Sunday, February 22, 2015

Doctor Who: The Name of the Master

As I posted last week, Whovians have been a bit anxious for news, ANY news about Doctor Series 9 that we  spent a lot of time, WAY too much time, examining a photograph of a map that appears in an episode. Yes, a map. 

This week saw the release of news of a more substantive nature: Michelle Gomez is back as the Master


The Master.


OK, this needs to be sorted out.  

I hope this "Missy" thing was a bit of a diversion designed for Series 8 to keep us from her true identity because she is still The Master. If we are to accept that the character that Michelle Gomez portrays is directly descended from Delgado, Ainley, Simms, et al, then she must be called the Master. To continue to address her as Missy somehow separates her from that lineage. "Master" suggests a wide range of dominance; "Mistress" can be perceived as control only over that which women may have control.  

A person who is or perceives themselves to be a master of an ability, a segment of knowledge, a certain expertise or a planet can be a man or woman. For example, one would not say that Meryl Streep is the mistress of her acting craft or is the mistress of employing different accents. I had no problem with this whole "Missy" thing as a sort of lark on the Master's part, having fun with the concept of now having a female form. But she needs to make use of the name that he/she chose to reflect his/her ambitions when he/she left Gallifrey: to be Master of All! As such (and I made the same observation last year during this post), she is The Master and should be addressed accordingly. 

There are sexual connotations with the term "mistress". It is used to describe the sexual partner of a man married to another woman. It's also used to describe a woman in a dominant role in BDSM. In other words, if the Master in female form insists on being referred to as Missy as in Mistress, that just going to have a whole bunch of unfortunate implications not mention a plethora of Doctor/Master fan fictions

I like Michelle Gomez in the role as the Master. Michelle's portrayal is wickedly fun and sinister at the same time in the spirit of the totally off the hook, gonzo portrayal of the Master by John Simm. I am a little surprised to find that she'll be in the opening episodes of Series 9, so close on the heels of the end of Series 8. I would've thought Steven Moffat would hold off on playing that particular card until later. Having the Master appear at the start of the series is most unexpected....which I suppose is the general idea. 


Before the beginning of Series 9, this new female Master will be appearing in this very blog in the form of a new fan fiction script. Following last year's Time of the Dominion and Son of the Master, the Doctor and Clara will face a new and terrible threat to the Earth, it's future and worlds beyond worlds. 

What is....The Crucible of Eternity

That's coming up in two weeks. Which is either a threat or a promise, depending on what you've thought of prior stories I've posted in this space. 


Next week, more Doctor Who stuff. In between are daily posts about anything from comic books to politics to whatever random idea pops in my head on any given day. 

I'm Dave-El and I'm so glad my suffering amuses you. 

I hope to see you back here tomorrow.

Carl Kasell

I was saddened to hear of the death of Carl Kasell, a distinctive voice on NPR’s "Morning Edition" and "Wait, Wait ... Don...