Saturday, December 20, 2014

Doctor Who Weekend (I): The Son of the Master - Episode Five (Finale)

Hi there, Whovians!  Dave-El here with Part One of a TWO part Doctor Who Weekend post. I'll tell you more about the 2nd part at the end of today's post. 

And today's post is a doozy. The epic conclusion of The Son of the Master. As we saw at the finale of Series 8 of Doctor Who, the Master is not (ahem!) the man he used to be. So what's the deal with this "Head in a Jar" Master I'm writing about? You will find out TODAY the origin of the Master's head. And there is a surprise cameo at the end of a character that hasn't been seen on the TV series since the days of the 1st Doctor. 

But enough babbling! There's a LOT of ground to cover so let's get down to business. 


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Then let's have at it! 

The Son of the Master
by David Long
 Episode Five 


Scene opens: a room filled with smoke, fire and explosions going off in the background. At the center of this view is the Doctor who tries to keep his footing even as the room burns and shudders.

The Doctor (annoyed): Oh for crying out loud! Put some clothes on already! 

Scene shifts to the Master, looking as he did when he was Harold Saxton. Flames and smoke hide all the "naughty bits" but he's clearly naked and very much revelling in. 

The Master (laughing): Oh Doctor, don't be such a prude! I don't know how long I was a head in a jar but it was too damn long, I'll tell you that! To have a body again, to touch things and hold them, to dance! Oh yes! Dance! Doctor, dance with me!" 

The Doctor grabs the bundle of black cloth that Adam/Liam had brought to the Master in the last episode. It had been described as a Time Lord Death Shroud. The Doctor, silent and frowning, throws the bundle to the Master who catches the bundle as he frowns. 

The Master: Oh, pooh! You never let me have any fun! 

The Doctor looks over at the charred remains of what used to be Adam Masterson/Liam Sterling. 

The Doctor: I don't suppose your son will be having any fun either.

The Master (off camera): Ta da! 

The Doctor turns back to the Master who is wearing a long black cloak.

The Master: What can I say? I always look good in black! Oh yeah! 

The Doctor: Your son! The one you just killed! Don't you have any feelings about that?

The Master: Who? Oh, HIM! Oh, silly me! Yeah, he was a good kid, wasn't he? Did what his father asked of him. And because of we bring things back around to the REALLY important point ...I AM BACK!! 

The Doctor (impatient): Look, everything's falling apart! We need to get out of here!

The Master: Well, YOU need to get out of here! Me, I just ...pulsing with power! Oh...

Suddenly the Master doubles over as he screams in pain while energy flares around him in blinding cascade of light. The blast of energy pushes the Doctor back and hurls him across the room. 

Scene change: the lobby of Masterson FutureWare. Alarms are going off as Jasmine Tate hurries a group of people out of the building. Dust and plaster fall from the walls and ceilings as the building continues to shudder and groan. 

Jasmine: Go on! Hurry!  

Scientist person: Uh, I left my mobile back in the lab....

Jasmine: It's toast now! Quickly! Run!  

Just at that moment, the building is racked with a violent blast. Dust falls down in a blizzard of debris as walls cracks and windows break apart. 

Jasmine (to herself): My God! The Doctor! 
 Then she turns her attention back to the employees. 

Jasmine: If you want to live, RUN! Run NOW!

Scene change: exterior of the Masterson FutureWare. Plumes of smoke are coming from several places in the structure, joined by flames licking out of the smoke. Then a particularly violent explosion and the building implodes. 

Our view pulls out as we see the Doctor's TARDIS on the nearby street corner where he had left it. Soaring through the smoky haze is the cloaked figure of the Master holding the Doctor like a limp rag doll. The Master lets go of the Doctor a few feet off the ground; the Doctor falls not far from his TARDIS. 

The Master has pulled the cloak over his head so we can't see his face. He continues to hover in the air as energy crackles about him. 

The Master: Oh, Doctor! I just couldn't let you die like that. No, when it comes to killing you ...hey, it's gotta be me. 

The Doctor stumbles to his feet as he wipes the dust from his mouth. 

The Doctor: I wouldn't ...have it any other way. But not today. Not you!  

The Master descends to the ground in front of the Doctor. 

The Master: Oh, Doctor, Doctor, Doctor! What am I going to do with you? You do know I can kill you with just a thought? 

The Doctor: I think you have other problems on your plate!

Abruptly the Doctor lunges forward and snatches the cloak hood back off of the Master's head. And it is a horrific sight: The Master's face is all gaunt. He appears more bone than skin. What skin that still remains is either deathly pale or charred black. 

The Master: Oh, this? This is a just a bump in the road, Doctor. The regenerative energy of a Time Lord fused with the transformative powers of the Paradigm process.  It will stablize soon enough and then....

The Master staggers backward. The Doctor stands hesitantly not sure what's going to happen next. The Master says nothing as he flips the hood back over his head and takes to the sky as he flits out of sight into the rubble. The Doctor takes a deep breath and begins walking in the direction the Master had disappeared. 

Then we see bits and pieces of the flashforwards seen in Episodes One thru Three. 

The Doctor (shouting): Come out, come out wherever you are!  You can’t hide from me! 
The cloaked figure extends a hand and fire leaps from it through the air and striking the ground near the Doctor’s feet.

The Master: Have a care, Doctor! I have the power of life and death over you!

The Doctor: Your reign of death is over! Your time is up! It’s time to come down from that play mountain!

The Master: I will have my inheritance! I will have this world! And I will have no more of YOU! 

The Master: Have a care, Doctor! I will shed your blood as I have shed the blood of others before you! 

The Doctor catches a glimpse of a body lying in the rubble. He rushes towards it. It's a woman, her clothes dirty, torn and streaked with blood. It's Jasmine Tate. 

The Doctor (angry): Her name…was…Jasmine!
The Master: Why…should I care?
The Doctor: Her name was Jasmine and she’s dead! 

The Master: Again, Doctor, why should I care?
The Doctor: Care, don’t care, it doesn't matter to me! I just thought it was something you should know before…

The Master: Before what, Doctor?
The Doctor's eyes flare with barely contained rage.

The Doctor: Before I kill you. 
The Master chuckles from underneath his black cloak.

The Master: You? Kill me? You, my old pal from the academy of Gallfirey? You?!

The Doctor: Not without a little help. 

The Master: Ha! Help? You're alone here! No winsome companion by your side. It's just you. 

The Doctor: ...and you. You and overwhelming arrogance! It will be your undoing. 

The Master: Ah, what you call arrogance, I call truth. I am the Master!

The Doctor (chuckles slightly): But that's the thing:  you’re not the Master!
The Master (takes a step back): What insanity are you up to, Doctor?
The Doctor: Not insanity! THIS is the truth!
The Master: I’m in no mood for your games!
The Doctor: The resurrection ceremony conducted by the Cult of Saxton, the massive explosion that killed all of those present and shattered the reborn Harold Saxton, the Master. 
The Master: Stop talking!!  
The Doctor: But a small part of the Master merged with a part of one of those poor deluded pudding brains. The release of energy provided the spark for a Human/Time Lord Genetic Meta Crisis!
The Master: Stop talking!!!!
The Doctor: There wasn’t a lot to work with in terms of biological material, just enough to form a head that looked like the Master…

The Master: Stop! Stop! STOP!!
The Doctor: …and a brain that only thought it was the Master! You are nothing but an ECHO!
The Master (screaming): NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!
The Master unleashes a volley of chaotic energy from his outstretched arms. The hood has fallen back, revealing his even more gaunt looking head and mad eyes flaring with madness and rage. 
The Master: Lies! All lies!  

The Doctor: Look at you! The Paradigm Process rebuilt your body but on a faulty premise, that you were actually a Time Lord! This body isn't built to handle the power you're channeling now! 

The Master: You won't deceive me, Doctor! I AM a Time Lord! I am the Time Lord triumphant! I am the Master because I will it!
The Doctor: No, you won’t!
The Master: Why is that, Doctor?
The Doctor: Because you killed Jasmine Tate! Because you killed her and you didn’t care!
Suddenly the Master spasms as he cries out in pain.
The Master: What…what is happening?
The Doctor: You’re not alone in there!, in that mind of yours. Someone in there does give a damn that you killed Jasmine!
The Master (flailing about): Stay… out of my mind!! You’re dead!! There’s only one Master! Only….
The Master doubles over in pain.

The Doctor: You used Liam's regenerative energy and the Paradigm Process to regrow your body. But you absorbed your son's mind as well. 

The Master (doubled over, gasping): No. No. No. 

The Doctor: Yes! When you said earlier about "having your inheritance", that was Liam bleeding through. You’re fighting a war on two fronts, the physical and the mental. And you’re losing both!
The Master staggers to his feet, energy sparking all over his cloaked form.
The Master: I am… the Master! I will survive! I will…rule….ARRGGHHHH! I will….
The Doctor: You will do nothing. I showed Liam the inherent disability of matter created through the Paradigm Process.

The Doctor retrieves his sonic screwdriver. 

The Doctor: The spirit is not willing….
The Doctor aims his sonic screwdriver.
The Doctor (sadly): …and the flesh is weak.
The Doctor activates the sonic screwdriver. A high pitch trilling noise slices the air, mingled with the Master’s screams.

The Master: No! NO! NOOOOOOOOOO!
Smoke comes out from the folds of the Master’s cloak as his body begins to disintegrate.  The Doctor turns off the sonic and lowers his arm.
The Master (weakly): …Doctor…tell…Jasmine….
The Doctor (shocked): Liam?
The Master continues to disintegrate into smoke and dust.
The Master (even weaker): Tell…Jasmine…I….I…

Suddenly the form of the Master completely crumbles into dust and the cloak falls limply to the ground. The Doctor stands there, silent, forlorn.

Then from the smoldering dust covered cloak, a tiny spark of energy floats up. The Doctor tenses up for what’s going to happen next. He watches as the spark wafts into the air and floats across the rubble to where the still form of Jasmine Tate lies. The spark gently touches her forehead. The instant the spark vanishes, Jasmine’s body spasms briefly and she begins to breathe.
The Doctor: Jasmine!
The Doctor runs to her side and she stirs with a moan.
The Doctor carefully helps Jasmine to a sitting position as she coughs a bit and blinks her eyes against the glare of the morning sun.
Jasmine (haltingly): Doc…Doctor? Wha… what happened?
The Doctor: Nothing much. You had a building fall on you, that’s all. Can you stand?
Jasmine: I think…I think so, yes.
The Doctor helps Jasmine to her feet. Jasmine looks around at the rubble that used to be Masterson FutureWare.
Jasmine: Oh my God! What… how many… people…

The Doctor: About 237…

Jasmines gasps in horror.
The Doctor: 237 people who are alive and well, because you got them out in time.
Jasmine in relief grasps the Doctor in a hug. The Doctor, looking very, very uncomfortable, does manage to bring one hand with an almost mechanical stiffness to pat her on the shoulder.
Jasmine pulls away with the shock of realization.
Jasmine: Liam!
The Doctor looks at her sadly.
The Doctor: I’m sorry…but no.
Jasmine’s shoulders slump as she lets out a weary sigh. 
The Doctor: C’mon, let’s get you out of here.
The Doctor guides Jasmine as they make their way out of the rubble.  

Scene change: interior of the TARDIS. The Doctor is on the upper level of the console room, rearranging books, idly leafing through pages. 

The Doctor: I suspected from the beginning that the Master's head was not all that it seemed to be when I first saw him with the Rani at Coal Hill School. Our encounter with the real Master...or "Missy" if, she wants to be called that now, that sealed it for me. Still, who put that head in a piece of ancient Gallifreyan tech? And there's no way baby Harold Saxton Jr could regenerate into an adult form without some guidance. There's another player in this game. But who? Questions, questions, so many...

Our view widens as we see the full console room and see the Doctor has been talking to himself. He's paused, standing still with a book in his hand. 

The Doctor (quietly): ...questions. 

The Doctor places the book back on the shelf and continues to rearrange books, saying nothing. 

Scene change: exterior of the TARDIS, drifting across a starry sky.  But our view widens as we see the TARDIS inside a glass globe. We pull back further and we see the globe being cradled in a pair of hands. 

Voice: Oh my my my. The Rani. The Master's son. That sad simulacrum of the Master's head. So much death. So much. Tsk, tsk, tsk. 

The hands gently lower the globe into a box and close the lid. 

Voice: Perhaps I need to reconsider my meddling ways. 

We hear a knock on a door. Our view widens even further as we see a man in a plain brown robe in a plain sparsely furnished room with stone walls. He opens the door. Another man is standing there in an identical brown robe. He speaks to the man at the door. 

Man: Brother Daniel. 

Brother Daniel: Brother Tiempos, we are sitting down for supper. Are you well?

Brother Tiempos: I needed a time of quiet prayer and contemplation with the Lord. 

Brother Daniel: Time in solitude with God is vital. But so is fellowship with men. Will you join your brothers at the supper table? Perhaps regale us with one of your fantastic tales. 

Brother Tiempos steps out of the room and shuts the door. 

Brother Tiempos: I think I will, Brother Daniel. 

Our view pulls back as the two men walk away from us down a path towards a stone building. 

Brother Daniel: Your stories are so incredible. You truly do have a special gift, Brother Tiempos. God has blessed you with a fervent imagination. 

Brother Tiempos: Oh, truly, Brother Daniel, it is a gift from God. Myself, I am only a humble monk. 

---The End----

OK then, that's that, the end of The Son of the Master. I hope you....what? What was that bit at the end? Well, if you're a fan of the classic series, you're probably thinking it's the Meddling Monk.

Ah, you picked up on my subtle clues. He is a renegade Time Lord who appeared on Doctor Who twice during the 1st Doctor's time but has not been seen on screen since. (However he has made appearance in various expanded universe stories.)  

Now it may seem like I just tacked that on at the end to plug a couple of holes in the plot. Honestly, however, I knew of the Monk's involvement since I first conceived of "Master In a Can" back in Time of the Dominion. But I never could work in an actual appearance by the Monk into the narrative of that story. So I figured he would be there in the next one. In fact, an early plot draft for The Son of the Master involved a 4th character to join with Jasmine, Adam and Liam who would be revealed as the Monk. But that didn't work out either. 

The alternative was to just leave the questions hanging and address them in yet another story. But I wanted to wrap this up. There are other things I want to move on to. So, we end up at a monastery with a monk who likes to meddle. 

Oh, and I also knew the "Head in a Jar" Master was a form of Human/Time Lord Genetic Metacrisis from his 1st appearance in Time of the Dominion. So...HA!  

Everything else, I just made it up as I went along. 


Tomorrow on the blog: 

It's another fan fiction (so soon?) but its a bit different. I prefer to do these stories in the form of a script. I don't really have as much time as I like to write and writing stories as scripts is a lot faster for me.

But tomorrow's tale is a proper story told in prose with adjectives and everything. 

The Doctor answers an urgent summons to Earth but it's Strax the Sontaran who has to save Christmas. 

Until then, be good to one another. 

I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You. 

Well, It's Monday Again.

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