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Sixteenth Master (Earth-12)
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Other names: The Master / Bruce Gerhardt / George Steer / Richard / The Man with the Rosette / Don Maestro / Michael Maestro
Actor: Eric Roberts (1996)
Paul McGann (1996)
Geoffrey Beevers (2013)

The Master, following his execution by the Daleks, manifested as a snake-like creature known as a Morphant. He was involved in the fight for the Glory and also survived the first destruction of Gallifrey.

History

Preparations

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The Master's Morphant. (DW: Doctor Who)

The Master had earlier prepared for his execution on the Dalek homeworld Skaro by transferring his consciousness to a new host (DW: Doctor Who) by the use of a Skarosian life form called a Morphant Deathworm. (CC: Mastermind) Having made these arrangements, the Master's last request was that the Doctor take his remains back to Gallifrey.

The Seventh Doctor stored the ashes in a casket and set his TARDIS on course for Gallifrey. En route, the Master, whose consciousness had survived the death of his physical body, escaped from the casket and interfered with the TARDIS, causing a timing malfunction. The ship materialised in San Francisco during the final days of 1999. (DW: Doctor Who)

Bruce Gerhardt

On exiting the TARDIS, the Doctor got caught in the crossfire of a gang war and was picked up by an ambulance. As he lay wounded, he saw the Master's form exiting the TARDIS via its keyhole, but he was unable to communicate this information to the humans nearby. Bruce tended to the Doctor, but while he was loading him into the ambulance, the Master hid inside a bag. Later, after Bruce had gone home and to bed, the Master forced his way into Bruce's body through his mouth, killing him and taking over his body.

"I must find the Doctor. This body won't last long. I need the Doctor's body."

- First Words of the Seventeenth Master

The next morning, the Master awoke, now inhabiting Bruce's body. He realised the decaying form would not last long, launched his scheme to steal the Doctor's remaining regenerations. His first act was to kill Bruce's wife, Miranda.

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The Master attempts to switch bodies with the Eighth Doctor. (DW: Doctor Who)

The Master befriended Chang Lee, a young gang member who had been present when the Doctor was shot, and who had stolen the TARDIS key. With Lee's help, he entered the Doctor's TARDIS and regaled Lee with stories of the Doctor's supposed villainy (claiming, among other things, the Doctor had stolen the Master's regenerations). As part of his plan to take the Doctor's lives, he intended to open the Eye of Harmony, destroying the Earth in the process. With Lee's further help, he was able to open the Eye. He discovered that the Doctor had regenerated into a new form, and that the Doctor was half-human. This answered a few of the Master's longstanding questions about his foe.

After fully regaining his memory, the Doctor and his companion, Dr. Grace Holloway, made their way back to the TARDIS where the Master, now dressed in Gallifreyan robes, greeted his enemy. In the ensuing battle, the Master used mind control on Grace. He also killed Chang Lee by snapping his neck.

During a struggle next to the Eye of Harmony, the Master fell into it. The Doctor said he had been "eaten" by the TARDIS, (DW: Doctor Who) when really his essence were left wandering the Time Vortex and close to extinguishing. (DWM: The Glorious Dead)

Revenge

Shortly after his defeat, the Master laid a final trap for the Doctor, leaving a crystalline structure on the Eye that would give the Doctor amnesia. However, Rassilon's spirit, aware of this attack, was able to give the Doctor subtle mental nudges to assist him in piloting the TARDIS, directing him to his various past seven incarnations at crucial moments in their histories, allowing the younger Doctors to restore the Doctor's memories while the present Doctor gave his younger selves valuable advice and assistance. (EDA: The Eight Doctors)

Fight for the Glory

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The Master's body provided by Esterath.

Sometime after passing through the Eye of Harmony, the Master was rescued from the Time Vortex by a being named Esterath, the then-controller of the Glory, the focal point of reality. The Master was told that it was time for the Glory to gain another controller, but the power had to be fought for. Of course, the Master assumed that the battle would be between himself and his greatest foe.

After gliding over the many realities throughout the Omniversal Spectrum for what he described as seeming like centuries, the Master was resurrected into the body of a deceased vagrant on the streets of 2001 Brixton. Some weeks afterwards, the Master was transported onto the Moon due to a symbiotic link he had formed with the Doctor's TARDIS, when it consumed part of his essence after he passed through the Eye of Harmony. The Master subsequently used this link to trail the Doctor for some time without his enemy suspecting - even after they had met face to face. (DWM: The Glorious Dead)

He was present in London during the crisis resulting from Grace Holloway's attempt to merge human and Time Lord DNA (the alien DNA was in fact that of a morphant). He killed an MI6 agent with the TCE at this time, but fortunately for the Master the Doctor departed before his trademark was discovered. (DWM: The Fallen)

The Master later made contact with Sato Katsura, a Japanese samurai unwillingly rendered immortal as a result of his involvement in the Doctor's adventures. The embittered warrior became the Master's follower. At his behest, Sato adopted the identity of Cardinal Morningstar and became leader of the Church of the Glorious Dead, instigator of a holy war that altered the history of Earth, a planet now renamed "Dhakan".

The symbiotic link between the Doctor's TARDIS and the Master had given the Master the ability to influence the flight of the TARDIS, which he used to send the craft to times and places which would weaken the Doctor's self-belief and confidence. This done, the two fought for the Glory, with the Master apparently triumphant.

However, the Master was mistaken: the true battle for the Glory was between his companion, Sato, and the Doctor's companion, the Cyberman Kroton. Kroton was the ultimate winner of this contest, and amongst his first acts as controller of the Glory were to cleanse the TARDIS of the Master's influence, and to banish the Master somewhere that he could not escape. Whilst being banished, the Master declared he would survive and return. (DWM: The Glorious Dead)

Imprisionment

Imprisoned inside the Doctor's TARDIS, the Master offered the Eighth Doctor advice through a portrait, (EDA: Sometime Never...) a mirror (EDA: The Deadstone Memorial) and later the Eye of Harmony. (EDA: The Gallifrey Chronicles)

Edward Grainger's Dreams

The Master escaped the Doctor's TARDIS through the Eye of Harmony by influencing the dreams of Edward Grainger in order to be freed from the sealed Eye. The Master was now a being of energy that could travel through the air. (ST: Forgotten)

Escaping into London in 1906, the Master possessed the body of George Steer and tried to kill the newly born Edward Grainger to unravel the Doctor's timeline. The Master was stopped by the First Doctor and Violet after being hit with a rolling pin and being removed from the body he possessed. (ST: Prologue)

The Master evaded the Eighth Doctor and possessed the body of a man called Richard. (ST: Forgotten) After possessing Richard, the Master killed Violet out of revenge.(CC: Mastermind)

Body Jumping

However, the Master discovered his possession had caused the host body to decay at an accelerated rate, so he was forced to steal more bodies to prolong his survival. Realising that the First World War was rapidly approaching, the Master decided to migrate to America to avoid the conflict, and boarded a ship to go there in 1912. However, the Master boarded the RMS Titanic, unaware of it's eventual fate, and escaped in a lifeboat when it sank.

Arriving in New York City, the Master took possession of a member of the Hudson Dusters, quickly becoming the leader of the gang and calling himself Don Maestro. After twenty years of living in his current body, he occupied the body of his host's son, and moved to Las Vegas where he owned a casino. He accumulated the money to fund his experiments, in an attempt to elongate the lifespan of his host body by forty years. Fearing the eventual decay of his body, the Master used his money to buy a penthouse to isolate himself from infection, so he had longer to live. After years living in isolation, in 1973, his host's son confronted him, realizing that the Master had possessed his father and his grandfather for decades. He then trapped the Master in the penthouse.

After UNIT infiltrated the sealed penthouse in 1998, they discovered the Master in a self-preserving comatose state. He was imprisoned in the UNIT Vault, awakening every five years for one hour, before going into a coma again. After fifteen years living in the Vault, the Master awoke again, and was interrogated by UNIT officers Ruth Matheson and Charlie Sato. However, the Master had managed to hypnotize both of them, and escape his imprisonment. He also discovered that UNIT had recovered his TARDIS from the Valley of the Kings, which had been there for three thousand years, and used it to escape from the Vault. (CC: Mastermind)

The First Destruction of Gallifrey

After realising Gallifrey had been destroyed during his imprisonment, the Master travelled to Earth in the 18th century and sat with Scarlette in a pub during a brawl. He left before the Doctor arrived.

He later met Scarlette at the London docks, where he gave her a pair of rings for the Doctor's wedding. He attended the Doctor's wedding where he sat in the seat reserved for the Doctor's family. He did not interact with the other guests.

The Master later decided to meet the Doctor. As they stood on a hill, they talked about the state of the universe without Gallifrey in it. The Master told the Doctor that he would not fight him because there were only four Time Lords left in existence. He told the Doctor that Sabbath and his kind were now the future of the universe and quietly left.

The Master was present at the fall of the house on Henrietta Street, where he told Lisa-Beth Lachlan that he was leaving and would go to sleep until the universe was ready for him again. (EDA: The Adventuress of Henrietta Street) The Master was resurrected by the Time Lords during the Last Great Time War, (DW: The Sound of Drums) rejuvinating his lost regeneration cycle in the process. (DW: Doctor Who).

Undated events

Alternate Timelines

Second War in Heaven

In an alternate timeline in which the Doctor didn't erase the Second War in Heaven's timeline, (EDA: The Ancestor Cell) the Master became the War King and led the Time Lords into the battle against the Enemy. (FP: The Book of the War)

Psychological profile

Personality

This incarnation of the Master retained his propensity for "camp" villainy, but was also capable of terrifying rage. When preparing to steal the Eighth Doctor's body, he donned a flamboyant Time Lord robe for no apparent reason. This Master spoke with an American accent, presumably because Bruce had, but his personality was otherwise mostly consistent. (DW: Doctor Who)

Habits and Quirks

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Skills

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Appearance

The transformation into Bruce involved some complications. His eyes retained the "cat's eye" appearance, (DW: Doctor Who) a holdover from his experiences on the Cheetah World (DW: Survival), forcing him to wear sunglasses to remain inconspicuous. (DW: Doctor Who)

After he was rescued from the Time Vortex by Esterath, (DWM: The Glorious Dead) the Master appeared as a black preacher. (DWM: The Fallen)

After the first destruction of Gallifrey, the Master had dark hair and spoke with an English accent. He was clean shaven to emphasise his contrast to the Doctor, who had grown a beard. (EDA: The Adventuress of Henrietta Street) He grew a beard after the Doctor had shaven his. (EDA: The Gallifrey Chronicles)

Relationships

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Behind the scenes

  • Though the script to Doctor Who referred to the Master in this form as a "morphant", this name does not appear onscreen.
  • Bruce's last name is never revealed on screen, though he is known as "Bruce Gerhardt" in the novelisation.
  • In Lance Parkin's A History, Parkin acknowledges that the creator of the Man with the Rosette , Lawrence Miles, intended the character to be the Master.

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