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22 December 2013

To celebrate the upcoming Dr Who Christmas special, Direct Blinds look back at their favourite Christmas special and reflect on the allure of villains in the series.

Thought For The Day - Why Do We Love The Villains More Than The Hero?

Every hero needs an anti-hero – Superman has Lex Luthor, Sherlock has Moriarty, and the Doctor has, of course, the Master.

Naturally, he has faced far more foes than this, but for one true nemesis, you just can’t beat the Master. I remember, as a kid, being terrified by Peter Pratt and Geoffrey Beever’s corpse-like appearances in The Deadly Assassin and The Keeper of Traken. However, that was simply the shock factor itself – it wasn’t until the reboot that (in my opinion) The Master became a true villain. 

I know he’s a ridiculously popular choice, but I simply cannot fault John Simm’s performance as the Master first time around. His transformation from old, kindly yet troubled Derek Jacobi to deviously slick Simm is simply superb, and the juxtaposition against my (and many others) favourite Doctor, David Tennant, is just brilliant.

Shame though about the Toclafane, which I feel were a bit lacklustre. 

Anyway, back to the main point – whilst rewatching the episodes with a couple of friends, we all found ourselves simultaneously rooting for the Master. Yes, he’s evil, he’s tricked the last of humanity into doing his evil deed, he’s caged the Doctor and attempting to kill a tenth of the human race, so why do we root for him?

It all seems to come down to one factor – he has a purpose.

The Master, mad from staring into the Untempered Schism, is driven to his actions and as Harold Saxon, a high ranking member of the Ministry of Defence, seeks to forge an empire. You can’t knock him for effort, and the sheer glee he takes from it lends him that evil charisma.

It’s his passion, focus and glee in everything that makes him the audience favourite. The Doctor simply acts reactively – everything he does is because of the Master, much the same as with Moriarty and Sherlock.

But is it as simple as this? Is it more that we see a damaged soul that has the wrong viewpoint so much that we feel that we should help them? Maybe he’s not such a bad guy – he’s just taken a wrong turn or had his view of the world skewed by others. Is iy because we inherently know that good will ultimately triumph and want to see what will face the hero until then? Or is it something else?

Let’s get a debate going!

And in the meantime, check out the TARDIS blind that we at Direct Blinds have designed – we’re working with Doctor Who Online to provide a fantastic discount of 33% - and it’s made to measure, so it will suit the home/TARDIS of any Whovian!

[Source: Direct Blinds]

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