time Lord, the Master and the Doctor both have a unique perception of time. They can see timelines and tell what moments are fixed or in flux. They can, as the Doctor tells Rose, feel planets spinning beneath them. With his TARDIS and/or equipment, the Doctor and the Master can manipulate time or even trap people in it.

Physical description/characteristics

The Master, as played by Anthony Ainley, stole his body from an aging man named Tremas. When he did this, he altered the body, making it younger and more in keeping with his preferences, shortening the beard and hair. The result was a man of medium height, with dark brown/black hair and light blue eyes. He has a goatee and mustache of the same color. He dresses in black, with a velvet coat and possibly pants. The coat also has puffed sleeves, making the Master a bit of a dandy or fop! He also wears highly polished black boots.

Now, I've already stated that the Master made changes to Tremas's body, when he stole it. I do not believe the changes were strictly cosmetic. In Journey's End, it is established that a human mind can not hold the consciousness of a Time Lord, because it would burn up. Nothing in canon suggests that Trakenites were much superior to humans in this regard. Also, in Mark of the Rani, the Master mentions that he has two hearts. I believe that the Master used the power of the Source of Traken to transform Tremas's body into that of a Time Lord! I believe that he ends up with all the physical strengths and attributes of a Time Lord, including two hearts, a respiratory bypass system, obviously a link to his TARDIS, and the ability to see timelines and all other time related abilities.

I'm not entirely sure if this is canon, but supposedly Time Lords have a body temperature of fifteen degrees Celsius or sixty degrees Farenheit. That's two thirds the body temp of humans, brrrr!

The one thing the Master can not do is regenerate. He used up his first set of regenerations, so is on his last life. Well, until he steals another body. :D

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