Masterplan

Posted in Audio by - November 14, 2018
Masterplan

Released November 2014

Following an ingenious but humiliating defeat at the hands of the Master as the Eminence continues to wreak havoc on humanity, the Doctor goes to the very source of the problem in Matt Fitton’s ‘Masterplan,’ contemplating wielding the true power of the Time Lords more overtly than almost ever before. The Doctor has always been one who believes that history should not be rewritten despite standing up for the oppressed and those in desperate need of help, but feeling that this entire post-Straxus timeline is somehow his own doing, he has no qualms about going to a crucial period of the Ides Institute and warning one Professor Schriver that his experiment here that will go on to become the Eminence will be remembered as a force of ultimate evil and destruction. Without knowing if his attempted changes might right some of the multitudes of injustices he has seen in this timeline or if a worse timeline yet awaits, the very personal stakes the Doctor now carries into battle make for a fascinating journey as he tries to retain a sense of his usual scruples and civility.

Finally, though, this is the story in which the Doctor and Liv force the Master to go off plan and adlib a bit after thoroughly being in control of the flow of the narrative over the last several instalments. The Master gave Schriver the information to create the gas that will become the Eminence, and his intention to use the trapped Molly and her retrogenitor particles to infuse the gas and to spread those with her antigen throughout the cosmos who will then come under his control instead of the Eminence’s is a masterstroke that continues to deliver personal blow after personal blow to the Doctor. However, with the Doctor willing to go back to this pivotal moment in time, taking the Master completely by surprise in the process, and with Liv willing to delve into the depths of Sally’s psyche as she quite rightfully proclaims that Sally is expendable and that the Master truly only cares about Molly and her dark eyes, chinks in what initially seems like an unstoppable plan begin to manifest and offer a glimmer of hope as the Doctor continues to grow more determined.

Still, with the upcoming concluding instalment to Dark Eyes 3 ready to truly deal with the fallout of what is revealed here, ‘Masterplan’ more than capably stands on its own merit precisely because of the wonderful interactions and interpersonal development of the Doctor and Master. The script is not afraid to ask if the Doctor continues to run because of the fear of facing the consequences he created, and the statement that both want nothing more than peace in the universe is fitting but brutal when considering that the Master believes this can only be achieved through the single-mindedness that he can provide. These two were once good friends, but the egos of the two diverged somewhere along the way and have made the two incompatible, and yet tellingly the Master still can’t bring himself to kill the Doctor when presented the opportunity. Paul McGann and Alex Macqueen continue to have a spectacular chemistry together, and both excel as each character reaches into his own past to offer analyses on how they have reached this point and.

Interlinking with and in some aspects acting like the first two instalments of this set, ‘Masterplan’ continues the trend of providing background information and asides to set up the finale. Yet although this does mean that the overall plot of Dark Eyes remains somewhat stalled, revealing part of the creation of the Eminence and its ties to Molly as well as allowing the Doctor and Master to so profoundly interact make this a true highlight of the saga to date. The Master’s plan may be a bit overly convoluted, but the journey that it has created to this point continues to be a thrilling one and excitingly continues to draw the Doctor and his companions in ever more deeply.

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