Slightly geeky this, I know, but I was a-pondering because I was just marvelling to myself at how much I liked the last three episodes of the last series of Doctor Who.
As we all know, Time Lords can regenerate. The Doctor, who is a Time Lord, has regenerated many times. Each time he regenerates, his personality changes, yet there is some intrinsic “Doctor-ness” that remains the same from incarnation to incarnation. And as viewers, we accept each different incarnation, even if we prefer some (David Tennant) to others (Sylvester McCoy).
The Master is/was a Time Lord, too. He, too, regenerates and has changed personality with each regeneration.
But, he recently regenerated into John Simm, as you all know. But many people thought he did not have enough “Master-ness”. Problems ranged from the trivial (he didn’t have a beard) to the not so trivial (he lip-synced to Scissor Sisters).
So, the question is either (depending on your point of view):
- Why is it that viewers are more able to accept the changing character of the Doctor with each regeneration than they are with the Master? Is it because we have more time to get to know him?
- Or, how much does a Time Lord have to have in common with his previous incarnations for us to recognise him as being the same person? Why do some regard Simm’s Master as being sufficiently different from Delgado, Ainley, Roberts and co that they can’t accept him as the Master?
Alternatively, what is “Doctor-ness” and what is “Master-ness” – that is, what characteristics does someone have to have to be recognisably the Doctor or The Master (assuming they have the same memories as well)?
And just for luck, I throw in the Valeyard to really complicate things. Answers on a postcard or below.