Tag Archives: The Master

Harvest of Time

1 Mar

“The Harvest of Time” by Alastair Reynolds is an original Doctor Who novel featuring the Third Doctor (my favourite), the original Master (Roger Delgado incarnation) and the folks at UNIT.

There are mysterious happenings at sea and UNIT is drawn in.  But as UNIT is drawn further into the morass, someone is trying to unpick The Master from the fabric of time.  Soon, it will be as it he never existed…

This was a great read that took me right back to my childhood Doctor Who watching. The characters were kept perfectly inline with the actors who played those roles.

There was so much of the Master that I was nearly delirious with joy.  Roger Delgado will ALWAYS be my favourite Master.  None of the others even come close.

The Master is pretty much the star of the book on many levels, so I really can’t say too much about the book without giving away the plot.  Suffice to say Alastair Reynolds has a lot of fun with the Master.

Would recommend “Harvest of Time” to all Doctor Who fans, new Who and old.

Doctor Who – The Daemons

11 Aug

Seeing as I was forced by illness to spend yesterday inside, I figured it was a good time to get stuck into the massive pile of dvds that I have accumulated.  I decided to watch the 1971 Dr Who serial “The Daemons”.  This has been one of my favourites ever since I first saw it, and I hadn’t seen it for at least 20 years.

I had forgotten just how damn good the story line of this one was. At Devil’s End the local white witch protests the opening of an apparent Bronze Age barrow claiming it will release the devil, all hell breaks loose and, as usual, the Master is behind it.

One thing that struck me was just how much research had gone into the story.  The story borrows much from English pagan tradition, Gardinerarian Wicca, and Aleister Crowley’s particular practices.  It is married well together and makes for very smooth, very polished, utterly delightful viewing.

Jon Pertwee’s Doctor has always been my favourite.  An elegant, sarcastic dandy whose relationship with Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart was one of the cornerstones of that era.  Nicholas Courtney’s Brigadier was the perfect military man, and how Nicholas Courtney could deliver some of his lines with a straight face was beyond me.  Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart: Chap with the wings there, five rounds rapid.

Roger Delgado excelled as the Master in the episode.  The Master is probably the pivotal role in The Daemons.  Everything hinges on him.  Roger Delgado did not disappoint.  His Master will always be THE Master as far as I am concerned.  No-one quite did controlled menace like Roger Delgado, and his laugh was second only to the great Vincent Price in the creepy chill factor department.

I had forgotten just how damn good the script for The Daemons was.  Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart: Do you know what you are doing?  The Doctor: My dear chap, I can’t wait to find out.

My two favourite exchanges take place at the end.

The first one is when the Master has tried to escape in the Doctor’s car, Bessie, that has been fitted, unbeknownst to the Master and Sgt Benton, with a remote control device, so when the Master tries to drive off, Bessie brings him back.  Benton (open mouthed): How on earth did you do that? The Doctor: Elemental, my dear Benton.

The second one is the closing exchange of the series.  Miss Hawthorne, the white witch, has dragged Benton off to dance around the maypole, and Jo Grant has dragged the Doctor.  Captain Yates: Fancy a dance, Brigadier? Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart: That’s kind of you, Yates.  Rather have a pint.

The only thing I felt let The Daemons down was the alien, Azal, that people believed was the devil imploding when it couldn’t comprehend Jo Grant trying to sacrifice her life to save the Doctor.  Anything that old and that intelligent would surely understand the concept of self-sacrifice.

However, that small niggle really didn’t detract from the fun time I had rewatching it.  If you can get the Daemons on dvd or find it online, then I suggest watching it.  If you only know the recent doctors, going back and discovering the early ones will be a pleasure for you.

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