Time to revisit a 4th Doctor story with several elements that modern Who has called back to! Join Deb, Liz, and Tansy as they discuss the Master, the history of Gallifrey, and the everything-of-Rassilon.
How do you feel about this story? Drop us a tweet or let us know in the comments!
- Tansy – Ncuti Gatwa receives honorary doctorate from the Royal Conservatoire Scotland — yes, he’s the Doctor Doctor!
- Liz wrote more Big Finish!
- Deb – funny tweet about David Tennant!
Extra-special thanks to this week’s editor, Steven Schapansky of Castria!
Support Verity! on Patreon
Download or listen now
Comments on: "The Deadly Assassin’s Creed" (3)
Hello!! A story so good, it gets referred to twice this year! It is stuffed with so many Dr. Who firsts! As an American fan who watched this on PBS, I didn’t know all this was new, so it was a great lesson on Gallifrey. It was sad to see Sarah-Jane leave in the previous story, but even a new fan like I was knew The Doctor having a companionless story was very different!
I’m fuzzy on all the details, but I think there was a Time Lord (who showed up in a bowler, umbrella, and suit, standing in mid-air) to warn the Doctor about trouble coming in “Terror of the Autons”, but I don’t think he called him by name. Maybe being called The Master was a way of escaping their attention?
I honestly hadn’t thought about the Doctor being the one to decide not to take Sarah to Gallifrey to protect her rather than him obeying some arcane xenophobic law, but it DOES make a lot of sense like that. Thanks! 🙂
When the Master wiped out the Time Lords two seasons ago, I know a lot people thought it was making the Master too powerful (Since even the entire Dalek Empire barely managed it), but to me, this story showcases that if ANY individual being was going to come up with, and implement, a plan to destroy the Time Lords, it absolutely would be the Master, who has the intellect, ruthlessness and the knowledge of all the Time Lord’s weaknesses (individually and as a people) on his side.
The twelve regenerations rule irritated the heck out of me. The Master could just have been suffering from regenerating too often and too fast to stay ahead of his enemies, and he’d “just” burned himself out, so the plot didn’t need to add such an arbitrary rule.
I do wish the new series had returned to the original route of “We can live forever barring accidents” and just had the Doctor, as the last of the Time Lords, no longer bound by their limits or rules, so making regeneration something that the Doctor can continue to do indefinitely, but with no control over it at all (with their previous experience in that field actually helping them) and which might also have explained why they now had such literally explosive regeneration side effects the more often they did it after the Time Lord’s destruction; Effectively, they were now channelling the entire regeneration potential of the Time Lords into ONE body and that has to be risky.
I was a little disappointed at Deb’s apparent dismissal of The Timeless Child as being “a dogs breakfast” when I honestly don’t think it’s any more disruptive to the concept of the Time Lords as we understand them than The Deadly Assassin was to what we knew at that time, and it adds just as much interesting material to the backstory.
I also don’t think I’d put Tecteun in the same category as Omega in terms of being overlooked. Omega was overlooked because Rassilon took all the credit, which the more we see of Rassilon seems in character. I suspect Tecteun was unknown because, based on everything we’ve seen of her personality, she made darn SURE that she was forgotten, because her “Division” wouldn’t work if anyone associated with it was well known. The High Council having had no clue, even in the Time War, that the Doctor was anything other than a normal Time Lord supports this I think. Omega was forgotten but Tecteun erased her own traces.
The Time Lord’s NOT knowing who the Master was never really worked for me, given it was the Time Lord’s who warned the Third Doctor about the Master’s arrival on Earth. I would hope that they would pay attention to their renegades, especially those who have a TARDIS.
I suspect that Terrance Dicks felt bad about Borusa’s fate in The Five Doctors since, given the way it was written at the last moment, he was probably pushed into making SOMEONE the villain and regretted making someone who up until then had been a relatively decent person (flaws and all) and someone the Doctor had at least some respect for.
Oh, and in case this seems overly critical I’d like to recommend the Gallifrey Big Finish series too, especially as it not only has Romana and Leela, but also returns Lynda Bellingham to the role of The Inquisitor, and transitions that to her role being the highest authority on Gallifreyan law.
I agree with Deb on ‘The Timeless Child’ being a dog’s breakfast.
I would have much preferred The Master being the Timeless Child. With the crispy Master from Deadly Assassin being explained as the result of Tecteun’s Child abuse and the physical damage from too many regenerations along with an inability to die. It would also have been so much more interesting for the Doctor to owe their regenerations to the Master.
I’m also annoyed that we finally have a notable female Gallifreyan character in modern Who in Tecteun and she has to be a child abusive mad professor!
So my personal choice is to dump the Timeless Children in the ‘that didn’t happen’ box, along with the Doctor being half human line from the movie (which I’ve reclassified as a clumsy joke from the Doctor) and William Hartnell’s Doctor spanking Susan.