Who would you cast as a new Master?

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Guest contributor Mike Falino offers a suggestion in light of an older Doctor.

The casting of Peter Capaldi as the 12th Doctor was brilliant. But the focus of this article isn’t on how good that casting is for the show. Rather, it’s about the opportunity to cast older actors now that the Doctor is showing his age. This isn’t to say that only young actors should be used if the Doctor is young, and only older actors when the Doctor is older. But there are some instances for which the aligning of actors’ ages should not only be considered, but would actually benefit the show.


What I want to see most is the casting of Ian McShane as a recurring villain in Doctor Who. While I’m sure my fellow Whovians from across the pond are far more familiar with this brilliant actor’s work than I, I first took notice of his razor-sharp, scene-dominating talents on one of my favorite shows of all time, Deadwood. For those of you unfamiliar with the show, I implore you to check it out, but suffice to say McShane’s acting ability is clearly from another dimension.

Ever since his time on Deadwood I’ve always imagined him showing up in one of my favorite sci-fi shows. I have no doubt he could become an unparalleled villain in any show. With good writing, he could bring to life an iconic force of malice in SciFi history. That being said, I never considered him for Doctor Who until Peter Capaldi was cast as the 12th Doctor.

My ideal scenario for McShane’s debut would be to see the 12th Doctor encounter John Simm’s Master, resulting in the Master’s regeneration into McShane. The Doctor and the Master are each other’s counterpoint, and despite his seemingly “permanent” exit in The End of Time, he simply must return at some point.

I enjoyed John Simm, but I have always preferred a less manic, more broodingly sinister Master. This is why I think Ian McShane would be a perfect casting. I’m sure to some it would feel cheap, in the sense of casting an older actor simply because of Peter Capaldi’s age, but I think McShane would so enthrall fans that any unease would quickly vanish.

Even if it isn’t as the Master I’d love to see Ian McShane join the Whoniverse. I’ve long felt as though the Doctor is at a point where he needs a legitimate rival for the story to stay strong. For too long now he’s simply been fighting his own inevitable fate, chasing his own shadow, and that seems to be heading for a wrap-up at least by the time 11 regenerates into 12. If it isn’t the Master, or the Rani, I think the time is ripe for introducing the Doctor to a new rival, Time Lord or other.

I know there are many other great actors in the “older” age group that would be great in Doctor Who. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone’s suggestions in the comments!