Just in time for Halloween comes a fantastic new Short Trips adventure, focusing on the most nightmarish looking incarnation of the Master, Geoffrey Beavers delivers perhaps the best story focusing on his Master since he came back in 2001.
It is a sad fact that from the original series, including the TV Movie, we have only two living actors who have portrayed the Master. With Eric Roberts reprising his role in the upcoming River Song: Series 5 with all the other living actors who have played the role, Geoffrey Beavers has been playing the role since 2001 in Dust Breeding.
I Am The Master is a very special story indeed, not only because it features a fantastic performance from Beavers but because it is also written by him. Beavers is one of only a few surviving cast members who has a really great handle on the character and having played the character for as long as he has, it makes sense that he would know the character inside and out. It was a surprise, however, that he would get to write a rip-roaring adventure for the character.
Like all the Short Trips releases, it has to fit into the 30-40 minute bracket and luckily, it is a story that fits that brief, it isn’t some epic space-battle between the Master and his arch-enemy, The Doctor. Instead, it is a cracking story that focuses on a poor little planet and what happened to it when the Doctor wasn’t around to save it. It is a story that looks at how happy and prosperous that world was and what a horrific place it was after the Master has systematically destroyed it.
One thing that Beavers never strays too far from is showing us how thoroughly evil the Master is, even during some of the very funny moments. There is one moment when he takes a stab at David Attenborough, which is hysterical! And there are some nice subliminal messages that you have to listen to the audio to know about.
Working as both narrator and performer, Beavers gives us an excellent look into the mind of the Master, more than any other writer ever has. And what was also particularly enjoyable was that it wasn’t an overly complicated and convoluted plot. It was just the Master doing what he does best, manipulating people and destroying things, something that the Master but particularly this incarnation, has always taken great delight it doing.
Beavers is just hilarious here as well. His performance is full of dry wit anyway but his script is littered with funny little nods to the show and the real world. One wonders if Beavers has seen Deadpool as that is the sort of story this feels like. One of my other personal favourite moments from this audio is the mention of Jodie Whittaker’s incarnation of the Time Lord, it was something that I wasn’t expecting and the story is all the better for it, not just focusing on the previous incarnations but the current ones too.
I Am The Master is a superb story. It works brilliantly as a writing debut for Beavers’ and the direction from Lisa Bowerman only serves to improve the material on offer here. With funny little nods to the show and sly-asides to the audience, Beaver’s performance cements why his incarnation of the Master has lasted so long with Big Finish. I would love another story like this from him and as long as it is as clever as this one, then I’ll be there. If I Am The Master does anything it only tells that Beaver’s is one of the best incarnations of the character to grace our screens and bank-accounts.
He is the Master after all. And you will obey him…
There is a message for you. It comes from a long way, from a dying world. No, not a dying world. A killed world. And the message is from the killer.
Please attend carefully. The message that follows is vital to your future…
However much longer that may be.
Producer: Ian Atkins
Script Editor: Ian Atkins
Executive Producers: Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs
Written By: Geoffrey Beevers
Directed By: Lisa Bowerman
Geoffrey Beevers (The Master)