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on 1 February 2006
I bought this audio because I had heard from a reliable source that Master was good. Master was not good...It was excellant! I could not turn away from this brilliant epic. I wish not to spoil the storyline for anyone, but I will say that it is for any Master fan. This story is very dark and even quite scary in places. It is more of a psychological thriller than a science fiction story. I urge all who read this to buy it. I repeat: BUY IT!
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on 30 March 2007
This was the first audio play I ever heard, years ago. I didn't immediately fall in love with this format but I have warmed to it considerably since. However my opinion of this play has not changed at all, despite having now listened to it three times.

This is a dark, atmospheric and arresting tale of a gothic house, a sinister force and the nature of evil. It was quite scary when I first listened to it on my own in the dark! I love Sylvester McCoy's dark portrayal of the doctor as we saw in the last season of original doctor who on tv. But two things let this play down and prevent it from being truly excellent.

Firstly, although Sylvester's in-character narration of the main events is wonderful, the odd interspersions of the main proceedings with his conversations with the assassin seem too artificial. They remind me of an exaggerated theatre performance and detract from the otherwise convincing performances in evidence here.

Secondly, the wonderful build up is eventually let down by the explanations at the end which go on far too long and the secondary story from the doctors past is odd and less interesting. To put this another way, the initial set-up is brilliantly well-executed, but when the true nature of everything is unveiled instead of heightening and adding further depth to the drama, it somehow lessens the impact.

In conclusion, this is not the best `Big Finish' audio but it is well worth purchasing, especially if you liked that final season of the original doctor who tv series.
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on 10 February 2007
"Many years ago, on a dark and stormy night, the disfigured and enigmatic Doctor John Smith invited his closest friends, Inspector Victor Schaeffer and his wife Jacqueline, to a dinner to celebrate his birthday. A few hours later all the occupants in that house had been changed - some were dead, others mentally scarred forever by the events of that night.

"So, what happened to the distinguished dinner guests on that evening? Perhaps, we'll never know. But two clues have led to much speculation - found outside the study window, a charred umbrella with a curved red handle and found inside the house, a blood-stained copy of Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

"For one person, this night represented an ending: an ending to one thousand years of darkness and an ending to ten years of light.

"But, for everyone else, is there no ending of this one night of hell?"

"Master", by Joseph Lidster, is the conclusion to Big Finish's "Villains" trilogy released in 2003 to mark the 40th anniversary of "Doctor Who" and the run-up to Big Finish's 50th regular release, "Zagreus". Like the other "Villains" stories, "Omega" and "Davros", "Master" is a companionless story, being set during the Seventh Doctor's period spent travelling alone in the run-up to his regeneration.

"Master" is a fascinating experiment in that it plays very much like a stage play, with a very small cast of characters and, essentially, one location. Over the course of the four episodes, the characters' flaws and neuroses are revealed gradually through dialogue alone, making "Master" very much an introspective character piece.

The story follows an amnesiac Master (Geoffrey Beevers, reprising his role as the withered pre-regeneration Master seen in "The Keeper of Traken" and heard in "Dust Breeding"), who has spent ten years living in a house in a small colony, helped by his close friends Victor and Jacqueline (played by Philip Madoc and Anne Ridler) and doing his best to help those in need of medical attention. We are presented with a well-intentioned and sympathetic character, with absolutely no memory of his dark past. As such, "Master" is in many ways a study of the nature of evil and what exactly drives people like the Master to carry out evil acts. Sadly, the study proves inconclusive.

The story unravels a bit in the final episode but, while it lasts, the mystery of the Master's present circumstances, and exactly what role the Doctor has to play in the whole affair, is intriguing. Awesome violence and explosions or claustrophobic horror "Master" may not be, but it remains an interesting and unique take on exactly what makes the Master tick, and on exactly what could have become of the Doctor's oldest friend if things had been different.
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This is the forty ninth release from Big Finish in their range of full cast audio adventures starring classic Doctor Whos. It stars Sylvester McCoy as Seven and Geoffrey Beevers as the Master. It also guests Philip Madoc, though not reprising any of his roles from the TV series. There are 4 episodes, roughly 25-30 minutes each, complete with original theme music between each, and cliff hanger endings. Two episodes per disc on 2 discs, and a short booklet with some pictures of the cast and production notes.

This is the third in a run of three stories based around infamous Who villains released by Big Finish to celebrate the fortieth year of the series. The celebration cumulated with the sprawling multi-Doctor epic Zagreus. This story centres around the most famous Who villain of them all - The Master. It gives a fresh new twist on an old character while trying to give reasons that he is the way he is.

It's a sort of science fiction amalgam of an Inspector Calls, Memento and Jekyll & Hyde. It has an experimental narrative structure in which the Doctor is relating the story to a third party. He tells of a house where the town Doctor is having dinner with his old friends the chief of police and his wife. But the doctor has no memories of life prior to his arrival in the town 10 years previously, and is horribly disfigured as though he had been in some horrendous accident. As the evening unfolds many secrets will be revealed and memories restored as various malevolent forces are allowed to break free.

It's a dark and brooding tale with some surprising revelations about the relationship between the Doctor and Master, and some interesting musings on the nature of evil and the argument of nature or nurture. It's really well structured and though a little slow in the first half it is totally gripping in the second half. Sylvester is superb as Seven, and Philip Madoc turns in an excellent guest performance, but the show belongs to Geoffrey Beevers' Master. His performance is full of shade, light and dark, good and evil. He steals the show completely.

A great script, some great performances, and an excellent sound production from the Big Finish team. All in all this is a great adventure, and easily the best of the 4 celebratory releases. 5 stars.
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Sylvester Mccoy's 7th Doctor tells the story of a group of friends who have gathered at the home of disfigured doctor John Smith. A man with no memory of his past or identity but has spent the last 10 years living in a quiet English town and a series of murders have been taking place that may or may not be linked while John has been having nightmares or possibly memories returning and senses that something evil is about to return. While it's pretty obvious that John Smith, here a quiet, kind man is actually The Master, Geoffrey Beevers who only played the character once on tv in The Keeper Of Traken gives a masterful performance if you'll pardon the pun in this 4 part story that examines what it is inside The Master's head. While it feels like a play thanks to the small cast and limited setting the small cast are excellent telling a very creepy tale and while the story which gives hints at the origins of The Master does seem to contradict the later tv stories The Sound of Drums and End Of Time you could argue that what happens to The Master in those stories actually happens later and you can fit it into The Master's backstory. One of the best audios i have heard so far.
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The doctor stops a murder. So he can tell the would be killer a story.

Elsewhere, three people are gathering for dinner. But before the night is out, they will have other guests.

A daringly different and very experimental piece of work, this is a dark character drama that tries to get into the hearts of the doctor and the master, and show what makes them what they are.

And it's a total success. This is gripping stuff, perforned to perfection by a small and talented cast. And the much maligned in the past sylvester mccoy gives a performance that really ought to win over all his doubters. One of the best big finish releases ever
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on 8 September 2007
This audio story is definitely to be described as an engrossing stage play on audio. Making the use of a small cast, this audio has genuine character development and is very well realised here on the disc. Sylvester Mccyo as per usual is excellent as the Doctor.

But Geoffery Beevers is very creepy as the amnesiac Master, but you also feel sorry for him for most of this audio. When I first heard this story i was a little unsure of the ending. But now ive heard it again it is a great ending. Im glad the Doctor isnt going to kill his enemy, even though he has reverted to the Master before the end of the play.

It is also good hearing Phillip Madoc again, he is a well good actor.

Master is one of the creepiest of all the big finish audio stories so far. A story of love loss shame and pain and secrets. Not too many twists and totally cool and memorable scary moments...
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on 19 March 2011
This is the only Big Finish so far where I got so scared I tured the CD off.This is McCoy at his absolute darkest possible,with Beevers using his wonderful voice to great effect. BUY THIS CD!
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on 28 March 2008
I quite enjoyed this play. It is in four parts and to be honest the first part is quite slow to get going. Also the doctor (Slyvester McCoy) does not feature til the second part except for a couple of sentences he says in the first part. But once he comes in to it the story really gets going.It also gives you more of the masters origins and his connections with the doctor. It is a good story a is worth a look but be warned it isn't an action rip roaring story. It is a subtle, well done, pychological story that is well written and has excellent character development. Worth a look.
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