Hello! I decided to give you all a gift: an uber-obsessive, over-analytical meta post about my OTP, the Doctor and the Master from Doctor Who!
*everyone begins to click away*
No, no, no, come back, please! This is good stuff, I swear!
Okay, let’s start at the very beginning: “Terror Of The Autons”. Or really, the Third Doctor’s era in general. The Master comes to Earth claiming that he means to conquer/destroy it. But like I’ve always said, the Master is a smart guy, as smart as the Doctor even. So why does he never succeed? It’s my personal theory that he throws the scheme on purpose. You know, for the Doctor. Because he loves him.
The truth is, the Doctor is bored and lonely exiled on Earth. He misses traveling the stars, fighting cosmic baddies. So the Master’s response is to bring the baddies to him. It’s a sweet gesture a la the Master. He’s breaking the monotony for the Doctor, giving him things to do to feel useful. (Plus, it’s a means of keeping the Doctor close, but that’s beside the point.)
Skip to “Castrovalva”. The Doctor’s just regenerated and is suffering from regen sickness. So what does evil Romeo do? The Master literally constructs a whole entire planet just for the purpose of letting the Doctor rest and recover. I’m not even exaggerating. Of course the Master tries to kill the Doctor, but that’s for posterity. It’s also the Master’s way of apologizing for “Logopolis”. *sadness*
“Time Flight” happens directly after “Earthshock”, and the Doctor and his companions are sad about Adric’s death. So along comes the Master with another scheme (a fairly good one that nearly works this time) to distract the Doctor and remind him to get his head in the game. (I’m sure at some point the Master swung by the Doctor’s TARDIS for some post-Adric consoling, tea, and cuddles.) And of course in “The Five Doctors”, the Master attempts to help the Doctor…thrice!
I hardly have to explain “The Ultimate Foe” (Trial Of A Time Lord). He straight up rides in on a metaphorical white horse and saves the Doctor’s rainbow ass from the Valeyard. Not only that, he also lets the Doctor know that Peri’s not dead, she’s perfectly fine and married to Brian Blessed. “Don’t worry, my dear. Your pet is okay.” Awww…
Seriously, Doctor, how can you still turn him down?!?!
In the TV movie, the Master (indirectly) causes the Doctor to get shot and regenerate, but who opens the Eye of Harmony which cures the Doctor’s regeneration amnesia? Hmm?
And then of course, we have NuWho, in which the Master is arguably a more threatening villain than before. But still, the Master’s advent happens when the Doctor needs it the most. The Doctor is sad about Rose, and feels all alone. But you are not alone, Doctor. Not even death or the Time War can keep your Master away for long. And obviously, the Master sacrifices himself to save the Doctor from Rassilon in “The End Of Time”. What a wonderful ending to such a beautifully tragic story.
The bottom line is, the Master doesn’t quite know how to make his love known, but when you really look at it, it’s really sad and beautiful just how much the Master’s life revolves around the Doctor. But there’s something really special there. Something that the Doctor takes for granted until the very end. The Master has helped to make the Doctor who he is, just as much as the Daleks or any companion. Whenever the Doctor is depressed or distracted, the Master comes along and reminds the Doctor who he is, who he’s supposed to be. “Time Flight”, the TV movie, and “The Sound Of Drums”/“Last Of The Time Lords” are prime examples of that. The Master makes the Doctor better.
“I wonder what I’d be without you. I wonder, indeed.