Two Masters will feature in two new Short Trips later this year – both of which will be connected to the massive Doctor Who multi-media event Time Lord Victorious!
If the announcement of three full-cast Doctor Who stories with the Eighth Doctor wasn’t exciting enough, Big Finish has also released news on two other stories that will tie into the Time Lord Victorious multi-media event. These won’t be full-cast, though. But they are bound to grab the interest of many Doctor Who fans, due to who they focus on: the Master. Two of him, actually.
Yes, we’re getting two stories in the Short Trips range focused on the Doctor’s best enemy. Narrated by Jon Culshaw, this special release will focus on two equally iconic incarnations of the Master: one originally played by Roger Delgado, the first actor to ever play the role, and the other by Anthony Ainley, who featured in many Eighties stories. Here are the full details for each story.
Master Thief by Sophie Iles
The Master wants to plunder one of the most secure vaults in the universe, the Repository. He’s got a plan, and a deadly new weapon to assist him. However, as the Master quickly discovers, getting in might be easy, but getting away with it might cost him everything.
Lesser Evils by Simon Guerrier
The Kotturuh have arrived on the planet Alexis to distribute the gift of the death to its inhabitants. The only person standing in their way is a renegade Time Lord, who has sworn to protect the locals. A Time Lord called the Master…
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A hint of what’s to come?
This is definitely an exciting release. While my personal preference is usually for full-cast drama, it’s always fantastic to get more stories featuring Delgado’s Master, in any format. For many, he is truly the definitive Master. Anthony Ainley’s take on the role also has a lot of nostalgic appeal, so it’ll be great to hear more of his Master, too.
Unsurprisingly, few stories have been told featuring these incarnations by Big Finish. They haven’t been recast for full-cast stories, and even appearances in purely narrated Short Trips are rare. So it’ll be exciting to hear more from these two.
However, it’s interesting exactly who will be narrating both stories: Jon Culshaw. Not only is he an actor that has voiced many roles for Big Finish already, but he’s also one of Britain’s best impressionists. It’s why he now plays the Brigadier in The Third Doctor Adventures, and rather brilliantly, too.
But it makes you wonder. Next year will see the release of Masterful, the Master’s fiftieth-anniversary audio story. It’s only recently been revealed that, somehow, Ainley’s Master will feature in this rather special release. Could Jon Culshaw be voicing the part? Perhaps even Delgado’s Master as well? I have yet to hear either impression, but if they are up to the standard of his usual ones, it would be the perfect tribute to both iconic portrayals.
Before then, however, we’ll have to wait and listen to Master Thief / Lesser Evils for ourselves when the dual release is out in Oct 2020. You can pre-order it now or purchase it as part of a bundle with the rest of the Time Lord Victorious audios from Big Finish’s website.
Are you excited to hear Jon Culshaw’s take on these two iconic Masters? Do you think he could be voicing either of them in other audios? Let us know in the comments below.