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May 23rd, 2020 88 comments

Big Finish – Masterful

Available to order from

All the Masters revealed!

The spectacular cover artwork for Masterful, the special audio adventure commemorating 50 years of the Doctor’s best enemy, has been unveiled!

Featuring a huge cast of evil incarnations of the renegade Time Lord, including Geoffrey Beevers, Mark Gatiss, Michelle Gomez, Derek Jacobi, Alex MacQueen, Milo Parker, Eric Roberts and John Simm, Masterful will be released in January 2021, marking half a century since the Master’s screen debut in Doctor Who: Terror of the Autons.

The Master’s finally done it. He’s won. He summons his other selves to a celebration of his ultimate victory. And they come – from across time and dimensions. But he’s forgotten to invite someone. And Missy’s not happy.

Has the Master really conquered the universe? Or has something more awful been unleashed? Something that even all the Masters cannot stop?

Missy is determined to reveal the truth. Because one fact about the Master’s existence never changes. No-one can trust the Master. Not even the Master.

Masterful is now available to pre-order as a limited edition 8-CD box set (priced at £44.99), or on download (at £39.99), exclusively at the Big Finish Website.

This edition contains:

  • Discs 1-3: Masterful
  • Disc 4: Masterful – Behind the Scenes
  • Disc 5: Doctor Who – Short Trips: I Am The Master and Short Trips: The Switching (both previously available on download only)
  • Discs 6-8: Doctor Who: Terror of the Master by Trevor Baxendale, a brand new, narrated audiobook featuring the Third Doctor, the Master and UNIT

Please note the box set edition is limited to 3,000 copies only.

The standard edition of Masterful (featuring only the content of discs 1-3 above) is also available to pre-order, priced at £24.99 (on CD) or £19.99 (as a download).

Please note that Big Finish is currently operating a digital-first release schedule. The mailout of collector’s edition CDs will be delayed, but all purchases of this release unlock a digital copy that can be immediately downloaded or played on the Big Finish app from the release date.

Previous press release:

Coming in January 2021, marking the 50th anniversary of the Master’s first appearance in Doctor Who, Masterful is a deluxe limited edition 8-disc audio adventure from Big Finish Productions in association with BBC Studios. In his Big Finish debut, actor John Simm will reprise the role of the Master, as originally played on television from 2007 (and, most recently, in World Enough and Time/The Doctor Falls, opposite Peter Capaldi). Doctor Who: Masterful, written by James Goss, will also feature actors Geoffrey Beevers, Mark Gatiss, Derek Jacobi, Alex MacQueen, Milo Parker and Eric Roberts as previous incarnations of the evil Time Lord.

Plus, of course, no reunion of Masters would be complete without Missy, the most recent incarnation, as played by Michelle Gomez. John Simm said, “It’s a real honour to play this character: the nemesis of the Doctor. He’s everything the Doctor is but he’s evil. And it’s been great recording with Big Finish. You don’t get bored, it’s fantastic. It’s fun. It went really quickly. And I got to work withDerek Jacobi.”

Producer, David Richardson, added, “It was all Jason Haigh-Ellery’s idea. ‘We should do a special for the 50th anniversary of the Master in 2021,’ he said, and I leapt at the chance to produce it. James Goss was the perfect choice as writer -we knew he’d offer something as entertaining as it was dark, as imaginative as it was thrilling -and he hasn’t let us down! “But my first port of call was securing the talents of our Masters (and Missy) -many of them had worked for us before, but for John Simm this was his Big Finish debut. They say never meet your heroes, but they’re wrong. I had one of the best days of my life in studio with Sir Derek Jacobi and John Simm, towering actors and simply two of the warmest, loveliest human beings you could ever hope to spend time with. This may be a line-up of pure, unadulterated evil -but behind every sinister smile there’s a lovely actor we’re blessed to work with!”

Doctor Who: Masterful is now available to pre-order as a limited edition 8-CD box set (priced at £44.99), or on download (at £39.99) at the Big Finish website.

Categorised under: Big Finish, CD, spin-offs


  • George

    June 20th, 2020 - 8:04am

    I have always wanted a multi-Master story. But this ain’t it. First: Missy…Ugh! She’ll probably ham it up, chew the scenery, and have 2/3 of the total dialogue, making Jacobi, Beevers etc. background characters. Second: No recasting can replace Delgado or Ainley. And, if it’s anything on the level of Tim Treloar as the Third Doctor, or David Bradley as the First, it will be distractingly awful. Third: If they’re recasting Delgado and/or Ainley, then why not Edward Brayshaw? Yes, he definitely IS the same character as Roger Delgado. It’s neither funny nor clever to say “The War Chief is a totally separate character to the Master”, and point to Divided Loyalties as ‘proof’. Any “every Master” that can include Mark Gatiss’ parallel universe Master, can try and force Eric Roberts’ blink-and-you’ll-miss-him -Master, and include HER, but excludes The War Games Master can’t be taken entirely seriously. They have the War Master, why not the War Chief Master? Lastly: They should have included Dreyfus. Who are they “punishing” here? A man who ahs no doubt taken a lot of personal abuse during his life, for making ONE comment that some people didn’t like? Or the people who will have to suffer through Extra Missy to cover the absence of an actual talented actor?

    • Anonymous

      September 2nd, 2020 - 9:11am

      I heavily doubt that Missy is going to the be the main focus. Especially considering that John Simm’s master is at the centre of the advertising. Also considering every other master apart from Missy was invited it suggests that Simm was the one who supposedly achieved this “ultimate victory”.

      Delgado’s Master also seemingly won’t be in this story (the limited edition has a Delgado centric audiobook which isn’t included in the standard edition, and Delgado is nowhere to be seen on the standard cover).

      Just because the war chief is theorised to be the Master doesn’t mean he’s a confirmed incarnation. Also every Master in this story (bar Simm and Parker but that’s probably because Parker is standing in for Dreyfus) has appeared in Big Finish before at some point so to suddenly have to fit in an extra Master who may not even be the Master (and who would also have to be recast with a soundalike) would complicate things, especially considering how many Masters are already in this and how they all have to be juggled and be given fair amounts to do over a three hour runtime. There is still the possibility that he could appear as a cameo or get a reference like Doctors 1,2 and 10 did in the Legacy of Time though.

  • CG

    May 27th, 2020 - 3:12pm

    has been announced who will be narrating the 3rd Doctor and UNIT story exclusive to the limited edition on discs 6-8 (Terror of the Master)?

    • Hulk

      May 31st, 2020 - 2:08pm

      I hope John Simm does more audios Maybe he might do is own stories

    • Mac

      May 31st, 2020 - 10:23pm

      No news yet

  • Hulk

    May 24th, 2020 - 12:14am

    If John Simm Regenerates in this audio story I’ll kill them all

    • Bolin

      May 24th, 2020 - 7:06am

      Well he can’t regenerate here because he regenerates offscreen in the Doctor falls

    • George

      June 20th, 2020 - 7:56am

      But maybe Masterful takes place immediately after The Doctor Falls for him, and then he regenerates.

    • Hulk

      June 29th, 2020 - 9:33pm

      John Simm might do his own Tv series as The Master bbc must make that happen

  • Colin the 3rd

    May 23rd, 2020 - 10:51pm

    Great stuff

  • 742

    May 23rd, 2020 - 5:58pm

    Why is James Dreyfus not in this does anyone know please?

    • Anonymous

      May 23rd, 2020 - 6:44pm

      Why do you think?

    • Gordon

      May 23rd, 2020 - 7:12pm

      Because of his transphobic comments I don’t think big finish has chosen not to work with him again. I don’t blame them to be honest

    • Anonymous

      May 23rd, 2020 - 9:27pm

      The same reason we won’t see any new Gareth Roberts stories as well. Can’t really blame big finish as the potential negative press would be bad for such a small company.

    • Vortexsurfer

      May 23rd, 2020 - 9:54pm

      Depends when this was recorded. Am I right in thinking those comments were made in late 2019? Many of Big Finish’s audios are recorded years before they are released so it might be for different reasons.

    • booboo

      May 23rd, 2020 - 10:29pm

      many comments are old and from the initial announcement, the post was bought forward because of the new cover

    • Vortexsurfer

      May 23rd, 2020 - 10:13pm

      I’m actually more surprised that Ainley IS on the cover, considering the clash he apparently had with Big Finish when they approached him to appear in the early audios. Wouldn’t have thought his estate would have allowed them to use his image.

    • 742

      May 24th, 2020 - 2:57pm

      Oh I wasnt aware of what james did sorry.

    • Vortexsurfer

      May 24th, 2020 - 6:48pm

      Neither was I until I saw this thread and then I looked it up. Given the understandable public reaction, it wouldn’t be surprising if Big Finish chose not to bring him back. However, as I said, this may have been recorded before that happened, so his lack of appearance may be for other reasons. The Psychic Circus, for example, was recorded before, but released after, his comments, because it was already finished and had been announced. It may even be he did record a part in Masterful but has been edited out. Thinking about it, since his is the First Master, Milo Parker is presumably playing a younger version of the same incarnation.

  • Anonymous

    May 23rd, 2020 - 10:50am

    Doctors Best Enemy??? Ill think you’ll find thats actually Scongo

    • Max Kennedy

      May 23rd, 2020 - 1:13pm

      I see you’re a man of culture as well

    • Anonymous

      May 23rd, 2020 - 1:17pm

      I don’t get it?

    • SJF

      May 23rd, 2020 - 1:21pm

      So uncivilised

    • The Outcast

      May 23rd, 2020 - 2:35pm

      The Bongos of Scongo, what a classic!

  • Anonymous

    May 23rd, 2020 - 9:53am

    This might be a real stupid question but with you being able to buy the limited edition digital version will that be limited to how many they sell ? I know the physical was is, just had me thinking will the digital one be ?

    • The Outcast

      May 23rd, 2020 - 10:44am

      Digital is unlimited.

  • Mrs Croot

    May 23rd, 2020 - 9:50am

    Who is War Games clothed Master. Is he exclusive to this or is he from somewhere else?

    • The Outcast

      May 23rd, 2020 - 10:43am

      He’s new to this release, but the costume signifies to me that he’s the original Master, the same one we see the flashbacks in Sound of Drums.

  • Anonymous

    May 23rd, 2020 - 9:38am

    Why is Mark Gatiss in this, he didnt play the Master last time I checked

    • Mrs Croot

      May 23rd, 2020 - 9:45am

      War Master boxset 4, alternate universe Master

    • sw

      May 23rd, 2020 - 10:00am

      Yes he did…

    • Col

      May 23rd, 2020 - 10:00am

      He’s a parallel universe master that crossed over and features in a war master box set

      Check out Bernice summer field box sets featuring David Warner they are amazing

    • Anonymous

      May 23rd, 2020 - 10:09am

      His Master is from David Warners Unbound universe, he was rescued by the War Master and brought to our reality.

    • Anonymous

      May 23rd, 2020 - 10:11am

      Ah, gotcha. I never followed the Unbound stuff

    • Anonymous

      May 23rd, 2020 - 10:40am

      Gotcha. I’ve never followed the Unbound universe

  • Anonymous

    May 23rd, 2020 - 9:36am

    John Simm and Alex Macqueen in the same audio? Oooh yeah. They are my favourite Master’s excluding Sacha Dwhan. Cant wait to listen to this!

  • Bobby Davros

    May 23rd, 2020 - 1:21am

    Whither Sacha?

    • Gordon

      May 23rd, 2020 - 1:53am

      Big finish don’t have the licence for the Sasha master yet

    • Anonymous

      May 23rd, 2020 - 3:57pm

      Big Finish’s Doctor Who licence only goes up to the 12th Doctor era

  • Anonymous

    May 23rd, 2020 - 12:19am

    Roger Deldago and Anthony Ainley!

    • Anonymous

      May 23rd, 2020 - 9:42am

      Worth noting that Delgado is only on the limited edition cover, so it’s possible he’s only in the LE special features (which include a 3-disc 3rd Doctor/UNIT/Master narrated audiobook). Perhaps by coincidence they’d already found an Ainley recast and so they included him, but hadn’t done so with Delgado? Of course it’s possible they’re waiting to make a big announcement of the Delgado recast and then add him to the cover, as it seems odd to not include the original in the anniversary story.

  • Matt Gamble

    January 2nd, 2020 - 6:24pm

    I can’t wait for this.

    Though I’m curious at which Master, Milo Parker will be.

    • Rowan

      May 23rd, 2020 - 1:56am

      He’s a slightly older version of the child Master seen in ‘The Sound of Drums’ it seems.

  • John

    December 17th, 2019 - 2:23pm

    I don’t know if I’m alone in this, but I hate seeing the new series characters appearing in audio plays. I’d rather see them, when Who is rested again. I don’t have any interest in Class, Torchwood, new series monsters & characters, but each to their own, it’s just how I feel.
    I’d rather John Simm back on TV for an appearance.

    • Anonymous

      December 17th, 2019 - 7:03pm

      Yep your alone. Big finish take modern characters and give them the development they desperately need and cant get when trapped in a 42 minute story

    • Anonymous

      December 20th, 2019 - 11:47am

      I mean it’s not like they’re even going to return on TV anyways so it’s either this or nothing

    • Anonymous

      May 23rd, 2020 - 12:12pm

      Torchwood is one of the best programmes ever. You feel such a part of it.

      In fact Torchwood: Children of Earth is probably one of the best bits of science fiction television or film ever made.

    • Anonymous

      May 23rd, 2020 - 3:06pm

      Aren’t you a kill joy

  • Anonymous

    December 14th, 2019 - 11:16am

    Would much rather have Simm V Tennant or another live Doctor in such a big boxed set.

    • Anonymous

      December 14th, 2019 - 11:42am

      It’s about time after 50 years that the master has a stand alone story without big propped up with the doctor. The war master boxset and the kissy boxset both prove how strong the character works without the same old story of Doctor defeats master. If you want a master vs Doctor story, watch the TV show or listen to the old audios. Many of us can’t wait for this

    • Anonymous

      December 15th, 2019 - 12:32am

      By many he means some of us rich elite.

    • the ergon

      December 15th, 2019 - 2:17pm

      The price is a little steep even with all the talent involved. I may wait to see if John does his own boxsets instead.

    • Whofan44

      December 15th, 2019 - 3:08pm

      There is a standard edition also available which just has the Masteful story without the other extras which is cheaper.

    • Bolin

      May 24th, 2020 - 6:12pm

      Well that wouldn’t really be a good 50th anniversary story for the Master would it

  • Sean Bassett

    December 14th, 2019 - 9:16am

    Great news, although the LE set is pretty expensive. A decent amount of extras, but it would have been nice to have a second LE set option of just the three Masterful discs and behind the scenes.

    • Anonymous

      December 16th, 2019 - 10:41am

      Big finish also unveiled a standard edition which just has three discs

  • Anonymous

    December 13th, 2019 - 11:33pm

    No Gordon Tipple, not interested!

    • Anonymous

      December 15th, 2019 - 12:32am

      That’s the Eric Roberts master. Technically

    • Anonymous

      December 15th, 2019 - 3:44pm

      Technically its the Geoffrey Beevers Master

    • Anonymous

      December 15th, 2019 - 4:02pm

      Technically it can be the virgin books master. Remember at the time in (1996) ainley had regenerated in the book first frontier. That version was the concurrent timeline version (tipple in the movie) of the master. Geoffrey beevers only came back in big finish continuity and tipple certainly didn’t look emaciated in the opening sequence of the movie.

    • Anonymous

      December 15th, 2019 - 8:07pm

      Beevers Master survived by stealing bodies, as heard in Mastermind. Tipple being the body he stole before being captured by the Daleks, becoming a snake then taking Bruce’s body. Losing that, then the events of Day of the Master take place after a few last attempts at survival, with the Beevers Master getting some much needed help.

    • Anonymous

      December 15th, 2019 - 9:43pm

      Dual role?

    • Anonymous

      December 16th, 2019 - 1:39am

      I don’t buy the big finish stories so was unaware of their continuity. You have to remember though that is is a retro continuity. The original continuity is survival, the 7th doctor virgin books then the TV movie.

  • bryan

    December 13th, 2019 - 8:53pm

    OH Joy. What a superb line-up. Brilliant Idea. and they must surely have Lifted some lines for Delgado (its his Celebration as much as anyones) or got someone to Do his voice. And Milo, I assume to be playing the young Drums Master. (poor William Hughes, very sad).

    Expensive box set. But a special 3 disc (6part? ) master story with the 3rd Doctor…Thats a must have. and seems to be exclusive to this set ( for now at least)

    • Anonymous

      December 16th, 2019 - 10:43am

      Milo may perhaps be playing the child war master from the comics although I’m not sure how big finish are going to explain the timeline differences between the two

    • Anonymous

      December 16th, 2019 - 11:29am

      There isn’t really timeline differences. The child Master regenerates into Jacobi. They’re seen at two different points of the Time war but it’s a Time War. There’s stories with the War Doctor visiting the very first year of the war.

  • Anonymous

    December 13th, 2019 - 7:37pm

    Genuinely couldn’t get away with simm as the master

    • Bobby Davros

      December 13th, 2019 - 11:38pm


    • Anonymous

      December 14th, 2019 - 12:40am

      Just didn’t like him. Thought his version of the master was the weakest one.

    • The Ergon

      December 14th, 2019 - 12:45am

      The best so far are The War Master series. Derek jacobis turn is so sly, evil and malicious but comes across as the harmless old man. I,m still waiting for series 4.

  • Anonymous

    December 13th, 2019 - 6:56pm


  • Anonymous

    December 13th, 2019 - 5:47pm

    I mean there’s been so many multi master stories getting tired of them but will buy. I do love there interactions.

    • Anonymous

      December 13th, 2019 - 7:06pm

      There’s only been 3 big finish stories and 1 tv stories with multiple masters…

    • Anonymous

      December 13th, 2019 - 8:43pm

      you’re forgetting the comic and big finish have done. The two masters, diary of River song and ravenous 4

    • Anonymous

      December 13th, 2019 - 8:44pm

      But I do think they never actually met in diary of River song

    • The Outcast

      December 14th, 2019 - 4:07am

      They don’t meet at all in Diary. The only multi-Master stories Big Finish have done are Day of the Master from Ravenous 4 and The Two Masters. This is the third, and looks to be the one to beat them all, as pretty much every Master is in this (except for Dreyfus and the versions played by deceased actors).

    • Anonymous

      December 15th, 2019 - 12:34am

      Is this milo Parker playing a young master or Delgado. Since the crispy master is the same as Ainley I don’t mind he’s not in it. But I would like the Delgado master to pop up.

    • Anonymous

      December 16th, 2019 - 10:46am

      He could be playing the child war master seen in the titan comics but that would mean that big finish would have to explain the timeline differences between Jacobi and him due to them contradicting each other slightly

    • Anonymous

      March 12th, 2020 - 8:34pm

      Technically Big Finish have done three if you count Anti-Genesis which had the war master and the Alternate universe master

  • Anonymous

    December 13th, 2019 - 5:46pm

    Will they be recasting Delgado

    • Jack Oates

      December 14th, 2019 - 12:32pm

      He isn’t in it, but there will be an original 3 hour narrated audiobook with the 3rd Doctor and UNIT and the master.

  • TARDIS_H63

    December 13th, 2019 - 4:24pm

    Im confused because the standard edition has only 3 discs and an incredibly shorter run time… Why is this?

    • Andrew

      December 13th, 2019 - 4:58pm

      Either they’re going an extra mile in the limited edition contents, or they’ll include older stories in the limited package.

    • Anonymous

      December 13th, 2019 - 7:34pm

      The details of each disc are as follows
      D1-D3 – Masterful
      D4 – Masterful – behind the scenes
      D5 – Short Trips: I Am The Master and Short Trips: The Switching (both previously available)
      D6-D8 – a new, narrated audiobook featuring the Third Doctor, the Master and UNIT

      The Standard edition has just the story, with no extras listed above.

  • Anonymous

    December 13th, 2019 - 4:12pm

    Oh my goodness he’s looking old now, hardly recognised him in that cast lineup picture

    • The Ergon

      December 14th, 2019 - 12:48am

      He hasn,t changed that much since The doctor falls. Hes only 49.

    • Anonymous

      May 23rd, 2020 - 3:06pm

      The pic of Simm is from s10

    • Bolin

      May 24th, 2020 - 6:15pm

      They’re referring to the behind the scenes image

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