This season on Doctor Who, fans are going to get two Masters for the price of one. Not only is Michelle Gomez returning as Missy (the Master’s current incarnation), but now the BBC has announced that actor John Simm will reprise the role, as well.
Simm played the Master in several high profile appearances opposite David Tennant’s 10th Doctor. His last appearance in the role was 2010’s “The End of Time,” in which the Master sacrificed himself to prevent the Time Lords from bringing their home planet of Gallifrey back into existence.
Somehow, the Master survived (as he always does) and regenerated into a woman. No longer suited to be called “Master,” she now calls herself “the Mistress” — but usually sticks with Missy for short.
And if you think Simm is returning to simply show us how the Master survived and regenerated in the first place, you would be wrong. Current Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat says Missy and the Master will come “face to face.”
That seems fair enough; after all, the Doctor has frequently encountered his previous selves over the years. It’s about time the Master had the same opportunity. (Eric Roberts, who played the Master in the 1996 Doctor Who TV movie, is no doubt waiting by the phone.)
In the BBC’s announcement, Simm expressed his excitement at returning to the role, saying, “Thanks to the power of time travel I’m back.” In the years since he last appeared on Doctor Who, Simm has actually complained several times about the show’s fandom, saying he would be glad to move past the Master.
This season will be the last for both Moffat and current Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi. The Doctor’s new companion, Bill Potts (played by actress Pearl Mackie), is also rumored to leave at the end of the season.
Doctor Who Season 10 begins April 15 with “The Pilot” on BBC One and BBC America.