Series 10 has reached its end. It was definitely a good one and I'm sad to see it's over. Like everyone else, it's going to be absolute murder waiting for the Christmas Special.
This season featured some lovely stories with recurring villains and/or monsters. We saw a great episode with the Ice Warriors. And, of course, we got that amazing Double Master story that included the Mondasian Cybermen. Even the Dalek cameo in The Pilot was nice.
Empress of Mars ended up contradicting some stuff I had written about when I tried to piece together a history for the Ice Warriors. I immediately, composed an Appendix to correct things. World Enough and Time /The Doctor Falls also presented some problems with a timeline I tried to create with the Master. So now I'm going to take a shot at fixing that.
If you'd like to see what I've written about the Master, already - here are the links to my first stab at establishing his history:
Part 1: Early Days..
Part 2: The Great Cliffhangers
Part 3: New Who Master
THE MASTER DOESN'T REALLY NEED A TIMELINE
Just in case you don't bother to read the previous installments, I just want to re-state that I know the Master doesn't really need a timeline. He and the Doctor both adhere (more or less) to Gallifreyan Mean Time. This isn't like River Song - they're not meeting out of sequence. As Time Lords, they're actually required to always clash against each other in chronological order (again, more or less). My bigger mission with this particular series was to fill in certain gaps in the Master's timeline. Things have occurred off-camera in his/her life that are only vaguely alluded to in the dialogue of certain episodes. I wanted to expand on some of those ideas and explore them more deeply. I, very specifically, also wanted to address some of those end-of-story cliffhangers that took place in the 80s that were never properly answered. That was more the point of this endeavor, than anything. To try to solve some mysteries in his past - not so much to try to arrange it in a proper flow.
Word Enough and Time/The Doctor Falls, for all its brilliance, has created one or two direct contradictions to things I stated in my third installment of the Master's timeline. It also presented a few "shady areas" in the Master/Missy's past that I think need some light shed on them. Please don't get me wrong, by the way. I'm not complaining about this story. Moff can contradict me all he wants if he's going to create tales as magnificent as this. I'm just going to be the pedantic nerd that I am and try to fix these discrepancies. I'm not going to lie - I'm actually happy this has happened. It's given something to keep my little geek brain occupied.
Okay, first things first. In the third part of the Master's timeline, I try to explain how John Simms' Master survived The End of Time and became Missy. Man, I was trying to sound so smart when I did. I just thought I was the biggest genius in the world with the most incredible observation skills.
Turns out I was totally wrong. Again, just in case you didn't go back and read my original entry, here's what I wrote:
THE SOLUTION: The Master is in trouble, here, in three different ways. First off, his screwed up resurrection is causing him to die. Next, Rassilon is trying to kill him with a Torchwood glove. And, finally, he's trapped in the Time Lock that has been placed on the Time Wars. So we have to find solutions for all three of these problems. Problems One and Two can be resolved quite easily. The Master keeps shooting his lifeforce into Rassilon and Rassilon keeps gloving the Master until the two of them take so much damage that they both induce a regeneration (the fact that the next time we see them they're both in a new incarnation helps to support this). Both are now too weak and vulnerable from the regeneration to keep fighting. Other Time Lords step in and break up the fight. Realizing he's going to be stranded forevermore in The Time Wars, the Master (or Missy, as she is now going to start referring to herself, as) needs to find a quick way out. She manages to find it by breaking through the Gallifrey Falls No More painting (perhaps he learnt about it during his brief period as the Minister of Defense or the Prime Minister). That weird hand that a bunch of fans point out as Clara emerges from the painting is, in fact, Missy escaping back into our Universe.
I've got some serious yolk on my face, now, of course. This isn't what happened at all. As we embark upon the second part of the Series 10 Finale, the Doctor goes to the trouble of asking the Simms Master how he escaped from Gallifrey. The solution was much more simple than that contrived nonsense I came up with.
Turns out that the Time Lords just cured him of his problem with his draining lifeforce. Then, when Gallifrey returned to our Universe, they just told him to get lost. So he did.
Well, don't I look pretty foolish, now?!
In my defense, this does tie in nicely with some of the stuff I wrote about Gallifrey returning to our Universe. Since I seem to be in the mood to post links, here's what I wrote on that matter:
What's Going On With Gallifrey? - Part 1:
What's Going On With Gallifrey? - Part 2:
Hopefully, I look a bit less foolish if you should bother read the links. I sound quite clever, again, in those entries. I don't think anyone making the show will go all that specifically into detail about the Return of Gallifrey in some future story and that the theories I express in those links will end up getting contradicted. But, who knows? Someday, I may have to write an Appendix on this too!
FROM END OF TIME TO WORLD ENOUGH AND TIME
Okay, my retraction has been posted. Now we need to move on to a shady area that could probably use a bit more light. What exactly might have happened to lead the Master to the colony ship that was heading to Mondas?
I'm guessing that, once the Master left a Restored Gallifrey, he went messing about in the Universe again and caused a bit of trouble. He didn't just go straight to the Mondasian colony ship, he probably hatched an evil scheme or two in other parts of Time and Space first. Even though the Doctor wasn't around to stop him, whatever sinister plans he concocted had failed.
The Master got to thinking: if he was really going to take over the Universe, he needed an army. Preferably one that was already good at conquest. He remembered the alliances he had formed with the Daleks over the years and realized he had been on the right track. But he needed to make sure his allies were more loyal to him. He decided that he should probably go back into the past of whoever was going to join him in his cause and arrange things so that they were completely obedient to him.
Meddling with the Daleks' history was too dangerous of a venture. With their mastery over time, they would probably know this was being done to them and make restitution before their past could be properly altered. The Master may have even discovered that the Doctor had already gone back to their point of origin. Working around whatever his rival had done to their Genesis was going to be too complicated of a matter. So, instead, he went to the second-best race of galactic conquerors. He delved into the past of the Cybermen.
After a bit of homework, our favorite evil Renegade Time Lord was amazed to discover that the Cybermen didn't actually begin on the Planet Mondas. But, rather, on a colony ship that was bound for Mondas. He was even more intrigued by the fact that said colony ship became stranded at the threshold of a Black Hole. This, he had just had to check out.
As he approached the colony ship in his TARDIS, the Master immediately picked up on the time dilation that was going on. Sure, he could arrive at the top of the ship where time was flowing at one speed. But things looked far more interesting at the ship's thrusters - where time was moving at a different pace. A whole colony, already, seemed to be growing there. That must be where the Cybermen would eventually evolve.
In this particular incarnation, he loved to be bold. So he materialized at the bottom of the ship. The time dilation blew out his dematerialization circuit - stranding himself there. No matter, he had work to do. He needed to establish himself as the leader of this fledgling colony and persuade them to start converting themselves' into Cybermen. As their leader, he would be in control of Cyber-army once it was complete. A perfect strategy.
Except, of course, that the colony eventually rejected his leadership. The Master had to take on a disguise and find a new way to manipulate the people into mass-conversion. He becomes an eccentric worker at a hospital and manages to carry out his plans from there.
SPECIAL NOTE: We do still need to get Gallifreyan Mean Time to work a bit, here. The Twelfth Doctor makes it clear that he hasn't met the Simms Master until that fateful moment at the end of World Enough And Time. The Eleventh Doctor was around for quite some time - particularly after he chooses to defend Trenzalore. Their timelines need to line up, at least, a bit. So, let's say the Master spent nearly a thousand years in the colony ship. Considering it's in a weird time zone of its own, the idea can vaguely work.
SUPER SPECIAL NOTE: Having said that, Gallifreyan Mean Time is still being broken a bit when the Twelfth Doctor meets the Simms Master. But it's also being broken because the Master and Missy are meeting each other. So, really, anything goes in a moment like this. However, once the Master regenerates into Missy, her timeline synchs up properly with the Doctor's as we start watching Series 8. Which is why I say the Master spent so much time in the colony ship. It gets Gallifreyan Mean Time to work properly again once the Master regenerates and escapes the colony ship
SUPER DUPER SPECIAL NOTE: There is much about this Mondasian colony ship that needs deeper investigation. The biggest question being: how do the Cybermen on the ship eventually become the Cybermen we see in The Tenth Planet? I have a feeling we might get some of these answers in the Christmas Special. So, for now, I will leave this alone. Someday soon, however, expect me to finally do a CHRONOLOGIES AND TIMELINES about the Cybermen.
WHEN MASTER MEETS MISSY
At this point, of course, the events of World Enough And Time/The Doctor Falls takes place (within context of the Simms Master's timeline, at least). There is one curious question that doesn't get a particularly satisfying answer. How does the Master know he's looking at his future incarnation?
My guess is he heard some rumors about Missy during his exploits after Gallifrey but before the colony ship. Perhaps even talked to a person or two who had met him in his next body, already and given him a description of some sort. Maybe even shown him a picture or two. This sort of thing can happen when you time travel - particularly if you run into a person that is not a Time Lord and is, therefore, not bound by Gallifreyan Mean Time.
The other thing I'd like to note about this encounter is that I'm pretty sure Missy was completely lying when she said she couldn't remember details from her multi-incarnation encounter. Claiming that their timelines are too tangled for her to retain things only happens when it's more than two incarnations that run into each other. As far I'm concerned, she recalls everything. This is certainly implied in the final confrontation at the lift entrance. She is quite clear to her previous incarnation on how he will perish - which indicates that she knew, all along, how things were going to play out.
If this is the case, it actually helps to get some continuity to make really good sense. After the botched attempt at controlling Mondasian Cybermen, the Master regenerates into Missy and embarks on a second attempt to build a Cyber-army. This is one of her own creation. He's also seen into his own future and knows that, as a woman, she will become closer to the Doctor. She will, eventually, choose to stand at his side. So she starts that process by offering her army to the Doctor once it's been assembled. He, of course, refuses and Danny Pink sacrifices himself to wipe the army out.
After that second failed attempt, the Master/Missy abandons trying to recruit the Cybermen to his/her cause. Missy's desire, however, to befriend her greatest enemy continues. She'll try to rescue him a short while later when he chooses to visit a dying Davros on Skaro.
WHAT HAPPENED WITH THOSE DALEKS?
And so we come to another gap that needs filling. I'm going to speculate on how Missy makes it from Magician's Apprentice/Witch's Familiar to the Vault we see in Series 10. Truth be told, I'm going to remain purposely vague. I'm now fearful that, if I become too specific, the show will eventually present a full account of her adventures during this time and wildly contradict me.
I'm such a coward, sometimes!
Still, this whole essay becomes pretty useless if I don't come up with some sort of theory. So here goes: when Missy proclaims: "I've just had a very clever idea!", it's something that will fix the damage the Doctor has just done to the Dalek City. With various models of Daleks surrounding her and ready to fire, Missy strikes a bargain. She will save the Skarosian mutants if they let her live. Perhaps she even donates some regeneration energy to reverse-engineer the whole problem.
While there was probably some deception on both sides, everyone ends up honoring their end of the deal. Missy saves the Daleks and the Daleks let her live. During the twenty-four years that the Doctor spends with River Song, his arch-rival probably gets up to quite a bit of no good. We get the impression that she still interacts with the Daleks from time-to-time. That they are on good terms and, occasionally, work together. She seems to have almost gotten a bit "gossipy" with them.
Eventually, however, Missy's sins catch up with her. We're not sure exactly how - but she is brought to the planet Camathon. There, she will be executed for the crimes she has committed against the Universe. Her remains will then be placed in a special vault for a thousand years. As part of the ritual, she must killed by one of her own kind. The Doctor is summoned to perform the task.
In the end, the Doctor can't do it. But he still places her in the Vault in hopes that her imprisonment will lead to her redemption. Series Ten, basically, leads Missy through that final process that she will see the end result of when she was still in her previous incarnation. She will actually choose to become a good person.
ONE LAST BIT OF SPECULATION
And so, once more, we're current. We've filled in some gaps and made the appropriate amendments and my chronology of the Master makes some kind of sense, again. Not much, but some!
After the embarrassment of my "Look! I figured out how the Master escaped Gallifrey!" incident, dare I try to speculate on how the evil Renegade Time Lord will escape his/her latest horrible fate? This one is as nasty as the end of Planet of Fire. The Master/Missy may have made his/her final Great Curtain Call. There seems no real way out of this one. I really shouldn't try to guess at how she might have dodged this latest bullet. That would be the most foolish of ventures. I'd be an absolute idiot to touch this one.
Who am I kidding?! I have to try to show off how clever I am. Even if it may blow up in my face at a later date.
I've already indicated that Missy is lying to her earlier incarnation when she says she doesn't remember much of anything regarding her encounter with him. That, in fact, she recalls every detail. She told this lie for various reasons. The biggest one being that if the Simms Master knew her memory wasn't as faulty as she claimed, he would have been more thorough in dispatching her. He would have realized that, if his next incarnation did remember everything, she would've have known he was going to shoot her with the lazer screwdriver and made proper preparations.
So I say that Missy knew what was coming and was wearing some sort of high-tech bullet-proof vest and/or personal force field that absorbed the bulk of the blast. She still needed the whole thing to look convincing so she made sure her defenses weren't too strong. The Master would need to see some damage being done or he wouldn't be fooled. Of course, the wounds that she will receive from the attack will precipitate a regeneration that she will only induce after her earlier incarnation has taken off in the lift.
The Master will live on...
...Or, at least, that's my guess.
And with that, I am done my Appendixes until more new episodes get made. I'm going to veer away from Chronologies And Timelines for a bit and explore some other topics. Hope we all make it to the Christmas Special without losing our sanity. It's going to be a difficult wait...