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File:Themasterthumbsup 8908.jpg


"That's him. He's Prime Minister. The Master is Prime Minister of Great Britain... the Master. ... And his wife?"
The Doctor starts to realise that he's in for a world of hurt.

The Doctor, Martha and Jack return to 21st century Earth, using Jack's previously broken time travel watch. The Master has been on Earth for 18 months, limited by the Doctor's last-ditch block of the TARDIS controls. As for the reason he'd been living as a human: he was resurrected by the Time Lords to fight in the Time War, saw what was required of him, and ran the fuck away to the end of the universe.

It turns out the Master is actually Mr. Saxon, who has been elected prime minister, and first order of business is killing his cabinet. Using his satellite network, he's blocked his own Time Lord energy from alerting the Doctor, globally replacing it with the sound of drums that he's heard ever since he was a child. (This will be very important a few series later.)

This incarnation of the Master turns out to be just as manic as Ten, combined with a real love for mocking people, dancing to catchy pop music and snogging his very hot -- and very hypnotized -- wife, Lucy. The Doctor phones him up, leading to one very special conversation:

 The Master: Doctor?

The Doctor: Master.

The Master: [sigh] I like it when you use my name.

The Doctor: You chose it. Psychiatrist's field-day.

[About half a minute of exposition]

The Doctor: I've been alone ever since. But not anymore. Don't you see? All we've got is each other.

The Master: ... Are you asking me out on a date?

Anyway, Saxon labels the three as fugitives, and they end up on the run. Also, the TARDIS, which had been restricted by the Doctor to only travel between now and the end of time, has now been turned into a paradox machine.

Jack and Martha share a moment when they realize they're both crushing on a Doctor who's Oblivious to Love. The Doctor also talks about an event that Gallifreyan children go through before they can enter the academy: they have to look into the Untempered Schism, which shows all of time. Apparently this sent the Master mad.

Eventually, the three sneak on board the Valiant, holding TARDIS keys with perception filters. Here, the Master alleges to be encountering first contact with a race of aliens called the Toclafane. The Toclafane assassinate the US President (who, with the help of UNIT, has attempted to take command of this first contact away from the Master), and then at the Master's command, literally decimate Earth's population. To some pretty catchy pop music.

The Doctor is heavily aged by the Lazarus technology, using the hand from the Sycorax fight Jack possessed the last episode. Martha teleports herself to earth, still holding a perception filter, stating that she will return.

Tropes

 Master: "Ooh you...public menace!"

 "If I haven't returned to my desk by 2200 this file will be emailed to Torchwood. Which means if you're watching this then I'm...anyway, the Saxon files are attached."

  • Death Trap: The Master has finally become Genre Savvy -- he knows full well the Doctor will escape the Cliff Hanger and the Incredibly Obvious Bomb, but uses these deadly distractions to put pressure on the Doctor and his companions until they fall into the real trap.
  • Distressed Dude: The Doctor and Jack.
  • Eagle Land: US President Winters.
  • Faux Affably Evil
  • Foe Yay: The phone conversation between The Master and the Doctor. The way The Master sighs when he says "I love it when you say my name..."
    • And the way his voice sort of falters when he picks up the phone. "Doc-taahh..."
  • For the Evulz: The Toclafane view this as an excuse to decimate the Earth. Bonus points for proper use of the word "decimate".
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: The Master keeps pulling In-Universe versions on the Doctor, giving media interviews that make it clear he knows the Doctor is watching.

 PM Saxon: Tomorrow we take our place in the universe. Every man, woman and child. Every teacher and chemist and lorry driver and farmer. I dunno, every (looks directly at camera) ...medical student?

(The Doctor, Martha and Jack look shocked. The Doctor looks behind the TV and finds an Incredibly Obvious Bomb)

  • Freud Was Right: Seriously, attempting to induce screwdriver envy?
  • Genre Blind: Saxon's Cabinet really should have run away and never looked back from the moment he started calling them traitors.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: The entirety of the Doctor and The Master's phone call sounds like a phone sex call.
  • I Have Your Wife: The Master has Martha's entire family...except her brother, who she manages to warn in time. He was going to show up in the next episode, but the actor wasn't available. Just imagine being Leo and finding everyone in your family except you has suddenly lived through a year of torture.
  • Incredibly Obvious Bomb: Seriously, the bomb on the back of Martha's TV looks like something Wile E. Coyote would use to catch the Roadrunner.
  • In Love with Your Carnage: The Master is very impressed when he realises how the Doctor ended the Time War.

 "What did it feel like, though? Two almighty civilizations, burning...(breathy) ooh, tell me, how did that feel?"

"Stop it!"

"You must have been like God."

 Doctor: It's like when you fancy someone, and they don't even know you exist. [He rushes off to do something, leaving Martha stewing in frustration.]

Jack: (To Martha) You too, huh?

  • Oh Crap: The Doctor spends most of the episode doing this.
  • Overly Long Gag: The Toclafane kill a journalist who was close to unmasking Saxon's cover. He closes the door on her screams. Several seconds later, he opens it: She is still screaming. He winces and closes the door. After some more time, he opens it again and she is still screaming.
  • Preemptive Declaration:

 Master: It's for the gas.

Cabinet member: What gas?

Master: This gas.

 As soon as you saw the vote swinging my way, you abandoned your principles and jumped on the Saxon bandwagon! So this is your reward... [Dons gas mask.]

  Freema: (on the commentary) That's so naughty...oh, he's ENJOYING it!

 Martha: I thought you were gonna say he was your secret brother or something.

The Doctor: You've been watching too much TV.

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