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Digital Subscriptions > Doctor Who Magazine > 514 > New life for the old Master

New life for the old Master

John Simm’s Master made his début ten years ago – and now he’s back! In his only interview about his 2017 comeback, John tells us: “It felt like coming home.”

I t’s not that John Simm doesn’t like giving interviews. It’s just that he’s had his fingers burnt before. He got fed up of being misquoted; his words taken out of context. “He was being quoted as saying nasty things about Doctor Who,” explained showrunner Steven Moffat, in DWM 512, “which are not true, by the way. He’s a big fan. He even knows what a Mondasian Cyberman is! He loves Doctor Who.”

This much is obvious from the moment John starts talking. He adores the show. He couldn’t be prouder of his contribution to it. And that’s why he’s keen to chat to Doctor Who Magazine.

“It’s my pleasure, man. My pleasure,” he says, when we speak on the telephone at the end of May. “If I’m going to talk to anybody about my return, it’ll be you guys.”

This is John’s only interview about his highly anticipated, much-teased 2017 return to Doctor Who. If you’re reading this issue on the day it hit the newsstands, you’ll have seen him by now as the lovable Mr Razor – sorry, dastardly Master (“Give us a kiss”) – in World Enough and Time, the first instalment of this year’s exhilarating, two-part series finale, and you’ll be eagerly anticipating this Saturday’s concluding episode, The Doctor Falls, in which John’s Master teams up with Michelle Gomez’s Missy to face off against Peter Capaldi’s Doctor. It’s the TV show’s first ever multi-Master outing.

The terrible twosome! John Simm and his successor, Michelle Gomez, cause mayhem in The Doctor Falls.

“To be honest with you, I was very surprised to get the call,” John says, when I ask what tempted him back to Doctor Who after seven years away. “I thought this ship had sailed. I really did.” John played the Master opposite David Tennant’s Doctor, from 2007 to 2010, and dragged the character kicking and screaming – never dying, never dying! – into the twenty-first century. “I was very happy with being David’s Master,” he tells me, “and I really thought that was it, when Russell [T Davies, showrunner, 2005-10] left, and Julie Gardner [executive producer, 2005-10], and the whole changing of the guard. I thought, ‘Well, that’s my era over.’” But did he hope to return?

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About Doctor Who Magazine

Contents include: • exclusive interviews with JOHN SIMM (the Master) and MICHELLE GOMEZ (Missy) • an exclusive preview of the series finale, THE DOCTOR FALLS • showrunner STEVEN MOFFAT reveals what's going on behind the scenes in PRODUCTION NOTES • the adventure continues for the Doctor and Bill in part 3 of the latest comic strip story, THE SOUL GARDEN by Scott Gray, with art by Martin Geraghty • reviews of THE LIE OF THE LAND, EMPRESS OF MARS and THE EATERS OF LIGHT • The Fact of Fiction looks at 1981's THE KEEPER OF TRAKEN • the latest books and audios are reviewed • previews of forthcoming releases •prize-winning competitions, official news, the WOTCHA! column and much, much more!