Castrovalva is a great opening story for The Fifth Doctor, but it does leave us hanging with a scene that we never see in Doctor Who. What happens to the villain/monster AFTER they have been defeated? Also, with The Master’s numerous reappearances throughout the Davison years I wanted to explore just how he escaped and lived to fight another day. After I’d thrown in a couple of references to The Master’s own back story and a reference to his next port of call, I had what I was looking for.
The Master watched as The Doctor and Adric disappeared through the exit and completed they’re escape. With Adric gone, he knew that it was only a matter of time before the city would cease to exist. The block transfer computation had failed. Any moment now, the false city, made up from the imagination of a juvenile to destroy the newly-regenerated Doctor once and for all, will succumb to nothingness. The Castrovalvans, however, were very real indeed, and began to beat and claw at the Master with they’re might. His robes ripping as the inhabitants tore at his being. The walls of the narrow corridor they were in began to fold in on itself. There was precious little time left.

"Let go of me. I, I can save you!" he pleaded desperately.

"If we are not real we have nothing to lose, man of evil" replied Mergreave who had been holding The Master back to allow The Doctor and his friends to escape. "Nothing can save you; nothing can save any of us!", he added.

The Master tried desperately for the pocket of his torn robes. "If you do not listen to me you will die for certain, we don’t have much time, I can help. I can save us all, let me go and I shall use my TARDIS. Your lives will be spared." said the Master, pleading once more, but with a tinge of menace.

It was no use. The sound of the protesting Castrovalvans drowned out his final pleas. He looked around him, taking the blows to his body and paying more attention to the device he was reaching for in his tattered pocket. He prayed that it was still there. An evil smile curled up the side of his face as he found what he was looking for...

"Very well, if you won’t accept my offer to spare your lives, you will beg for mercy as I watch you die!"

With all his might, The Master forced his arm away from Mergreave and held the Tissue Compression Eliminator in his hand, turning the mechanism’s top section anti-clockwise, widening its deadly range. With one flick of a button, The Master aimed the weapon at the people who blocked his path back to his TARDIS. The poor beings that were in the line of fire burned up in front of the now stunned Castrovalvan’s eyes. The unlucky dozen shrunk in size, they’re screams echoing in the crowded corridor.

While the other Castrovalvan’s stood horrified, The Master made good his escape, breaking the sturdy grip of Mergreave and fleeing the alleyway just as it folded in on itself. He didn’t look back as he ran, but he knew that time was nearly up.

As he barged the inhabitants of Castrovalva out of his way, he witnessed they’re bodies dissolve into nothing, dividing like flour through a sieve and then falling into the bleak darkness of non-existence, they’re faces broken in silent screams. The Master’s face contorted in anguish. Despite the bruises that began to swell on his body, he made it to the Hall and sprinted to the relative safety of his TARDIS, which stood in the form of a fireplace. He and his TARDIS were the last solid objects within the fated walls of Castrovalva. Before The Master disappeared inside his machine, he allowed himself a quick glimpse of the doomed city. Panting, he managed to set the controls for de-materialization, correcting the fault that had hampered his escape before. Within a few seconds, The Master’s TARDIS was gone, and so was the impossible of Castrovalva.

"Fools, thinking they could stop me!" The Master caught his breath and leaned for a moment against the TARDIS doors. He regained his composure and his breathing slowed down, slowly at first but not as heavy as when the Castrovalvans had given chase. He shook his head to himself and chuckled. After so many years of living like a shadow, paralysed and broken, he had been reborn, but he felt just as inadequate as before. The Master could feel a tide of rage flood through his body. With a cry, he slammed his body forward and crashed his fists onto his console, punching the metal instruments until his hands began to glow a bright red. With every blow the frustration of failure grew ever stronger. He had been defeated again. How many more times? He thought to himself. How long would it be until he could truly defeat The Doctor? The time for fun and games were now well and truly over.

"Next time Doctor, Next time I will end your life for good!"

The Master’s TARDIS jerked forward, throwing the renegade Time Lord to the floor. He grappled for the controls. Something was not right. The TARDIS continued to judder through the time vortex, the turbulence shaking it so violently that The Master found it difficult to keep his balance. Eventually he managed to grapple the co-ordinate controls and search for a safe place to make an emergency landing. His eyes darted over the display monitor on the console's scanner. His machine was finding it difficult to manouevere in all the turbulence. It was the aftershock from the destruction of Castrovalva that has caused a disruption in the time space vortex, leaving a location of non-reality and making his escape all the more difficult. The Master’s hands worked quickly over the instruments after finding a safe location to materialize at.

"Xeriphas!" He rolled his eyes and sighed. "It will have to do..."

With a flick of a switch The Master fell to the ground once again. The turbulence died down steadily and soon, only the faint hum of the TARDIS was audible inside the machine. For The Master, however, it was as though there were another sound pre-occupying his mind. One he had kept a secret from his greatest enemy and one that had haunted him ever since he was a boy back on Gallifrey. The evil Time Lord from Gallifrey, lying on his front with his arms outstretched, stared blankly into the distance and drummed out a beat with his fingertips on the cold metallic floor.


© Copyright Hayden Gribble, Niki Hunter & Doctor Who Online, 2012.
Page Updated: 22/7/2012

Written by:
Hayden Gribble

Artwork by:
Niki Hunter

Doctor Who is © Copyright to the BBC. No infringement intended.