Alright, so I spent most of my day reading fanfiction (as you do. Or I do. This is a thing that I do.) and I came upon this
excellent remix fic. The Eighth Doctor and Delgado!Master and all sorts of goodies. The original is also excellent, but I am discussing the remix, because it brought up an idea that completely contradicts one that I have held in my personal canon since .... um, Utopia? Before then it was just in my 'I will write AUs about this*' box, but RTD did the one good thing in his reign and went and changed that for all us bleeding heart fangirls out there, so that's alright.
To recap: The Master was given a new set of regenerations by the Time Lords** because of his assistance in the Time War. Or rather, he was given his new regenerations so that he could
assist with the Time War. On the side of the Time Lords. To defeat the Daleks. I think this should be made clear, because with the Master, you just never know.
In my personal fanon the Master definitely wants the extra lives, but he also understands the seriousness of potential outright genocide in all timestreams for his entire civilisation, and even worse the universe-wide domination of the Daleks. Because if they were in control everything would just be so boring
. And the Master is made a special case of and given extra regenerations because he is a demon
of a fighter, especially when trapped, and he has no qualms about killing things and he's actually been out and had experience with the universe (and the Daleks) in the past few centuries, and basically, it's probably a smart idea to keep him on your good side. But. I also quite like the idea that this war is such a disaster that every Time Lord in every time stream ever
is called back to help with the efforts. (Or even not called back. The Daleks have time travel, they are going to hunt down and kill every Time Lord they can find, so as they're probably going to find themselves under attack anyway, it's probably better to run back to Gallifrey where there's at least backup of some kind.) So not just the Master but the Toymaker, the Meddling Monk, the Rani and so on will all be part of this effort. (Ok, ok, I also like the idea that some of these renegades that we've met manage to escape detection, but my fanon is twisty and not entirely rational.) All of this is also pleasing in that it reconfirms the power of the Time Lords as a species, when they actually pull their shit together. If/when necessary they can
find and summon their little runaways, and that adds a nice little edge to the fact that, actually, they also could have at any point
tracked down any of the renegades if they'd wanted to, and pretty much the reason all these Time Lords are running around is because the Council have let
them. Which makes sense seeing as TARDISes all seem to run off the same energy source.
SO. This is just my personal fanon. But what aralias
has rather brilliantly suggested in 500 Bottles of Beer
is that the Master was brought back to life specifically so that he could be handed the resources of Gallifrey and devise the stunning strategy that would save them all.
Which, considering he used to be beaten by the Doctor every other week ... is maybe not so much of the best idea.
This is probably the best time to make a very important differential. I don't have to agree with an idea to think it's brilliant. But if it's one I've never thought of before? If it's completely revolutionary (to me)? Then I've got to admire it. And I really, really don't think that giving the Master the virtual keys to the city is in any way, shape or form a good idea. The Master's no Sulla, he's a Caesar, and I cannot see him giving up that kind of power once he has it. But the idea is intriguing.
Actually, in an odd kind of way it's almost a throwback to most of his Three-era plots, i.e. 'The Master allies himself with another species who's goals seem to align with his and proceeds to use their firepower/army to take over the planet/universe, betraying his so-called allies at the crucial moment whereby his victory is still assured but he is the one to take supreme power alone and without their interference.' Or as it actually played out: 'The Master allies himself with another species who's goals seem to align with his and proceeds to be beaten by the Doctor.' It sometimes gets to the betraying bit first.
And somehow, magically, the Master has managed to do that in this scenario, except that 1) he actually succeeds, and 2) he didn't have to go through all of that tedious work and plotting and so on and so forth first. In fact, if I were a particularly nefarious 6Ber*** I could even subscribe the whole TV Movie to some bizarre Xanatos Roulette
on the Master's part, wherein he gave the Daleks just
enough technology before/during his trial to set in motion their eventual threat to the stability of the universe should his initial attempt at a comeback not be a success. He was then able to either stop them early in the game should his initial revival attempt be a success (which, since he was up against the Doctor, clearly was not going to go that way so much) or
he waits a hundred odd years until the Daleks have developed time travel to the point where they seriously threaten the Time Lords, and out of necessity he is brought back and given the keys to
Oh my god did he plan his entire capture
so he could set this in motion???
... Seriously, there are easier ways to get the Doctor's attention. *eye roll*
OK, so, as you can see, it's a crazypants (though incredibly fun) theory, and that's why I love it. I can't really see the Time Lords ever, ever
putting him in charge of anything though (ok, maybe a battalion or something, but seriously not anything they can't afford to lose. Messily.) because a) cannot
be trusted and b) seriously. Can't even out think the Doctor. And there is no way they'd ever put the Doctor in charge of all their lives, so.... you see where I'm going with this?
It is a beautiful fic though.
* This is clearly a lie. I do not write AUs. I do not write
. (Particularly ironic since this journal was originally started as a Nano blog.)
** And I really have to make another post explaining how this is the ultimate proof that the Doctor can't just 'keep regenerating' once his thirteen are used up. Or I could just say it there. Yes. There you go.
*** Here I mean one who likes to have every bit of continuity tied to every other bit no matter how many crazyknots are involved.
**** OK, yeah, my immediate reaction was
there is no fucking way that he actually planned that, so definitely a Roulette. Nevertheless.