Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Master #1

I'm working on another Doctor Who Infographic, this time featuring the Doctor's enemies. It's been slow going, so in the meantime I thought I'd post a sneak peek at one of the characters.

The Master is an evil renegade Time Lord, and the archenemy of the Doctor. Think of him as Moriarty to the Doctor's Sherlock Holmes.

The Master has but two main goals: becoming Ruler of the Universe (that's a pretty ambitious plan; maybe he should start with something small, like the galaxy first) and the destruction of the Doctor.

He often used disguises and mind control to conceal his identity while constructing his elaborate plans for conquest. He also sometimes manipulated alien races, often pitting them against one another to further his evil agenda.

The early version of the Master was suave and sophisticated, able to be both polite and evil at the same time, which is no doubt what made him such an appealing villain. He usually dressed in a simple black Nehru-like jacket with matching pants and always wore black gloves.

Like the Doctor, the Master has gone through many regenerations over the years. Not even apparent death has stopped him, as he's possessed the bodies of non-Time Lords from now and then to prolong his malevolent existence.

The Master and the Doctor were childhood classmates on Gallifrey, and possess similar levels of intellect. During the 2010 episode The End of Time, it's revealed that Time Lord children undergo an initiation in which they look into the Time Vortex itself. Apparently the sight of the Vortex can cause some Time Lords to go mad, which presumably explains the Master's motivations.

He often used a TARDIS to travel through time and space. Unlike the Doctor's TARDIS, which is permanently stuck in the shape of a Police Box, the Master's featured a fully functioning chameleon circuit and was able to disguise itself as any number of objects (a tree, a computer bank, a Romanesque column and even a grandfather clock).

The Master's original weapon of choice was a Tissue Compression Eliminator. This device shrank its victims, leaving behind grotesque, doll-like corpses (given the budget of the early series, that's exactly what they were too-- Ken-sized dolls!).

The First Master was portrayed by Roger Delgado, and is the version depicted here. He first appeared during the Third Doctor's tenure in the 1971 episode Terror of the Autons. The Master clashed with the Third Doctor (played by Jon Pertwee) many times during Delgado's three seasons in the role. In real life, Delgado and Pertwee were good friends. Sadly, Delgado was killed in a car accident in 1973. Many fans have speculated that Delgado's death led to Jon Pertwee's decision to leave the show.

The Master is a vector drawing, done all in InDesign. It's always tough drawing a character who's dressed predominantly in black. You have to cheat a little and use dark grays, otherwise you end up with just a black silhouette.

Here's the original pen & ink sketch I did of the Master. I drew him from memory, so it doesn't look a whole lot like him. I googled some reference photos of him for the final drawing.

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