One thing that sets Doctor Who up above many other science fiction television shows is its impressive roster of villains. From the Daleks to the Cybermen to the Weeping Angels, the monsters that the Doctor battles against from week to week are some of the most memorable foes in the entire genre and they help cement the show's legendary status.
But one of the Doctor's longest-running adversaries is someone a little more humanoid. Since debuting way back in 1971's Terror of the Autons, the Master has been the yin to the Doctor's yang. They show the darker side to being a Time Lord renegade, meddling in Earth's affairs for their own selfish ends rather than to help people.
So when Russell T Davies brought Doctor Who back to our screens in 2005, it was only a matter of time before the Doctor's childhood friend and adult nemesis returned. Since then, there have been ten stories in the revival where the Master has made a major appearance, along with smaller cameos.
But which of these showdowns are truly masterful and which are better left forgotten about? Read on to find out which battle with the Doctor stands as the Master's finest hour.
10. Ascension Of The Cybermen/The Timeless Children
The finale of Doctor Who’s most recent full series has already been torn to shreds by much of the fanbase, so there’s not much that can be said which isn’t already old news.
Like Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor, Sacha Dhawan’s Master is a victim of poor writing and undercooked characterisation, rather than there being any issue with his actual performance.
Whatever your opinion on the controversial reveal of the Doctor’s true identity as the Timeless Child, it’s hard to deny that the twist itself is presented in the most boring way possible. A good chunk of the episode consists of the Master and the Doctor standing around as he explains her backstory bit by bit to her, like some kind of psychotic PowerPoint presentation.
Even cutting back to Ryan, Graham and Yaz fighting the Cybermen every so often can’t save this episode from being perhaps the dullest series finale that Doctor Who has ever broadcast.
Let’s hope that the next time we see Dhawan’s Master, it’s in a slightly more exciting adventure.