The Master is a recurring character in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. He is a renegade Time Lord and the archenemy of the Doctor.
When the Master first appeared in January 1971 he was played by Roger Delgado, who continued in the role until his death in 1973. Afterwards, Peter Pratt and Geoffrey Beevers played a physically decayed version of the Time Lord until Anthony Ainley assumed the part in 1981. He remained until Doctor Who's cancellation in 1989. In 1996, the Master was played briefly by Gordon Tipple, then by Eric Roberts in the TV movie. In the revived series, Derek Jacobi provided the character's re-introduction before handing over to John Simm, who portrayed the Master in the climax of the 2007 series and in the 2009 serial The End of Time, with William Hughes also portraying the Master at the age of 8.
The creative team conceived the Master as a recurring villain, a "Professor Moriarty to the Doctor's Sherlock Holmes." . He first appeared in Terror of the Autons (1971). The Master's title was deliberately chosen by producer Barry Letts and script editor Terrance Dicks as evocative of supervillain names in fiction, but primarily because, like the Doctor, it was a title conferred by an academic degree.
Barry Letts had one man in mind for the role: Roger Delgado. Delgado had a long history of screen villainy and had already made three attempts to break into the series. He had worked previously with Barry Letts and was also a good friend of Jon Pertwee. Delgado was killed in a car accident in Turkey on 18 June 1973, while on his way to shoot footage for the French comedy The Bell of Tibet. The next Master story was replaced by Planet of the Spiders (1974).
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