by Graham Pierrepoint
Fans of The Doctor and his time and space-travelling Tardis will likely already be on tenterhooks for the first episode of the tenth season of Doctor Who to arrive – titled ‘The Pilot’, it will mark the end of an era for many fans on two distinct notes. Firstly, Twelfth Doctor Peter Capaldi will be departing this Christmas, while showrunner Steven Moffatt, who has been on-board as the show’s lead since 2010, will also be passing the baton to Broadchurch’s Chris Chibnall. The first episode of Moffatt and Capaldi’s final runs will debut on Saturday, April 15th on BBC One.
However, the fanbase has been lit up even further by news that a particularly recognizable villain from the show’s past will be re-emerging in a future episode this season. This villain is none other than The Master – but wait – don’t we already have his female incarnation, Missy, somewhere in the current canon? We do indeed – but it seems that the previous Master, John Simm, will be back to give portraying The Doctor’s arch-nemesis one last shot.
Simm himself confirmed the news, along with Moffatt echoing the revelation, stating that the previous Master will be present alongside Michelle Gomez’s Missy in the same season – meaning that we may be in for some tricky time travel at some point during the run. Simm’s Master was last seen before Moffatt even became showrunner, bowing out in the same episode that Tenth Doctor David Tennant hung up his suit jacket – meaning that, for many viewers, his return will be a real call back to earlier episodes in the ‘NuWho’ run.
The Master has faced off against The Doctor in many different guises and forms since the early days of the show, and the twist that his most recent regeneration was female finally confirmed that Time Lords can regenerate from gender to gender – and again giving weight to the theory that the next Doctor will be a woman. At present, it is still not clear who will take over from Capaldi at Christmas – Capaldi himself was a last-minute favorite – but comic actors Kris Marshall and Phoebe Waller-Bridge appear to be leading the pack, with Hollywood star Tilda Swinton having been fancied for the role early in the opening of the position. However, reports suggest that the BBC may be hunting for someone along the lines of David Tennant to recapture an audience from years past – so who’s to say – literally!